Tag Archives: art world

My German ‘gHosts’.

All of a sudden my life is beginning to happen. ‘It’s almost as if the stars are tangled in a ghostly spider’s web. The whole network is beginning to glow, to pulse with light, exactly as if it were alive…’ (p. 166, Tom Wolfe in Cool Aid Acid Test).

I spent 65 years ‘trying’ to ‘get there’ and suddenly somehow I arrive! Like Clementine, I’m on tea & croissants. On Friday night last when I turned on the Mercury prize I discovered a man/voice which was as big a revelation to me as hearing Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks on vinyl way back in 1968 on an old Dancette record player exactly like this one.a dancette

Benjamin Clementine was chosen as the top album (?) and what a phenomenon!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a68KJWe_Tfk

Although I am not a phenomenon I did surprise a few folk at the IPA fortnight (http://www.ipapress.i-pa.org/official-news/ipa-autumn-2015-official-news/great-blog-from-pete-kennedy-about-ipa-autumn-2015/  recently but I been a long time gestating. During the time of my ‘working life’ I never ‘made it’, that’s for sure, partly cos I were too busy working for a living. But I never gave up my pursuit of the goal which was to make a mark on the consciousness of the era in which I have lived.

It was a long hard battle. I wrote, I painted, I did graphics (‘comic’, caricature and stuff) and I drew. I drew cos I could. I actually draw because of the battle I had to fight to acquire the ability to draw. It wasn’t easy cos as a 16 year old I was cack-handed (kakˈhandɪd; ‘clumsy, awkward or inept way of doing something; originally meaning left handed’, in other words I couldn’t draw for toffee but now I’m ambidextrous and am proud of that. Although I perform across a number of media it was the ability to draw which I chased hard until I achieved a certain skill which allowed me to draw the likes of Feliks Topolski, Miriam Patchen and more recently Vest & Page.

When Richard Morphet, the then Keeper of the Modern Collection at Tate, said to me in c. 1994, ‘Your work has a very German feel’, I think he was referring to the new breed from Germany like ‘upside down man’ Baselitz, yes there was a similarity but it stemmed from our all having the same influences in art history. Here’s one of my portraits (of Michael McKell actually) showing the similarity in technique. This is one of the illustrations which are reproduced beautifully in my article in JAB38 but here I am showing it in colour, it needs colour as does much of my oeuvre.

Michael McKell lino cut, black & brown

When Brad Freeman gave the go ahead on my article for the Journal of Artists Books (JAB http://www.journalofartistsbooks.org/current/) and I pondered on being asked to feature my own work, mainly in book and print but also in paint, and those who had inspired, directed and influenced it. It soon became apparent that many of them were of German origin. My father and his father’s generation had been embroiled in war with Germany yet I was inspired by so many German artists and writers. Significantly many of my influences had been on the Nazi regime’s list of ‘degenerate art’. The writer, artist and mountain walker Hermann Hesse, significantly, even stood up against the First World War. Anselm Keifer, Dieter Roth and Joseph Beuys all had to cope in their various ways with having been born in Germany and the aftermath stigma of the Third Reich.

a The scale is the result of the dance

my portrait of Anselm Kiefer

Luckily my embroilment has been with the positive creative side of the German spirit. The list is long and the work they did will give insight into my own output, about which the article will further inform you. Beneath German military imperialism lays a deeper current, German humanism as manifested in the work of writers like Hesse, Walser and Klee, each has had a profound effect on my work/output which I shall be linking to the work of the following artists showing how they have had an impact on my thinking:

Expressionists; Shmidt-Rotluf, Franz Marc (Post Card To Prince Jussuf), Kokoshka with his very literature base and liberal brush.

Dada etc; Max Ernst Collage books (La Femme 100 tetes) and his Livres d’artists,

Bauhaus; Klee, Schlemmer

Post war; Anselm Keifer, Dieter Roth and Joseph Beuys

Add to these Munch and Soutine, both of whom have a similar ‘feel’ and indeed the former certainly influenced the Expressionists. https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=expressionist+painters

*Kokoshka was born in Austria but was associated with German Expressionism and dada.

Wikipedia says that Kokoschka (who became involved with Performance Art) was a master of ‘innovative oil painting techniques anchored in earlier traditions’ which resonates with my lifelong observation  about ‘art’ or rather  ‘the creative process’ passing down a (transcendent) chain or  down a line/ lineage.

I see my portraits as descendent from the work of Rembrandt or El Greco, then Van Gogh and Soutine yet it never lamely mimics any of them. They set the example but I always looked to move it on. I was born into a generation which experimented with and pushed the barriers, sometimes too far, too quickly. I have always looked over my shoulder or down to see my feet standing on the shoulders of giants. I fought hard with my own inadequacies to overcome my incompetence in various media. I did find my way to doing some oil paintings which had considerable skill. All of the time I heard Max Ernst whispering in my ear that ‘painting is dead’, yet I refused to allow that to happen, I love the push of the wet gooey brush across the dry canvas surface and my attempts to make a difference. I was aware that so many great artists had (before I began) created a great legacy of amazing works which I could hardly hope to match, so I would push off in another direction. To find that direction I would look intensively into the history of ‘art’ and into the practice which was going on around me from the time of my first successful paintings and prints until today.

In the early 1970’s I was lucky to see the work of Soutine, de Kooning, Barnet Newman and Dieter Roth all of whom did what I considered to be ground-breaking work which itself was keeping to the lineage of the greats that went before them. I wanted to create new and original work which proved ever so difficult when the art market only really wanted to have the work of established masters or people who were following in their footsteps. They wouldn’t look at my work because I was not in the canon or established or I didn’t have the right track record or had not been vetted by the right colleges. And who can blame them when so many artists were being produced, choosing who to back and add to the canon must have been difficult. But I carried on making my art regardless, for 48 years now. Now it can be seen that I have created a large oeuvre which has a wide variety of differing styles and ways of working, yet another taboo in the ‘art-world’ where they like it if you concentrate on a small area then you can be boxed up and sold.

I was inspired by Ernst. I saw Roth as an oasis on my starving journey. And later I saw Beuys and Keifer doing things I had done as a result of pursuing my own star only they did them more than I ever could with my limited time and resources.

‘Beuys never made a painting on canvas; he explicitly rejected this traditional artistic production.’ P68 JB-A Colourful World, pubr. Schellmann Art, Munich 2011. Here is a difference because I did do paintings and other things onto canvas, I wouldn’t stop because Beuys did not choose this medium, but I would be able to consider many materials for use in my own work having been given permission so to do by Beuys having used them either before I did or without my knowing that he had and my later finding out he had used materials I had chosen, except before me. What Beuys, Ernst and Roth did was encourage my daring when it came to which materials could be used to make my work with. Had I stuck to the limited media which my educators and many British artists before the sixties had stuck to my output would have been severely limited. Even today many of my pieces are frowned upon by people from all walks of life because many have little idea as to the way art and its use or abuse of materials has moved for better or worse in the past 50 years.

