Tag Archives: revelation

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?

Casting Pearls Into The Ether.

Here is a wondeful tribute to John Tavener shown on the BBC on New year’s Eve which you’ll get on iplayer if yor quick.


there’s a lovely song at the end about SHUNYA, the Void, or as Tavener says, Nirvana. I was pleased to find that Tavener along with his stated and obvious love for Orthodox Christian ideas and sounds was into Buddhist ideas (also Hindu and Islamic too). I feel honoured that I had chosen to use his visage to portray Thomas Plume in a ‘mural’ that I did in Maldon in Essex.


Surya Das in his book about the Buddha Within on p. 130 says the Buddha taught that everything is ephemeral, interdependent and in process and that…some folk have a clear sense of purpose and direction whereas others are blown about by every passing breeze. It is part of a call to be master of your own destiny.

As 2013 drew to a close I was reflecting on the bygone year and wondering if I should post my thanks to all those who helped me (in my weakness…I heard the drifter say…thanks zimmer man).

I thought if I thank JDD for letting me use his place for a small exhibition, DJ for his lovely comments particularly on my article in ABYB and on G BATCH An Introduction to Six Mystics, SB for publishing the article and so on to thank so many who really helped like MB who taught me how to coil pot again only much better than before. Then I thought if I try to remember & name all those who helped and if I listed them I would be bound to forget one or two really key folk like DD, MLL & DW without whom my journey would have been stalled. I concluded that I couldn’t list all those who helped. But I thank them.

I’ve been trying to learn how to meditate for a couple of years now as some very clever humans inform me that the skill is most important and beneficial. Up to the day before yesterday the skill evaded me. I see it as a learning curve unlike say swimming or Tai chi or Ashtanga Yoga all of which you learn in a physical, tangible way. Meditation is more difficult cos you do, nothing. That’s the point, you stop. You don’t even tink. Well, my mum Jenny used to say, I’m like, like a hen on a hot girdle ( I tink she meant gridle, a hot bed of iron used for cooking lovely drop scones on, imagine that then you get a metaphor for me). A fart in a cullender is another analogy she used to describe my blarting on long before I started blarting on blogart, HEY! I just invented a blogart- a bloke wat blarts on in the blog somewhat like a blaggart…I do go on). Jennie wer a Geordie, salt of the earth. So, after 2 yearns trying I wer no nearer being able to meditate. Then I found a meditation on the 4 Immeasurables*. And that cracked it for me in a funny way, it snuck up on me with stunning results. I had a real problem letting go of some things that occurred in 2013. I received some ignominious observations and marks during times when I was vulnerable from some who should know better. I felt hurt and en-angered (not enraged, enangered). My past conditioning would have had me confront the perpetrators of these perceived insults and have it out, pistols at dawn. Every day those insults would plague me but my four closest advisors had advisedly suggested I drop it and carry on regardless.

Anyway, I was carrying on regardless (not) and I decided to try this meditation exercise on Loving Kindness, Joy, Compassion, Equanimity. Miracle. I came round after only about 20 minutes and there in the greasy palm of my long artistic fingered hand was a solution. Thank them. For their invidious ness, because they above all the helpers & kindnesses helped me, to sharpen my mettle and keep me from conceit. They put me on my toes on the lookout for adversity with a new readiness to understand their view as legitimate observations from their respective positions, their ‘where they’re at’.their actions or absence of them, remarks & examples drove me to do more, to improve my peractice and spurred me on to write more and get published. I awoke to the Buddhist belief in being generous to others, especially your critics and denigrators.


I wer unsure if I should even mention it for fear of appearing vindictive myself and also empowering my critics by giving them the pleasure of knowing that they had an effect on me but I saw the need to rise above (my own)small-mindedness (and believe me I have some of that in bucket-loads, the smile on my face is an upside down frown, thanks John Prine). Another Buddhist notion is to move on, let go, stop clinging, to the bad as well as the good. As an ex-teacher I recall the tendency at the end of a day to recall the kids who had been most upsetting to me and their contemporaries before reminding myself about the 75-90% who had been ok or great. So, now as I look back on my teaching career I can now see the hundreds of pupils with whom I had a great time learning and growing (up or along) together. When I look at my own educators the ratio reverses, only a minority of teachers have that special something. In my case they had to be big enough to see thru the veil of idiocy I erected for my own protection. I must admit I did the disguise very well so I should forgive those who could not see through it, most of all myself. Another Buddhist ting is to learn to love yourself as you would love others or something like that. (You’ve forgotten again haven’t you you idiot. No no no, you godda luv me.)

That’s ok cos ‘everything is ephemeral, interdependent and in process’. Do not fret about scattering your pearls because only those with eyes to see can find them.

A ‘see’ Horse casting pearls for those with ‘eyes’ at sea

Watch out those of you with eyes to see, for new gems this year as they will inevitably appear. Take a gander at  http://thepublicblogger.com/

It’s someone in the USA who has looked in at my blog whose site seems very interesting.

Events to look out for: February 3rd opening of my Bookart show at Red Lion bookshop, Colchester.

A new article in the Blue Notebook sometime in spring.

May, the Norwich artist’s book fair, I’ll be there with me mates , Gambit.

Sometime in 2014 a new PK artisbuk, Squidgerats Scribblings.

October- When I’m 64. Will You Still Love Me By Then? Thank you John & George.

That’s it fer this tweek, Boo Boo, said Yogi Bear the Injun Mystic.

