Tag Archives: Burnley boys

About LaoTze

I like this story about LaoTze

“Patanjali and Lao Tzu came to a stream. Patanjali began to cross the stream by walking on the surface of the water. Lao Tzu stood on the bank and called him to come back.

“What’s the matter?” Patanjali inquired.

“There is no need to cross the stream, because this shore is the [as] other shore.” said Lao Tzu,

That’s the whole emphasis of Lao Tzu: There is no need to go anywhere; the other shore is here. There is no need to do anything. The only need is just to be. Effort is irrelevant because you are already that which you can ever be. Go nowhere. Follow no path. Seek nothing. Because wherever you will go, the very going is missing the point because everything is available here already.”

I’m not trying to challenge the world, it’s always been the same. Conflict happens. Underpinning that and vastly more important is Harmony. Harmoniousness has always been there. Witness the Indian master Tshengregacha’s visit to Zarathustra. They were the roots of the so-called ‘Great Religions’ but what underpins both is Belief in Spirit as One Everlasting Harmonious Being, of which we are part.

There’s a story about a king who thought he was being deceived by his wise man:

“So the king sent a caravan to a great Indian mystic, Tshengregacha, to whom came disciples from all over the world, and with the caravan went the same messengers and the same treasure that he had once sent to Zarathustra.

After many months, the messengers returned from India with the philosopher, but the philosopher said to him, “I am honoured to be your teacher but in frankness must tell you that I come chiefly to your country that I may meet the great Zarathustra.”

Then the king took the golden box containing the grain of wheat and answered, “I asked Zarathustra to teach me. See, this is what he sent me. Here is the teacher who shall teach me the Laws of the universe and the forces of nature. Is this not ridiculous?”

The philosopher looked long at the grain of wheat, and silence fell upon the palace while he meditated. At length he said, “I do not regret my many months of journeying, for now I know that Zarathustra is in truth the great teacher that I have long believed him to be. This tiny grain of wheat can indeed teach us the laws of the universe and the forces of nature, for it contains them in itself right now. You must not keep the grain of wheat in its golden box. You are missing the whole point.

“If you plant this little grain in the earth, where it belongs, in contact with the soil, the rain, the air, the sunshine, and the light of the moon and the stars, then like a universe in itself it will begin to grow bigger and bigger. Likewise you, if you would grow in knowledge and understanding, must leave your artificial life and go where you will be close to all the forces of nature and of the universe, to the sum total of things. Just as inexhaustible sources of energy are ever flowing towards the grain planted in the earth, so will innumerable sources of knowledge open and flow towards you until you become one with nature and the organic universe. If you watch the growth of this seed of grain, you will find that there is an indestructible and mysterious power in it — the power of life. The grain disappears, and in that disappearance there is victory over death.”

“All that you say is true” answered the king, “yet in the end the plant will wither and die and will be dissolved into the earth.”

“But not until it has done an act of creation and has turned itself into hundreds of grains, each like the first. The tiny grain disappeared as it grew into a plant, and you too as you grow must turn yourself into something and someone else. Life always creates more life, truth more abundant truth, the seed more abundant seeds. The only art one needs to know is the art how to die. Then one is reborn. I propose that we journey to Zarathustra himself that he may teach us more of these things.”

Extracts, with thanks from:

http://www.energyenhancement.co.uk/yoga/Osho-Yoga-The-Alpha-and-the-Omega-Vol-7-Discourses-on-the-Yoga-Sutras-of-Patanjali-Chapter-4-Be-A-Seed-Question-1.html

The one about Zarathustra comes from Edmond Bordeaux Szekely’s Book of Asha. http://www.amazon.com/The-Essene-Book-Asha-Journey/dp/0895640082

I found the yogasutra site last night and I thought I were in heaven. I saw a lacewing yesterday it flew past me onto a leaf. They are angels to me bringing messages from my father who died 1993 after he’d introduced me to one about 200 foot up an industrial chimbley.

Ailing & Aliens

Some of my friends are ailing. I near said aliens. Would that be correct? Maybe, if you think we are just passing thru. I sometimes get real bad cramp, say, in my calf at 4am, I just did. I guess am lucky (to be alive, it reminds me I’m alive!).Some of my friends don’t get cramps, they have strokes and heart problems. Yes am lucky. Reading Osho and all of that, they say don’t yearn to do the world, don’t run to get to the other side where the grass isn’t really greener. Just be there, just be. I intend to be myself Now.

I am collating buk(s) from previous books I prepared. No hassle. Keeps me off the streets. Here’s some writings I prepared (+published in my buk The Dull Jodrell, which I may do in a new revised second edition soon…ish) earlier:

dj hopi cava sm

THE DULL JODRELL DUCKS THE ISSUE

dw foto sm

It’s nice lovely coming to chez Duncan Dragonhat because everything comes together.  Despite the blocks of flats, cars and planes it’s a beautiful place, overlooking Kew.  Although you can’t see the gardens you see the trees, hear the crows and witness swan-like ducks fly three abreast over the roofs.  But it’s more than that.  Last night he gave me religion.  Not Duncan.  VAN.  Van the man. Saw him at the Dominion Theatre and it was like a religious experience.  I used to be a Van fanatic.  Now I am just into the music, so to speak.  But last night was such a beautiful experience as Van took us through his repertoire and the audience went ecstatic.

Afterwards we came back for the hot chilli Janet made and I went to sleep from 2.30 till now at 6.30.  It’s light and warm enough to sit undressed and it looks like being a good day.

And Duncan’s little library here, I don’t know where to start, books on everything and all, and he’s read them all (nearly), records galore.  One called Achalay is all original Latin American music – pan pipes, flutes and all, and his books, more ducks fly by, his books are a sight for sore eyes; just the ones I put by to look at – Russell Hoban’s ‘Riddley Walker’, Bukowski poems, Casteneda’s ‘Tales of Power’, the ‘Lunar Effect’ by Arnold Leiber, ‘The White Hotel’ D M Thomas.  There are books about Castenedas, Gurdjieff, Enstein, Krishnamurti, Buddhism.  He’s got Kerouac, Genet, Hesse, Beckett, Alan Watts, Brautigan.  To list them would be futile, so I have.  But suffice it to say I’ve already said it.  A jet plane majestically interrupts my writing.  I don’t mind but it is the sixth one in as many minutes, but in London you forget it, they’re like the bird song.  There, like the bird’s song, the slight blue sky and the mild wind moving the tree tops, and I’d like to tell you all about Duncan but I can’t, because I have, suffice it to say.

The seeds you planted grow and help you when you need it.  ‘Organisms are either in a state of positive or negative receptivity relative to their natural environment’ (Arnold L Lieber).  This quote takes me back to when I wrote about positive and negative aggression, or should I say creative and destructive use of the ‘aggressive aspect’ in all of us.  The ‘natural environment’, Dunc’s got his here, I’ve got mine in the country, so to speak.

He the town mouse,

Me the country mouse.

To begin with we knew not where we were going.  We were kids from the street, like all the rest.  We still are.  But we found the clues.  We followed our Hunches, we saw the light come shining through and it’s shining right on YOU.

Once you begin to tune in more easily, through experience of Effort, through having been there before, you begin to recognise the signs, you look for the signs, the signs of synchronicity begin to aid you.  Everything begins to fit into place.  The most unlikely things occur and become right.  That’s why developing and keeping an open mind is good.  By opening your mind (like a walnut shell pulled apart), you begin to see connections, you begin to cut through the mist that clouds the consciousness.  So; the clouded consciousness clears as your mind opens up to all aspects all around.  My mind opens up as I write this story about the Dull Jodrell.

Duncan is not a Dull Jodrell, nor is he a Shrewd Idiot, but he is a fellow Traveller, he’s with us on the Journey to the East.  He and me are about the same age, we went to the same school, we both went into college and came out.  Twenty years (53 now) we’ve known each other, helped each other, watched each other from afar.  When we get together, by letter, tape, telephone or in person, we talk at length about our various discoveries.  He understands my effort, and he sees the Path I trod.  Now and then he makes observations on my werk, suggests directions, sends books which he thinks will help.

As every creator knows, he can often find somebody to criticise or sympathise, but to find someone who he respects, who can empathize, is elusive.  I found that type of friend in Dunc.  I’ll always remember when I gave him the first part of ‘The Shrewd Idiot’ to ready. We were in the Tate at the time, a William Blake exhibition.  Duncan disappeared.  I found him when I can to leave, in tears of laughter as he read through my manuscript, rolling around the seat in the foyer.  I asked him why the mirth and he said, ‘Because it’s good, so good, it’s so good to us because we know how far you had to come’.  Here are some of his other comments:

a Duncan and the cosmic egg (1)

  ‘I have thought that I spend too much time thinking about how to view reality, which is futile.  As the Zen Buddhists say, “All that is, is”.  This is true, but you must be in a receptive state.  If, by your very nature, you are inquisitive and unsatisfied by the world view our society has trained us in then this ‘Cosmic Egg’ has to be broken and our own personal one needs to be built, otherwise we are in the garden but cannot touch its beauty.  I used to use the concept of a furrowed field, representing tunnel realities.  I strived to build up enough energy to leap onto the next furrow, gain its experience/view point, then leap onto the next, eventually arriving at a point where I’d attained cosmic consciousness and was running on top of all the furrows.

