Category Archives: BABE

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name, Everything & Nothing?

Naming things also means everything & nothing like the famous conundrum about a doctor:

A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital. The doctor comes in and exclaims “I can’t operate on this boy.”

“Why not?” the nurse asks.

“Because he’s my son,” the doctor responds.

How is this possible?

The answer is in the ingrained assumption that the word ‘doctor’ denoted a male practitioner which in the ‘old days’ it usually did. The assumption was ingrained over centuries of the ‘male-dominated’ world which allegedly no longer dominates the ‘norm’ but in the collective mind it seems the natural assumption falls to the male interpretation. Now this is not an article about doctors nor prejudices, I am merely pointing out that altho a name is important it often misleads our perception, even when there is no intent so to do.

I mention this because I have been involved in making art & books all my adult life which is (on paper) 50 years, in fact 56 when you take into account I made my first book as a ten year old (of course I weren’t a adult then tho) as an end of summer term project at Tod Road Junior School and my first comic, Big ‘Ead was in that book which had old wallpaper as a cover. In my first year at Gwamma Skewel (as an ex pupil of the old grammar school system I firmly believe that they are a relic of a past (male dominated) culture, so no don’t bring them back, but you’ll ignore me anyway, won’t you Tess?) I made more sophisticated books with bookcloth spines and all. In my 6th form I made my own sketch books, had to cos I couldn’t afford to buy one. At (teachers’ training) college I made several books for projects and did my first concertina book with 6 screenprints in which I have just ‘published’ in an A5-ish book.

apulscreem 2017 cover sm
‘Apulhed Sees’ is on sale at Bookartbookshop.

Then I taught how to make books to the kids in my classes but didn’t make my own again til I embarked on my MA course in my sixties after retiring hurt from my role as a ‘teacher’. You may ask, “What’s he on about?” well my answer is I’ve always been making the contents of books and sometimes the books themselves book I am not a bookbinder per se. Many of my ‘books’ tease and stretch the definition of ‘book’ which takes me back to my point at the head of this piece, What’s in a name?

Artists’ Books?

There’s a term ‘Artists’ Books’ which is quite popular nowadays denoting an infinite variety of ways to make and stretch the curve in what a book can be. There are a growing number of Artists’ Books Fairs or markets etc. I’ve frequented a few but my work doesn’t sell in droves so I cannot really afford to have a stall unless I wish to make some new (networking?) links thru meeting new folks and advertise my wares, basically I have to tell myself, “This is like a holiday Pete. You’re running a table during the day then ‘after hours’ you can take a look at a place you wouldn’t necessarily visit, like say Oxford, Newcastle or even Edinburgh. Recently I was able to walk around the Bristol Artist Book Event (BABE) [wearing my new Apulhed mask] and witness the wonderful atmosphere and the way so many folk of like mind share a big space and fill it with beautiful artistic output. I spoke with a couple from Kent but have forgotten their details, so if you’re out there I’d love to connect up and discuss making 3D masks! The people who make the books are very talented and ‘artist’s books’ are a wonderful vehicle for all manner of ideas and projects and many of them are beautiful objects. Some of my work falls under the category too but I prefer the term ‘Books Artists Make’ (BAM) for my works.

I know that not everyone involved in artists books claims to be a artist but I did before I realised am not a artist, I am a man, I am me! But all my adult life I been involved in ‘art & writing’ but once again, What’s in a name? What does ‘art’ mean? What does ‘writing’ mean? In my case they both often meant under-mining or undermining or under-mine-ing. I would undermine my own stuff, I would often do something real good then undermine it with my next work.

I have this penchant for undermining, reaching under, looking past, looking beyond. I think it came from doing ‘History’ with the late David Clayton at school where we were encouraged to question things and this continued in my Philosophy tutorials with the late Bill Josebury at St Lukes. I hated the art dept at my college so I did everything I could to undermine the tutors. I disliked the politicians in the early 70’s like Thatcher who did her infamous cuts in Education then went on to destroy mining communities so I did scathing cartoons about their lack of consideration or conniving. One of Thatcher’s best buddies was Pinochet and she must have learned a lot from his methods, he, like other dictators smashed the poets, artists and educationists. So when it came to undermining the book, wow, I was in heaven.

