Category Archives: galleries

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The frailty of being human

The frailty of being human/ubeings*.

As I approached one of the most important (in my way of thinking) moments in my life my shoulder ached so much it jeopardized my planned ‘Performance Art’ at the re-newed  firstsite Gallery Colchester.

It pulled me up sharp. I had to really rest on Thursday and take it easier on myself Friday. I hoped the pain would subside so I could carry on my piece. This brought up the notion of frailty. Of course we live longer than a gnat or a flea or a butterfly once we survive the pang if birth but we are prone to disease, injury and mutual self-destruction (wars & other conflicts) as Gurdjeff used to call it until he too found that crashing your car did little for your survival and he did died on the second crash. We all will die anyway, crash or no crash, war or no war, it is our destiny. Tibetan thinkers don’t talk of death per se, they have the bardo of living (this here now) and the bardo of dying (what happens to us when we quit the body which has been our shell awhile). My ‘Performance Art’ is me railing against my fate, or actually, more accurately, accepting it and making a noise (even when the piece is silent which is rare) whilst I still can.

I hope you enjoy what I do. Bless you & Namaste.

*‘ubeings’ is my non gender biased word for our species.

a pete + optics

So, shouldering the task I turned up Saturday 7th November 2015 and ‘performance-artisted’ with my piece on being a cowboy called Outlaw Pete that Bruce the Boss Springstep song he wrote  especially for me (not).

19.04.2016 I had a nice little fillip today when a member of the staff at Firstsite said of my Outlaw Pete gig, ‘It was an out of body experience.’ She had not watched my whole gig. Said what she saw was very strange. I retorted, ‘That’s good cos I never want to be perceived as ‘normal’.’

Then I Explained Joseph Beuys to a Dead Woodpecker, below is Priscila Buschinelli’s photo of me Making the Point whilst holding the dead woodpecker (it flew into our conservatory and I got a friend to stuff it).

making the point

and I danced to Luke E Walker’s ambient ‘Sounds for Pete’s Clay Jug’

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Having first led a crowd from the comfort of the foyer café to the Mosaic Area by ‘playing’ a Bolivian song on the woodpecker’s beak and calling ‘Follow me, I’m the Pied Piper’. And about 30 folk did! It was so good to see the corridor filled with curious people after once seeing a lecturer from Australia walking forlornly all lonely thru that same space to give her talk to about ten people in the gallery’s fabulous lecture theatre. WOW, the gallery has moved on since then.

To see 30 people walking 5 or 6 abreast meant so much to me. To see that wonderful gallery full of people & music & dance & Performance Art & 700+ pictures and sculptures by local folks and to be part of that was a real highlight as the place is moving from untouchable to accessible under Anthony Roberts ‘temporary’ leadership.

One woman said she thought the best part of my piece was when I laid (exhausted) on the glass on top of the mosaic and breathed out which made my breath appear on the glass. My favourite moment was when I laid down at the end and left a smudge from the make up on my hand like a stone-age artist left his mark on cave walls.

It was an honour & privilege to do my Performance Art at Firstsite’s first Performance Art day even though it meant I had to go to the Small Publisher’s Book Fair at Conway Hall on Friday and miss some Performance Art events in the Spill fest in London. It was well worth it to be part of the day which used the Mosaic Area & other parts of Firstsite to show off the beauty of the architectural features and the second event (sorry I missed the first) by Helen Stratford helen stratford (7) smactually got the crowd to touch parts of the building and learn to appreciate it more. She shewed us the leaning wall had a good intent. They don’t reach the floor so they look as if they’re floating. THEN! If you crouch under the gap tween floor and wall there’s a long series of windows! These cannot be appreciated because the public cannot get down into the field to the back of the building for legal reasons. This needs to be rectified. The building needs to be circumnavigated with access at all times the gallery is open, for many reasons. Get it sorted Colchester (Council)! (see footnote) So here are some images of folk feeling the gallery, and it felt good banging a beat on the gold cladding:

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Priscila Buschinelli with Stephanie Kogler watching Pete

There were 11 different Performance Artist events working their magic including a breast feeding mother dancing with her babe suckling.

