Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Open Studios

I did the open studio thing a couple of weeks ago, which provided an opportunity to watch my film behave as a projection. Open studios isn't generally the ideal situation to show a film work. The piece itself is quite contemplative and has a great deal of silence punctuated by sound – plus the long echoey corridor adjacent didn’t really help matters. You realise pretty quickly that only 10% of those viewing it might attempt to watch the entire thing – but that’s a hazard of video I spose. Also I reckon there are lots of preconceptions about what an open studio is (apart from the expectation of actual art objects i.e. paintings and things) they are characteristically social events.

But despite this it was a really useful exercise, some issues were immediately clear for example my treatment of the transitioning between subtitles. There were also (embarrassingly) lots of typos, which seemed invisible on a small screen. Especially whilst dealing with all the other elements of editing. So it was good idea to try it as a test bed to help iron the thing out.

But the process of making the movie has stimulated a desire to make one more show out of this project. I want to make some new objects, screen the film and continue to finish some animation I’ve been working on over the summer. All this I think - with re-visitation and maybe some reworking of a few components from the last solo show.

Now the only thing is to work out where to have it, how to pay for it, and how to fit it in between another kind of creation, which will soon be upon me…

Friday, 4 October 2013

Open House

I've finally got a first edit of my film and I'm gonna try out a test screening in mi studio at Lewisham Arthouse. Opening tonight from 6-9pm Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th 12-6pm. 

Come by theres plenty to see this weekend in sunny Deptford.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

On and On...

“Mmmm oh yeah lord! Mmmm well err brother Tony - do you know about consciousness? Well consciousness is accepting the fact that your Black –right? and from that revelation everything is cool. Now individualism is a white mans desire or something like that (well you dig what I’m saying you know what I’m saying?) Co-operation is a black mans need and when you know your Black then - you think black and you will black…”

Been laid up for the past few weeks, which has ultimately left me in quite lethargic state.  I’ve had some very tedious tasks to do which keeps guilt from snapping at my heels - but critical thinking? Not much of that… I knuckled down this week to looking at a text someone suggested after seeing my collages The Body in pieces: Fragments as a metaphor for modernity byLinda Nochlin. The book examines the articulation of modernity in art, mainly concentrating on 18th and 19th century painting; Starting with a lamentation of the loss of antiquity (the monument in pieces) - to artists like Monet and Degas among others, focusing on their use of cropping and aligning fluid impressionist brushwork with philosophy from the likes of Marx.

The notion of sacrifice is central to the story of St Maurice and this book covered this subject with references to the French Revolution and even Van Gogh’s fated ear incident. But what really caught my attention was her reference to Baudelaire citing fluidity and vapourousness as distinctive characteristics of modernity. Yes this is obvious and has been reiterated many times over the decades since. But it got me thinking about my work, and the question that keeps popping into my head from time to time.  Is it possible to talk about the Black or the ‘Black experience’ in relation to something other than the post colonial? Some years back I came across a debate where Stuart Hall asked the very question who modernism belongs to? And although the ‘Post’ of colonialism must in someway be linked to the to rise of modernism, the convention has always been to talk about these things quite separately – is this just a case of geography?

But Blackness as a thing (its hypostatisation - a new word I came across recently) is an invention of the occident, and one which itself has become very fluid – certainly it harder to tie it down then it was in the 60’s n 70’s.  I have felt uneasy at times focusing on the thing in its vagueness.  But it has (in a way) been my strategy to consider Black past its Post-Colonialness.

I think about the renewal of feminism in recent years, in a way that I think has a more global perspective. From this view one can regard it more functionally, which releases it from its ossified typecast.  Although Feminism never died, it has been given some revitalisation as a project, and fresh application in new contexts. I wonder if Black will continue to be useful or if it is already outlived its usefulness? In that sense it brings me back to my earlier work.