We are like displaced people, trying to get back to our world, we see it fleetingly during our illuminations, which give us energy and faith, but then we are sucked back into accepting this world.’

 dhatdkblu

Namaste Dragonhat, Avatar & Ally,

Love from D. J. O’Dourke.

To Celebrate 40 years of Apul One

To Celebrate 40 years of Apul One

I just realised it is almost exactly 40 years since I created my first artist’s book Apul One in 1975 so there must be cause for some celebration. I was talking to a late friend’s son on Friday and he said that he had taken Apul One to university had read it several times and it had been a bit of a cult ting there. Wish I had known at the time I would have gone there and done a talk etc. Strangely it’s not the first time the book has had ‘cult’ status. Lucien Nunes once told me he had done the same at the Haberdasher’s school. Those of you who know it will know it’s a bit of a strange book. It’s not at all like what a book should be. But it’s me, or it was me, then. I produced it as a kind of scream in the wilderness after working my balls off at college to gain my degree and then beginning to approach the galleries only to find a blanket total non-interest. I predicted accurately as it turned out that that would continue through my life. So I created my own gallery in the shape of a book, or buk as I called it. It could only have b&w images cos colour were too expensive and even then I spent all my savings on ‘publishing’ it. If you want one I shall be at BABE in April and maybe at Baltic in July and I am tinking of creating the long delayed publication of the follow up The Shrewd Idiot in time for the autumn, or Fall as you acrosst the Atlantic would say. I am going to chat with my printer today as to how he can print my plans for it. It’ll be an artist’s book and probably on semi-transparent paper so the pages show thru each other.

Here’s some images of the making and publicizing of Apul One in 1975-76.

The first cover

a1 orignl cova

The wrap around cover front

a1 wrap front

The wrap around cover back

a1 wrap back

The wrap around cover front & back original idea

a design fo A1 wrap cover

Sketch for the image of Apulhed on front cover.

apulpol

Write up for Apul One by Peter Andrews

a1 PA rite up

 

Underground poster for Apul One

a1 tube poster

Point of sale poster for Apul One

a1 is shop poster

John St Field aka Jackie Leven 1972

jacky leven 1972

Now funnily enough in one of the ‘comics’ in ApulOne there’s a sketch of Jackie Leven. It’s incredible to think that it was a song by Jackie Leven which triggered all of my recent books about ‘knowledge’ in pots in the last few years. Jackie sang ‘Inside This Clay Jug’ by Kabir

.

So now the book is in the British Library and the Bodleian along with the national libraries of Wales, Ireland and Scotland because it has an ISBN number, nevertheless if you can’t afford the extortionate price I charge feel free to aks for it there. And I could have represented all the home nations at sport IF I had been good enough at anyting! However it’s in the Tate Artist’s Book Archive on merit having been chosen by Maria White in 2008. My old mate DW did loads of searching yesterday and found all sorts of link to ‘apulone’ on the internet, ta Dunc. You can find Apul-one
Standin on the Bannista Contemplatin the Ways of the Werld & the Farting Donkey

at:

Word Power Books:

 

http://www.word-power.co.uk/books/apul-one-I9780950426709/

 

and

 

WorldCat:

 

http://www.worldcat.org/title/apulone/oclc/16287781athenk

and finally here’s the badge, you know the saying ‘got the badge’!

The Metamorphosis of Duncan Walker – Releasing the Spirit

No. 1 in a series of the work of pete kennedy, artistwriter bloke, b.1950

Painting by Pete Kennedy

With notes by PK & DW

So, I am starting the offering up of my images from 1968 to now for y’all to see. I shan’t be so mundane as to put them in chronological order. There’s so many of them and the quality is not dependent on age, neither mine nor the works. Some of my best work was done in the first few years of my life after I made a conscious decision that making my art in my own way, or so I thought. My output was often then and still is now really effected by my circumstances. So, the availability or lack of availability of resources would temper my technique. Time has been a big element in my output, for all the reasons you may imagine. (If you click on the images they will pop up bigger so you can peruse them better.)

Duncan and the cosmic egg

This portrait was created at the height of my ability, it is undoubtedly one of the best. The sitter, Duncan Walker, I had known since we were thrown together in the first team in the first week at our secondary school. We had drifted in and out of each others lives. This was me deliberately creating something which held all my values and skills in one image. It’s a triple portrait. A photo which I took and developed and printed, an oil in my style which had taken several years to reach and a ‘squidgerat’, one of my weird creations which were often an insight into a sitter’s deep essence. There is also an appropriation of a Dali egg cos I knew DW had in one stage of his development really loved Dali’s work but more importantly it signified the crack in the cosmic egg, something which we would have discussed during our alcohol filled ‘discussions’. That search for meaning behind life’s charade had been going on for both of us in separate ways and this was a coming together.

 dw paintd

 The figure on the left is Duncan in intense meditation, looking inward, considering and knowing the other stages in his life. (I sometimes see light hitting my images and adding more to them than I had put in to them in the first place. One day I shall incorporate light into finished works physically.

 dw foto sm

The figure in the middle is Duncan enjoying worldly delights, with a mischievous, knowing smile about his inner self. (Note the notes in handwriting collaged onto the image!)

 Dw squid

The figure on the right is Duncan’s inner self, achieving a crack in the cosmic egg of worldly reality, at the point when his spirit is flying out at the top of his head from a lifeless shell.

This is the story of releasing the spirit through a dual life of the meditative inner self and the electric worldly extravaganza of his outer being.

dj hopi cava

And about the same time as I did that portrait I wrote and published my little book, The Dull Jodrell. This was an account of some of the writers who had impressed me like Gurdjeff and Hesse. It had quite a bit about ken Campbell in too and accounts of my stays with DW in his ‘London’ house. The cover is a remake of my illystration of Hopi peoples dressed in their kachina outfits standing on the rock dwellings at Mesa Verde. In the book I talk a lot about the ideas of the pre-colombian populations of the Americas. The character in the centre at front of the cover is ‘Lighteyes’

lite eyes sm(this is the original sketch)

one of my squidgerats who I drew before I came across the Hopis who in fact have a character in their kachinas with almost identical stance to my man, uncanny! The Hopi kachina which is so similar to my Lite-Eyes was a human gifted with god-like characteristics whose previous human status is represented by him having cross-legs. The round thing on the Hopi character’s head is repeated almost identically in the round thing on the head of my Liteyes. I drew him prior to seeing any Hopi images, ever. It is truly uncanny to me. The strange head gear, which again, was drawn with no reference to Hopi, I had not yet heard of them, also bears a remarkable resemblance to some other Hopi headresses.

dj squigs in dj

The book also had some squidgerats drawings in as well as some I did of Ken Campbell.

ken campbell sm

This book and the image of Duncan show how my progress thru life has been accompanied by my ‘researches’ into real life characters and thru readings of books on Hopis and Gurdjeff which still continues today and indeed my recent work with the Jug poems is only a different way of trying to present my discoveries to a wider audience. Below is my new image of Duncansquidgespirit zooming across the lake next to a slow swan.

a duncan twa

Thank you DW for instigating this first of many(?) reports on my images & artefacts, and tanks fer the fotos of the work.

Footnote:My previous blArt aboot Oxferd toon got SIX ‘likes’, unprecedented in the history of this blaggArt! It sure signals up that some folks are getting someting frae the werds & images of this clown. Also you know if you press ‘follow’ you’ll get notified (not certified) of all my future blArty bits. Tread carefully won’t you. It appears 34 folks out there follow this  heap o’ thorts. Tank yez all, makes me feel good too. Makes me feel that all the effort what goes into doing this weekly blarting is getting thru, at least to 34 folks in this wide wonderous werld.

And finally, nobody, yet no-one, ever ‘comments’. I can only assume that everyone agrees with all I say OR, more likely, all who dip into the blArty Bloke unexpectingly are numbed into a somnambulant state and then wake up several hours later wondering what hit them?

Saturday Sound Waives Sociability, then the Sunday Sunrise of my Book(s)! unabridged version.

 This is the longer version for them what wants to see into my tiny mind and all.  The beautiful images of sunrise and reflected trails in water were taken by my old Burnley ex-pat  matey Duncan, Thanks DW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q03E7oTc5qo Read All About It by Emily Sande sets the scene in this BlArt, listen to her beautiful words which resonate with my poems on the wall this weekend.

Grating And Gyrating Sound Waves Drown The Conversations.

The LA*BF weekend had planned hard to make it a good event but for many stallholders upstairs the Saturday ‘performances’ were a worry as the wave of sound was grating and gyrating the ears cos the harmonics in the hall left much to be desired stopping the needed conversations between the makers and potential purchasers. Twas a lovely idea to get poets to read aLOUD but in the words of a famous song from the 60’s, ‘Too LOUD man’.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kyn4KJzbL3c

And for many hours the punters seemed unaware that upstairs were the best of the solo artist-book-makers (ABMs). Where, there at the top of the stair something not doing clippity clik on the tills! So we spoke about signage to th’organisers and it slightly improved Saturday pm and by Sunday pm there were a deluge, which would av been well come on the first two days too. They need to sort it out from the start for next year.

