Category Archives: art world

Someday soon

Someday soon 14.03.2016

Someday soon they said I was going to be famous

They said it when I was about to leave college in Exeter where I had developed various formats of Appleheadman/Apulhed (I actually invented the character in Bournemouth) and he’d become a bit of a cult figure in the local student population thru the graphic-strip I did in Reflex, the student newspaper in Exeter. The they said it when I self-published my buk (short-named or ‘sub-titled’) Apul-One* in 1975 when not many were selfpublishing with its personal-phonetic spellin when not many were doing shortened spellins. To be ‘famous’ didn’t serve much attraction to me even then. I wasn’t striving for fame, apart from the potential freedom it might bring with an alleviation of my financial needs and maybe some call for my work. As we all knew then cos the beatles told us so, money can’t buy you love, and I had lots of that, even if I didn’t always reciprocate fully nor appreciate it. Indeed I had a built in mechanism to flee from it at all suspicions that it was looming about. It took decades for me to learn how to accept praise and appreciation even tho I werked so hard to gain it. One of the tings I love about PA is they clap you when you finish. Maybe that’s cos they’re glad the thing is done? Only jokin. I think.

* I been working on the follow up, The Shrewd Idiot for forty years and it should be ready to launch sometime soon!

Sometimes some folks says I sometimes writes well sometimes and that sometime soon enough I may make it big as a writer. Well I cannot await sometime to happen. I did wait sometime. I started writing sometime ago (1969). It’s taken some time to get this bad. I guess I got sometime left, or right, write. But I not got some ting to prove cos I done all that some time back.

Here’s Judy Collins singing the beautiful song Someday Soon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ7rrszpJlI

So, I went up to London twice this week. First time was on a mission to see the last day of Auerbach at Tate Britain who I believe to be the best painter in the world, by far. I was not disappointed.

auer bi snowdon sm
A young Auerbach in the 1960s infront of my friend DD’s favourite image, “He should have retired then!”

I also popped into the new bookshop Libreria and it was really beautifully set out with lots of books I’d love to buy. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/feb/21/libreria-bookshop-rohan-silva-second-home-interview#img-1

I saw this great couple o folks there and aksed if I can use their image in ma blog and they say ok dokay

libreria hanbury st (4) sm
This couple of artists find a perfect setting to share their thoughts.

There was so much to do I had to wend ma way back again on the Wednesday to go see the exhibition preview at Marsden Woo gallery where they had some beautiful readings to give the launch a real whumpf.

“An evening of performance, poetry and text works curated and lead by SJ Fowler in response to our current show, Alida Sayer’s Lexicon,

Jpeg
Alida’s metals are elemental statements.

took place last night at Marsden Woo Gallery. It was a fantastic event, with new work by diverse and talented poets being seen and heard for the first time. Many thanks to all involved!”

For those who could not attend, SJ Fowler has kindly provided us with videos of the individual performances –
Giovanna Coppola https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=661TBOS5maY

Fabian Peake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifime9uPQMk

SJ Fowler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OKXtuchtA4

Iris Colomb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvqTKhR9F6k

Christian Patracchini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y73uSDOvWx4

I also visited the Rebecca Horn section in Tate Modern because I had seen those wonderful feather head-dresses she did and wanted to find out more. RH was and is one of the world’s great performance artists. Her work hinges, literally sometimes, around the ‘props’ she manufactures. I learned a lot looking at them, very inspiring.

http://www.rebecca-horn.de/pages/biography.html#top

also, I got some of her trappings on camera.

