Tuesday, 23 November 2010


At the moment this is my most recent collage. It's a sequence of five interweaving A2 size pieces of paper. I'm thinking to frame it using clip frames and a long curtain rail.  I'm slightly tempted to continue the sequence and see how it progresses, as this piece has a narrative, like a story board, it conveys that something is happening and various factors are influencing other elements.  Quite simple. The circle falls apart from due to a rise of energy - light and/or temperature is in it's atmosphere and the matter involved is converted into new shapes and patterns.

Isn't that exciting? The old story of circular construct getting more energy, then disintegrating and leaving a waste product of hands and faces falling upwards and downwards and accumulating like sediment on the inside edges of unwashed cups and saucers.

So there it is.  Simple.  Except not really.  But I think that good art is made to look simple.  This work isn't as simplistic as I make it out to be.  It actually took quite a bit of thought, and I almost didn't bother finishing it because I found myself being given an exhibition next year all to myself and I need to work out precisely what I'm doing so it was very tempting to just not bother completing or even considering this sequence of works.  I may decide to carry it on further and further until it becomes some kind of 21st Century Waterlilies but instead of depicting waterlilies it's depicting the breaking down and displacement of clotted cells due to a hydrogen heat (and time) wave.  Hmmm...  Think I've just convinced myself to do more.  But then again where does the story go from here.  Should I show the construction of a civilisation.  If you look at the last image you can actually see life evolving, weird structures and suggestions of spinal columns forming in the ashy leftovers.  Is there a chance of this becoming something organic and choatic before all of progressively become structured but in a very deluded way.  It could all be some sort of not very subtle metaphor of life and the whole big bang shebang. 

Well it's good to know that one thing leads into another, and that it all kind of bleeds together into some seismic irrelevance.  I actually have so many other projects on my hands I can imagine this being something that I could keep carrying on with on when I reach an impass with any of my other projects.  Something that I can approach in a relaxed way, because if it seems to go on forever there's no point in setting myself any impossible deadlines stretching away into the infinite.  That would be like stressing over the all together uncontrollable inertia of actually realising that I'm a breathing thing doing things on a big spinning thing.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Structure and Decay

When I was moving house, I decided to get rid of all my old notes books and loose bits of paper, only keeping a few that I really really liked in memory boxes, the rest of it I either photographed or typed up onto a word document.  It was actually a good thing to do as I wasn't paying much attention to any of it when I had it, and it was also very useful for me to reassess things and read all the mad, looping round and around things that I'd written, they often seemed rubbish and nonsensical, tapping into some sensation or emotion that was only relevant at the point in which it was felt.  It was all quite dark and atmospheric, though it's natural that the only time when you'd like to express your thoughts is when you absolutely need to express them, cast them out onto a page hoping they'll stay away in future.  So most of the writing that was in my big box of paper was very personal and the sort of thing you'd only read as you were writing it.  Saying that though, dependent on my mood as I was typing it all up, I had moments when it all added up and there were bits of it that could be rewritten and made into something good, if I had the time or inclination.  Anyway the picture in the top corner of this paragraph is one of the pictures that was amongst all these papers.  It looks rather like a neanderthal's interpretation of a super computer.  I think.

 A lot of these notepads were made whilst working in some call centre - not listening to a single word that was being said to me whilst doodling and collaging science fiction abstraction and somehow managing to do well at both customer service and putting together nice little doodles, all the while either getting funny looks from some team manager or else the people I sat with who I never talked to.  I'm very much glad I work in Admin these days, I don't have to talk to anyone on the phone and on occasion manage to zone out into the empty swirling everything that goes on around us every single moment.  Enjoying the odd moment of inertia as existence sweeps by never explaining why or how and what on earth it's doing.  I get time to worry about proper things, big things, small things and things worth worrying about.  And I get paid more for working less.  I do quite like this little drawing.  It looks like one of those giant hairdryers... the crossed out and circled numbers are likely notes taken during calls.  And the word ORDER is stuck on with some innocence, surely with no meaningful or satirical intention, quite startling in it's irrelevance, yet it looks deliberate, like some sort of hamfisted metaphor of authority.

A raging machine working in note formula, on a note book.  It's good that this sort of thing got me through the day but I didn't really see any value in it at the time.  It was just left behind in some notebook at the bottom of box full of other notebooks under a desk covered in notebooks.  It was good fun to go through them and very weird that I don't remember making them at all.  Probably listening to some faceless bleating bloated blatherer bleating bloatfully about his overdue Barclaycard payment whilst I lived my entire life on autopilot. 

