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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dead Rat Orchestra

Sketched at recent gig in Oxford at OVADA by Nathaniel Mann "embedded composer in residence at the Pitt Rivers" and his chums in the DEAD RAT ORCHESTRA
pigeon whirrers

feedback producer

O BOYS! (music made with cleavers and bows)

pigeon headed violinist / south park eyes

The End (or is it?)

Friday, 13 December 2013

Thursday, 29 August 2013


Stone Sheep - sketch made at recent visit to Woolstone Mill House near Uffington White Horse
Fiona Rae in Flight - old sketchbook image from Cairo days spruced up in Illustrator

A Peaceful rooftop scene from St John's Nursing Home sketched then  adapted using Adobe Illustrator

rendering mistake whilst experimenting with dropping cloth onto spheres in 3DS Max

Part of the "Graveyard of Forgotten Dreams" interactive 3D environment

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Supernormal sketches

Finally made it to SupernormalFestival which was a weird mix of experimental music, avant garde art and death metal. Here are the doodles I done whilst roaming in the gloaming.

Check out the ZZ Top escapee on the right - great set from this electro/rhythm combo

This image also made it into the Supernormal Zine edited by Ghostfuck's Lizzie Maries

Before I saw David Broughton I chatted to some guy who told me DB had been living in North Korea for 4 years prior to returning for this, his first gig. He'd gone with the intention of using his time there for inspiration, but hadn't created anything new at all in the entire time, perhaps as a result of the oppressive atmosphere. My source also added that he'd also been told that the above is a national delicacy, although I suspect this is CIA misinformation :)

This guy, David Broughton, was probably my festival highlight musically - he incorporated folk guitar, spoken word, electronic repetition, radio randomness, mike glitches and even packing up became part of the performance. The picture on the left was inspired by a lyric (at top) which induced me to draw the portait I'd been about to attempt with my eyes closed. At right, he complained of bronchitis, got pissed off and sat in a chair drinking a Guinness whilst the loops he'd made popped and whirled uncontrollably around him. The phrase is the last thing he said before leaving the stage.

Below is a triptych starting with me holding a portrait painted in 15 minutes by quick sketch artist Brenda Zlamany who achieved internet fame last year by painting 888 Taiwanese Portaits in 4 months.  She uses a curious optical device called a Camera lucida. Centre is my 30-second sketch of her drawn in a rush as I was heading to the car to leave the festival and finally on the right is Izzy (?) from Bath (?) who facepainted me with a cool hand clutching an eye in a cube design I found on a badge. This of course allowed me to make the claim that I'd had my face painted twice in half an hour ;)
this guy was walking round in circles like an escapee fro the ministry of silly walks; i feel like him right now as I'm having to re-re-do this for the 2nd time.  Have I mentioned how much I hate Blogger?
This was a truly inspirational event, had much fun doing the life drawing classes, taking part in the Talkaoke table discussion, talking about the future of Art funding, making puppets with the Chutney theatre and much more. I'll write some more about it here later probably...  
Letraset madness

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

"Charging... Clear!" *bzzt* KACHUNK! *Splutter/Cough* "Oh, Thank God, it's ALIVE!"

Ok, so I've decided to rekindle this dying flame of a blog to record some more thoughts on art & some of my own images when I've got some to post.

I guess the main reason I feel compelled to share is that I've just read some inspiring comics (or Graphic Novels for the pompous Guradian* reader) which have spooked me in that they seem to directly deal with questions or issues I've been facing with my own life and relationship with Art.

2 main issues I've faced over the last few years are

Y) A drying up of my imagination circuits - I feel like I've had a severance/separation with the wellspring of creativity - I've put it down to a) the Devil stealing my skills in exchange for sexual favours b) calcification of the pineal gland c) misalignment of the chakras due to a slipped disc d) getting old [eek!] e) all of the above.

So when I read "Flex Mentallo - Man of Muscle Mystery" by the Invisibles' Grant Morrison I felt a ray of hope - it tells the tale of a washed up artist who tries to commit suicide, thus destroying the universes he's holding inside himself, and only when his characters break out of his mind and rescue him is the world saved.  I feel that somewhere within it lies some answers to that question of "where do our ideas come from" and links it to Shamanic thinking and practice - something I think I should look into more... Hmm - I also found a local Shaman's leaflet today! I also constantly feel like the line between fiction and reality is rubbing thin...


