Tag Archives: There is no cavalry

If I can do it, it’s not art.

I went to visit my mate, Markham and his lovely wife, Sarah, in our nation’s fair capital last week. (That’s Londinium, if you don’t know where I live.)

Anyhoop, apart from drinking copious amounts of alcohol – as is our wont – and eating my own body weight in Rogan Josh, I took the liberty of culturising my soul by visiting a few galleries.

I managed to get to The National Portrait Gallery, The National Gallery and The Tate Modern.

I don’t know about you, but I always feel reinvigorated and inspired after a jaunt to a gallery. And, whilst Manchester has a fair few decent galleries, there’s nothing quite like a visit to a capital city to see the top-banana stuff.

The highlights for me, (apart from the boozing), were the BP Portrait Awards at the NPG. Some fantastically refreshing stuff on show. I even saw that portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge. (Or, Kate, as I prefer to call her.) I know she looks a tad tired in the piccie, but you have to admit, she’s still one of the most beautiful women in the world. (Up the republic!)


Did someone ask for a restorer?

Actually, I think it was this one.

Actually, I think it was this one.


Jamie Routley


John Devane


Miseon Lee


Geert Schless


Antonio Laglia

Now, the National Gallery is pretty vast, and time was pressing, so I just visited a couple of rooms – mainly the 19th Century galleries, where I got see works by: Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, Pissarro, Klimt, Vuillard, Degas, Sisley, Seurat, Gaugin and Matisse. My artistic soul was well and truly satiated. Here are a few highlights for your delectation.

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I also took a sneaky peek in a section where they had some medieval paintings of Anne Boleyn, King Dicky 3, Lizzie 1, and a whole host of others. It wasn’t so much the paintings that fascinated me, but being in the presence of work that was commissioned while these historic people were alive. (Or not, as the case may be.)

Buried under a bloody car park, indeed.

Buried under a bloody car park, indeed.


Last up, was The Tate Modern. And, whilst I’m all up for a bit of modern art, it was the ‘older’ fraternity that appealed to me the most – Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Miro, Giacometti, Picasso, Turner, Warhol, Hockney, Kandinsky et al.



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But, I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed with the majority of the works. So much so, that I remarked to my mate, Markham, that – if I can do it, it’s not art.

Pause button by Rothco. I could do that.

Pause button by Rothco. I could do that.

Yves Klein. You're having a Turkish, mate.

Yves Klein. You’re having a Turkish, mate.



Very graciously, he said that I should make a note of that remark because it was profound. (He always says nice things to me. That’s why he’s my mate.)

He also said that if I were to scrawl it on a piece of paper it would probably get hung in the gallery.

So, here we are. Profundity or Luddite. It’s your call.

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My other mate, Mike McGinn, is an artist based in Edinburgh. (I have a thing about friends who’s name begins with ‘M’ – sorry, Zebediah.) And I reckon his work should be in the Tate. It’s miles better than some of the stuff they have in there.

Don’t get me wrong, the Tate Modern is a fantastic art gallery and it has some wonderful works in its collection. Just not enough of it on show at this moment in time. Maybe I’m just a traditionalist.


By Mike McGinn

The other thing that gets my goat is Contemporary Art Photographers. Not all of them, mind. I love Cindy Sherman and Ansel Adams just to name a couple. But there are so many art photographers out there that are technically inept. They may have an eye for a composition and an idea, but too many of them lack the technical skills to make them good photographs. I’m talking mainly about lighting, contrast, colour and depth. It’s one thing to have a concept. Taking it to the next level and being able to bring that concept to life through technical wizardry, is what makes it art.

The key is: Know your medium – then surpass it.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with many brilliant commercial photographers over the past 30 years in the ad industry. And a great many of them would be (and are) better artists than those who ply their trade doing it. I suspect that the reason many of them aren’t famous is because they are tarnished by the word “commercial”.


Eggleston. Contemporary art? FFS.

Sri Lanka by DMC

Sri Lanka by DMC

Fishermen, Sri Lanka by DMC

Fishermen, Sri Lanka by DMC


Filed under Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Photography

Le cadavre d’exquis, de l’amour – new poem

Le cadavre d’exquis, de l’amour.

Draguignan, 1999.

© David Milligan-Croft

Outside the vineyard,
Droplets of rain refresh us,
Along with the bottle of white wine,
On the wrought iron table.

There’s a sunflower between us
On the cover of your notebook;
We take it in turns
To write our exquisite corpse, of love.