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They were enjoyed by all age groups. Let me list a few of the Performance Artists who played their part in the day curated by Priscila Buschinelli, the organiser/curator & Stephanie Kogler, the Open project assistant, with ‘JV’ doing the sound tech which made the music & sound reach our ears so clearly.

Lee Ashcroft registered his disdain at having to pay to do a Performance Art event! He wanted a refund and asked what Mario would do? Bang his head on a box and coins fall out, which he did for a 20 mins ‘durational’ piece with his just reward but the action hurt so much I bet he wished he’d not complained!

lee ashcroft refund (7) sm

Phil Mill did a sound piece which was phenomenal BUT he needed something on the ‘stage’ to captivate interest, a focal point.

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Che Kevlin did a sound piece with wonderful focal points particularly the golden mask which he made from an old card wrapping stuff sprayed gold. He created this ‘thing’ which played noise as he stroked it for his 20 minutes with a home made bow. No image cos someone had hid my camera.

Mel Donohoe did a most beautiful piece with herself dressed in a wedding dress under which a petticoat filled with white feathers lurked. She stuck dress pins in her arms from which she dangled the feathers to create ‘wings’ then she mounted some step ladders and raised her arms. A lack of wind prevented her taking off!

mel donohoe primary love (9) sm mel donohoe primary love (25) sm

The Murphy family of four dressed up as horses danced beautifully in costumes which shone & shimmered & glittered.

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And finally Holly Dot & Will did a totally irreverent skit on galleryistic etiquette which absolutely marmalised the way so many galleries don’t allow you to talk, laugh, touch, take photos and all the things you’d love to do.

holly dot +will (10) sm

I found the work infectious, the noises were glorious especially the sound of children laughing. As was the sound of clapter, especially when they showed appreciation for my own gyrating perspiring and making my mark on the glass.

I hope to do two more blogs this week about The book fair world and about Deb Guinane’s Performance Art at the spill fest in London on Sunday.

holly dot +will (14) sm

(footnote to Colchester council)

I’m not’asking am saying do it, because without that possibility the gallery can never function AND we (public/visitors) cannot access the car park so parking is an ISSUE and one which MUST BE PREVENTING visitors coming to the gallery. And whilst I am on about stupid things.Another thing which needs sorting is the road into Queen Street which normal cars can’t drive down from the high street. The stupidity is that they merely drive down the East Hill and turn at the Minories and go back to Queen Street and don’t say ‘We’ll put a stop to that’ NO, just re-instate the road so people can drive to the car park (Butt Lane?) then allow access to the gallery through the path at the back. Then folk can see thru the windows at the foot of the floating leaning walls! It’s not rocket science. Sort it!

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It’s not just the books!

ahed in curtain call

Thanks to the 30 visitor-‘hinnies’ to this blArt on its first day up with your 51 ‘views’.

I just got back frae doing the BALTIC book market. What a wonderful weekend. Not as many folks came in to the bookfair as we all hoped and there are some ways I think that can be moved forward at future gigs but It’s not just about the books, is it? I have to thank Theresa Easton, Hannah Marsden & Gary Malkin for their hard work, interest, indefatigibleness, helps, patience, humour, example and a whole lot more. It was wonderfully set up. My table at 1x2metres was best I ever had.

ma tyebel left ma tyebel

Have to thank all 3 for organising the event, I’ve never had so much help on arrival and on being sent packing and all. ta to Theresa Easton especially for tweeting and retweeting and rebloggin ma blArt https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/peter-d-cowboy/ and for making me feel so at home thru-out. Thanks also to Janette who guarded my stall whilst I shot off to see the Gormley at Hatton. there was a wonderful show of Albert Adams work at University Gallery Newcastle too. How he lived a lifetime and I never heard of him I don’t know. Certainly one of the best print-makers ever from these isles.

My ‘tyebble’ at BALTIC- I forgot to place our collaboration on the wall David! There’s ma new buk centre left, ‘Venus Stairs’ behind the little concertina buk ‘Inside this great jug’ with all its color pics of my heroes.

