I’m Bloggin, just Bloggin and I Know you like blogging it too! Thank you Bob Marley. (In about 1972 we stood and watched him at Rolle College Exmouth play about 3 hours before he became ‘famous’, there were about 30 of us. We were lucky, I just kept downing my pint and wiggerling to the sound, went to the bar, gorranutha pint, wiggled back to Bob and his wailing alongsters. I never thought to bring my camera nor invite him and his boys to play football in the afternoon. Talk about missed opportunities.
Now I am taking the blog line, I still take photos but I had to stop playing football about five years ago. Not before I had the chance to play with my veteran side against Jobserve at Upton Park, twas like playing on a billiard table. Lovely.
Now am changing the name of what I do in this blog. It’s a Blart. Blog-blag art. It’s mine, It’s my art as blogs. Artasblag. Blagasart. Back to blart. I blurt my blart!
So, I drop the name blag, too similar to brag, I don’t like to brag but I do like to celebrate achievement. My blart creates and celebrates. Ok, so, I did some articles and may do some more, I got some in the pipeline but they are a distraction from my real creativity. That happens as I paint, draw, write, print etc. My creativity is a happening process, it’s in process. Compiling a blart is a process in which I bring together old and new ideas and ideas come in the process of the bringing together.
Now I am back on the main trail, being a bookman, making up my buk…s. They come in many forms. I have just started my new buk. It has images in it like this
I began making images like that back in 1968
I have been meaning to ‘publish’ them in some form ever since and now am as the Stones sang, ‘Just A Step Away’. In fact it’s coming thru quicker than I ever hoped it would, that first new squidgerat buk. I don’t think it’ll be in the shops by Christmas. Maybe by May it will be BABE? Am chuffed to bits. In a way it’s a getting one thing out the way so I can plough on thru to the other side, did Jim Morrison sing that? And by the way don’t nobody nick the name, It’s mine all mine. ©pete kennedy2013 and way back way way back. I wouldn’t say that but someone in Ghana has nicked my apulhed name, well they’ve temporarily borrowed it cos they can’t keep it cos I invented it, way way back.
Also you can get my recent book, G Batch, from the following link:
just open the link and scroll down it’s about the third book down. My friend Kevin at Allbooks in Maldon has kindly put the book up on his site. If you look at the image of the title page you’ll ‘get’ why I called it G Batch. Some folk have said that that name don’t reflect the contents, too mathematical, so when I do a wrap-around cover I shall re-name it something like, ‘Inside the jug’, what’s inside? The whole of existence. That’s inside the jug, but in my book it’s just an intro. Kevin is also doing a link to my 1975 buk, ‘Apul-One’ in the near future.
“There’s not many books that I’ve read from cover to cover, honestly, very few, but Apulhead is amongst that few. It still resonates with me 30+ years later, I don’t think you’re ever the same after reading it…and I mean that in a positive way!” Alan Williams said of it on Aug 10th 2013. But let’s move to the near past. To the spate of books which I did for my MA. I need to tell you about them:
G Batch, about which Burkhard Quessel of the British Library has said “Anyway, I found and opened it now and must say that it is really quite a beautiful book.”, was like my ‘commercial’ version of the etchings and prose poem I did for my reaction to Jackie Leven’s rendition of Kabir’s astounding poem, Inside this Clay Jug. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfiKUhS1cnI
Jackie died recently but luckily I had been able to catch up with him in a small folk club in Southend. He told me not to leave it 30 years before we meet again because we would both be dead. Sadly he didn’t stick around long enough for me to get back to chat some more. My whole Clay jug project is dedicated to his memory. I’m crying now just thinking of him and I have seen grown men cry listening to his stuff, other than clay jug. He really touches chords. Ian, IF you can watch this link it will show you Jackie as he performed in 2011 he uses that deep vocal growl from the depths of his Experience. His Experience was profound and he’d really been around.
It is a sad reflection of society that he was not more lauded in his own lifetime, but, that is the way it goes. He did skirt with fame as Doll by Doll and hated it so he spent most of his days as a troubadour. I admired his tenacity. When I saw him at Southend, I thought, where does he stay? Why does he do this? I never got to ask him. Enough people of quality, like Mike Scott and Robert Bly appreciated him. Anyway, he inspired me to do my clay jug stuff. The pot you see on the cover of the G Batch book was made at the start of the project when I intended my ‘book’ just to be six scrolls in a pot, reminiscent of the Dead Sea Scrolls. As I rolled thru the learning curve I came across such a vast body of knowledge and I learned so much, about my Self more than anything, and about all sorts of incredible ideas and their sources that I decided to make some ‘books’ which could also carry the ideas and which themselves would have beautiful qualities.
