Dogs or Kids
A shark’s body had cracked in two.
Its remains were awash the steps in front of where we picnicked that day.
The tower that loomed in front of us had no bottom.
It dissolved in the surf, which licked at lower stone and iron abdomen.
The unrelenting stone of ages smacked a dull thud upon my crown as I reached the top of the watch tower. The Portuguese had build it strong and unforgiving and so I stepped out on to the ringed plateau with a shade in my eye. Dizziness took me and much of everything else dropped from my arms. Life is not Chess, but this Ruck was unmoved and otherwise straight in force. I manoeuvred to the wall to rest each buttock on the side-stone; cold in the shade I came too and saw him before me, his head silhouette blocking the sun. It was then that we turned to look below. Fragmented white and blue foam like sequins embellished in the heat and beaches that stretched as far as the curving land could go.
Slow heaps of dunes patched with green grass and glistening movement.
The door slammed and I was alone again.
We reached the shore through a thicket of sharpening knives otherwise known as gorse and rested a while on the rocks at the East end of the beach. A power station dominated the horizon and the heat arising sifted any existing foundations into bleached haze. The gargantuan build floated like a castle in the distance as we gazed at families in the foreground. Kids ran naked too and fro, from sea to sand land and back, pissing in the waves, charging at the sky.
We clambered down to walk a stretch of sand daring the waves with our toes. Soon jellyfish were more exciting and less alive washed up on the shore, drying out in the sun. My legs neck nose and forehead stung and our water supply was running low.
Its as if they had watched too many nature programmes. Their movements were exactly like the Meerkats at Butterfly World in Leeds, and they were just as exposed. But this was East Lothian and we were on the beach. The sun was shooting its rays along the coast and against the wet sand, up in to our eyes upon our foreheads burning pasty calves along the way. We turned our gaze inland away from the water to rest our eyes upon the palette of reeds and green grass amongst sand dunes. It was here the animals began to play.
One man stood all of a sudden atop the highest dune like a king set amongst cloudless skies. He was tanned and, as he started to pull down his lower garments, we could see this was an all over tan. So he was used to being naked. After a while two more men stood in the same way, but on lower dunes, and a hierarchy was played out as more nakedness appeared. Then two more men and two more and soon the dunes were full of buttocks thighs and clean shaven skin. Their obviousness matched their ability to remain as animals in a new kingdom; cruising they were and all we could do was watch as if visitors in a zoo. Thankfully we saw no intercourse, this must have happened as they dropped beneath the grass again and out of sight. And this did happen, they did drop, and all came together under the watchful eye of the top most gay man.
So this is all for him? Introducing ‘lady erricson’
We need to talk about lady erricson
It comprises of?
>a poster, two small yellow plastic objects with inlets to slot and hold the poster’s form, oil paint and black electrical tape<
In all intent and purpose it is a painting, what, or a sculpture?
>it is a prop that adheres to other drawn content in the show, which is painted and adjusted according to character and resonance with other works by Jennifer Picken and myself<
To what extend does it stand?
>it stands on its own two feet, which have been carefully cut from the rolled and then slightly unrolled poster<
What was the content of the poster?
>it was an advertisement for a Sony Erricson phone, but the content, save the lady’s face, has been dis-continued with either overlaid paint or by folds and cuts in making the prop<
So, during the process of the props manifestation the original source material was left to ruin?
“The colours of ‘lady erricson’ are from a page cut out from a design magazine, displaying a prototype wardrobe of sorts, which looks (and has now been collaged to look) like a tower. The pallet therefore of much of the work by Richard in the show ‘Au Dessus De to Hunters Tryst’, is sourced from this very page cut out and ‘lady erricson’ sets the scene as it were, for the installation and adornment of other found and altered pieces.”
<yes, war paint>
Map team please this is important
Introducing ‘Globe Lilo Wash’: “All the work wanted to do was expand so I had to dress it quickly in fur and silver”
The fur was taken from a taxidermied squirrel that lived in the northern edges of The Kingdom near the shores of the River Tay. The small disco ball was taken from the pavement of George IV Bridge in Edinburgh. The plastic is from somewhere else. The paint was brought from North East Derbyshire, given to me from a widower who’s wife used to paint by numbers.
According to its proximity to a light source (a glass globe wedged in to a strip light installed lengthways on the floor) this object makes up an oddly constructed ball shaped oil painting.