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I loved the way Horn attends to every detail inc. boxing her props.

http://www.marthagarzon.com/contemporary_art/2012/07/rebecca-horn-body-art-performance-installations/

As I was searching the net for stuff about RH I happened upon some incredible work by Helen Chadwick which in terms of old style virtues in art blew RH into a feathered hat. HC was a very earl exponent of woman in art and I love what I found.

http://comemporarypracticedc.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/research-helen-chadwick.html

another woman artist I discovered this week was Yinka Shonibarembe, I loved her extravert use of colour.

http://www.yinkashonibarembe.com/articles/present/

On Friday night I went to the launch of Colchester firstsite’s new Warhol show which was peppered with females making great stuff. Camille Walala has done some wonderful abstract images on a wall which I never even dreamed of filling and made it look great.

http://camillewalala.bigcartel.com/category/prints

Hattie Stewart, ex-student at Sheepen Road college has a wonderfull show wherein her work, which takes inspiration from the likes of Disney, Keith Haring and Rick Griffin’s walking eyes, really lights up the gallery. http://hattiestewart.com/

And finally there was little Georgie who did these wonderful spirals in the mock ‘Factory’ which firstsite has set up for folks to do prints in during the Warhol show.

georgie spiral
Young Georgie has inherited her mum’s ability in art

Aside- David Bailey: “Visually, Picasso was definitely the most important person in my life. When I discovered him I realised there were no rules. I didn’t go to art school, I didn’t even know what art school was, but the teachers who taught drawing always said, ‘Oh, you can’t put a line around things,’ and I thought, ‘Well, Picasso does, stained glass windows do, so I don’t see your point.’ Obviously, they were wrong.” I didn’t go to art skewel eether David.

 

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December at Firstsite.

What an end to the year and an era at Firstsite gallery in Colchester!

j an g in dk 2 shere’s Jamie and Gordon sitting regaining energy in the wonderful space.

Jamie Dodds Exhibition

Jamie’s show is a lovely compact collection of his paintings, prints and books which suits the gallery in its Essex home with Jamie’s subjects being mostly sailing craft.

a shado 2 sJamie seen showing G. some boat thing in one of his prints.

I was lucky to be able to chat with Jamie as we walked around the show with Gordon Wright, an old friend who used to work with him at Cook’s boatyard in Maldon back in the 1970’s. I’ll let the images tell the story.

It was a lovely re-union. Jamie’s catalogue designed by his wife with photos by his daughter is on sale at the most reasonable price of £6. Have I told you my joke about that sick squid?

Scottee

a foled banana

Scottee is a self-proclaimed ‘Fat Gay Queen’ who does Performance Art and cabaret who put on a tremendous show for two nights in Firstsite.See this wonderful vid of him trying to fit into a box-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBshGTTApTY

3 ladies s

His two ‘assistants’ (who proclaim their hatred for him in a hash tag, #wehatehim) kept deadpan disinterested faces all night.

Newcy gel 2

Scottee introduced several other mostly gay acts, all of which were very entertaining. I didn’t remember their names but I’ll let images I took tell their tales. Top left was a talented singer who sang Adele better than Adele, but with rather changed words. The sailor is a wonderful take off of Kenneth Williams. The ‘woman’ in the yellow coat was a hinnie frae newcastle. And finally Scottee is seen swallowing a big balloon.

In my next blog I’ll be looking back on my experiences in 2015. Also I shall be completely re-doing my ‘About’ so it’s just about the last year in my art and my links with some gallery spaces. I shall post it just after New Year’s Day, so enjoy the parties and don’t overdo it!

 

 

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.

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.

That’s where it’s at pretty baby!

OK here is the vid of me at BABE in April 2015, it’s taken the overall count of visits to my blArt over the 6,500 mark, is that going viral?

a mask beuyHerr Beuys is watching

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=07628A1BAB38FC9E&id=7628a1bab38fc9e%21101996&authkey=%21AuwEF6VxemmDRcY&v=3

A special thanks to Dave Doughty who filmed it, Kara who did the cd operating the music at VERY short notice. Luke Walker and Colin Lloyd Tucker for the musics and of course the Killers. And thank you Duncan for your encouragement & support as always. I’ll never dance as well as you do.

It’s scarey cos it shows me flaws and all. It’s important cos I can learn so much from seeing it and from any feedback it may elicit. This seems to have gone viral, at least 20 folk have ‘tuned in and dropped off’ within 12 hours of my posting it. Enjoy.