Which brings me to the work of Tim Hopkins and his subject Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet. Tim  has a day job, but when he gets home he must work thru the night on his little Adana press. http://britishletterpress.co.uk/presses/small-presses/adana/

Tim has produced a wonderful box of prints, which may be called an artistsbook of The Book of Disquiet. https://twitter.com/halfpintpress a bk o disquietLaunched on Thursday 6th April it’s on display in the window at the Bookartbookshop  near Old Street station, London. It’s difficult to describe but it’s very beautiful. Fernando Pessoa wrote his book (never published in his lifetime) during his final days on lots of ephemera and Tim has printed Pessoa’s writings onto many ephemeral objects like beermats, pop bottle labels, stamps, pencils, lolly sticks. This is a labour of love. He did 50 boxes/copies for sale and sold out almost immediately! I bought two packs with for pieces in each and they seem to be beautifully printed but Tim’s attention to the detail of Pessoa’s writings is astonishing.

a Pessoa

Pessoa had a strange view of What’s in a name?, he invented what most of us call alter-egos but he coined the term, ‘heteronyms’ to explain his use of a myriad of ‘characters’ in his writings who spoke with different tongues and names in his work. Fernando Pessoa says ‘my habit of placing myself in the souls of other people makes me see myself as others see or would see me…’

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7816.Fernando_Pessoa

and well done Tanya for arranging the show!

By strange coincidence I had come across Pessoa’s work for the first time ever a couple of weeks before this launch at Bookartbookshop as I was doing a poetry workshop (the same night as the launch!) at the Poetry school in Lambeth led by Saradha Soobrayen:

Session 4 Pessoa Task (for Thursday 6th April): Describe and create heteronyms to unlock hidden parts of your writing…

Pessoa’s on his term ‘heteronyms’. “A pseudonymic work,” he explained in a 1928 article, “is, except for the name with which it is signed, the work of an author writing as himself; a heteronymic work is by an author writing outside his own personality: it is the work of a complete individuality made up by him, just as the utterances of some character would be.”

Now you know my tendency to undermine don’t you? I’ll finish this blArt with my own slight consternation at Pessoa’s notion that a writer can, ‘write outside his own personality’? I tend to agree with this comment from the goodreads link above, that Pessoa wrote from 4 differing aspects of himself. ‘It is sometimes said that the four greatest Portuguese poets of modern times are Fernando Pessoa. The statement is possible since Pessoa, whose name means ‘person’ in Portuguese,…’

 

 

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An idjet suckseeds!

At last I did ma Shrewd Idiot & The Three Graces gig in front of an audience (of 22+ cos some came in came out as you’re allured to do in Live Art pieces, altho one or two walked out before I began!) and I finally discovered with a little ‘elp from ma frend (see below) why I do it. At the Arnifini in Brissole in their wonderful Dark Studio. It had been suggested that nobody would have the energy nor drive to wend their way up there at 5pm on an afternoon but beautifully every available seat was filled and the witnesses seemed quite attentive, nay near mesmerised.

at BABE 2017 crowd GREAT sm

Much to my delight, as I had practised the ting and planned it over so many weeks without knowing if I’d be talking to myself alone on the day. I wantu thank my friend Dave who was first to say how much work it needed just six days before the event. Then my friends Max, Linda, Christine & Tom who said it really needed some big changes just five days before the event. I applied their advices. Christine did a lovely print & fold job on some words for me to hand out as folk arrived from which I read my ‘intro’ before I began the real ting.

Three old college mates came and it was wonderful to see them. Each of them features in ma big new deluxe book The Shrewd Idiot based on my thoughts & activities at St Luke’s College Exeter between 1969-73. My mate Gus was joined by his daughter Hannah who also does Performance Art and wasn’t even born in the time the books are about!

Tanya came to see what my fuss was all about. I’d like to thank them all for coming as well as all the other folks who came along. The gathered presence really inspired me to rise out of my fears and let the whole ting ting along well and it seems they all enjoyed it, especially the ones I mentioned above.

So what happened?

a PAPete shows Ahed Sees sm

First I shewed ma 3 new books (quickly as I was told this gig should last just 15 minutes).

a PK reeds da poem

Then I read from Christine’s handout.

a PAPete68 mask BEST sm

Then I got into character for the first few movements. The mask was taken from a painting I did back in 1968 which was exhibited in Burnley Artists Annual summer show that year. It was a face which represented the 17-18 year old me-myself-I, which is what the books appear to be about. It is also the first page of the Shrewd Idiot book printed on Zander’s Translucent paper so you see the title page beyond it as a sort of palimpsest. There’s 10 images on Zander’s Translucent in the deluxe A3 version each of which brings a palimpsest quality. For me it is a metaphor which signifies that life is not just what we can see and touch, there’s lots of other ‘stuff’ behind the veil. The painted face becomes another form of veil too, my mask. I always work on hunches in most all of my creative endeavours. I had a hunch these masks would be powerful, and they were, or should I say, ARE. I hope to have many opportunities to use them again and in fact I hope to make some 3D wraparound masks for future appearances as Apulhed & The Shrewd Idjit.

