That’s the paradox: the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember. But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster.
Painting: 1% of Monster, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30cm.
For sale. Details here.
Another of my all-time favourite bands (alongside Mogwai) are releasing their new album Double Negative in September. The first three tracks are now available and offer a tantalising taster of what’s to come. They’ve been in the game now for a quarter century, and at the point where acts of a similar age descend into self-parody and tired retreads of the ‘greatest hits’, Low continue to chart their own course, sailing into unexpected waters. I’ve long used music as an influence in my own work and I’m wondering how this material – startling, ethereal and haunting – is going to manifest in what I produce next.
Piers Haggard’s 1971 film Blood on Satan’s Claw has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years. Often cited alongside Witchfinder General and The Wicker Man as part of the Folk Horror trinity, it was a film that few actually saw back in the day, but enticing stills that appeared in magazines and books throughout the 70’s ensured that when it did finally crawl out of the shadows as part of the Friday night Horror Double Bill it was a must watch. The most enduring aspects of its appeal – the use of landscape, the startling imagery, the eerie score – were lost on pre-pubescent minds awed by the sight of Linda Hayden in the niff, but it’s because of it’s ferocious originality and almost malicious intent to shock that’s it’s hardly dated and seems to have only gained in power over the years. The recent DVD release is a necessary acquisition, especially as it comes with an incredible commentary by The League Of Gentlemen (Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Jeremy Dyson), for whom this film was clearly an influence. Gatiss and Shearsmith must have felt like kids at Christmas when the opportunity came from Bafflegab Productions to record this audio version of the story, working alongside the one and only Linda Hayden herself. Gatiss sounds like he’s thoroughly enjoying himself in the role of Squire Middleton, with a Yorkshire accent that channels the hungry ghost of Hilary Briss as if fed through the Wheeltappers and Shunters PA system. With an excellent cover design (above) and essay by Adam Scovell, this is a dark gem of a thing that has caught my magpie eye and must be mine.
Released officially on 29 June, you can sample the first 3 tracks and make an advance order here.
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.
Photograph taken at Stourhead, Wiltshire, May 2018.
I’ve added two new paintings to the Art For Sale page.
The Tiger (2013) (above), and…
The Lord Is Out Of Control (2014).
Details of prices and how to order here.
Note that all painting purchases from now on will come with a free ink drawing.
All enquires: email@example.com