Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A-ha Conference and Exhibition, Oslo Norway, October 2010

I was awarded funding to attend the Conference Living a Boy's Adventure Tale:
musical interactions in the decades of postmodernism 
and Exhibition

Hunting High and Low: 25 years with a-ha / A-ha gjennom 25 år

Exhibition / Utstilling October 20, 2010 - January 29, 2011

National Library of Norway


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Myself and colleague Laura Cotton outside the biblioteket i Oslo

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Having the opportunity to meet my good friend Pal H Christiansen on his home turf in Oslo, he told me that Morten's brother was there, and sure enough, I took a moment to introduce myself to him and share some publishing insights with him.

Helen Dearnley,Hakon Harket,Pal H Christiansen,A-ha Conference & Exhibition,Oslo,Norway,October 2010

Myself and Hakon Harket, yes, I really am small!

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I also spent some time with Jan Omdahl, to discuss his book "The Swing Of Things" from which I quoted for my dissertation back in 2007-8. His updated version for A-ha's retirement no longer contains some of the quotes I initially referred to, as it's been edited to include more recent information to make it more up to date.

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Jan said that out of all the people in the room, he probably knew the least about A-ha - this coming from a Norwegian journalist that has spent considerable time working with the band, and recounts his time with them in Brazil during the height of their 1991 epic Rock In Rio gig.

I noticed the juxtaposition of the Swing Of Things book next to a book with Michel Foucault in it.

Then Magne's Mum recommended the hardback edition - we'd met her in the Ladies' earlier, she has a wicked sense of humour, she was "cleaning" some water, very tongue-in-cheek - so now we know where Magne gets it from! 
I have a lot of admiration and respect for her, absolutely love Magne's Mum!

Magne Furuholmen,Mrs. Furuholmen,A-ha Exhibition and Conference,National Library,Norway,Oslo,October 2010

Magne Furuholmen's lovely Mum!

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Jørun Bogeberg of Oslo Blues Club performing his own version of "October" and other A-ha tracks.

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Last minute preparation for the exhibition opening

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Myself and fellow fans - I'm wearing the t-shirt with the quote from Pal Waaktaar Savoy "I get pissed off  and frustrated when people only talk about 'Take On Me'. It was just an honest, catchy little thing".


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Original Michael Patterson illustrations for Take On Me

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Morten's original wrist straps from the 1980s

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Morten's brother (on the left!) listening to the A-ha music archive. He was listening to "Maybe Maybe" !!

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No expense spared, our hotel was the Radisson Blu Scandinavia

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Summit 21 Bar @ The Radisson. We met 3 French oil prospectors (from Total) who bought our drinks for us!! :-D One of them comes from a region of France where Laura's friend lives; serendipity.

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My comic "The Unreal God And Aspects Of His Non- Existent Universe" exhibited in Hard Rock Cafe, Oslo. How existential is that? Unfortunately, no hand emerged from here, it was in Germany at the time!

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Visit Peace - The Nobel Centre view from the Radisson Blu Scandinavia

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Kendell Geers work outside the Nobel Peace Centre (reminds me of Bruce Naumann.... but still effective!)

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I made a wish and stuck it on Dumbledor's bedroom curtain @ The Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo. A month later that wish came true!! I finally met Morten in Sheffield!! See previous blog :-)


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William Kentridge animation @ the Nobel Peace Centre

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An Apparatjik type device!

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Couldn't visit Oslo and not go to see Skrik :-) @ Munch Museet

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I loved Munch's way of painting Norwegian landscapes, some of his work seemingly draws from Van Gogh, but the landscape of Norway obviously differs greatly from Van Gogh's south of France, and Munch endows his work with a unique Nordic edge.

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Friedrich Nietsche showing Munch's early expressionist influence. Warning, this man will mess with your head!

We also went to see this utstilling

but couldn't take any photos because of Imperial Forces.....

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It snowed in Oslo in October, not as much as there is now, it seems I brought this weather back with me in time for A-ha's UK leg of the tour :-)

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If you ever stay at the Radisson in Oslo, this lovely man will serve you frokost every morning!

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Who wants a ride on the Moods Of Norway tractor? :-D

Thanks to Chris for uploading this footage: 

How embarrassing! :-D

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Nottingham exhibition / Sheffield 2010

I successfully exhibited some work in Nottingham as part of the British Art Show 2010, at Notts Trent Arena, a situationist and existential exhibition of a banner at A-ha's last ever farewell gig in Nottingham went very well indeed!
Not only was it appreciated by Magne (well, why wouldn't it!) but it was relayed on screen during "Hunting High And Low" and therefore visible to the entire auditorium. You can see this briefly during this footage:



The banner reads "A-ha thankyou for 25 years, with love from all the fans" i Norsk, and it brings my work full circle, from the day back in Liverpool 2006, when I first exhibited a banner for my 30th birthday wish, which was really to meet Morten - well, a couple of days after the Nottingham exhibition in Sheffield, 2010, that wish finally came true...... after existing in A-ha's comic book world for 4 years, the moment finally arrived when Morten became very real, with suitably Scandinavian weather especially for him!


I feel very very lucky, jammy and honoured to have finally stalked the poor man to death (!) but if I'd caught the train home and missed him, I would've missed my last chance to have this photo taken for the most existential illustration ever.


Illustration copyright the artist 2010

Morten is now the proud owner of a copy of my original comic, created for my degree show 2008, based on Take On Me and entitled "The Unreal God And Aspects Of His Non-Existent Universe" it is available to view online here: http://takeonmevshelendblackbird.blogspot.com/

Friday, 27 August 2010

Gallery Girl




I've just read Wendy Holden's Gallery Girl, as I saw her talking about it and saw that it was about the art world, and she had a rather large pair of pants, so that swung it.
Not my usual type of thing, a bit too "chick lit" for my liking, a bit "soapy" and far too much pointless sex babble, I guess designed to appeal to a certain market, but nonetheless, my familiarity with the locations, language, connections and types of event kept my interest, especially as I was a Plinther, and there was a nod to that. The usual Whistler vs Ruskin arguments relating to art were highlighted by the scope and scale of artist characters. By the end, parts started to mirror my own life, so for that reason it's good, although I've yet to reach the same conclusion as the book, which finished very abruptly.

A very perspicuous plotline that gained momentum towards the end, but came as no surprise.
It's definitely worth a read, especially as insight for non-artists.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Alice In Disneyland final animation and exhibition

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Alice In Disneyland animation by Helen Dearnley projected @ Lincoln Central Library 4th - 7th May 2010

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Original animation footage (unlooped)



Alice In Disneyland animation by Helen Dearnley 2010 Still from animation



Alex Pearl - Study For The Invisible Girl - still





The Shrinking Box - Gail Young 2010
inset: Study For The Invisible Girl - Alex Pearl 2006



Drawings by Kate Lucas



Maddy Richardson







Matt Leo Dunton
Hollie In Celebrityland 2010



Susan Baker-Mathieson













Lizzy Mason Mad Hatter's Tea Party






Kate Lucas



Kate Lucas