Tag Archives: Duncan Walker

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?

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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