I had prepared my new book ‘Venus Stares on the Stairs’ to promote my picture of the same names. I took my pic to the Baltic too and prepped a show at High Noon on the Saturday to ‘explain’ my werks. I was in tremulous trepidations about doing the ‘performance’ but it turned out fine, really, really fine! It was the best reception I have ever had and the actor in me reacted to the good will and cranked up the act so I heard myself saying tings I had not scripted as the audience laughed and laughed at my antics. So. I entered in me cowboy outfit with Bruce serenading ‘Cowboy Pete’ thanks to Hannah Marsden’s wizardry. I did my Zumba reeling and rolling whooping and swirling my imaginary lariat. I did that ting wit ma legs where you go bow-legged and then turn around what I lurned in Zumba, I shot the sherrif wit ma six-gun fingers and I galloped on me imaginary hoss across the stage ‘leaving women crying in my wake’ (Bruce). Follow that! And I did. I recited Kabir’s poem about what’s inside the clay jug and shewed my big pot and scrolls off and that was only a starter. Now for the real object of the ‘talk’, ‘Venus Stairs’ picture.

I had prepared a powerpoint with my mate Dave Doughty’s help to add some music. (I shall try to put the presentation up in a future ‘blArty Pete’s’. It was projected onto a big screen and I had a ‘clikie’ to control the speed. Then I read my senryus about the making of the picture. Most everyone seemed to like the ‘show’ and they clapped with vigorosity at th’End. (It’s going to go up on BALTIC archive eventually and when it does, filmed by Gary Malkin, I shall send a link in my blArt.) That made my weekend, well that and selling a page from my collaborative letterpress pages printed by David Jury.

I learned a lot from doing the gig.

On the way back my chauffeuse Christine and I mulled over how tings can be improved. The fact that nobody bought any copies of ‘Venus Stairs’ had to have a reason. We worked out it needs a slip cover

a slip cover idea

with information on, like reviews, so am gunta aks some of the key players from the book event to scribe some werds for us.

Cos I werked out that books won’t attract interest if you don’t adhere to some tried & tested marketing ploys employed in the ‘normal’ book market; good cover, information, category etc

All these tings are not on my book at present.

Bruce borrowed my hat for this song!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLZ3uGd3gTo

There were other performances but I only got to see one which was done several times by Sylvia Causer and Andrea Freeman.Sylvia + Andrea sm

They did great, just continuing with their ‘reading’ even tho at times there was nobody watching, or just Hannah, bless her.

hannah watches on sm

They read the end of books, with Sylvia reading the words and Andrea interrupting the punctuations.

I said I were going to reblog this lovely review by Janet Davis which goes a long way towards explaining what artists books are, but i realised I didn’t yet know how to reblog, so if you click on this link it should take you to her blog:

https://janetedavisart.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/baltic-artists-book-market-2015/

Peter D. Cowboy 

glasses & gun close up

Peter D. Cowboy  alias Rhody O’Dork odork sheriffsays he’ll be coming to BALTIC with me and, as you already know, when he says that there’s nought I can dae aboot it (that’s me Geordie heritage talking noo).

Am away frae ma compooter a few days after I post this, am on the trail as O’Dork puts it.

a beuys influence

Above is a bit from a buk on Keifer I bought last time I wer in BALTIC. (O’Dork bought a yeller plastic doll which he’s bringing to the show).I am an inbetweena. I do these performance ting and I create images, artefacs and buks. So I look forward to ma latest show, ‘How to explain Veus on the stairs to a live audience at the Baltic’ and keep an eye on my stall at the same time! Well I got this split personality and so we should be Alright Now by the Free.

Alright am ready, nearly.

madgrad earings an fleurs sm

Ps here’s ma girl getting her MA at Courtauld & St Clements this week. Proud Pete.

expecting on stairs at tate brit smtate

And. I saw this lady on the stairs at TATE same day, I feel a painting coming on, oh no, I did not aks her permission.

Alright am ready, nearly.

