Monday, 25 July 2016

Norway trip

It's been tough keeping up with work since my youngest son finished college back in May, so work is very intermittent, and has dwindled further now it's the summer holidays.

I'm taking some time out to concentrate on the graphic novel and plan the trip to Norway for the Peace Painting Project.

So far, the Norwegian Embassy have confirmed there's a grant available for a trip to Norway to meet with Catrine to discuss the Peace Painting Project, which is good news, and it's exciting to think I'll soon be off on my travels again to explore a new part of Norway, up in Nordland, where the Peace Painting Project is organised.


Of course, Portrait Of Ian Duncan Smith With Bandaged Nose is still exhibited at the IMH in Nottingham until September.

It will be in September now, and I should be able to fly to Trondheim, then take a train and bus up to Bindal. 
This is quite an adventure!

Aside from expecting some magnificent scenery, I am expecting to meet with two Norwegian artists in connection to the Peace Painting Project.

Exciting!

Meanwhile, I'm still continuing with my graphic novel Cloudbusting, and spent last week putting together a proposal for a new experimental piece for Green Man festival to build an actual Cloudbuster as a large scale experimental sculptural piece.


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Scary, Scary Night

Portrait of The UK With Bandaged Ear

I'm still waiting for a phonecall from the Norwegian Embassy about the Peace Painting Project, but of course, like everyone else this week, have been completely distracted by the catastrophic events of the EU Referendum.

The whole situation is so insane that it deserves a critical Van Gogh eye.
You're welcome.
Yes, the houses of parliament are made of glass, as people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and to represent the fragility of the situation. St. Stephen's tower is Van Gogh's favourite danger yellow, the sort of colour used in warning signs, along with the red clock face from a STOP sign.

England's green and pleasant land has been overgrown with Van Gogh's wheat field, with the crows above.
Skrik here emerges as a sort of scarecrow, representing all of Scotland and the Remain campaign, who has probably been told that his warning cries and outpouring of terror at the situation are "scaremongering".

The stars from the EU flag are all in disarray, one of which appears to have been swallowed by a black hole.
Large waves tilt at the windmills, possibly due to the strawberry moon.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Peace Painting Project

It's been nearly a month since the private view for A Journey exhibition, and my nails have been bitten so much they're sore.

I'm not always sleeping properly.

I've managed to cover the costs of the trip to Oslo, because some money we were owed since Christmas has been repaid, but I had planned to do some sketching, or maybe use the trip to inspire new work, but I'm glad I haven't been stupid enough to make work without any income to justify the creativity.

But I'm still worrying about my ever-expanding overdraft. This * is a trigger warning.

All of my fair weather friends have suddenly resurfaced, suddenly pretending to be all pally with me, then asking me to help them out in some way.

Some artists seem to think that they can expect me to help them out for some charitable event that will not in any way benefit me, that I'm in any position to donate my time, expertise and kindness for their worthy cause. They will really appreciate it. See *.

No one is donating their time, expertise or kindness to me. Ever. These are people that will ignore me, either deliberately or not, when I'm in desperate need of income, or other support, but if they want something, suddenly I'm such an amazing friend of theirs - I think it's known as "cupboard love" in cats.

Well let me return the favour of having been neglected, financially abused, and forgotten by all of you in the art world, and those outside of it that wish to exploit us. You know what they say about karma.

I've felt unable to do much for the Peace Painting Project this week, mainly wondering about funding, *, so I've been in the studio doing illustration for my graphic novel, and doing some LAN networking and organisation, however, I received a reply to an email from a nice lady from the Norwegian Embassy, asking for a phonecall next week to discuss funding etc.

I'm hoping this will be more positive.

I've otherwise, as part of my work as a Bikeability Instructor, been paid to undertake first aid training.
So I'm now able to potentially save your life if you get into peril.

I returned home from training, absolutely shattered, to find news of a politician shot dead by a britain first extremist, and of some utterly bizarre homophobic "protest" in Lincoln city centre. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Journey - private view


House For A Gordian Knot
 "House For A Gordian Knot" - Ekkehard Altenberger, 2012, outside the IMH 
Checking into the Mental Institute!


Portrait Of Ian Duncan Smith With Bandaged Nose
£360 is the official price of Ian Duncan Smith!

 

Olympic gold metallist Rebecca Adlington talking about her career

Olympic Gold Medallist Rebecca Adlington

Cutting the cake!

