Category Archives: dreams

Oh Bee Joy-full.

Oh Bee Joy-full.

a jugman in a jug

Life is but the cosmic blink of an eye so bee

Joyful rather than Sadfull

Succinct rather than verbose

Small rather than massive

Sweet rather than sour

Rejoice rather than whinge

Happy rather than mad

Simple rather than complex

Beauty rather than ugliness

Light rather than heavy

Smile rather than frown

Bright rather than dull

Most all of my working life I did deep & complex cos (in my weakness) I associated simple with shallow. NOW I see that less is at least as good as more, maybe even better/best in our ‘modern’ world with its rush of values and change (we are as the native Amerindians, the Hopi People said, Koyanisquatsi- out of balance, with many tings. The danger with a life of learning is you try to cram all your discoveries into all that you do when there is a need to be more precise. Bee Succinct.

As I said in an earlier blArt

I don’t do failure

If I don’t succeed I try again and again

Until I breakthrough

This is evidenced in my lifework

See ‘about’ at top of my blArt post

or this

BUT be warned

It is only a brief scan of where I shewed

And some comments on books I done

It leaves out major aspecs

My oils

Ma prints

Me teaching careering

And it fails to communicate the beauty

And pertinacity

Of my output in all its forms

Which should be seen in good spaces

Heard in special places

Even the ugerli bits

Like my ‘dance’ and ‘talk’

(he says tinking he’s only jesting).

I have begun werk on my new/old buk, The Shrewd Idiot Altered

‘And he saw that it was good’

Here’s a littul poster, a taster, a signifier of what you’re going to see:

ad potentially for Alterd SI sm

On a totally diffrunt note, ‘BoooonG’

I see Anthony Roberts has taken the reins at Firstsite

I believe he is the one to do the job

With his incredible track record at ColArts Centre and his knowledge of the local field(s)

Here he is rexscuing dames outside the place on St Gorgeous’s Day

three horses of the Firstsite List sm sm

ta to my mate Ian Woollard of Tamworth, Exeter and Dorchester fame for the bee photograph!

At the risk of being ridiculed

I know some parties who read this will look upon my suggestion as an object fit for only ridicule, I am writing this piece and am asking for a BIG space in a gallery to show my work from the past 48 years. It is going to be a BIG exhibition as I have enough output to fill a gallery… (like First Site* in Colchester for example).

But my aim is not specific to First Site, no I want to be shown at BIG galleries in major cities too. I don’t mind smaller galleries and I have done about 25 solo exhibitions since 1977. I understand their (the ‘established’ places) problem, it also applies to commercial galleries like those in Cork St., you don’t get a look in unless you and your work tick some boxes, many boxes like; right college, saleability, reputation, articles about you, fame, and you know all the rest. I happen to not tick any boxes and have made it a mission to untick any that were ticked. I am an old fashioned player. Some trendys would say I am a Modernist and the same folk would say this is the Post-Modern era, well listen, it’s not, ask Wil Self who will tell you it’s too soon to change the name.wil an gabr wil an gabr2

And to place the word ‘post’ in front of anything is rather lame; Post Impressionist, Post Structuralism, Post Haste, Post Card, it doesn’t change anything, at least they were more imaginative early 20th century; Fauvism, pointillism, Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism but all of them are really part of Modernism as is post modernism and Modernism is the era that followed Classicism, the latter going on for thousands of years.

I believe an artist, with a brush, with a ball, with a voice, etc has to be individual, original and be saying things few if any have already said in ways that others would not imagine to say them in. Well, I tick all those boxes BUT, nobody except people with imagination and independent choosing can see the quality in my work, and there’s not many like that in the gallery world, is there?

Martha Graham, the woman who helped develop ‘modern’ ballet out of the old style ballet, said, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this experience is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost”. I have been aware of that for many of my 64 years and maybe that’s why I have always carried the torch for ‘art’, or rather my particular version of the arts which I developed thru years of study, hard work, experiment, getting out there and showing it, putting it into my books and all. I am happy, like Blake (Wm., always William, only William is worthy of the name!), I know my work is unique, unicorn, one corn, corny, crazy like O’Dorkey. But I’m not your ‘normal’ artist, or anyting for that matta, (Matta is anudda great artis) I am ‘off the wall’ (well maybe that’s why they wouldnie hang you on the wall at all?) My arts never fitted no box no never not at all. even when at school learning my trade I zoomed thru taking on influences, devouring them; Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse, Soutine, D D Watkins Scarfe.

mags dots

 my fauve sister c. 1968

I had more than one ‘style’, I had the painterly bit after heroes like El Greco, Rembrandt, and Grunewald, then I had the comic pArt after Steve Ditko and e Jeffries e jeffreys toby twirl

Even when I went ‘full time’ artistbloke tween 1976 – 81 the arts council wallers couldn’t fathom where I wer coming frae nor going to, I even had writing in my locker and that wasn’t allowed in ‘art’. Yet early on my talent was recognised by David Wild, Quentin Bell, Ruskin Spear and the Principal of Birmingham College of art who on assessing my Bachelor’s stuff in June 1973 said I should consider applying there for an MA. AS I wer £80 overdrawn, a lot in those days, I took a job teaching and got drawn in to that gulf. I decided to follow my own canoe down the rapids of my life and never had time to court the galleries and forgot about the MA. Sadly I waited 40 years then chose to do it at a college with issues and without facilities and vision of how to treat ‘adults’. But I met David Jury there and also became acquainted with the world of artists books which in many ways leap frogs the ‘art world/gallery’ fields and as most of my ideas will go into books albeit some will have to be a bit big I can live with that.

I am an original and the trouble is if you are the first to do it ‘this’ or ‘that’ way, few will ‘get’ what you’re on about and most will call you a madman, or woman if you are the other gender. Which brings in the agenda, yes there is and always has been an agenda. The modern ‘art-world-market’ started in a gradual stunted way with a few proprietors trying it out with artists like Gauguin. A crop of gallerists opened in France (Ambroise Vollard , Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler Léopold Zborowski) and they sold works and this spread to other countries and it caught on. Some of the early artists didn’t tick the boxes but the world was young. Gradually some became ‘established’ and one of the boxes had to be you were ‘established’. BUMPH that cuts out the majority of us artists, don’t ya. (Actually, I am established but only in a small field, actually it’s not even a field, it’s a shelf tucked away on the end of Wigan Pier) And how do you get ‘established’? You have to be chosen. Of course this choosing goes further back, back past Josh Reynolds and further back to les Louis the Kings of France (they were all called Louis for a while til that one was topped, then it stopped. So Picasso was chosen by Gertrude Stein. Etcetera. Etcetera Etcetera

You can see a record of what I did (mostly my writing and shows, not my artworks), over the years at:


*First Site is a much maligned landmark gallery with wonderful potential STILL which this county of Essex England needed for decades and now it has been opened the folk of the local area have taken a very poor opinion of it. This is mostly because of the fiasco over its build which should now just be a historical fact rather than a vendetta against the people who run it. I have spoken up about the gallery and the work it has already done. I even applied to be an associate artist but didn’t get selected. I wrote a small article which got published in a magazine about arts from Cambridge called Venue putting a very positive light on the gallery. Yet I know for sure they would never see me as an artist worthy of a major show, or any show for that matter. They have a view that only internationally recognised artists, even if totally obscure to the local population, are worthy of hanging on their walls. And that is very sad especially when there are several colleges within 25 miles with many people involved in art. I, who am steeped in art and who taught it to almost every age from 0-90, have learned a lot from the shows at First Site. They’ve had some great shows and some great talks, but not a lot of people attend them, partly cos many would feel threatened by the attitude that seems to prevail. There’s an aloofness, a separateness, a communication-less-ness. The space has rarely felt welcoming. They are revamping it right now, I hope the revamp leads to a better atmosphere and that it becomes a popular place, like Tate Modern did when it opened, a fact which was by no means guaranteed.


ps I don’t mind if I never get another venue to show at cos it’s quite hard work showing.

pps I forgot, that’s an age thing, no it’s not.


