Tag Archives: artist’s books

Wonderful breaking news about the book.

PK 68-73 cover front sm

Wonderful breaking news- I picked up the first copy of my second book in my series about my college days from my binders Sullivan & Son, Colchester and it looks beautiful. I’ll only have one display copy for BABE but it’s a great sidekick to my Shrewd Idiot book. It’s got 37 images on Zanders translucent paper and is bound in an unusual way inspired by a little book that Rauschenberg made about 1954.

After my last blArt about nearly being marmalised by my big book I received several emails from folks out there showing how my stupidity generated lots of mirth, and sympathy, including one from my blogger friend Fiona in Australia.

‘Pete, Not your brightest moment right?  Nonetheless I totally understand as I often think my way through things like that – only to realise I have forgotten one important element of the process that could cause my downfall!

The book is looking brilliant – when I first read your email I thought you had made some super stupid mistake with the book for which you were kicking yourself; but in a way I was pleased it was ‘only’ a glancing physical blow… Glad the nose is the only damage done. Fiona.’

Fiona, I love your bit about I maybe ‘had made some super stupid mistake with the book’. Super Stupid is one of my stop off points.

Much of what I ‘appear’ to do is not what it appears to be. So, the Shrewd Idiot (SI) appears to be a story about a budding artistfella but it’s not, it’s about the advent, and continuance thru a lifelong period, of ‘creative consciousness’. Which led to my interest in Dalai Lama & Buddhist stuff including Zen, all of which I have not explored sufficiently yet. But I tink that skirtin alongside it has changed my life, given me more grace and satisfaction that I am on the reight track. (In Burnley where am frum we say reight rather than right!) [But we don’t say reight for write, right].

Finally, if you’re still awake, I am doing a 15 min live art ‘performance’ of the book at Sarah’s BABE and have learned to edit songs on audacity which I’ll use as backing for my piece and as you say…’as I often think my way through things like that – only to realise…’ there’s a beautiful line in a Iggy Pop (Up man) song Shades, “that may be something my mind had not followed through” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehABjBdTq-Y ) and that so applies to me so many ways! As far as the book’s concerned, after 40 years I think I thought of everything. It’s beautiful cover, the texture of the flysheets, and even the colour of the page marker ribbon. It is my masterwork.

About my gig at Arnolfini during BABE on April 1st.

As always I tend to do things which are considered impossible or inconsequential by ordinary folks and agreeing to do a 15 minute ‘Live Art’ enactment of the 4 years I spent at college in Exeter tween 1969-73 may seem to those who don’t know me as rather ambitious. Well representing 4 years in 15 minutes is not as daunting for me as galvanising a crowd seems to be. Those of you who know me well know too well how shy & retarded I can be so advertising myself is not an easy task but it just got harder. During last week I was taking a look at the Arnolfini website and its publicity about what’s going on around the BABE days specifically what’s on at that weekend-

“BABE 2017 includes a mini exhibition, performances, interventions, book making workshops and more! See the series of events happening throughout the weekend.”

which took me to:http://www.arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/series/babe-2017

So I contact the gallery and say that I find there’s no mention at all there of my gig and that I am getting worried as it’s a great deal of travel and organisation that I am putting into it,

“I am putting many hours into the preparation of the music, movement, masks etc and I find it quite upsetting that my Live Art gig is not mentioned at all.

Please can you flag it up, otherwise… I’ll just be doing it just for a couple of friends.”

attached two of the 6 masks I have prepared, plus a pretty detailed outline of the piece and that will also show that, although it is only 15 minutes duration, I am putting a great deal of effort into getting it well polished.

My concern elicited a reply which could be taken as rather disheartening although I am sure it was meant with the best will in the world, I am not disheartened, I replied,

“I understand your feeling that ‘it might just not be worth it this time?’ but I am getting a lot out of preparing it which I am sure will come in handy later, for more gigs to do with the books.

I was thrilled when Sarah gave me the spot…”

I cannot contemplate backing off now, anyway, many of my costs have already accrued.