(A*-means artbooks NOT artisbooks! I found out, oops)

I sacrificed my weekly Ashtanga Yoga practice for the joys of driving & parking in Londres. Driving up we missed a turn cos I were talking too much (as usual) and ended up in Kent (like the late Warren Zevon’s Werewolf of London we even ran into fog and I feared we were entering Jung’s Nekyia which I mention in my poem about Jung and here follows an extract from an article about an article by Jung  ‘When such a fate befalls a man who belongs to the neurotic, he usually encounters the unconscious in the form of the ‘Dark One,’ a Kundry of horribly grotesque, primeval ugliness or else of infernal beauty. In Faust’s metamorphosis, Gretchen, Helen, Mary, and the abstract ‘Eternal Feminine’ correspond to the four female figures of the Gnostic underworld, Eve, Helen, Mary, and Sophia. And just as Faust is embroiled in murderous happenings and reappears in changed form, so Picasso changes shape and reappears in the underworld form of the tragic Harlequin – a motif that runs through numerous paintings. It may be remarked in passing that Harlequin is an ancient chthonic god.

For the whole article go to: http://web.org.uk/picasso/jung_article.html

The descent into ancient times has been associated ever since Homer’s day with the Nekyia. Faust turns back to the crazy primitive world of the witches’ sabbath and to a chimerical vision of classical antiquity. Picasso conjures up crude, earthy shapes, grotesque and primitive, and resurrects the soullessness of ancient Pompeii in a cold, glittering light’)

Anyhow that meant I approached Mike Davies & Richard Roger’s millennium dome (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/1999/jul/26/artsfeatures.architectureweek1999) from the opposite side to my familiar Essex view. The speed cameras around London are a farce, one every hundred yards it seems/ ‘They make millions from the fines’ I were told. Parking in NCP next to the gallery (so we could carry our books) was extortionate but we ‘Engerlitscht’ seem to accept things like that instead of refusing to pay, (it’s like the students’ fees too, in ‘civilised’ countries like Scotland and Germany who take responsibilities for their people (not just those of them with financial clout) they made such a fuss that the governments stopped trying to steal the right to an ‘education for life’ and no longer charge the student mass, but here in this democratic land only the rich are entitled to the  top ‘education’… STOP there Don’t Start… Yer Flogging A Dead Donkey!)

I (Lard o’th’Tease) were a guest player with a presence on David Jury’s (the Lord of the Leafs) ‘Fox Ash’ table in the form of my new (little) version of Inside The Earthen Vessel to show the inspiration behind our collaboration on DJ’s beautiful (the big version) Inside The Earthen Vessel. Thursday’s opening, Friday & Saturday brought not a whiff of sales but it were good to be next to Mette Ambeck & Mike Nicholson and even better to find Mette’s little collaboration, UDKANT, with Nancy Campbell while the latter were still around to sign it along with Mette for me, thanks girls, made my first day. http://www.ambeckdesign.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/udkant.html Mette & Mike are experienced pilots flying the bookart trials regarding the straggling punters all spent up once they’d reached us. So I suggest that LABF reverse the orders of the tables, put the big boys upstairs out of the way so the public can enjoy the more individual handmade produce in the big room downstairs. IF they did I would apply early enough next time to be allocated my own table so I can show more of my work next time. I have decided to produce my new weird and wonderful ‘Squidgeratscrawlings’, which is my most original work from my subconscious-images, done over the last 40 years. Images which make Jean Cocteau’s Opium Sketches seem like Enid Blyton pixie illustrations! Influenced by the like of Klee, Ernst, Miro, Rick Griffin and other surreal maniacs.

Also, got to mention the lovely staff and food in the Exmouth café next door. http://www.exmouthcoffee.co.uk/gallery.html the staff work so hard non-stop, don’t know how they sustain it, I prefer to make books, paint, print write poems and do yoga!

I had several meals there over the weekend and I believe their Chai tea must be one of the best around. Kept my spirits high whilst I spoke with folks who couldn’t afford to buy but loved the work.

Most of them took my card and that’ll give access to this blArt, so you may be a new Merry Prancer Maybe A Dancer on my Digibuk Hi!Way, well come.

Then on the Sunday it seemed like the Sunrise of my Book(s), people had been interested and talking with us about their merits and suddenly scores of enthusiasts from every country under the sun arrived. The first big one went and it seemed everyone was after one, confirming DJ’s hunch that his letterpress prints were profoundly appealing. I had just organised a signing on the backs by us both when the first buyer decided to take one. We realised the only way to wrap them was in what Picabia had referred to as a band of copper, ( in ‘I Am a Beautiful Monster’ p146 ‘This poetry has no beginning or end; imagine that there’s no cover and that it’s bound with copper rings.’ Lausanne 1919.) altho in the absence of copper I had found some brass bangles but they worked a treat as I carefully rolled the ‘book’ into a ‘scroll’ and slotted two bangles over, one at each end. Then the firmness of the scrolled book made its own protection.

Image017DW wit his copy in brass bangles

So when I weren’t squawking to folks at David’s table I were looking at the ‘opposition’ (Freudian slip?).  I was particularly much impressed by the following practitioners in one way or another:

Then I met a couple, Guy & Rebecca who on reading the poems said with looks of delight on their faces, ‘We used to live near Hermann Hesse’s house in Gaienhofen 78343!’ wow. And Guy says to me, ‘It says in Paul Corinthians, “We have this treasure in clay jars” ‘ wow some more!

Gita Wolf for her eye for the typos and her Tara books etc.

Jane Hyslop for her wonderfully inspiring and different binding forms etc.

Jacqueline Thomas for her Srinivisa Ramanajun & Ten Abundant Elements altered books.

Manuel Mazzotti for his passion for quality binds.

Louisa Bailey for her choice of books to sell and her very empathic nature. And for having the Maxt Ernst with fungus on ‘book’.

ernst max title page sm

Whereas our book cost tens o pounds some came to hundreds Luminous Books had a wondrous Maxt Ernst ‘book’ which was found with purple fungus on scanned & printed and offered it at £650. Then three star books had one at 35,000 euros! even I can’t afford that! http://www.threestarbooks.com/MULLICAN.html but i were veri inspired by these two, both of whom use frottage altho only one of them invented it, purportedly Maxt, watch out for mine frottaged futurewerks! Well I did some already with my Bar Critters. The one below first came to me in 1974 in a tea stain on my sink, so it’s so good to see similar creatures in Maxt’s work! And that pertle is a color i luvs.

a squidgerat bar critterbarcrit good sm

My old mate Duncan Walker came to the fair and he (he’s a jolly good dancer!step dancer2here he is dancing down Eld Lane steps in Colchester)

said,

“What an astounding piece of work you and David have produced with your Inside the Earthen Vessel letterpressed bookart. I will treasure the ones that I bought. It is so professional and deserves to be put up on the blog, on a page of its own, all 6 poem sheets and cover, with the brilliant photos of the two pages set in the letterpress. The miniature  concertina card of the 6 poems is a delight, it is an art form in its own right. Because it is so small, you see the patterns of the large letters, their layout and shape on a background of smaller type. It is a wonder in its own right and deserves to be exhibited. I have it on my desk and glance over and pick up on a different word and recite ‘A Ring A Ding’….

Image010DW & DJ

I enjoyed meeting David, he is a Master at this letterpress and design and he emits  a quiet strength in closing down on a design, while you are a soaring opener-upper, a brilliant duo. I used to form creative teams that had to contain both types of people, for things to be created from nothing, and then to be advanced developed and built for a spiral iteration.

Your bookart of the original poems is also a real treasure.

What will the poetry library exhibit of your stuff? It could have a corner of their library with all of it displayed and your poems recited in a looped video clip displayed on a monitor,  with your posters of the letterpress as well. And as I suggested to David, it would be so interesting and an art work in itself to have a short video clip of David setting up the press with one of the pages and him whirling with his tweezers, to show how the craft is performed.

Well done both of you, you have made a real success, through a work of art, created from nothing, by applying some rigorous research, creative leaps and connections, applying and developing techniques in design and build, promoting and exhibiting and also through all of this you have spiralled together to a higher level for the next iteration.

Wow!  I am clapping, what a performance I have seen. Bravo!

Early yesterday morning, before I set off to see your work I snapped the rising sun and  plane vapours in the sky and river and knew it was a beautiful day and it was.”

Tanks lad!

And In the End Nobody’s Perfec!

I’d like to thank the folks below who found some typos that slipped our tiny-tweezer-hands which is slightly reminiscent of being told off by the teachrer, oops there I goes again (but what wonderful teachers). We spent hours perusing, checking, correcting and all too. Should we do a reprint then DJ will sort that out, however we know we’ll miss others next time too, that’s life, or is it typesetting & checking out typos? Maybe we should not have put one in as a deliberate mistake in the tradition of the Turkish rug maker?