So am nearly ready for BALTIC next week.  Their fame even spreads to the south coast, altho this design in Margate is not theirsbaltic logosm

Been a busy fascinating week. I joined ENAS at Margate to see the Grayson Perry show at the Turner Gallery which was pretty good. If he keeps practising he’ll make those pots straight one day.  Everyone in the Enas coach seemed to love his work, his wit & intelligence. His work is inspiring. I love the way he tumbles the barriers over, pushing stultified tradition over yet replacing it with new possibilities. I can’t indeed won’t show any images of his work as a protest, a BIG protest about this crap many galleries have about not taking photos etc. It’s such a negative ting. I aks you when you come see my works to take photos, as many as you likes.

fiona fouhy

Then I wandered around the town and saw some nice art, especially  Fiona Fouhy’s etchings.

fiona fouhy2

Here’s some shots from me Margate trip:

peter pizza

that’s me hungry fer petesa

I enjoyed Heidi Plant’s heidiwork at the Resort studios and may go back to do some work in their print studio. And when we arrived back at Firstsite wur we set out from the moon was out and the gallery looked so good. moon site

Next day I was back on my bike and over to London toon to do ‘Poetry’ with a visit to the Poetry Library first to deliver a signed cover for my collaboration work with David Jury. Saradha http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/saradha-soobrayen introduced me to the books of Anne Carson who seems to be an artist writer after my own art. There are lots of parallels in our books’ materials & looks. She were born in Toronto, Ontario in 1950, I was born in Glasgow the same year. Her Antigo Nick has a very similar feel to my Apulgold book, and the similarities don’t stop there. There’s a staggering resemblance in the way she made a book called Nox and the new version of my Shrewd Idiot. So much so you’d think I have copied her, not so, I never heard of her til Saradha introduced her work to me. But the way she has cut & pasted images and words is identical to my prep work already done. I just find that so encouraging and supportive, showing me I am on the right track. Of course the subject matter is very different. Mine is all about me, hers is about her brother.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/dec/30/featuresreviews.guardianreview7

I finished off at Enitharmon where I still couldn’t find William Blake but I saw a launch of a book on Ed Dorn with his wife Jennifer and others reading poems of his. I bought her poem Eastward Ho, The Saga Of Vitus Bering wherein I discovered that the Bering straits were named after a man called Bering! Bright that.

Did you know that the Boss had done a song about my youth? Enjoy- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i5A1Pn0z6k

Now down to some hard graft, polishing ma dancing boots, shaping ma cowbouy hat, donning ma spurs, covering ma buks, learning ma werds and preparing ma presenting skills for BALTIC nex Saturday at High Noon. Bring yer camras, feel free to take them darned photos of Outlaw Pete and his outputs.

Firstsite new beginning, Part 2.

For Part 1 go to https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/91326/

On Sunday I dropped in to hear Anthony Roberts do a guided tour of the building and all who sail in her.

ant gets on his hoss smAnthony gets on his horse

He has a good way with words but more importantly he has a good angle on the possibilities at the gallery.

ant desperate for banana smHere he goes for a bite of a lady’s banana

He began with an intro in the foyer.ant happy familysmHappy families

He explained that Hunt & Darton have come in to serve as the café, but they are really a performance art gig.

hunt an dart sm

He took us round to the side of the building which has always seemed out of bounds. It gives us a lovely view of the architecture which is, despite all the differing opinions, still a landmark building which we should admire and spread the word about.

tree view sm

I feel that this side of the ‘park’ needs to be made more accessible, so that people can just spend their time lolling around it, picknicking and all. Maybe live outdoor gigs?

red umbrella sm crowd sm

Hold on a bit it’s not the only good architecture around here, there’s that old church too

ant thechurchSo we get the best of both worlds here

Anthony explained he’s actually been involved with Firstsite since it was first dreamed up by a lady he once knew. He must have been distressed to see it as it went through the pangs of despair in the original build and the subsequent mis-direction. Some of the old guard seemed to think it more important to appeal to about ten people in London than to get the local populace incorporated into its projects.

We went thru the office area into the ex-café zone. It’s rather unfortunate the proprietors of the Whitechapel café left too soon, If they had stuck around a few more weeks they may see a surge in visitor numbers. Now it seems the Hunt and Darton girls will have to fill that bill. And very entertaining they are.

hunt an dart entrance sm

We stood on the veranda overlooking a ‘field’ which access to and through is severely limited cos of histoirical issues which need to be ironed out and left behind for the gallery to grow with quick access to a public car park.

ant hold back the lightLet’s work together and get this place on the map.

Outside the morris dancersmorris dancers sm morris dancers bang the drum sm morris dancers 1 sm did energetic jigs and the street dancers joined in.

come together sm

And the new staff seem lively and very friendly too.new lauren sm