I did a couple of crazy dances meant to show what a ‘wild one’ I was when I left ma home toon to find ma way in th’world. The ting got serious when I told them I’d found a new girlfriend (Rose) but (rather carelessly) lost her at the bus stop. Van D. Man brought me a Beautiful Vision of her. After I lost her Lady Gaga had me howling at the moon in my doldrums.

apul 73 prays BRILL sm

Suddenly, out of No-where, came a Stranger with an apple-shaped head and he seemed to want to help me. But he was a new arrival on this plane and he was somewhat perplexed by the sad things mankind does to humankind. He almost set off back to whence he came without giving me (and you) the benefit of his shrewd wisdom. When I did my first ever Performance Art gig using his visage on masks in Exeter in 1973 he seemed to see a shaft o’light thru the haze and so he stays but he said, ‘Man must mend his ways, starting with YOU!’

Then Van sang Warm Love bringing back memories of the time we had together, a memory I chased and tried to cling on to. But I returned to my old wild ways, by now I was making a Cry For Love, aided by Iggy & Bowie’s song and ma new mask.

a PAPete coxie begs sm

I’d almost given up hope when this beautiful woman (Camellia) arrived and gave me a present I didn’t really deserve which Iggy Pop told the story of.

Camellia also brought her highly intelligent rational skills with her which I celebrate with The Waterboy’s song Whole of the Moon. Sadly I couldn’t keep hold of Camellia at the time and I was on the road again alone and missing her.

apulama implores sm

Once again after the moon enter Apulhed-man.

a PAPete in hat glances sm

This time lifting me up onto a higher plane where I was again joined by Van. He sings about being a Dweller on the Threshold, I tip toe across the burning ground and kneel down by the water where the lovely song about spirit leads me away, to delve into the mystic. “I looked at the swim and I dived right in!”1 apulama astoundin electric DARKA sm

To find the truth you got to look inside.

apulama & me contemplates sm

Meditation helps you to do that.

a apulswalo outlineI actually had picked up the wrong mask for my final fling so my Apul-Swallow mask insisted he be photographed outside of the Arnolfini as a goodbye gesture.

a beautiful winners + stars in ma eyes sm

And all my friends came too…

The feedback has been good too. One friend said he remembered that I always liked to dance, another said she thought I danced beautifully which came as a pleasant surprise. My old mate from Enfield said ma gig was ‘…very moving and affecting…’

This was also what ‘James the tech’ in the Dark Studio said, ‘I was strangely moved by it.’ I am so pleased that it came over that way.

The Enfield Man (EMan) later wrote me saying, “…we had a chat afterwards about your performance and books and we reckoned that, based on what we saw, your books together with the performance was the best thing that we saw at the event. What you did, in my opinion, was to say, “look artists’ books are really different“…they are not just books with the limited and specialist vernacular that goes with the production of a “book” for a literary audience …artists’ books are a completely separate art form. Your performance really adds to your books as works of art. ” Also- “…The Shrewd Idiot book has a wonderful feel and special value attached to it just from a “laying on of hands” point of view…”

That’s exactly what I hoped I would achieve in my works, altho’ it has not been easypeasy. Sometimes I have wondered whether I been forever Barking up the wrong trees, ‘Am a long way from home (my comfort zone). How did I get here?’ It is so gratifying that am getting such lovely reinforcing comments.

ps I am working on a smaller version A4-ish) of The Shrewd Idiot which should have much of the ‘feel & look’ of the bigger (A3-ish) deluxe version but will be a tiny proportion of its cost.

Talking about ‘the feel & special value’ of real books my downunder friend Fiona Dempster did a blog – https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15b43ee869fd87b2 on th’smell of the buk.

This coincided with my friend (who I met at BABE four years ago!) Susan at Bound’s tweet: https://twitter.com/boundbyhand/status/850335549034561537

An Incredible Coincidence

Ma next blArt will be about the poet Pessoa and my being caught between Bookartbookshop & The Poetry School on Thursday 6th April.

The 3 Graces meet Appleheadman.

ahed swallow mask gn sm

Let me explain some of the characters who will play a part in my Live Art gig The Shrewd Idiot & The Three Graces with guest star Appleheadman at the Arnolfini on Saturday 1st April at 5pm in the Dark Studio on level2 during the bi-annual meet of The Bristol Artists’ Book Event (BABE) 2017.

