Its funny…

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how things collide in your head during this isolation (I’m still too frit to properly venture out) especially as contacts with others is confined.  So just as I begin sorting out the next substantial project – based on Alexandra Harris’ Weatherland – I find its concerns reverberating  in my thinking with Chapter Three of Jeff Young’s Ghost Town.  I’d spent a good deal of a day sifting  through the former arranging a series of quotations by others that Harris had used to be the framework on which my series will hang.  Literally insofar as they are ranged around the perimeter of the canvases I’m intending.  And then this very morning I find Jeff musing on the importance of weather…”The weather is memory and memory is the weather. It seeps into this place, becomes layered into it. The meteorology of memory.”  And whilst I had been attracted to a brief passage from the introduction to Weatherland as the title of my sequence “I have tried to hang a mirror in the sky” my wife pointed out its connection to a title I have used before ‘Nothing But Mirrors And Tides’ (that stolen from Anne Michaels wonderful Fugitive Pieces for a solo show at Derby Museum nearly two decades back) and I’d already thought it perhaps overlong.  And now – glory be – it seems that not only have I a marvellous title ‘The Meteorology Of Memory’ but those few words also crystallise the core of my thinking behind these paintings.  

Because unlike the three series that comprised the reflections on Schama’s Landscape & Memory (Waldgeschichten, L’Histoire de L’Eau and Rock Of Ages) where the impulses for the form of each work preceded and then ran alongside the textual content here I have zoomed in on the texts (setting them in a framework of the months of the year) and hope to evoke memories, form, colours and reflections of each month as it unfolds.  At least in the conception of the work as a whole because, unlike my normal way of working, I intend to make a sketch or cartoon (if you wish!) for each painting before making the full size work.  Within this sits another secret source of imagery drawn both from my own reservoir of images and ones stolen from other observers of the world around them…something that has become so easy since the advent of the digital when everyone is a photographer of some (albeit) occasional distinction.

Borglums
Borglum’s Escape, Mixed media on paper, 106 x 94 cm. 2019                     from Rock Of Ages

If only…

Younghusband
YOUNGHUSBAND PROCLAIMS
Acrylic on paper, 106 x 94 cm. 2019

I had a very deep pocket and access to a very large gallery!  The Landscape & Memory series is now complete, not before time it must be said.  After all the first tranche (the Wood section) began back in Spring 2016 with the first completed works dated that summer.  the second (Water) dallied through 2017 and into last year with the final group (Rock) starting then and bringing us up to the beginning of autumn 2019.  It is 54 works in all that I have always envisaged in three blocks of 18, most likely 2 up and 9 across (as was the case with the first section that I showed at Harrington Mill – though a tall space might suggest a more vertiginous arrangement?

As for the cash…I did show at HMS with the works (all on paper) pinned directly to the wall but the framing up of one piece from Wood courtesy of a purchase by friends and posted here a while back clearly showed up how much better they would look all done.

Alpine
ALPINE REMARK OF JOHN DENNIS                                 Acrylic on paper, 106 x 94 cm. 2019

This would likely require an outlay of upwards of twelve grand.  Any takers for a bit of sponsorship then?!

 

Christmas Comes Early…

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I’ve said before that I often find lyric music difficult whilst painting…but I just took delivery of the latest Keith Christmas album…so it had to be first up today.  Go to his website and buy a copy!  

In any event I’m now onto finishing the final touches to Petrarch Reads Augustine the last of the Rock Of Ages so its that light headed feeling that sees some optimism in the gloom that I find when I look at what is going on outside my studio!  And to a certain extent that pervades Keith’s latest album too.  With a bunch of tracks celebrating life and relationships and a lighter hand on the tiller of anger and outrage that characterised a deal of the (nonetheless) excellent songs on his last album (Crazy Dancing Days -why not purchase that one too whilst you’re at it).   I’m also having a bit of fun with another of my TFTLR pieces… that lighten up the mood too…

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