Poym of the week


I shud av gon far

Wid my repertoire

In my old car

(Twer a ford Pop-(u)-lar)


Burri got stuk in th’moat

In a ricketi boat

And am barely afloat

Tanks to a singer of note-s

Cos that’s wat he wrote


His name you can’t guess

The the ansa to thes

His name is not Jess

(This poym is a mess)


I’ll let him fini the res-t

The clue’s in the the

Why I say it in jes-t

Will u pass the test



Here’s a couple o dames who nearly gave up, listen in:

Anselm’s alchemy: Books of lead fly in the R.A.

keif bukbird merged

flying lead  books

If you glance upwards as you climb the stairs in the RA you’ll see books made of lead seeming to lift off under wings of lead. That, is, MAGIC! And it continues thru Keifer’s show in which he transforms lead into gold leaf, makes an horrific mantrap look like a spider.

 a trap

[editor’s note- Sorry, that’s the best I can do, I cannot find an image of the painting cos a little SS-Oberaufseherin, Miss ‘More then me job’s Worth’, came and stopped me taking photos and I cannot find it on the web. I detest the policy some galleries have, most in fact, of prohibiting photos, music & theatre do it too. It’s counter-productive. The more folk can see the stuff the more folk are invited to go see it ‘in the flesh’^ see foot o post.]

But she couldn’a prevent me from drawing the damned tings

a mantrap colord

L’Origine du monde, pencil sketch by PK after AK 19.11.14

  a Kiefer pyramid

 In ‘Sand from the Urns’ (from the net) he creates brick monuments from paint and sand on canvas which reminisce pyramidal monumental forms and pays tributes in them to Paul Celan*  & his lover,  Ingeborg Bachman . [* never heard of either, so I still have a lot to learn].

for celan + a jug

For Paul Celan by AK, the picture in the exhibition is a bit better than my sketch but now I have added color it looks more like the real ting (not!). aks me if I care, I don’t like Keifer’s art, I love it! And you may notice I have snuck a jug in too.

Whereas van Gogh drew in ink, Auerbach draws in paint but Keifer does both AND he draws in lead, shellac, latex, wire, sunflower as he transforms form like a magician. His translations of what makes a book are astounding to me.

Now for some images what I took at the conversation he had last Thursday morning peppered with words from Imagine Keifer

 a scales

 The artists I admire most turn out to be ‘thinkers’ like Rauschenberg, Schwitters

keifa 11sm

and of course Keifer who said , ‘Nietzsche said, “You know the philosopher has to stand, we have to dance” The scale of (my work) is the product of the dance.’

 keifa 3sm

This image shows the scale of many of Keifer’s images.

 keifa 5 points sm

Look down there at what that bloke from Burnley (who Hamburg knocked out of the European competition at the quarter finals in the 60s ha ha) has done he’s made a pictorial pun of me balancing different selves, or is that shelves, or am I being a selfish fish?

He’s re-arranging realities, make him an Academicien like what I is.

 keifa 8 balances 2 selves + color sm

‘When you are an artist you know you have to connect things in a different way. This is what artists do, they create a new connection between things’.

{^ another ed’snote, not for you if yer not into football, the beautiful game- One massive example of prohibition going wildly counter to the intent of the prohibitor is my home town football club, Burnley and the reprehensible policy of the then chairman Bob Lord, who was also a big noise on the FA. He thought if he banned the TV cameras from Turf Moor more folk would visit the ground to see live matches on match days. He was wrong. At the time Burnley were one of the top two clubs with Spurs, a fact that remained the case for several years in the early 60’s Burnley were bigger than Man U and Liverpool then! Look what happened. TV cameras do the opposite to what Lord thought, they publicize a club and folk flock to see them. Burnley faded away after Lord, in another of his marvellous decisions, sold local hero Jimmy McIlroy, to lowly second division at that time Stoke. Burnley dropped to the foot of Division 4 and nearly shot out of the league altogether whilst close rivals Man U & The Bill Shankly Pool went on to be European Champs. So if & when you come to any of my shows etc bring yer cameras!}

It’s my Blart and I’ll try if I wanna.

BlArt & BATCH Explained?

It’s a New Dawn.

I have decided to re-blog this old blart cos it sort of explains some of my ideas, where they arose and all. I am lucky to have been given a 20 minute slot at BABE in Arnolfini Bristol next April during which (4pm on the Sunday) I shall be doing one of my little ‘talks’, which are not talks at all but some form of performance. I have done that kind of thing since 1973 when I did the first Appleheadmasked-Event. I reserve the elephant of surprise so I don’t tell what am going to be doing to nobody but believe me I plan these tings well. I make it look like it just happened, but it didn’t, in fact I awoke planning the ‘talk’ fer nex April at 6am today, I don’t plan to plan it just appens. The lovely ting is, Chris Leonard, who was instrumental in getting me to do the 1973 ‘Apulhedmask-In’ has already expressed his intent to attend! Nice. I look forward to seeing you Chris.

chris leonard

However, this reblog, as there’s a lot more traffic on my blart nowadays I thought I would just let you see why it’s called my blArt. And why my book about spiritual tings is called a Batch, which in fact does no justice to the content and several people have arsked me to re-name it, which I may in a reprint.
G BATCH contains the initials of the men I call mystics inside the book, G is for Gurdjeff etc. I also like the reference to ‘batch’ which for me is a group and in digital spiel is also used for a group. Funny that. Oh and don’t worry about my ‘talk’ being too serious cos it will be, and it will be funny too, I call them seriously funny, or they’re just funny, seriously. Namaste.

apulhed tingling

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…

View original post 2,021 more words

Amalgamations and Collaborations

A week in the life of Blarty O’Dork

My Six Vessels Artists Book’s progress.
My new artist’s book, Inside This Earthen Vessel which is a re-write of the poem in my earlier book, G Batch about six men I call mystics, is nearly ready to go to press. I have set the ‘poems’ in Quark in the shape of pots or ‘vessels’ which makes them like concrete (or rather, ceramic) poems. I think I shall call them my ceramic poems. Concrete poems started by the likes of Apollinaire and Alfred Jarry are set on the page in various shapes rather than the traditional set in normal typographic layout. A friend of mine who has been big into typo for ages liked them so much that he suggested we do a collaborative publication in letterpress later on using the poems. I shall keep you posted on that progress. My version is all but completed ready for my printer to run off 50 copies, which is a mixed blessing cos I am going to be doing all the trimming and folding and that’s no easy task. Here is the first one.
Destination Dust
Dhona the Brahmin was a mendicant
monk….. Who asked Siddhartha (Gautama
Shakyamuni, Tathāgata) “Are you human, one
from Gandharva?……… Are you a god or maybe a
Yaksa?” “Brahmin everything that’s created passes.
Strive diligently into your transition, go peacefully to
ward your destination. Escape from the Spinning Wheel
of Samsara.” During dispute when Guatama passed away
Brahmin Dhona, intervening, did say….“The message of the
Blessed Buddha Is still peace & forbearance today.” Thereby
the Malla chieftans of Kusinara….. On whose soil Shakyamuni
had died. Reluctantly released the relics to be divided into eight
domains….. Thereby each claimant built a monument……Which
every time turned to rust Confirming Siddhartha’s message that
Every… thing… passes… to… ashes… and……………. dust
Up on the road near Montagnola… A Wandering Writer named
Hesse heard the tale from a Mendicant Monk…………….Then he
recounted the story to you and to me In a book which he called
Tathāgata shewed how to escape the Swamps of Samsara and
Suffering. Tathāgata said “Namaste. The Light
in me Greets the Light in thee. I Am a Buddha Brahmin,
I Am a Buddha Now.”