That’s where it’s at pretty baby! That’s where it’s at, here’s Sam Cooke singing it, Van Morrison dropped a refrain from Sam’s song into one of his concerts! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txQoANzba-I

(27.04.2015) Sometimes reality comes by and hits me in the face, like a cold wet kipper, a slap in the face with a smelly old fish.

The artists I like most are Japanese if you please, they are of young and old times if you please; Hiroshige, Tadanoori Yokoo and the ones I saw at the ‘original print fair’ at the R A yesterday; Yuriko Takimoto (gallery jin), Nana Shiomi ((Rabley Contemporary) and Chitra Ganesh altho she’s Indian I guess (Durham press, Pennsylvania). I loved Katherine Jones (Rabley) collographs too. The trouble with all the rest is they are just repeating ad infinitum what’s gone before. They don’t understand an original unique artist like myself. There’s only (ever been) a few like me, original-unique. Trouble with my output is it’s always been too far out for them to catch it up. That’s where I’ve always been, out, far out. I got left out in the cold running thru the fields crying out in the wildness. But, I DON’T CARE! On the surface it seems I have been small fry, but there’s a big kick inside which has always driven me on. I shall never be a ‘success’ (like me old Burnley mucker James Anderson the cricketer who is breaking all records and getting accolades world-wide, but, and any (material & critical) success I may be donned with in the last quarter of my life in this incarnation will only be a sideshow of little import. I shall remain small fry. It’s too late to start now. I have had to (try to) continue over these past 47 years ‘without portfolio’ but that’s nothing new for a boy from the 1950’s estates. I started off poor and I still remain strapped for resources in a physical sense. I am fabulously rich in otherways which I am sure will out in my series of books started with the new Shrewd Idiot and onto my Squidgerat Scrawlings through to I Telt Yeez I Was A Genie’s Ass. Yesterday I heard that Bert Irwin had died a few weeks ago in his 80’s. Alan Davie’s work was prominently shown at the Original Print fair at the RA and he died recently too. Chris Ofili and Grayson Perry’s prints were there in all there glory but mine are not, that’s a reflection of my lack of ‘success’ but am not crying nor whingeing over tings that didn’t occur, no, I am determined to continue pursuing my visions and making my outputs some of which are unpredictable even to me. And that’s the way I work, I am of the school which believed we should not be able to predict every outcome because chance and opportunity should be in the mix when creating, allowing for surprise and breaking new ground. John Cage said of Rauschenberg in ‘Silence’, “Modern Art has no need for technique. (We are in the glory of not knowing what we are doing.). And I am a Modern Artis, if nought else. Ray Rushton wrote really positive things about my werk for the Essex County Standard in October 1993 like, “Kennedy mostly uses his plethora of open line either as a wiry composition in its own right, or more often, to knit together patches of colour as in the large painting of Topolski.”

I have abandoned all efforts to gain entry into the Ice castles of art(s). I give up…not ‘making art’, no. this blArt is my art or pArt of it. No, I shall continue making my art ‘til the day I die. But am not ‘attempting’ any longer I’m just ‘being’, me. No pretentions, no submissions, no entries, no mores, just me. I am ‘When I’m 64’ now be blowed, I don’t need ‘them’. One of the concerns is that without being in the ‘fold’ or the ‘canon’ you can’t survive. Well, I am still alive and the folded canon is much diminished by my absence, with its lack of my presence. The thing is, the ‘art world’ batters out the same old song. I bin looking hard at art since 1967 when I first visited the Tate. Also in ‘67 there were a massive retrospective of Matisse and today there’s another big Matisse show at tate Modern, I’ve lived thru 2 maybe 3 major Lichtenstein shows, or Warhola or Henry Moore etc shows. Yet so many others never get heard of. Trouble is hundreds maybe thousands go into art training, learning various skills to sometimes very high levels and some, like me, always ‘believe’ that with enough effort & dedication they can ‘make it’. Make it ? make what? Make it into the canon? Become ‘recognised’ as players etc? when really there’s next to no chance. Probably less chance of ‘success’ in the art world than if they (both male or female) tried to become premiership footballers. In other words, NO CHANCE. People like Heinious Hurst, Tarki Vermin are truly freaks of an art-nature. The art world exhibits them like the Victorians shewed people with difference in fairground freak shows and the (still) gullible public flock (like sheeps) to she em.

