The visionary council housing developments of the 1960′s may be far from the decaying estates of today, but can we embrace their utopianism. My paintings deal with the now and the then, the optimism contasting with the look of wear and tear from the years in between. Been getting a lot of good reviews and encouragement…now I have a show to put on in April 2011 at Elevenspitalfields.
I have been in a bit of a state…..have sold the house, and to give time for my next decision I’ve decided to rent….but rent in Denys Lasduns Keeling House, which is the subject of one of my paintings, and clearly in the tradition of housing that I’ve been investigating with this project….but awful thoughts about am I too close to the subject…..and have Ilost my detachment…..
Interesting how a sale of a painting, in this case a study of Park Hill estate in Sheffield, can lead to something totally unexpected….in this case….inclusion in an exhibition about the makeover of the estate and it’s inspiration for a similar ‘rejuvination’ on a modernist build in Brussels…..hence the exhibitions venue in that city………interesting to see the response….and fingers crossed that the journey for the opening proves interesting and rewarding…….here’s the study as well as the poster/invite for the show.
this can be a bit of a struggle…….if only at times the way life outside of art can completely de-rail, suck confidence and trip up your routine…it’s been tricky….the why’s and how’s don’t belong here…..but also is there a wisdom to posting thoughts regularly……..I note a number of bloggers here have almost made the daily posting of I guess it can be called a diary, a sign to themselves that they are out there….they are reaching out and that they are serious about their work and their blog…….I’m not so sure…….at times I have nothing to say, and when I have something to say ( which I do tonight, and it’s simply an I’m back message) then it sits unconfortably with alll the words that are there because I set myself a target to say something EVERYDAY……how about this, I’m doing these very unfashionable sea studies running parallel to the buildings…..wonder if they pull the carpet of integrity from under the ‘Buildings’
this is a recent work …finished yesterday…it’s part of a submission to a show in France…….nothing like putting it in the public domain
It’s interesting how being an artist differs from one to the next. In the course of Hockney’s recent remarks upon question of authenticity of the artist, the creation by the hand of the artist etc etc, regarding particular conceptual based (Hirst for example) practitioners who use assistants, as though painters in the past didn’t, there is a thought that has come to my mind over many years of seeing post-grad shows and minor and major exhibitions of this work…..what do these artists do with their time. I’m constantly asking myself, did this student actually enjoy their degree course, what did they in fact learn….and we know that the answer lies not in acquiring craft skills….which is an okay by me answer….but having seen a recent mini exhibition for William Morris up in Leyton Library east London, a foretast of the re-opening of the Museum in Waltham Forest, an assistant and I discussed his working methods for production, and though he resented the fact his pieces largely sold to the wealthy……he wanted each worker to have a relationship with their work and avoid division of labour production values and the alienation from the work and disengagement it entails…keeping the prices high therefore, and contradiction to his aims, but that makes me wonder what de-crafted and de-skilled artists now do with all their spare time…..and does it make them happier?