The ‘a’s with the little ting on top just happened, so I have left them as I really like them.
Copies of the book should be available before the end of August. In time for the Oxford ‘Wayzegoose’ book fair where I have gotten a table near my birthday in October. “ Will you still need me. Will you still feed me. When I’m sixty four? Ba bum boom, les Beatells.”
The new book has several mentions of key belief systems but it’s not any way a religious book. It’s about looking at the wonders of existence on this little globe using the insights of some men who spent their lives dedicated to trying to help human beings see more clearly, the six ‘thinkers’ (or maybe better called ‘tinkers’?) in it being:

G.iorgi Ivanovitch Gurdzhiev

B.euys Joseph
A.ngeli Silesii
T.enzin Gyatso
C.arl Gustav Jung
H.ermann Hesse

The first letters of each name give the title of my Introduction to the project in an earlier artist’s book, G Batch.I could have included others like William Blake, but my time was limited to one year to complete that project and I had to be selective. The nice ting is this new book and my collaboration both grew easily from all the work I did at the time. There is even a wider scope book in there but Thames & Hudson’s reader in ‘Spiritual’ etc books couldn’t imagine that anyone out there would buy it in big enough numbers. I believe they would, it’s just that the publishing world has little imagination, like the art world- galleries etc. I approached the Museum Of Modern Art NY with my image called variously Venus at the Stairs or Venus Stares because they own two of the images which inspired me to do that image, Schlemmer & Lichtensteins, but they send a rather rude and ignominious reply to anyone who has the temerity to approach them:
Sirs and mesdames,
at the end of April 2014 i send a package with my image of my picture to see if I could galvanise an interest on your part to buy one. I sent it by air mail to: The Museum of Modern Art
The Department of Painting and Sculpture
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
In the light of not having gotten a reply by today, 16July 2014 should i take it that your gallery has no interest?
Thank you for contacting The Museum of Modern Art.
Please note that the Department of Painting and Sculpture’s acquisition and exhibition programs are developed from within the Museum. Due to the large number of unsolicited submissions we receive, we can only respond to those which the curators express an interesting in pursuing.
The Museum of Modern Art

And from a gallery in Germany which happens to be having a Schlemmer show right now, a fact I was as usual blissfully unaware of when I suggested they buy my pic:
Dear Mr. Kennedy,
Thank you for this information on your work inspired by Schlemmer. However: as you may presume, our exhbition is already fully set and it is a retrospective on the artist Oskar Schlemmer only.
I.Conzen Kuratorin für Klassische Moderne
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

I remember back in the early 80’s on their first(?) album Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits mentioned a friend who had made it, ‘In the Gallery’. At the time I was an ‘artist-bloke’ making and teaching art and related skills and I recall thinking well am not ‘In the Gallery’ yet, maybe one day? That never happened. I’m flagging up my chagrin cos it’s no good me saying in 20 yearns time ‘Why did you not let me in?’ and you telling me you didn’t know I wanted to be considered. In fact, my old mate IEPW has reminded me that ‘galleries’ are commercial enterprises, they are never going to let anyone in who isn’t ‘recognised’ and/or in one way or another, famed. So, I am barking up the wrong tree again. They are never going to let me in, in fact my biggest claim to fame is my ‘originality’ and that my friends is exactly what they do not want. They want the things which have been tried and tested, vetted and decided upon by key decision makers like Saatchi, the money, the last ting they want is someone who is always changing tack, always searching for the new.

There are those who tell me that being in the gallery is not all it’s cracked up to be (whatever that is; being ‘seen’, bought, considered, added to the list etc). Like Lucy Lippard who started, after gaining a degree in curating (?), at Momany and spent much of her life advocating being ‘outside the gallery’, I heard her say it in a talk a year or two ago, albeit from the stage in one of London’s ‘important’ galleries.

VIP I have to correct the mistake above. Lucy has gently informed me that she got ‘just an MA in art history’ rather than curating. I had carelessly assumed her degree to be in curating from her early role at MOMA. (As you will suspect I am trying to avoid digging a deeper hole here when I say) I have only respect for Lucy and her long standing relationship within and without the world of art. I first came across her writing in relation to Eva Hesse, an artist whose work I love and of whom Lucy was a friend and advocate, I think…be careful now…take nothing for granted Pete. Since then I have studied, slightly, her work in relation to the likes of Robert Smithson and her Numbers Shows. I was lucky to listen to and draw her at the Whitechapel gallery a couple of years ago. When I say I drew her it was without her knowledge or consent as I draw folk when the institution dis-allows photography so I have a visual record of a person at an event. As you may guess visual memory is important to me.

lucy for blog 29714 smkb

I’m a sad bastad me. Sad cos I tried so hard to break through into the world ofart, I mean you gotta be sad to even try, why not get a proper job?

What’s interesting is how tings move on. I never used to see my ‘writing’ as part of my ‘art’ but recently I have learned to understand they are one. In the same way, for many years I saw my ‘comic’ or graphic drawings (of Apulhed and Friends) as separate from my oil paintings and now I understand they are one. I used to wonder how I could amalgamate one skill or form in with another across a wide range, then I realised they are not separate, they are one. In my last blog I did a newstyle ‘comic’ in which I began to incorporate the photo-image with the drawn image. Expect to see more amalgamations, and collaborations, as the stopper is out of the champagne bottle.

A Blake workshop
On Saturday I went to a workshop by a Blake scholar whose prints from his own re-makes of Blake’s copper plates are in every important Blake collection all over the woild. The workshop ‘Printing in the Infernal Method’, led by Professor Michael Phillips, took place on Saturday 26 July 2014, at Morley College. Michael explained the mystery behind Blake’s method of creating the prints for his books. He dispelled myths about Blake’s techniques. Fundamentally Blake could mirror write on the tiny plates (c.70×112 mm) from his youth. Michael carries his own little bottles of pigment, limited to the exact colours Blake used, and linseed oil. He mixed the ink to its optimum mix. He then applied the ink to the small copper plates which he explained were created from a number of sources close to the original plates all of which are lost. He told us of a little boy who Blake taught how to make a plate.

michael phillips daubing

Michael the master Blake printer daubing delicately.

Luckily for posterity the boy had kept what was a postage stamp sized plate in his box and it passed to descendants. On the back of it was an old Blake image which has given Michael an exact measure of the depth of cut Blake used to incise the image then use two dips into sulphuric acid. 1.125 mm deep is all he did. Michael scotched the rumour that Blake had used rollers to ink up his plates, no because they were not invented whilst he was working. He used a leather dauber. We were allowed to have a go and man is it difficult. I used my most delicate touch and that was too much, I got well told. Then Michael did four prints from each of 5 plates each diminishing in tone until the final pull, which now had 3 mini-blankets on whereas the first pull had one, was almost inkless. I learned so much from Michael and have to thank him for his patience and knowledge.

blake chimney sweep print smkb

The Chimney Sweep.
You can see how kak-handed my daubing was where the grain shows in the ‘white’ areas.

I love the work of Stephanie Wright which i saw in the new summer show at Sculpt gallery near Tiptree in Essex. Her pots cum found objets sculptures are refreshingly original and humour-filled. If you care to go to her website she does quite a range of ceramics but the ones in this gallery are my favourite.

a new style comic by Apulhed-man

I have decided to ‘go the whole hog’ as gurdjeff used to say when you consider doing someting, do it wholeheartedly. This strip is me announcing am back. Back doing graphice stories which is a field i got burned in once or twice before. Altho I know, cos am not so thick as I look, I am not fire-proof, I believe I can make it stick this time.
Public warning:
This is just the first!