Charles Burns' X'ed Out also has a hallucinatory tone, and his imagery feels like my own; I feel, when looking through it, that I'm seeing creations from my own mind, albeit much better drawn! His foeti, maggots, eggs, half buried statues and cities seem to come from my own inner landscape - the final image of the book is of a dusty shanty town on the outskirts of a giant termite mound, a landscape I have only recently being trying to model in 3DS as it is one of the places I keep revisiting; I also just found a set of sketches of it from my early 20s!  This City inside an abandonned giant termite mound is where my PC Game idea The Box is set - elements of which again turned up inside another comic called Cairo. Specifically, in my game... well, perhaps I'll put a post about this up on my other blog The Techno Hippy

So whereas if I was feeling more negative about life I'd be moaning about how I've been robbed of ideas, now I feel, Hell, These guys can get published, why not me?  My creativity clearly matches theirs, pound for pound, so all I need is to stop being so afraid of criticism or that I'm not good enough and just publish something, or exhibit my work.  Positivism!

the other thing bugging me is

X) a deterioration in my penpersonship/ line drawing capability - looking back at drawings from my time in Egypt  in 2006 or certainly much earlier stuff, I've clearly lost control of my hands to some extent: the lines are thinner, perhaps more fuzzy, but I sort of 'knew' where the line was going, what it was going to do next, whereas now often I tell my hand to do something and it goes the wrong way - this in turn feeds a subconscious fear that I am developing Parkinson's symptoms like my old man.

Now, I'm just back from Buddhafields festival, and I want to congratulate myself and Life Drawing coach Michael Harket for helping me sketch one of the best figure drawings I've ever done; and also to Robert Mills and Jane Ruell for their Mask Making workshops - I was definitely taken over by the "Dust Devil" character which inhabited my red mask (with Martine's maori marks) - the tickling with Raga Woods' feather dusters seem'd to go down well too - except for one festy kid who bawled his eyes out when I didn't let him steal one of the dusters!

I'll get a snap of the picture so you can judge for yourself ...

Just had a look at some of my old sketchbooks, I've got some really amazing stuff in there, just have to get it up online somehow. WATCH THIS SPACE... :)

NB: for why Defibrillator's are not used to resuscitate recently dead people cf.

*deliberate typo recognisable to readers of Private Eye as "the Guardian" once famous for poor spellchecking

Saturday, 28 July 2012



Monday, 25 June 2012

Archive: At the Psychdelia Show

Found this account whilst trawling my archives:

I got thrown out of the exhibition on psychedelia TWICE! 1st time i put on rollerskates & REFUSED 2 remove them when i was told they were a safety hazard!  they then proceeded to initiate a high speed chase round the gallery, even though i clearly was never gonna get caught by secuity on foot!  I kept saying, "i'm only a danger now cos your chasing me!!!"  best bit was when i zoomed round the bottom of a spiral staircase as 2 gaurds closed in on me from both sides!  Then they put an announcement over ther tannoy "the gallery is now closing - leave immediately", so I voluntarily left & took the skates off.  chatted up the receptionists & they said it was cool to go back in, so i went n had a fag...

met 2 guys outsuide & we made a j n smoked it.... guard came out but did nothing, then the CURATOR came out, ginger, mid 40s woman, and said " we were going to let u back in but now that you've BEEN SMOKING WHAT YOU@VE BEEN SMOKING, you'll understand if we don't let you back in!"

I said "No, i don't understand how you can't even bring yourself to use thr word MARAJUANA when you're curating an exhibition about psychadelic drugs, and 50 percent of the people in there are probably high!".  she attempted to stop me going back in but i gave her and the doormen the slip and ran back inside (minus rucksack n skates :( ).   I hid in a little curtained off room containing a weird pulsing light that was meant to induce trips, listening to all the guards running around looking for me, muttering darkly into their walkietalkies, until a security guard spotted me and said, "can i ask u a question?"

\i came out of hiding & said "sure, what's the question? wanna know what my favourite movie is?"

he said, "i'd like to ask u over there" - pointing at the exit,

I said "why, is it personal?  are you going to ask about my sexual habits?  can't u ask in front of the people here?" gesticulating at the crowd that'd gathered
This embarassed & confused him him so much he let me walk off, but i was soon surrounded by 5 guys in uniform, who sort of corralled me in this corner, until i walked into them calmly saying, "all i want to do is look round the exhibition without being harrassed, what's your problem?"  

they wouldn 't let me pass at first, and then they tried to grab hold of me, but i managed to slip through the cordon and ran off, shouting over my shoulder, "boys, i understand your need to be close to me, but i can't help with your sexual frustration, not in front of all these people!"

finally the head of security, who'd been trying to manhandle me, realised I wasn't a crackhead or nutjob, and started to chat, I said I just wanted to have a look at a final few things and then \I'd leave, especially an installation of some 60s film footage - he said he'd have to accompany me, & i agreed.
|We went to look at the film and after a few minutes of random images of dogs, bicycles & paperclips we turned to each other & he said, "this is really boring", I said "yeah, shall we blow this joint?" & we walked out arm in arm!