Moving along…

SALON 6

So despite all the patronising blather the Westminster elite can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to their core business of placating and sustaining the international financiers and no doubt ignore the Scots and the rest of us… Moving right along I’m looking forward to being a part of Salon 6 in a couple weeks time…and although I know a fair few of the artists showing there will be new pieces that will surprise and delight.  Coincidently the selection of works that Rachael made of mine comprised the Full Metal Jacket series…though we both acknowledged that she couldn’t show all eight…and it is one of the images from that series that I took my detail for (detail) that opens tonight at Transition Gallery in London.

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I’d have been there but for the really nasty cold that has settled on my chest and, since my heart bypass seven years back, I tend to take these things quite carefully nowadays.  So at home for me I’m afraid.  It’s a triple blow really as I had hoped that my wife and myself could have taken in Late Turner and also showed up if only for a few minutes at the last ever Lion + Lamb opening.

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The loss of any gallery is sad of course but for us painters the Lion + Lamb is particularly devastating…it has been a beacon of light for painting over the past two years and the curation (and I use the term advisedly unlike as is often the case nowadays) has been of the highest order.  It will be very sorely missed.

So…moving on again…with Salon 6 and (detail) my wife Sarah R Key and myself will have shown together twice recently.  Now its Sarah’s turn to have another solo show – at the New Court Gallery at Repton.

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This opens in October so we are full on with preparations for this now.  The New Court is a smashing space so it should prove to be quite a show. Also coming up fast is Beeston’s Carnival of Monsters…where I’m hoping to show several of the large Conversation pieces…though I haven’t as yet managed to resolve all of them (note to self best get my finger out!). And of course following on not so far ahead from all this will be the Happy Little Fat Man show featuring the work of Kevin Coyne.  As I type this I’m also thinking that I’m feeling a little better today…and when I think of all the foregoing its probably just as well!

 

 

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Nearing completion of the Squad…

Cowboy

Above is Cowboy and below Doc Jay…only Animal Mother to go now and I’ve got all eight of the guys on those two fateful missions.  It’s been good to discipline oneself through the deadline of the opportunity to show.  I’ve always been sluggish in seeking opportunities to show work and rather relied on what’s come up fairly naturally through contacts, work etc. as I move into old age I’m beginning to see that it’s not just ambition that drives some artists but these deadlines that force you to resolve things that might otherwise simply kick around the studio.  Of course the converse can be true too…with stuff being pushed out before it’s good and ready…but if you get it right it increasingly strikes me as a positive rather than a negative.

Doc Jay

Painted Thought

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Joker (Full Metal Jacket), Acrylic on Aluminium, 380 x 436 mm., 2014

It’s good to get confirmation of a show that you’ve been invited to be a part of.  Matthew Macaulay asked me some time back if I’d be interested in this one.  Now I’ve the details…Painted Thought will open Thursday 20th February at 6pm in Cardiff at the Queens Arcade in the city centre.  Hosted by Pluspace Coventry and curated by Matthew the show also features work from: Neil Clements, Gordon Dalton, Andrew Graves, Terry Greene, Rhianne Masters-Hopkins, Rachael Macarthur, Sarah McNulty, Phoebe Mitchell and Mircea Teleaga.  The introduction to the show reads:

The idea that painting must die out and be replaced by newer art forms is not the case. Painting as a discipline over the last twenty years appears to have taken a back seat, and it does not enjoy the widespread cultural attention that it enjoyed for hundreds of years. In this exhibition we offer up a group of painters that show how individual painters are deconstructing and reinventing what a painting is and what it can be.

The artists on show are all critical in the creation of their paintings, and their work reflects the growth of painting. These painters have recognized areas of activitiy not previously associated with it, and revealed new freedoms for the medium.

The change and diversification of the components of the paintings production and presentation show that painting today does not exist in a bubble and is developing. While some artists have maintained a link with traditional materials in their practice they have still been influenced by new technologies and art forms. The new forms are not conflicting, but together with painting, are parts of an expanded field.

Painted Thought continues a thread of Pluspace exhibitions, such as Without an Edge there is no Middle (2013), Form / Function (2013) and Meditations (2013), that examines contemporary painting.

Its great to be showing with a range of diverse and interesting artists, one or two of whom I know of and quite a few new to me.  It’s also very pleasing to be amongst quite a few young artists and seeing how they are picking up the baton of what painting can be nowadays.

I’ll be showing work from the Full Metal Jacket group of pictures…two of which are completed…and six of which I should be getting on with right now!

Farewell 2013…

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And so another year is past…and although it was a reasonably busy one I’ve always the feeling I could have done more.  I’ve have liked to won the opportunity to make the table top works I proposed for a local museum competition for one thing – I was taken with the idea of stripping down the imagery of the viruses in Epidemic! with imagery taken from bacterial cultures…like Salmonella (above)…they would have been different and I suspect more challenging pictures to make but fun nonetheless.  The project called for work to sit inside glass table tops and I thought to jolly to put salmonella right under patron’s noses.  But later this year our merry band of creatives at Harrington Mill are taking over the local hospital art programme so maybe I can take a shot at the idea then!

I am happy with the work that will be titled Full Metal Jacket that I’m being invited to put into a show in Cardiff in February (I think)…that calls for paintings that draw inspiration from other cultural contexts.  These pictures are as always with me pretty resolutely non-figurative but do take the work of Vietnam War reportage photographers as a starting point.

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Those are but two things I know are on the horizon but other than that it’s pretty much a blank canvas, both literally and metaphorically.  Good – it’s fun when you really don’t know how it will pan out…I’m looking forward to it with some relish which is how it should be.

New Beginnings (of sorts)

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Now that my show at Lakeside is up and running (til 3rd February) I can side those projects and move on.  Of course I have several ongoing projects that I keep coming back to but it’s an opportunity to start over with something new as well.  So here’s the aluminium shapes that I had made quite a few months back coming into play and for reasons I can’t entirely fathom this cross floated to the surface when I put paint to the surfaces earlier today.  I’ve written before about how imagery emerges in abstraction so I don’t want to repeat the thoughts I had back then but thinking specifically about this work it may have something to do with residual memory of photographs from the Vietnam War (the actual shape is derived from a famous Don McCullin photo of a US Marine) and bandages about heads…or maybe it comes out of the near acquaintance with some images from the painter Terry Greene (they are currently on show in our studio)…or then again I thought as I rolled the paint across the form that this simple sign of negation spoke to my ‘idea’ for these works – to be collectively titled ‘Full Metal Jacket’.  Then again the cross may disappear altogether as the series develops!