To see the ‘comic cuts’ click on the green line below:

robgil comic quarkd sm kb

On reading Ezra Pound

Rhody O’Dourke once asked me, ‘Where do I stand-sit now in the world of mice & men? How’m I doing Now?’ I just told him shut up whilst you still can O’D man.

Well am reading Ezra Pound (£) (Agenda 21st anniversary issue) which made me smile where it said his name in Japanese made him smile as it means, ‘This picture of a phallus costs ten yen.’ That made him a Ten Cent Dick Head? Now when I try to read Pound I feel like some folk must do when they try to read me (poems like ‘Six mystics’). But. Nothing comes from nothing. So, to read my work you need to have done some, work. We begin (our development as ‘readers’, writers, artists) at the beginning and layers are laid as we progress or digress or impress. I believe seeing people who are ‘good’ at what they do doing what they do is vital.

On seeing Ken Campbell on stage, back stage, and elsewhere was like watching a diamond glint. His story about a rose by any other name is similar to that one above about Pound’s name.  I saw him at Brentwood theatre where he would run thru his one-man shows first before moving on to bigger venues like The Cottesloe, Festival Hall, London. It was called ‘Violin Time’ and he featured a beautiful Vietnamese violinist called Teo-Wa Vuong. He asked me to do a picture which he used as the climax of his ‘hilarious and mind-boggling trip’ but he gave me no notice and I didn’t even have paper the size he wanted so I stuck together several sheets of A4. He wanted an image of Teo-Wa with a rose between her teeth and one of himself bending down with a rose emanating from his person. He said ‘You are the artist, you can do this for me’. (I had done a drawing which he posed for at the Philip K. Dick convention a few years earlier, sold it to John Dowie at a knock down price) So this master story-teller built the whole show up and it ended with the revelation that Teo-Wa Vuong, when spelt correctly meant something like ‘A face like a beautiful rose’ but if just one or two letters were mis-placed it could mean, ‘A rose sticking out of my backside’. So he said I should draw him with a rose coming from his derriere. I said ok, you bend doon over thur and draw you I shall. So, he did bendoon. About 3 minutes later he said thet’s enough and stood up leaving me to finish it off from memory. I hadn’t completed it when his show began so I snuck in when it were fini and passed it down to the stage from the back of the theatre. He saw it coming and said, Oh, the post has arrived and put it down onstage til he were ready. Then at the end of his gig he delivered his punchline, ‘Here’s a picture of a rose sticking out of my backside’.  It brought the house down as all of Ken’s shows in his later life did.

ken campbell backstage sm kb

(Image of Ken Campbell outside theatre)

Talking of roses, Umberto Eco wrote The Name Of The Rose and funny as it may seem the book is not about Sean Connery and a young apprentice who chooses not to become a monk. It really is about Eco’s fascination with language. He is first and foremost a linguist and a great writer in the field of semiology (he makes Ferdinand de Saussure almost comprehensible!). His ‘Open Work’ is seminal in understanding the place of the arts in our world.

Now, what is so fascinating about the works of Ezra £, Ken Campbell, Eco, Joyce & me is we all ploy wit werds, make witwit wirdz and we cheep-cheap wit littul burds. As also spracht me ole mater matey, ‘If wit were shit you’d be constipated’, or was it consternated? Or complicated? Who me? Not likely me old tatoe-heed. Not that olde chessnot. Brendan O’Carroll (friend of O’Blart & O’Dourke!) what wrote ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ said, ‘If I kept me mustache. I’d look like me mudda.’ And strangely, Mrs Brown’s Christian name is Agnes, The Name Of My Own Long Lost Birth Mother.

And even stranger than that. I was thinking earlier today about a lovely song I heard whilst driving a few weeks ago on the radio, wondering if I would hear it again and it came on Steve Wright in the afternoon. It happen to be by a certain George Ezra (Not £) called ‘Budapest…a bidio’ or sumtin.

Time ferra poym on my nuisance called O’Blarty?

He’s got an artist’s eye but

Wishes he had two too toot tutu

He has a nostril for words

Smells words out with his nostril but

Wishes he had the nose you knows

Has an ear for a tune but

If he had one more he’d

Be able to write some toons too to to yu.

For those of you who don’t know my ‘what I do’, I once was an artis onceuponathyme, but am all reight now, now I want to make the words rythme too, but they rarely do, that’s so true. I am just designing a new ‘book’, ‘Inside This Earthen Vessel’,  which should be ready for the artist’s book fairs coming up down south in September and Octembre. (At ‘In The Chapel’ & ‘The Wayshegoes’ respectively, may see yu thur?) My printer did a copy on cream paper today, looks wonderful.

a jugman in a jug

But that’s six poems about six mystics, a re-write of the ones I did in my previous ‘book’ G Batch. I’ll get them right one day. They are kind of traditional poems in that they ‘make sense’, have a ring to them and use not a little esoterica. I have written more ‘mundane poems’ over many years, since 1969 in fact, ‘poyms’ which adhere to no rules at all really. Just words jotted together according to moments in my life. They look quite simple and they are. Mostly. A bit like an artist’s sketchpad where they try things out; colour, marks, textures. Just playing with the components, often getting things off my chest. The Mystic’s poems are so much more considered. I gone back to them and redrawn them many times and am still adjusting them. When you see Dylan Thomas at work, or just peep thru the window of that little shed hanging over the cliff side in Wales you see aman obsessed with words and their order and getting it right. Obviously I am not obsessed. I am not sitting here at 05.31 hrs typing up my thoughts on poetry, not me, that’s my nuisance Danny O’Blarty, he’s blooming well insane anyways up.

Kahil Gibran mentioned that poetry is where we juggle with words. And Walt Whitman was adding to and changing his Leaves of Grass all his days. I sometimes associate Whitman (Witmun) with A. Ginsberg as the latter would have read the former (the former would not have read the latter but he did address his poems to him, and all of us future readers). Also, it becomes apparent Ginsberg was present at at least one of Dylan Thomas’s New York readings and I bet his Howl was aware of Thomas. Nothing comes from nothing or as Blarty said, ‘Nuthin cums frum nuttin Nutini!’.

Having seen the ‘copy’ of ‘Inside This Earthen Vessel’ from my printer yesterday i think i shall be doing my ‘final’ print off soon as it does look great in that form. Later today I shall take the one he did yesterday and cut and fold it. I may need to tiddle about with where the ‘pots’ are laid in page but i think it’s almost ‘done’.

Arcade Fire did a wonderful show at Glastonbury. Magnificent. Inspiring. That mix of tight tension in their beat and the zany additions, altho I wish he would enunciate his words more, all I hear is sound, the lead ‘singer’ or should I say ‘drawler’ of Elbow also needs some sessions in speech therapy*. She had a bit of Bjork in there, and as hard as she sometimes is to ‘get’ Bjork must be a top ‘marker’ when it comes to performance.

Now there’s one who enunciates well, so well he pulls his mouth contortedly, Paulo Nutini. His set was sadly cut short but he is incredibly good.

*I had to have some sessions misen back in my teacher training days. They thought I mumbled too much to teach. Luckily the lady what took me had worked in Accrington#. She knew that in that area, they either bark their words seemingly quite aggressively or they speak in a soft mumbly way like what I did at that time. My daddy came from near Mumbles in Welsh Wales so no wonder I mumbly do or did. She taught me to enunciate like a brown cow now. But insisted I keep my accent. Sad that, I never was good at selling my wares.

# Accrington is part of greater Brunlea you know, they say they were all ‘pals’ during the First World War, I am preparing a little artisbuk on it for 2016.

