Tuesday, 28 June 2011

First evening of exhibition preperations

Interesting evening doing my exhibition preparations at the Bankley Gallery last night - here are a few photos:

This first one was actually taken on Sunday after I moved all my materials over by taxi (except for the materials I forgot which is very typical of me) the framed images aren't going to be part of the main concept but just put along the side - as I may be able to actually make some money from this if they are about...  One hundred or so squares of collaged photocopies are on the floor with the exception of the one I staple gunned to the wall - as a little bit of test to see how it would look. Yesterday evening I did the same with but with about thirty squares, using them to cover the upper perimeter of the gallery walls - then I cut shapes out of the squares and staple gunned those do underneath - which had the resulting effect:

So it's a case of creating this contrast between white and densely interlaced infrequently repeating patterns and the whiteness of the gallery's walls - the next decided step was to staple gun more squares in places so the patterns could reach the bottom of the wall:

Then repeat the previous movement of cutting shapes out of the squares and moving these further downwards too - some of which to stretch across the floor and right into the middle of the room:

And there you have it - a very simplistic summary of an entire 12 hours work - didn't include all the stuff about bruising my hand, breaking a mug, breaking my staple gun and making a very lazy and quite dull introduction and quick removal of some very day glo colours - I'll get colour in this eventually, I think.... the next step will be to place some white paper in selective places underneath all the pattern tendrils on the floor - this will hopefully make the white from the wall appear to see into the floor in a similar fashion as the photocopies do.

If you haven't already confirmed whether or not your attending the event via Facebook feel free to do so now just here if only to make me look really, really popular.  Speaking of which I have another preview event two weeks after this one on Beech Road in Chorlton somewhere - completely different kettle of fish as it's all framed work and with other artists but it's good all the same, two exhibitions in one month and then possibly not another one for the rest of my life - who knows?

Monday, 13 June 2011

Close ups and black outs

I've been using my black and white collages as an element of a lot of my work for the past year or so - I produced about 20 of them at first - I blutacked them all onto my bedroom walls as I made them and what became immediately apparent was how patterns would emerge out at me like bizarre imaginary landscapes... or ligaments, buildings, cityscapes, creatures and faces - sometimes all of these and much more all at the same time.  Like my brain created associations - though never fully settled on any of them.  So when I photocopied all these collages I sometimes used to draw out the associations by darkening certain areas with black marker.

So what started out as this:

Became this:

Which to me brought out the image of a strange mechanical heart running a mechanism of chaotic unconnected non-cogs.  Like a the centre of a planet which is spinning the world wildly and uncontrolled around it whilst fragmented cities build bizarre and unnecessary and inevitable structures.

Here are a few more:

This looks like a skull or x ray telepathically linked to a far off malevolent nothingness.  Links between the dead and near dead - neither is which is fully aware of the other or even of themselves - much like life it's a wild flailing smothered by a leaden control mechanism.

Here is a creature with a very thin neck and a very large overbite.  Made out of junk and old bits of food it doesn't so much as digest but dissolve but only in certain places - making it freeze into a fixed position - a creaky statue trying to move but without the necessary gunk in it's joints for elasticity.

Some half formed organism unable to connect with it's own limbs, sort of comatose and unaware of itself throwing out elements of it's thinking and feeling mind onto some chaotic 2D computer game platform created simplistically from a lack of it's comprehension of a wider image.  The background is spinning but the foreground spins with it at the same velocity - but at a further distance.  Even though it's closer.  Somehow it's never all completely lined up but it exists in a series of very limiting compartments.  All of which exist in a constant yet remain unreachable.

Inside these compartments - and they are reachable, really, it all just buzzes through some sort of mixed static that shift - like daydreams on the bus when I reality clouds over and things pool together into one big intangible thought process.

