. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Hyper Realism

Sam Jinks
Ron Mueck
Charlie White

but is it art?#

This was but it was censored

This was why I got distracted from more postmodernism stuff

Ice Music

I went to an amazing concert of Norwegian Ice Music at the north wall

Gallery Round Up

Haven't got into the habit of this yet, so here's a load of stuff in brief that I've been to in no particular order:

The Screen as Landscape: An exhibition in Kingston of largescale paintings of computer screenshots - the artist Dan Hays meticulously copying the individual pixels; I had a similar idea for oil paintings of jpeg 'artifacts' caused by compression

Emma Hart - somewhere I have a drawing of this curiously disorientating exhibition of digital cameras acting as miniature tvs - the camera's pointed at different parts of the room and short segments of the artist doing odd things such as making repetitive noises or abstract poses so that when played they seem to show a timeslip.

Also went to something spooky at the Serpentine - This artist Anri Sala had recorded a couple of short, suspenseful films based around "Should I stay or Should I go" by the clash (a man carrying a music box playing the song wanders around a seemingly deserted city). A self-playing snare drum was a memorable feature.

On the same evening I also popped in to see someone painting with remote control cars in the Royal Geographical society - guy called Ian Cook (/). Cute, technically clever, left me empty.

Closer to home I went to see Abraham Cuzvillegas exhibition of a giant mobile made out of copies of the shrunken heads from the Pitt Rivers (one of my favourite hidden 'gems' of oxford) Sort off felt a bit disrespectful somehow, both to the tradition and to the person who's head was cast. Did make a freaky sculptur tho!

in the next room there was a very interesting piece by kerry Tribe about the end of the Soviet era space programme, and a room containing a reel to reel tape conversation about UFOs which wound it's way across the walls, constantly re-recording and deleting itself. It reminded me of my time working with large tape machines at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory - constantly clicking and twitching in their alcoves...

Almost went to see Apocalypse exhibition at the tate britain, but couldn't afford it, and they threw me out for trying to break in. Killjoys :(

Friday, 11 November 2011

Unusual Suspects

See this: Unusual Suspects East Oxford Drawing Collective

Latest work from the East Oxford Drawing Collective. Runs until Tue 15 November 2011.
Email Me
9am - 5pm, free
Saïd Business School (, Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HP; Tel. 01865 288800.

Friday, 4 November 2011



WHY CAN"T WE BE OURSelVES like we were yeSTERday?

I want Everything to 'be' its medium.... greiman

Crumbling Acres
Scarlet & Turquoise
Moths of the Night
We Fell off the Cogs of Misfortune
Treasure your Traschcans - Derek Jarman

----> N(arr)ative Art TODAY = NATØ = crossed out zero / O with stroke

This exhibition gave me a headache

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Gallery visit: Claude Lorrain

Claude Lorrain: The Enchanted Landscape

Another goal achieved - visited the Ashmolean to see Lorrain's pastoral paintings - stumbled in there at ten to six, got them to unlock the gallery & ler me in even tho i had no ticket! SO I only had a chance to look round real quick and get an impression - they were all large imposing pictures, clearly designed to impress in stately homes, and all used identical palettes of pastel shades, deep greens and light cyans. although they didn't have a huge emotional impact, the scenes of mythical characters swamped by a placed eternal nature, with decaying classical architecture, evoked a sense of nostalgia and distance; it felt like being in the wood between the worlds in Lewis' Narnia books.

I begged the attendant to let me do a quick sketch of one of the paintings; i copied the basic layout of the painting in about 60 seconds! I noted that human anatomy wasn't the artists strong point, and the attendent said,'He commented once that he was paid for the landscapes; the people were free!' presumably meaning he didn't spend much time on them :)


!() New Initial Design for Biographical poster - I'm hoping to make it look a bit more like the one below by changing some of the typefaces & text layout. NB the above design is text copied verbatim from the wikipedia page on houdini except where in red

Old Post follows - >>>>>

I've plumped for Houdini as my historical personage for a few reasons:

a) he's relatively unknown today
b) he share's my interest in the history of magic
c) his acts lend themselves to interesting artistic interpretations

I've come up with a few ideas so far as to how to represent him - so far the idea of him being an escape artist and escaping the frame / the artwork in which he is situated are most prominent.