I am very committed to this gig and I want it to enhance the weekend, to add another dimension, otherwise I would not have embarked on it. I shall keep in mind the possibility that, as the Dark Studio is such a lovely venue, there will be a few come to see me do it. They can stand up too if they like and one of the things about Performance Art (PA) is folk can come and go as they please, it’s not like a performance where people sit and watch, even endure, to the end, no PA is Live Art and the ‘audience’ can be as much part of it as the PA practitioner.

I know 2 people already who will be attending, another one and ‘three’s a crowd’!

As always, the show must go on. I learned that at the Arnolfini in October 2015 when I did a PA piece outside in the rain.

a pete in rain at arnolfini crouch sm

I thought nobody was interested but I continued doing ma gig and only afterwards found out lots of people were watching and enjoying it. OOZin Gloop liked it as did Paul Hurley’s friend. Nicole Murman a Swiss participant took the image above and about 80 more photos for which I am really grateful. PA is notoriously undocumented as a lot of it happens spontaneously. It’s very ‘in the moment’ and the best stuff often occurs when things appear to be going wrong, that’s when Vest & Page say, ‘It has begun’ or, ‘Now we begin’. Vest & Page happened to see me jumping in puddles with some childers shortly after I had finished the rain dance and Andrea said he thought I made a good clown, Verena said she were just getting her camera ready when the kids stopped bouncing and I bowed out.

However, my PA at BABE 2017 is well planned and I shall be rehearsing the moves over the next 10 days, this is my preferred way to work. Below is a very apt quote from Walliams & Lucas of Little Britain rehearsing: a lit brit quote

Mine won’t (‘flow slickly’) I’m sure! And neither will my costume changes, will they?

If you can spare the time and the effort to make your way up to the 2nd floor let’s prove that the Dark Studio can attract people* in for the actions of The Shrewd Idiot and his mates, The Three Graces plus the ‘spirit master’, Appleheadman. Nay, some folk may decide to come on April 1st just to see me make a fool of myself! A Wise Fool hopefully. A bit of a Clown, a Serious Jester etcetera etcetera etcetera…

Don’t be a Square, I’ll see You there. Get it or you’ll Regret it!

(*people who have, already, either been showing their wares all day or folks who came to buy their books)

Artist’s Book marmalises its maker!

 

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

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

Let me explain:

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

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

1 pink box + measures sm

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

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

1SI stuff pink box sm

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

1 a s i hanritt p palimpsest sm

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

1 si c&p in pink box sm

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

1 sibike mein pink box sm

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

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

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

tap bristan

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

2 renches

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

a sink stp

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

a sink stp fr below

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

ma dosey nose

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

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

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

 

a Do Don Ko

pink-panter
Peter The Pink Painter

Do Don Ko Don Don = Left Right Left Right Right when you’re hitting drums at Strathen’s Taiko Drumming Centre. http://www.taiko.co.uk/  That’s where I found myself on Saturday & Sunday last weekend. Two days of banging those drums and I feel I got a good feel for the form, now I need to continue to practice the 4 sets of sounds I was introduced to, keep my hand in so to speak.

Jpeg
Neil & Miyuki, two leaders who took us thru our paces on the Taiko drums

It cost me loadsa munni; the flight, the new case what fitted into both easyjet & ryans racks, the B&B (even at ‘performers’ rate), the cost o food to fill ma face, the workshop cost, travel around Glasgie, entry into the Grosvenor cinema fer two films and galleries like the Mackintosh replica hoose in the Hunterian Gallery, shoe leather and muscle fatigue as I traipsed the streets over the 2 extra days (and nichts) taiko-wkend-11

that I took to see the city in which I was borned back in 1950 and left sometime in ’52-3 never to return til now. Pete’s Personal Pilgrimage you could say. I learned a lot, saw a lot, did a lot I don’t usually do, ate a lot of veggie food and black pudding but nae haggis.

glasgi-20
a haggis flying into glasgow airport, honest!
glasgow-my-birthplace
The Infirmary wherein I was born, you see it as a palace or a concentration camp from Mervyn Peake’s Titus Alone.

I was up in Scotland on a personal pilgrimage to my birth city and I walked so many miles to get a feel of the place by the time I arrived back to my digs on the penultimate night the pads of my feet were sore and I was feeling exhausted, but it was worth it.

