One Woman's Week: Portrait Of The Artist
By Karen Fenessey
IT’S a sad day that sees artists with real integrity beaten down by loud-mouth sensationalists. This week, I have found myself in the same boat as the prominent female art lover, Tracey Emin, who has always struggled against the thousands of Philippines who want her silenced. And I have been seriously reconsidering whether I want to keep working at my school, if it means having to tolerate these imbeciles.
I have never been one to brag about my artistic ability, but it is an undeniable fact that I have been blessed (some might say ‘cursed’) with a superior vision to most of society. Instead of a tree, I see a majestic, green entity; instead of a tea pot, I see a shiny, talkative receptacle. So when Mrs Dixon, the headmistress, was looking for a teacher to co-ordinate the pictures for our latest school magazine “We are a Multi-Cultured School” (inspired by the many new asylum seeking children whom the school is now teeming with), I knew I had to come to the rescue.
Personally, I don’t see the point in this magazine as most of these kids’ parents can’t speak a word of English. That’s why it’s all the more important to make the pictures interesting and why I knew that I was the only person capable of engaging these people. However, someone else had plans to overthrow me.
Miss Tyrell is the special needs teacher and only works for half the week. Only, in the staff room, she asks everyone to call her ‘Mo’ and on top of that, she claims to be a lesbian. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big supporter of gays and one of my best friends is a FUCKING FAGGOT (he loves it when I call him that!) But there is a time and a place for spouting on about your alternative lifestyle and a staffroom full of teachers who are maybe a bit older and aren’t used to today’s madness in their quiet little lives is not it.
So imagine how I rolled my eyes when ‘Mo’ got her photos of her crusty summer expedition around India with her ‘civil partner’. I swear, if I have to endure another shot of their stupid big faces going to a temple or meeting some local fucking flood victim, I will bring up my lunch. Wisely, Miss Tyrell kept her mouth shut when the teachers were asked who wanted to curate the photography section of the new magazine, no doubt recalling that the photos I brought in last summer of my trip to Ayers Rock (or as I like to call it: Uhuru) were far more culturally aware.
I spent ages planning and taking the pictures so you can understand I was utterly gob smacked when the headmistress called me into her office and told me they were unsuitable. She had some kind of problem with the fact I’d only photographed the coloured children at the school. She said that the magazine was supposed to show how ‘multi cultured’ out school was. “Yes” I said, “so what did you want me to do- photograph all the white kids?!” She said that while she couldn’t deny the excellent composition of my shots, they only portrayed one culture. “One culture who are now being multi-cultured because they’re living in a white Christian country!” I laughed at her. She just doesn’t get it!
She proved this even further when she then gave the task to Miss Tyrell, who probably shouldn’t even be around young girls if you ask me, because she probably has inappropriate thoughts about them and then tells her ‘wife’ about it. And what kind of teacher is she anyway? She’s a jumped up childminder who spends all her time around pupils with substandard brains and obviously doesn’t have the skills to teach advanced reading or handle complicated concepts like geography.
It’s only a matter of time until one of those simple children fall under her deviant spell. And they won’t be able to call on me for help on the next stupid refugee-kid rag because I’ll be working somewhere with staff who understand that I am a true artist.