On 23.7.14 I got a note from David Jury about our collaboration for an artists book Inside This Clay Vessel http://www.abebooks.co.uk/9780950426716/BATCH-Introduction-Thoughts-Clay-Jug-0950426717/plp :

‘I did a lot of work on Vessel page 2 (V2) today but had to make quite a few changes from yesterday’s efforts. I expect to get a printed result tomorrow. It was Braunschweig University that I visited, but they have no link to Beuys. The permanent exhibition of Beuys I mentioned is kept at a fantastic gallery in Berlin, the Hamburger Bahnhof. They have a couple of fabulous Keifer pieces too, but they are not always on display.’

I had been asking him about his visit to Braunschweig and the artists that he’d told me about with a view to me going there one day(?). In 2015 I produced a book about the making of my picture called Venus Stairs which was inspired by Schlemmer’s Bauhaus Staircase. The more I see of Schlemmer’s oeuvre the more I love it, especially the stuff he did related to performance, especially now that I am so involved with Performance Art.

Two weeks ago I recited my Beuys poem at firstsite Gallery in Colchester. The poem pokes fun at Beuys and his ways but it’s also an homage to him. When I spent 2 weeks in the company of Performance Artist Jurgen Fritz I was aware that I am still a novice in the field of Performance Art but Jurgen said encouraging things about my efforts. I have been eating, sleeping & dreaming up Performance Art pieces since then and my next blog will be about the IPA fortnight.

making the point

Here’s me reciting my Beuys poem. He had gold on his face, I couldn’t afford gold so I used black.

 

That’s where it’s at pretty baby!

OK here is the vid of me at BABE in April 2015, it’s taken the overall count of visits to my blArt over the 6,500 mark, is that going viral?

a mask beuyHerr Beuys is watching

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=07628A1BAB38FC9E&id=7628a1bab38fc9e%21101996&authkey=%21AuwEF6VxemmDRcY&v=3

A special thanks to Dave Doughty who filmed it, Kara who did the cd operating the music at VERY short notice. Luke Walker and Colin Lloyd Tucker for the musics and of course the Killers. And thank you Duncan for your encouragement & support as always. I’ll never dance as well as you do.

It’s scarey cos it shows me flaws and all. It’s important cos I can learn so much from seeing it and from any feedback it may elicit. This seems to have gone viral, at least 20 folk have ‘tuned in and dropped off’ within 12 hours of my posting it. Enjoy.

That’s where it’s at pretty baby! That’s where it’s at, here’s Sam Cooke singing it, Van Morrison dropped a refrain from Sam’s song into one of his concerts! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txQoANzba-I

(27.04.2015) Sometimes reality comes by and hits me in the face, like a cold wet kipper, a slap in the face with a smelly old fish.

The artists I like most are Japanese if you please, they are of young and old times if you please; Hiroshige, Tadanoori Yokoo and the ones I saw at the ‘original print fair’ at the R A yesterday; Yuriko Takimoto (gallery jin), Nana Shiomi ((Rabley Contemporary) and Chitra Ganesh altho she’s Indian I guess (Durham press, Pennsylvania). I loved Katherine Jones (Rabley) collographs too. The trouble with all the rest is they are just repeating ad infinitum what’s gone before. They don’t understand an original unique artist like myself. There’s only (ever been) a few like me, original-unique. Trouble with my output is it’s always been too far out for them to catch it up. That’s where I’ve always been, out, far out. I got left out in the cold running thru the fields crying out in the wildness. But, I DON’T CARE! On the surface it seems I have been small fry, but there’s a big kick inside which has always driven me on. I shall never be a ‘success’ (like me old Burnley mucker James Anderson the cricketer who is breaking all records and getting accolades world-wide, but, and any (material & critical) success I may be donned with in the last quarter of my life in this incarnation will only be a sideshow of little import. I shall remain small fry. It’s too late to start now. I have had to (try to) continue over these past 47 years ‘without portfolio’ but that’s nothing new for a boy from the 1950’s estates. I started off poor and I still remain strapped for resources in a physical sense. I am fabulously rich in otherways which I am sure will out in my series of books started with the new Shrewd Idiot and onto my Squidgerat Scrawlings through to I Telt Yeez I Was A Genie’s Ass. Yesterday I heard that Bert Irwin had died a few weeks ago in his 80’s. Alan Davie’s work was prominently shown at the Original Print fair at the RA and he died recently too. Chris Ofili and Grayson Perry’s prints were there in all there glory but mine are not, that’s a reflection of my lack of ‘success’ but am not crying nor whingeing over tings that didn’t occur, no, I am determined to continue pursuing my visions and making my outputs some of which are unpredictable even to me. And that’s the way I work, I am of the school which believed we should not be able to predict every outcome because chance and opportunity should be in the mix when creating, allowing for surprise and breaking new ground. John Cage said of Rauschenberg in ‘Silence’, “Modern Art has no need for technique. (We are in the glory of not knowing what we are doing.). And I am a Modern Artis, if nought else. Ray Rushton wrote really positive things about my werk for the Essex County Standard in October 1993 like, “Kennedy mostly uses his plethora of open line either as a wiry composition in its own right, or more often, to knit together patches of colour as in the large painting of Topolski.”

I have abandoned all efforts to gain entry into the Ice castles of art(s). I give up…not ‘making art’, no. this blArt is my art or pArt of it. No, I shall continue making my art ‘til the day I die. But am not ‘attempting’ any longer I’m just ‘being’, me. No pretentions, no submissions, no entries, no mores, just me. I am ‘When I’m 64’ now be blowed, I don’t need ‘them’. One of the concerns is that without being in the ‘fold’ or the ‘canon’ you can’t survive. Well, I am still alive and the folded canon is much diminished by my absence, with its lack of my presence. The thing is, the ‘art world’ batters out the same old song. I bin looking hard at art since 1967 when I first visited the Tate. Also in ‘67 there were a massive retrospective of Matisse and today there’s another big Matisse show at tate Modern, I’ve lived thru 2 maybe 3 major Lichtenstein shows, or Warhola or Henry Moore etc shows. Yet so many others never get heard of. Trouble is hundreds maybe thousands go into art training, learning various skills to sometimes very high levels and some, like me, always ‘believe’ that with enough effort & dedication they can ‘make it’. Make it ? make what? Make it into the canon? Become ‘recognised’ as players etc? when really there’s next to no chance. Probably less chance of ‘success’ in the art world than if they (both male or female) tried to become premiership footballers. In other words, NO CHANCE. People like Heinious Hurst, Tarki Vermin are truly freaks of an art-nature. The art world exhibits them like the Victorians shewed people with difference in fairground freak shows and the (still) gullible public flock (like sheeps) to she em.

For me the world of art is so much wider deeper and longer than them lot, or any udder latest flavour or favoured it. It guz bach even past the Venus of Willendorf. Human inventiveness & creativity is really what art is about and that is it’s worth. So, when I once ‘taught’ art I was really teaching alternative ways of looking at and approaching a challenge, ways of creating new solutions, different ways of tinking & looking and finding. Different ways to re-iterate old and new ideas. And this country, GB, has an incredibly rich history of nurturing creative talent acrosst the arts (& sciences look at Dyson, Richard Rogers & Norman Foster) in dance, art, literature, drama and music to name but five alive^.