First let me explain why I do such things which keep keeping me far out of my comfort zone as every one that I do gives me lots of challenge. This time I am doing it to bring my new book series to life, literally! I have just finished creating 3 new books which centre on the life I was put through from 1969-73 between three beautiful places in England; my home town Burnley, my college town Exeter and my summer vacation town Bournemouth. The subject of the books is threefold; growing up, becoming a fully-fledged creator and my ‘affairs’ with three beautiful women. My books ram 4 years into 125 @ A3 sheets, my PerformanceArtPiece (PAP) rams 4 years into 15 minutes! Easy-Peasy.

I love making books, by which I mean the whole process from concept thru writing, image adding, layout, control of print, bind and materials. I love doing the PAPs. I been doing books & PAPs since 1972 and hope to go on a long time cos I have a big back catalogue of material awaiting production.

a wrap pete & jamie2
Enter a caption

That’s me in the batter hat with Jamie Burr in a wig during a gig at IPA 2015 photo by Jurgen Fritz

It is useless doing beautiful books if nobody gets to hear about them nor ‘gets’ what has gone into them so I have upped my Live Art side by exposing myself to a 10 days PA session with IPA in 2015. That gave me insight into what folk are doing and where my limited skills fitted in. It also unharnessed my latent penchant for making a fool of myself.

a-cover-embossed-a4-right-side-view-sm

Which brings me to the main character in my new PAP, The Shrewd Idiot (Th’S.I.). Some folk may have the mistaken notion that it’s me but it can’t be cos am not that shrewd! Th’S.I. thinks he can mime, dance, do poems, dress up and no doubt he’ll turn up next Saturday.

3 graces
The 3 Graces; Bluebell, Rose & Camellia.

The Three Graces were 3 unsuspecting women who thought the guy they met at the disco was not just a great dancer but also kind & considerate. By the end of the book they all have seen the mistake they made and slung their hooks (at the SI!).

Appleheadman, an ‘alien type’ [never said what dimension he or it’s from, actually it emanates of course from my sub-conscious but I believe that store taps into other things which we don’t really understand], who was shocked at some ‘human’ behaviours when he first saw them. Then as he studied humans he saw they also had good habits too like Rock music, Beano comics Football. These areas are some that I covered with illustrations that I created to place inside some screenprinted heads of Appleheadman back in 1972, the prints were all individual at about A1 size and formed into a concertina book. Until recently print cost would have been astronomical so I never did a smaller version for public consumption but now colour print has become a reachable price and I have made 50 copies at c. A5 size which are ‘perfect bound’ with a little embossed stamp on the cover and a mirror inside.

I hope to find time & space to show my books to those of you interested in ma books at BABE. I’m bringing a ‘view copy’ of The SI book and the only copy of PK 1968-73 along with lots of copies of Appleheadman Sees hot off the press last Tursday.

I hope you can make it.

Namaste

Pete

If you like this blArty bit there’s 2 more o ma blogs yez needs to peruse about ma new buks and the next gig:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/wonderful-breaking-news-about-the-book/

&

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/an-announcement-on-world-book-day/

See ya there!

Artist’s Book marmalises its maker!

 

I almost stoved my head in with my Artist’s Book, The Shrewd Idiot!

You are going to have to suspend disbelief in my idiocy when I divulge this tale of woe, you won’t belive me but believe me it is true. And I cannot for the life in me understand why I got myself into the situation where I (only) damaged my nose.

Let me explain:

You know I am like a dog with a bone when it comes to achieving the impossible, I don’t give up, as witnessed by the final completion of my tome The Shrewd Idiot. It’s arrival came after a journey of 40 odd years. During that time the (proposed) ‘book’ took on several different forms; the original ‘journals’ written by hand (often drunk) in exercise books and scraps of paper, the longhand 400 page 1st draft, the typescript, the physically cut & paste edited typescript, before the selected 200 pages being scanned then re-edited and layed out in the past 2 years. That Quark version was then transferred to pdfs and printed at my printers.

Several of the forms were recently housed in a pink box (pink was cheaper) with the intention of being archived and left for the foreseeable future now the book was finalised. The box + contents weighs 10 kilos (1 ½ stone!).

1 pink box + measures sm

You may ask what’s so dangerous about a box which weighs 10 kilos? Nothing. That is unless it’s in the charge of an Idiot. All my life I kept folk guessing which aspect of my character was the dominant type, the shrewd, or the idiot (idjet from now on, I like the sound better). Even I was never sure cos when I did something special which obviously proved the shrewd was apt I’d step in some animal dropping or a pigeon would crap on my anorak. BUT NOW IT’S OFFICIAL! The Idjet rules. How do I know?