Finally a graveyard ligament - a disconnected shoulder bone bridged to another - connective tissues building faces and life forms and showing the organic in the still and happening.  A bit like these words - somehow a bit pretentious and overly non specific.  But unlike these words these images aren't trying to second guess their audience - because I think when it comes to the imagery and not the explanation of what I see in the imagery I don't impose anything on the audience or expect it to need an explanation.
So as a small sample and perhaps not even a best possible example (maybe better examples later) I was hoping to to get across how having these things on my walls gave me an awful lot to stare at and brought up associations I never really knew existed - even though I made them.  Although that's not exactly some big achievement of knowledge, if anything creating abstract collages from stills of abstract animations created from photographs of my collages, paintings and drawings is likely to entirely blur my sense of association into an out of focus globule - though due to having perfect eyesight the blurry globule is certainly quite sharp and pixellated.  It's me living in a world of my own head of constant opposites and contradictions.  I'm so accustomed to not being accustomed that I'm rather accustomed.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Pictures probably not at an exhibition

I've not made a blog post over the last week or two because I haven't really anything new or exciting to up date it with - I've been continuing with the promotion of my exhibition and wall paper pasting bits of very familiar texture onto bits of old cardboard boxes.  During preparations for making my huge collage at the Bankley Gallery it did occur to me that perhaps I should exhibit some normal pictures too - because I might be able to sell them and actually make a bit of money.  I would have to make sure there was enough room and I'd also like the images to fit into context with the larger scale installation - which may be difficult.  Also it may be difficult to transport them - especially this one.

Well if there is a wall or area spare at my exhibition perhaps I could disorganizedly display a few of my A1 pictures from last year along the wall.  Disorganised because that's the whole point of my exhibition - instead of the usual clinical deadness of most galleries I want the actual space to be the art rather than just contain it in a boring unreachable bubble.
So in this post I am going to run through all ten of the A1 collages I could or could not display.  This is because I have nothing more to talk about at this juncture - and this blog is all about covering my past as well as my present and future.  A full blown coverage of me in all temporal forms.  Well the image to the left is the first of ten of the A1 images I made in the space of a two months.  Possibly one of the most complex and the one that took the longest I think as I wasn't quite sure what I was doing - saying that though it's possibly the most naturalistic.  I see it as a scream of linear crying out from a chaotic limbo.  Or a wall built against the harshness of everything else, blending in as it extends away from the centre of something.

Next I made this piece which is based on a doodle I did the morning before at work - I was more aware of trying to create a narrative in this case it is a narrative of an exploding biosphere - quite simple as a narrative really, no people involved in the process, no actual characters - somehow a pressure builds within a self contained system.  It builds to the point that it self destructs.  This could probably be a good analogy of just about anything - like stretching an elastic band too much, or brushing your teeth too hard or watching your stomach expand to an improbable size.  If you follow the image from left to right you can see two versions of the same structure, the latter versions shattering.  All things reach a certain pressure point and then they break. 

Either that or they maintain a stable equilibrium where they float on by just going about there own business - unaware like amoebas, no proper pressure just the dull blankness of non awareness, like the way that a cell stretching forward from a plant may feel - it's still a form of decline and a form of stretching thinner or fatter but emptier along a course of bleak non meaning.  The left image has issues I feel with being a little bit too over designed and too perfect.  It recalls my circle obsession I had for years after finishing university.  The spheres do not actually get across any true sense of the cause and effect they are trying to imitate.  This one isn't a complete failure at all - just an experiment in a long line of experiments.

This is an experiment in reaction to the piece of experiment above - to use the same collage method but with a more chaotic approach - though still with another system.  This time it was to layer over the top of one another over and over again an E shape.  So with these E layers I eventually came up with this odd semi symmetrical structure - texture is used as the final layer along with black for the purpose of outlining the structures - to me it calls to mind a rotting similarity in a pile of disused unoriginal souls all spraying their same old coolness for a brief spell before the fire dies out and they all go into their dead holes.  I didn't use the letter E in some sort of homage to any Madchester scene, I just liked the shape as I don't tend to use many square shapes and thought maybe it was time.
Then I started applying my techniques to some quite familiar types of composition.  The left image being a cityscape and the right image being an explosion.  Through my texture and my methods they are quite unique stylistically though compositionally unoriginal - the first being like any old cityscape and the second being like a pop art explosion.  Both pieces are relateable to it the sense that they both actually look tangible.  I did actually sell the cityscape image at the Didsbury Arts Festival last year for £150 so maybe, now that I think about it, I should frame up the explosion and try to sell that too.  Though perhaps not at my exhibition - because I'm already having second thoughts about putting all this work up.  Not only because it wouldn't fit into context but because I don't know if I can afford the frames at the moment.  Even very cheap ones.  Still - I'm glad I'm writing about these.