Here’s a quote from an old blArt of mine which was entitled ‘My claim to a plaice in the Pantheon with my Pantstillon.’ And I was playing with the word place which we sound the same as plaice and I was mucking around with the word Pantheon and belittling it by analogising it with the idea of flying by the seat of my pants but managing to keep them on:

‘The prophet is one who embraces /embodies an “alternative consciousness”…[they] serve to criticize in dismantling the dominant consciousness and energize persons & communities by [promoting moves toward another consciousness]. See Walter Brueggemann- the prophetic imagination. Beuys said, “when I speak I try to guide that power’s impulse into a more fully descriptive language, which is the spiritual perception of growth” The intervention of speech and conversation into his visual works plays a meaningful role in ‘How to explain pics to a dead hare’. The hare has symbolic meaning in many cultures, Germanic tribes saw it as a symbol of fertility. The gold mask Beuys wore during his performance saw gold as a symbol for the power of the sun, wisdom, and purity, and honey as a Germanic symbol for rebirth. For Beuys ‘Honey on my head of course has to do with thought. While humans do not have the ability to produce honey, they do have the ability to think, to produce ideas. Honey is an undoubtedly living substance- human thoughts can also become alive, honey was the product of bees who, for Beuys (following Rudolf Steiner), represented an ideal society of warmth and brotherhood. Gold had its importance within alchemy’. All of this is from wikipedia.

‘Gold had its importance within alchemy’ transformation and transcendence which my whole project ‘Inside this clay pot’ is about. I have quoted from these Beuys’ sources not to gain kudos nor benefit but to help you understand that we (creatives) all ‘tap’ into ‘stuff’. As a teenager I realised artists like Henry Moore, Matisse, Van Gogh and Soutine, writers like James Joyce and Henry Miller were tapping in to what I later called ‘creative consciousness ’ in my book ‘The Shrewd Idiot’ watti rote tween 1976-81 and unpublished until 2015. The possibilities there are enormous. John Winstone Lennon, Bob ‘Dylan’ Zimmerman, Bruce tha Boss, Van D. Man, Baby Bowie, Ken Campbell, all tap into the source.

Moving on, letting go.

Image featured above shows a strange bird looming over the slanted side of firstsite gallery. What will it be a harbinger of? What does it presage? Only good I hope in the end but that is going to be a challenge which must be worked towards wholeheartedly and in unison by all the stakeholders; the council, the gallery, the public and art lovers from all over this land. It’s gonna take time and investment.

Recently (12th Feb?) I saw a pretty damning report on BBC Anglia tv in which the footage they used was several years old, altho they did have a reporter there to interview the director that day. They reported that the ‘Arts’ Council was threatening to withdraw support for the gallery. I decided to write to the several parties (excepting the Beeb as they never seem to take any notice, you get this thing that says they get millions of letters and sorry they won’t bother to reply) showing my concern that the true picture of the valiant efforts made by the gallery in the past few years has not been recorded and to offer direct help to its director Matthew Rowe from my 50 years’ experience in art and gallery visiting since seeing the big Henry Moore show at Tate in 1967. On 13 Feb I said, ‘Dear Matthew, I believe with my experience and qualifications I may be able to help you. Please see the attached. Also, please acknowledge receipt as I have guessed at your email address.’

I felt that local MP Bob Russell’s take on the gallery was quite negative when he cited how much millions it costs each year. OK compare that to how much the Castle takes? He replied saying I should contac the press with one of my less positive points. But he had replied within 24 hours!

I contacted the arts council in the guise of Hedley Swain and sent him the above list of links to my blArts. He replied within 24 hours and thanked me for my ‘other’ views, ‘It is useful to us to have different opinions and view-points to draw on. I assure you that Arts Council will do all it can, working with other local stakeholders, to improve the current situation.’

matthew rowe

The Director did not respond to my offer to help. Not yet, 28.2.15, but it’s only 15 days since I sent my offer.

I’d like to update the story so far on firstsite gallery in Colchester. I hear they are preparing a new launch with a fresh approach, I wish them well and I pray that it works not just for them but for all the interested parties. I believe they need more help from Colchester Council not less. There is a need for parking right next to the gallery in the space down which buses used to turn in their scores daily. At present parking is totally banned there and it is a total missed opportunity. Our society is used to ‘on site’ parking like at all the big supermarkets nowadays. People are loathe to walk more than 50 metres to a place. I know that’s true and the council’s refusal to provide on site parking is adding to the gallery’s problems in the past several years. There was supposed to be an art college coming very close to the gallery as part of the plan but that fell through. The whole area was supposed to be being built up with a multi-million pound development which never materialised. Then the gallery opened with its slanting wall and very little natural footfall. I believe the gallery needs a re-structure/build. Getting in some consultant architect the likes of Richard Rogers may help. There’s a need to get rid of the slant and to somehow introduce a mezzanine floor something like the one at Barbican gallery which can add space to exhibit more stuff.

outsite leans

Strange flying tings seen looming over firstsite

There is still a lot of space around the gallery which could be used to provide amenities for the local population which would also bring more folk in proximity to the gallery but it seems that nobody has enough imagination to propose any ideas. At least I have not seen any moves on that front, but I am not local and don’t get all the local news. I have offered to meet the Director to put forward some of my own ideas but he is obviously too busy hatching the re-launch plans. Or he just doesn’t want to know what a fool believes.

in the not too distant past I was called an ‘advocate’ of firstsite gallery Colchester but in fact I am a commentator (a common ‘tatoe). I’d like to play in their team or at least help the team but they don’t select me. Last week I was told my latest effort to gain a place on the hallowed walls was unsuccessful. They invited bids for a wall space 8m x 3m and once again I gave it my best shot, but I  didn’t score this time.

Now, personally, I am ‘Moving on, letting go’. I done e‘nuff’, I tried and tried agin and cannot suck seed. Am not moving on, letting go through any bitter feelings, I still have sympathy for their plight but I feel I have done more than the average commentator in my effort to assist. Picture me standing outside the gallery banging my head against the wall. I believe I deserve a bit more respect but of course what I believe and what actually happens are rare bedfellows.

It’s not hard, there’s lots of evidence.apul gnum wall

ps You have to replace the brick wall with a gold tin wall.

Well it may surprise some of yez but yes it hurts. But I am almost a Buddhist and am learning not to cling on, I’m no clingon!

Before I go let me give some links to the blArts I done 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/

The gallery is going to find it difficult to re-connect with the folk who once frequented it as it has been empty now several weeks and the café has disappeared and the continuity has been discontinued. If you pop in there at present not only do people keep coming up to you asking if you had permission to venture thru to where you stand perusing the 8×3 space before you apply but there is an eerie silence and emptiness which is going to hard to re-fill or even firstfill. I hope I have filled you in with my fill. Eugh that’s Awe-fill!

 tward entrance

Some more images of firstsite gallery at present

skylites

lookin out

 

17.03.15- I managed to spend a few minutes in conversation with the Director who came over as an amicable man with a basketful of challenges which I must say he is approaching with a good degree of patience and positive planning. The gallery has re-launched and re-branded with a wonderful new show which I like but I fear the local population won’t be won over with. The four artists local(-ish) at least to Essex I am reminded chosen to fill the 3x8m space are all very good practitioners, evidence of which is shown in a display of some work from each in the 8×3 space. the new cafe proprietors look to be setting about setting it up beautifully with local suppliers being utilised. Good luck for the future!

some new pics of the new set up, still quite empty of footfallers.