And finally, I wer reading an old sanskrit poem and I thought I’d nick some ideas from it. It says, ‘the realities & truths of existence, the joy of growth, the splendour of action are there in one day’. I want to take that and apply it to some images I made from leaves this week. ‘The realities & truths of existence, the joy of growth, the splendour of action are there in just one leaf.’

spike leaf sm kb

Just one leaf, that’s all it took, yeh. Thank you Hollies, some of whom hailed from Brunlea you know, the drummer came from Pike Hill.

And that’s Graham Nash who went off and lived the dream in Los Angeles (?).

Shortly after I posted this blArt Brother Mungus* sent these kind words and a little poem: “I love the image of pottihed holding the membrane of the vessel, it is so modern in cartoon form and yet so ancient as well, you could imagine it also having been scratched on the clay 2000 years ago. Here’s a little ditty”:

Pottihed stands ajar
inside the earthen jug
his six-limbed body
holds the membrane tight
between spirit and form.

He sends out
his messenger bees
to learn and relay
the spirit from mind inside
to man outside.

MunGUS Walkerboy

Interesting, cos I related to the ‘jugheaded man in the pic. I see him as the man inside the pot etc. But he is also the man who made the pothis. Pothi man. Last year i mimicked the Eastern way of making books which they call potis or pothis. The difference with mine instead of using daphne paper shaped like papyrus leaves, I used clay with the words inscribed as they did in the earlier cunieform tablets  thus combining two ancient writing forms.

biscuit fired poti page*

and Mungus was an airy man. Funny, as i mentioned  my birt-mama  had me in Glasgui, which was the name given to it by its founder St Mungus and it means dear green place, which it is I remember.

And that’s why am doing this now. (What is original & what is quality? Part 1)

What is original & what is quality? Part 1

all art and words (c) pete kennedy (except the hands of Leger pic which is not my copyright)

I know my work has originality within it. I think it has good quality within it. But, ‘how good?’ is another answer, one which I am in an impossible position to say because I cannot be objective about me.I can of course be relatively objective about all other human beings (hubeings…ube-ins…ubeans) but only relatively cos I have my own experience, knowledge AND prejudices. Objective is hard to define (in the arts) as there are few accurate measurable. They say to get 100% in a Maths ‘A’ level is do-able but it’s more difficult in English because the latter depends on subjective decisions. Most people believe that science is a ‘fixed’ or ‘set’ field of knowledge, within which Maths may be included(?) but it is now known that science is an open, moving, field, not so fixed. There are frequent discoveries & realisations. Similarly in history where they thought the bronze tool was first made 4,ooo (4K) years back until a man was found in the Alps in a very well preserved state with a bronze axe and a stone knife and he lived 5K years back so the acquisition of working bronze was pushed back a thousand years. In almost every field of ube-in* endeavour there are shifts both small and substantial. So, let me like Paolozzi said, return to my original obsession, art(s).

*Hey, I’m tinking about this. Why not call them ‘ubes’? “I am a ube, or more corectli “I Am an ube’” the strange creature on planet earth said when we interviewed it.

I mentioned Hockney wat is about 10 years older than me in my last blart. He was ‘a precocious talent’ at school for sure, considered to be brilliant at the what-was-considered-then-to-be ‘good’ art. I was apparently not, altho this can be debated…when I about 13 I did a still life of some woodwork tools in pastel shades of yellow and with an expressive brush-stroke. Eye (oops, Freudian slip) I let loose, making the surface of the painting throb with texture and vibrancy. The teacher who triggered my effort was about to depart the school appreciated my efforts but Bennett the incoming guy did not and my expressive skills had to be put on ice only to be re-awakened when I discovered a chap called Van Gogh in the biggest retrospective of his work ever to be held in London when I was a sixth former visiting the capital during the first half term about 4 years later. I knew I had found my master. But before that my art floundered as I was pretty useless at the normal for those days requirements. My mate Steve Hezzlewood, everyone knew, was like Hockney, a genius with the norm gaining a grade 1 at ‘o’ level with me a close bottom of class with a grade 6, the lowest pass. I should have dropped art, it was my worst grade by far, but being me I chose it as my main focus for life. Silly me. So, with my gradesix in the bag I decided I was to be an artis. But, as I entered the 6th form art class everything for me changed it did. (ta Yoda) In Padiham town hall I saw a Gaudier Brzesca pastel sketch, Alan Smith another art s precocious talent with a grade 1 from the local sec mod school joined our class making it tree and persuaded me to accompany him to a little southern town called Londres during the October half term in the first year sixth where I saw the big Van Gogh show. I took the bit and I bit very hard and that’s why am doing this now.


However, as I said in a previous blart, altho he loved my work and said not to do a Fine Art degree at Leeds cos it would stiflekill me but to go down the road to the art college and mention his name I ignored Quentin Bell’s advice and did not go to art school, whereas Hockney had gone to first Bratferd then the RCA colleges. Hezzy had joined the police cadets cos he thought he wer Barman and wanted to chase criminals, and after gerrin a good grade at A level I went to ‘Teachers’ Training College’ in Exeter. And that’s why am doing this now. So, I enter St Luke’s college and by now I am the precocious talent. I took my wrapping paper off my stuff wat mi mum had packed for me to leave home with, lots of different shades of green an brown and did an abstract like wat Matisse did . Immediately the 3rd year who had taken me under his wing said don’t let the art dept see that or you’ll be kicked out. Boom boom, ‘they shot me down’ said Cher. The course at St Lukes was overseen by Dereck Lawrence R A and was quite old fashioned by 1973 standards. By the end of the 1st year they’d invented a new grade for their 3 most vociferous ‘rebels’, me, Charlie Kavanagh a ‘mature’ student (they were drafting all the folk they couls get into teaching then) and ex-army PTA and a girl with lots of talent called Siobhan Kelly, an E minus grade. And DLRA aksed me to please leave ‘As this is not an art college this is a ‘Teachers’ Training College’, go and do an art college course as you’ll never make a teacher. But that wer a red rag to a bull, I had to stay on and become a teacher even tho I knew he wer right. And I stayed on, to the bitter end, And that’s why am doing this now. Only a handful of the other forty odd students could draw, but that didn’t matter if you wished to be a teacher apparently, you just had to shut up and do what you were telt. And he had this irritating habit of giving out sweeties to the good obedient students, I never got one. However I did become a star there at the end of the 3 years and Ruskin Spear RA said my work was good but to be careful not to get stuck in a particular era. My art had a ‘pop’ feeling to it, so I said not I won’t but my art will define an era. Then at the end of the 4th year the Prin from Brum Art College wer my external and he said I should apply to do an MA there, but I dint and that’s why am doing this now.

I thought I wer good in some limited ways BUT I had already missed the first big boat- my days wer filled with Art but also Philosophy AND Education theory & teaching prac with other distractions like photography (wet) graphic stories (comic) and reading books on the supernatural & spirit like Paul Brunton, J W Dunne and Joan Grant. Had I gone to art college my days would have been filled with (just) art. In 1969 a good art dept would have fuelled my fires whereas Lukes doused mine, even a new box of matches had difficulty re-igniting it. It didn’t help when I was in the 3rd year, using the second rate facilities in screen printing when I paid a visit to the RCA’s print dept Final Show. The talent there with their access to much better resources became vividly apparent. I saw work there which made my meagre efforts look like a toddler’s work, I most certainly was not meeting his standards in my best work. I wish I could remember the name of the artist whose degree show in graphics blew me away, burri can’t. His work made Hockney & Hezzy look like Alfred Wallis. But all was not lost. I always seem to rally round in the face of adversity.