Well afore I tells yeez I wantu show yers some of the stuff in the box, just to prove am a real writer bloke, as well as a artisbloke which you alredi knows abArt. So here’s the box open with the stuff showing, manuscrips of different varieties.

1SI stuff pink box sm

And below is some of the handwrit script. I know it reads like a load of old cobblers but that bit’s out of context…he says.

1 a s i hanritt p palimpsest sm

And here’s a sample of the cut & pasted version

1 si c&p in pink box sm

And here’s one image and a letter which got into the final book:

1 sibike mein pink box sm

With all that stuff it’s no wonder it took me 40 odd years to get it ready for print!

But none of this is ought to do with how I nearly stoved ma heed in.

That came about because, as you know, I am a bit stubborn.

tap bristan

To cut a longer story shorter I was trying to put a new washer into a bathroom tap because that tap were dripping. Simple job (in the old days), just get a new washer, and fit it. Done. Not nowadays. I went to a plumber’s merchant to get a washer and the guy said, ‘Here Pete have two new taps and just fit em both and job done.’ So I began to take the tap off BUT, the damned nut was (still is) grafted tight and secured onto the tap AND WON’T BUDGE. I bought an ‘adjustable basin back nut wrench for taps’ for about 25£. Easy peasy, but no, not Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Damned ting wouldn’y budge. So I bought a ‘Monument basin wrench’ and Easy peasy, but no not Easy peasy lemon squeezy, still dint work.

2 renches

I got my mate Dave to hold the tap and we exerted superhuman force, still dint work. So I got WD40 sprayed it and left it and got my son what’s as big as a big thing in and together, nothing, no Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Damned ting still wouldn’y budge. So we decide to call a plumber BUT unbeknowns to ma son and her indoors I was not going to be beaten because I had a ruse. All it needed were a little more WD40 and a special technique I’d been told works every time. So, when everyone was out (that’s important) I started looking for a real heavy thing (I know, a pink metal box full of book stuff what weighs 10 kg will do because it’s so big & bulky it couldn’t possibly slip thru the gap and hit me on the bonce) which would be wedged on the top of the sink and would stop the darned tap turning on itself, in fact would lock it and then I’d be under the sink (?) with me trusty basin wrench and Bob’s yer uncle man!

a sink stp

I don’t quite understand why I needed to be under the sink, maybe it were becos a friend had loaned me a torch so I could look up and see the nut as I wrenched it and of course the pink metal box would be too big & bulky to slip thru the gap.

a sink stp fr below

So there I were under the sink trying to turn the wench and taking the precaution to look up to ensure the pink box hadn’t slipped and tried to squeeze thru the impossible gap and then I thought I need to get a metal bar to get more torque on the wrench wench and I were about to git up an gerrit and almighty crash and pink box full of Shrewd Idiot stuff came crashing onto ma heed. Luckily, cos I done karate and have a strong nose like my dad I fended it off with me arm and let ma nose take most of the blow. Then I waited, to see if I was still alive, yes, good for that first test, are you unconscious? No I think am conscious because I can see the blood. The blood which is bursting out of my nose and running onto the mat at the base of the sink and the pink box is still on me head, bloody hell that’s heavy, why didn’t I find summat lighter like a few bricks?

ma dosey nose

Now am in trouble, her indoors is sure to notice ma dose is bigger and has a big old scar on it and can I get the blodd off of the carpet and look there’s some on me pink box, has it damaged ma manuscrips? which I don’t really need, so why don’t yu throw em away ya tart! Well am keeping them in case I need em int’ future like.

So I can see the headlines now, “Artist’s Book kills Author Artisbloke” and ‘PK once known as The Shrewd Idiot has been confirmed as just, The Idjet after being knocked into Kingdom Come by the book he had gently nurtured for over forty years. He tweeted from Kingdom Come, ‘If that’s the way the tome repays all my care and intention then I won’t ever spend forty years on a book again, never never no not ever’.

Watch out for me on the BBC Breakfast show on BBC TV! Well everyone who brings out a book, a cd, a tour etc gets allowed on it don’t they, and on the One Show, so expec to see me there too. One week it’s that lad what dives from the high boards (Tom Daily) doing a cookery book then it’s  that bloke wit the big old beard (Raggy Boney Men) what’s only Human and today it were Gary Brooker frum Procul Harem on Steve Wright in th’aftermoon! and now it’s my turn. I’m nearly human Afterall…or is that Afterthought?