This image of a partial nexus also took quite a lot of time - I went into it with no plan at all - so it developed entirely organically until I tried to organise it into a finished piece that was coherent - which I somehow managed to do - so it looks structured but has a very real uncertainty - possibly my favourite in many ways out of all the images.  This was not sold at the Didsbury Arts Festival but ALMOST sold.  Almost isn't really good enough though - it's now in a fancy frame at my art dealer's flat... framed the wrong way up.  Dear dear dear me.

And then we have one of my least favourites.  It doesn't depict anything my internal world at all though I'm not sure it's trying to - it's just another dabbling with compositions - another experiment and it seems to do the experiment well but at the same time doesn't really discover anything or do anything new.  One thing about it though is there's a chance that if it was framed there is a certain demographic who would want to buy this.  I'm thinking people who like spiritual art which when you actually look at it is actually style over substance and bears no relevance to spirituality - like a simplified diagram of karma or "energy".  I sort of like the strange circular hieroglyphs - it's like code in another language.  With funny little flags going up into the air and weird wavey dragon beams.  It makes absolutely no sense at all but you really do just have to try things out and see how they go.  Not everything you produce can be brilliant and even if you don't like it there might be someone else out there who does even though you completely hate it - in some ways I sort of dislike quite a lot of my art - it's very hard to separate oneself from it and view it objectively.  Subjectively I actually hate this piece.  Proper hate.

This one I actually really really like even though it doesn't necessarily get across anything about "my own internal world" it does actually look like something in a way that I want it to look like something - it's not massively original but I really directions and the colours and everything about it.  It's just really good.  It reminds me of the rain.  I like the rain, but it's more like a slow rain, a rain that slows you down and is slowed down and that stops everything - rain being turned into stone and coagulated into thin pillars making funny animal sculptures in the sky.  That sounds like a pretty cool world to me, a magnolia, frozen to stone and rainy world.  This picture works better than the one above because it has better colours and it makes sense in a physical way - it's essentially a surrealist landscape though I wouldn't call it that at the time I made it - I was dead impressed even though nobody else was. 

I was just wondering - completely off topic - if my exhibition goes well and if I get more from it, with the possibility of getting commissions (I can dream) then maybe I could dispense with the traditional method of making pictures in rectangles and move onto building images in shapes that are more exciting.

Last image - and boy am I tired now.  This is like some sort of loony tunes logo being attacked by spikes of annoyed children's consciousness.  Except it's not that.  This is the final piece I did based on a image I drew on the back of an envelope - it's quite a striking composition and though I didn't like it when I made it I like it now in hindsight.  The original envelope drawing was a tonne of sharp speech bubbles speaking pattern stabbing into some centre of nothing - giving the impression of either a centre speaking or a centre sucking - it also looks like toothache, like teeth being pulled.  The red is full of pain and torture.  All the above interpretations of all these pictures are completely subjective to me.  If you really want to know what I think any of them mean then they all mean the same thing - they are all conveying me, all sort of lost and doing my own thing, on my own, because that's how I do my thing, there is no involvement in my work from you or from anybody else.  Your free to interpret but the meaning of this to me is actually just my feedback loop of abstract lawn mower noise.  I have no idea of whats going on and when I look deep down into my soul or anyone else's I know that deep down there is a big gaping nothing.  That we are all sort of illusions of ourselves.  I know this and then I don't know it, and then I know it again, then I don't know it.  And so on.  My artwork is expressing this knowing then not knowing - it's like some sort of rip tide between the world and the empty.  The nothing and everything existing simultaneously in my head, though somewhere there's a sense of a presence which is actually a big glowing interesting something, though not sure what it is.  Though it is a thing. 

Well anyway I'm going to stop writing now.  I have some actual tangible problems to solve.  Like getting some sleep.