My appleheadman comics were certainly different and I was incorporating ideas from the likes of Alfred Jarry into my work, very strange. I thought IF I can’t join em beat em with knowledge. By being informed by the history of thought and ideas I could do stuff which was conceptually ‘out there’ on its character creation was weirder than wierd. I mean, a talking apple with ears? One guest editor at Sennet the college paper I put Apulhed ‘comics’ in said Hell, what drug is he on? When he saw my strips. My ‘originality’ was based in the surrealists, dada, Gerald Scarfe and others if that can be called ‘original’ (see next blart)

I was different and some of my product may have been considered excellent but I was leagues behind the stuff I saw at the RCA. My lack of access to good equipment didn’t help, ours at Lukes was primitive BUT that did me good as I had to learn to produce quality out of nil resources, a lifetime habit it became said yoda. I was very hands on with the techniques I was using, I could smell the ink and feel the textures. So when in 1973 I saw Dieter Roth’s work with screens, his constant shifts and changes, instead of doing 100 edition all the same, I loved them cos I wer already doing the same as he. Then the books he made subliminally led me to do my first book, ApulOne in which I was showing my body of work was not opuscule!


I had spent about seven years dedicated to improving my skills as an artis and my knowledge but the galleries were locked to me as player, stable is full, I heard that so many times and ApulOne was my way of saying, Hey, I’m here, notice me I’ve arrived and I am not going to go away. I’m an artis. The next few years saw me trying to break into the art world to no avail. I failed to see my buk had done it already, I didn’t need to fight to get accepted I just needed to do more buks. I did write another book several years later when I realised I really was an artis, but that like so many of my scripts awaits publication. I am plowing thru them, slowly. I sed plowing not pluffing. You know plough, rough, trough, all spelt same all sound diffrunt.


So what is an artis?

Well look at me for one. But they are hard to define. It is a state of mind, It is a state of mine. So, a politician is not an artis, no way.

I wanted to be an artis all my life and one wonderful day back in the 80’s I realised I could stop striving to be this artis I wanted to be becos I had ‘become’ that artist. It was not a case of trying to be (good enough) it was in my case I was one. I had been in this constant internal mind stretching bemused state, ‘How can I prove to the world I am an artist (of worth)? Then I realised (enlightenment in the arts) I already was and that ‘I’ did not have to ‘prove’ anyting. I had my grade six be blowed. The art you make/produce is that, just that, the art you make, nothing else. How the art you make is received, accolade, put down, ignored, praised, prized, honoured, given noble piece awards woteva, that’s down to those out there but wot yu produce, that’s wot meks you a player. and they can’t stop you.

I attended a little show Thursday back and I had two pieces on show. I thought as usual my work was good. And there was a young lad whose little drawing appropriated from a manga page wer also on show. And he wer proud of it. And he wer an artist. When you look at a copy of a manga sketch you may tink oh that is easy, anyone can copy that, and it may be so. But that lad had done it and it wer a stage in his development, like the first 5metres you swim is the start of your swimming life. Good for him. Being an artis is not subject to any assessor, it just ‘is’, like Joseph Beuys said, everyone is an artist (if they wanna be) altho I don’t agree cos a politician is not an artis. Funny cos Beuys was a politician, he wer a politician on the Eur-Asian world stage and he stood up for the environment and all that. Funny too cos by saying watti jus said above, I too become a politician, in the game of who’s who and who’s good (enough) etc. So as a politician, by the rule I created above, I cannot be an artis, which shows how stupid rules are even mine and of course rules are made to be broken. And I do…break rules.

One rule I broke was to write about originality in this blart, so just wait for the next blart when I want to talk about Maclean, Smithson and Maria Popova’s article on originality.

pps I wish to mention an English scientist whose work was ahead of his time but who (allegedly) gave up because of adverse criticism. Born on November 26, 1837 in London, England John Alexander Reina Newlands was a British chemist who noticed the repeating pattern of elements arranged by atomic weight where every eighth element had similar chemical properties. He called this the Law of octaves and was a major contribution towards the development of the periodic table. Because he then tried to explain his idea using an octave on a piano the hundreds of scientists present at his talk ridiculed him and he never recovered Mendeleev, the Russian who is credited with creating the first real periodic table of the elements, where trends (periodicity) could be seen when the elements were ordered according to atomic weight, was able to move into the gap Newlands left. I point this out for two reasons. The men who laughed at Newlands did so out of ignorance, they just couldn’t understand where he was coming from, they didn’t have his insights. The fact that circumstances pushed him to one side and allowed Mendeleev to ‘shine’ through is either fate or an accident of history. But for me it shows that we (ubeins) cannot ‘know’ evryting. Newland’s giving up allowed another man through and in a way Newlands has a right to be proud of his achievement/failure. I was shortening words, spelling them differently partly for speed writing back in 1973. Many thought I was (just) a fool. Nowadays hundreds of thousands of people are shortening words, spelling them differently partly for speed writing on mobile devices, it’s called text talk. I didn’t ‘give up’ writing, altho when I left my teaching job in 1976 to write a book based on Apul-One I did spell the words in the more normal way, mostly.

Footnote & fancy free: Wattan idjet! I apogolise to all (3) of my readers. In my last blart I said I wert inking of entrin this years RA show. Well it’s too late, entries were closed in feb this year. Maybe that’s a good thing? I shall save the money and avoid the hassle. BUT I do need to put my werk ‘out there’ so I AM looking for spaces to exhibit. The 1metre by 1.39 metre version of my Venus Stares image arrived this week and WOW it is stunning even if I say so myself which I do. It’s the best ting I ever done. And there’s several key images from my oeuvre (posh way of saying output) ready for similar treatment. I am ready for a big show so c’mon you gallerists, who’s up to the challenge? Look, like the kids at the Pentagon in 1967, I’ll hit you with a flower

 a pete wit flowa power

This is part of the big one.

I can see the headlines noo. ‘Unknown artisbloke becomes good at last!’ and ‘Overnicht success fer artis wat struggled with farty yearns’ artis says, ‘I all ways wanted to suck seed. It were hard But I did it at last before I quit this this owen coyle.’ Critics say, ‘He makes it look easy. In fact he got others to do it fer him instead of keep doing all that usual crap like screenprints and lino and etchers and lithography by hand, he just told his printer to print it BIG’ I don’t blame him.’  ‘Why bark when you got a dog what’ll do it fer ya?’ Radial Berst, Britpack artis was heard to have said.

leger flowa sm kb

WOW, I must share this with youse!  I bought a book awhile ago from the barbican on Leger cos they wer selling em off cheaper after a show with his werk in. I like his werk but I always had him in the second tier, not up there with Picasso and Miro et al. I may be wrong. I know he influenced the likes of Roy Lichtenstein. I was tinking that my new Stares pic had a need for a stronger, but not as strong as Beckman, outline. And I had not looked at the Leger book awhile. Then I thought, Leger does tick lions around his images. So I pulled it oot and there on the cover was a hand holding a flower which is SO like the flower in my Stares pic! I am pleased abart that.

D H Lawrence and my dreams (part 2).

On the night of 2.3.14 I dreamt one of those ‘back at school’ nightmarish dreams, which for me as an ex-teacher are twice as bad. A 63 years old schoolboy taking GCE/GCSE. I was supposed to paint a portrait which I was very confident of doing but dream-time circumstances conspired to make it difficult with all manner of tings ganging up to prevent me exhibiting my prowess. Weird. A smarmy man (similar to one I knew when I worked as a teacher and to Master Cameroon PM) offered me ‘help’ but I suspected it came with strings attached. Then, when I awoke, I needed a pee. OF COURSE dreams seem to occur (at least in my case) when my belly is full, seemingly as a result of pressure on …well I don’t really know…cerebral cortex? (Cerebral codex, that’d be a good title for a book, oh shut it Pete you have plenty of titles, too many by half.) Surely someone out there has done research into the link between the bowel and dream instigation? I am aware that ‘they’ (the scientists, whoever they are hmph) say that the light people report seeing on returning from the brink of dying/near death experience (NDE) is ‘only’ a function of the brain closing down, chemicals doing what they do naturally as the system closes down resulting in these apparently miraculous visions. ‘They’ seem to be putting a dampener on the idea that when we die we move toward the light and in some cases of NDE the returnees say they see folk they have loved appear, maybe beckoning or just welcoming them. Tosh say the scientists, or at least they used to. My friend Sophia Psychiatrist says that a lot of thinking is at present going into the idea that the theories on the dying process coming out of ancient times in some cultures like Buddhism are being given a lot more credence. I do not know from research or even reading the results of research, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I still have a lot to learn. Whereas I can see the logic of there being no life (mind/spirit) once the body has ceased functioning and is clinically dead. Of course there would then be no operating machine, no route for thoughts to take from brain down cerebral cortex to operate parts like mouth and voice box, so it stands to reason the spirit has no operating system. The wonderful better than a computer mind has no speakers, no receivers, no transmitter, no fingers to type his blart any more etcetera so how can it live on in a ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’ form? That is reasonable but the universe/existence is not all reason-able. There is a lot to say it is run by chaos. William Blake called the god of the Jews and Christians Urizen (You Reason) and likened ‘his’ advocates, (apparently Blake thought Newton to be one), to the Gnostic demi-god, a god who was created by higher forces but who had created the physical realms (by mistake)> against this ‘REASON’ Blake had Imagination, or an intuitive creative process untrammelled by the prison of reason. Pirsig in ‘Zen & The Art Of Motor Cycle Maintenance’ talks of the romantic mode (primarily inspirational, feelings rather than facts predominate) and the classic mode (proceeds by reason & laws). ‘They’ talk about right and left hemisphere tinking. The right side is the creative one and the left side is the rational. The right hemisphere drives the left hand and the left hemisphere drives the right hand. Many ‘artists’ tend to use their left hand. Leonardo even used to write back to front. He was one of the rare specimens who seemed equally at home in both hemispheres so he designed helicopters and submarines whilst giving the Mona Lisa a Hitler moustache. Oops, no, that was Duchamp who exercised his right hemisphere by doing Dada actions and his left brain doing chess moves. Duchamp once said (lecture 1958), “To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time & Space, seeks his way out to a clearing.”

Buddhists talk of the Middle road, which in an ideal world I would traverse but sadly I am a romantic thinker. This is evident in my frequent forays into mis-spelling (breaking the code), my constant returning to making art with its subsequent financially poor outcomes. The ‘artist’ invariably needs an accountant. I do not make art as an accountant. I don’t assess the market for a gap, I do the tings I see fit at the time. These have often proven 20-40 years ahead of the field. Which usually does not put butter on the bread as the world is mostly conservative (wit a small ‘c’) or distrustful of innovation, unless of course it serves a purpose. I know someone who makes stained glass tings. Beautiful geometric patterns on hexagons. But nobody buys them. If they were made into cuboids and had a light fitted in then they would sell at stores like Harrods.


what do you tink about this then?

I took a sleep-break after the word ‘Harrods’ and guess what? I dreamt. I dreamt we were in a car between our home and Chompsferd on a hunt for our son. We had allowed nay encouraged him to go on a ‘walk’ in the hills which were snow covered but looked more like the hills around the Pennines than the hill at Danbury. He was only about 6 years old in my dream, he’s older than that in ‘reality’. He was stuck out there and we were making frantic efforts to reach him. All manner of obstacles were preventing it. (In fact he does need rescuing at present so it wasn’t such a stupid dream.) Another dream about being thwarted too. I do get to feeling thwarted in my waking hours. I often feel, ‘If only they would do this then I could do that’. But NO! No no no, don’t say no say YES, yes, I CAN. I was down the garden t’other day doing some totally stupid self-imposed task which most of the whole wide world would say, why on earth is he bothering to do that? When I had a moment of realisation. It’s not that important what you do, or what what you do’s seeming relevance is. Whilst I wer doing that ting I looked at the trees, I heard the cackle of the woodpecker, I soaked in the freak high temperature for mid-March. I was in fact relaxing from all them tasks which we (seem to) ‘have’ to do. I was in fact enjoying myself doing ‘nothing’ (nutting at all babe). I mean, I am 63 and retired, so I don’t have to do nuttin.Notwithstanding double negatives and returning to ‘reason’; do giant squid and blue whales reason? Of course they exist and they die and return to atoms as do hu-beings. Hey, maybe we call our type of creature hubeings, that’d get rid o the stupid gender issues, hey that may be the first great idea. Or, maybe ube-ins?

I’m not just an ugly face. This ting in me what drives the pen. Some of the action may be instinctive? I’m not sure putting words on page with a mark maker biro is instinctive? It is nurture not nature. Communicating maybe natural? But, inside my head, as well as tinitis, seems to live a tinking entity. The ego, the id in me is a Gurdjeffian Idiot.


(Did yu know that Kate Bush’s family were into the big G.?)

So this entity tells me you gotta do tings today. Go to Hadleigh book fair, send those books to the british Library archives, drink anudda gulp of that tea from that cup. It appears the Buddhists say that ispart of the monkey chatter, it’s also necessary for planning & directing this ube-in machine, put your clothes on have a wash, oops wrong order, that’s age fer ya. But, there comes a moment when all the monkey chatter stops, the heart stops, the blood don’t pump round no more. Dead to this world. Or not? NDE’s tell stories of floating above the dead body and watching grievers (or celebrators, ‘good the Idiot’s gone I can have his empire. What no money, only…writing and drawings. Spirit or no spirit a ubeing lives on in the works, this you being me, moi-meme, mySelf, I Am! And D H Lwarence lives on his work being one of my original inspirators, and that other Hopi admirer, Maxt Ernst, good ole Lop Lop himsen.

My Dreams & Schemes And The See Eye Aye.

I been having these strange dreams of late about being there, being on time, being responsible for doing things ‘right’ making sure things get ‘done’ by others by being there to the bitter end to ‘see it through’. I am sure Sigmund, Gustav & Wilhelm would have a field day on me. As they would  concerning  the paranoia (paranoya, altho I tink paranoia is a lovely spelt word) I shall squawk about further on. I often awaken from these dreams and reflect on possible interpretations, do they have any relevance or meaning in my life. And of course life is what you make it, so to an extent my understanding of the dreams is important to a certain extent. Last night I dreamt I rescued a poodle (?! I don’t like miniature poodles, I like the bigger ones better but I prefer an Irish Wolf) which was standing at some traffic lights in that busy metropolis we find ourselves in in dreams. I was driving, as it happens a lovely Renault 5 which my wife had and lost years ago when some idiot cut across her when he was turning right and it was her right of way, so the loss value couldn’t replace it as it was a special car,(in fact it would have been even harder to replace my wife as she is rather special too and I am not saying that just to impress her cos she never reads this tripe as she calls it) but that’s not relevant to this story, only in its irrelevance is it at all relevant. And you know in dreams where you can stop and scoop a poodle who’s waiting at a traffic lights up under your left arm as you are running past? Well I did. And this elderly couple (they were probably younger than my 63 but I still think I am 16) saw it all and offered to help. There was a pet shop just over the road and I indicated they should take it there and off they set. Somehow then I had abandoned my (wife’s) car at a BUSY crossroads with quadruplequintiplet yellow and red lines. As I walked toward the pet shop (WHY? To check they had got there safely with the dog? I looked back and a traffic cop was about to book me so I pleaded on behalf of the dog’s needs and altho he didn’t understand what the hell I was going on about he pointed to the clock and said % minutes. So I set off at pace going the long way round the block (why I have no inkling) and that involved me running at hundreds of miles per hour and vaulting fences and and and then I came around to the pet shop to see the couple walking calmly in, they didn’t need my help. Oops it’s been over five minutes so I looked across the road and the car was gone. Some of my dreams are premonitory. I had better be careful if I see a poodle waiting at a crossing. So the lessons in the dream are, leave the poodle next time, it knew what it was doing, it didn’t need rescuing. Also, IF you rescue it then pass it over to an elderly couple who are in fact younger than you, leave them to get on with it. But the real lesson is, don’t get involved, just watch, we are living a life, we are here, now, on this planet taking part in an existence but we don’t have to interfere. Before you rescue the dog ask it, ask it if it needs rescuing or on second thoughts don’t even go there, move on round the corner may be a real emergency where all your first aid training can click into action. And seconly, learn to delegate, but with grace allowing them to do it themselves, you don’t have to do it for them once you’ve delegated. I did a management course (at Danbury actually DMS) under David Evans and Vernon Traffic, they were heavy so I asked them to gerroff) once, so I know all the theory. It was the practice I had trouble with.