The artist and the Olympian!
Selected work from the exhibition: 

Harman Dickson sounds like a character from a Philip K Dick novel, which I like :-)

Commended work by Sarah Davis

Commended work by Sarah Davis



I busted outta the Mental Institute, then felt I should maybe commandeer a helicopter...

Friday, 13 May 2016

A Journey exhibition

More info for the upcoming exhibition and private view for A Journey at the Institute Of Mental Health in Nottingham is on my website.

Here's the direct link

Whilst taking Ian Duncan Smith to Nottingham (!) I went to Nottingham Contemporary to see Simon Starling's work, and then to Backlit, to see Black Drop and Venus Mirrors.

I also went to Syson gallery to see what John Newling has been doing since I did my last ever voluntary work with him at The Collection back in 2009. He's still practising, I'm still struggling....

It was good to see Artist As Mother As Artist at Lace Market gallery as well, to see how artists are responding to a theme often overlooked and undermined in the art world. No Woman's Land by Zoo Indigo and Simon Starling both made me think about how journeys and travel can form part of an engaging narrative to work.

Selected works are here

Which is great, if you have the funding to do that...... Not if you look at arts travel funding and then have to fill out a massive form and wait until next year to know if you can do it.


Peace Painting project

I had hoped to meet with Catrine Gangsto for Peace Painting - which we're still discussing vis Skype and email. 

There will be workshops and an exhibition at the Pullman Hotel in London - but at this stage I'm not entirely sure how it'll come together.

I've been invited to another event outside the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo on May 21st, however, I have neither the budget nor the time, with the exhibition in Nottingham, to make it over again so soon.

I need funding!!

Why are some sources of funding limited by age? 


If anyone knows of ways to enable travel, I'm currently researching options that might not happen for a few months yet...


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Norsk Inspirasjoner & hyggelig

Objects In the Rear View Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

Time to take time out to take care of the spirit, and recharge my batteries, go back to the start and get back on track again.

A break to catch A-ha for old times' sake in Oslo, as they were the reason I wanted to become an artist, so whenever I feel like giving up, or that I've been given up by the stupid world, I'm glad they're back again, and it's been so good to reconnect to times when I had thought there would be opportunities on the horizon.

And there were invites to visit Magne Furuholmen's upcoming sculpture park at Fornebuporten - Fornebuparken  - More info here


Magne Furuholmen's Imprints work and ambitious new sculpture park Fornebuparken


Stian Andersen's Kollect: ICONS exhibition at PopUp gallery in Oslo caused me to have a Munch moment.

Stian asked if I was there for work - I wasn't sure - I was on a break, I haven't really done any A-ha or Apparatjik work since 2013 for several reasons. 

So I said I was and wasn't. I'm not getting paid for this trip after all - yet.
It's the first time I've been to Oslo without funding or sponsorship, so it does feel very odd.
I felt a bit Munch at one point.


Stian Andersen ICONS



But I had plans to visit the Nobel Peace Centre to see The Tunisia Method and Syria Is My Only Home, along with Peace Cloud perhaps for inspiration for the peace painting project. 


Malala Yousafza

Syria Is My Only Home


I also really wanted to visit The AFM again and find the Jeff Koons Michael Jackson sculpture that I missed the first time, and I had to go and see Mike Bouchet's Top Cruise and Matthew Barney.


Ida Ekblad - Political Song For Jessica Simpson To Sing, 2007

Ida Ekblad's "Political Song For Jessica Simpson To Sing", 2007, and Lizzi Bougatsos' reappropriated Wella shampoo ad photo print made me think about how Stian invited me to take photos of his work (stuff the V&A!).


Lizzi Bougatsos - Untitled


There was even a young girl with braces that looked like the girl in the image, and I lament not asking for a photo of her in front of the piece...


Mike Bouchet, Top Cruise


Lastly, after flight delays ruined my plan to visit Ekebergparken, I made time to spend an hour for a brief visit before getting my flight back to London. 


Ekebergparken

The view from Ekebergparken

Skrik!
Reputed to be the location where Munch was inspired to paint The Scream, there were views over the Oslofjord, where I'd planned to spend more time sitting and sketching, but I didn't have enough time for that, so I took photos of as many of the sculptures as I could before reluctantly going home.

My visit was punctuated by the hotel strike in Oslo, which disrupted plans....

Am I working? Well that always depends on whether I get paid or some kind of opportunity to create new work, because if I'm paying to do it, I'm not working, I'm probably angry and frustrated, and Munch.