longer deeper version ‘we all want a happy life’

There’s a short version of this at https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/06/28/we-all-want-a-happy-life/ but this one’s delving deeper into my passion, ‘What makes things tick and why are we here?’

We all want a happy life!

patti an hands sm

‘May I be Nothing but the peeling of a lotus papering the distance for you underfoot. Tiny yellow bundles bursting like stars Like smiles And the laughter of the bells’ Said Patti Smith on reading her pome to the Dalai Lama commemorating his 6th july 80th birthday forthcoming. Then surprise surprise out he came at Glastonbury! http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e84mxj/live/c9wrbp He cut a cake full of fresh fruit. Then walked out front and did a speech, “We all want a happy life Each new day Birthday In order to be more happy day Keep here (points his chest) More Compassion It creates Honest, Truthful Transference And Trust We are social animals Friendship does not come thru money” scarfin patti Then he let Patti kiss his forehead and he blessed the crowd and was led away. blessin crowd

Patti did a great set, especially her ‘Horses’ and Sir Van’s ‘Gloria’. Other highlights for me were Mike Scott & his new Waterboys. He sang a song about Kerouac & Cassady. He is on the track by Jackie Leven that inspired my Clay jug series. Seems we sing from the same songsheet only I don’t sing/can’t sing. I loved the masks they wore. yello mask best sm Also ‘Goat ‘ wore great masks too. I thought my masks were good, but now I must return to the mask-board. squidgerat kin smkbHere’s one I made earlier, The Squidgerat King.

In fact I ain’t got no time to mek masks right now am making books and stuff ready for BALTIC bookfair in a couple o weeks. http://balticmill.com/whats-on/artist-event/artists-book-market

Some Implications of seeing Gyatso at Glasto

I seem to have had ‘some deep realisation, some moment of realisation’ (Miller) but be wary too, cos the Dalai Lama warns that nothing is permanent nor as it seems. (And I must thank Auntis BeBe Cee for the use of images they projected to the world over iplayer. Mere fleeting moments of my joy not just watching Patti Smith and her white haired band perform so ‘strongly’ as the Lama put it but also the shock & glee at seeing the man known to his people as The Ocean of Wisdom appear in person at Glasto (something I have never done, altho I did go to its inspiration, The Bath Festival 1970).

Now let me delve deeper. Overnight I slept on what the implications are of seeing two folk I have much admiration for, Patti Smith & Tensin Gyatso, together on stage, two such apparently diverse lives and styles. Like Rabindranath Tagore reportedly said, ‘You and I are artists Dilip, not yogis by temperament.’ So Patti the artist and Gyatso the yogi meet! I had picked up a book I read (reed) but never finish, DALAI LAMA- THE CHANGE INITIATOR published in Bombay 1993 and written in almost pigeon-English by two (very) Indian men, Dr Bhaskar Vyas & Dr D V Nene. Their turn of phrase is of course from their cultural background, their use of English is not quite ‘correct’ but still better than my use of Indian, cos I don’t use it at all. Nevertheless they have written pretty profound stuff and my almost chance picking up this book to browse again has led me to a personal realisation which I shall inform you of. If you can come with me and ‘get’ what am about to try to reveal then you’ll maybe agree it is special. If you are too busy etc, then so be it. Patti’s first line was ‘May I be Nothing’, immediately I thought about Nothingness, termed in India as ‘Sunyatathe experience of peace, devoid of any content. Also Sunyata is defined as pratit-yasam-utpada dependant arising which the Dalai Lama says is the way everything depends on everything else, nothing is not interconnected. In fact EVERYTHING JUST IS. And in fact every no-thing ‘just is’ too. OK bear with me. Our Indian authors Vyas & Nene in a very short passage in the book mention several renowned spiritual leaders in quick succession, I shall quote directly as it is complex and you will need to read thru several times but for me it makes so much sense: ‘… is best explained in modern [the] modern astrophysical term of ‘Black Hole’. This is where the entire Universe is collapsing into; and all that goes into black hole is reduced into such a density that is hardly exists at all but then the black hole might also be the originator of “new universe” at the other end of it. Sunyata is like a black hole. All phenomena collapse into it and it becomes nothingness; yet, it gives rise to all the phenomena as we see them. Action within or action without ultimately may mean nothingness. But at the same time, it is action that characterises life. We may therefore choose as to what kind of action we may take recourse to, but act we shall have to, so long as we are alive.” Interestingly the Dalai Lama commented on Patti’s form of action whilst he also mentioned her age vis her and group players’ white haired bonnets. He seemed tickled pink by her powerful voice and the strength of her actions (at her age). Then Patti said his voice carries much further than hers. Such mutual respect from so diverse natures. Gyatso is so considerate of others’ feelings yet Patti seems to ride her rude horses slipshod over accepted norms as she swears cusses and spits her way thru her set both are masters of illusion. Neither are what you seem to see. He looks meek yet is strong like a mountain yak. She looks hard yet she’s such a soft internal spirit. I saw her at the Blake society give a speech-reading-recital-sing her own poemsongs and those of Blake. She was so intimate with the audience, so loving and gentle. You must watch it on iplayer.