I visited Renee Mackintosh’s replica hoose at the Hunterian gallery and saw where Damian Hirst may have took his inspiration (it’s called ‘referencing’ now) for those cabinet exhibits he done at Tate Britain.

Jpeg
The man in the hat, that’s me in the cabinet (no am not the babe).

And the calf in Kelvingrove gallery which may have been the one he ‘references’ in his cut up animal cabinets.

glasgi-31

The Hunterian museum was amazing with a deathmask of the Dr Hunter who set the place up from proceeds raised when he took his medical business to London and became the first surgeon to advise artists at the Royal Academy about how the body is made up.

hunter-d-mask

There were also a chair used to test the student on which they sat. It had a sand dropping thing, not an hour glass cos it only lasted 20 mins! Hell, even when i did my B?Ed exam at Exeter Uni Hall the tests were in two 3 hour sessions! 20 mins would have been bliss.

The best part for me was being welcomed into the Glasgow school of art library where I was able to rest on my final day in the company of thousands of great books. I particularly loved reading David Lynch’s book about big fish. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Catching-Big-Fish-Meditation-Consciousness/dp/1585425400 as a result of reading it (quickly) I can see I’ll be doing my own meditation soon! That will be a miracle cos normally when I stop moving, I sleep.

They also have some artisbuks butti couldn’t see any without first ordering them days in advans, and I did not have days to spare in Ad Vans. Here’s one tho’  by

Adrian Wiszniewski

wiszniewski-artisbk

 

 

Golden moments Weekender

 

WOW! Burnley Ballerina gerl Sophie Hitchen gets a Bronze as the first ever Brit Hammer medallist! Whilst Burnley Football Club had two FIRSTS at the weekend; their first game back in the Prem and their first defeat in 2016. If they’d have been given the penalty they should have got then maybe they’d have drawn to continue their 8 month unbeaten run?

 OAS- Olympic Athletes Supreme- This time round at the Olympics Mo got Gold, Jess took Silver and Greg managed a Bronze on a super Saturday. What a feat by Ennis after having her son and all that entails and there’s no shame being beaten by a youngster who did a personal best in most of the 7 parts of her heptathlon. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/olympics/2016/08/13/jessica-ennis-hill-rio-2016-olympics-heptathlon-live-updates/  In fact Thiam had knackered her arm and only managed ONE javelin hurl and it was again, a personal best. Then on th’Sunday Max got TWO golds in events no Brit had ever gotten any before, Andy fought and gained Gold again against a battling smiling tiring Del Potro who was such a sportsman.

OFF- Olympics Fall Farces  –

some sad things at the Olympics too:

The 10.000 m open water swim is so full of stupid pushing and kicking and the end is so stupid! The Greek bloke who won it didn’t hit the board correctly so he was only given second. The Brit was disqualified on the finish yet he had been battered so much on the run in.

The young Irish lad who pasted the Russian boxer in 2 of the 3 rounds only to find the judges gave it to the Russian.

And finally the farce that was the start of the Keirin cycling was better than watching Groucho and his Marx Brothers run riot.

Layout 1

OAP- Old Artis Pete- Has a new logo

And gets born again in Colchester Art Society’s beautiful Exhibition in Colchester’s Minories gallery! It appears that the old school has taken a deliberate step into a much more adventurous future and I think they have mounted a tremendous show, good for them.

a lorryhed

PK takes (his own) Bronze in the shape of Lorryhead which you’ll see in the glass case as you turn right into the first room.

lorryhed on side

[You don’t see Lorryhead like this cos he’s sitting in a lotus position (what I cannot do, yet) in the glass case.]

a blythe talk sm

The opening was good with Robert Blythe (of Akenfield fame) giving an inspired speech.

a jd + medal

Jamie Dodds got the inaugural medal for his contribution to CAS. And I had the pleasure of meeting Volker from Dusseldorf who likened my painting of Ken & John to his German great artist Max Beckmann, that’s a first.

1 pete an ken 2 best sm

I thank Paul who took some great snaps of me in front of my pic with the dog licking me.

a liz on sax

I thank Liz for making the music so well on her sax. It was lovely when she played Moondance after I had been ranting on about Van! Later she played Procul Harem’s great tune Whiter Shade of Pale.