Ps Warning. Please do not read on below if you don’t wish to be touched by sadness today. Below is finishing off something I began to blart about last year on how an Annie Lennox cd had helped me in difficult circumstance around about 20 years ago:

In my blog last week/year I mentioned the beautiful impact this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG7I4oniOyA.in by Annie Lennox had on me as I drove to see my father on his dying day. ‘Why’ was such a pertinent song, so powerful so apt for me at that time as I drove thru the night as my father’s bodily boat sank irretrievably from my grasp and I kissed his forehead as he lay there on my arrival. I think that was the only time I ever kissed him. There were no man-hugs in those days. Even when I had told him a couple of weeks before that I loved him he looked at me in a form of disbelief that came from his war-generation era and said, ‘Do you?’, which momentarily made me doubt what I had just said. But I did love him, despite and because of his weaknesses one of which was the constant need to show he was strong. Annie’s song accompanied me to that final kiss and I have tried to contac her to let her know how much that meant to me then, and since. Tho I spose she gets lots of calls like that Bless her cotton socks.

Looking for my rainbow I found gems

OK so in the last couple of days I been a whinger. Whiney winey whingy woo. Even those last four words look startlingly depressing and it’s not good to express doubt & negativity openly. I did hit a bad patch. Worrying about ‘them’, those who love to await you around dark corners and hit you from behind. Then today i awoke to my new dawn. I can’t say i will never not nohow won’t whinge again, I’m a Man and men get grumpy, don’t they? Do men have men-o-pauses? So, enough, cut to the quick.

I saw light out my window and thought maybe it be breaking my fast time? White light.Whoopee, some brekker and I can watch last night’s soccer cos it comes on too late fer me to watch last nicht, a man o my age. So I walked to the curtain and flung it back. It was the light of a full moon. AND standing out bright and proud, if stars can get pride (of course not stupid unless they have a planet  orbiting around them on which the critical mass of its beings are proud then stars don’t be proud, altho some stars like say David Bowie can get proud, can’t they?) was the Great Bear, stark naked in th’sky. Well very bright anyway, very bright. And I realised my whingeing about what ‘they’ may say/said was my fear. Fear of inadequacy, fear of failure, failing to be ‘good enough’. I want to be good enough, well at least that little boy who won’t go away inside me does. He is still trying to please his mum and all that Freudian stuff. But I do not dig freud anyway, much prefer Jung and even Wilhelm Reich altho the latter did become a bit of a control freak I love his book , ‘Listen Little Man’.

But, to the point. I realised it wer my Fear. I thought I had dealt with that asshole. But it comes back. Self doubt and concern for future. Then i remember my buddhist thing, there is not any need to fear, why, becos, because, be-cause of your own life- do not let ‘them’ get you down because no matter what they say or don’t say ‘It’s too late to Stop Now!’ Thanks Van. When I quote someone I hear the accusation that am ‘re-iterating’ ring in my ears, don’t they know about the new big thing in ‘art’? Appropriation. That’s where they take swathes of stuff someone else created and re-present it and say it is theirs. I never do that, yet, but I do intend to for my commemoration of the Burnley ‘pals’ who were sacrificed in 1916, you’ll have to wait fer that. Anyway, I am on my way and nothing can take away what I have learned, what I have achieved and what I have done/made. like Major Tom I Am out there. Like Van said, ‘they gotta climb too high to SEE my point of view’. He meant like Martin did , the view over the hill, Pendle hill.Tonight I saw the view that banished my doubts. The full moon and The Great Bear with his belt of Orion and his dangly sword, the Great Warrior lighting up my horizon reminding me that the piddling pettiness and barbed arrows of some are as needles off the back of Gulliver. Cast ‘they’ adrift and sail on to your destination, well not yet, i ain’t going nowhere yet before i complete a few more of my books and all.

Now am thru that phase and come striding out the other side shedding skin like a snake leaves behind its past I must finish on some high notes, crescendo. I was looking for a rainbow photo to place in this pete’s (piece). And i couldn’t find it but i found more than that I found a genius. Robert Lenkiewicz. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21640622


I was lucky one day he allowed me into his place and we spent a couple of hours chatting. The man was a GENIUS and I don’t say that lightly. He was astoundingly talented and had vast Knowledge. I won’t go into detail, but believe me it’s true. He was a Rembrandt scholar and his work was as a modern Rembrandt. But ‘they’ chose to ignore him. What chance can a minnow like me have? I regret not asking him if i could paint him, like i did Topolski several times, Feliks T. was another tremendous talent ignored by the art world, really.

Finally I would like to share a comment made to me about my article in the Artist’s Book Year Book recently which was from a much respected source,

‘Your article is a remarkable documentary; lucid and unaffected, despite the fact that it records, in some detail, an impressively intellectual endeavour.’

There now, ‘everything comes to he who waits’, no fear no worries. Have a good one as they , well actually not ‘they’, say.


my new book!

Hey , did you know i have just published a new book?
Hey , did you know i have just published a new book?

I have recently completed an MA ‘Art, Design & the Book’ with David Jury as the main tutor. My main project was about knowledge in clay pots. It started as an investigation into the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library and developec into a study of the habit of communities in the past of placing treasured documents into pots and hiding them in caves to avoid persecutors etc. It became a study on anthropological sources in many cultures dating back several thousand years. The main area was the Middle East from India to Iran.
Anyway, my book called G Batch is an introduction to the whole project. I shall be putting more about it up on my blog as and when.
I have 2 exhibitions coming up near Witham and Colchester in Essex soon and I shall endeavour to keep you posted.