Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Peace Paintings

Back in July, my son kindly bought me three canvases for my birthday, so I have been producing some peace paintings on them with an aim to exhibit and sell them somewhere such as the Nobel Peace Center.

They follow on from the Photoshop juxtapositions, so the above is from a photo I took in Ekebergparken, but the golden tree at the top is from South Common, and our Cathedral is visible on the horizon.
The doves are based on my Grandad's prize winning racing pigeons, which were sort of similar to German Beauty Homers (if you're a pigeon breeder) as far as I know, but they really were a rare breed, so don't actually know.

One is a white dove, the other is a melanistic dove, and both have been fixed with kintsugi, to follow the theme that peace repaired with gold is more beautiful.

As part of And Our Heroes Have Misplaced Their Map, I have taken a Syrian girl from a photo from Aleppo, and placed her in Ekebergparken. She is not screaming, nor is the sky screaming, as Edvard Munch painted it. 


The second is from a bike ride to Holton-Cum-Beckering, of Lincolnshire fields, and Lincolnshire sky. The sky has no military ruining it. Only doves.

The woman is an Afghan refugee from a photograph where she is sewing facemasks during the current global pandemic. She is sewing with a golden thread.

The third painting is a field of white poppies - Papaver Somniferum - grown in fields in Lincolnshire for the pharmaceutical industry, juxtaposed with Lincolnshire skies being inhabited by two Syrian boys feeding a flock of doves. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

The Best Thing

 The Best Thing is a sculpture constructed from found objects.

It consists of plastic picnic or canteen cutlery assembled into the form of a hand, and glued together with kintsugi. It was originally conceived during lockdown 2020, and alongside the Nobel Peace Center's #fixthefood campaign.

As UK households, especially single parents, are facing stark choices due to lack of adequate income.

Helen Dearnley The Best Thing 2020

"The Best Thing" refers to the phrase "The best thing since sliced bread" - food banks are obviously not the best thing since sliced bread, in a wealthy country, even though some would say they are. 

Helen Dearnley The Best Thing 2020

Helen Dearnley The Best Thing 2020

Close up of kintsugi - the concept being that the best thing to fix the cost of living crisis is gold - money, and welfare, preferably decent wages - prosperity, not austerity.

Helen Dearnley The Best Thing 2020

So, this is a completed sculpture that now requires an exhibition and / or auction, where it can be sold for a considerable amount of money.

Or minted as an NFT?

Lost Dreams

I've taken the opportunity to use the Business Revival Grant to make some video art for Lost Dreams tracks. 

I have Adobe Creative Suite to use until it expires in August, and at the rate of commissions and the ongoing cultural assault on #ExcludedUK artists, it's unlikely I'll be able to afford to renew it when it expires. So this means that I need to make use of it while I have it.

Lost Dreams needed some videos for potential exhibition, either as standalone artwork, or for imagery if I ever perform the tracks at a music festival, for instance.

Recently, two new tracks were produced from found audio that sounds very similar to the existing sound art tracks: Elvis Clones and The Blackbird Of Chernobyl.

"Elvis Clones" is based on a small clip of an American DJ talking about Elvis Clones. 

For the associated video, my son has taught me how to use modded Minecraft to make Elvis Clones...

In April, I became mayor of Memphis, apparently, and some diabolical researchers transformed a Minecraft mansion into Graceland populated by Elvis Clones.

All the Elvis Clones are programmed to repeat quotes the the DJ was making in jest.

Concept video stills from Elvis Clones 

In modded Minecraft, there are various persons that you can delegate tasks to, so all of the building work is done for you, along with the welfare of the inhabitants, who live alongside the Elvis Clones within the world.

For instance, there is a plague doctor, who apparently cures illnesses musically with a potato and carrot!
All of these random occurrences form part of the new videos, which are uploaded to Youtube, but are currently not visible to the public.

The Blackbird Of Chernobyl has a different creative process, where I have layered digital footage produced with programming, to match the found sounds.

Image stills from the concept video art the Blackbird of Chernobyl

The Blackbird Of Chernobyl is also the title of a game due for release soon, but this is not related to that.