I also learned that 3 copies of my 1975 artist’s buk Apul-One have sold in the Firstsite Gallery down the alleyway from the Minories, they never informed me though (we know that communication has never been their great forte) but thanks to a front of house girl named Alice I found out because she bothered to investigate. THANK YOU Alice.

a pete in frunt o Aud 61 sm

And that would be Poet Pete has just watched this speech by Len Cohen, it made me cry, like Len does. But I think it’s beautiful, it says it all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIR5ps8usuo

and here’s another bit of Len which reveals more about the way we win & lose in life’s lessons. Like Dylan sang, ‘I once had her in the palm of my hand’, I think Len is singing of his old love, a love that never dies and the need to treasure things whilst we have them because everything is fleeting and eventually everything returns to the source.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_eSjxpDS5k

So, if you love someone, tell them, tell them right now. That reminds me it’s my 37th wedding anniversary on the 18th August. I remember all those folks who travelled from the length and breadth of this old country to honour me & Polly with their presence. As it happens you think it’ll go on forever, that all of them will be there so you can see them again and again but life goes on and off and many of our dear friends are no longer padding on this terrain. I loved you all and thank you for all you brought to our wedding way back then. And, you can be assured, I am still trying!

Namaste!

Visit 2 da the New Tate

London dream on

Photo taken of some idiot dreamer as part of a Uniqlo gig at opening days at Switch

Wa doo eye kerno? (That’s ‘What Do I Know?’ in real Englitsch. Not much! I’ve only been making ‘art’ since ’68 now, 48 years later am 65, 66 on 27 Oct!. So I tink I knows a bit about ‘art’.

I visited the Switch (aka New Tate build) twice this week. I LOVE IT!

I got an overwhelmingly positive feel in the place, despite LONG queues, big crowds and the obvious commercial success of art (something which fro 48 years eluded me work & still does, I’m not represented in the Tate butti don’t mind cos am represented in this blArt…I’m in the Tart!

I could already write a book about the value of the New Tate (Tate Modern & Switch). It employs thousands of people, some on a wage, some for free, some just ogle at Great Tate.

I first went to Tate in 1967 and it were a massive part of my Art Education. Now I am working on 3 books about my life & work. Two are already written; The Shrewd Idiot and Genie Ass. Its taking time to lay them out, so you have to be patient cos they’re on the way.

borgeoise switch hse
Enter a caption

a little Bourgeois sculpture from the Tate collection .

bgwmn cleen s
a portrait I done o LB earlier, holding a Tate Member with her best friend on her shoulder

“Louise Bourgeois is the Godhesse!”

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=louise+boureoise&id=E697774EB2F4FA54F3BFB9C7D852C3EA0677DBFD&FORM=IQFRBA

I thought that as I looked thru the new room dedicated to work she did which Tate now owns! https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Louise+Bourgeoise

borgeoise switch hse5
another gem

I’m sad to say Andrew Marr on the BBC2 kept harping on about the £260 million it cost.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07hk12j/new-tate-modern-switched-on?suggid=b07hk12j

borgeoise switch hse3
This is getting to be the Bourgeoise show (they won’t let you snap Mona Hatoum!)

Marr’s underlying take on it was poor but Waldemar Janacek’s was even worse, but I have about as much respect for his views as I do the woman who got up and walked from mher bed when Saint Saatchi told her to get up & walk.

borgeoise switch hse4

This woman who got out of her bed to talk to Marr has been involved in ‘art’ for less time than me (but should be more articulate cos she is paid millions to practice) said a work by Louise Bourgeois is a ‘mindfuck’.

bourgeois bed 1991 get lost sm
I photo’d LB trying to rid the rats from her bed, but to no avail, they stole it!

I think anyone with a ounce of intelligence may see what she was getting at but I’d have thought she could have been more descriptive and constructive about that great artist who actually tolerated her more than I do even though Bedgirl stole many of her ideas and methods.

angel gormley sm
I took this photo of an angel flying over Gatesheed in 2015 when I went up to the Book Fair at BALTIC

Anthony Gormley talked well about a work he did with 5 eyes on it (it’s very good).  He got lucky back in 1981 when Serota at the Whitechapel consented to show his early sculptures. I never had that big a break, yet, well accept it I never will, ‘Never say never’, I just did! Compare my Billy No Breaks to Gormley’s big bits breaking waves near Liverpool, albeit he’s done some good stuff, his angel still flies north  and I saw his 2003 show at Baltic.

http://balticplus.uk/antony-gormley-domain-field-installation-shot-2-c10436/

I still keep making my art, this blArt is pArt of it too.

borgeoise switch hse6
one last bourgeoise

Mona Hatoum’s show is wonderful too.

