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The Culture Sector of Think Magazine
"YOU DON'T HAVE TO BURN BOOKS TO DESTROY A CULTURE. JUST GET PEOPLE TO STOP READING THEM." - Ray Bradbury
We aim to report on the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. The Culture Sector encourages intercultural dialogue and promotes cultural pluralism within humanity.
Have you ever looked at the cost of flights and noticed the large price gap between those heading out of the London airports, such as Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow, and the price of those from the more regional airports, such as Manchester, East Midlands and Newcastle? It’s a commonly recurring theme, and it’s one that led me to find a way to save money on travel.
I’m always up for saving a few pounds wherever my holiday plans are concerned, as that means more for me to enjoy when I’m actually away.
Before you put this idea down as too far to travel, hear me out, as you’ll probably find that even when you factor in the cost of travelling down to the capital, your total price including the flight may turn out to be cheaper. Of course, this isn’t true in all cases, so you should always shop around, but even if you combine it with an indirect flight, you’re looking at an option to save cash, which is always better spent on sun, sea and sangria.
I first checked out this idea last year, when I was struggling to find a return flight with baggage from Manchester or East Midlands to Dalaman for under £280. So I did a more open search on Skyscanner, and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw better flight times from Heathrow for £180 return, including baggage! Of course, I booked it, and then began to look into how to get down south for my flight.
Trains and buses are an option if you don’t want to drive, however I looked into the idea of driving myself down and parking the car up at the airport. I found some great prices with airport parking with BCP. I was shocked at how much cheaper this all turned out to be, so I booked the airport parking straightaway and began to look forward to duty free at a London airport for the first time!
Driving yourself to the terminal door, parking up and having the freedom and convenience all that brings means less worry about delayed trains, buses not turning up etc, and is a much more laid-back experience as a result. Holidays shouldn’t be about stress and worry, they should be enjoyed from the get-go.
There are many airport extras to add onto your cheap capital flight, and the facilities for airport parking are second to none. The Heathrow Airport parking facilities I used were absolutely faultless, the level of service, not to mention the price, we’re paramount to the enjoyment to the start of my travels..
So, the next time you’re searching for a holiday and don’t want to break the bank on getting from A to B, open your search a little and include those further away airports, as you might just find a bargain.
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“Ars onga, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile,” wrote the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. “Art is long, life is short, opportunity fleeting, experiment dangerous, judgement difficult.”
The father of western medicine’s aphorism could be used as a suitably succinct guide when it comes to understanding what makes a work of art collectable.
Art indeed endures. Both physically and conceptually, it outlives its creator, a legacy of an artist that once was corporeal, a reminder of a moment of pure brilliance and, if you’re so inclined to think so, a spiritual vestige of a luminary.
A complex game
Yet, is this enough to make such a work of art collectable? Not quite. It’s about today’s historians, thinkers and powerbrokers, who monopolise so much of the conversation of the age that if you fall outside of it, then, at least in the now, you’re forgotten.
The contemporary artist Damien Hirst is bankable now, as is Banksy, both alive and well, while Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol, sadly long gone, are equally collectable, many, many years after they rose to prominence.
Amid the glow of these famous individuals are a myriad of artists past and present who have largely gone unnoticed, but that is not to say they will not have their day in the light.
Consider for example, Lebanese artist Saloua Raouda Choucair – it has taken a lifetime for her to be have a major exhibition (at Tate Modern until October). One imagines now that her extensive bounty of work, which has not really been a popular choice at auction, will gain currency as her critical stock rises.
Rules can be broken
As can perhaps be gauged from this, what determines the value of a work of art – and thus its collectability – is a number of variables like small, disparate clusters of influential people and even chance.
There are however some basic rules that can help you make your own decision. While it certainly pays to be ahead of the curve, savoir-faire with the current mood and engaged with the key players, it is equally essential to set yourself a standard of your own choosing.
From the outset then, it is important to identify the reason as to why you’re collecting, which is usually down to a simple love of art or because of the investment opportunities. Of course, there is always an overlap.
What to consider
Four classic questions always manifest themselves from the beginning: who is the artist, how important is the work in question, what is its provenance, and does the price make sense?
If the answers to these questions result in a strong argument for its acquisition, then it is fair to say that you’re well on your way to purchasing a very collectable work of art.
All that said, the artist might not be that well known, or if he/she is, that particular work might not be considered vital, but regardless, if you as a collector are captivated by it, then, take a leap of faith.
The worst-case scenario is that you have a pretty painting with no market value, but as an object of beauty, you are doing rather well, which, if rather expensive, can be kept in storage at a warehouse operated by Cadogan Tate.
As a final point, what is certainly a constant when it comes to snapping up a work of art is the need for planning. Intensely research a painting, sculpture or installation and court other people’s opinions, be it curators or friends.
Experiment, remember, can be dangerous, and judgement difficult. Whatever happens, art is long, immortal even.
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