It’s All I Drink About – Scott Patt

I still remember discovering this piece. I was wandering around the Fruitmarket gallery in Edinburgh, hungover and humiliated after a very badly-misread romantic situation had gone awry. I’d needed to escape St Andrews, pretty desperately, and go somewhere I would not be seen by anyone who had recently seen me, bonus points if strong coffee could be sourced and triple whammy if I wound up anywhere close to messages of shared suffering – to an art museum I headed.

I actually found this in the gift shop where they stock many funky postcards, which I tend to find entertaining, at the least, and comforting, at the most. This jumped out and I had that instant leap of love art often delivers if I am in the lowest depths of entirely self-constructed despair. It was one of those, ‘oh, it’s not all bleak, maybe there is a point to unending failure and pain!’ moments. This may have been exacerbated by the alcohol, but, in general, whenever I am feeling flat, I find little things like this tend to uplift me if only because they remind me that someone out there relates, and I’ve been given the privilege of being able to tap into that and feel it, with them.

The beauty in this piece, in particular, is its vagueness. Everyone who sees it has a different ‘it’ they’re thinking of, but we can still all nod and go, ‘ohhh yeah’. I love that the piece is funny and witty, but could have heavier implications, too: it’s one of those great jokes which makes you laugh before leaving an unfinished aftertaste of something sadder, like longing, preoccupation, or being unable to move on. I probably projected a little too much of my personal situation onto it, but it felt poignant, for me, as I had just missed, once again, an opportunity to step forward from a difficult breakup, and this seemed to reach out at just the right crux of that particular journey. I feel like that vagueness really touches upon a sense of lost connection, because you could say this statement to one person who always knows what you are thinking without any clear spelling-it-out, but, obviously, instead, with no one around you in on the sentiment, it just sort of hangs in the air, impossible for others to interpret.

Now, three years on, I still have it displayed above my bed and it feels much lighter. Mostly it just makes me smile when I think about all the pints I’ve agreed to or parties I’ve attended when I should’ve been working on a deadline or application. I’ve reimagined it as a comical antidote to things I shouldn’t be so worried about when sober. Lo: the versatility of one wonderful print!

Scott Patt has many other equally entertaining and thought provoking pieces which can be found on his website or social media platforms – I v much recommend checking them out. He also goes into a bit of detail about his process which is very inspiring and hopeful: this, for example, was produced as part of an experimental project, which just shows, in my opinion, that great gems can come out of a lot of exploration and copious amounts of practice.

It’s Not Me, It’s You – Scott Patt