For me the world of art is so much wider deeper and longer than them lot, or any udder latest flavour or favoured it. It guz bach even past the Venus of Willendorf. Human inventiveness & creativity is really what art is about and that is it’s worth. So, when I once ‘taught’ art I was really teaching alternative ways of looking at and approaching a challenge, ways of creating new solutions, different ways of tinking & looking and finding. Different ways to re-iterate old and new ideas. And this country, GB, has an incredibly rich history of nurturing creative talent acrosst the arts (& sciences look at Dyson, Richard Rogers & Norman Foster) in dance, art, literature, drama and music to name but five alive^.

Here’s a quote from an old blArt of mine which was entitled ‘My claim to a plaice in the Pantheon with my Pantstillon.’ And I was playing with the word place which we sound the same as plaice and I was mucking around with the word Pantheon and belittling it by analogising it with the idea of flying by the seat of my pants but managing to keep them on:

‘The prophet is one who embraces /embodies an “alternative consciousness”…[they] serve to criticize in dismantling the dominant consciousness and energize persons & communities by [promoting moves toward another consciousness]. See Walter Brueggemann- the prophetic imagination. Beuys said, “when I speak I try to guide that power’s impulse into a more fully descriptive language, which is the spiritual perception of growth” The intervention of speech and conversation into his visual works plays a meaningful role in ‘How to explain pics to a dead hare’. The hare has symbolic meaning in many cultures, Germanic tribes saw it as a symbol of fertility. The gold mask Beuys wore during his performance saw gold as a symbol for the power of the sun, wisdom, and purity, and honey as a Germanic symbol for rebirth. For Beuys ‘Honey on my head of course has to do with thought. While humans do not have the ability to produce honey, they do have the ability to think, to produce ideas. Honey is an undoubtedly living substance- human thoughts can also become alive, honey was the product of bees who, for Beuys (following Rudolf Steiner), represented an ideal society of warmth and brotherhood. Gold had its importance within alchemy’. All of this is from wikipedia.

‘Gold had its importance within alchemy’ transformation and transcendence which my whole project ‘Inside this clay pot’ is about. I have quoted from these Beuys’ sources not to gain kudos nor benefit but to help you understand that we (creatives) all ‘tap’ into ‘stuff’. As a teenager I realised artists like Henry Moore, Matisse, Van Gogh and Soutine, writers like James Joyce and Henry Miller were tapping in to what I later called ‘creative consciousness ’ in my book ‘The Shrewd Idiot’ watti rote tween 1976-81 and unpublished until 2015. The possibilities there are enormous. John Winstone Lennon, Bob ‘Dylan’ Zimmerman, Bruce tha Boss, Van D. Man, Baby Bowie, Ken Campbell, all tap into the source.

Moving on, letting go.

Image featured above shows a strange bird looming over the slanted side of firstsite gallery. What will it be a harbinger of? What does it presage? Only good I hope in the end but that is going to be a challenge which must be worked towards wholeheartedly and in unison by all the stakeholders; the council, the gallery, the public and art lovers from all over this land. It’s gonna take time and investment.

