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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Just off to get ma skates on.