 

my caricatures old & Knew

crumps-hairflying
my rework of last week’s cover of Time mag

I have to thank all the folks who visit my blArts and have to tell you that a tweet I did this week has made a mark in Tweetland! It’s ‘viral’ for any of my stuff! here’s some info:

pete kennedy @petekennedy5  Feb 17@Bonn1eGreer here’s a variation on th Time cover Bonnie! @ChiaraAmbrosio the man is a menace blame the USA voting process, we move same way? pic.twitter.com/IvbiUfxi2j {Clik to see the tweet! may need ctrl + clik

In one day (Sat 18.2.2017) 4,572 (number of times viewers saw this twit)

347 ‘interactions’

7.6% (of 4,572) ‘engaged’ with the tweet

Prior to this activity, related to my re-framing an appropriation of this week’s Time mag cover image of a noisy man purportedly elected to head one of the world’s noisiest countries my ‘organic impressions’ on twitter averaged about one a week!

The man who I believe ‘the man is a menace’ was of course a totally ludicrous figment of my imagination (because if I invented him nobody would take me seriously would they) called Bonard Crump. IF fame is what am after I’d do lots more caricature, wouldn’t I?

apulscreem-2017-nix-mao-sm
my Valentine this year with all ma love

Talking caricatures I did one of Nixon meets Mao [which you can see in my new (facsimile) book based on some screenprints I did. I don’t expect this to go viral cos they’re both unable to do any more damage cos they’re dead, not just brian dead!] in 1972 called Appleheadman Sees. I had created Appleheadman (aka Apulhed) in Bournemouth in the previous summer after which I spent 3 months in Tregony near Truro in Cornwall so it was not until 1972 when I returned to college in Exeter that I was able to embark on my first ‘serious’ art project using the personage. I wanted to imagine what the human condition may appear like to an entity from ‘somewhere else’, say, another planet or dimension. And it didn’t appear good. Funny, a little later in 1976 Nicholas Roeg (don’t worry am NOT saying I influenced Roeg, he lived down under and was out of reach of my activities in Exeter!)  did his take on alien visitation starring another alien, the late wonderful David Bowie. https://www.timeout.com/london/film/the-man-who-fell-to-earth

I shall be in Bristol on April 1st at BABE in the Arnolfini (5pm in the Dark Studio)  where those who can get there will be able to see Appleheadman Sees and of course my new Shrewd Idiot book in its deluxe version. I shall be doing my Performance Art Piece (PAP), a 15 minute ‘gig’ wherein I shall try to represent all the issues in the work of my college days…phew, that’ll be easy…won’t it? Well am working on th’music for it now, and the dance, and the masks, and the costumes etc

a new ‘Shrewd Idiot’ book

Here’s a sighting of ma new Shrewd Idiot book during the binding at Sullivan & Son.

1st-sighting-sans-cover-sm

It’s A3 size, that’s with two A4 type-written (By Jill nee Williams in the late 1970s) sheets on each page. There are 13 ‘big’ images at A3 size potted thru the script along with lots oif little doodles and some nice images dropped into the typed pages. There’s lots of alterations and corrections through the document because it was originally meant to be a manuscript to attract a publisher deal. In the 1970s the publisher would take this document and hand it to the typesetter who would follow the instructions which I had put over the type and any which were added by the publisher. This ‘manuscript’ was never intended for public consumption hence the need at one point to go through and change all names when I thought maybe I’d self-publish as a normal book which would be typed into a modern form where all the corrections and changes could be implemented so the viewer never see them. However, I decided not to have it re-typed, that would have made my job a lot easier so it was a must to avoid, NO, better to really really struggle with the original typed pages, scan them in then alter them as required in photoshop then design the layout in Quark (I know, Quark is so out of vogue now and it’d be much easier in Indesign, so I stuck with Quark, you know me.

So, there we have it, the book is now printed and with my binders who have now debossed the actual cover cloth with my little drawing of the Shrewd Idiot pushing his barrow of books, well one BIG tome anyway!

a-cover-embossed-a4-right-side-view-sm

This red image is only half the cover, it sits to the right hand side of the cover making it look like the fool is pushing his barrow off the book.

Everything about the book is not exactly what it seems at first glance. It looks like a story about a young bloke who left his home town and travelled as far away as he could to get an education and how he was initiated into all those things young fellas need to be initiated into. But it’s not about that at all. It’s about awakening, awakening of consciousness and the acquisition of skill to carry the revelations that an awakened consciousness finds in a pretty uninterested world. By the end of the book the idiot has a lot of disappointing outcomes but they are just more revelations about how hard life can be especially when you have a penchant for making life difficult or finding the hard way to do the easy things.

