Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Bankley Gallery exhibition preparations

,I've finished putting together all the black and white squares (as detailed in this previous entry:  http://garth-simmons.blogspot.com/2011/02/scatterings.html) and still have quite a long way to go with my preparations for my exhibition in July at the Bankley Gallery in Levenshulme.

Preparations going very well - it's my first solo exhibition and I have an awful lot of space to cover and my ideas of how to cover that space develop more and more as the days and months move closer and closer to the date in question.  At first I was going to cover the walls and floor with this texture:

Which is hundreds of my photocopies of my collages stuck together.  Receding off into the distance.  So with 94 squares of black and white texture I can actually cover more than just a small area but also most of the room.

As the monotonous task of sticking massive squares of paper developed so did my ideas - I've also been putting together all my coloured paper - which can be interspersed into the mix to break up the monotony and to fill the gaps.  

So when I get to the place I can cut these big areas of texture and colour and intersperse them.  I'm not entirely sure how yet.  I was thinking that perhaps they should tell some form of story which would run incohesively, abstractly and non linear all over the walls and floors of the gallery intersecting into connective points and drawing themselves into subtle illustrations hidden in the overcomplicated mess.  That the visitors would be given a guidebook each that would explain what was going on - probably in a similar non linear, abstract and incohesive method.  

These are all ideas I have to develop.  I've been keeping a little notebook where I've been adding and developing ideas as they've come to me - it's been about for a few months now.... The best way to approach this massive project is not to design it completely (then it would be too perfect and I want it to have an element of autonomy) but to spend my five days before the exhibition working 9 to 5 putting up the prepared textures and colours into whatever compositional and narrative order feels right at the time. 

Below are some of the pages from my notebook which has a few "designs" or visualisations of my ideas for the space:

The preview of the exhibition will be on Friday 1 July 2011 in the evening (not sure of the time yet) and I'm planning this rather far in advance but then it's not as long away as you may think especially when there's so many things to prepare.  Also the great thing about preparing so many materials is that I they can be reused afterwards - and I do have a very good idea for afterwards too - which you may or may not be able to discern from the notebook drawings above.

As well as putting together more and more textures, stories and ideas to weave through this rather large scale piece I've a few other projects going on the next few months - I do need to do little small scale things too as I so hate not getting at least one creative act completely finished every month.  

(Next months creative act and a continuation of exhibition preparations can be found here:  http://garth-simmons.blogspot.com/2011/04/always-condensing-my-drifting-elements.html)

Monday, 7 March 2011

Ornamental Bird Broaches and Turbary Woods

Ornamental Birds take on much more useful forms than just ornaments on your shelf.  My new obsession is bird broaches. 

These broaches are surely the central nexus of all the various shades, tones and colours surrounding them - actually making everything I wear all of the sudden make perfect sense - somehow my clothes feel more complete with the addition of bird ornaments.  This is a recent thing too of the past two or three weeks - I've realised that bird ornaments are what I want to be wearing.  The one one the left of this paragraph for instance.  She is a very sweet creature, playing fanciful and carefree on a sea of varied checkered patterns though staying content upon the thick texture of my long loved brown, red and beige blazer.  I haven't given her a name, it's not my place to give her a name, nor is it my place to give her a gender but to me she will always be a she.  Me and She-Swan like to fold my blazer lapel outside of my open overcoat because she just loves to dance glistening in the sun.  Open to new loves and experiences and dancing into strangers eyes - never looking "weird" or "quirky" but forever looking right.  Therefore making me look right.

Now this next one is a small bird called a "Great Tit" which some would argue that in species name alone is representative of me - what with me being a "Great Tit" (geddit?).
It's only a little broach but I've given it a little tool which makes it look like a telescope, or like the poor thing is screaming geometric abstraction filled with bits of pink.  He's a sweet thing, and one can't blame him for trying can they, and he makes a very cute and dashing stand against the world - fighting not with his fists and not with guns but with his words.  He represents a character with an enquiring mind - ready to take action against the nature of existence.  He is worrying - fretting - asking why? No answers until he finds out why only to find more questions - retreating backwards - becoming self absorbed - going through spats of mental anguish followed by bouts of hyper manic egomania - he's doing all of that so you or I don't have to.  He's also lucky enough to be doing it whilst living on my lapel and making me look ever so spiffing. 