Gita Wolf pointed one out

Ian Kirkpatrick pointed one out

Burkard Quessel pointed one out, we’ll let youse all find them yourselves.

BUT we’ll continue blazing the trail.

vapor snake

Hey, I see a new Squidgerat in there!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StLU_q32TVs Hope by Emile Sande

‘Inside This Earthen Vessel’ Poem 6 Shaman Beuys

The LABF at Whitechaple begins this evening. http://www.londonartbookfair.org/

For those of you who have been following my recent blArts I just had a realisation. In the page about the Dalai Lama David Jury in the subtext picked up on the parallel between my being an expat from Burnley and the DL having been exiled from Tibet a notion which reverberates thru that print. I now see most all of the six men in my poems had to run from something. We are all are just passing through.

 

  • Gurdzhiev was a Russian Orthodox Christian native of Kars which was caught up in a fight between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. His father, a peaceful story-teller, was murdered by Turks during the Armenian massacre which some call a genocide.
  • Hermann Hesse was exiled from his native Germany for standing up against the Prussian military swing to arms which manifested in world war 0ne. Hesse was already famous and the authorities did not like his stance, he felt obliged to shift over to the mountains of Italy.
  • Tenzin Gyatso is still exiled from Tibet after fleeing from Maoist force in 1959.
  • Scheffler was a monk from Silesia who switched from Catholicism to Protestantism and back to avoid the attentions of the Inquisition after he wrote his inspired poem called The Cherubinic Wanderer.
  • C G Jung spent most of his life investigating the nature of humankind in its dreams and distant past. He was an advocate of the i ching and a Gnostic.In some ways Jung was an exile from his contemporaries and his own daimon. ‘Since my contemporaries understandably could not perceive my vision, they only saw a fool rushing ahead. A creative person has little power over his own life. He is not free. He is captive and driven by his daimon.’ (Memories, Dreams & Reflections, p356) Jung + pipe
  • Pete Kennedy is just an Idjet in a Jug hiding from the ladies in Burnley what want to talk to him about all sorts of promises he made in his youth and did not no way never keep and who looks a bit like old Jung but hasn’t got his pedigree!). a odorkapul sans dork
  • Joseph Beuys, a Celtic son of Cleves, was running from his Luftwaffe past.

 

Poem 6 Shaman Beuys

‘Don’t mention the war’ said another satirist who, when he Cleese…d, his hair shot off. Joseph Beuys had a life before he became an artis. His first life, in the Luftwaffe, ended as he catapulted thru the glass between him and the outside. David deliberately paralleled Beuys bursting thru the screen with the pot bursting as it hit the ground in his final page of the poems. The subtext mentions no safety belt. A pot don’t wear a safety belt so the mention seems odd, but it refers to the fact that Beuys said had he been strapped in, according to orders, he would have been annihilated like his companion was. So once he recovered from a broken jaw and a burst skull with the help of (allegedly) some Siberian peasants who covered him in grease and wound him up in felt he forewent the Nazi cause and spent the rest of his days, not wearing any safety harness, attacking the powers that be and trying to establish a better world through the example of his outputs which, like dada after the WW1, totally rejected the maxims and mores of the previous ‘leaders’. (Phew that’s a gobful! Innit?)

Last but not least that Celt Showman what is called Jo Beuys. My mention of Halstatt & La Tene refers to large Celtic communities that dominated the landscape in Europe around 3000 years ago. He hails from near Cleves, where the Swan Castle (the Schwanenburg) still has a golden plated swan as a weather vane. http://celts.etrusia.co.uk/celtic_cultures.php I find their art & artefacts are a beautifully robust craft. http://www.pinterest.com/viziglar/hallstatt-and-la-tene-cultures/

 

Beuys refused to engage in painting onto canvas and other traditional methodologies preferring to make installations & personal appearances with demonstration and talk about his nutso crazy ideas. He used metaphor and analogy to convey his ideas which were often embodied in his materials.. he attracted attention by wearing a wardrobe which defined him and in which he could carry a lot of his artefacts, and chalk, for doing his blackboard talks.He used fat and felt as sculpture material breaking the codes of traditional materials like carved stone and moulded bronze tho he did use these materials too but more in juxtapositions of ‘found objects or objects totally out of their usual contexts. He often referred to vortexes, energy streams conducted by various materials like honey, messages carried by bees, he communicated with dead hares and live coyotes. He tried to make amends for Nazi atrocities by joining Eurasia up with his actions and outings and somehow over-riding the fact that he had been a Luftwaffe airman who survived an plane crash. DJ parallels Beuys bursting out of the plane with the Buddhist story of the broken pot which I mention in the sub-text when I said ‘I let go and this humble vase returns to dust’ ‘it bit the dust’, which is not all used in the text. This was a completion of the circle as the six poems begin with a title, ‘Destination Dust’ a reference to the fact that everything eventually returns to the original source, energy. So even the subtext move around, whereas in the first pages it is flippant and mundane by the final page it has grafted in to the main text and apart from the black humour of Beuys bursting thru the glass has become serious, considering human frailty and mortality.

ves 6 sm

The chant from the terraces which I heard as a young teenager brings the subtext into the main text inasmuch that my home town Burnley reached the quarter final of the European Cup and we did thrash the Germans, in the first leg, but Uwe Seeler and his bigger brother knocked us out in Hamburg. But McIlroy really was better than Eusebio, well nearly, he was part of the team from Northern Ireland which got to the quarter finals of the World Cup in 1958 and (not a lot of people know this) their manager Peter Doherty was my dad’s hero and I were named after him.

As manager in 1958 Doherty took Jimmy McIlroy and N. Ireland side to the quarter finals of the World Cup
As manager in 1958 Doherty took Jimmy McIlroy and N. Ireland side to the quarter finals of the World Cup

Here endeth the intro to our new books.

This was a meeting of two minds who have been ‘doing art’ for 90 odd years. Well, odd in my case, meticulous in DJ’s. For David is an ‘artist-dervish whirling around at the wayzgoose with his tweezers teasing new meanings from my words’ when it comes to working a press

For those newcomers to dis blArt the ‘poems’ in ‘Inside This Earthen Vessel’ were inspired by Kabir’s poem ‘Inside This Clay Jug’ sung by the late Jackie Leven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfiKUhS1cnI . Someone asked if my writing (in the book G Batch which underpins these new versions) deserves the title ‘poetry’? Well, it’s a beautiful question. A real poet would not have the temerity to call their words poetry, that is for history to decide. Catullus, Patchen, Angelou, Blake, Bukowski & Stevie Smith all deserve (in my book of tings) the nomenclature. No, I write, I set out some of my words as prose, some as attempts at ‘poems’ or as I used to differentiate them ‘poyms’. There is a debate about whether folks like Bob Zimmerman, Mark Knopfler or John Lennon’s words are ‘poems’? Ask Picabia or Jarry about what makes up a poem, don’t aks me.

So, if I were aksed to put what the six ‘poems’ are all about I’d say first and foremost they are an appeal for humanity to live harmoniously in peace. They show six men who represent the cultures of most of the prominent human groups. They are against dogma. The poems all represent human beings who had the balls to look at the human situation and to be brave enough to stand up and say their piece almost always standing up for the individual and their right to think and make up their own mind. The poems are my personal insight into mystical knowledge as represented in six different thinkers whose lives and work had impact on a fair number of others to this day. My poems say that, contrary to the widely held view, mystical insight is an expansive subject open to everyone. Also inside the pot (earthen vessel) is Joy & Humour, Music & Dance. Mysticism runs like veins of gold (Blake’s golden thread) through human cultures and can bring many people together when they understand we are all striving for the same thing, which is to understand why we are here and to appreciate the beauty which surrounds us on planet Earth. ‘Stop The Killing, Stop The Killing NOW’ said John Lennon before some tramp shot him. Imagine that, where is John now? He’s out there following his vision of ultimate reality and laughing his cosmic chuckle just like the Dalai Lama does. Namaste.

Let’s waltz again with Lenny:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-E53gmeO-8&index=5&list=RDye6JssTdnvw

Peace Be With You.

My Next Blog, how the 2  ‘vessels’ buks (mi littul one and DJ’s Big Y’in) and paraphernalia were received along with several other David Jury gems at the Whitechapel, 26 thru 29th September? Maybe see yez thur?

The letterpress version of Inside This Earthen Vessel.

A Collaboration between Pete Kennedy & David Jury.

This is a meeting of two minds. Between us we’ve been ‘doing’ art for 90 odd years. Well, odd in my case, meticulous in DJ’s. For David is an artist whirler when it comes to working a press with his tweezers teasing new meanings from my words.

So to begin, David loved the words in my Inside This Earthen Vessel which I brought to him after I had laid them out in the shape of typographic pots. Mine was a series of six concrete poems in which I had put the typo into the shape of a pot in an edition of 50. Some ‘important’ words I had enlarged. My version is basically ‘unaltered text’ typo speak, and can be read as a ‘book’. So, David thought the words were ‘spine-tingling’, the typo form was of interest to his present investigations into words typed/laid out in the shape of things and he obviously had a hunch that he could do something substantial with them in letterpress. It became his summer obsession.