ps I have decided to send this out to all of youse who are starring at the forthcoming Artists’ Book Market at BALTIC where I have a table under my title Apulhed Originals. I have done ‘Apulhed’ since I created him in 1971, he’s like a weird Rupert/Tin Tin/Snoopy character created to carry my ideas & explorations in graphic form altho nowadays he only makes cameo appearances like in the header above. Apulhed was my alter ego and companion thru the early days of my writing and art-making. I look forward to meeting some of yez at BALTIC.

I hope nobody gets upset at my ‘networking’ to my fellow table holders at BALTIC but I come from the same generation as Pattis Smith and we got the balls to get out there and tell it. But I do not condone spitting on stage, am not going to do that, there’s a limit!

Advertisements

We all want a happy life!

‘May I be Nothing but the peeling of a lotus papering the distance for you underfoot.

Tiny yellow bundles bursting like stars

Like smiles

And the laughter of the bells’

Said Patti Smith on reading her pome to the Dalai Lame commemorating his 6th july 80th birthday forthcoming.

Then surprise surprise out he came at Glastonbury!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e84mxj/live/c9wrbp

He cut a cake full of fresh fruit. Then walked out front and did a speech,

“We all want a happy life

Each new day

Birthday

In order to be more happy day

Keep here (points his chest)

More Compassion

It creates Honest,

Truthful

Transference

And Trust

We are social animals

Friendship does not come thru money”

scarfin patti

Then he let Patti kiss his forehead and he blessed the crowd and was led away.

The image of Apulhed in the top o ma blArt is drawn around a photo of the Dalai Lama taken during his flight from Mao’s Chinese invaders when he was very young.

blessin crowd

Patti did a great set, especially her ‘Horses’ and Sir Van’s ‘Gloria’.

yello mask best sm

Other highlights for me were Mike Scott & his new Waterboys. He sang a song about Kerouac & Cassady. He is on the track by Jackie Leven that inspired my Clay jug series. Seems we sing from the same songsheet only I don’t sing/can’t sing. I loved the masks they wore.

Also ‘Goat ‘ wore great masks too.

I thought my masks were good, but now I must return to the mask-board.

In fact I ain’t got no time to mek masks right now am making books and stuff ready for BALTIC bookfair in a couple o weeks.

Keeping up with the Broons?

Keeping up with the Broons?

I hope youse all got down and di some yoga on the longest day as it wer internatural yogic day! I did. I did my first ever solo on me own alone astanga session and i nearly got into the balance position in a head stand, not quite, still work to be done, isn’t there always?

acrawl alonehere’s Apulhed doing yoga, getting down to do ‘child-pose’.

 In my past two blArts I went on abart Firstsite Gallery Colchester’s new beginnings under new appointee Anthony Robert’s leadership.  Am sure they’ll fare better in his hands but now I return to my own progress thru mi arts.

Before going any further I must say am living on ‘bonus-time’ when am 64. I attempted to ‘make it’ as a artisbloke between 1969 and 2015. I amn’t ‘trying’ to suck seed any more. If you don’t make yer fist million by the time yer 30…40…50…60, yer not going to mekkit, are yez? So am not making it but am still proud of my lifework which is by no means Opuscule. I been lucky too; Van Gogh, Watteau, Modigliani all died before they were 64, as did D H Lawrence.

A lot is happening in the second half of 2015. I shall be 65 in October and could just retire to ma garden, which is Hugh, but you know I won’t. Ting about my garden is I get down thur and I tink about say Lennon or some other rich bloke what ‘made it’ but they never had the time like I do just to pull up weeds in their garden or chat with a little robin.

robinbig & spider sm

The good ting about not ‘making it’ is my time is my own and I do what I choose to do for my ‘art’. There’s no expectations.

In just under 3 weeks time (soon!) I shall be at Artists’ Book Market at BALTIC where my major work, Venus Stairs, will be on display and I’ll be doing a ‘talk’ about it. I did offer it to some other galleries but BALTIC are the first to take up my offer. And they have been great in the run up. They’ve got a good venue in which to do the show, complete with AV facilities and the promise of back up for technical tings. Like James Brown did before me, I Feel Good. (but Ed Sulliman don’t look too good now do he?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t08ejaQqWjY All I got to do now is; make the new book for that fair, work out my routine for my ‘intervention, practice it, hone it, get the powerpoint done…not much then, no pressure.

