Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
I don’t advise a haircut, man. All hairdressers are in the employment of the government. Hairs are your aerials. They pick up signals from the cosmos, and transmit them directly into the brain. This is the reason bald-headed men are uptight.
Danny, Withnail & I
Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day, and for once I am inclined to believe Withnail is right… we are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell. What we need is harmony… fresh air and stuff like that…
Marwood, Withnail & I
A new painting, as hinted at here, but finally completed last Saturday morning. Where I grew up in south Leeds, Kes – the book and the film – was a holy artefact. Even kids who hated school had read it, and whenever it was on telly we all stayed in to watch it. We saw our lives reflected back at us, and in Billy Casper we recognised ourselves and what fate had in store for us. This painting has been stuck inside me for about 35 years, patiently waiting for the day when I could do it justice. With its completion I feel something important has happened and I have gained a renewed sense of purpose with my work. The jesses are off, Kes flies on.
This 2008 painting is an important one for me. I was 40 years old, I’d been doing the “struggling artist” thing for over 20 years, and I had got nowhere. I decided to try something different and tackle the one medium I had always shied away from – paint. This was my first attempt, realising an image that just came to me out of nowhere, and setting in motion the course of action I’ve been pursuing to this day. When I came across the work of Herbert Baglione and his 1000 Shadows project, you can imagine my surprise when I saw this image:
Mogwai – Stop Coming To My House