Image043

Image041

Now for something completely different but I believe relevant, especially for my regulars and  you know about my ‘what I believes’:

When I was 30 year old I scored two goals in 2 minutes (big head), one headed into the top left hand corner from a corner and t’other straight from the re-start when I nicked the ball as they kicked off, ran half the pitch length evading a lunging leg of a desprit full back and rounded the goalie to chip it in against Ingatestone for Maldon Saint Marys second eleven in a cup game which we won 2-1. Later in the same cup the manager left me on the sub’s bench for the Final aginst RHP which my goals had gotten the team to, playing a kid of 16 in my stead. Earlier that season, in the winter cos the ground had an inch or two of snow on it I had headed a goal in from a corner in a melee and felt a deep pain in my belly, so deep I thought someone had kicked me, it turned out this Charlie had decided to thump me in the stomach as I headed the ball.

a bad tackle(beyond the pale)

Unlike Nemanja Matic of Chelsea v. Burnley last week who took this bad (beyond the pale) tackle from Ashley Barnes I withheld my desire to retaliate*, I took his number, I remembered his face. Ten minutes from the end of that final I aksed Old Bill the manager if I was going to get a kick? “Oh sorry Pete I forgot you, get on now.”

a fyutballa peteHow could you leave this fella out?

PK in 1981

Sadly I couldn’t pull back the goal deficit in the 5 minutes left (which meant in the 30 odd years I played football I never got a winner’s medal!) but I had my eye on Charlie. I am not sure he remembered me without snowdrops on my head. Anyway I re-introduced myself on the half way line. It was a fair but hard tackle (NOT beyond the pale). He didn’t get up but only missed the last three minutes of play. I never returned to play for Maldon Saint Marys second eleven, not ‘nuff respec’. I did return to football 20 years later and scored loadsa goals as a veteran, well the ball is still a sphere and the goals are still in the same place and I still loved the game.

But ‘respec’ is wattam talking about. * Matic was sent off and banned from a Wembley Final for retaliation, Barnes got off scot free. Talking about the dinosaur attitude of institutions the FA have done FA about the ref’s ineptitude; he should have sent Barnes off before Matic took the law into his own hands and then the FA should lift the ban so Matic can participate in the Wembley Final . It’s not as if his shove on Barnes was life-threatening, more like a person in the isle at a supermarket pushing a trolley. (ps Chelsea still won!)

 

The world’s wound or the world’s wound up.

I am doing this blArt about rejection in honour of Solzhenitsyn and all those who have been incarcerated unfairly.

I awoke 0n 6.9.14 thinking of Solzhenitsyn and his Nobel speech. In searching for it I found this quote:

“Men have forgotten God”

Regarding atheism, Solzhenitsyn declared:

Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”[63]Wikipedia (from his Nobel Speech 1970.

Rejections, I had a few, but who am I to moan? Mine are nothing compared to Solzhenitsyn who was sent to the Gulag Internment camps during the rule of Stalin in Russia. That meant total rejection, and death for many. Solzhenitsyn survived and was allowed to leave the USSR but eventually returned to see his days out there. I was never exiled as such. I may have left and never returned but that was my choice (most times). I have been turned down, not accepted, ignored and even told by Turnstone Press (Britain) c.1980 that with the shortage of trees it would be a crime to use paper to print my writing on. I’ve been made to feel unwelcome, not wanted, not part of, but most of us have experiences of that ignominy, haven’t we? I’ve also been made welcome, even hankered after, I’ve been invited, accepted and have even had articles published. A little ‘success’ and I quickly forget most of the turndowns. I’ve even continued to turnstones looking for opportunities. Which funnily enough I was doing as I walked around the Art Fair at the Business Design Centre near Angel tube station yesterday where many galleries were selling their wares. My mate Dave and I saw work very reminiscent of my paintings of the 1980s using liberal but controlled brush marks and brilliant colours, like my ‘Van’ a van detail& ‘Seb’ oils, on display. AND SELLING WELL. It seems I was after all 35 years ahead of the field.

sebperfec close upjpg

Seb Coe looking a bit like Goya’s Saturn!

One Word of Truth by Solzhenitsyn delivered at the Nobel Prize ceremony, published by Bodley Head, talks highly about the place of art in human endeavour. ‘But Art is not sullied by our efforts; it loses nothing of its lineage, but every time and however applied it grants us a share of its own secret, inner light.’

a sol bi topol sm

Solzhenitsyn

by Feliks Toploski (thanks Caryl)

Solzhenitsyn is an example of a man who was hounded by the Russian state which it seems has now returned to habits we in the west hoped that they had abandoned. Their ‘leader’ Putin is KGB trained etc. who, unfortunately, has returned the modus operandi to the sad ways of pre-Gorbachev. His idea that he wishes to embattle, at various levels the ‘west’ and others, is a sad retrograde step for his (?!) country. It is based in ‘feather-displaying’ like peacocks and other birds do. He needs an ‘out’ of the sticky mess he has gone into. He needs to be given an out, a chance to climb down, to admit a mistake and a chance to heal the damage, before it escalates into a catastrophe. The ‘world ‘leaders’ are complicit. They are in danger of engaging in a 3rd ‘World War’. STOP. See the comparison between Ukraine 2014 and Serbia 1914. Be very careful.

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:

https://apulhed.wordpress.com/about/

 

*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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJUk1UklklE

A Moanie Lisa me

Careering t’ward th’end of an era for me.

Still straining after all these tears trying to gain a foothill in the crevices of th’Arts and not sucking seeding cos the doors of the glass bead game are firmly closeted. Nobody let me in. How many times did I knock on Cork Street or Burlington house or Millbank or anywhere elsa the lioness? And really I don’t have time for calling and for crawling and for holding my hat and I couldn’t afford a hat to get a head. More often than not I refuse to knock on wood Otis nor Eddie Floyd can make me. and even when I knock on wood doors, or is it wooden skulls? And I say let me in , or gi’e us a show etc, they just laugh in ma face and say, ‘Who, just WHO, do you think you are to come rattling at my door after 47 years of making art etc? Go away and don’t darken this hallowed step no more no more no more no more’ and I say that is rather rude and they say ‘RATHER lather larder dear, shoosh!’

There’s a warning here to all the kids who enter the ‘art college’ DON’T DO IT ! th’bastewards won’t let yez in, there’s no moom in the gym. THINK very very care-fully before embarking on a career in art as ‘making it’ in ‘art’ is nearly as hard as making it in football. You can only do it fer love of the game! I don’t like artball, i loathe it. Hee Hee silly mee.

