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Today was very organic.

Planting seeds in the greenhouse. Making art in the garage after that and now I’m away to the pub quiz for good company and real ale. If only I’d made bread my day would have been complete.

I feel happy so I refuse to spoil this blog with a rant.

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I doubt I have ever been as politicised as I have by the recent UK elections. The voting patterns have generated a perfect storm of possibilities for coalition but unfortunately, in my eyes anyway, after all the horse trading, a much anticipated alignment of progressive centre left parties melted away as the Lib-Dems sold their souls to the voracious promises of a Tory party crazed with a lust for ‘power at all costs’.

Nick Clegg has acted like a giddy schoolgirl mesmerised by a Tory lothario-esque charm offensive; he is promised the world to allow David Cameron et al to get inside his knickers. They do not want to share anything with him; all they seek is the temporary cheap (very cheap) thrill of his undying love until they get what satisfies then most: I hope he has a water tight pre-nuptial because he will need it one day.

(I wonder if, when he ‘went-a-spooning’, Cameron seduced Clegg with romantic poetry? I am willing to wager that he was not moved to recite the words of the poet E. E. Cummings:

“a politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man”)

I know we live in a democracy and we must be prepared to accept defeat graciously but I feel cheated for a number of reasons:

  • First there is the Ashcroft question; vastly outspending the other parties with almost profligate amounts of money, the Tories were able to target vulnerable constituencies with junk propaganda (as a resident in a targeted marginal constituency I was on the receiving end of letters from Conservative Head Office on almost a daily basis). Ashcroft is no ‘Ragged Treasured Philanthropist’ and I expect he will receive his ‘pound of flesh’ in due course, courtesy of his puppet in the Home Office. Not democracy.
  • Now they have the platform of power they seek to corrupt the electoral system with a five year fixed term parliament immune to votes of no confidence etc. This was in no manifesto or campaign literature I saw during the election, so no matter what protestations are made about this coalition being ‘what the voters chose’, no one chose this partnership!
  • Proposed future boundary changes, ostensibly to reduce the size of Parliament, could make a Labour government un-electable in the future. Because of trends in population movement in the UK for people to move out of traditional Labour stronghold in inner city areas into the suburbs, the inner city areas see their populations decline and therefore receive fewer seats at boundary reviews. Tory-voting suburban commuter towns see their populations rise, and therefore receive more seats. These boundary changes will see the creation of 13 new seats (10 Conservative and 3 Liberal Democrat seats) and the abolition of nine seats (6 Labour, 2 Conservative and 1 Liberal Democrat).

I am frustrated because I see the country reverting to a mentality of indifference. People no longer seem to question events as the once did; they are happy just eat, work (if they are lucky enough to have a job) get pissed, watch shit reality TV and go on holiday. Few seem to notice the erosion of hard won freedoms as we regress to conditions of 100 years ago when we were governed by our ‘betters’.

Scream loud for free better education for all, a free honest press, and a political system representative of ALL the population!

.

Well now, I have new work in the studio, a shed full of shit and a head to match. Work is very therapeutic and rewarding. I have a show in September to look forward to as well. What more can I ask? Nothing really. It feels good to have projects to do:

  • The ‘BBC’ project
  • Lead faces
  • Wooden collages
  • Political Sculptures
  • Maps

A lot to go at which is good because I am a ‘fliitty’ type person so to have a variety of themes to juggle will suit me well

When I began work in a local architect’s office just about the only thing we (the technicians) had any control of, as far as design was concerned, was the north point which was put on plans to designate orientation. In the days before CAD these were drawn by hand or done using Letraset. Being a small practice with little money we naturally drew them.
If time allowed, as it usually did, the north point could become something ornate and elaborate. Some days more time could be spent doing the north point than was taken doing the drawing; little wonder Mr Curry was always complaining about not making a profit.
As a starting point for the plan/maps paintings I have started a series of paintings based on this ostensibly simple device.
As a symbol on an architectural plan its role is fairly obvious, but when the north point is isolated it becomes a new entity. It is no longer governed by the scale of the drawings other components; its meaning changes, does it even represent a direction any more? If so what is the meaning of the direction? The word ‘North’ is relative and pejorative; can its role and identification be subverted and abstracted into oblivion?

Maps
Whatever excuses I have for not working for so long they are just that and as such not worth recording here; suffice to say I have devised (?) a working plan to get me started.
The idea of the Map/Plan as fine art has a number of attractions: I began work as a draughtsman so the styles and convections of such means of visual representation are of interest to me; there is a readymade frame of reference for me to begin work and the  opportunityto develop a visual hypothesis.
I want to paint and draw much more than I did on the degree course, though I will not totally abandon 3 dimsional work but I will nevertheless push it to the back for a while.
There are a number of ways of going with this work but I am not tied to any particular one at present. The first is to use the existing methods and visual references of map making; secondly I can adapt the styles of artists whose work I enjoy and incorporate that in the map/plan making conventions. And thirdly, to develop new conventions entirely.

We shall see.

Everything written so far is pretty much garbled; there is a purpose though and that is to produce a platform from which to start making work again. The more I speak to people who have been through the same course, the more it seems that they are in the same position (of course it might be that I am speaking to the wrong people but I don’t think that is the case).

There seems to a necessary period of reassessment after graduation; a reclamation of your life and mind if you will. However six months is a fair time to devote to this and now is right to begin working. Christmas and the New Year celebrations beckon then I begin again. The following rules apply:

1.       Don’t take it too seriously

2.       Let the work inform and evolve

3.       Show it to a few friends for feedback and support

4.       Be happy

5.       Drink less

6.       Eat less

7.       Sleep more

8.       Work harder

 

 

 

I think my real problem all along has been that I have never tried to make any work that pleases only me. I guess I have been a slave to a whole roster of masters; ‘what will people think?’, ‘ someone did it before’, ‘is it original?’

Quite frankly I no longer give a shit, when time is short and the world economy is down the toilet it no longer matters does it?

All I actually need to do is please myself for a change because, quite frankly, no one else actually give a toss, they have either got their own lives to live and have their heads up their arses, either way it is me I should be trying to please/satisfy.

..,     Antoni Tàpies

…Rrrrr    obert Rauschenberg

Howard Hodgkin

Sean Scully,,,,

Draw, dream and drink…

            …photograph, film, paint and pee,

Make things…anythings,

                   think about the things.

    Show the things.

                           Write things…

            …Right wrongs

                RIGHT?