Shut Up

We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.
Jean Baudrillard

Photograph taken in Blackhorse, Bristol, December 2017.

Savages – Shut Up

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First Editions Recovered

Early next week Sotheby’s are auctioning a selection of English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations. Included will be rare first editions, ‘re-covered’ with original art by several artists, designers and authors. As I like to do mock-up covers of books using my own art, I was immediately drawn to this and delighted to see that my favourite artist George Shaw had contributed – a full wraparound over for D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers:

Other names involved include Peter Blake, Dave McKean, Maggi Hambling, Quentin Blake and even the outgoing Dr Who Peter Capaldi. Results vary.

Some were clearly fully engaged, others (naming no names, but it should be obvious) were phoning it in. Overall, I think it was successful and as all proceeds go to the charity House of Illustration “it’s all good”.

The covers will be on public display at Sotheby’s in London before the the auction which takes place between Friday 8th – Monday 11th December.

Despite Our Wild Imaginings

The line of grey along the horizon is brighter now, and with the coming light I feel a certainty: that there is, despite our wild imaginings, only one life. The ghostly others, no matter how real they seem, no matter how badly we need them, are phantoms. The one life we’re left with is sufficient to fill and refill our imperfect hearts with joy, and then to shatter them. And it never, ever lets up.
Richard Russo, Bridge Of Sighs

Photograph taken ’round our way’, December 2017.

Chris Morris: Blue Jam

All the episodes of Chris Morris’ Blue Jam can now be accessed here. Hard to believe this is nearly twenty years old but it’s just as dark and strange as when it first leaked out onto the airwaves. After listening to a couple of episodes I was reminded of J.G.Ballard’s comments upon his first experience of Britain after getting off the boat from Shanghai, that here was a place ripe for psychological inquiry. It’s still not as weird and unsettling as daytime TV though.

The Beauty Of The Useless

Disorderly order, the beauty of the useless, the value of contrariness, the joyful project of refusal: there are urgent matters for us now, in a world where even to desire the wonderful – which always and of necessity has its wild component – is seen as an aberration.
John Burnside, I Put A Spell On You

Photograph taken ’round our way’, December 2017.

Work In Progress

This is as far as I’ve got with my current painting, as of last Sunday (3 Dec) morning. Progress is slower than I’d hoped, but nevertheless I’m absolutely refusing to compromise on the detail and all of that takes time. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to pull an all-nighter and paint right through until dawn, but if I’m to have it finished by Christmas, that might have to be what is required.

Shadows Larger Than Themselves

Events trail shadows larger than themselves. Much that people afterwards said about those days came from springs of imagination almost free from the pollution of fact.
R.C. Hutchinson, Elephant And Castle

Photograph taken last year in Bruntcliffe Cemetery, Morley. My secondary school was right next to the cemetery (“that explains a lot” says a voice and, as usual, I don’t listen to it) and we would walk through here on an almost daily basis on lunchtime sojourns into the town centreĀ  to check out the girls from Morley High School. That was over thirty years ago now, but it seems more real to me now than whatever nonsense I was caught up in last week.

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