Bubbles #1

Life seems to be led in a bubble of our own current fancies. This is true in the Netherlands, where I live, where my longstanding obsession with images of the descent from the cross and the last judgment are often put politely to one side.

Over the summer, I decided to throw out all my old papers and photocopies and paintings. My friends Paul and Dan rearranged them for me and added their own mark. The resulting works were shown – and remained – in Rotterdam.

The three new works somehow managed to have an air of the Baroque, and Northern Renaissance images I have long admired. Details of two are shown here in black and white. I wonder what’s going to happen when giving answers to everything stops being a going concern.

Blue #5

There is a peculiar shade of blue that pervades certain parts of Accrington. Not always seen, it can nevertheless be sensed as a strong visual memory over long periods of time and sometimes in other places, far removed from this former manufacturing town in East Lancashire.

Memories can be cut out and rearranged. But that doesn’t make them better or any easier to grasp. Looking at these three new additions to the museum, the curator can’t help but wonder what binds them outside of his own random attempts at fusing or displaying memory. Maybe not even that. Maybe they should be pondered in silence, without recourse to thought.

Blue #4

There is a peculiar shade of blue that pervades certain parts of Accrington. Not always seen, it can nevertheless be sensed as a strong visual memory over long periods of time and sometimes in other places, far removed from this former manufacturing town in East Lancashire.  The blue can be put to various uses. In modern parlance, it is a “positive” force. And the curator invoked it to solve, or put to bed a number long-standing obsessions that seemed only to muddy the waters during the indeterminate early 2000s.

Blue #3

There is a peculiar shade of blue that pervades certain parts of Accrington. Not always seen, it can nevertheless be sensed as a strong visual memory over long periods of time and sometimes in other places, far removed from this former manufacturing town in East Lancashire.  The blue can be put to various uses. In modern parlance, it is a “positive” force. And the curator invoked it at various times during that strangest of decades, the 1990s.

Blue #2

Sometimes you can see a peculiar kind of blue in Accrington. You can normally see it when the sun goes down behind the hill where the former NORI brickworks use to be. (It’s now a new housing estate.) The afterglow spreads over Accrington Stanley’s ground, and then casts a peculiar blue green light into the back room of my parents’ house.

In the very early 1990s, on the dole and living back at my parents’ in Accrington, I began to draw and write in earnest, and in secret. I thought of applying to St Martins’, but couldn’t be arsed. The post ERM crash suited me. No jobs worth having in East Lancashire. Still: I needed a counterpoint to my friends’ exciting lives in dreamlike places like Bedford, Lutterworth or Chalfont St Peter. And, around 1993, London, where my more urbane mates ended up. I started to draw what it would be like to, you know, go there.

Then I would go to the corner shop and buy 4 cans of Trent Mild, and mixed salt and vinegar peanuts and salted crisps, and read the Acccrington Observer letters page and listen to BBC Radio 4.

The past is my playground.

Blue #1

Sometimes you can see a peculiar kind of blue in Accrington. You can normally see it when the sun goes down behind the hill where the former NORI brickworks use to be. (It’s now a new housing estate.) The afterglow spreads over Accrington Stanley’s ground, and then casts a peculiar blue green light into the back room of my parents’ house.

I still find it a remarkable light, something I haven’t seen anywhere else. I always found its appearance a very hopeful sign and – like the two Haitian angel/devil tin cats hanging on my wall – still draw on its presence.

In the very early 1990s, when I left Felling, I spent some time living back at my parents. Sometimes letters from friends, (whose lives seemed to be far more exciting, or at least much more dramatically, entertainingly, boring than mine) would summon up this blue light. Places like Bedford, Lutterworth or Chesterfield, Aberystwyth or Chalfont St Peter loomed large in the imagination. And, around 1993, London. A place seen only three times previously. And then in passing. I began to draw what London would be like, if I ever went.

The 1990s, where letters would stop and start amidships, beached by thoughts or sudden displays of emotion. A time when the World of Word Processor leaned like a sinister uncle over your shoulder.

The past is my playground.

I Never Tell Anybody Anything #4

A reminder that life can be flippant. O, cleanse my flippant soul. By the powers that be, o, stop me from thinking everything can be a joke.

 

Witchfinder Generals #3

Everyday, we feel the weight of the presence of the New Age of the Witchfinder Generals. Blinding everything with a cruel light. Projecting a grey film just behind our retinas. Photocopy and use these images as charms against their powers.

I Never Tell Anybody Anything #3

A mini-series of posts dedicated to our Patron Saint, (somewhat slipped), Eddie B. Why should we tell each other anything anyway? What’s the point? Every time we do, things just get worse.

Witchfinder Generals #2

We switch on our devices and see the New Age of the Witchfinder Generals. Perched on their glass thrones. Photocopy and use these images as charms against their powers.