Most of the time I just made art. But, I knew early on that without outlets it wer like hissing into the wind as Rich Hamilton http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/richard-hamilton-1244 said in his catalog to the 1983 print show, ‘a mass of paper is likely to accumulate which, without an outlet, would soon clog the place up. it couldn’t be produced without an assumed public and an efficient distribution network’. My ‘studio’ and other outbuildings are crammed with my ‘pile amass paper accumulate, papa (hey a new movement, PAPA, with it I shall strip bare dada’s bride!)’ Pete’s PAPA pile of junk assaults th’art werld, fart werld is inundated wit a heap o stuff, fert wold is Annie Hi Elated, it is no more, it is defuncted and it is the ‘late’ artwoild.

Diter Rot said in 1966 decided to ‘stop being an artist’ he turned down an offer from gallerist Bruno Bischofberger of a show because he had ‘given up painting’ and was ‘sitting in a tiny place with a tiny table and am writing’. Of course it was a ruse. As he knew and stated in his bok Mundunculum the eyes have it, the eyes think they see the lamp, or the sign, ‘lamp’ for the lamp we ‘see’ is called lamp cos its tag is ‘lamp’ its sign. But what Roth says is the ‘lamp’ is itself ‘pointing’ the sign, it signifies the sign of ‘lamp’. So we are all artists, those of us who can see visually, even those who cannot ‘see’ with their eyes, because when we look we ‘see’ things; a ruler, a book etc, blind people ‘see’ a concept they have gathered for ‘book’ ‘train’ etc. But what is ‘seen’ is, Roth says, the ‘object’ sending a sign. I suppose that in reality, even Buddhist notions of ‘reality’, the object, is in fact not what it seems, it is in fact just ‘energy’ which manifests in the forms we read the signs for. Rot was well into Wittgenstein when he created Mundunculum, but he was also into satire.

But anyway, like Rot and Ernst before me am stopping being an artist, why, becos

I embarked on my ‘career’ (careering?) as a committed artist 47 years ago and really I got NoWhereerehWoN. I never broke through the barrier into ‘earning, selling, being ‘shown’ or even just bought, except for tiny sales. I am not in any books, except my own. It seems clear to me that I failed. Any ‘success’ in any future would be by proportion to my years of ‘trying’ only piddling, not even fair to middle in! My output failed to assist my progression; it has not paved my way. I started as a poor boy with no money and after 47 years am still poor, yet my output and my certificates are abundant and so are the 20 odd solo shows I have had in Essex since the late 1970s and a big yun in Burnley in 1981.

“So I have proved it cannot be done. I spent 47 years forlorn hoping I could break the code of silence, break through the boundaries & barriers ‘the art world’ fabricates and defends but I failed to do so. So bollocks to all of those people and institutions that have ignored scorned or overlooked my work. I shall give up trying. They’ve had 47 years to ‘catch on’. So sod it. The life of an artist is not so good I can tell you that for sure because I know because I have lived it. AND now I see the light. The artist is like a cursed spirit that ‘clings on’, it’s part of being an artist. Now I understand that’s not too good. The real trick is to stop clinging, to stop trying to capture image, memory, dreams etc. the trick is to just BE. And that’s what I am going to be, me, just BE. I know I failed as an artist, infinitely more than Van Gogh or William Blake. But as an educator I know I succeeded. And as an observer I did not fail, for the observer can observe without judgement. Observation is but observation, witness, at best. And I have been witness to my lack of progress, the art world and a few other things which I elucidate in my ‘blArt’ which stands for ‘a blog about art and all that stuff’.

25.12.14

So I admit it. I was a failure in my attempt to make a mark in th’art world (thart wouldnie, fart woodna, tart wooargh) altho I created hundreds of images & words in all sincerity, even when I were taking the piss I were sincere. Even my jokes were sincere. Sincerity got me not very far. I don’t mind now. I learned that success isn’t everything and it only breeds more success then you get to worrying about who’s gonna target your expensive car house jewels etc so I never had to worry, about them things. Then if you get famous etc you start to worry about your reputation. Never had to worry about that neither. So I guess I got lucky never ‘making it’. I decided to stop making new images etc but I shall allow myself to manipulate reprise etc my existing bank of images & words. The dream is over like Lennon sang then lived, or rather, died. He had seen thru the illusion. As did George Harrison. I shall present all the books I worked up since 1969. I shall use many of the images I created or ‘took’ with cameras of all types including photocopiers. I still have a lot to do. Just remember to enjoy doing it; like the man walking up the mountain needs to learn to enjoy the trip up, the trip down may be faster than he anticipated.

Oh, I fergot to say- neither walt Disney nor pixar nor bart simpson nor speilberg nor lucas ever needed the ‘art world’ (I shall call it fartwerld frum now on) nor the ‘gallery’(maybe I shall call it the Ghouleree or Goolierie?), did they? Time for me final poems of this year:

I’m rolling down that river

(Starts to the tune of The River by Joni Mitchell.)

I’m looking for the answer

Tho I know I can survive

I been searching thru the questions

Hoping one day I’d arrive

 

Am rolling down that river

And I’m still alive

 

I been struggling to get thru

Now for many years and more

I don’t really know why

Because I know the score

 

Am rolling down that river

And I’m still alive

 

No matter what you do now/ give her

Offer four and they want five

I been swimming up the river

And am continuing to strive

 

Am rolling down that river

And I’m still alive

 

There’s no need to worry

No no need no more

There’s no need for any hurry

No am not knocking on the door

 

Am rolling down that river

And I’m still alive

 

Waiting at the tunnel’s end

I been pointing to the light

It’s hiding round the bend

Just watch you may catch a sight

 

Am rolling along that river

And I’m still alive

 

and anither y’n

Just cos it rhymes doesn’t mek it a poem, duz it?

Just because it rhymes

It’s not necessarily right

Even then sometimes it may be

Shite

Just don’t darken my door

With your doubts

I don’t wish to hear them

I am no longer listening

To doubts and bouts of gouts

And shouts

Of words

That are glistening

(what rhymes wit words?

Dieter Rot would say turds*)

Ta ra diddli um dum doo

Boo boo to you

I

Am

Out

*(I wouldn’t, too rude)

 

 dan odork on mi gmail accntapuldan odork

ps I may look glum but really I am very happy, the glum look is my age, when you get to my age your face just looks glum. Glum’s a good word, I never thought of it before. No, I’m happy cos wanting to shoe in the ‘gallery’ hangs over the head of all artists like a yoke, believe me that’s no joke. Not being ‘shown’ etc seems to be a big failure. But I know my work is popular from the reactions of over 25 solo shows since 1978. I know how people react to my work. It’s just them that organise the galleries don’t, and/or they don’t care anyway, why should they. They got plenty o meat to sell. My gallery is my books. Yet I also challenge the concept of the ‘book’. Mind you so did Roth and keifer and and and, oh shurrup Pete, while you still can.

pps if you turn the image round, upside down, you’ll see an image of Apulhed, screaming.