Now because I came from a sculpture background I’m always comparing things to form, to the object.  The re-appropriation of what might be considered at some point as outmoded, through nostalgic appreciation in the spirit of conservation or some kind remodelling or adaptation.

I’ve been kinda stumped, as my drawings, which offered an optimistic scientific newness felt rather trapped and isolated. They just existed but didn’t live; and some how I haven’t worked out the evolution. This is why I turned to an earlier Black invention, if not a modern one. Focusing on the objects depicting my saint, would allow a view through the lens of an archivist, coupled with insight I have gained as a maker. Having done this he appears as a mass of material – a shifting form, which keeps the story moving on…

Monday, 8 April 2013

The making of …

Lets begin with the origins of this story, which comes through the virtue of struggle.
A story personally peculiar, sitting in-between yet of the culture …

I saw a hero once

“The armour, firmly encasing the body… a cloth undertunic hanging down in deep folds…”

Historical documents say he was conquered. Maybe he was persuaded to another way of thinking.

“He had bitterness for his evil idolatry and dilation of his country…”
 He was from Thebes…

In a room below ground, a process takes place.
Some methods are used… But since the tools are inadequate and the framework non theoretical, it’s difficult to know what comes first?

Can it be designed - then produced?
Does geometry or symmetry play part?

‘Form-blind’ working in the abstract is the only means available…


Drums resonate through the corridor…
In other circumstances it might be meditative

Does sacrifice have a sound track?


Maybe an intervention needs to take place here…


A maker befriended his model

“He possessed a marked propensity for creating legends…”

He told a story of a substance invested with great symbolism. Coveted by many some saw the potential in harnessing its power and worked hard to master its craft.

He continues this tale with a king, whose appetite for the substance was insatiable. The king lost his crown – not defending his kingdom but in a freakish happenstance.

“He walked bare foot through ice and snow from the monastery…. “
He prayed to get it back.

Another ‘hero’ put thoughts to paper
He dissuaded others from doing the same
Just get stuck in, try your best  - sweep the remains aside…

Trying too hard could kill it…


When did ‘it’ come into the picture?

Lets be methodical about this and list the properties…

1. Soft
2. Dark
3. Round

a. Smooth
b. Dark
c. Handsome


Protected by interlocking circles, He took on a colour for the collective.
Sadly his “lance, shield and lower parts of the legs are now missing…”

His arms still work but he’s is unable to march towards the new frontier

Whine rattle

Fuck !

All things should have the dignity of a name
If chosen correctly good influences can rub off

In company?
There is strength in numbers

What can boredom unleash?
I was taught some rudimentary skills once but my memory fails me.
“You have to persist in being truthful to your intentions”
What ever they are…

Without a clock I utilize ancient timekeeping methods
But with imprecise increments, there’s no idea how long it’s taken to arrive at ‘Untitled’


A sign would be welcome…

Autopilot is engaged, a black object sits in the corner analysis of its contents brought few results initially.

‘A day comes when I realise I have a corpse in my hands – relics of a movement in art that is now passed…’


Despite the bad treatment his features survive in the ole polychromy


He wears a plaited band upon his tightly curled hair - some would consider it course.

He looks awkward in his attire
On his knees his suffering is approved
A test for a knight of Faith

How damaged can something become?

Despite the decay he is found useful
But upon investigation there isn’t clue to how he came about

In tatters he’s handed over for remedial measures, these include hairspray, pins and a book.

His scraps have currency, set in a box and put on display to ‘reform’ many characters.
Curious fingers fumble leaving him a little less ‘present’ after each outing…

Interactivity is proving dangerous

Trading off divine provenance he is peddled to raise funds for a ‘good cause’

Someone writes an eloquent assessment of the situation
The critic’s remarks are cutting, drawing attention to his poor condition and failure to fight to the bitter end.

And to those who wish to vicariously draw upon a treasury of merit

‘He’ begins to disintegrate under too much scrutiny
Existing in doubt
What’s left could be dead or worse ordinary…