Whenever I am close to completing something, or when something is hard to resolve I am tempted to do some tidying. Avoidance strategy ‘par excellence‘. So find something languishing in a plan chest and dust it off, find a frame knocking about the cellar and sort it out. This one is from the 1980’s though I can’t date it for certain it’s probably 1985. It resembles another work called Landscape Incident so it finally gets a title after thirty five years!
As we start to whoosh through 2019 (I can’t quite believe we’re in February already) I realise that my way of making work makes for an uncomfortable feeling of dread…
The endless prevarications could see me shuffling off this mortal coil without completing some of my many projects unless I get my digit extracted! For a while, 2 or 3 years back, I instigated a schedule for the year ahead to be sure of getting through work with some discipline, and it worked to a degree though inevitably crumbling a bit at the back end of each year.
And then the unexpected comes up to further disrupt things. Of course one can (and occasionally does) turn them aside. But some are just too intriguing to disregard. So it was with Enough is Definitely Enough another fascinating and compelling project from Andrew Bracey.
I’ll let him explain:
Over 40 contemporary artists have made new artworks in response to a postcard version of Velázquez’s masterpiece, Las Meninas for an exhibition at General Practice in Lincoln. ‘Enough is Definitely Enough’ which opens on 30 March and runs to 13 April, features a huge variety of different artistic responses to the Spanish painter’s masterpiece – arguably the most widely interpreted of all paintings.
Art Historian Daniel Arasse reflected many people’s view that everything, or perhaps even nothing, has been said about Las Meninas -“what’s the difference, enough is definitely enough!”. The artists in the exhibition build upon previous interpretations by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Richard Hamilton, Francesco Goya and Eve Sussman. Artists have long been actively influenced by the centuries old painting by Velázquez; with their responses, in turn, offering influence back to Las Meninas to enable new readings. With the artworks made for ‘Enough is Definitely Enough’ there is potential for new relationships with Velasquez’s original painting to open up.
The exhibition is curated by Andrew Bracey and forms part of his PhD research at the University of Lincoln. He is exploring how contemporary artists have used and appropriated existing paintings by other artists, through a position of using the metaphor of the parasite and symbiosis in connection with painting.
Whether or not my contribution is parasitical, symbiotic or just plain daft you’ll have to pop along to Lincoln to judge…
And it isn’t just requests for contributions to projects that pop up. As part of the Priseman-Seabrook Collection initiative another show of selected works including my own opens in the Polish city of Gdansk in mid March with the title of Made In Britain. It seemed too good a opportunity not to visit for the opening, not least as Poland is a country I’ve never visited. So its off to one of the seminal sites in the resistance to communist rule in Eastern Europe.
You know how it is…what with one thing and another pictures can hang around in your studio for ages. Making one’s mind up about what needs to happen next is a dickens of a job and procrastination is second nature to most of us – or at least it is to me. Structures are straightforward enough until you start putting colour about and then it gets really antsy for me. Do I start shifting elements about or reconsider the colour ways? Whats the ground here…and does it need changing or worse…starting over?
Decisions need to be made!