So a certain amount of tedium can be a helpful incubator for developing ideas.  Willpower is a good way of getting through really bad times, and even though you might spend hours, days or a whole lifetime thinking about what a massive loser you are... you might actually be doing quite well - in your own way - if you work hard at putting together your plans of world domination and "just be yourself".
It's weird but some of this simple work I did all those years back has a nice sense of composition to it, and some really laboured and intense cross hatching, like I was so impatiently wanting to get out of life through the paper.  In some ways it's probably a good idea to reassess the past so you can remember all the things that you are capable of but might have forgotten to keep doing.  As surely in your older, wiser, and better state you could probably do it better - me in particular:  I'm now less awkward, less spotty, less greasy, less rubbish.

I used to have a lot of nightmares about teeth, they bothered me for years, teeth would melt, teeth would crack, I'd wake up with my hands in my mouth as in my dreams I'd be pulling out big piles of mushed up bone and blood and letting them drop down an imaginary drain.  It was funny.  Funny weird.  Sometimes funny ha ha.  Never traumatic.  I'm not making a drama out of it, I'm so brave and stoic.
They've now been replaced by dreams where I backchat my way out of situations often involving some nasty and ugly characters - in a way I probably wouldn't be able to in real life.  What a turnaround that is.  Whilst at times I go about thinking about how all my luck is spiralling down some horrible mad trail I'm actually - when I "count my chickens" - doing really really well.  Judging from my dreams, circumstances in life and my relieving lack of acne. 

Is there any chance this positivity might breed contentment?  That I may all of a sudden be content and then stop feeling the need to make any progress and my life will fall into stagnation?

I am planning to take a walk at some point soon, with a big doodle pad: A2 sketchbook.  Go down to some broken down buildings, or the cemetery, and do some actual drawing of real life thing in my own fashion of the not real (except in my head).  It will be quite good fun.  It will not really be dwelling on the past though.  As I've never really done that before.  These old images have made me think of those sorts of places though.  Jagged, horrible, scribbly places.  All scribbled and scrabbled and scrambled - all scrambling and scribbling.  Squabbling.  A squabble between structure and decay.  That's always the case though, except when it isn't.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Shouting mutely into the void and Ornamental Bird Review # 1

Time to start shouting mutely into the void.  I suppose that's what it's there for:  the internet being some bottomless thing with expanding edges no one is ever to reach the end of.  So here I am creating a place of my own to dump in thoughts, general progress in my creative life, the odd essay on fashion or any photos and reviews of gorgeous and not so gorgeous ornamental birds I see in shops.

There's probably a chance that I won't be keeping this for very long.  I imagine blogging to be very depressing, being some chattering cell in the collective unconsciousness screaming pointlessly about his own egomania.  I will possibly cancel this after a few months because there's no point screaming if no one is listening, and often no point even if people are listening, people just being people after all.  I do have a very reductive view of life, probably not a view suitable for blogging.  We'll see though.  As soon as I stop talking about the nature and folly of blogging I might actually start getting around to enjoying it.

OK then.  Time to stop blogging about blogging.....

Right then.  Look at this bird.  Never seen a peacock like it.  It's all white and gold, very regal.  I imagine it would be on the mantelpiece of some very inexpensive porcelain aristocrat called Georgina Potter.  A porcelain aristocrat with a porcelain bird with a porcelain mantlepiece.  In a maze.
This bird has very pretty eyes like a cartoon temptress.  With a great quiff like thing sprouting upwards.  A very dandy bird, obviously bored of the fashion among other peacocks to wear all sorts of flash colours and deciding instead to go plain with a bit of a gold trim.  This bird is very classy, neither indie clubs or raves she is more into early nights and a diet of rich golden buttered fairy cakes and bowls of string beans.  An early morning riser who likes a quick jog along the esplanade of the Croatian sea to wake her up for a day of writing  her novel very very slowly.  It's about the bright young things of Oxford, based upon her first love and also the gradual blurring of the class system after the war.  The ground underneath her feet is very unrealistic looking, would be better if she were stood on some simple red martian rock, or grey moon rock.  That would stretch the imagination further and make it look less cheap.  Also it's a little bit over glossy but gets away with it by being such a regal bird.  Great detail on the plummage.

I now feel like I really have made a valuable contribution to the expanding internet universe.