Recently (12th Feb?) I saw a pretty damning report on BBC Anglia tv in which the footage they used was several years old, altho they did have a reporter there to interview the director that day. They reported that the ‘Arts’ Council was threatening to withdraw support for the gallery. I decided to write to the several parties (excepting the Beeb as they never seem to take any notice, you get this thing that says they get millions of letters and sorry they won’t bother to reply) showing my concern that the true picture of the valiant efforts made by the gallery in the past few years has not been recorded and to offer direct help to its director Matthew Rowe from my 50 years’ experience in art and gallery visiting since seeing the big Henry Moore show at Tate in 1967. On 13 Feb I said, ‘Dear Matthew, I believe with my experience and qualifications I may be able to help you. Please see the attached. Also, please acknowledge receipt as I have guessed at your email address.’

I felt that local MP Bob Russell’s take on the gallery was quite negative when he cited how much millions it costs each year. OK compare that to how much the Castle takes? He replied saying I should contac the press with one of my less positive points. But he had replied within 24 hours!

I contacted the arts council in the guise of Hedley Swain and sent him the above list of links to my blArts. He replied within 24 hours and thanked me for my ‘other’ views, ‘It is useful to us to have different opinions and view-points to draw on. I assure you that Arts Council will do all it can, working with other local stakeholders, to improve the current situation.’

matthew rowe

The Director did not respond to my offer to help. Not yet, 28.2.15, but it’s only 15 days since I sent my offer.

I’d like to update the story so far on firstsite gallery in Colchester. I hear they are preparing a new launch with a fresh approach, I wish them well and I pray that it works not just for them but for all the interested parties. I believe they need more help from Colchester Council not less. There is a need for parking right next to the gallery in the space down which buses used to turn in their scores daily. At present parking is totally banned there and it is a total missed opportunity. Our society is used to ‘on site’ parking like at all the big supermarkets nowadays. People are loathe to walk more than 50 metres to a place. I know that’s true and the council’s refusal to provide on site parking is adding to the gallery’s problems in the past several years. There was supposed to be an art college coming very close to the gallery as part of the plan but that fell through. The whole area was supposed to be being built up with a multi-million pound development which never materialised. Then the gallery opened with its slanting wall and very little natural footfall. I believe the gallery needs a re-structure/build. Getting in some consultant architect the likes of Richard Rogers may help. There’s a need to get rid of the slant and to somehow introduce a mezzanine floor something like the one at Barbican gallery which can add space to exhibit more stuff.

outsite leans

Strange flying tings seen looming over firstsite

There is still a lot of space around the gallery which could be used to provide amenities for the local population which would also bring more folk in proximity to the gallery but it seems that nobody has enough imagination to propose any ideas. At least I have not seen any moves on that front, but I am not local and don’t get all the local news. I have offered to meet the Director to put forward some of my own ideas but he is obviously too busy hatching the re-launch plans. Or he just doesn’t want to know what a fool believes.

in the not too distant past I was called an ‘advocate’ of firstsite gallery Colchester but in fact I am a commentator (a common ‘tatoe). I’d like to play in their team or at least help the team but they don’t select me. Last week I was told my latest effort to gain a place on the hallowed walls was unsuccessful. They invited bids for a wall space 8m x 3m and once again I gave it my best shot, but I  didn’t score this time.

Now, personally, I am ‘Moving on, letting go’. I done e‘nuff’, I tried and tried agin and cannot suck seed. Am not moving on, letting go through any bitter feelings, I still have sympathy for their plight but I feel I have done more than the average commentator in my effort to assist. Picture me standing outside the gallery banging my head against the wall. I believe I deserve a bit more respect but of course what I believe and what actually happens are rare bedfellows.

It’s not hard, there’s lots of evidence.apul gnum wall

ps You have to replace the brick wall with a gold tin wall.

Well it may surprise some of yez but yes it hurts. But I am almost a Buddhist and am learning not to cling on, I’m no clingon!

