Just over two years ago I had the opportunity to return from the ‘wilderness’ of an ordinary life and enter the ‘wasteland’ of the ‘Full-time’ artist. To make art again was as liberating as it was difficult. The minefield of getting my practice back to a decent level was not so much an explosive experience, as a one of slash and burn. However, through the mentorship of a very close friend this journey is almost there and work begins to have substance and meaning.
So this week I await for yet more rejections from residencies and galleries, the e-mail silence is almost deafening to my failing hearing. I’m beginning to become paranoid and think it is an age thing. (that’s a mid fifties crisis opportunity by the way) However the large exhibition gap in my CV from 1996 to 2013 might have a tad to do with it! I have given up on Newcastle (a closed shop) and look deep into the distance of the other provinces. Wish me luck. Song for the week: ‘Art’ by The Meters… go strut your stuff!!!!!!
Seven years on since I started back as an artist and it is still incredibly difficult to get my work recognised or shown without a great deal of effort. Most of the exhibitions and performances I have staged over the last seven years have left me ‘out of pocket’, which I assume is not unusual for many artists out there who produce challenging work and have no partnerships with galleries or institutions. Oh, and I have tried to build those links. Anyway, I have spent nine months out of the last year making a important work concerning issues around mental ill health. It is and hour long video/cinematic/performance piece with a 15 min prelude. I am currently looking for a venue to present this work. If anyone out there has any suggestions, please contact me thought AN. Enjoy the visuals….. Link below to short promo…
All welcome! Private view tonight.
As a pacifist I find this time of year very difficult. There is much talk and art made around remembrance, but little for all the countless millions of civilians who have died as a result of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time during wars and conflicts.
I would like to remember them and their sacrifice.
This will be my last blog for a while.
Peace be with you.
Aller bonfire 2016. Top build. Great spirit. Community working together. 42 foot high St Pauls with tower, London Bridge, River Thames and buildings. 4 Days hard graft. Funding £0. Absolute best burn yet. Super hot. Great days. For me, better spectacle and the true spirit of a bonfire burn compared to the ‘London Wicker Wonder’, but hey, I’m bias. Check out both on line and make your own mind up.
In 1929 my mother aged 9 visited the North East Coast Exhibition; one of 4 million visitors. Above is an image of the postcard she bought showing a view of the Arts Pavilion. The exhibition cost around £7.7 million in todays money, more than the £5 million allocated for the 2018 Great Exhibition of the North, but let us hope it brings in a similar amount of visitors to this great region and is designed and presented with the same stature. We can only wait and see!!!! My mother posted this card to me in 1984. She used it to confirm the delivery of my portfolio to the Royal College of Art. I was skint at the time and couldn’t afford the fair to London!!! To my surprize I was invited for an interview for the post grad printmaking course. However, all I remember of the interview was a lot of questions concerning my home made clothes!!! Maybe I should have applied for the Fashion course instead..Ha! Ha!
The second image is a rough photo of the third stage of my new painting (the first from a triptych entitled ‘The Walls’) It has moved on quite significantly from the image I posted in my last blog. It is getting there…long way to go however. So much else to do!!!! Can’t get a good few days at it! Off to the village of Aller this week to build a rather large bonfire. My next blog will compare it to the wicker nonsense that was built on the river Thames. The I’ll let you decide which was best!!
Below is a link to an interesting article by Michael Barke, reflecting on the North East Coast Exhibition of 1929…enjoy…