Thursday, 18 August 2011

Letter Writing

I think that the art of writing to a loved one is being lost, we can all text, instant message, tweet, but these by their very nature are short missives. They can be beautiful like the Haiku with its structure of 17 on, in a relationship of 5, 7 and 5 on, most are not though.
I am really interested in the art of letter writing, writing to the ones who you really want to know you better. The confessional that is disguised in a wealth of paragraphs, the letting that one know who you are, or who you want to be or what sort of relationship you would like to form.
The subtle use of words, their inherent meanings, their hidden meanings, your own interpretation of those hidden meanings, the reading between the lines.
The wonderment of unscrewing the pen lid, of smoothing out the sheet of paper, of placing the first mark, the first word, the first line. Thinking about how to end the letter, how you get to complete your letter, how you sign off. Do you say regards, best wishes, all my love, kisses ? The written word is permanent, forever. That is the beauty of it, or the horror of it.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The smell of water

I think that I am one of those English people who dream of the desert. I lust after the thought of great expanses of dry, seemingly empty but incredibly complex landscapes. I do not lust after "that green and pleasant land", so aptly described by William Blake . It has always felt stifling to me, the determinedly neat hedgerows, the manicured landscapes, the cultivated arenas we inhabit in this, oh so small, island.
I think about the expanses of open desert with the rocky floors that are dusty and appear lifeless, but in reality are crossed by a myriad of creatures and cultures, using pathways both real and imagined. I see the history laid out at my feet, stretching out all around me to the horizon and beyond. I imagine my understanding of these landscapes to be greater.

Above all of this though I love the smell of water. A bath that contains enough water, that through its depth becomes slightly turquoise, is a thing of sheer joy. The calmness that this encapsulates is indescribable.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

mishmosh work

These are part of a series of images I sent to Mish Mosh, they are altered postcards. Images of Queens and John F Kennedy's Funeral, 2 of my favourite subjects. I do have obsessions and at the moment these are some of them.
I am also obsessing about Elvis Presley's golden inscribed Beretta pistol, I have no idea why. I must visit Gracelands soon to see it in al its glory.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


I really like the number 31.
I have lived at two houses numbered 31.
I sent 31 postcards to MishMosh.
I used 31 pieces of collage.
I have typed 31 blog entries.
I think 31 times.
I dream 31 different dreams.
I read 31 authors.
I use 31 disparate ideas at any one time.
I like that their are 31 varieties.
I watch 31 blogs.
Good months have 31 days on them.
I write lists with 31 things in them.
Some of these don't really add up to 31.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

JFK Thanatoses series , Exhibited at MishMosh

This is my work at MishMosh, a group show I am in with Josh Page, Liz Bradshaw and Dale Deveraux Barker at the Gallery @ Mistletoe Cottage. My work looks at ideas surrounding JFK's funeral and the pomp and circumstance around it, the ritualisation of death and mourning. I am fascinated by the idea of the glass coffin, always preserved at an age, never getting old and withering.
I am also exhibiting a series of collaged and manipulated postcards of Queens and Royalty throughout the ages. The work is eclectic, odd, unusual and exciting.
Full details here.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

June list (annexe)

List for the week

blue and gold
drawing pins

Friday, 10 June 2011

j's, models, drawing

Reading through my blog I realised that I like to write lists so heres another one,
paper models

These are some of the things I have been thinking of today.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Asleep, dead or breathing?

