Today, Monday 16 September, pioneering artists Gilbert & George received Honorary Doctorates of Art from Plymouth University
in recognition of their contribution to the visual arts both in the UK and internationally.
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 Universitys 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 Laws were they read in alternation:
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, but remain quite, respectful and calm
4. The Lord chisels still, so dont leave your bench for long
Second, their 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
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.