David saw possible developments out of the idea and wanted to go much larger, with an edition of about 30. The collaboration is ‘altered text’ and with a sub-text in a smaller font can be read in at least two ways, and more. The ‘sub-text’ came about because I had left gaps between words in order to create the pot shape. DJ saw that as a waste of valuable space which letters could fill.

David also edited some of my original words out in order to fit the pot shape, he asked me to produce a second text of a totally different nature to the main text for the sub-text and we would arrange and agree which words to include or exclude.

 

Poem One, featuring Hermann Hesse.

The first poem is about Nobel Prize winning writer Hermann Hesse in a magical (impossible in real time) meeting with a monk named in early Buddhist scripts called Dhona who is reported to have lived during the time of Buddha and to have made his acquaintance. Why not add a ‘sub-text’, one that works as a foil or counterpoint for the main mostly ‘serious’ original text. Add mainly more mundane words maybe with some humour? I threw some of my ‘everyday’ poems at David and he would select words  which added to the other text in a smaller and differing font. They can be read separately but also alongside and within the main text thus giving a third series of potential readings. To gain a fourth series (like Gurdzhiev?) DJ began to use wood types he had collected long time but never been able to use, these BIG letters add more readings especially as he began to cut words in two and eventually even saw letters in half! But I move too fast. In poem one he was fairly close to my original, just using larger letters at the foot of the poem.

In writing Siddhartha HH brought the story of the young prince Shakyamuni to the West in a masterwork. Remember when he wrote it there was no internet, ideas were slow to travel. When I wrote the poem I enlarged the size of some ‘important’ words. DJ was to take this on and develop it. His first attempt took many ‘takes’ before he managed to set the type in the shape of the pot and work out the rhythm of the words. He stuck closely to my original. He liked the idea that the pot was not drawn, so it was only there in the shape of the words which seemed to set on the bottom as sediment. This settling was assisted by some words being bigger which not only added more weight to the page but also to the meaning. In doing the poem I had realised that Buddha, the first Buddhist, was saying to a monk from an earlier faith (Vedan?) which believed it impossible to leave the wheel of rebirth, that he had discovered how to get off the wheel (of ‘Samsara). This, in its day, was revolutionary! I assume that Dhona became a follower as he is quoted in early Buddhist texts as an advocate of Buddha’s ideas.

 

Poem Two, featuring The Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama fled his homeland when it seemed Maoist Chinese wanted to ‘disappear’ him, like they did over a million Tibetans since his departure. I know there are millions of good folk in China, it’s just that the ones who rose to the ‘top’ were not that benevolent towards others who did not agree to their hegemony. Reports of the way China has stripped Tibet of so many things are horrendous although I have no (dare not, I am natural born a chicken) like Lennon sang been there to ‘See for Myself’. Incredibly, the Chinese rebuilt many of the temples their predecessors destroyed in the 1950’s and use Tibet’s old religion as a tourist attraction now despite it being a crime to carry pictures of the Dalai Lama, it is said.

I was lucky to be able to attend, along with Sting, Richard Gere And Jimmy Nail, the grand opening by the Dalai Lama of the Tibetan Peace Garden in the Imperial War Museum (sic) grounds in London.

dalama peace gdn small

Sadly, when I re-visited it for the first time recently it was devoid of visitors. Does that show how much interest there is in peace in the world? I mean, the museum was so packed to the rafters with visitors to the new memory of the First World  War I couldn’t buy a ticket to get in that day, yet nobody was with me in the Peace Garden! No actually, I prefer to think it’s because everyone is too busy and has no time left in their day for contemplation, that includes me. I only touched base then scurried off after a few minutes scooting round the beautiful garden.

Poem Three featuring C G Jung (hey, A Jung in a jug!)

Jung was a Gnostic and he wore a ring with a G on to prove it. In my poem I have him ‘Dancing with Sophia’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye6JssTdnvw

Sophia the Gnostics believe is the partner of the entity that created ‘gods’ like the one in the Jewish testaments. That entity did not want a material world created, it was satisfied with the existence of non-being (spirit?) or Void. The Void being the ‘real’ world with ‘materiality’ (our form of existence), becoming a digression, an interruption, a problem. My analogy of Jung dancing with Sophia indicates his interest in Gnostic ideas which were around at the time of the Nicene Creed when the new canon of the Christian church was decided in the rule of Constantine the Roman Emperor. My reference to Pachomius is about a monk whose community had collected books from all of the known world, including India, and had to bury them to avoid the persecutions of one Athanasius who wanted to kill all heretics. Heretics had not been heretics until the Nicene Creed decided that their ideas were now outside the canon!

Metanoia and Nekzia are terms which Jung used to describe the dark part of the world where humans are sent to experience a rebirth of ideas. It is an old idea that the darkest hour comes before the dawning. Orpheus went into the underworld to find his love etc. before Enlightenment comes the dark abyss must be reconciled.

 

That is an insight into my thinking in the first three poems. Next blogart ting will be the poems 4-6, here is a taster of the new DJ poems:

a sunniside o jo bo 2 sm kb

words & image (c) pete kennedy 2014/print (c)David Jury 2014

See yez…on the Light side?

 

Talking about those teacher prats I witnessed in my life.

This blArty is not so arty
A bit more clarty but
I felt dese tings had to be said
Even tho thur so sad
But like a good
Tai chi teacher
Once Tole Me
My nega-tiv
Becomes mi posi-tiv

beauy street sunset smkb

As the sun set on my teaching ‘career’ I look back on many great experiences and surprises. One of the biggest happened early on when I realised the educator learns as much from the learners as the learners learn from the ejucaytas.

Some teachers are great. They teach their subject and they inspire you to great things, they give example how to act how to conduct yourself just by being themselves. See my earlier blart: https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/i-were-a-teacher-once-but-am-recovered-now-i-met-r-a/
Others are not so good. They try to get you to conform to some prattish canon only they understand or think they do. They try to force kids to get it right, do it this way not that etc. all they do is damage in the classroom and turn kids off, make them into rebels. So the reason I becAMe such a rebel is their fault. I should be thankful to them in a weird Buddhist way. I had this distaste, nay venom, neigh vergin on hatred for authority figures by the time I left gwamma skewel. In fact that was wat drove the ritin of my first self-puberlitsched buk in 1975, Apul-One, wid its non spellin and all.

ap 001

A form of ‘up yourn, ya tossa’. I now, after all these tears, realise that it underpins so much of the chagrin which seemed to burden my shoulders ever since ‘schooldays’.
As a youngster you witness these things and you sense or know they are ‘wrong’ yet your only (apparent) way to counter it is (it seemed at the time) to be madder than they were. So they never knew what your next move would be, whether it may be violent which is what they expected or peaceful which always surprised them, unseated them, when I did not (over)react to provocations. There were corporal punishments back then (in the 60’s) some of which I knew I ‘deserved’ for my cheek.
Once, when about 14, I upset the geography teacher, Herbie Geebiees I think his name was, he had that tight Brylcreamed hair combed back in short waves, he deserved to be upset. Anyway I was pranking about and he said he were going to pump me, go and get ‘Oscar’ he told me. Oscar was a size 11 base of an old pair of plimsolls which you had to bend over to and submit to 3 or 4 whacks in front of the class. I mean it was a point of honour to be pumped by some prateacher. Anyway, because I was a good boy what went to ‘dinner time clubs’ I knew that in the drawer where Oscar lived there lay his tiny companion, ‘Little Oscar’ what wer about a size 3 sole of pump-base. Now I saw a ruse, I would arrive with ‘Little Oscar’ which I did and got guffaws and gasps frae the crood. Then I went dutifully back to get Big Oscar and submitted to an extra ‘pump’ for my sins.
Another famous incident, the head had just said in assemberly not to throw the snow as there wer ice in it. So this merry prankster saw an opportunity to hail his classmates with snow&ice from the field as they huddled obedient to the head’s instruction in the doorway, I had a right laugh. Little did I know the head of PE Perrywhak was on his way and they knew that and it wer too late to stop now when my last ball hurtled into the crowd which had a big smile on its face as the teacher opened the glass door and my iceball hit him square in the face. Kennegly, follow me, bend over, Three pumps, did that hurt he said? Of course not said I and of course it hurt. But I knew I deserved that, in that old fashioned way. And that was the way they tamed me, that’s why I became, of all things, a teacher isn’t it? No not to pump pupils but to show it could be done sans pumps. But really it wer those who abused the old system who taught me most of what NOT to do.

Bolscrost was a proper bully. He chased Cookie around the class pumping him at every turn when Cookie had begged him not to exercise the punishment for not handing in homework as he had a boil on his asp. Merciless that may be but worse was the way he treated Riley the class truant who never did any homework. So one day he got Riley to bend over by the old iron radiator, so that as the weight of the strike went thru his body causing him to bring his front end up Riley’s head would strike the rad. Bastad. And as 15 year olds we didn’t know how to prevent it other than jumping on Bolscrost, watch out old boy, I never forgit.