So this is the plan:

Pete Kennedy Performance 12 noon Saturday 11th July at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead:

venus on stairs working sketch
venus on stairs working sketch

‘Venus At The Stairs’

Using my painting Venus Stairs (inspiration taken from paintings by Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase and Oskar Schlemmer, Bauhaus Stairway), my Big Clay Pot and some accompanying books Artist I shall be presenting a performance including Luke E Walker and others’ music, my poetry/senryu* readings & little dances.

I shall read a number of my Kerouac influenced ‘Senryu-Pots’ or ‘Haiku-Nots’.

*“…whereas haiku deals with nature & seasonal reference senryu does neither, senryu is specifically about human nature & relationships.” (Regina Weinreich). Kerouac wrote what he called Beat Generation Pops, hence my ‘Senryu-Pots’ or ‘Haiku-Nots’. Those who come to it can aks more questions then.

I shall bring my Big Clay Pot, which contains six etchings & poems on scrolls. The Clay Pot, itself inspired by the Kabir poem of the same name, is very important because a set of 4 ‘books’ on my table and much else in my body of work arose from it.

a venus delux open sky blu + logo sm

I have created, especially for BALTIC, a book, called Venus Stairs (which gives insight into the process and influences in the making of the Big canvas version of my Venus Stairs image), that will be available at my table with lots more of my recent books and ephemera.

What’s keeping up with the Broons? Well, one of my greatest graphic influences and inspirations is that phenomenally gifted and hard-working artist Dudley Dexter Watkins http://www.comicvine.com/dudley-d-watkins/4040-55871/ . Such was his gift that he was given dispensation during world war 2 to stay in Dundee so that he could continue drawing comics for Thomsons where he created Desperate Dan, The Broons, Oor Wullie and Jimmy & His Magic Patch. The latter is up there with Hermann Hesse’s Journey to the east as my greatest inspiration. I could NEVER ever deign to say I was ever any where near as good as him, he was for me better than Frazetta, and Frank Hampson the creator of Dan Dare http://frankhampson.blogspot.co.uk/ . For me only Rick Griffin http://www.myraltis.co.uk/rickgriffin/bio.htm  who created the artwork for the Grateful Dead or George Herriman http://www.georgeherriman.com/biography.html   can touch his robe. Altho’ Robert Crumb who uses similar technique to Watkins is good and I love his Mr Natural. I mention Watkins & Crumb as drawing influencers in my book Venus Stairs because when I was stuck and couldn’t work out the composition I decided in a moment of inspiration to let loose and draw like they do/did. It released me and I eventually cracked it.

Then there will be the book fair at Hadleigh (Sat Nov 14th) at which I am hoping to reveal my new version of The Shrewd Idiot to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launch of my first artist’s book, Apul One. All I got to do, after Baltic, is cut down 300 pages of type etc into a beautifully designed and layout-ed artisbuk. No pressure, but the robin may be squeaking to himself awhile.

In the ‘Fall’ my article about the influence of 4 German practitioners is going to be published in The Journal of Artist’s Books (JAB) Chicago, thanks to Brad Freeman for his interest and patience. Work I done throughout my life has always had its precursors and inspirers many of whom turned out to be German, funny that.  Don’t worry about my workload cos that article is ‘in the bag’ already.

keifa 8 balances 2 selves sm

Here’s one of my German influences what I drew at the RA, he’s holding ma drawings. I sent this to the RA but they sent it straight back to me saying they don’t look at unsolicited picture’.

Also, there’s going to be a new ‘illustration’ what I dun in Karen Dennison’s poetry&pictures call & reply book in autumn,The sequel to the Book of Sand pamphlet will be called Blueshift.

Then in 2016, wennam an OAP, am thinking of trying for an exhibition in Colchester Library to launch a artis-book am doing about my home town boys what went to fight in the Somme and most did not come back. The war to end all wars they said, just like they had said back in 1815 after Waterloo.

apulamahere’s Apulhed hoping beyond hope that one day we’ll all live in Peace.

Just off to get ma skates on.

Firstsite new beginning, Part 2.