Drawing on Rembrandt inspirations

I done a flurry of London visits & reported them in my last couple oblArts; Poetry Library (A Happy Man) & Keifer (Books of lead fly in the R.A). This week I saw the new Rembrandt show at National Gallery (which was the first London gallery I visited as a kid of 10 years in 1961 and I sent my dad away so I could just sit and look at the Leonardo cartoon fer an hour or so). Of course I love his self portraits but the best in show are the etchings, the way he works the surfaces of the different takes and the surprise that he printed them on Japanese paper which was being imported by the Dutch East India Co. in the 1600’s! despite her overt military history epitomised in their fascination with the sword there’s been ages of producing beautiful pots, paper & calligraphy there. For me Rimbrandt is unequalled in the fields of oil paint & etching. F H Haagensen was a great etcher who was probably inspired by Rembrand’s technique, as was most certainly Picasso. Funny how ‘great ‘ artists get access to collections of work that many of us never see. Auerbach  http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/aug/29/frank-auerbach-painters-painter-freud-tate-retrospective  and Lenkiewicz http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Robert-Lenkiewicz-s-estate-settled-decade/story-17699462-detail/story.html in their separate ways took inspiration from the Dutch Master too and so did I, take a look at my Van von Maan painting below

van on sax oil sm

Van von Maan

 keifa hd

keifer

k c bloova

ken campbell

herman hd

josef herman

We live in an age where the ability to ‘draw’ is almost scorned (by some prevalent ‘successful’ artists and their agents) but it is deeply embedded in my psyche and I love drawing in the different ways I do. Over the years I’ve sat and drawn Keifer, Josef Herman, Steve Berkov, and others with Lord Bath, Feliks Topolski and Ken Campbell amongst my ‘sitters’. Oh and by the way, I do love rembrandt’s self portraits which put him up there as probably the best chronicler of the process of aging with their insight into his very soul, that goes without being said, burram saying it. And you know i do a fine line in self portraits misen th’ knows:

d’y mean pete kennedy?

best self portrait
this is ma best self portrait innit, catches the spirit widdin!

The skill was hard earned and am reluctant to desist. I shall draw til I die (drawing?) I draw cartoon like with my Apulhed-man, in surreal sketches with my Squidgerats. I draw inspiration too from the work in many media by those who have achieved before me. So I read folk like Philip K Dick, Vonnegut, Mervyn Peake & Brautigan in the hope that some of what I see may rub off on my outputs.

And it’s the same with poetry, although I write my ‘poems’ from a deep sense of apart-ness I don’t try to write ‘like’ anyone (else). But I am inspired by some. I write intuitively I write what comes and I don’t try to write in any grammatically ‘correc’ way. Interestingly when I wrote the ‘poems’ for Inside This Earthen Vessel they had little or no full stops nor commas. As I began the collaboration with david Jury some punctuation crept in but often I do not have it in my writing (like I do not adhere stricktly to ‘correct’ spellinks). Both of these avert-tions allow me to be free(er) and (more) inventive.

I am reading Beckett’s translation or transmutation of Apollinaire’s poem ‘Zone’. I don’t exactly agree with his changes, great writer tho he was, but I do note that Apollinaire has used no punctuation. A WRITER WRITES WORDS. So my punctuation in  Inside This Earthen Vessel is the gaps I left. I write this thought then I stop & drop to the next line. Often in poems they start each line with a capital. OK that’s fine, that’s OK, I can do that, but sometimes I refuse.wrtiting for me is to do with the jist, getting the gist, of things (tings) of ideas, notions, suggestions… my writing is not scientific like Wittgensteins is was etc.

For me writing is communication, getting what’s in my mind, spirit, soul, experience or view over to others. Some may say that I might communicate better if I spell by convention, punctuate & grammaticise my pieces. OK you’re entitled to your opinions and your conditionings. I am free of those constraints. And I hear you laugh or snigger and say ‘Yes, free of income, free of distribution through official channels, fields etc. But see this face, AM A BoVVad.

 

NEY*

(can’t he even spel nay reight?)

he neighs like a donkey

do they

neigh

nay not never

nay mare

nay

tha’s not ritten

an udda poym

lad

?

who fetched the cow?

nay not eye

norri

nor I

 Next weak am in Oxferd to see a bloke gie a tork abArt William Blake, now there’s a proper poet bloke man. And an etcher?

*I bought an lectric typewriter t’other day, I just decided that this will be the first poem I type using it. I thought I’d try my fingertips at tie pin sum concrete poyms. Just like what Henry Chopin and his lot did. Vache dis spaced oot.  https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/henri-chopin-and-others-who-got-forgot/

Tom Phillips, his wurds, my werds, your word.

It’s words, we love to play wit them. The constructing and de-constructing. There’s so much to do wit werds. I create werds mi wey. Tom does too, his way. Together, with whey, we make HEY!

tom swiping smkba page

So I saw (see I saw) Tom Phillips (TP) last night at the South Bank Poetry Library. Good show. He talked about his new ‘thrupenny’ opera based on an old Victorian book he paid thruppence for back in 1966 whilst in the company of the late great R B Kitaj at a flea market. The book was ‘The Human Document’ (W. H. Mallock) TP was intent on doing some altered book werk treat-ment on that Victorian forgotten document, told RBK he’d spend the rest of his life on it, and up to now he did, 50 years. His version he called ‘Humumenthttp://humument.com/ and it’s a play with the text,

a play full of art which he has turned into an opera now. So this book, one of Britain’s early artist’s books, has had a life and is now in its 5th version. TP’s work on the pages is exquisite as some examples show in the Poetry Library. Tom talks with the closeness of an artisbloke but the distance of someone who knew he had ‘made it’ years ago. He is very confident, very self-effacing, if you can do both at once. Very kind too, let me take some photos, and signed a little pamphlet I got about his other big work, Dante’s Inferno which he translated himself then illustrated impeccably. I hold my hand up to Tom, he is no doubt a wonderful artist and he has the bravery to delve deep into the possibilities of ‘social media’ like his tweets show. His creativity to me seems to be how he manipulates media. Now he’s manipulating Opera with similar adventures which he described fleetintly last night, talking of what ingrediates a good opera; music, dance, foreign tongue etc. So below I am going to amalgamate his spoken word with my own thoughts and observations and variations, don’t worry if you can’t understand a werd of it, it’s a new form of ‘writing-collaboration’, werds and images I gleanmachinated into a combination of his werds and mine and those they trigger in your mind too, here goes:

‘November 1966 in company with Ronald Kitaj I found A Human Document on a flea market it cost thruppence. So the opera can legitimately be called the thruppenny opera? I know the purple questions you stir the violent notes. The opera could be a palindrome cos , ‘One man in the dust is so much like another’ opens and closes it.we got dancing in this show, Gavin Bryars = did the music (?) music is the ultimate art we all aspire to…all other stumblingscribblings in art tried to match…music.

Wild strawberries captured, mentions rosebud too, hints of bergman & orson wells. My instructions to dancers are really ‘challenges & provocations’. A white shadow, white nocturnal dream. Couldn’t leev Billy Toje out of the opera now could I? I made him rather a grand figure. The inarticulate language? Why not call mine ‘mando’? reads some mando gibberish. Talks of ‘words picked from inside words’ in the wonderful words of the English language. I love the tweet & twitter world for the new words…

Mallock (W H) was a prig, a prick, anti-semitic, very snobbish.

