Camouflage, can you spell it? Yes, i…t…
I have camouflaged my work in lots of ways throughout my life. I’m not exactly sure why. So, for example, my ‘comix’ were nothing like comics. Mostly they were a different way of writing my thoughts and findings using words and picture in frames to start with but then I began to alter the squares & oblongs to, say, apple shapes and so on. Nothing stayed in its box of protocols too long.
My ‘writing’ purportedly about myself my exploits my thoughts and fears was more to do with my discoveries in ‘art’ and philosophy. What looked like an autobiography was an everyman. It chronicled the human needs of individuals to find and try to come to terms with; knowledge, a vocation, friends, outlets, notice, heroes (sport people, artists, writers, actors, singers et al), likes, dislikes and more. I kept writing regularly from 1969 to now and soon(ish) I shall release the first viewing of the latest form of my book The Shrewd Idiot. [It’s written from the notes I did between 1969-73. I wrote similar notes from 1973-date. So there’s a lot of ‘books’ that could be but won’t be made.]
It’s about a sentient being whose fears & aspirations show ‘where he’s at’ or seemed to ‘be’ in the first years of the third decade of his life. And that was not necessarily always pretty, baby. It chronicles the things one young man evidenced and attempted to come to terms with in the decade immediately after the Swinging Sixties’ when the whole world seemed to lighten up and there seemed to be HOPE for a brighter future, certainly in the culture worlds of art, music, fashion and maybe ‘writing’ where experimental work (like the Shrewd idiot) was not exactly encouraged but accepted as a legacy of the sixties. ‘The world’s your oyster’ was the mantra and once you had harnessed a skill-set you had the opportunity to flaunt it. My attempt to become a great and famous author of ‘modern’ product very nearly succeeded at the time with Oliver Caldecott, a really highly esteemed publisher altho I was unaware of that at the time, considering publishing my SI book, ‘tome’ though it was. Altho I had self-published Apul-One in those days you had to try to get a real publisher on board, now am back to self-publishing.
I wrote, drew, photographed the evidence of the world I lived in, felt, saw, witnessed, shared and all that stuff. I abandoned the normal (paid job) life in order to concentrate all my effort on this book and the book reflected the way I lived my life the several years before I gave up my job to write the book and launch myself upon the world as a full-time artist bloke. I did stay stubbornly on my ‘wanna be a artis’ track for 4 years during which I developed ‘Happy Apulhed’
which I hoped would replace Snoopy as the world’s most popular philosopher. When it didn’t I returned to teaching and eventually retired near the ‘normal’ age to do that and found miraculously that I could now continue the road I had ploughed so deeply during my four years out of the rat race in the late 1970’s. what I did was not that unusual, thousands have followed their dream, some made it, like the woman what wrote the Harry Potty books, some still await ‘recognition’ of their offerings. Me, I am not bothered any longer about any accolades, I just want to create my pieces and show them to anyone daft enuf to take a look. I was a (fairly) ‘normal’ (but driven) product of the 50’s and 60’s who had worked really hard to make his dream come true despite making my path even harder by my own silly selections. That’s why the ‘shrewd’ or ‘wise’ man is also the Idiot. We all make silly choices because, in life, it’s so often so hard to see the wood from the trees. But the main thing (ting) I always stuck to was an honest sincerity in everything I do/done/did. So, the nice result is that my best work from all decades has remained as fresh and as good as when I did it. The Shrewd Idiot is an indication of a life being lived with all its strength, weakness, hope and trepidation.
Then there’s the ongoing stuff which arises from my desire to make Performance Art (PA) pieces and books to accompany or project them like my Somme Boys project.
Now I have a problem. The problem being time to do the work to enable things to become real objects which folk can peruse. Well it were a problem until today when I had a revelation that I could create the ‘book’ for Somme Boys digitally and make it available through digital means. And I should be able to do my Somme Boys PA online, maybe on Utube. That also takes away the need for a venue(s) and the need for backing and permission and support. I can just do it and let the work speak for itself. Or not as the case turns out. Well as with all activities the gap between the epiphany and the making available is full of potential pitfalls and obstacles to be surmounted. But that’s what I pride myself on doing, the almost impossible.
Talking about the almost impossible I am tackling the plague of cow parsley in my ‘garden’ and the only way to get rid is to dig up all the roots and there’s millions of them. (Anthriscus sylvestris, known as cow parsley, wild chervil, wild beaked parsley, keck, or Queen Anne’s lace) But you know me, “that’s what I pride myself on doing, the almost impossible”. Am beginning to wish I didn’t write that!
My Robin’s Camouflage is good but not so good, he thought I couldn’t see him.
Here’s a beautiful version of Van the Man doin his In The Garden : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzoktdJ_q-M
And Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes by Karen Elson & Michael Stipe
and (another revelation), John Cale on Bowie and the Trumping man. Cale says that it’ll be a disaster if the Trumping man gets into power in the USA.