For Part 1 go to https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/91326/

On Sunday I dropped in to hear Anthony Roberts do a guided tour of the building and all who sail in her.

ant gets on his hoss smAnthony gets on his horse

He has a good way with words but more importantly he has a good angle on the possibilities at the gallery.

ant desperate for banana smHere he goes for a bite of a lady’s banana

He began with an intro in the foyer.ant happy familysmHappy families

He explained that Hunt & Darton have come in to serve as the café, but they are really a performance art gig.

hunt an dart sm

He took us round to the side of the building which has always seemed out of bounds. It gives us a lovely view of the architecture which is, despite all the differing opinions, still a landmark building which we should admire and spread the word about.

tree view sm

I feel that this side of the ‘park’ needs to be made more accessible, so that people can just spend their time lolling around it, picknicking and all. Maybe live outdoor gigs?

red umbrella sm crowd sm

Hold on a bit it’s not the only good architecture around here, there’s that old church too

ant thechurchSo we get the best of both worlds here

Anthony explained he’s actually been involved with Firstsite since it was first dreamed up by a lady he once knew. He must have been distressed to see it as it went through the pangs of despair in the original build and the subsequent mis-direction. Some of the old guard seemed to think it more important to appeal to about ten people in London than to get the local populace incorporated into its projects.

We went thru the office area into the ex-café zone. It’s rather unfortunate the proprietors of the Whitechapel café left too soon, If they had stuck around a few more weeks they may see a surge in visitor numbers. Now it seems the Hunt and Darton girls will have to fill that bill. And very entertaining they are.

hunt an dart entrance sm

We stood on the veranda overlooking a ‘field’ which access to and through is severely limited cos of histoirical issues which need to be ironed out and left behind for the gallery to grow with quick access to a public car park.

ant hold back the lightLet’s work together and get this place on the map.

Outside the morris dancersmorris dancers sm morris dancers bang the drum sm morris dancers 1 sm did energetic jigs and the street dancers joined in.

come together sm

And the new staff seem lively and very friendly too.new lauren sm

Triumphal Buzz

Triumphal Buzz

firstite bloonmoon

In one fell swoop Anthony Roberts has turned the juggernaut that was Firstsite gallery around.

ant stands

(In many ways) Misused & Underused Confused & Abused (MUCA), The Golden Gallery seemed interminably Directed in constant collision with calamitous disappointment NOW it has been re-Directed and appears to be heading for the success it should have always known. It will be hard, rough seas will be born however there is now Hope, hope for the future of Colchester as a great centre of art which attracts not only the local populace but people from far & wide. Much work to be done tho’.

firstite crowd 6 firstite crowd 5 firstite crowd 4 firstite crowd 4 sm firstite crowd 3 firstite candy

firstite mirror firstite david firstite crowd2 firstite crowd

firstite bus firstite crowd 7 firstite treefolks ant wit flowas

ant wit flowas ant strider ant full swing ant cranks up

And Virtue comes from Oswaldthwistle!

jon virtu hands up

The artist who has been fortuitous enough to benefit from Anthony Robert’s advent (the feeling’s mutual I’m sure) is called John Virtue who hails from my neck of the woods, the home of Accrington Stanley. His work is very good. This show is all B&W. My favourite work is in the display cabinets in his sketchbooks wherein the images are drawn on location. These images have everything; vitality, washes of greys and the flurry of a variety of marks and lines that describe the swishing and swooping of the waves and wind.

jon virtu skbks

I’ll say no more, just look at these images from the opening (Friday 12th June 2015). Look at the happy crowd of all ages giving rise to a Wonderful Golden Buzz!

firstite bus

Ps I won’t be showing at Firstsite, not just yet yet but I shall be showing at The Baltic Gallery (Gateshead/Newcastle) on the 10 & 11 of July 2015. There’s a lot to learn from the Baltic. Vatch dis Kevin Spacey for more on that soon.

Carry on regardless.

There’s No Hope for an ole fert but I see our ‘Tracey …. creates Penguin classics covers for Henry Miller novels.’ (Henry would squirm about on his cloud!) And I think I will have to throw in the white towel vis a vis trying to find outlet in the ‘art-werld’, it’s too blind to see ma lite.

One time I’ll write a book and in it just print all my rejections from the past 45 yearns. It’d be a big, FAT book too. Maybe I’ll edit it back to just tree werds, (well six, no n/mine actually)? They are imprinted on me art mi artys.

not quite right (fer us)

best of luck (elsewhere)”

I shall jus carry on regardless.

Like Jack did, Kerouac that was.

I bin ritin haiku pops like what he did,

He taught moi all he knew.

So here’s a taster o ma new haiku (nots):

Can I hack it in haiku?

Seventeen syllables and

Three short lines “Ah So!”

I wish to write about

My journey as is shown

In my Venus Stairs

People walking up and down the steps

Along balustrades

In to heaven.

1 plan of venus 3Bukman arising from Venus Stairs

Also, I bin werkin on ma new buk, wenni complete that (Venus Stairs) I’ll continue wid ma New Shrewd Idiot, then it’s The Genie Ass. I don’t have time to do ma blArts right noo. I’m excited by this new book, Venus Stairs, it flags up a new dawn based in 50 years of finding out; art, life, all.