I posed for these photos in her ‘Corps Etranger 1994’

mona hatoum (2)
good looking pensioner gets inside Mona

I love her utilizing mundane, nay ubiquitous, materials; weaving it into her clever metaphors. I love her glass grenades, her toy soldiers arranged as an infinite loop. Worth seeing. As is the work called (or by) Tarek Atoui in the basement at Switch.

It’s several musicians make sound out of instruments designed to emit sound electronically (or sommat like that!). It’s part of the Tate Live Art stuff. One day I may be able to do ma ting there too cos I am a live artisbloke as you know.

Actually over the years I have performed at Tate in many ways. I first entered as a raw-would-be-artibloke in the 1960s. In the 70s I frequented it as I became a teacher. 80s I took my own audiences in the shape of coach trips from my night classes and i drew Paulozzi. 90s I took my own childers one of whom is now a curator and i drew Miriam Patchen and then Bruce that Scottish fella. Noughties I stood in a massive derelic  buildin and thought ‘they’ll never make it work, then on opening day I saw a surge of folks walking like Pina Bausch dancers into the Turbine Hall. In the 2010s I couldn’t afford the member’s pass until my state pension kicked in this year and I re-joined. Glad that I did, a good year to do it.

‘ere’s a bonus poem:

The Beauty of making my art today

 

The Beauty of making my art

After 50 years of trying to make it

I finally made it, good.

 

How do I do it now?

It’s easy after all these tears

 

I cried many many years

As they ignored me, all ways

Now I come into my own

Do it my own way I do too.

 

 

Finally, here’s a sign i saw on a London Bus as I travelled to the Tate

london farts logo

 

Just like Eddie

 

  1. I was working on my Shrewd Idiot Buk (SIB) and I decided I have done too many photos in my life, thousands. I used to take ‘em and develop em and print em misen but the need for that is non-existent now cos yu gets yer images with a flick of a switch and anyone can do that.

I decided I have done too many photos when faced with the fact that I could spend hundreds of hours editing in the snaps for my SIB but really they’d take away from my intent, which was to do a buk with writings & drawings in, not a book of snaps.

2. My mate IEPW has taken some of the most wonderful photos of dancers at the Birmingham Royal Ballet but for copyrite reasons you will probably never see them. He had to sign a disclaimer preventing his using them before they’d let him take them. The good thing is the Japanese principal ballerina who featured in many of them has had a beautiful mural of about ten of the images given to her and she then gave it to her parents who have it in pride of place in Japan.  There’s a cleft stick here. The copyright on the images will always belong to IEPW cos he’s the maker of those images, but he had to sign the disclaimer. It’s the ballet company cutting its nose off to spite its face. The more folk who see his beautiful photos the more folk would go to the ballet. IEPW is an ace photographer. Talk about an artist suffering for his art. He had a big old stroke a few years ago and was in th’ospital for 4 months learning how to use his limbs again. Never did get full usage back in some. But he still insists on dragging himself down to the ballet to take his incredible snaps. I hope he gets his next stage in the Royal Photo society ratings. His bird photos are second to none.

hark at the diver sm
arc of a diver. copyright I E P Woolard

I came across the dreaded ‘ban on photography’ ting today, that thing where the place yer visiting says ‘Look No Photos’. It happens in galleries, at gigs, in museums and so many other places. In tonight’s case it was not the Arts Centre which prevented photography, it was the star attraction’s team. (I’ve been lucky to get some incredible images at Colchester Arts with permission before now, see my blog about the Japanese drumming https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/mugenkyo-taiko-drumbeats/) Photographs help spread the word about an artist’s work and can generate interest in and inform people who weren’t there.