Then there’s my 6th form tutor Reinneighs. He hated me cos I refused to pay the 30p ‘voluntary contribution’ to the sports fund for two years. I was making the point, it was voluntary. Finally he arrived at my right side asking for it just as they handed out the History ‘A’ level papers. I think he was hoping I would give him what he deserved so I would get carried out in a straight-jacket but by then the early hippie love and peace vibe had overtaken me and he survived and I got an ‘E’ in that exam. My course work was good, I was taught by a hero of mine called Dan Playtown and for my essays I used to get between 15-17 on 20 all thru the 6th form which is a good deal higher than an E. Altho Mr Grovelips recently brought back 3 hour end of year exam in his great public school wisdom I am for obvious reasons a believer in bringing the two years of ongoing study into the mix when a student’s work is assessed. But of course I only taught in primary, secondary, tertiary, special school and adult evening classes for 20 odd yearns and got a B/Ed Hons., an Advanced Diploma in Special Education and a Diploma in Management Studies, so what would I know, not as much as that nice Mr Grovelips hell no. I should never have stayed on into the 6th form anyway it were a right darkole, I should have left and gone to art college, but in those days we usually served our time. And I did at least beat the victores ludorum lad, a tall fart called Mallardson what couldn’t play futty for fudge, in the high jump in the school sports. I always wanted to reach up high.
Then, when I began to teach I witnessed a  teacher called Stain (that wasn’t his main name) and his nasty ways. We were questioning a young lad in the foyer about some minor misdemeanour and I momentarily looked away to turn back to see the kid gagging and holding his throat. Apparently Stain had hit him with the side of his hand in the throat when I had been distracted. Stain wer in th’territorial army so he knew how to tame these recalcitrants. Stain wer a little short stumpy bloke with a head nearly as wide as his shoulders and it wern’t full of brains. He obviously had a chip on his shoulder too, or a bag o chips. Now, because I hadn’t seen it I had no proof and he knew that. Back in those days I felt I couldn’t take it to the school leader, who was pretty ineffective anyway, but nowadays I would most definitely call the man to task. In fact it got worse. Several years later the prat went and accidentally broke a kid’s leg in a student v. staff rugby game. County banned all such games after that.
These types see themselves as the door keepers but really, really now, they are not fit to be floor sweepers. The best I can say is that I learned from them the way not to be.

I saw Alan Moore on Channel 4 news last week. In the interview the reporter asked him why he addressed some pretty obnoxious issues in his storylines? Moore said that these things go on and there is a need to get them out there, talk about them rather than brush them under the carpet, open the debate and work out ways of tackling potentially solving them. So, a couple o weeks ago I did a blart about ‘good’ teachers, those who act in positively friendly ways to influence. But, like Moore points out, there is a good side and a bad side to most everything, a yin and a yang which intermingle as they pass into one another. My Tai Chi master was explaining to me about the art of ‘push hands’ and he said you ‘sense’ the other participant’s moves and when they move to overpower you, you sway and disarm the force. I think that is yin, giving way to yang? Then he said, ‘My Yin becomes my Yang’. So these ‘stories’ based in my own experience are me exposing some unethical deeds, like Moore I am talking about them, not hiding them. The perpetrators need to be revealed. To do that I suppose I am applying a yang force. These men were bullies who used their positions to attempt to get others to conform to their set of values. Good or bad values it doesn’t matter if the methods you use to inculcate others into your canon are unethical. It may be questioned if I am right to reveal these issues from my life? Well really I should maybe have ‘gone thru the proper channels’ nearer the time (1960s & 70s) but as always back then and now, I did the best I could. In fact my ‘standing my ground’ brought about the heinous interruption at the start of a public exam. I still cannot see how that guy could have been brought to task by the authority figures of the day.

Bullying still occurs every day and I saw and was subject to various forms of bullying when I was in the work place. At the time these things can be hard to handle, cope and manage. I was brought to my psychological knees by one head-teacher and what made it worse was it was a female. I couldn’t cope and eventually after the union proved toothless I left that job, even tho she recanted her errors and said I could stay, forever. Hell was not for me I went elsewhere searching heaven which I found bits of but always under the covers you might get another glimpse of hell. Which is what Alan Moore deals with, or not. I think just addressing it, outing it, exposing it, making sure they don’t get away with it without others knowing they are doing it is the best way to curb it. So forgive my excursion into the dark zone. Like my great predecessor, Spike Milligan, you may notice I also add some humour. At least I think I do.

And to end on a positive note I wer watching Kate Bush on beeb4 lasnicht and wow watta star!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04dzswb/the-kate-bush-story-running-up-that-hill

the second link below is her singing a song in which she mentions Gurdjeff! Listen carefully, she mentions him at about 1min 40 seconds in, ‘They read me Gurdjeff…’ The they she refers to is her parents.

footynote- I have altered the names of the players mentioned above not so much that their identities can be disguised but because I don’t wish to face them down in any arena. They had to live with their mistakes. We had to live thru them. and, I suppose, nobody’s perfec.

Meet my top ten artis at Comica Fest comic market last Saturday.

The featured image at the top is from my 1976 comic, Applehead Lives which i used to sell on markets and all but had to give up on to tek a ‘day job’ to survive in the rough old werld out thur.

Necessary disclaimer note- I did not have time to gain permissions for the illustrations below that are not mine. Actually I have not included any yet, gonna aks permissions. All mine are of course (c) pete kennedy 2014.  I hope you people I have borrowed them from don’t mind as I am using them to advertise you. IF anyone objects get in touch and I shall take them out.

I felt like Owlsley at Kesey’s place when I was at the British Library Comicon market on Saturday 16th august. Owlsley was a chemist who had made millions of & from LSD tabs in the mid-sixties. When he turned up at the Merry Pranksters, (upon whose escapades in their magic bus and on various hallucinatory drugs the Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour was based), place nobody recognized him. But they soon realised he was the real ting. I felt like he must have felt when he first showed up. Like him I have spent years working in a vacuum creating magic. Now I am back with my work in what is now called ‘artists book’ form. I showed my ApulGold book

bak pages

to a few stall holders and they all seemed to love it. But originally, mid-70’s I wer publishing my own ‘graphic novel’ and comics in the shape of Applehead Lives and Happy Apulhed.

ahed burnley surfer

I stood selling them on Camden market and down Earl’s Court at the Stones’ concerts In 1976. I had faith that by ‘doing my own ting’ I would ‘make it’ but I had to retract for a while (28 yearns) to gerra ‘day job’ to keep the wolf frae th’door.I was a pie on y’ear back in the day when not a lotta people were doing that. Now there’s hundreds on ‘em. And they’re doing fine, on cloud nine. Next year I shall start bringing out my new set of ‘books’ based on my working titles, ‘Don’t Give Up The Day Job’ and next month am bringing out my new publication, Six Earthen Vessels. I must try set up a shop here so yez can perchance purchase them.
The standard of art and quality of publications now is incredible altho like Peter Stanbury said to me there’s something really nice about the old comics we did on cheap paper which was all we could afford. Nowadays with modern print we can have our work printed at a fraction of what it cost me to produce Applehead Lives in 76.

kachinas on cliffHopi kachinas

black&white images were all we could afford back in the 70’s!

And colour is no longer astronomical. So, I may soon make some of my earlier work available in ‘full colour’ as colour was always my ting and I could never afford to produce my stuff in colour. So when I flood the market with my work from the past, blame Paul Gravett for inviting me up to see Comics Unmasked! Thanks for your kind hospitality Paul, the show were gud.

I know you shouldn’t have ‘favourites*’ but I am choosing ten from so many I saw and met and squawked to at the Comicon market on Saturday. Cos I couldn’t possibly cover all of em.