I thought I’d make a parade. In the Rimbaud (not Rambo?) manner. Lord Ruin & the Sausages. The Velvet Subterranean Band. Aaron’s Extended Sprouting Stalk. Humument, I hope to have it done by its 50th birthday.’Then Tom stopped hard. It wer dun.

nancy campbell sm kb

Nancy said she was impressed with the man’s work. Chris McCabe said he was a poet too much published over the years in Poets Review (?).

chris mcabe

Tom doing this reminded me I already did a Nonogon Dance ting where 15 kids from Maldon danced (in masks watti dun and costumes too) to music by Mick West & Mark Newby-Robson whilst I read the story of the Nonogon Nomads. Goff Merrijeff projected video clips. Bin thur dun that, Colchester Library, Jan 5th 2000. I’d do it again only more betterer if I got the opening. And there’s a dance Inside The Clay Pot too. C’mon where are the sponsors? Until they arrive I shall continue to dance alone.

Next night I danced my way to fistite in Colchester again to listen and watch 4 ex-Bruce McLean students strut their poses. And werry gut twer too.

It’s wonderful to see that fistite have extended the McLean show til end November. Sad to see nobody seems to av seen my little article in Venue, well at least nobody said something like, hey, I saw that really positive mention, nevertheless…that sketch of Bruce I did in the Tate back in 1994:

 a venue piece  alone smkb

Bruce continues to blow a wind of fresh airs through the (so far) much (undeservedly) maligned gallery. Let’s hope that this excellent exhibition really turns the tide in favour of the place in, at least, the eyes of the local community who still do not seem to have adopted it as their favourite place to be seen etc. It’s a case of the prophet in his own land not being appreciated and I know all about that, cos for the first 44 yearns of my ‘career’ I wernt either, but as youse all know that’s abArt to change. Is it now? Anyway, there was humour from the start as the master of ceremonies Klaas Hoek appeared on his knees pretending to be Lautrec after a quote by Bruce said he had a peculiar view.

corrinacorrina

Corrina Till gave a lovely illustrated talk about the influence of McLean and of the book Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein on her. Synchronistically she talked of Stein’s early 20th century opera based in the book which itself really plays with words, juxtaposing them. Bruce also has a reputation for just a poses. And plays with werds.

a stein werds

Seems I am not a lone pose…r on the play which operates from our incredible language with all its history and future potentials. With ‘suppose you pose your own placebose’ Stein seemed to be premonition-ing McLean’s big ‘pose’ ting here. I took some images on me camra but missed a wonderful quote Corrina put up about ‘a receptacle & a symbol’ by which Stein could have been talking about my new project but she wernt cos she rote that 100 yearns ago.

eddie farrell

Then Eddie Farrell talked about his mag called Shytsummat (I can’t remember it’s name) which he did a video for where he had the words up like karaoke and said loads of stuff denigrating the world of ‘art’. Bruce and Co seem to love the use of film. I loved the way he was fumbling thru his notes and when finished with one page just dropped it on the floor, I thought it was like a ‘sculpture’ in process. Then he got heavy, my zone, and talked about how the see-aye-aeegh manipulate the world and create new realities by the day. Mentioned Noam Chomsky and other subversive stuff. OK by me, the more folk who see thru the veil the better. Said there’s no poets and writers nowadays doing stuff which rails against the incursive power of the State, (but I think I do. If it’s called a state it’s in a state, innit? No matter which state yer talkin abart. Usually the waste product floats to the top. Lunatics. The lunatics get to run the state. Don’t they? Nixoff, Raygan, Push, Blinkton, and Push again son it smells like bombs?*)

And thruout his talk he balanced the serious with the humorous. At one point in the evening Bruce was shown in a film where he was being questioned how he felt about a gallery in Holland which was being subjected to series of vandalouts’ attacks and he couldn’t help laughing at the list of some pretty serious attacks which he called a catalogue of disasters. Bruce added at the close, “If you can’t laugh you don’t learn” and I shall drink to that. Mine’s a dandelion and burdock.

* I heard a joke or was it true? Man goes into the Asylum, see a bloke hanging from the ceiling. What’s he doing there? He thinks he’s a light bulb. OK, then why don’t you bring him down? Don’t be silly. Then we’d not be able to see in the dark.

brucie laffin sm kbbrucie laffin2 sm kb

Bruce tinks it’s funny!

 My next blArty pete’s will be about the last two pages of the new collaborative book by me and David Jury. That should have been this blog but my two gallery visits butted in. It’ll be the last one I do before the London Artist book fair.

 

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.
INSIDE THIS EARTHEN VESSEL
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
‘Siddhartha.’
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.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDt26gJYVB4
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?
Hello.
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.
Sincerely,
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.
Sincerely,
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.
http://williamblakeprints.co.uk/making_the_plates.html

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.

Also
I love the work of Stephanie Wright http://www.sculptgallery.com/item/single/2282/stephanie_wright_compot 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.

Watch fer the positives even in the negative

If you take a photo (B&W) you won’t get the image unless there’s a series of darks, say, the negative side of the image as against the light sides (whites & greys maybe). And there wouldn’t be an image at all when I started shooting photos with my Brownie 127 in 1961 without the negative. So we have to have negative (or darks) in life to see the whole picture. The yin and the yan. The rough with the smooth etc. don’t we.

We are such shallow creatures, well I am. I have noticed in some recent conversations there is often positive but cos am so upset by what I deem to be negative I don’t ‘hear’ the positives.

So, in the surgery the woman told me, he’s in every alternate Thursday or Friday…butti dint ear er. Cos he wernt thur the day I wanted to see him.

In the rejection email cos they dint want me on site the girl said, I’d like to have you in to help set this up, but I couldn’t see that bit cos she said I wern’t a chosen one.

In a recent blArt I talked abArt how things are rarely totally original and how artists often ‘borrow’ or appropriate or steal form the work of udders. To that list I tink we can add the word ‘reiterate’.

In a recent debrief (of sorts) someone, no names no pack drill but we can call him Phil-lip E Stein* FP Institution Stalewart VII) [*cf leader & ‘company’s man’ in the film Avatar, Colonel Miles Quaritch, the head of the mining operation’s security detail who was fiercely loyal to his military code, he has a profound disregard for Pandora’s inhabitants that is evident in both his actions and his language.’] said that  I ‘re-iterated’ some ‘wise men’, I think he meant I copied or appropriated without aknolige-meant, where I dint. But non d less, in fact by default he must have been saying what I wrote was wise because it was, in fact, mine own not a rip-off. Some people’s modus operandi is positively negative, they can’t help it, they may tink it’s clever to knock folk down with a feather^. [This sign ^ signifies a ‘reiteration’, I tink. It is a sign of acknowledgement that I have lifted an idea from someone like Salinger and Reg Dwight.]