Occasionally, we stop,
To exchange wine through baisers,
While the rain makes our words bleed,
Like your mascara at Nice airport.


Filed under Art, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Inspiration, Poetry, Writing

W.B. Yeats as you’ve never heard before…

Just a quickie today. I wanted to share this stunning musical version of W.B. Yeats’ poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree.

Sung by Angel Harrigan, it’s hauntingly seductive. Music by Roger Gregg, from the album, Serpent In The Bee-Loud Glade.

Brought to my attention by one of Ireland’s preeminent poets, Patrick Chapman. Have a sneaky listen to one of his poems here, too.

P.S. Apologies to my FB friends for whom I have already shared this.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

By W.B. Yeats

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

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Filed under Art, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Film, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Music, Patrick Chapman, Poetry, Writing

Let me fail in sunshine – new poem

Perhaps I could be accused of trying to solicit pathos. However, that was never my intention. I just like the image that it paints.


© David Milligan-Croft

I was born for the sun.
To sit in creased, cream flannels,
Specks of red wine on a grubby white shirt,
Dusty feet, naked in espadrilles.

I could think in the sun.
Writing plays of heroes and lovers;
Perhaps my life story, (with an exaggeration or two),
Royalties and rights, money for jam.

I could dream in the sun.
A romance I made up, which lasted forever;
At home, she wore a floral dress, and carved words into paper,
Wherever that was.

I could fail in the sun.
Where tears of remorse dried in the mid-day haze;
Idle dreams floating like ice in a glass,
Slowly, slowly, slipping away.


Filed under Art, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Inspiration, Poetry, Writing

The University of Manchester – World Firsts

This is a series of World Firsts that The University of Manchester can lay claim to.

I was going to go for a ‘cleverer’ headline. Something along the lines of: Coming first is second nature. However, on reflection, because the achievements are so incredibly brilliant and interesting, I don’t think the headline needs to work that hard. What do you think?

Feel free to click on the images and download the jpgs to see their true colours and read the text. For some reason, the logo looks blue on here, but comes out fine when you save it to your desktop.

Marie Stopes, The University of Manchester, World Firsts,

Marie Stopes

Ernest Rutherford, The University of Manchester,

Ernest Rutherford

Christabel Pankhurst, The University of Manchester,

Christabel Pankhurst


W. Arthur Lewis

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There is no cavalry couture is here!

I’m not much of a DIY person per se, but t’other day, I found myself pottering about in the shed* looking for a bottle of meths**, when I came across an old t-shirt that I’d been using as a fuse for a Molotov cocktail***.

Well, it put me in a mind to set up a There is no Cavalry fashion label.

The idea was to take everyday warnings that you might find on clothing, food, medicines or cleaning products, and apply them to humans.

Recently ordered colour variant.

Recently ordered colour variant.

Another courtesy of Mr Mannion.

funny t-shirt designs


From a gag in Steve Martin’s classic movie – The Jerk

funny t-shirt designs



Funny t-shirt design


Funny t-shirt designs


Funny t-shirt design


Funny t-shirt design


Funny t-shirt design


Type detail. Lovingly kerned Gothic 821. 48/42pt.

Recently purchased colour variants.

Funny t-shirt design


Funny t-shirt design


You might not wear one or two of them to meet the in-laws. But they might just be a conversation starter in Ibiza.

If anyone would like one, drop me a line, and I’ll get you one made up.

Having looked at a few t-shirt printing websites, we’re probably looking in the region of £15 plus postage for a good quality one.


Available colours

Colours: Black, White, Navy Blue, Royal Blue, Red, Heather Grey, Sky Blue, Maroon, Yellow and Bottle Green.

Headlines are interchangeable on different coloured t-shirts. So if there’s a combo you want that isn’t here just let me know and I’ll do you your own version and email it to you for sign off before going to print.

Email me at: dmc@anidealworld.co.uk if you’re interested.

As orders are coming in thick and fast I’ve added a Paypal button. But please DON’T pay anything until you’ve contacted me by email. Just so we can confirm sizes, colours, destination etc. This is also because I don’t know what the additional postage charge will be until I come to send them off to you.



Size guide

*I don’t have a shed.
**I don’t drink meths.
***I don’t make Molotov cocktails. (Well, not anymore.)


Filed under Advertising, Art, Brand, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Design, Economy, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Strategy, TINCa-Ts, Writing