November 29, 2009

Only ten away from the elusive one hundredth! The image tagged onto the end of the last post is one that is being seen, right now, in Tel Aviv. I don’t have a fancy link to add but trust me, I could be a doctor, if I could find the right sponsor and if I was prepared to put up with another five years of this artwank. Add to dictionary.

It appears this is the second birthday of this blog. Whoopee do.

Artwank! is a rubber stamp I want to have made.

Oh dear. The perils of alcohol; you write something, then you forget you wrote it and two weeks later, you find your own post out of date. I celebrated the second birthday of the blog by ignoring it.

I wanted to try and characterise the last two weeks but find that I can’t really remember most of it. The overall impression is one of depression, lifted from time to time by a spot of scribbling. There are ‘political’ issues engulfing the normally still waters of the studio, some of which I am paddling in, but reluctantly. I do not want to be dragged into stupid conflicts. I went to the studio for work reasons, accepting that I may discover a social life along the way. All good, but when people are whispering and plotting on the side, it becomes another altogether unattractive beast. I don’t need the hassle; I can create conflict where none occurs all on my own.

We had another ‘artwalk’ and PEEP! gallery (the current incarnation) was wheeled out once more showing the work of Susan Mortimer and Helen Grundy to much approval from those passing by. I think the time has come to rest this PEEP! gallery and try to find another one. I will finish the year, as we have another ‘artwalk’ in November but I don’t think ‘the wardrobe’ will be back in 2010. I have eight weeks to make an exhibition for that artwalk, as I am having a ‘solo show’ at the theatre, in their café/bar area.

This to me is the perfect example of ‘what the fuck do we do art for’? It won’t matter to the majority of citizens in the locale. I probably won’t even have a formal ‘private view’ or be anywhere near the place on opening night; I fear that no one will turn up, which is likely if you don’t invite people. I’m just shit. I don’t care if people don’t like the work; I’m more worried when people are ‘nice’ about it. To stand there watching people look at your stuff is a horrific idea to me. It is like having a teenage daughter; you love and cherish them when they are in your care but once on a night out, you’d rather not know what is going on. Ignorance is bliss, so long as returned in a decent condition.

The perils of writing when pissed

I don’t remember writing the above, two months ago. I am listening to old radio comedy on YouTube, getting pissed again. I might return to this in a few weeks to find that I can’t recall any of this. I’m not sure I like YouTube. It is a memory bank, an archive of lost moments. It can take you back to another life but only superficially. I want to paint pictures of this lost world.

I did make the work for the ‘solo’ show, seemed to be well received by the filthy masses. I stayed for five minutes. The woman who was in charge of the space was far too efficient. I could sense that if I stayed any longer she would point me out to the gathered throng who would demand answers to questions that I never consider. I’m not that kind of artist with my prepared speech about my struggle. I’m not a salesman. I do admire that quality in people. I worked in a call centre once, one of the long timers commented that I could ‘sell sand to the Arabs’. Despite the unfortunate sentiment, I understood what she meant. I can sell anything except my own ability. I nearly wrote talent. Imagine that.

The story of this one man show is long and complicated. I got it because I thought it would spur me on to some work that didn’t involve churning out the same old shit. In fear, I did nothing for ten months. Running out of time, I had to make something. By chance I happened upon some poundshop canvases. Solution. I bought twelve, painted some random MTS images, had them cheaply framed by a friend. The cheap bit was the wood, not the friend. Job done. In the course of doing this, I had an epiphany. I know how I want to go forward with painting, it really is very uncomplicated and there is nothing to stop me. With one of the canvases I sort of dipped my toe in the water of new thinking and weirdly, this was one canvas pointed out by the host as being ‘good’.

As much as I tried to avoid making a new path, I managed it on the side.

The next artwalk has been and gone, same night as the ‘solo’ show. The main gallery was drawings by Sarah Blaszczok, one of the lovely invigilators from the Piece Hall project, now doing an MA in London. The second gallery was supposed to be an international affair but the postal system let me down, instead I made some salt dough heads in the morning for no other reason than I can. Relief rather than three dimensional. Painted.

I’m sinking into an evening of Peter Cook. I started with lofty ideals, looking at Alan Bennett and Charlie Chuck, but seem to have strayed.

As the year draws to a close, I feel optimistic.

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