We must catch up some time

Well hello. It’s been a while, has it not? I’ve been away from my venerable website for ages. Funnily enough I was attempting to remember what I’ve been doing with my life by accessing the pages of My Stupid Blog on the Archive bit of slowlydownward.com, and I realised that I used to write on here quite often, almost like it was a diary or a journal. Unfortunately the part of my past I was trying to recall predated the existence of My Stupid Blog so it was kind of a waste of time. But not entirely! because it made me feel all guilty and stuff about not writing on here much these days.

Anyway, rather than be all organised I thought I’d try to write this as a sort of stream-of-consciousness monologue like what I learned about in English Literature many years ago. It was quite the thing for Modernist writers, if I’m remembering right. So. What’s been happening?

On the eastern coast of England I met up with Robert Macfarlane again, to talk about a project that’s been about two years in the thinking-about so far. It’s called Ness and it will be a book, with him doing the words and me doing the pictures. It will be a slender volume, along the lines of Holloway but utterly different. It will be deeply strange, I think. Here is a picture of Orford Ness, where the book had its genesis.

orfordnessIf you wanted to visit the place you have to go to East Anglia and then through a big forest to a little village where you then have to get on a little ferry to the Ness. Most of Orford Ness is now administered by the National Trust, whose website can be found here. That’s where I nicked this photo from too. Due to Dr Macfarlane’s extensive contacts and winning manner we were able to get into various structures and places forbidden to the hoi polloi. Which was nice. And also hopefully useful for our Ness book.

I’ve sort of started my part of it by using sea-charcoal and mud and sea-chalk all scrounged from the coastline to make textures on large pieces of paper. At the moment I think that the book will consist of letterpress type text pages and giclée/screen printed/gilded artwork pages, in a hardback book that we will make nearly 500 of. But all of that could easily be subject to enormous change. Or, shall we say, to longshore drift


In other news I’ve started work on a new and stupidly ambitious series of linocuts. It’s like some sort of addiction. I’d rather be doing that right now, rather than writing this. So it will be a series of sixty four linocuts, telling a kind of story. It will be produced as a pocket sized paperback like those of Penguin books. And it will in fact be a Penguin book. It’s as yet untitled and I’ve done so pitifully few of the sixty four intricately detailed linocuts that I really shouldn’t be telling you, dear imagined reader, about it at all. But oh well. The damage is done now, isn’t it? I’ve probably jinxed it.


What else? Well, too much, if you ask me. I’ve just gone and looked at my list, which is stuck up on the kitchen wall. It’s a long list.

Firstly, over the summer I guest-edited a magazine. I’ve never guest-edited anything before, but then I’d never art-directed anything before all that business with the film about nuclear weapons and that turned out pretty much okay. So, right, the magazine is called Monster Children (don’t ask) and it will be out very soon. In it I have gone on at length about all kinds of things. It seems to be a magazine that’s normally about skateboarding and stuff like that, but I just went on about obscure French writers and long-deceased Italian engravers. The kids will fucking hate it, but I don’t care.

They are doing a boxed edition too which will have all kinds of fancy-assed things in it; like a 7″ record of holloway recordings and a little sketch book thing and a whole bunch of stuff that I’ve forgotten. It probably says on their website. Anyway, here’s a photo of it which the owner Campbell sent to me. It looks like he used his bed as a background.

monstrousI guess the black book with the grinning bear on it is the sketchbook. The other thing is definitely the magazine. So, yeah, right, Monster Children! They are having a launch party for it (who knew that you had launch parties for magazines? Not me!) next Wednesday in London. I imagine that there will be further information on the social media. Go seek, if you can be arsed.


And so next there is the continuing, deathless existence of Broadmead -The Movie. Attentive persons may recall that some time ago (fifteen months ago?) I and several other idiots ‘organised’ a Festival of Apathy in the delightfully quaint and olde-worlde city of Bristol in Merrie England. This was partly a response to the fact that there appear to be an increasing number of festivals for just about anything – guitars, books, eating, home-decorating, and we thought it would be, y’know, kind of fun to have a festival of sort of just not being bothered. And myself and my old comrade Mat Consume went on to think it would be, y’know, kind of fun to make a really boring movie about the most boring part of Bristol. So we did. Then we got John Matthias and Jay Auborn to compose a score for it, which the did in an exquisitely beautiful manner.

And on the 19th October, 2017, it will be screened at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in the east end of London town. Amazing, hey? Who’d a fuckin thought it?

More details here, fans of tedium!

Well, that’s all we have time for today. But I’ll try to update this a bit more often…



25th September 2017