Watermarks et al

Hello! Like a frequently absent and probably delinquent acquaintance, I have been ‘away’ from the business end of this elderly website for several months, and now that I’m back I’m certainly not about to explain my lengthy disappearance.

At the time of writing (8th October 2018) I have what I’ve called a ‘capsule exhibition’ at Whistleblower Gallery in Brighton. Comprising 10 drawings and 4 paintings made during the recording of Radiohead’s latest LP as well as 4 paintings which are part of my ongoing Language of the Walls project, everything is pretty much monochrome, except one painting entitled Skulk.

skulk

These paintings were all made outdoors in the early winter in rural Oxfordshire, and appear to me to have a very different mood to the ones made in early autumn in the south of France. They were made in exactly the same way using the same techniques and materials, so I have to conclude that it was the very different weather conditions that were responsible for the changed atmosphere of the paintings. It’s the same for what I’ve called drawings (they are on paper, rather than canvas) because 9 of them were made in Provence and just one in England, and it’s very different to the French ones. This one’s called Fractured Strata, and it’s one of the drawings made in France:

fractured strata

Whereas, this one, called Poisoned Acres, is the English one:

poisoned acres

The other part of this compact exhibition is the paintings from the Language of the Walls, which I’ve written about on this website previously. There are four of these paintings on display, called Solitude, Trickster, Deceiver and Incline.

If you’re interested, in the area or are in Brighton with nothing better to do, the Whistleblower Gallery is at 14 St. John’s Road, BN3 2FB, Brighton and Hove, or you can telephone the gallery on +44 (0)1273 734 295

The exhibition runs until 4th November 2018.

8th October 2018

Invalid Response, again

gridWell, as I said last time on my frequently updated stupid blog I have an exhibition coming along soonish. And here are some fragments of twenty of the prints that will be on show. Of course if I was clever and web-savvy and stuff like that then you would be able to click on each of them to see the whole thing. But I’m not and therefore you cannot. So yes. Invalid Response is what the exhibition is called and it runs from the 7th until the 24th of June in the year of 2018.

I’m currently hard at work on several projects which I am very foolishly doing at the same time. Three of them are books and the fourth is something else. And I will explain about them here in this very place when the time is right, and when I’m not worrying about them quite as much as I am now.

20th May 2018

INVALID RESPONSE

invalid squareAs is evident from the picture just above these words I am having an exhibition quite soon, in the city of London, the capital of the islands of Britain. It’s a show of twenty-seven screen prints, and some of them are now extremely rare. There’s a print that I thought I had none left of at all, called Fuck It, which I made in 2007 in a fit of hatred of those inspirational posters like that one that says something like ‘Go placidly amid the noise and haste…’ It’s kind of pretty with roses twined around the letters.

2007_Fuck_ItHappy days. At around the same time I made another print that said Nothing Will Ever Get Better which was unfortunately completely prophetic and came utterly true. I may be going about this art thing the wrong way. Perhaps I should do a print that’s more cheerful, with fluffy bunnies and and uplifting message. Anyway, I’m getting a bit off topic.

offtopicSorry about that. So, yes, I’ve got a show coming up, it’s at Jealous Gallery in Shoreditch.

16th May 2018

How’s the pain?

hows_the_pain

A little while ago I did a cover for a book by one of my favourite dead French writers, Pascal Garnier. In a fit of nostalgia for the days when I used to compose English Literature essays very late at night with a bottle of Thunderbird I also wrote an introduction for the book.

Pascal Garnier is a very fine writer (or was, strictly speaking) and utterly under-appreciated by the non-French reading world. Gallic Books, the publishers of How’s The Pain? as well as a clutch of Garnier’s other titles, have done a fine job in translating his sardonic prose into English.

Anyway, if you’re interested you can buy one of only 750 copies right HERE.

18th February 2018

Fleet Street Apocalypse Redux

fleet_street

There are some forgotten and/or overlooked prints of Fleet Street Apocalypse for sale at the very place where they were printed, ten years ago. St Bride’s Printing Library is the vendor and all proceeds go to them. Click HERE to go and have a look.

By the way, when they describe it as a ‘facsimile’ they just mean that it’s a print, made directly from the giant linocut that I carved. Maybe facsimile is some archaic printing term that means just that. I dunno.

11th February 2018

ZMAS BOUTIQUE ISN’T IT

zmasbouty_endofworldYes, why not? What could possibly go wrong that hasn’t already? Well, it opens on Friday night some time. I don’t know when. If you’re reading this after Friday 4th November 2016 it doesn’t matter anyway.

2nd November 2016

the joy of living record is out

JOL-cover

Back in March of 2015 I wrote about the Broomway on the Essex coast, and the very peculiar day I had there the previous summer with the band and the video directors, making a pop video. And about a year and a half later the record has now been released. I ended up making four drawings for the gatefold sleeve, adapted from photographs taken during filming.