In reverse order (but that’s not a value judgement folks) here is my most favouritest folks what I met Saturday:

10. Gareth Brookes the Black project . Gareth is a man and woman after my own heart. The man in him does lino cuts and his female side does embroidery. His startling combis of the two old fashioned methods has led to quite a magnum opus. http://appallingnonsense.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/the-black-project-now-exists/
9. Vincent Hunt (Red Mask). Here is a young man after my own interests, extra-terrestrial possibilities. His red mask is an alien what lives on his main characters face. My aliens were just visiting, not living on my face. Altho I did transmogrify into a Squidgerat in my First Squidgerat Show at Brentwood Theatre in the mid 90’s where I wore a mask, but it didn’t live on my face.
squidgerat kin smkb
8. Christian Jelen does stuff close to my art with a lovely little book about the thoughts of the Dalai Lama which was picked up by DL’s team and printed in India fer dissemination to all of his fans. He also does lovely characters what are sitting in lotus positions, reminiscent of Robert Crumple’s Mr Natural in a moment of meditation. I luv all that and I too do yoga and tai chi and all them tings too.
7. Seeing Poetry twas lovely to see Louise Crosby’s work much of which seemed to be in answer to the poetry of Clare Shaw. Good collaborations here. Then I found that Louise comes from near Hebden Bridge, one of my most favourite-est haunts in the whole of England. http://www.lindenartstudio.org/artists/louise-crosby/
6. Yi-Miao Shih http://serrashih.prosite.com/93592/1030542/portfolio/a-tale-of-a-disappointing-truth I liked Yi Miao’s rather quaint drawings and in the link above she even draws an apple like what I first drew the apple what became Apulhed! And in fact if you look at her work in her tumblr site it is as if she has stolen hundreds of my drawings from the 70’s and put her own slant on them. We must have been sawn from the same block(head?) http://astudyincharacter.tumblr.com/
5. Geeked Mag http://www.geekedmagazine.com/ Just shows how silly I am. I really loved the magazine and chatted up the ladies what runs it giving them all the patter about my being a real good artist and writer and all o that saying why don’t they ask me to contribute and they played along with this old fella and said maybe they might and then I see their website and see it’s a feminist ting? Can I still play if I bring my feminine side girls?
4. iella http://iellas.tumblr.com Iella does wonderful stuff. She shows me how I can bring together all my differing sides because that’s what she has done with stunning effect. Love the murals. Love the mixing of say pencil sketch with acrylics.
3. Amber Hsu http://tinypencil.com/artists/hsu-amber/ what an astounding and unassuming woman! Such phenomenal talent and it says on her site- Amber Hsu is a Chinese-born, US-raised, UK-based writer and artist. She is a graduate of Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design. She also has a degree in Biophysics, a minor in Classical Studies and a Masters in Comparative Literature. I would love to have just some of that talent and track record! And she thanks me for the postcard swop, wow. I wouldn’t have dared suggest a swop if I had known how good she was.

ambr hsu pdf copyThank you Amber!

2. Atlantic Press do some of the best artist books I have seen by any publisher. They have a keen eye for originality and give the artists’ work beautiful presentation in lots of differing ways. http://www.atlanticpressbooks.com/shop_book_store.htm

I tried to send a link to this to Philidda but it failed. Tell her I told DJ about her quoting him and he were happy about that.

1. Andy Barron is making simple but beautiful little books called ‘om’. I see them a link to the profoundly wonderful work of rick Griffin in the 70’s. http://andyillustrates.com/The-Feeding He has put loads of ‘comics’ up on the net foe all to see. It seems that is the way to go nowadays.

andy barron om frm pdf

this is Andy’s lovely screen printed cover

Thank; I must thank Qeurstret for all her advice on setting up shop, one day I shall do it.
And all the lovely folks I met, including Dr Martin the inventor for all their observations and suggestions. Oil Bee Bach!
*In teaching we all learned not to have favorites, treat em all the same they said at St. Lukes, and I did try all my teaching life to do that though usually it wer kids at the two ends of the ability range I (secwetly) favoured; the best and the least best, particularly if they were trying their best. My next blArt is not so much abArt art as about bad teachers a kind of part 2 to my blArt before this and it’s got some negative stuff in it, so don’t look at it if you believe evriting should have a positive take. That’s just a warning.

What keeps me going drives me forwards, reticently.

My old mate Stuart said he envied my passion for my subject, this comment along with several other ‘likes’ for my visual pun on stools is what helps fuel my passion. Thank you all for those lovely comments; DW, Jools, AWilliam & Windy. Someone frae Allemagne went into my post this week too. I know hardly anyone there but am pleased, maybe it’s becos (am not a Londoner) but I love (the work of) several German ‘artists’ and flag em up?

I had been reticent to post that blArt cos I didn’t want to be a stool pidgeon, even tho I don’t know what one o them is. Is it summat to do wit pigeon Engerlitsch? By the way ken Campbell wrote some good books using Pig-Eon Anglais, I digress I always do, don’t I? after I posted my stool blArt I thought folks will either see me in the mire or may admire me. There you go again, ploying wit werds. I have to adnit it’s not me what plays it’s my lodger, Daniel O’Blarty. Me I wroite rather straight blogs in Querns Englitch, there you see he’s interferlated my typings. He put the ‘o’ in write, the ‘r’ in queen and added a ‘t’ to my Englich AND he says he’s tinking o adding an ‘er’ too or a two too, toot toot too! He annoys me-mind you, don’t you tink that bit in Lord of the Rings film where Gollum’s 2 selves argued was the very best part of the trilogy?! I don’t. We do. You know. You may tink am a split personality or at least I got doo-ality- is there such a werd as ‘ality’? No! but there’s rea-lity, abi-lity* but no a-lity. *Tink abart it, able-ity, she has able-ness etc. Be careful there may be a lity-gate, shun it. I wish he would go, what do you say, he’s ok, he’s better than you? Me that is or rather not me. Anyway so four folk (have you heard the one abart the 4 candles? 4 candles in my life burning in my wind(we’ll not go there), in the rain then, kangools in the rain. Do we ever get kangaroos in the reign? Not if sum Aussies had their republican eye-deers. So these four kanga roos said they dug the stool blArt and am so pleased nay relieved (we’ll not go there). It’s not that I wish to be kept in order by my readers, no, not at all, but I have a reputation to keep up. What?well I like to demure not manure. So am hoping to write a new blArt soon enogh but am preoccupied right now. Today there’s a play off final for Engerlind’s second tear league. (In fact QPR won it which brings about an amazing parallel to the 1970’s. Back then QPR bought Burnley’s best player, Dave Thomas, then came one place behind them as runners up in tier two. This year they bought Burnley’s best player, Charlie Austin, and came one place behind them again! Funny that innit? Then in the evening Ronaldo & Bale are plying their trade making history and vast fortunes while I (we) am-are sitting here blArting away making nothing but a reputed station of the dross. Stop press, and then Gareth said my blog wer fascinating, how good is thart?

The tings I do are hit & miss. Some hit the target, which is hard to find when you don’t always know where or what it is as part of the creativity is opening new pastures, others miss by miles, which in itself can be creative cos then, miles from the target you discover something neworthwhile.

There’s a Bruce McLean show coming up at Firstite an I wer preparing a short report to send to see if Venue wood publish it so I did a lot of reading around the man. I mentioned that he had spent many years going to the Glasgow school of art building designed by Mackintosh. Real strange, I sent it to them on Friday evening and overnicht the building went up in flames, well not actually in the night, but it was not reported here til Saturday morgan, weird. Remind me not to write aboot your hoose. Anyways, whilst I wer studying up on brucie I came across a photo of him doing a performance piece with Sylvia Ziranek in ‘Sorry. A Minimal In Parts’ and that name tinged a bell. I had met her at a bert Irwin launch in 2012 and aksed if I could tek her photo as she looked good and theatrical, I never knew ought aboot her past.

syvl

i love this image, especially cos it’s not perfect.

I wish I had known them at the time. Because in 1976 I left teaching to become a self-appointed artisblokefella. I created this first Squidgerat mask)

SquiKg b an w

And I wer going to arrive at the ICA unannounced and demand a job (doing a Muriel in the corridors and having my masked folk running around, in fact it would still be good to do there, or anywhere, let me know if you want me to, for lots of dosh of coarse). I dipped out, didn’t do it. But I knew then and see now it would have been. Would still be pertinent, and bloody wonderful too. I have done several ‘appearances’ in ‘this-guys’ masked, usually at the outset of a standing exhibition.

 apul bly sho may 80

The First Squidgerat did appear in my one man show at Brentwood theatre in 1995.

1st Squid Brenwd 95

His appearance and non- appearance was indicative of where I was at, I weren’t pushy enough. I deferred to potential distractors instead of mocking them from inside the masks.

Nobody knows you when you shy away so am determined now to push on with my performances. I’ve already put it forward to a couple of art college places. I have several old shows which would bare light of day, or the limelights. I have new ideas too, one is something which came to me this week about my reticent reluctance to do performance pieces or Retrulart Performance Petesays where in I shall recount tales of the Meeting with Remarkable People I have had. Taking ‘life’ as a performance and telling of my times with Richard Harris, Ken Campbell, Mark Knopfler, Ray Pointer and all the crest. If you can be assed and have a couple of hours to spare you may like to see see-saw my full latest updatedest creative history on my LinkedIn site.

(please note, this is my first try to link to linkdIn and it seems that you have to be a member of it to linkin, not very linkedup is it? Anyway, i may just put my ‘history’ up as a blArt, but not today folks.)

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_edit_profile

 

Finally, my poem for the week. Do you get paranoic aboot parking too? Hum this to ‘I get knocked down’ by Chumbawamba (one of them, Egbert Bacon, went to my old school, do you tink he saw my buk Apul-One there cos they bought one for their library way bach).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kS-zK1S5Dws

 

I get stressed out

Parking anywhere

Especially rail stations

Burri gerrup agen

 

I get stressed out

Filling in forms

Especially any forms

Burri gerrup agen

 

I get stressed aart

Awaiting replies on line

Or any other ways

Burri gerrup agen

 

I get stressed aarght

I don’t know why

But there it was

Burri gerrup agen

 

I git stressed oot

when i kant link in

burram no gonnu

get stressed art agin

 

I get stressed aarghteught

It has to stop

Need to chill out…be cool

And jus gerrup agin.

ps I posted this on Sunday 25 May 2014. That very day me ole mate DW commented  on it and i asked if I can post his comments. He agreed it’s ok and am doing so because as a ubeing it is good inside to see that my stuff reaches out and touches the mind of others and inspires. That’s one of my basic drives. My mate is aware of my journey, some of which he has shared, and he knows some of the obstacles. Anyway, here is his comment, plus a great snap of him taken when he wer a yung viking.