In the end the book is not about that fella back in the early 1970s, it’s about his older version now in his mid-sixties and how he never gave up on his dream of showing folk the quality of what he found in all those initiations and revelations and how it took more than forty years to bring them out in a public format. You’ll see as soon as you open it that it is not what you thought it was as the opened book shows, it has a beautiful feel to it and again that’s an acquired sensibility from over 40 years of continuous effort and striving to achieve.

And the best is yet to come because this is just number one in a whole series of publications which this guy has been preparing over the past. But there’ll be no more quite like this, I’ll find easier ways to do the design and layouts. Watch this space.

apulscreem-2017-black-on-wite-sm
the original face of Apulhed when he saw mankind’s inhumanity all over the planet Earth

The book plus a sister publication of 37 A3 images should be available by the end of February 2017 and hopefully a facsimile publication of the famous concertina ‘book’ called ‘Appleheadman Screams’ which I did in 1972. Nothing has changed, the things he screamed about are still going on…and on…and on. Apulhed shows a perturbed visage but he won’t accept the original face of Apulhed when he saw mankind’s inhumanity all over the planet Earth, he decide that rather than flee this realm he will stayy to spread happiness and compassion, slowly but surely he knows that humankind will return to peace.

I am doing a launch Performance Art piece at the Arnolfini during the BABE book event on Saturday 1st April. Watch out cos that’s not what it seems either, whereas if you can get to it you’ll see what looks like a Clickerti-Clix year old bloke prancing about with words and masks and dad-dancing (not! I do Zumba once a week don’t you know), it’s really an introduction to the Shrewd Idiot book with all its ins and outs. More about that in my next blog.

Rainbows

Rainbows

Real & Imaginary Rainbows in MY life.

a-rainbow-from-oor-chimbley-161016

This one is a few days old when I photo’d it emanating from ma chimbley early one morning.

a-rainbow-1949

This was about the year I got borned, it was released c.Dec 1949, I wer popped oot Oct1950.

I love old comic books. Tiger Tim was great but my personal fave was Toby Twirl. The illustrators were the first great artists I was ever aware of. I was lucky as my parents could not afford to buy me them so I yearned so much to have them that nowadays, when I see them in various shops, I try to buy them. I keep on forlornly hoping that the skills will rub off on me, am still waiting. Of course I’d never do a ‘comic’ comic like they were but I do intend to re-visit my 1976 ‘graphic-novel’ Applehead Lives during 2017 and re-do it using the skills and technologies am still picking up along my merry way.

 

Performance Art Life Changer a year ago now:

 

Today I want to take you back a year to 2015 from 12 to 24th of October when I was on a lifetime best experience in any form of art that I have ever involved with.

Workshops run by Jurgen Fritz (‘JFr’) alongside others by Vest & Page (‘VanP’), which ran simultaneously, changed my approach to my Performance Art (PA). I doubt I shall ever come across such good quality inspiration again in this life. JFr and VanP were great team leaders and their respective teams were packed with people from around the world, many of whom had considerably good PA to bring to the 12 days of intensive workshops and actual PA gigs around Bristol; market, harbour and art gallery. I was privileged to both witness and participate in it and what I learned there fed into my PA part in Firstsite’s PA Day in November 2015.

The sessions gave me confidence to pick up my PA from where it had arrived and lift it to new height. It’s not for me to say how good or bad my output is, that I’ll leave for you & others to decide, but my 3 mentors gave me a will to carry on and carry out my PA with a renewed determination to be original, different and also to pay tribute to others who have gone before inspiring my work.

So today I am going to talk and show about some of the performance art I saw there done by some of my fellow participants. Altho’ I love all three of them I’m not going to talk about JFr and V&P cos you can find their work by just googling em. See- http://www.veniceperformanceart.org/index.php?page=255&lang=en

I’d like to go into some detail on Anna Kosarewska, Jamie Burr & Carol Montealegre, (I’ll get round to doing a blArt on Debbie Guinan and Robert Hardaker a little further in the future. )

All the photos were taken by and © Jurgen Fritz 2015 unless otherwise stated.