I thought it would be interesting to reproduce an original poster advertising one of his 'challenges' but excising his name from the artwork - also recreating one or more of the equipment his feats such as the underwater tank escape (i.e. a fishtank, a cage with chains) with Houdini absent.

I'm swatting up by reading Houdini on Magic edited by Walter Gibson & Morris Young, and intend to re-watch the wonderful "the Illusionist" movie based on the battle between 2 turn of the century performers and their increasing risk taking in order to capture the perfect stage illusion.

Recent Events...

Oh boy, where to start? It's been a busy, fractured start to the term, and I feel really bogged down with the workload. My long term problems of time-management & organisation have really started to show with taking on this new course, and I'm begining to realise I really need help with these aspects.

on the plus side, I've been creating a lot more output than usual, and trying to take advantage of every opportunity to visit galleries or get involved in arty things generally.

Below you can see some film Martine Votvik & I shot on a trip into the countryside which I'm co-opting for the "Three Little Words" project - one of my words was 'Rural' so that fits in nicely.

Also I spent a hectic weekend in London, visiting the Tate Modern to see Tacita Dean's FILM installation in the turbine hall - more in another post - as well as an exhibition in Mile End from one of Martine's tutors; we also visited the Ratstar Squat Social centre and the Anarchists Bookfair, as well as the ongoing OLSX (Occupy London Stock Exchange) campaign which has set up camp on the steps of St Paul's cathedral.

I spent the weekend experimenting with watercolours, have realised that I have a lot to learn about using a brush!

Farm Animals

On a lighter note, here are some chickens, hens & chicks we met at a small farm - they're not for eating, they're pets!

Night Drive

This is us driving around at night, near to White Horse Hill, Uffington. The spookiness of the small roads is highlighted by the flashes of light (flicking on the full beam). Being brought up in the city, I still find roads at night unsettling, never sure what's gonna jump out at you round the next corner! Originally filmed by Martine Votvik as part of a video projection project for a live rock music performance, the footage also fits in with the project I'm doing - synchronicity!

Shack Attack

For the Rural section of my "Three Little Words" project, Martine Votvik & I filmed a selection of locations in the countryside - this decomposing barn was spotted by the roadside and we went to investigate. It felt eerie, and I kept hearing voices behind the walls, which belonged to no one!

Monday, 24 October 2011

John Ruskin Quotes

"Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts. ... the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art" - quoted by Kenneth Clarke in CIVILISATION

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

It's a New Dawn, it's a new day, and I'm feeling ... nervous!

So, I've taken the plunge and come into OCVC Banbury to make a start at a FdA in Creative Arts & Practical Design. The purpose of this blog is to keep track of my progress on the course and let my tutors know what I'm up to.

It's been a while since I've kept a blog, which is a shame 'cos so much has been going on in my life, and I guess it would have been good to have a record of all the changes that have been going on over the last few years. On the other hand, some events might better be drawn a veil over.

In terms of art & design, I've had 2 projects on the go recently; the first, to make logos for OX4 radio station, was a dead end (it seems) as the head of programming emailed to say they were going to stick with their initial design. This is a great shame because I genuinely think a couple of the ideas where really eye-catching (plus their logo is reallly confusing on the eye!). Secondly, a commission to design a pop up poster for Bubblefeet, a company which provides fish foot spas - basically, you put your feet in fish tanks and the fish, known as 'doctor fish' (or, more properly, garra rufa fish) eat the dead skin off your feet. Sounds kinda gross, but it's actually really relaxing and healthy. I've almost finished the latter, but the company have yet to send me some photography I need to complete the designs.