Monday, 25 April 2011

Promotional Postcard Design

The idea of my exhibition is to distort the gallery walls and floor through the application of collage, coloured paper, and some objects too - perhaps some furniture (anything big and broken so feel free to donate anything to me).  All those things will change the perspective of the room and work against the hum drum method visual art is usually presented:  rectangular panels separated by long expanses of white wall.  You know the type - there's no avoiding this when I usually exhibit in galleries because it is the done thing, so I would play the game and just put a few pictures up alongside everyone else.  Now that I have a solo exhibition I have no excuse to not exhibit my work in a way which is more suitable to what I've always been wanting to do with my work.  Which is to cover the walls in wide expanses of crazy texture and confound the viewer with an overwhelming depth of static, nonsense and contrarily busy void.

One of the problems with this approach is how to promote it - I haven't put this picture together yet, I have all the ingredients prepared but I don't have a photo of what it's going to look like.  So the best I can do is create an artistic impression of a 3D space - annoyingly this artistic impression will be confined to the size of a postcard - a rectangular space.

Anyway I started work on this trying to create 3D spaces just using copies of my texture but this didn't really go very far - it looked too much like it was made on a computer - which it was.  So I readjusted my method and took some photos of corners and corridors and then worked over the top of them with colours and textures.  The results are just below, showing how they were layered step by step:

Now these are okay but they are not really getting across what it is that's going to be happening (even if what is happening ends up becoming a non happening) - they still look quite computery, a bit first year graphic design, even worse, these look a bit psychedelic.

Anyway in the next few images I put these images inside one another and try to make look a little more complex.  I wanted to create something that looked like an interior of a room - but then not too much like a room either - more like a distorted room.... as I'm all about distorting rooms.

So I looped designs into one another over and over again making them more complicated and perhaps less relevant:

As you can see by the bottom image I found something quite relevant... still arguably a little psychedelic though - but at least it gets across some view of a skewed and bizarre interior.   On the back I'll write a little blurb explaining the exhibition - something along the lines of "through massive areas of texture and collage Garth Simmons creates an immersive environment of skewed perspectives and illusive scenery - visually distorting the gallery space and conjuring an atmosphere of colourful and dislocated chaos".  I promise I'll do a lot better than that - though I'm getting pretty good at writing this sort of definition - I think blogging has had the desired effect on my self definition skills.

The title of my exhibition may be a simple one.  I'm thinking it should be called "Dimensional distortions of a room".  I was going to go for something wordy - like the title of my Blog, but then decided against it - people never seem to understand what I mean by my wordy titles.  It's fairly simple to understand - if you are me.  They are also very hard to explain - if you are me.

(One day after posting this I designed the back of my promotional postcard:

It took all evening but I had to get it done so I could take advantage of a special offer at Vistaprint which ran out today - I rather like it though.... many thanks to my house mates for checking whether it was actually good or not, and also in improving my sentence structures.)

Monday, 18 April 2011

Colour Textures

Continuing the permutations of old bad quality photographs of my work from last year (detailed here: I have ultimately put together about 60 A4 sheets of colourful texture - which isn't as big a task as it sounds, it didn't require much thought at all - as I've said it was just a use of patience and numbskull autonomy - the mind sleeps as the hands move and it nicely makes me forget where I am.  

Anyway I've pieced together several different mixtures of these textures together just below, they get more integrated and enlarged as they go along:

I'm not at all sure what I'm going to use these patterns for - I have some ideas but nothing conclusive.  My work generally goes through different phases - this is not a compositional phase, it's a more like a production line spewing out pattern and texture.  These come in handy later on - all I need to find is a cheap printer shop and I can reproduce copies of these images over and over again and splice them into one another and also into my other textures.  Then you get another texture which is a mixture of two textures but different from both.  

So the above has no deep metaphysical meaning it's just a lot of humming static waiting to be merged with lots of other humming static.  My work is actually, when I come to define it - a big static ball of humming static - it's quite empty but also entirely full all at the same time.  I'd say it's hard to judge what's in it because it's still embryonic and developing - smelting and changing into some melting smelching mulch until eventually it'll hopefully take the form of everything lacking in everywhere and everyone.  Which is quite a tall order wouldn't you say?

Sunday, 10 April 2011


I was going to use my Sunday afternoon in the same way I used my Sunday morning.  Sat with the curtains closed in my bedroom under electric light sticking little bits of paper onto other little bits of paper - I would have continued doing this until all the paper that needed to be stuck to paper had been stuck to paper.  It was quite sunny outside though so by about 3 o'clock I decided to don my straw hat and sunglasses and have a brief walk in Chorlton Waterpark - find some shade, phone my mum for a bit, do a little bit of design work for my exhibition.  I realised in the early stretches of the Water Park that it would be difficult to avoid large groups of people, so I scampered up a little steep hill and sat up there and proceeded with my tasks.  It was an unpopulated and ignored area of the park with no discernible pathways and no people, just lots of plants.