I have recently been working on a myriad of ideas, I seem to get more eclectic as time goes on, or is it that I now consider more things to be worthy of the title of 'art'. I have been collecting images of JFK and placing these in difficult places. My friend found an image of JFK sleeping on Airforce 1's floor. I am reminded of Tim Hetherington's photographs of sleeping soldiers. You ask the question about sleeping like the dead, are they dead or just sleeping? Does your knowledge of JFK's assassination or the more recent history of Afghanistan make you question this sleep versus dead theory ? Or do we care ? Do we need to imagine them breathing? Their chests rising and falling?
I want to look at the idea of creating works that have removed the original function, taking away the idea of the original photograph as a tool of mass communication and making it, by intervention in some way, into art or the idea of art.
I also want to look at making 3D ideas.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

new working

I am planning at the moment. I am in a joint show organised by a great artist Joshua Paige, it should be great fun. He makes 2D and 3D collaged based pieces, Dale Devereux Barker whose ecelectic tastes in subject matter are thought about in print, Liz Bradshaw who makes drawings, sculpture and great work and myself. I am working on a series of day-glo JFK images, I will post some up this weekend.
I hope these images will have a quality hitherto unseen in my work. I am trying to make work that describes the idea of the fragile, ephemeral state of life and death whilst making substantive and permanent reminders of it.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Another list

I have thought long and hard about what I am doing and I still don't really have a clue. So I thought I would just write another list or two, so here goes;
Jackie Onassis
Panoramic drawings
clear stickers
Gray Gables
Silver Elvis Presley

This is all topped off with some very peculiar drawings I have been doing, I am still not sure what they are. I will install them in June at my next show and will let you know about it.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Wedding Transportation.

Having tried my best to avoid the Royal Nuptials yesterday, I fell into the very end of it. What really intriqued me was the transportation options available to those going to the palace. Open top coaches with a bobbing bride and saluting groom; the one which was like the kids table at Christmas parties (will Harry ever graduate from that table ?); The Queen giving Prince Philip a shove to heave him into the Scottish coach, no tartan or tam-o-shanters as far as I could see; the new parents-in-law all squashed in one, not knowing quite what to say; then the fleet of mini-buses how un-romantic, lacking in pomp and circumstance can you get and to top it off, an open top sports car.
I really need to move on from the Royal family, I am thinking about other versions of Royality, dynastic clans that felt they ruled, individuals who never heard the word no, that sort of thing.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Eclectic Southern California

I have been having a very nice holiday, this last week or so. I have been making loads of new work, I am trying to branch out onto wider plains of thinking. Just as the whole world goes Royal family wedding mad, I have decided to move on from these images and use more eclectically sourced ideas. I am even thinking of becoming more involved with the physicality of the works, but that could just be the sun going to my head. I am still dreaming of residing in Southern California, images of a David Hockney-esque life swim invitingly through my vision. I think, like with many things in life, this will have to remain in the realm of daydream/fantasy, to be saved to while away a rainy day in October. On the other hand I might just apply to study at Cal Arts and make even more work based on dead American icons. One can only ahve hopes and dreams.
I am planning the escape as I type.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Wilton Diptych and pseudo-nimbus affects

I went to the National Gallery yesterday to look at The Wilton Diptych again. It is one of my favorite paintings, I really like the representation of the White Hart, how Edward makes himself appear to be awed by the wonder of the Christ child, whilst all the time stamping his emblem over the whole image. I like the over sized wings on the angels in their blue outfits and the overlapping nimbus halos they all have.
Because of this I wanted to make some new work, I thought about how to update these ideas using stickers of todays Royal family, overlaying these with drawings to represent their complexities and frailties and using hi-vis reflective tape to describe a contemporary nimbus-like effect. I have photographed the imagery using the flash to disguise the imagery and to further describe the radiant glow of their supposed saintly-ness.
I do feel I need to move on in my work ideas, so I am now looking more at psuedo-royalty.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Palestine and the periodic table

I love the idea of lists, writing them, re-arranging them, re-structuring them, re-working them, re-writing them, then re-looking at them and then deciding to ignore them and produce another list.
So here's a list to contemplate;
Arafat's scarf in the shape of Palestine
Scandanavian inspired trousers
Darger's war images
Dali's collages
The periodic table of elements
7 thank you's
chocolate cars
8's reed
"help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you are my only hope"

Monday, 4 April 2011


Today I have done a myriad of things and had a variety of conversations, so I have decided to write some down in the following list.
Gold Ink
Rebel Fighters
High Waisted shorts
Letter press booklets
Life-size Barbie dolls
Warping the tapestry loom
Walking in Bergen
National Gallery

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Charles and Di Footstool at Justines

Justines Charles and Diana Footstool

I am, as some might know, intriqued, obsessed , interested in the idea of Princess Diana. This footstool is a double whammy for me. The first is a dreadfully rendered image of the dynamic duo done in gold on faux morrocan leather . The second is that why would you buy something that would have been expensive in the first place of your icons and then rest you feet on them? You would have to make sure you had your slippers on so as not too soil their image. You would have to have a very odd outlook of your heros , you would venerate them in a peculiar way. This is one of the best things I have seen.
I have to thank my friend Justine who found this gem at a car boot sale recently. I am in awe of her shopping ability. I feel the need to make a drawing of this image, in silverpoint I think. I think I will include the sublime carpet as well.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Elizabeth Taylors Violet Eyes

I cannot believe that Elizabeth Taylor has died. Her famous violet eyes and those eyebrows that always looked the same, whatever she did. Her make-up in Cleopatra is a work of art, it is so of its time, reminding me of the Benjamin idea of the Aura.
I also admire her ability to wear shed loads of jewellry, most of it looks real, good girl.

She is going on my list of images to work with alongside the Jane Russell and Elvis Presley.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Interview in Rise Magazine

I have recently been asked to do an interview for Rise magazine run by my friend and fellow artist Joshua Page. I was really pleased to do this, as it made me think cohesively about my work for once, bringing together all of my ideas and trying to make some sort of sense of it all ! I think that my ideas are very entropic, they swarm around like stars and planets in the milky way and occasional they come together to form a semblance of image and then move onto other versions of themselves, possibly.
You can read the whole interview and see some new images here .

Thursday, 17 March 2011

List 1

I am thinking of writing more lists, I like a list or two. Here's a recent list,

worsted suiting
day dreams
JFK's widow
gray gables
new york postcards
candy floss

Some more tomorrow, I think.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Conversations and collections

Eclectic conversations I have had today:
museums of collected trivial objects
cockroaches and glitter being the last things left after the apocalypse
the day-glo hexagon being where its at this season
mirrored and repeated butterfly imagery
horses made from plastic cutlery
hand drawn paper-based detritus
carbon paper line drawing
photographs that have been mutilated
long boards in Madrid
fetishistic ideas about ink
To name but a few.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Art House Coop Sketchbook Show in New York

I have taken part in a sketchbook show organised by The Art House Coop for the past few years now. They have recently moved from Atlanta to Brooklyn where they have opened a library, so any one can visit and borrow your sketchbook. You are sent a Moleskin sketchbook and you choose a title, you respond in any way you like within the confines of the book and then post your book to New York where it enters the library. At least some new libraries are up and running and forward thinking and open.

You can see an article in the NY Mag , where the show has been reviewed, if you are lucky enough to be in New York you can go and tell me what its like or send me a photo, I would love to know what it all looks like.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Go! Team and VIP's

The Go! Team last night were fantastic, they are loud, energetic, vibrant, busy, eclectic, wonderful and really superb. I have no idea were they get their energy from, Ninja bounces around and pushes the boundaries of performance to the extreme and the rest of the band scamper around, changing instruments and vocals quicker than you can blink. Their music shows a real insight into how composition and musicality works to the greater good. A small plea, my partner would give his right arm to hear "Everyone's a VIP to someone" played live, so if you are reading this and have influence !
For me they remind me of 1980's TV theme tunes, Phil Spector's wall of sound, The Velvet Underground and Nico and (oddly) Joy Division.
Go get the new album and watch the video for "Ladyflash", superb.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Deserts, Portugal, Elvis, JFK and others.

