mapping the past
Crash bang wallop: in the process of moving pictures from studio to gallery there was a slight mishap. We shifted the pictures using a taxi, the taxi guy helped to unload the pictures at the entrance to the art centre, they were laid against a pillar. It’s not called the Riverfront for nothing; strong currents of air carry up river. Anyway one of these currents whipped up the picture and it smashed against the floor – 100 quid’s worth of damage – I had already tipped the guy by this time. Anyway, bless his heart he looked equally aghast, eager to make amends he suggested we shove the fragmented glass in the river – nobody from the environmental agency out there I hope – anyway I cleaned the glass shards, cut myself in the process and blood landed on the exposed print, a sort of convergence of misfortunes. We managed to get the remaining pictures into the gallery in one piece. I really enjoyed the process of hanging the images we had the services of the gallery technician and I was anxious to try my new laser level. I would thoroughly recommend this tool, they are really good and everything looked nice and level. The opening was a pleasant affair, the family helped out: Aunty Jen on the buffet, nan on the wine(you know what I mean). Today I did my BBC thing which went well; speaking into the furry sausage thing was a little strange. This is my final entry so thanks to those who have followed my progress through this blog.
Regards – martin
Spent the last few weeks screwing, really sore. I’ve been attaching plates and fixtures to my pictures; the sore bits are my fingertips. Puerile way to open I know but anyway let’s “Carry on blogging”. So at the moment it’s getting the small bits done, I’ve been hanging a few pictures in the house just to see how they look and that’s going ok, bought one of these laser levels, you position them on your wall and they throw a horizontal line that enables you to position your pictures accurately, great tool. Planning the opening, a short introductory talk maybe, don’t want to bore the pants off people but I think it will shed a bit of light on things. Can art function without words, I don’t know, my maps will not speak of themselves so I do need say something about them.
You may remember that earlier in my project I did a image of stacked coffins, this was based on a 1941 advertisement : a local undertaker advertised that ‘They catered to all social classes’ stated in such a direct way it is of interest reflecting prevailing attitudes and class divisions at that time. Is present day society divided- maybe. And where do artists stand on the ladder; that’s a difficult one, rich and famous artists are treated like demi gods out of the stratosphere. For the fast majority of artists they are where they have always been right down the bottom, it’s an odd thing to call yourself an artist because in truth you don’t easily slot into any definable social group. So some things don’t change; its always been a bum rap for the majority of artists. No point moaning about it. I wanted to capture this in some way so I decided to authenticate the coffins picture and added my signature right down in the bottom perhaps reflective of the artists position in society.
In the process of putting some bits n bobs together to form a small book to accompany the exhibition. Nothing fancy just some images/photos and text and some bits from this blog wrapped together, I’ve seen these photo books that you can get over the net, you arrange and sequence your images, send them off, that gets printed up in the form of a book. It just seems a nice relaxed way of giving a bit of extra background information to those that come to the exhibition. Price wise they range between 20 to 40 quid so its ok for a one off. The content will take the form of a loose narrative, just telling how the exhibition has come together and some of the ideas behind it. Money is a bit of an issue at the moment, I can think of many small things that would make it a better exhibition, but they all add up. It would be nice to flog some pictures to cover the overflow but it’s not my main preoccupation; I just want as wide a cross section of people to come and see the stuff as possible. In that direction the show will be well advertised through the art centre, but I won’t leave it at that, I intend to get out and try to speak to people, raise the profile of the thing. I have come too far to let it go, push- push -push that what I am telling myself anyway.
Went to the park yesterday, sat down and watched the world go by. I’m sat there thinking about the stuff that I have made off the back of this. But how does it relate back to what I seeing. My stuff and the park itself now seem two quite separate entities. I concentrate and start looking for details: I can see a couple having a snog; a dog having a poo in the bushes; The raised sounds of an altercation; some guys downing cider. Things start to tie back in with each other.
I had my dog image made into a sign, I quite fancy setting this up in the park and taking some shots, sort of taking the whole thing full circle. What’s the worse that could happen? Get kicked in maybe – no, I’ve found that when you place art stuff out in the ‘real’ world people might be puzzled but are generally interested. Maybe I will do that.
Still here; still going. Pictures printed and framed waiting to be hung, so I feel fairly happy, it really does feel as if it’s coming together. Now working with the gallery to get the press release / posters /invites sorted out – quite a nice part of it really! Not the easiest thing in the world to capture in one side of A4 the essence of what this show will be about; there have been times when I’ve been a bit unsure myself. It’s a bit like a fine thread you see it clearly, then lose sight of it, that’s a cycle that I been through quite a few times. It’s inevitable people will ask “what this exhibition of yours about then”, it you can’t answer in the simplest most direct way your sunk. Been thinking about food for the opening, they go together – art & food. I’m always a bit disappointed if there is no grub on a opening, enthusiasm wanes, must avoid that, get some food in, it will keep the kids quiet if nothing else. I want to get a wide cross section of people along top see this, will be quite fucked off, if otherwise. Interest in the project is building, which is gratifying, the BBC here are doing stuff on the exhibition so quite excited by the prospect of that. Must relax a bit now, watching the “Umbrellas of Cherbourg” yet again tonight, I really don’t know how many times I’ve seen it. It brings comfort of some sort; don’t even ask how many times I’ve watched “Saturday night fever”. Going back to the umbrella thing, possibly as consequence of my addiction to the film, I have developed a thing about umbrellas. I really love the aesthetics of a traditional brolly, I noticed they were all sporting the trad umbrellas (varied colours) with curved wooden handles up in London. There a rather charming old dear who lives opposite, over years she has built an impressive collection of brollies; very impressed with her collection. She’s been educating me on the finer points of what constitutes a fine brolly.