So it got to a point I'd done all I needed to do - which didn't take long - I considered going on a familiar walk down the usual paths but when heading in that direction I was instantly bored and nearly stepped on a few wandering dogs - too much hustle and bustle for a clumsy type like me, I think boredom can enhance my clumsiness so I headed back homeward but got slightly bored on my way back down such a dull familiar path - so I scrambled back up the steep hill and ventured into the dense vegetation.  It took me back to my early teens, when I went into Edlington Woods on my lunch break as it was the perfect place to talk to oneself and think, also the best place to avoid the melting pot of children, all learning social survival instincts and pack mentality.  It was also a good place to develop a split personality, so the thoughts in your head would actually become like a different individual perched on a throne in your cerebral cortex screaming to get out and making petty sarcastic remarks - like discovering a secret imprisoned soul that's been smothered for the past decade but it's reawakening ready to become real and as a consequence making you as a person more real..... well.... depending on your perspective this new presence may make you seem less real - but then at the time I wasn't so much aware of everyone else's subjective viewpoints, my own viewpoint was like a rollercoaster swooshing past all the sights and sounds of real life so therefore not being able to take part.  Boo hoo.

Anyway I completely digress.... as I made my way through the thistles and thorns I was thinking about how much I like exploring ignored areas of woodland, and how it would be unlikely to find any burnt out cars hidden in Chorlton Waterpark like the ones I used to see all the time in Edlington Woods - because Edlington is well dodgy and Chorlton is well nice.

I carried on with my rambling ramble stepped over dead trees and branches grabbing a useful stick on my way and within a minute, perhaps two (who's counting?) I came across a burnt out car.  It wasn't just burnt out either - it was also crashed into a tree.  Result.

I was pretty surprised because this place is such a fun family orientated area - but then I suppose at night time it's not about that anymore - it's about dogging and burning stolen cars for insurance claims.  I used to know a man in Scarborough who used to take up missions of pretending to steal a car, burning it and then sharing a cut of the insurance money with the owner - he didn't spend the money on anything useful though, within 24 hours all the money would be spent on his fruit machine addiction because he couldn't "resist the bright lights".  Anyway I took a few photos of this car here:

And whilst I was playing detective I also found the empty container of gasoline used to burn the car - presumably after crashing it into a tree.  Because cars don't always explode when you crash them. 

I saw another burnt out car just a few feet away on on my way towards having a look I randomly found:

An old, rusty and mangled kitchen sink!  I really didn't see that coming.

I continued my detective game at the next car and found out the gangs name:

I deduced through my complex sleuth skills - reading - that the gang, group or organisation that destroyed these machines and threw in everything including the kitchen sink (just for good measure) is known as M21 - which is the post code of Chorlton - so it's good to know that even in the slightly more idyllic left wing and slightly posher areas of suburbia there are people who burn cars and mangle sinks.  It makes me feel much more at home knowing for a fact that this sort of thing is going on.  I like that they named themselves after a postcode, it reminds me of E17.  

You may have noticed that I gave the cars a good lookaround.  This isn't because I have any massive interest in cars, I actually don't like them at all, it's more because I was looking to see if there were bodies inside.  Not because I'm some sort of ghoul just because it's probably the sort of things you should check for.  I didn't actually get into the cars but maybe I would if I were wearing protective gloves and clothes which weren't so lovely.  Here are the rest of the photos of the second car:

I took my leave of the wreckages knowing that there would be unlikely anything more interesting to find and rambled through the woods until I found the exit to the park - very near to which I found something else unusual for the area:

Two very large and very nearly geometrically placed perfectly square sponges.  This one, I think, is surely the work of the government or some secret cabal or society.  Or maybe a homeless person put it together as a rudimentary bed.

Well I'm back home now about to start sticking bits of paper onto other bits of paper again in preparation for sticking the stuck on bits of paper to even bigger bits of paper.  I'm good at sticking bits of paper to bits of paper but perhaps I'd make a better living as an adventurer - knight errant or errant fool?  There is an interesting world out there though, and things that I can make the effort to find that no one else would normally come across, or even find interesting.  I should probably take to the road one day with some sort of quest.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Condensing drifting elements again

I've been putting together some coloured collages made from some cheap colour prints of my work from last year.  I was going to hand these around bars and galleries as examples of my artwork for potential exhibitors and buyers but the quality was quite grainy and hardly representative of the actual work itself.  So they languished until earlier this week...  I put them to use by sticking them onto coloured paper and creating a colourful texture.  You'll see below examples of my results - some will be cut up and remixed together with others.  Some will remain the way they are due to me liking their composition and wishing to utilize that composition sometime later.  I'll let you work out which is which because I'm not sure myself yet, as if often the case with my numbskull autonomy.  Anyway, here they are:

The work above will become something different altogether very soon - something much bigger.  I have little clue as to what form it will take but it will be something very big - I am still in the process of using up the rest of last year's suddenly useful colour photocopies on last years suddenly useful coloured card so I'll probably end up producing about a hundred or so more of the above images.  It's often a case of repetition, permutation and coagulation.  And other impressive and not so impressive words.  Sometimes my methods actually just involve me sitting down in a world of my own and repeating the same task over and over for hours - this is probably why I'm quite good at Admin too.

This is part of the ongoing exhibition preparations as referred to in my previous entry here: