Category Archives: Firstsite

Explain The Shrewd Idiot

Who is a The SI logo  ?

Why is it The Shrewd Idiot?

Well it were a toss up between that and The Wise Fool. Shrewd- astute, penetrating, artful and crafty- (I tink) shrewd entails ‘wise’ altho that in fact in the definition relates to money… The Shrewd Idiot aka Pete Kennedy is (or was) that- an Idiot in a lot of his habits BUT he always knew there was a wise part in the mix because he had conversed with it on occasion; in lucid moments. “From early on I knew that ‘life’ was a serious game but I soon learned to make light of it. I frequently played the fool. Apart from rock music and sport my great loves in life have been art & humour [altho’ this tome is not (deliberately) funny], my great heroes include Groucho & Harpo Marx, Spike Milligan & Tommy Cooper.”

Another title could have been A Lucid Tosser or Lucid IdjetL I, or Li bringing in a zen feel to it.

There’s also another possibility in David Pierce’s book, Reading Joyce where on p. 316 he says, “[the surname] Glue is in fact from Old English gleaw, meaning wise or prudent.” So The Gleaw Idiot? Maybe not. Altho’ I was born in Glesgaw…The Glesgaw Idjet… The Glasgae Idiot?

Anyway all this is too late, the books are named.

So the ‘hero’ of the buk reveals his self, warts & all. There’s big honesty, an honesty which may seem unpalatable to some but it’s part of his idiotic nature- he cannot tell a lie or be clever for the sake of deceiving.

Gail Cher wrote in ‘One Continuous Mistake’, “Fleeting thoughts … quietly shock our being. You think one, sometimes you don’t even realise it’s there…it has been…your mind contains the memory…your consciousness is no longer the same….you keep track of your philosophical thoughts, your spiritual thoughts, your pecuniary thoughts, thoughts of your loved ones…”.) Gail Cher might have written those words for the doltie/dorky hero which is my a just SI logo because those are the kinda thoughts he notes down throughout the book(s) named after him!

a1-buk

Apul-One (original cover A5)

My old Burnley secondary school friend John Walton told me after he had read apul001 logo in 1976, ‘Pete, you write the thoughts we all have and think we’ll write them down but never do…’ Writing was his trade and I took that as a gentle compliment.

A4 SI front cover sm

The Shrewd Idiot (cover A4 version)  Portrait of the Idiot As A Young Man

So it is not a normal book. It’s written in the first person and is purportedly about the first four years of my life after I left school nearly 19 years old.

It’s not an autobiography because it doesn’t outline my successes in life, rather the opposite, it settles on my many doubts and failings (like frequent self-abuse). It features my anguishes rather than my triumphs, not the stuff of autobios. In my life I had many and regular successes and achievements, most of which don’t make it into this rather voluminous moan-ologue. But the fleeting moments do and I believe it’s those fleeting moments that mould the person, that’s why they’re featured. It’s the challenges, the overcoming the doubts and deficiencies that maketh (wo)man. I hope I’m correct cos if am not then this is 300 pages of unadulterated drivel, but don’t worry, be happy that I wouldn’t do that to you. Over 40 years since I first set my pen to paper writing this tome long-hand from the journals I kept tween 1969-73 and after spending months doing final edits and the layout for the book before I published it I am sure there is a story there, in fact several stories within the main momentum which follows me from a green horny youth through days of satisfaction and later of loss. The book shows many relationships beginning and moving on and some ending (prematurely) with some continuing way past the book’s end.

BUT, apart from the overt stories, there’s the covert revelations. It reveals my initiations, realisations, and most of all my growth from a punchy teenager to a more reflective early 20 year old who has no idea what his future holds but knows he’s at least prepared with his accumulated skills and learnings to face most of what life normally throws at a person and from experience knows that he can cope with some of the extraordinary things that crop up now & then.

The ‘punchy teenager’ taming was begun by the first of 3 women (The Three Graces) who had a major impact on him in those 4 years. Her name in the book was Bluebell, in real life it was Cath. She was the first woman I ‘went out with’ after I left school and in effect she saved my life. She gave me hope for the future and I still received her Christmas cards until a year or two ago… they seem to have petered out now despite my writing to her Australian address to tell her I’d like to send her a copy of the SI(A4). The second grace, Rose, real life- Jane, drifted rapidly then slowly out of my life but she taught me to value patience, although it’s taken 40 years for the lesson to kick my ass. The third grace, Camellia, whose real name I cannot reveal cos she’ll bat me, is still teaching me how to behave. She’s still got a lot of work to do. So as a result of those 3 gracious ladies I became less punchy, despite for a while taking on karate (I’m yellow!), I now learn Tai Chi with Master Ch’n Lay Seng, and the last thing you do in Tai Chi is get punchy!

pete self P veriveri best veri sm
I painted this Self Portrait in 1968 when it was exhibited in the local Burnley Artists Annual show. The local Burnley Express hailed me as a good colourist. This image features in the book.

The other revelation is of course the art that I produced. Much of my best work from 1968-73 is displayed in the book(s). One of my greatest thrills is to have found an outlet for the imagery which otherwise would have remained in my drawer until after my death* when it’d be taken out and revealed as the work of a wonderful undiscovered talent and then sold for millions of dollars, yen, euros but not £s cos an artist is never really recognised in his home town, are they? But I no longer care that for the past 40 odd years I was unable to find a market for the works I turned out with never ending enthusiasm. Most all of them end up in  my big plans-chest or a hut in ma garden  and remain unseen, so the SI buks are, for me, a comprehensive solo exhibition of those works. In the A4 version you get 25 images on translucent paper (tracing paper for want of a better word) which gives what I refer to as ‘palimpsest’ views through the parts of the paper which contain no image.

*Spike Milligan said, “I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens”.

a The SI logo buks have been my vindication and I am so proud to present them to the world. The A4 version of  The Shrewd Idiot can be bought (£45 rrp) at the Whitechapel Gallery bookshop in London. The British Library will receive one copy but the other national libraries won’t as I only made 50 copies and at that price  I cannot afford to give em away.

I have now firmed up the date with Antony Roberts at Colchester Arts Centre to do a ‘launch cum celebration’ event around a The SI logo books. The date is Sunday afternoon at 2pm on 5th November 2017, just 9 days after ma 67th boithday. So there should be cakes and drinks and maybe me doing a couple of the performance art pieces (paps) about the books, inc The Three Graces). I must say, I’ve waited almost 40 years to do something there, I first approached the centre in c.1976 shortly after its formation, the then Principal of Colchester Art College (Atkinson?) and Tim Holden interviewed me, the former saying he thought apul001 logo was good but the rest o ma work didn’t strike a chord with him. They laughed at me when I said I wanted to do a show there, they’re not laughing now!

Congratulations to Sally Shaw and all at Firstsite for getting that BIG arts council grant. The gallery has moved a long way since its near demise a couple of years ago.

It was great to see Firstsite humming with at least 3 simultaneous activities last Friday night when I was lucky to be invited once again by Jim Pey at Educaid to read one of my pieces. I did a 2017 poym inspired by my 1972 set of screenprints ‘Appleheadman Sees’ which I shall read again on the 5th of November  with a little brushing up. In fact I’d love to do my PA version of the song called ‘Brush’ by Colin Lloyd Tucker too too.

a screem31
an early oil painting of Apulhed

Everyting cums to hee hee what waits! a pk logo yello

Gee Vaucher/Penny Rimbaud/Firstsite

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This is my first blog of 2017 because I have been so immersed in making my new Shrewd Idiot deluxe edition which I shall talk more about in the near future but now a long overdue look at the work of Gee Vaucher & Penny Rimbaud which has resounded around Firstsite Gallery in Colchester since last November and will continue to permeate that space until sadly on 19th February the show(s) will end.

gee-corridor-entrance-sm

I have been thrilled by the breadth & depth of their works and will try to exhibit some kind of overview here. If you have not seen the show of Gee’s imagery get down to the gallery and don’t miss an incredible show. This is what I believe that gallery was built for. I believe that Gee & Penny are both native Essex folks who have been steeped in ‘art’ all their adult lives and both made considerable contribution to the fields they have ploughed, sown and harvested. I’d say this could take the prize for the best show so far at Firstsite being at least as good as their wonderful Bruce McLean show (but I still cannot afford the catalogue for that show at £25!). The ground covered by the Vaucher & Rimbaud collaboration is vast and I have struggled to get the words down to cover the bits I have seen and witnessed because there’s been so much going on. Gee became involved right from the hanging and with all of the planning of various films, workshops and concerts which have accompanied the show.

angel-gee

I missed the open evening and the first event I attended was Gee’s film called ‘Angel’ in which a 14 year old girl stared into the camera for a long long time.

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Gee Vaucher with Angel in the post film talk.

It is a powerful piece which grew out of Gee’s several images of childhood painted onto large canvasses which you can see in the exhibition.

Gee was interested in the loss of that innocence which occurs when young girls get to an age of transition from primary to secondary schools when they just have to toughen up to survive. Angel was a good model. She was able to sit still and in contemplation despite her old sister being in the background as a distraction. Angel is several years older now but this was her first viewing of the film and a sort of propulsion into a star position which she took with poise & grace.

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The Exhibition

Gee’s show on the walls is full of works done over the past 40 years with her extensive and varied media. It seems she excels at any medium she adopts. For those faint heart-ed-ones amongst you I should say that much of her work is challenging with little concern for any timidity. Gee ain’t presenting the human form like a Botticelli.

chained-sm

She reveals all and cuts all into collages of bodies and animals which she extends into beautifully strange sculptures. I shan’t even try to explain in words what she does, just let her visual vocabulary speak for itself like she was outspoken in the 70s & 80s against the inconsiderate and/or ill-considered policies of the likes of Reagan & Thatcher. Her political satire is devastatingly cut throat on issues like the Vietnam war and the sending of Americans to kill maim and be killed and maimed.

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The Publications

Under the publisher name of Existential Gee and Penny have designed written and printed many books and small format works. As with all their work there’s a difference and a good quality that pervades. The exhibition catalogue with an intro by the new Director Sally is a snip at £15 I think.

 

The Events

I didn’t attend all and there’s still one or two left to go to but I was really impressed by the ones I got to.

a-penny-poem-5-sm

Penny Rimbaud brings commitment and a great deal of gravitas to his content and delivery.

I loved the ‘orchestra’ at his performance of his ‘Requiem’ poem. He once said in an interview, “Benjamin Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ is probably the greatest musical/lyrical influence of my life. As a young kid I was a chorister and met Britten when he conducted and I sung in what I think was the first British performance of his ‘Spring Symphony’. It was this event that introduced me to his music and it wasn’t long before I first listened to the ‘War Requiem’. It completely bowled me over. As a ‘war baby’ my early years had been filled with tales of war, all somewhat tinged with the ‘glory’ of it.  The ‘War Requiem’ told a very different story. Britten’s passionate  settings of Wilfred Owen’s profound (anti)war poems touched me deeply at every level and introduced me to ideas of pacifism which became so central both to my life and to my philosophy (even if at times I have doubted it!!). It was this piece of musical genius that taught me at a very early age that one could say ‘no’, and, indeed, had every right to do so.

In his ‘The Pity of War’, with music on cello by Kate Shortt and Liam Noble on piano, his reading of Wilfred Owen’s words was very powerful & evocative, sending me to read the originals where Owen compared the advocates of war and the victims of that cause to the biblical Old testament’s Abram and Isaac with a very differing outcome! When the god of WW1 gave the leaders the nod to prevent the Death throes, in Owen’s words:

‘But the old man would not so, but slew his son

And half the seed of Europe, one by one.’

Leaving the Ram of Pride triumphant and intact.’

The Discussion

A highly knowledgeable panel of:

Stevphen Shukaitis, at-gee-talk-stevphen-shukaitis-sm

 

Brandon Taylor, at-gee-talk-brandon-taylor-2-sm

 

Rebecca Binns a-becky-binns-at-gee-talk-sm

&  George Mackay at-gee-talk-george-mackay-sm

discussed the different aspects of Vaucher’s works on 1 Dec 2016. Rebecca Binns is doing a PHD about Vaucher’s and she brought a feminist perspective to the proceedings. Brandon Taylor has written books which include observations on her collage, indeed in the French version of one a collage by Vaucher is used for the front cover. You missed a good debate about her work but I can show you some photos that I took of the event which was introduced by Firstsite’s new(ish) curator Stuart Tulloch.stu-tullock-sm

The Gallery

Gee made full use of the wonderful facility at The Firstsite Gallery with stunning red flags inviting visitors in to her really well hung and presented work throughout. Firstsite Gallery has a much maligned history and this series of events & the main exhibition ought to go a long way to establish it on the map of must visit spaces in this country. It’s a great gallery!

Sally Shaw, the new director has a healthy demeanour and a listening approach and I wish her and her staff well for a great future which the town of Colchester needs. Sally has said anyone with ideas please come forward and put them to her as the job is still massive to take the place forward.

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Someday soon

Someday soon 14.03.2016

Someday soon they said I was going to be famous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jpeg
Alida’s metals are elemental statements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

also, I got some of her trappings on camera.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lookin Back

October 27th 2015, on my 65th birthday, shortly after doing the IPA [International Performance Association] fortnight, I become an OAP (Old Age Pensioner) and realize that I am an also an OPA (Opsimath Performance Artist). For those what don’t know (like I didn’t before I accidentally discovered the word whilst checking the meaning of ‘opulent’) an ‘opsimath’ is ‘a person who learns late in life’ and I certainly realised my love of Performance Art (PArt) late in my 50 years as a artisbloke.

A new stage name, ‘DANI OOPAPA’ or ‘OMI OOPAPA’ maybe?

It may be an idea if you read this blog about my work watti dun in 2013, it’ll let you know where am coming from:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/my-past-pages-from-the-net/

The rest of this is about the last year (2015) & my ‘links’ (not) with some gallery spaces and it will soon go into my ‘about’ in my wordpress site. The knowledge, skills & experience I have accumulated did not come easily, it came as the result of determined effort and my desire to learn then apply my abilities. Colchester has been my cultural centre since 1975 and I have exhibited there several times; one man shows in Trinity Street gallery (1994), the main Library gallery (2000) and the Red Lion Bookshop (2014) and participation in several group shows in particular at the Minories as the Final show of my MA qualification (2013) followed by a solo ‘performance’ there.

Jan 26th 2015

On the basis of my thinking that it may be better to fill the walls with my work^, than close the gallery with the walls effectively empty I make an offer to Firstsite Gallery Colchester.

(^ work which has seen 25 solo shows in Essex since 1978 and has been loved by many of those who came into the shows who indicated their feelings in the visitors’ books),

‘Dear curators,[the head curator (MC, see below) had quit the gallery for a plum job in a big gallery in Germany leaving deputies i/c]

I was in firstsite on Saturday 17th January and I noticed the gallery is almost empty at the moment and one of the assistants told me it is not scheduled to have a new show until March- I feel impelled to ask you to give me the freedom of your walls and spaces and I’ll mount a big show based of the work I have produced in the past 48 years.

‘Dear Pete,

Thank you for your email and for sending your proposal for an exhibition at Firstsite.

I’m afraid that we are unable to host an exhibition of your work in the coming weeks. The galleries are committed to other activities during this period, including essential maintenance and a 5-week long residency by Maria Loboda, during which time she will fabricate a new work in situ. Furthermore, as I’m sure you are aware, our exhibitions are originated and developed over much longer periods of time and through extended conversations with the artist.

31 Jan 2015’

Shortly after sending me that short note she quit the gallery.

Here’s some links to the blArts (my word to combine my Blatherings on Art) I did about firstsite:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Feb 2015– The ‘free community place for arts’ in Colchester called Slack Space did a lovely ‘artists book’ show:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/artist-books-stories-at-slack-space/

&

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/my-artists-books-from-slack-space-to-babe-11-12-april/

 

Also in February the Art Council withdrew the funding from Firstsite gallery and I did a blog about making an offer to help the crestfallen director who on his appointment had said on being announced as Firstsite’s new director in November 2012, “The positioning of Firstsite within the local community is essential to my new role. I hope to extend Firstsite’s mission in bringing excellent art to everyone, supporting artists from the region to develop their careers and demonstrating the value that contemporary visual art brings to society.”

“To Matthew Rowe

I would like to meet you and discuss some of the issues that abide with you and the wonderful firstsite gallery along with its inherited problems and its legacy. I once had a long chat with Michelle Cotton (MC) which she began reluctantly but gradually warmed to and eventually said, ‘You should meet the new director Pete’

I also had a small article in Venue which flagged up the wonderful work of Bruce McLean and how well it looked in the space. I had tried to get Michelle to inform me about which show would follow McLean so I could prepare a longer article for Venue.

I would like to help you to move the gallery forward, why because I have lived in Essex since 1973 and taught art for many years and I see the need for such a big and potentially great space for art(s). At present it is nowhere near reaching its potential and that for many reasons, many of which you know some you may not be aware of.

So, if you would like to meet so we can talk and see if there are ways I can help please respond.

Pete Kennedy MA, DMS, Adv Dip, etc (I didn’t inc. an honor bestowed on me c.2008 RA Doubtful!) 14.2.15”.

MR never bothered to answer my offer yet the local MP and the rep of the Art Council had answered me, somewhat condescendingly I’ll have you know, the MP was ousted at the next election.

My blog abart it:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/moving-on-letting-go/

In April Matthew Rowe Director left:

http://www.colchesterchronicle.co.uk/2015/04/08/fancy-a-firstsite-job/

my blog about it, ignore the title, that was not intended to rejoice, I felt sad about MR and MC and all them what tried to bring advanced art ideas to Colchester but their intent altho well-meant was not so well based on the needs of the local community which yes would benefit from ‘education’ into 20th century+ art but it’s ‘the way you tell ‘em’ which counts. BE WARNED there’s a lot about my work in this and all ma blogs:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/oh-bee-joy-full/

 

Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th April

I attend the BABE book art fair at the Arnolfini where I share a table with David Jury. On the Sunday I do my reading and dance about my poems which are featured in my two books called ‘Inside This Earthen Vessel’. It was performed in a room they call the lecture room but it had no atmosphere at all. Chris Leonard a friend of over 40 years who lives near Bristol turned up, my mate Dave Doughty came down from Essex to film it and two other folk came plus the gallery helper who had to be there. It was really hard mustering any enthusiasm in such circumstances but those who came all seemed to enjoy it (?). It was invaluable doing it with so little an audience because it brought home the maxim, “The Show must go on” and taught me by experience how to lift myself up when the chips seemed to be down. It was good practice too.

Ere’s ma blog on BABE.

4pm Pete Kennedy ‘readings’- Inspired by Kabir’s poem ‘Inside This Clay Jug’ (transformed from Rabindranath Tagore’s translation by Robert Bly and recited by Pete) Also, various renditions from the original book on Six Mystics- G Batch (G…iorgi Ivanovitch Gurdzhiev. B…euys Joseph. A…ngeli Silesii. T…enzin Gyatso. C…arl Gustav Jung & H…ermann Hesse.), Inside This Clay Jug and Inside This Great Jug.

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/?s=jug+talk+at+babe+%26+bukman+dances+on

 

April 2015, Interim Director Anthony Roberts takes over for a year, my blArt:

Triumphal Buzz

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/91326/

I join a guided tour led by the new Director, blog:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/?s=FIRSTSITE+NEW+BEGINNING%2C+PART+2.

July- I go to the BALTIC gallery Gateshead book fair and do my Outlaw Pete Intervention, everything begins to fall into place:

Baltic Artists Book Market 2015

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/?s=baltic+artists+book+market+2015

After my gig at BALTIC I realise I am only skirting around the edges of Performance Art these past 40 years so decide to join the IPA http://www.ipapress.i-pa.org/ in October which leads to possibly one of the most momentous shifts in my thinking and doing in my whole life as a artisbloke:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/?s=2+weeks+doing+performance+art.

Then another blog, yes it HAS started:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/now-i-have-begun/

So, I start to try to get ‘out there’ into the PA community. I have to say sadly my initial tentative approach to LADA has been a damp squib and my attempt to contact the organisers of SPILL fest also hit the rocks. Here’s some blogs:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/lets-do-it-live-art/

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/lets-dance/

My links to IPA have proved much more warm and rewarding. During the ‘pop up performances’ with IPA I return to the Arnolfini and do some much more well received performance art and we use the ‘lecture room’ as a base in which to change our clothes. I did an impromptu engagement with two little boys in a puddle outside the gallery thinking nobody was watching and I got these lovely words from two of our course leaders (Vest & Page) who happened to be in the café looking on proceedings as I splashed with the kids.

“Thanks for your warmth and smiles during the IPA days – we will always remember you jumping with the kid in the little water pond on the streets in front of Arnolfini.

Keep being magic and shining, V&A

v & p latex colord dancers

And I shall never forget their wonderful performance at Arnolfini! I was touched & inspired bigtime and I learned masses from observing them.

 

November I take part in the day of Performance Art at Firstsite gallery.

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/the-frailty-of-being-human/

Next in November I had a table at the Hadleigh books fair:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/life-begins-at-65-now/

And here’s a blog about my first ever article in an American Journal (JAB):

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/my-german-ghosts/

 

December– Interim Director Anthony Roberts leaves Firstsite before a year is up (with my artist’s math I make it 9 months, just long enuf for a babe to gestate?) BUT he managed to get over £2 million support from Art Council before he goes. Thanks Ant yer dun a great job cos you turned the old tanker around, now it’s headed in the right direction, let’s hope it don’t come aground again. What an end to the year and an era at Firstsite gallery in Colchester, these two events are the final things which Anthony Roberts oversaw as ‘interim’ Director before taking his leave! He left the space in a much better place than he had found it in.

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/december-at-firstsite/

 

The future at Firstsite.

Now their work begins and they’ve a lot of work to do. The gallery is nowhere near a fully functioning gallery and socially inviting/accepted place. The budge that AR gave it is just that, a budge. It requires a mammoth transformation in its view of the world, local, national & international. Maybe more importantly the local council needs to sort out the locality, that in immediate proximity to the gallery as well as the whole town which over the past 10 years has sunk. It needs imagination and creativity, just as does the gallery. The roads around the gallery, especially the closing of entry into Queen St from the High St., need urgent attention vis a vis right to drive without impunity. The parking access near the gallery needs making available and accessible. The access to and from the car park in Priory St. needs sorting as does the total access and right to use the field outside the gallery. Visitors to the gallery should enjoy complete 360 degree access to the ground around the gallery.

 

Postscript- I can’t, or couldn’t, detach from the idea that my art was worthy and the world did me a dis-service by not attaching to it and giving me loads a money and praise and love and attachment. Then I look see what those results brought for the likes of Michael Jackson, John Lennon & Elvis the Pelvis and I can see I don’t want loads a money and praise and love and attachment. I am now more ready to give up my forlorn attempts to be up there with the famous ones! I think myself lucky that I never made it. I no longer ‘mind’, even if I did in the past. I have had my moments, I’ve had positive feedback which has gone into the burner and helped energise me as did criticisms cos often I’d not take them laying down, I’d up and at ‘em. I’d make my next ting beat better. All the time I wanted to improve. That’s why I find myself an opsimath, a ‘person who learns late in life’, or should that be an Opzzie-Mouth in praise of Ozzie Ozbourne?)

So you see my links to galleries in the past 50 yearns has been rather limited, you could say galleries are my limited company; Pete Kennedy Galleries Ltd. However, onwards and now I’m an Opsimath!  My next blog will be about relationships, according to TED they make your life last much longer if they’re good! Here’s my final blog for this lot:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/i-tried-to-change-the-world/

ta to Zelda Chappel fer this image via @Steve_Perfect, ta 2 yu 2 blue

a len bern on art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December at Firstsite.

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

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

Jamie Dodds Exhibition

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

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

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

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

Scottee

a foled banana

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

3 ladies s

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

Newcy gel 2

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

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

 

 

Life begins at 65, Now!

23.55hrs 14.11.15

pk table

my table at HOFS book event

I achieved a lot in my first 65 years but NOW iBEGIN. Those 65 years were just preparation for Now. I’m 18 again today, 65 years 18 days and am coming of Age. My age is no barrier. Inside I still feel like the child I was, like the youth I was, the 21 year old, the 30, 40, 50, 60 year old, actually not the 60 year old cos I were recovering from a bad condition then, (rh.ar.) nevertheless that recovery brought me to the here is now, so I feel Lucky).

When I was a child any 21 year old was ‘old’. Now am 65 any 65 year old is young(ish). And I am Lucky, Lucky is my middle name, I have survived and now am thriving.

15.11.15 I like that.

pk table jab

Yesterday I took my copy of the Journal of Artists Books (JAB) to Hadleigh Old Fire Station (HOFS) to their annual book fair where they show some lovely little books. I met Karen Apps who has promised to make an Apulhed-doll for me.

Ahed in long coat B&W stencil

Maybe summat like this, my favorite image of the Apulman! I drew it back in 1976 and it casts a nod in the direction of the little girl hero in Spirit of the Beehive (a beautiful film) who wore big boots and a long coat.Here’s one of K A’s dolls:

matildas mse

Karen Apps does beautiful books and tings like carving a baby face into soap then washing it until it ‘melts’ and eventually looks like a torso, rather like the Venus of Willendorf I told her.

soap venus

Karen Dennison was there with her lovely little ekphrastic chain picture-poetry-picture-poetry collection, blueshift, in which I done a picture. Chris Ruston couldn’t attend but she had some of her wonderful Ammonite books on display.

ammonite Chris rus

It was great re-acquainting on that rainy day.

I was lucky to visit Small Publishers Fair on 6th Nov where I re-acquainting with Jacqueline T., Nancy C., Sarah B., Mandy B., Mette A., Mike N. and also met Jan Voss an ex-student of the great artis-bokman Dieter Roth and he gave me insight into DR.

I played Nancy Campbell’s Tombola with Icelandic words and mine was isserssorpoq which translates as “‘uses the eyes’; ‘speaks with the eyes’; ‘flirts’”, but I wouldn’t know ought abArt that now would I?

Whilst in London town I bought some kryolan face paint which I had watched Carol Montealegre from South America apply beautifully during my stay at IPA. My own application of it at Firstsite last weekend was less adept and it had a life of its own which showed when I got hotter ‘dancing’ on the plate glass and it ran down my chest to ma belly button. 1stsite dusting the broomsm

dusting my broom (which fell apart)

That’s where the Performance Art began as you could also see my breath as the moisture condensed onto the surface of the cold cold glass. Nicole Murmann kindly sent about 80 photos of me doing the Jug ‘dance’ outside Arnolfini gallery in Bristol and a wonderful sight they are. I never realised so many folk witnessed my movements in the rain but here are some of her images drips and all onto ma face, thank you Nicole.

arnolfini jug sequence7

getting wet for my Performance Art outside the Arnolfini, Bristolarnolfini jug red passerby

the two images above (c) Nicole Murmann 2015

During the week JAB38 arrived in the post and I feel privileged to have an article in it. The journal is beautifully produced in B&W http://www.journalofartistsbooks.org/current/ My only reservation, and this not to criticise the wonderful production quality, is that my work often needs colour and loses a lot in B&W. I shall do an blog about jab38 soon.

1 poppy tower