But that has nothing to do with what I wanted to say today.

I have a new exhibition opening on February 3rd at red Lion Books in Colchester so I have been trying to alter the prose poem I did about the six mystics in my recent book G Batch. Although I was pleased with the end results I knew they were difficult for anyone not versed in the same literature as I had been steeped in to understand as they were not about everyday things and each individual ‘poem’ was a condensation of a large amount of information about one of the ‘mystics’. I thought they may come across better as songs but I have no experience as a song writer. So I thought I would take the originals and try to de-mystify them, take out as many difficult words and passages as I could and substitute them with more universally comprehensible things. If that is possible concerning the subject matter? I don’t like making my poems rhyme and I rarely write them to a beat or a rythme. So, songs are going to be difficult unless I can persuade a friend who is one of the best songwriters in the world to advise me. Bob Dylan for one uses such differing words and makes them rhyme. I put it to my song friendly friend and to my joy he didn’t dismiss the idea out of hand, so it remains to be seen if he would like to involve. He would have a big job on his hands made more difficult by my new versions. In fact, I may just write them as new ‘poems’ and read them on the day of the ‘signing’. Watch this space.

There’s a lot of activity in the lights from my computer plus’ connecting to the Internet altho’ I am not logged in. I wonder sometimes if (more likely ‘when’) the See Aye Aye spies on me. They are pretty certain to have an interest in my activity as I have criticised various presidents and their foreign policies in my blogs. But they are not alone, apart from criticising every poor quality teacher I ever witnessed I criticise the Roman Empire, British and anyone else overly despotic. Rulers and leaders almost always see a need to be Authoritarian’ to various degrees and tipping the balance is easy, witness; Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Kennedy (if you don’t believe me read Chomsky), Nixon, Two burning Bush dynastyans (funny that nasty comes out in that unsuccessful attempt to combine Dynasty & eons. Well it felt like eons, South & Central American covert wars and then the middle east and Africa. Blair, Pol Pot, Hirohito, Mao, the list seems endless and that is ONLY the 20th century. The Buddhist thing would be to forgive and have compassion for them, but I am afraid my karma and my anxiety are both deepened as I cannot help dwell on past atrocities, more in a desire that humans would one day learn from past mistakes, but it ain’t going to happen. Even the Buddhists had at least one monster in their camp, Asoka, who was instrumental in the spread of Buddhism in its early days was ‘a cruel and ruthless king who converted to Buddhism’ who created ‘edicts, inscribed on rocks and pillars, proclaim Asoka’s reforms and policies and promulgate’ in an attempt to make ‘an empire on the foundation of righteousness’. Quotes from link below

So, there we have the notion of redemption of evil acts by eventual good actions? Could we place any of the above in the same situation had they converted to a set of peaceful ideas? Well we may never know. Shh…It happens throughout human history long before Rome, Britain & the USA were invented empires came and went; Phoenicians, Phrygians, Scythians, Hittites, Mayans, some of whom the Romans cleared out. And the Roman model was adopted first by Britain, (Hitler tried but his empire was short-lived, as was Mussolini’s attempt to revive Roman glories, mostly in Abyssinia (Sadly genocidal) and my own father fought the Italians in Port Said during the Second world war) the the USA in Vietnam, Laos and all. It seems to be a human condition, or should I say a male condition, would the world be any better if it wer run by women? Well Boudicca wer a good effort, but then thatcher blew that idea. Often it arises when groups of humans feel aggrieved and determined not to let it happen again, they gang together build up weaponry and go attack another group, making pre-emptive strikes against others deemed possible threats (see ‘Listen Little Man’ by Wilhelm Reich). It still happens, most recently in Central African Republic, Syria and the forgotten one in Tibet. And it goes on without being known outside like the internal one in Portugal which was ongoing in 1966 when the great Eusebio played a blinder for his adoptive country. I never knew until he died recently that Portugal was in the grip of a dictator who when the whole football world was offering Eusebio loads o money he couldn’t leave Portugal because of a ban on movement by the military dictator Salazar. Not a lot o people knew that.

Even Buddha was apparently confronted with and indeed is said to have used his ‘authority’. He changed the idea prevalent with the previous popular religion of the Brahmins as they saw no escape from the wheel of karma and there is one story where he declared his feeling for their ‘blind acceptance of Vedic tenets as immutable wisdom., “Like a chain of blind men…is the discourse of Brahmins. He who is in front sees nothing, he in the middle sees nothing, he who is behind sees nothing…”‘ There is also the story of the gang of six, young monks who ‘paid scant respect to the elders of the sanga (community) and were ever inclined to quarreling and strife and disputation. (quotes from ‘Gem in the Lotus’ by Abraham Eraly) It seems that similar to Gurdzhiev Buddha refused to set a final infinite set of rules for his sangha. Dispute and quarrels are allowed. I have seen exhibitions of the way they discuss for ‘exams’ where the teacher sits cross legged and two novices make their points one after the other each finishing his statement with a loud demonstrative handclap and bringing one foot down with a stamp. As an ex-teacher (not of buddhism) I would find it amazingly difficult to adopt and maintain such a position, where my head is below the students arms. This is very brave and shows great patience and trust, and control.

On a more personal note, the times I saw myself subject to the whim of a head of department/section/line manager/school are too numerous to mention. Some jerk gets it into their head, say that ‘you could do better/more/something instead of the perceived nothing you do (despite your results being the best in school, it’s only art and anyone can paint). That is why, I realised, I have those recurring dreams. The zen thing is to let it flow, say to myself, ‘It occurred apparent to me but they probably thought they were just doing their job’s worth, it happened (or appeared to) it has gone (for me I am re-tired) so let it go. Don’t worry, be happy.

created to advertise my new show
created to advertise my new show

I am now in preparation for my next exhibition. I am working on the ‘songs’ idea, I love the idea of Blake and Whitman singing their poems in the street and river. I love all that.

I have to consider the arrangement of my exhibits. Glass cabinets or not? I need to inform folk it’s happening and invite some to my ‘readin & telling’. I intend to tell some (background) stories about say the day the Dalai Lama opened the Peace garden. For what it was worth. Most folk in Britain London Colchester haven’t even heard it exists. Apparently it’s wonderful now as the plants have no doubt grown highly. I may tell how I created designs for t shoits at the RA for the Beuys exhibition but his family/estate vetoed any use of his image on merchandise, and he, being the advocate that we are all artists!How I discovered the Silesius poem in a charity shop called Emmaus just down the road from the Red Lion bookshop. Also I found a reference to it in Barthes’ book ‘Neutral’! but it’s only a mention. I could say am about to add to the six mystics another 3, Blake Schopenhauer & either Swedenborg or Toshihiko Izutsu. Watch this space. Sorry am late this week, or last week.