The first ‘book’ was a poti/pothi, a Tibetan style of book where they don’t necessarily bind the pages, altho sometimes they have holes in each sheet and the sheets drop onto metal spikes in a pile which is then covered on both sides with wooden supports. Sometimes they may bind the sheets with a thong of leather instead of the rod. I decided that my pages were not to be paper but fired clay like the cuneiform tablets the first alphabet was scribed into in Uggarit. So I created a clay poti with some symbols which I cut into the wooden top, a copy is on the back page of G Batch which you can see on Kevin’s site. This would cost you a lot of money to buy and as there is only one I decided to make a book of the writings on each of the pages in a card version, this is now available as a concertina book. The Chinese were making Buddhist concertina books hundreds of years ago so I thought that would be an appropriate way of presenting my pages which are each a condensing down of the ideas of six men I call ‘mystics’, those names represented in the title, ‘G Batch’ .
I also did a series of ‘banners’ which also have some words related to each mystic on. I deliberately made them really hard to read, more ‘word as art’ than word as message! I also used a style of layout reminiscent of the likes of Bochner whose exhibition I saw in 2012 at the Whitechapel. These and the clay poti book with the card replicas will be on display at my next show at The Red Lion bookshop, Colchester in February 2014. Watch this space for more details.
After the clay poti I decided that I wanted to make images of the six ‘mystics’;
G…iorgi Ivanovitch Gurdzhiev (more often known as Gurdjeff)
Carl… Gustav Jung
Which I did from various sources including photos I took of the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, when he came to open the Peace Garden in London and drawings I did of him whilst he was on television. The one of Joseph Beuys I did to put in a pitch to do a T shirt for the show at Royal Academy of his work but it stumbled on the refusal of his estate to allow images of him to be used. Funny that, a man who said everything is art and we can all be artists having his legacy so corrupted. I suppose that’s life, or death. Anyway, I did a series of collages from which I did some master drawings which you can see at Kevin’s site, as they are the main illustrations in G Batch. I then transferred these drawings onto zinc plates and did several etchings copies of each onto Somerset paper. I had to blind emboss a triangle to simulate a ‘folio’ for each print and a rectangle on each sheet for the prose poems I did about each mystic. Karen Harrison says of the ‘poem, “ It’s a brilliant transformation. Maybe it’s a prose poem. I can hear the musicality in the word sounds now. And it’s got a core, maybe like a pot. It must be the dance metaphor weaving through it. I found this version quite moving, (no pun intended!)”
The prints of the words I put onto kozo Japanese paper using an inkjet printer and then had to work out how to stick the extremely fine print onto the Somerset paper base. This I did using Japanese rice glue. And it wasn’t east to get the beautifully finished look. I lost several etchings because the wordprints crinkled. So, now I had 3 ‘good’ sets of the whole pages, two I kept as long sheets and one set I tore carefully in half so leaving a rough edge like you get on the other sides from the paper-making process. Now I had one set which I could ‘bind’ like a book. I tried several different cover ideas including my favoured one a ‘secret Belgian’ form which Mike Sullivan had said would allow the prints to sit flat as the pages were turned. BUT I decided that I did not want to stitch the prints together, they are lovely separate so, having seen many (many) ‘books’ were not stitched in the beautiful book, ‘A 1000 artist’s books’
I decide to build a pouch to hold my prints inside a book cover. I had a model of a small book I had bought in Bruges which had leaves covering the cover and as I had a lovely castor oil plant I decided to use the leaves from that on my cover. To stop the prints flopping around I created a way of binding them in using two leather straps and two little brass studs. I was also able to use a bay stick on the spine similar to the little stick on the spine of my Bruges leaf book.
the big leaf book
But that ‘book’ again would cost you hundreds nay thousands of £s or $s or yens to buy so I did G Batch for the normal person.
I still have lots to say about my recent books and future plans but it’s sunny out and my fingers are aching from all this tapping of the type. So, I shall close for the day. Enjoy.
OOOOPs I fergot!
I fergot to tell you what I dun wid the other two copies of my etchings batch! So, here we go agen. One of em, the least good un or the one with most mistakes, I just rolled and scrolled them into the pot. They cum out at exherbitions and stand like tin soldjas..
And t’other lot, well I call them my ‘Flat scrolls’ a contradiction in terms cos you cannot get flat scrolls cos scrolls are scrolled up documents. Anyway they are in a claret colored burlap covered portfolio what I med. And they may or may not be a book and I don’t give a.. ducking and diving has always been my business.
I didn’t mention my ‘Enbuk’, well that’ll be the day said Buddy Holley. An udder day. My Enbuk is a series of ring bound books with all the notes I did on the run up to making the Big Leaf Book and the pot and all the stuff during my MA course year 2. It’s designed like a catalog I bought at the Dieter Roth show at the Hayward gallery in 1973. The books fit into a plastic box. Since making it in 2013 nobody yet no-one has shown any interest in buying one. Sad that. Mind you nobody has bought any of the work at all. I do it for love.