“I thought of this on the final hour of the residency. I was also thinking of what to pack and take home with me. This work was largely about packing everything in to one place but also accepting some things would be laid to waste. My compadre took an excursion in the beginning days of our stay in the gallery. Out on the streets of Amsterdam she found a bright yellow lilo and dragged its deflated existence on to the apartment floor. She cut from it a breast to use as a casting device, and left its remains in the corner behind the speaker that spoke the candid words of Alanis Morissette for 301 hours straight. In this last hour I had locked myself in the room and decided to make something of the yellow left overs: this is how I did it…”
It looked like something that had been screwed up so much that all that could happen was for it to then expand. I guess the purpose of the work was to negotiate the material’s instability – to screw and fold and to spend time close to the plastic mass. To then cut in to, take from and pull out its insides and make it formalise enough for it to look as if it could somehow stand up. What struck me most of all was its war paint, its still wet war paint, brown, red, green and blue – straight from the tube no less.
“The trick was to deal with its three-dimensionality in character and form. To apply paint was a strategic exercise in limiting the amount of smudging on myself and the surrounds. What came from this was a strange sort of character similar to the demise of Tetsuo in the 1988 Japanese film ‘Akira’.”
It also matched the monstrous and orifice forms of Jennifer, her sticky toffee wig and black masses needed some sort of colourful comparison.
“So you like Japanese films?”
“Yes, they inspire me and allow me to make the work I make”
“But you are English”
The writer will tell you of his game
“Decks were always in the basement but the noise always hit the attic rooms full of smoke chat drugs and hellos to morning light. At a good hour the basement filled with people and dub step sounded out to everyone’s hearts. Girls would grind the decks with hard-edged repeated movements, their hair tied back with skirts and tights at a functional height to assist proper dance. There was more room for proper games outside though and you could leave via the back door, just a few steep steps up to the kitchen, out to the courtyard and out on to the backstreets of Paper Rubbish Row”
He always manages to start with a drawing, straight forward pencil and paper that then reveals character, mode, story encapsulated composition and narrative. The title comes from somewhere else when the props, synonymous with marks on the page and gradations of led, are held painted and placed in to the space. Then come the photographic memories and the conversations withheld; the escapes; the play; the ladders over walls and deaths on spiked iron fencing that never made it as far as the war effort.
So the title of this piece is “Game two; Tower Colour Cave”.
The work is a drawing in all intents and purposes, but also a direct confrontation of framing; the work is framed by the idea and its content, not a physical and conserving wooden encapsulation, so is displayed next to other found and folded pieces, also fixed to the wall, which build on its installation and relationship to other objects and works in the room.
I want to introduce the drawing through direct wording:
It shows two characters, both men, one instructing the other the other taking instruction. They are in a makeshift pavilion like space – a play space that has been constructed indoors; many an object and mask and shape adorns the floor as the instructor gives tips to the other man on how he should fire his bow. The other man holds what should be like some kind of bow, but in fact it is a useless piece of ephemera likened to the metal part of a windscreen-wiper. The action that would unfold is a game-play or a practice of performance, fight or confrontation – more than anything it is training. On the back of the instructor is strapped a doll dressed to look like a woman; an arrow pierces her left knee and another pierces her right breast but she is a doll for target practice so that is all fine. You get the idea that out of frame, the instructor would then proceed to be a target for the man holding the bow, but it is not entirely clear how the game will play out. Small tower shaped objects fill out the background and foreground, these relate to other works in the gallery where the drawing hangs. To the right of the drawing hangs four other pieces; these are taken from magazine pages. One is solid layer of the colour red. Attached to this is one piece of thin metal taken from a car windscreen-wiper. Another piece is a glossier page which has been collaged to formulate a tower shape – there are many colours within this: great big colourful pastel colours that were used as a pallet for other paintings in the space. Attached to this is another piece of metal identical to the other. The next piece is a small cutting from the glossy page. There is a further and final piece that hangs to the right and is pencilled on to the wall to look as if it hangs on a piece of string – this is another cutting from the same page.
“Are you English?”
Introducing ‘I lick your badge’
“It seems more like a hamster cage than a painting”
“I guess I try to make paintings but they always fail and fall or deconstruct themselves in to objects. ‘I lick your badge’ is the first one I have ever made that hangs lightly from the ceiling – it is framed elegantly by the rest of the work in the room (also paintings and other constructions of light, wigs, origami and found objects).”
“There is a true music to object – and this sure can dance to it, it twists and it turns and it looks like a hybrid between Pinata and Patsy from Ab Fab’s beehive hairdo. A Pinata that has been smashed and then glued back together by a greedy and premature child trying to cover his bad tracks and a Patsy full of drugs cut by the witch in Spirited Away”
“So where does the painting come in? Well, there sure is still a surface but the surface moves and glosses – and as the material, bunched together as it is, is three-dimensional the painting becomes more like a dressing of a cake or adorning of a prop. Its just a bad cake and a bad prop that is subject to its positioning in the room – it is a war cake prop.”
“This prop is for battle then, to affect the room and dominate the space – yet it is so light and nothing with shit stuck in it”
“Are you Japanese?”