I have been thinking about travel recently, I normally get through to April before my itchy feet set in. Though the phenomenon has set in early this year. Its not the sort of yearning that means I have to travel just that deep-seated longing that makes my life a bit unhappy, that constant niggle in the background that something is not quite right.
I have a friend who lives in Portugal and she describes a particularly feeling that, they have as a nation, that is like homesickness but even more intense and only the Portugese have the ability to feel this. I think I have the opposite of this, I am homesick for other peoples nations. I feel that I am that particular type of English person who feels more at home in the Deserts, wether they are hot or cold, but on a personal level I prefer the heat.
I also hanker to travel to places I cannot go, I want to go and see Blondie in the 1980's in New York, I want to attend JFK's funeral, I want to see Elvis in Las Vegas sing Suspicious Minds and many, many more. I know that I cannot do these things apart from through film, photographs, first hand accounts and then in my imagination.
So I am now using my imagination.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Windows, Elvis and World-tours.

After flapping around for about 8 years I now have a new front door and some new windows. They are lovely, no holes, no rotten wood and no gaps. They were very efficiently fitted by a rockabilly musician and his mate, great chats about music and collecting Gibson guitars whilst the wind whistled through the house. No whistling wind now though. I am luxuriating in the silence and thinking about Elvis, triangles, glitter, the postcard, JFK, sequins, dayglo, foil and rather oddly seedy British seaside resorts ( I know that the list is odd, but in my head seaside resorts are the odd one out). I might have to go on a tour. Then I could have t-shirts and merchandise printed up, or a grand-tour-like idea, on the train to Venice stopping in Rome, Milan and the Amalfi coast, I digress.
I think I need to travel soon.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Glitter, Glitter everywhere.

My glitter obsession is spreading, the ability of glitter to make you smile is amazing, how such a small ephemeral, shiny speck can do this is astounding. The opening of "The Paris Correspondence School" at the Minnie Weisz Gallery was glittery.
Have a look, see what you think.
I hope my glittery-ness is as enjoyable to you as it's to me.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Grey or Gray ?

Grey or gray, that is the question.
So wan are we, so pale with care, like crushed florets under horses hooves we tread.

Anyway, I am dreaming of warmth, watches, the masons, coffee, maps, piers, pink glitter, envelopes, tape, wolves, blanket stitch, blueberry scented pens, cabled legwarmers, pewter shoes, grey button-downs, glaciers, nuclear, triangles, hoods, silver, crochet.

And other stuff as well. My dreams are eclectic, busy and ephemeral, I suppose that is the mark of a dream, a good dream. I dream.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Anneka French's review of Au + Ag show at Trove

You can read the full review here.

I am, at the moment, in correspondence with Anneka, I hope to tell you more about this soon.
You can read the full review here.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Brogues, daydreams and wish fulfillment.

This day is now over, thank goodness. I am wondering what it is all about, why do we think at all ?

I am still hankering after a few things though, boys in Brogues ( I do like a proper shoe), sea-gazing, the wishing for more people to write to ( I am a postcard sending obsessive) and a desire for the idea to descend easily. I am not sure what I mean by any of these statements, if you could help out I would be immensely grateful. After my day the smallest crumb (preferably one from a custard cream) of comfort would be gratefully recieved.

I now need to explore the idea of dreaming, I feel I don't do enough of that. Day dreams are blissful if done right.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Satsuma, Clementine and Tangerine

Why are satsumas so awkward to find ?
They appear briefly over the Christmas period, and then disappear. No other citrus fruit is so seasonal, you can still buy Clementines, Tangerines, but you dare to try to find a Satsuma after 12th night. It's harder to find than the Argos Christmas adverts where to avoid. I feel that the humble satsumas are the only truely "seasonal" thing about the season of goodwill. Well as I've started on this , those bags of mixed nuts do redistribute themselves back to the cake baking isle by mid January from their prominent front of house, beyond the proscenium arch, placing at the front of the 'store' ( thats a shop to you and me). And those oversized pumpkins that appear in Ocotober for our newest festival of Halloween, or as we have to now call it trick or treat or drive by in day-glo orange , whats that all about ?
I now think the title of this section is like a Dulux paint colour chart listing from 1968, all it needs is Chocolate, Avocado and Parma Violet and the whole food/colour combination thing is complete.