Hilarious!

I love it when Danny O’Blarty takes over and is all revved up, it’s like the road is melting and the trees are bending just like an acid trip.
I fell off the chair when you threatened to burn our houses down with the power of a letter from yerself.
Very true about when you are on the edge as a creative and don’t know where the target is. In my research days we had a series of categories of things to explore, which were:
What we know
What we know we don’t know
What we don’t know we don’t know
We went for the last category.
It reminded me of the great book:
“Zen in the Art of Archery” by Eugen Herrigel
where the key to the skill is not to fire at a target, but to connect all components of the archer, arrow, bow and target. The skill is to sense as each component adjusts when brought together and identify when the optimum connection occurs. It calls for a different type of seeing, where you encourage your perception and actions to sense patterns that can represent a fit.
Pete, your alter ego(s) are now surfing and are like the best of their types, such as:
Dean Moriarty  in  jack Kerouac’s On the Road
Sebastian Dangerfield in J P Donleavy’s The Ginger Man
where they suck in the energy and take it away from the author on a glorious helter-skelter ride
I like this on Bukowski’s notion of creativity:
‘On Bukowski’s gravestone reads: “Don’t Try”, a phrase which Bukowski uses in one of his poems, advising aspiring writers and poets about inspiration and creativity. Bukowski explained the phrase in a 1963 letter to John William Corrington: “Somebody at one of these places […] asked me: ‘What do you do? How do you write, create?’ You don’t, I told them. You don’t try. That’s very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it.’
 
Weeeeeeeee!
 
Duncan
‘The Lost Boy’,  put in this boat with no oars and set on fire and I was sent off like a viking warrior to Valhalla……..but it didn’t work or else I returned!
on a boat in guernsey

 

R.A. r.a. Ray…the SHUN-shine of my life?

 

Now I have a surprise for yez, a little private ‘seekwet’, a little ray of Sunshine (not). I have to introduce you to my ‘littul helpa’, Daniel O’Blarty (Dob for short) who, I have to admit, has insisted on having some input to this blog since it started. Because I wanted to bask in all the glory misen I tried to keep the sekewut between him and I. But like me old mum used to say, ‘the truth will out’ and his mam would have said ‘tha troot weel oot’. The fact is O’Blarty is a distant cousin of mine from the olde country of my predecessors. He arrived for the weekend a while ago and has been here ever since. I have avoided making his contributions known for fear of contravening some recent rule about residence, entitlement to dole & housing allowances or payment of bed-rheum tacks. Oops there I go again, I’m afraid his influence is insidious, creeps up on yez it does. He is the same character that I wrote about in my tome with the working title, I Told You I Was A Genius where I disguised his identity with an alias, Rhody O’Dourke (O’Dork for short, Dork for even shorter). [If we can be bovvad to put his two monikers together and we have Dobdork!] or even Dork de Dob etc.

It all came out in the wash after the recent floods. People have been asking (he’d say aksin) why do I mis-spell words (werds) well truth (troot) be known that’s him! Sometimes as I’m writing he takes over my very pen and I’m too care-full to prevent him for fear of contravening some rule on political correctness or worse, race relations. I have to admit that I’m glad to have him around sometimes as there is a long tradition of great writers from the Olde Country; Jonofpen Swift, Dylon Tomas, Bendarn Behine, Rabbie Sideburns & Oscar Tamed were all frae Celtic soils. So from now on you’ll be able to tink to yourselves (yersens) or say out loud even, even unevenly, ‘Oh now I Understand, that’s not Pete (da Feat) who’s mis-sphelt that or said that profane ting or gotten it totally out of context, it must be his (illegal) immigrant helper Dan O’Blarty otherwise known in the Anglicised version of his moniker Dan Blarty or as they say in the Olde Country, Damien Blasterd?’

Author’s note. There is a long line of word changers, Shamans o’ de Pen including Flan O’Brien, Jimmy Joyce (as he’s known to his mates) and Georgie Herriman

http://www.old-coconino.com/sites_auteurs/herriman/mng_herriman.htm

whose Krazy Kat is for me the greatest komix ever by an  Arizonan country mile! Although Sheila Hodgett’s Toby Twirl illustrated by an e. Jeffrey is a stunning second for me published between 1946 – 1958 when I wer a lad.  http://www.tobytwirl.co.uk/

e jeffreys toby twirl

So. They invented characters, which is what the artist/writer artisriter does. In their day Krazy Kat and Toby Twirl were hughely popular which is no longer the case. Blake went the other way, his stuff was not popular in his day but has now got an international acclaim. Me, well I invented Apulhed, well at least once upon a time i believed i did. In 1971 I was a 20 year old student from Exeter working in Bournemouth for the summer when I drew my first apple with a face on adding things in its mind so you could see what he was thinking.

 Image

 At the time I was very interested in extraterrestrials and whether they had ever visited planet Earth but soon I came to realise he was not extraterrestrial, he was from another dimension. Then I found an etching which he did where he was drawing me!

Image

And his tutor was looking over his shoulder saying, ‘Look at what you gone done now. You do know that somewhere, in another dimension, that monstrosity will now come into existence?’ He created me! So he drew me so I could draw him. Later on when I created the Nonogon Nomads I pondered on whether or not they merely used me as a vehicle through which to manifest in this dimension. They are avatars. They each represent a human psychological attribute. They may even all be different aspects of my Self? Then I created Rhody O’Dourke, alias Daniel O’Blarty. Or did I just realise them? However, words and imagesare (only) symbols for ideas. Ideas are representative of concepts. Concepts are attempts to convey ‘real’ or imaginary perceptions. So (I invented) Apulhed and most of my ‘characters’ to convey ideas, concepts, perceptions & notions, from my understanding and experience. Together I use them in my (sometimes) rather pitiful efforts to convey stories, true or false. But that is what artisriters do. We (humankind) rely on them to ‘think outside the box’ to ‘create’ new worlds or new views on our world and other possibilities. I for example look to the likes of Hundertwasser, Alan Davie, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K Dick or even Philip Glass to create inroads into other dimensions of thinking hearing and seeing. Then, when those artisriter-musiciens raise their heads above the parapet we often shoot them down and say hey you, how dare you say you are good? We desperately need your input but don’t expect any reward, just keep on doing it til you disappear off this mortail coil and then we will say wernt he good now we can sell the work he left and line up in our thousands at variouarse citidals of fashion and say hmm this was a good one or this was not one of his best and all the rest of that carp.

I’m not a bitter man, in fact I don’t drink beer at all. Am stopping here, believe it or not this has taken days to write and you need a rest. I shall try to arrest you again with a follow on in a day or two.

also (Ah So!)

You know from my calling card that I was awarded Royal Akademy ‘Doubtful’ status in 2008. But there is another, even worse, RA in my life, Rheumatoid Arthritis. So, I have a swelling on my right mid-knuckles, it’s a rheumatoid factor, may be a remnant of when I was seriously incapacitated by my unwelcome lodger, Ruemore-Toad (face) Arthuright-ass. I had almost cleared every vestige of the damn feller, with the expert help of my doctors, Walters & Ovareachi. Plus an ever increasing schedule of light fitness training in Tai Chi, Ashtanga Yoga, Gym, Zumba and Tantricks Sex. I had rid mysen of most outer showings. Then recently a new swelling erupted around my middle knuckle. Being hypochondriatic I began to wonder what had caused this renewal. I went thru a number of possible causes. Then, as is my wont, I was reading Flan O’Brien’s book A Hard Life, as it happened, shortly after I had determined to discover the cause once and fer all. And there it was in his very words! Tha answer. On page 17 Mr Collopy is reminiscing on hurling sticks, ‘Many a good puck I had myself in the quondam days of my nonage. I could draw on a ball in those days and clatter in a goal from midfield, man.’(So similar to me on the football field but I used to punch the ball with my fist!) At which Mrs Crotty said bleakly, ‘Well it’s no wonder you are never done talking about the rheumatism in your knuckles!’ there it is, the cause. Recently I have been using a sledge hammer to hit some wedges into various sized logs to split ‘em. Sometimes the logs resist and take many blows which I knew had affected my ears cos my tinnitus returned (I never knew it had gone til it came back). But I was not really conscious of the damage it wer doing to my knuckles. I even blamed this typing lark, thought I may have to refrain from me blarting. ButNo, (me dad would have said ‘But no buttie’ as he were Welsh), I shall have to stop the splitting and hope the knuckles can recover. Funny that, I never did curling, nor cricket for thet matter and rounders, well I couldn’t hit an elephant’s arse with a ball hit from my rounders bat.