The pioneering artist duo Gilbert & George have received Honorary Doctorates of Art, in recognition of their contribution to the visual arts both in the UK and internationally.Respect, hard-work, dedication and a sense fun reign as Gilbert & George offer guidance to the next generation of artists at Plymouth University.
Receiving their Doctorates, which were presented by Vice-Chancellor Professor Wendy Purcell, artist George Passmore said they were ‘very pleased, very proud and very moved’ before the pair went on to offer the University’s recent graduates two sets of important advice. First, their ‘Laws of the Sculptors’, which they wrote for themselves in 1969, when they were just ‘baby artists’.
The Doctorate marked a homecoming for George Passmore, who was born in Plymouth in 1942 and met Gilbert Proesch whilst studying at Central Saint Martins School of Art in 1967. Since their initial union the pair have enjoyed prominence in the art world whilst championing the idea of ‘art for all’ – an ethos that is central to the practice.
Consistently ranked as one of the leading universities in the UK, and awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2012, Plymouth has a strong record of excellence, enterprise and innovation across its teaching and research activities. Distinguished by its long-term engagement with business and the community, the University enjoys outstanding links with employers and plays a key role in civic and regional leadership. It is the only university in the world to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of its work in support of the sector.
The Laws read out at the ceremony were: (read in alternation)
The Laws Of The Artists
1. Always be smartly dressed, well-groomed, relaxed, friendly, polite and in complete control.
2. Make the world believe in you and make them pay heavily for this privilege
3. Never worry, assess, discuss or be critical, remain quite, respectful and calm
4. The Lord chisels still, so don’t leave your bench for long.
The ‘10 Commandments’, which the artists wrote for themselves in the ‘90s, were shared with the audience:
1. Thou shalt fight conformism
2. Thou shalt be the messengers of freedoms
3. Thou shalt make use of sex
4. Thou shalt reinvent life
5. Thou shalt grab the soul
6. Thou shalt give love
7. Thou shalt create artificial art
8. Thou shalt have a sense of purpose
9. Thou shalt not know exactly what thou dost, but thou shall do it
10. Thou shalt give something back
Other Plymouth University Honorary Doctorate recipients 2013 :Kate Adie, respected journalist and author, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters on Wednesday 18th September Sheika Al-Thani, international entrepreneur and member of the Qatari Supreme Education Council, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business on Thursday 19th September Lord Kenneth Baker, former Secretary of State and Conservative Party Chairman, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education on Thursday 19th September Michael Ball, singer, performer, and best-selling recording artist, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts on Friday 20th September Stephen Ball, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Wednesday 18th September John Bird MBE, founder of The Big Issue, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business on Thursday 19th September Therese Murray, state politician in the United States and health reform champion, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Health on Saturday 21st September Adam Boulton, political journalist and television presenter, will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Business on Tuesday 17th September Nick Buckland OBE, renowned technologist and innovator, was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Technology on Monday 16th September Amanda Chessell, distinguished engineer at IBM and a Master Inventor, received an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Monday 16th September Baroness Christine Crawley, former MEP, portfolio holder in the House of Lords, and champion of dementia-friendly communities, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Health on Saturday 21st September Sir Anthony Holland, distinguished lawyer and Independent Complaints Commissioner at the Financial Services Authority, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Law on Tuesday 17thSeptember Sir Kenneth Grange, British industrial designer, will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Arts on Friday 20th September Anthony Juniper, one of the UK’s most prominent and influential environmentalists, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Wednesday 18th September Wayne McGregor, renowned contemporary choreographer, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Friday 20th September Rt Revd Nick McKinnel, the Bishop of Crediton, will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Theology on Thursday 19th September. Benjamin Mee, owner of Dartmoor Zoo and author, was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Monday 16th September Doug Richard, serial entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den star, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business on Tuesday 17th September