 

Anna Kosarewska,

Anna did some real beautiful PA during our time doing the course. Her best piece brought us all to tears as she commemorated several friends who had been killed during the invasion of her home country recently. PA can be a most powerful way of bringing issues into the public domain. Everything she did she did with consummate grace and care often covering her face with cloth or some other material.

anna-graspin

I loved the piece she did in the harbour on the rail track in which she used little toy soldiers. At one time her presence nearly caused some of the local workmen to have heart attacks when she refused to move from the track and a train was approaching albeit at a very slow pace, but it didn’t seem ready to halt, and she was lifted to safety by two of IPA’s organisers Eva & Fay.

anna-close-up

On Saturday evening she did some acts balancing glasses filled with water and walking dreamlike around the stairs.

Jamie Burr,

Jamie did some very moving pieces. His gig with bales of hay and a pitchfork on the harbour was gripping but best of all was his one done in the garden at Dunden where he covered himself in sloshy mud and threw water on himself from glass jars. I know that sounds stupid but it was quite incredible. Reality was suspended and I became one with a strange world Jamie established between the field and a willow den. He had set up about seven jars filled with water. About 200 metres from the den he had buckets with mud paste in them which he applied liberally to his naked body. Then he ran, followed by the whole lot of PA participants and leaders, to the den.

jamie-in-buket

He entered it and sat inside a few minutes, then picked up one jar, walked out of the den and doused himself and walked back in and sat again and did it again and again until the jars were empty and steam was rising from his limbs when he ran into the building to shower and dress himself again.

jamie-steamin

Carol Montealegre,

carol-blak
Thursday 22nd October 14:00-16:00, Castle Park Artists Alba Murcia (Spain) Nicole Murmann (Switzerland) Oozing Gloop Ye Olde (UK) Taz Burns (UK) Bojana Videkanic (Canada) Pete Kennedy (UK) Andrea Greenwood (UK) Jolanda Jansen (Netherlands) Carol Andrea Montealegre Pinzón (Colombia)

Carol at Castle Park

Carol comes from Colombia, she brought some exquisitely lovely PA ideas with her. She had these ideas like using twigs which I have seen being used by some of the big names but Carol had a special touch of her own. I loved her use of black face paint, lace on garments, leather so much so that I began to use it myself- face paint that is and my first use happened to be black (it would have been gold if I’d not first painted a Zorro mask on!) in my Zorro & Beuys+Dead Woodpecker-poem PA at Firstsite last November.

a-pete-electric-eyes

This photo were taken by Priscila Buschinelli (look at the eyes!)

a-carol-cleaning-2Photo by Pete Kennedy

But I didn’t look as good as Carol, no way. I loved the piece she did one evening as it turned dark where she blacked up and that made her teeth and eyes really stand out. She used black balloons too

(like Alastair MacLennan did, see

http://www.veniceperformanceart.org/index.php?page=186&lang=en )

but with much more beauty. Carol had brought along small props which she would drop into each of her pieces with aplomb.carol-an-jamiewriting in Arnolfini lift

 Influencers of my own work.

Alfred Jarry, G I Gurdjieff, e e cummings, Kenneth Patchen, Ken Campbell are some of my biggest influences, if I can call them that. Then there’s dances by Michael Stipe of REM and Tim Booth of James, plus Samuel T Herring of Future Islands, all of which I love.

I love the way Picasso, Topolski and Japanese Zen Masters draw in front of folk.

Masks from other cultures and my own creations in the past. These are a few of my favourite tings which you’ll see pop up in ma new PA gigs. I have been told I can do 10 minutes at the next BABE book fair in Bristol’s Arnolfini gallery in April 2017 so watch this space for development.

I shall be:entering with attitude, dancing like an Idiot wearing a Tea Cosy, drawing on the zen master’s, wearing a new Shrewd Apulhed mask and costume and, if yez aks him nice & kindly he, may do a gentle, meditative dance and do an Apul-zen* drawing himself. I am going to ask some of my friends at Benton Hall to help with the choreography.

I like the possibilities! I have also gotten a new take on my old frend Apulhed. Someone in Ghana has ‘borrowed’ the idea of Apulhed and produced lots of T shirts and tings thus illegally tampering with my copyrights. I created Apulhed way back and reserve the right to call it mine. Similarly I am now creating new ideas to play with in my ‘Apul’zone, so leaf them alone.

APULZeD

&

APULRah to Yah

©pete kennedy 2016

 Finally I saw more rainbows on my horizons:

  1. I received a (for this blArty Space) very rare ‘comment’ – see below.
  2. My previous blArty bit was my 200th.
  3. wordpress kindly informed me I have now had 200 ‘likes’, that, even with my simple math brain, is an average of one per blArt! I have always loved coincidence & synchronistic occurence and the conjunction of the fact that I had posted 200 and had exactly 200 likes is just too much.