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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Poptastic Printing at the DLWP wk 2

This week we were printing using ink, sticks, brushes to achieve the blobby style of printing that Warhol was keen on using. By taping the top layer of paper to the bottom which had a sheet of plastic attached we could make marks with ink and build up prints covering and recovering keeping the exact same position on the paper.

I am using the triangular form to represent my sense on self identity in my current work. I like the solidity of a triangle but also the precarious nature of resting on a point.

Using self portraits or representations of ourselves as starting points we made 100s of prints!

"keep everyone" cried Leslie ....our poptastic printing tutor.
Leslie is one half of Aardvark on Sea. Based in St Leonards.

Here are a small selection. We presented our work by choosing one or a few prices and then explaining why and how we had arrived at the end image.

I love the crits at these sessions they are a great way to get used to articulating your visual language. A great tool for professional development.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Printing at the DLWP

Another great short course at the De La Warr Pavilion all about mono printing.

We looked at the Warhol exhibition looked at faces and drew some. Then in the studio we drew ourselves using little mirror squares stuck on the wall. After a few attempts we relaxed and produced lots of lovely quick line drawings trying not to add too much detail.

Next we mono printed using acetate sheets stuck to the tables, an easy affordable way to print, and using newsprint to pad the back of the paper we drew on the backs and made some interesting portraits. There wasn't much time to really experiment but you got the idea. Here's some of the work we made:

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

From pain lane, up rocky road to Galley Hil

Identity .....
From pain lane up rocky road to sunset boulevard.....
The flag pole has moved.
Art is a bridge between inner and outer worlds.
Ernest Jones from 'the theory of symbolism' 1919.
What interests me right now is the dualism of identity.
One signal out one signal back.
Inside outside
public secret
yin yang
ego id
positive negative
black white
certainty doubt
living dead
love hate
past present
space matter
good bad
attract repel
Hot cold
Up down
Conscious unconscious
The list is as long as we make it.
scales....balance ....this is life this is the energy of connection..... except the scales keep tipping so it feels clumsy. I try to keep a balance to remain in control yet I learn more when things go out of balance.
But back to the flag, now the flag pole occupies it's own bigger more suitable and fitting space, now it can reach over the water, to other towns to other shores, to northern france. Now that would be interesting.
From up here literally and metaphorically I can see further, a wider view, a sense of scale and context. It was hard getting here, a big climb involving personal sacrifice.
Letting go of everything creates the space for new things to grow.
I see two sides to everything and this reflects in my work.
Finding edges and exploring connections.
Where you have contrast you have interest and where you have interest there is creativity.
As Graham Sutherland once said 'tension between opposites, the precarious balanced moment'
So am exploring the meeting of opposites. 2 people, 2 halves, 2 sides, 2 ways and the subsequent layers or impact of connection between.
I have built layers on a surface in painting
I am building layers of relationship through partnerships
I have unearthed layers of buried emotion
The big flag is traditional and contemporary through it we can explore connective layers of history and modern culture. I love the fact that Wilfrid settled in this region briefly circa 600 he brought even then a contemporary edge to a settlement entrenched in tradition. The order he belonged to was the rule of saint benedict. The spirit of St Benedict's Rule is summed up in the motto of the Benedictine Confederation: pax ("peace") and the traditional ora et labora ("pray and work").
Compared to other precepts, the Rule provides a moderate path between individual zeal and formulaic institutionalism; because of this middle ground it has been widely popular. Benedict's concerns were the needs of monks in a community environment: namely, to establish due order, to foster an understanding of the relational nature of human beings, and to provide a spiritual father to support and strengthen the individual's ascetic effort and the spiritual growth that is required for the fulfillment of the human vocation, theosis. (Thanks wikipedia.)
Wilfrid brought this way of life to Sussex. The tension between bringing order and encouraging relational understanding is still present in our culture today. Isn't this what is at the heart of regeneration?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Triceratops stares out cyclops
I like this shot because it seems like the triceratops is the pet cat about to jump into the toilet bowl, but the toilet bowl stares back with an empty freshener eye.
The diagonals give it a grid like composition emphasising solidity and stability but simultaneously the idea of disappearing down into the U bend also gives a sense of passing through to another place ( no toilet jokes please! ) Two worlds connecting? Is this too deep for a photo of a toilet? Am I going to far with this?!

Dance of the dinosaurs.
The diplodocus and the T Rex are circling each other either in some bizarre mating ritual or preparing for a fight. They too have this relationship with the plug hole disappearing into another world though the impossibility of them traveling from one world to the next is obvious to us but not to the mind of a 3 or even 5 yr old if that's part of their narrative. We should try and re enact what it's like to have e freedom of imagination that children have now and again. As adults we are far too serious and dull.

Today I heard that Lego have brought out a range for girls, how thoughtful, have they not noticed that girls never had a problem playing with it anyway girls having similar bone structure and mental capacity in the form of HUMAN bodies to boys? Mini rant over, anyway, apparently they have now designed Lego with little people that lounge about on sun loungers around their pools and pink penthouses. So thanks Lego for encouraging our children to stop being imaginative and to start behaving like dull lifeless adults. Now that's what I call progress.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Steve the double duck

Averts his eyes from the actions of action man!

Meanwhile the diplodocus spins a clever yarn .....but it escapes down the plug hole.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Once upon a bathtime

I have decided to record what's left in the bath after the boys have had theirs everyday for an as yet unspecified period of time, inspired by the first shot which was of two naked action men appearing to be in balletic combat and a shark...

What struck me about this accidental pose was that they are rigid yet look animated, are they dancing? There is a tension in their proximity to each other and the position of the shark provides an angle of dangerous potential in their world of make believe narrative. Is the shark escaping from them or they from the shark? This is the world in which my children pass to and from with such ease and total concentration, alien to others. It's their release, their therapy. At the end of the day, a safe place where they act out incomprehensible stories and unspeakable acts of merciless domination over their subjects. It's completely natural and healthy, as adults we do it through films and gaming in one way or another.

As artists do we act out our narrative? It seems like therapy for me, I know I am definitely happier if I am creating something be it a story of marks, lines or colour or an idea to explore and discover.