Herr Stein (anglicised that becomes Stain from now on. Notice stain can be a blot- on the landscape, gerrit? Herr Blott, or Reich Herr Bert. A Herbert right? Gorrit?) once saw my Kokopelli necklace

my Hopi necklace

and aksed if I were a hippy? No, am a Hopi* Prankster! [*Hopi people are indigenous to Arizona, known as the people of peace, have genetic roots to the Mongol peoples and a strong affinity to Tibetans. Their jewellery is uncannily similar using coral and turquoise. They see Kokopelli as a flute playing prankster spirit. Kesey’s Merry Pranksters are written about in Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, like some indigenous peoples they got into hallucinatory drugs and literally tripped acrosst the USA from west to east and back.] P E Stain FP ISS did it by the book but he didn’t understand the book so he rote his own. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but nobody should use their powers to do damage to others, some do. Josh Ben Gennasareth  said to forgive them for they know not what they do. They tink they know but their knowledge is limited. So Phil thought the wearing of an ‘indian’ necklace was a hippie ting, with a consequent insinuation that to be a hippie is a bit ‘out there’ ie not acceptable amongst good company. This represented his point of view, ‘A round hole needs a round thing to go in’ or ‘You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole’. But isn’t that what we are always trying to do, we artists? Think outside the boxes. Come at it from a different angle. And all that jazz.

I must apologise to my reader (there is but one, you) for keep returning to my dark nemesis Herr Steinstainburgher of Calais^ (see Rodin), but he keeps haunting my every daydream and my mares of the nicht. Despite all of the lovely remarks I get, all the constructive observations, my mind peeps back to the one negative crit. Do we all do that? I think so, especially when the criticism is unfounded or unfair or not founded in fact.

And without criticism, without negativity, I would have less to kick against. No axe to grind. I would just do what I do and not question its quality. Thanks to his negativity I am constantly looking over my shoulder to see if another critic is coming up from behind. The good thing there is that it keeps me on my toes. Like Kokopelli I tiptoe out into the fields of rye^ and on a good day run so fast I start to …fly,,,high as a kite by dawn^…just like those indigenous ones. And if Herr Stein cared to look at all the notes he would have found that I did too acknorreledge all the mystics six in G Batch and if he lingeringly looked a little longer he would have found finesse there too, right there in the stares^ (well this is not a direct reiterate, but the mouse was on the stairs, right there^). But it wer Herr Stein stomping with clogs on which he may have reiterated from a Dutch man named Van Cough.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fg7w49UnGA

There is a need for observers with constructive critique. Sadly many critics mis-interpret  the word to mean (and I mean mean) to criticise, it does not mean that at all. Similarly, an apologia is NOT an apology! I am always impressed by the constructive observer-critic like Robert Hughes, Alastair Sooke & Ray Rushton. The first lambasted the dirty deeds of the USA ‘art-market’. The second pointed out that women were ignored in the art of the sixties and since despite having been in there doing important stuff. Take a long look at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0441v2p/The_Culture_Show_Pop_Go_the_Women_The_Other_Story_of_Pop_Art_A_Culture_Show_Special/

And the third wrote really positive tings abart my werk for the Essex County standard in October 1993 like, “Kennedy mostly uses his plethora of open line either as a wiry composition in its own right, or more often, to knit together patches of colour as in the large painting of Topolski.” All three of these had a sound knowledge base, were confident and confortable (that’s francais) in their own skins. Sooke informed me Marisol is a woman! I had not known that, I assumed she wer a mystery man, shows how much I nose. He also introduced me to Rosalyn Drexler in his ‘Pop Go The Women’ should have been ‘Pop Went The Women’. As a result of his revelations of the omissions and discard-issions I offisherly abandon all efforts to gain entry into the Ice castles of art(s). I give up…not ‘making art’, no. this is my art or pArt of it. No, I shall continue making my art ‘til the day I die. But am not ‘attempting’ any longer I’m just ‘being’, me. No pretentions, no submissions, no entries, no mores, just me. I am 63 be blowed I don’t need ‘them’. One of the concerns is that without being in the ‘fold’ or the ‘canon’ you can’t survive. Well, I am still alive and the folded canon is much diminished by my absence,  with its lack of my presence. There is a lovely book called, ‘Presence. A text for Marisol.’ By Robert Creeley  who did not actually write it ‘on’ Marisol, he’s not a tattoo artis, is he? I had glanced thru it before Sooke and I could not equate with Marisol. I saw ‘his’ work as strangely skewed for a man of mystery about whom I knew so little and could find out less. Now I found her to be a woman suddenly it makes more sense. And of course she puts effigies of hersen in her work which now for me ismore acceptable. Doing a woman image by a woman seems a little less intrusive, less voyeuristic. More importantly it was a critic what opened my eyes to her, at llast. Sooke also blew another myth right out into Lucy in the sky wid diamontes^ with the revelation (to me, to you to me^ thanks tommy) that Pitta Slate dint do that cover after all only just a bit of it. In fact the best bits were designed by a woman called Jann Haworth. it wer she what did all those flower plants and dummy soft sculptures. Pitte slate only did the rather simple collage of lots of heads cut out of magazines, and the use of cut-outs wer not his invenshun, others afore he had dunnit betterer, like maxt Ernst and Ed Paolozzi who reiterated Ernst etc. The biggest crime was perpetrated by the ‘art/media-world wat says repeatedly thet the cover wer dun bi a bloke. and never mentions the bird. And Richard Hamilton’s work is rarely flagged up, or wasn’t, and he wer much more important in th’ pop artist vein and he also did a cover fer th’beatleblokes, the white-stick-it-inyer-family- album^. In fact one of the women, in fact more than one, actually drew and painted better than many or all o the men, as the documentary above shows. And there’s the poignant point Jann Haworth makes today, that apart from pre-dating Oldenburg with her soft sculptures she was told by paolozzi, ‘Why don’t you have them (the soft sculptures) made in bronze?’ wow, it just shows, we all get into that deeprut think. Her work did not NEED to be in bronze to make it any better, it was better, she wer ahead of the field. I did a bronze recently, i love bronze, but it’s so expensive if you can afford to have it made the public can’t necessarily afford to purchase it!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper’s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band

The ting is, the ‘art world’ batters out the same old song. I bin looking hard at art since 1967 when I first visited the Tate. Also in 67 there wer a massive retrospective of Matisse and today there’s another big Matisse show at tate Modern, I’ve lived thru 2 maybe 3 major Lichtenstein shows, or Warhola or Henry Moore etc shows. Yet so many others never get heard of. Trouble is hundreds maybe thousands go into art training, learning various skills to sometimes very high levels and some, like me, always ‘believe’ that with enough effort & dedication they can ‘make it’. Make it ? make what? Make it into the canon? Become ‘recognised’ as players etc? when really there’s next to no chance. Probably less chance of ‘success’ in the art world than if they (both male or female) tried to become premiership footballers. In other words, NO CHANCE. People like Hey-Man Burst, Tarquin Sermin and Makesome Hairy are truly freaks of an art-nature. The art world exhibits them like the Victorians shewed people with difference in fairground freak shows and the (still) gullible public flock (like sheeps) to she em.

For me the world of art is so much wider deeper and longer than them, or any udder latest flavour or favoured it. It guz bach even past the Venus of Willendorf. Human inventiveness & creativity is really what art is about and that is its worth. So, when I once ‘taught’ art I was really teaching alternative ways of looking at and approaching a challenge, ways of creating new solutions, different ways of tinking & looking and finding. Different ways to re-iterate old and new ideas. And this country, GB, has an incredibly rich history of nurturing creative talent acrosst the arts (& sciences look at Dyson, Richard Rogers & Norman Foster) in dance, art, literature, drama and music to name but five alive^.

kokopelli plays his flute, toot toot

Image of koko jumpa