I love my bird broaches and these are the only two that I've found so far so keep your eyes peeled in the charity shops as I can give these majestic attention seekers and/or crazy dark poets a happy home on my lapels.

Other bird news is that I went to an Owl Sanctuary at the weekend.  It was really really very good.  If you live in the Manchester area you should go along, you get to feed them and fly them and all for the price of £5 - I am such an advert, but honestly it was very very good.  A link is just below:


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

DAY OFF WORK DAY - Thursday 6 October 2011

I've been having this brain wave on and off for quite some time now, it goes back and forth disapearing for a few months at a time and as this last year has been the year in which I've taken action and made progress I thought why not give this a go, whether it works or not it should be interesting.

The idea is DAY OFF WORK DAY 
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=192350904121044  .

I'm going to try to organise as many people to take a day off work as possible. The date is set for Thursday 6 October 2011 - which leaves me plenty of time to organise this, with any luck it won't require a great deal of organisation, I was hoping that once I got my first two or three hundred people the whole thing would grow organically and become it's own thing, because DAY OFF WORK DAY doesn't belong to me, it belongs to everyone, and every single person can get whatever they happen want out of it. I might actually just stay in bed and get lots of reading done, some will spend a bit of time with their friends and/or relatives, but everyone who wants this day off can do whatever they want to do individually and/or as a community.

There are all sorts of motives that could be attached to this and all sorts of philosophies but I'm not here to tell anyone why they would want to have this day off.  It could be an attack against authority whether it be politicians, the monarchy, the Gods, or your manager at work or it could be your opportunity to watch the Sopranos.

I think that the more people sign up to this the more it will be noticed and even if the day isn't allowed to happen it will serve as a threat which would perhaps force some sort of change, like all the tax money being paid towards the banks are given back to working people.  Something like that anyway.  It works as a threat as if you had thousands of people not wanting to go into work on one particular day, then the integral structure of our society would probably wibble enough to cause some sort of subtle damage.
I myself am not very politically minded.  I've been on a few protest marches when I was younger and found them very frustrating because a lot of effort was required, such as travel, banner making, trying to get psyched up enough to chant satirical songs but not manage it because I'm deep down not much of a shouter... and after all that nothing was changed, at all.  No matter how many people turned up and no matter how many rousing speeches were made... so I gave up on that and decided that I actually couldn't be bothered, they didn't need me to do that, they didn't need anyone, protest seemed quite ineffective, besides, governments come and go, chop and change, they all change faces and get new names but present day politics became rather uninteresting and small when looking at the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is horrifying, an infinity of unfathomable cell structures getting bigger and smaller around each other all bouncing around in pain and confusion - each of us different and each of us the same - caught up in our own bodies and personalities limiting our vision because deep at the centre of everything there's a mirrored self reflecting tunnel circling back on itself in a terrifying loop. Our role which is seemingly to carry out one task after another for no discernable reason other than to keep things working and to keep it all tidy implores me to set up my DAY OFF WORK DAY.  Which could potentially change a lot more than a protest march and nobody would even have to do anything at all - except maybe read a book, go to the park or whatever it was they felt like doing.

It's strange but these days I am actually incredibly happy compared to what I have been in the past but that doesn't mean that I can stand around all smug in my own achievement and happiness, I'm setting up DAY OFF WORK DAY in the interest of everyone's happiness. I myself don't have a political motive, more personal or existencial - for lack of a better word (though there are likely plenty of better words).  What really motiviates me most is fun, freedom and happiness, and to be allowed to just be ourselves for one day, together, and not be defined by what we do.  Of course this is likely not going to work as well as I would wish and there are obvious drawbacks to the idea.  I've set up my Facebook event and so far it's about half of the people invited have decided not to take part - which is likely a good thing - as we might need half of the world to be at work otherwise planes would be dropping out of the sky.  Some people like their jobs, some love their jobs, I wouldn't want to impose the idea that my way is the only way of seeing things.  That would be quite odious. 

So anyway the event on Facebook is here (again in case you missed it) http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=192350904121044 feel free to add your ideas and input and also feel free to put whatever motivation you like onto it, if you want to use it as a springboard to say anything feel free to do that too.  Thursday 6th October 2011 is the day when you can be free to do what you like - as long is it's not going to hurt other people, that wouldn't be very nice.  Also don't forget to invite everybody you know to this event, it could be great.  Who knows?