There have been only 333 copies of the record pressed, and they’re all numbered. If you want to know more, or buy one, or see the fucking bizarre pop video (in which I appear as a hare-headed person) then click through to the Cariad Records website… 

One of the reasons that the Broomway was chosen as a location was that Robert Macfarlane had written about walking the path (said to be ‘the most dangerous path in Britain’…) in his book Silt. Researcher/explorer Bradley Garrett was similarly inspired to visit what he calls the ‘Doomway’ and you can read his highly entertaining account here. The photos are very good too.

The dangerous nature of the place does seem to concern people. Massive amounts of unexploded ordinance, deep quicksand-like mud that looks exactly the same as non-quicksand-like mud, tides that come in faster than you can run, a very disorienting flatness and a huge sky that fucks around with your head. So I should state unequivocally that making a pop video there is a very, very bad idea.

 

1st February 2016

RESPECTABILITY AT LAST

granta

My trajectory into worlds I never imagined back when I was a young anarcho-punk scumbag dole-monkey (or rather, dedicated ‘jobseeker’) continues. The latest place I unexpectedly find myself is on the cover of Granta magazine. Next thing you know, I’ll be eating buttered crumpets on a fucking punt, quoting Rimbaud and discussing weighty matters with like-minded aesthetes.

The painting reproduced on their undeniably top quality literary periodical is called Hurt Hill, and hopefully it won’t put anyone off buying Granta. If it does, don’t worry, they’ll be using someone else next time. But if, by any chance you’re interested in acquiring a copy, you could either go to a bookshop or to their website, which be right here. 

22nd November 2015

idiot

Hello. Like a fool and a klutz I neglected to make the button that goes to the shop direct people to the shop. It does what it says it does now. zmasboutique.com, which is open, not slowlydownwardmanufactory.com, which is closed for the season.

My apologies for any confusion. It was all my stupid fault.

11th November 2015

ZMAS BOUTIQUE

zmas_art2015

It’s the ending of the year and, amongst other things, I’ve been making some prints. Pretty soon (perhaps by the time you read this?) I’ll have opened the ZMAS BOUTIQUE, wherein they are for sale to the discerning. Or, at least, those with a bit of spare cash. This season’s colours are rather sombre on the whole, with a preponderance of grey and black, although there’s a lovely Farrow & Ball colour – ‘Middleton Pink #245′, which which I’ve reprised a piece you may have seen before in both ‘Mouse’s Back # 40′ and ‘Arsenic # 214′. I should explain, really, particularly for those overseas who would (quite reasonably) fail to appreciate the significance of Farrow & Ball paint.

Farrow & Ball manufacture household paint which somehow has become synonymous with the upper and upper middle classes of England. Personally I feel that we have a sort of Farrow & Ball government, a government of surface appearance. There’s all kinds of unpleasantness (damp? dry-rot? mould? evil?) underneath the faux-nostalgic, futility-heritage, ‘conservative’ façade. But then, we don’t really have a government – we have a gang of robber-barons determined to fleece the place for whatever they can get, utilising a sort of cultural and economic scorched-earth policy. The gap between rich and poor grows wider every day. Hey, though; never mind, eh? House prices have never been higher.

Farrow & Ball colours are ‘classic’, ‘elegant’, ‘timeless’ and, to my mind, subtly reinforce the notion that ‘things are as they should be’. These are the colours of an Enid Blyton, Ladybird book version of a 1950s England that never existed but serves as a useful psychic shorthand for the sort of people I have very little time for. This, I should say, is not the fault of the paint manufacturers, who have been around since the 1930s, and whose products are used for all kinds of historic restorations. It is, of course, entirely inappropriate that I should use their paint to create such dreadful things as this:

middleton pink

But there it is. ‘Middleton Pink # 245′. I like to think that this series of prints will continue, until I’ve used every shade and tone in the entire range, but it’s much more likely that I’ll get bored of it and do something else.

And now for something completely different: here are three prints made using hot-foiling, which is a technique that uses a heated engraved stamp to fix silver foil to paper. The pictures are called, from left to right, Nin, Fuinseog and Unjin. These are all old names for the ash tree.

nin_fuinseog_unjinThe ash tree is one of the most common trees in Europe, the old Norse tree of knowledge – Yggdrasil – and the names of these prints are, respectively, Old Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx names for the tree. Unfortunately these trees are under an ecological threat from both ‘ash die-back’ and some dreadful beetle. Certain people are discussing whether or not some kind of genetically modified solution could help. That, however, is an entirely other can of worms.

Anyway. These and several more are/will be/have been available to you, the public, at the ZMAS BOUTIQUE. Do pop in and have a browse. I’ll be in the back room having a cup of tea.

 

 

6th November 2015