Sorry to go on about this. Really, my life would have been a lot easier if I had never taken any photos, I’d have had more time for the important things in life like cleaning my car, house and garden.

I can understand the need to prevent flash from cameras which must distract and even hurt the actor’s eyes. There’s always an issue of care. The photo-taker needs to take care not to distract or annoy the stage occupier and of course other observers. So many times I’ve wished to record (my admiration for/love of) the work of an artist only to find there’s a ban on photography.

I went along to see Eddie Izzard tonite do his show in French. I learnt that I must do some swotting on my French, cos it’s worse than his and his is quite good. His show is really good but I think he could (and probli has) just stand and utter jibberish and he’d be funny. ‘It’s the way he tells em.’

But my decision not to take any more snaps cos I got millions I never use was reinforced by the order that went out not to take any photos of him during the show. Great. I had no choice cos I was banned from taking them and you know what am like, if I’d gotten permission to snap, you know, I would have. And that would av added another 30 or more images to my vast store. I would have used them in ma blog but now I cannot cos I not got none did i?

The best I could do on the night were to snap a gargoyle on the outside of the building what houses Colchester arts where he were playing his act in 3 tongues, German then French then Anglaise. Like I say he were very good. So is the gargoyle.

3.

a colarts gargoyle2 s
I never noticed this gargoyle before in the 40 years I bin going to Colchester

Anyway, I have decided to use up some of the snaps I took this week and there’s no bar on my doing that cos the flowers don’t say you can’t. I decided to use the flowers from my garden cos they are there now at this early summer and we are only about 9 days away from a very important moment in the calendar- the longest day!

Bless

Enjoy my flowers, just like Eddie.

a bunch o pops sm
Innocent poppies reach for the sky

I have had a spate of poppies shoot up this week.

a lilac plant sm

This little fella is a subtle treasure, don’t know its name but I know someone who would.

And my hexagonal book arrived in Moscow, it’s OK.

The BALTIC market of Books Artists Make is on this coming weekend but I won’t be there. I had nothing new to show cos the SIB is taking so long to complete. I hope BALTIC books has loads of visitors, it’s a great book fair.

Team of trophies.

 

Real Madrid have eleven European Cups in their trophy cabinet now. (Liverpool have 5, Notts Forest won it twice & Man U av 2.)

That makes Real Madrid (Ray-Al some say) historically the greatest club in Europe, by far. Even back in 1961 when I was ten years old and playing for Tod Road Junior team in the Hartley Cup Final Ray-Al had already won the Cup 5 times, in fact every year since its inception in 1955 and we all fought to be Di Stefano, Puskas or Ghento in kickabouts in Burnley’s backstreets. I go to two finals as a 10 year old and we were joint winners of both. That’s the closest I ever came to winning a cup. Where does that place me in the ‘greats’ of football? About the same place as I am in amongst the greats in everything else- Nowhere Man.

But Don’t Give Up I hear Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush & the Dalai Lama sing. I may never have won a cup but I scored many wonderful goals and had some great achievements. Oh be Thankful!

sennacheribs prism BM image

The Sennacherib Prism 691 BC rests in the British museum for all of us to fascinate over. Their comment is:

‘Hexagonal clay prism, foundation record lists campaigns of (Assyrian king) Sennacherib until the start of his final war against Babylon, and includes a description of the tribute received from Hezekiah, King of Judah in 701 BC’. See this fascinating (despite having subtle leanings toward a biblical bias) article about the prism et al:

http://www.bible-history.com/empires/prism.html

 

I discovered it (The Sennacherib Prism) was there (at the BM) in the final week of my MA in ‘Art & the Book’. I had just about completed a major project in which I had used six men of ideas as the focus for my idea of placing ‘knowledge’ in clay pots. The project pivots around the concept of ‘six’, which in fact was a pragmatic reduction on Gurdjeff’s use of nine, nine would have increased my workload by another 50% and I had enough with six. Luckily six sided shapes tessellate as any bee will tell ya and bees also feature in the ideas of two of my ‘heroes’, Gurdjeff & Beuys.

