Artist stands for election

Posted on: 15th December 2014 at 00:00
Posted by: PANDA
Location: England
Discipline: Other

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Why I’m standing against Michael Gove

"In tough times we need art more than ever, so in 2015 I hope people will vote for creativity, not austerity"

Britain’s former secretary of education Michael Gove, who earned the ire of the art community when he proposed cutting the arts from core curricula at UK schools in 2012, will face a new opponent next time he runs for election in his local district: the artist Patrick Brill, better known as Bob and Roberta Smith.

The Independent reports that Brill will run against Gove in Surrey Heath, the district southwest of London where Gove currently serves as MP and was last re-elected with 57% of the vote — double the share of votes received by his Liberal rival. Though Gove left his position as Secretary of Education in July of this year, to become the Conservative Party’s chief whip, Brill believes that recent comments made by his successor, Nicky Morgan, have brought the issue of arts education back to the fore.

“If you didn’t know what you wanted to do… then the arts and humanities were what you chose. Because they were useful — we were told ­— for all kinds of jobs,” Morgan said recently while launching a campaign to promote the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in schools. “Of course now we know that couldn’t be further from the truth, that the subjects that keep young people’s options open and unlock doors to all sorts of careers are the STEM subjects.”

“What she said has got everyone fired up again,” Brill said. “I thought: ‘I’ve got to stand.’”

(taken from an article by Benjamin Sutton on December 4, 2014 for hyperallergic.com - link to left)