Artistic Expression

INT. ART GALLERY – NIGHT

THOMAS (31, skinny, smiley) paces in the foyer of a small art gallery. Behind him, through an archway, is the gallery, people slowly mill around it. A sign near Thomas reads ‘Celebrate up and coming artists at Winchester Gallery, August 23rd – 28th’.

The door to the gallery opens and a small old woman enters. She is PHYLLIS (78), Thomas’ Grandma, not the nice one. Thomas approaches his Grandma and awkwardly hugs her.

THOMAS
Nan, how are you?

PHYLLIS
Well I’m here.

THOMAS
Yes you are. Thank you so much for coming.

PHYLLIS
Well you practically begged me. Where is everybody else?

THOMAS
They’re all coming another night, I just wanted you to be here tonight.

PHYLLIS
Well that’s great. So what I have to pretend I like your drawings by myself?

THOMAS
That’s right, you’re doing a great job so far. Should we go in?

PHYLLIS
Might as well get this over with.

Thomas leads Phyllis into the gallery. Various paintings and sculptures line the walls, each with a plaque depicting the title and the artist. Some of the artists stand near their work. Phyllis walks up to one, an abstract piece, it’s artist, a young woman stands a few feet away.

PHYLLIS (CONT’D)
What’s this suppose to be?

THOMAS
It’s abstract Nan, part of the appeal of this style is that everyone can interpret it differently.

PHYLLIS
Well I don’t know much about art but I figure if you’re going to be an artist people should at least know what they’re looking at.

THOMAS
Maybe we should we keep going, mine’s near the back.

PHYLLIS
I hope it’s better than this piece of crap.

Thomas smiles apologetically to the artist.

Phyllis and Thomas continue through the gallery. Phyllis sees a sculpture nearby and approaches it. It’s purposely rough in design and features a man and a woman holding each other.

PHYLLIS (CONT’D)
Look at this filth. How can you call this art? I call it pornography.

THOMAS
It’s not pornography it’s artistic expression. Even Michelangelo sculptured nudes Nan.

PHYLLIS
And he was as big a pervert as this one. Should keep it in the bedroom like a normal person. Your’s isn’t smutty is it Thomas?

Thomas laughs.

THOMAS
No Nan, can we go see it now?

PHYLLIS
I don’t know what you’re laughing about. I wouldn’t be laughing if I was wasting my time scribbling away on paper. There’s still time to get a proper job you know.

THOMAS
I have a proper job Nan, now can I please just show you my piece?

PHYLLIS
Alright, no need to beg about it, let’s go see your little drawing.

Thomas takes his grandmothers hand in his. She looks down at it confused and lets him lead her around a corner to stand in front of a large mounted drawing. It’s an incredibly detailed grey lead sketch of Phyllis. In the image she is laughing, all her scowl lines are gone.

Phyllis stares at the image, mouth open, in shock. She says nothing.

THOMAS
Well what do you think Nan? Do you like it?

Phyllis squeezes Thomas’ hand in hers and pulls it into her. Tears are present in her eyes.

PHYLLIS
You…you made me beautiful.

Thomas smiles.

A MAN and WOMAN approach next to them and look at the drawing.

WOMAN
Oh wow, I really like this one.

PHYLLIS
(excitedly)
My Grandson drew it.

WOMAN
He’s very talented, you must be proud.

The Man and Woman move off.

Phyllis awkwardly puts her arm around Thomas. She looks up at him and gives him an unused smile. They both turn back to look at the drawing, neither moves.

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