 

For me the ancient hexagonal prism was and is tantamount to a book and at the time vowed to make a book(s) influenced by it. I love it. I cannot read cuneiform so must rely on the experts to tell me what it records. It seems to me that the view of history which we received in schools was so jaundiced against Assyria & Babylon, for reasons I shall not try to mention nor explain here, suffice to say that the region in which it was made has been at war with itself and others for millennia.  Assyria & Babylon and Persia for that matter had truly great civilisations for their time and those people arose out of a cauldron of activity in which their cultural and technological skills grew exponentially. I just love this prism. For me it represents (not in its words which are about wars and conquests but in its skills of the art of writing and making) a great human achievement. Compare it to an ipad. If in 2,000 years time a being stumbles upon an ipad & this prism I think it will be the prism which would communicate more once that being deciphers the content into its own language. The ipad will communicate little because the waves (of the internet?) which inform it will no longer be around, so it’ll be just a piece of plastic with a few words like ‘ipad’ marked on it.

My first real opportunity to make a book(s) influenced by the prism came recently when I saw an ad in Sarah Bodman’s BAN p49  http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/pdf/newspdfs/103.pdf

‘Call for artists’ books: The Great Silk Road International Artist’s Book project Organiser: International Association “Artist’s Book” Curators: Vasily Vlasov, Mikhail Pogarsky Project theme: Artists’ Books unite the world! The art of communication The international art project “The Great Silk Road” is aimed at the development of communication and cooperation between countries and peoples. Two thousand years ago, the Silk Road united the Far East and Europe and has been the main channel for the exchange of goods, technologies and knowledge. Today we offer to renew the exchange on a new level of art’s message, ideas and images through the artist’s book. The Great Silk Road is primarily a metaphor. We do not limit artists in the methods of the interpretation of this theme. We are open to any bright images and ideas aimed at communication between East and West, North and South, art and society; on building productive dialogue between countries and peoples. If politicians cannot find a common language for each other, they will have the help of the international language of art.’

BANG off I go again. I don’t have time to create any artisbuk right now, but anyroadup am gonna! And I did and I sent it to Moscow and I shall shew it to yez when I get a message from Russia saying they gorrit and they’ll have it in the show. Why did I bother to do it when am so busy working on other books like my long awaited (by at least half a dozen long term suffering friends + one or two masochists) New Shrewd Idiot? Well.

I may win a trophy like Ray-yall Madrid did? [Idjet! there’s no trophies to be won. The real trophy is being able to participate, innit?]

 

The Silk Road is what I DO! It features loud in much of my work since my MA studies in 2013. The Silk Road was much frequented and writ about by my old mate Gurdjeff (Gurdjieff or Gurdzhiev if you like) who talked of the Remarkable wise men he found tucked away in places like Bokhara and Samarkand on the old Silk Road. So I just cracked on and did it.

silk rd buk 2 sm

The result is my first hexagonal prism book. Using binds and words and artefacts together to indicate my fascinations which my bookbinding mentor Mike Sullivan kindly said, ‘…they look very exciting…’.

Everyone who sees them seems to like them. I have made 3 slightly differing versions each of which can be shown in different placements, all of which are reminiscent of ancient stupas built by various peoples moving out of India onto the Old Silk Road trail to China taking one of the most valuable of human commodities with them, ideas. And creative, beneficial, positive notions are, for me, the best.

What else happened this week?

Well I turned up at Firstsite for another impromptu lesson in break-dance from ‘Isaac’. He runs classes there as part of the YAK youth project. He’s so tolerant and patient and I have now nearly ‘got’ the first six steps in the basic break-dance form.

Blu Bella sm

I have installed the Quark2016 package and am working thru some teething issues with one of their engineers. Well I think I am, I hope she didn’t get back over the weekend cos they don’t work over (British) bank hols in India, not cos she’s given up on me as a dead loss. Hopefully once solved I shall rapidly (I hope) put my 1970’s illustrations into the New Shrewd Idiot. I got to get it finished and finally out. I have a new idea for the wrap-over cover. I have a self portrait what I done just before I left my home town for college days.

a self P 1969 v sm

I may use that with three flower picture above it representing three young women who play important parts in the book; a bluebell, a rose and a camellia. It’s wonderful where an unshackled mind takes you innit?

and in tribute to those who drowned at The Battle of Jutland, both sides.

a first poppy 2016 sm