Before I go let me give some links to the blArts I done about firstsite:

About Bruce McLean- https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/bruce-mclean-not-trendy-but-twitchy/

 

Bruce McLean said- https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/this-is-the-best-exhibition-of-my-work-ever/

 

Two part report on firstsite symposium- https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/so-we-live-in-a-digital-cage-part-2/

 

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/so-we-live-in-the-digital-cybernetic-age-the-d-c-age-digital-cage/

 

Krzysztof Fijalkowski, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Norwich University of the Arts gives a  talk about Henri Chopin- https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/henri-chopin-and-others-who-got-forgot/

 

The Man from New York talk- https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/andrew-roths-talk-at-first-site-last-saturday/

 

Ann Stephen from Australia’s talk- https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/first-site-talk-success-but/

The gallery is going to find it difficult to re-connect with the folk who once frequented it as it has been empty now several weeks and the café has disappeared and the continuity has been discontinued. If you pop in there at present not only do people keep coming up to you asking if you had permission to venture thru to where you stand perusing the 8×3 space before you apply but there is an eerie silence and emptiness which is going to hard to re-fill or even firstfill. I hope I have filled you in with my fill. Eugh that’s Awe-fill!

 tward entrance

Some more images of firstsite gallery at present

skylites

lookin out

 

17.03.15- I managed to spend a few minutes in conversation with the Director who came over as an amicable man with a basketful of challenges which I must say he is approaching with a good degree of patience and positive planning. The gallery has re-launched and re-branded with a wonderful new show which I like but I fear the local population won’t be won over with. The four artists local(-ish) at least to Essex I am reminded chosen to fill the 3x8m space are all very good practitioners, evidence of which is shown in a display of some work from each in the 8×3 space. the new cafe proprietors look to be setting about setting it up beautifully with local suppliers being utilised. Good luck for the future!

some new pics of the new set up, still quite empty of footfallers.

Image043

Image041

Now for something completely different but I believe relevant, especially for my regulars and  you know about my ‘what I believes’:

When I was 30 year old I scored two goals in 2 minutes (big head), one headed into the top left hand corner from a corner and t’other straight from the re-start when I nicked the ball as they kicked off, ran half the pitch length evading a lunging leg of a desprit full back and rounded the goalie to chip it in against Ingatestone for Maldon Saint Marys second eleven in a cup game which we won 2-1. Later in the same cup the manager left me on the sub’s bench for the Final aginst RHP which my goals had gotten the team to, playing a kid of 16 in my stead. Earlier that season, in the winter cos the ground had an inch or two of snow on it I had headed a goal in from a corner in a melee and felt a deep pain in my belly, so deep I thought someone had kicked me, it turned out this Charlie had decided to thump me in the stomach as I headed the ball.

a bad tackle(beyond the pale)

Unlike Nemanja Matic of Chelsea v. Burnley last week who took this bad (beyond the pale) tackle from Ashley Barnes I withheld my desire to retaliate*, I took his number, I remembered his face. Ten minutes from the end of that final I aksed Old Bill the manager if I was going to get a kick? “Oh sorry Pete I forgot you, get on now.”

a fyutballa peteHow could you leave this fella out?

PK in 1981

Sadly I couldn’t pull back the goal deficit in the 5 minutes left (which meant in the 30 odd years I played football I never got a winner’s medal!) but I had my eye on Charlie. I am not sure he remembered me without snowdrops on my head. Anyway I re-introduced myself on the half way line. It was a fair but hard tackle (NOT beyond the pale). He didn’t get up but only missed the last three minutes of play. I never returned to play for Maldon Saint Marys second eleven, not ‘nuff respec’. I did return to football 20 years later and scored loadsa goals as a veteran, well the ball is still a sphere and the goals are still in the same place and I still loved the game.

But ‘respec’ is wattam talking about. * Matic was sent off and banned from a Wembley Final for retaliation, Barnes got off scot free. Talking about the dinosaur attitude of institutions the FA have done FA about the ref’s ineptitude; he should have sent Barnes off before Matic took the law into his own hands and then the FA should lift the ban so Matic can participate in the Wembley Final . It’s not as if his shove on Barnes was life-threatening, more like a person in the isle at a supermarket pushing a trolley. (ps Chelsea still won!)