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16 August 2018
A new etching. Something I’ve never tried before. I have printed three plates, one after the other, on one paper (dampened each time) to make one single print. It is based on a plate I made in the 1980’s, “Acclaimed”, and the other two are from one plate I made in 2008 for Henry Wessells’ s publication “Forever Peace: To Stop War”. It is titled “Tally” and refers to men lost in the Battle of the Somme. The resulting print makes reference to Roberto Bolaño’s long novel, “2666” . That is my title “2666”. Below.
23 July 2018
With reference to the Arts Lab Continuum show opening on the 5th of July, I just received some photos from Morna Livingston. She was staying with me and so we had arrived together. She captured my anxiousness at the onset when David and I were wondering if we had everything in order. But of course I had forgotten to take off my handbag and had neglected to tuck the scarf under its collar. Whatever. Thank you, Morna, for capturing these early moments.
Morna managed an especially good angle so you can see people looking at Biddy Peppin’s posters made for the Arts Lab films in a big portfolio, and also we can see people sitting in a comfy couch looking at (out of shot) David Curtis’s text of the history of the Arts Lab projected onto the wall.
Also, an image of me being funny with Mathew Downward and Krishna Roy.
11 July 2018
Finally some pictures are emerging from the opening party last Thursday (5th July 2018). We have had record shot problems – just like the arts lab, where in the late 1960’s it was the moment that mattered, and never mind recording it. First one camera failed and then another was forgotten (mine). Whatever, here is one photo right at the beginning. You can see David Curtis’s power point in the background, on the wall.
And here are people sitting, watching the story of the old Arts Lab at that power point. And Morna Livingston looking at the book of posters.
A view beyond Pamela Zoline’s board game, where we have the backs of Judith and Barry Forshaw, and Paul McAuley facing.
Here are two book sellers. Good people always. Mathew Downward and David Tobin of Walden Books (almost out of picture).
The so-called Sky Gallery had a few of my etchings. Here is David Selley standing in front of some. David Selley is also www.DianeChorley.com. Not to me missed.
Also upstairs (with a couple of my paintings in the background) was Graham Stevens. He is to be found at bluegreen.com. Solar energy and all good things dealing with water and the atmosphere.
7th July 2018
The Arts Lab Continuum on Thursday night (5th July) at Spitalfields Studios was a grand party. Thank you to everyone who turned up. Below is a calm picture of my “Night and Silence” triptych taken before visitors arrived. (Cavé – Night and Silence – Cliff).
And here’s the note that went with it. “This set of three paintings titled Night and Silence, rests within the overarching Blood Simple category that obsesses me these days. It is my way of staying true to our Arts Lab intentions of the 1960’s when we knew, as we know today, that all the governments of the world will send young people to fight their battles. Old men and old women in executive positions killing off young men and young women: I know it’s part of our animal nature but I still try to make a statement. And try to, as Pamela has put it: “shift our interior furniture, just a little, bit by bit, and so the world moves.”
In the main room: Judith Clute’s table, see below. The painting is “Voiced”, and on the table is a range of things like a print rack and also, almost invisible in this photo, John Clute’s “Stay” (Beccon Press) with this painting depicted on the cover.
5th July and 6th July 2018
“an arts lab continuum” at Spitalfields Studios. See below.
1st July 2018
As I work deep down in the factory of the mind there is a certain shape syntax that develops and likewise a sort of – word syntax. This may not make sense but I can’t think how else to explain that place I inhabit where I try to establish visual meanings: meanings that will not resolve into easy outcomes. There are stories within stories being told. And this is all totally visual. The works dramatise the feel of being a human animal in the global village we all inhabit. Again, visual. Ben Shawn once said: “Shape of Content”. I like that.
The paintings and etchings have developed into themes. There’s one responding to the sad issues of war throughout our planet: Blood Simple. And the one that has somehow always been there – even before John Clute wrote his book with this very title: Darkening Garden.
Some of my ideas are lifted (sampled) from Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and also from Inuit art where compelling designs seem to come from the heart of our old world.
I intend that my work continues to sharpen an underlying presentation and a recognition of the contemporary world. This is becoming more and more urgent. My work is not bricolage; it is recognition.
21 June 2018
Antonia Moore, photographer, organised a little show at Gerry’s Club Soho. I was the mystery guest. It was fun. I sold all my etchings. We plan another in September.
29 March – 2 April 2018
Eastercon (Follycon). Poster for my work below. John Clute and I drove up with Stan Robinson, writer GOH, to Harrogate and I set up a small selection of etchings within the gallery arranged by Selena Culfeather with her partner, John Wilson. I sold 5 out of 12: a 70 % reduction made it possible for Eastercon fans to buy.
Then John Clute and I went to Knaresborough, famous for its beautiful 1852 viaduct crossing the Nidd Gorge. It is depicted on 1930 travel posters. And also special to Knaresborough are a few old buildings with sections painted in black and white squares. It seems that the old manor house, was treated to this pattern on its upper sections in 1832 because the then owner was mad about chess. Subsequently a few other buildings were likewise painted in this most striking checkered pattern.
13 January 2018
A note on blood synchronicity: a painting, “So Tell Me I’m Wrong”, from early 2017 and the cover artwork for the record “Yo Mae Leh” currently being played on radio 6.
I like the record and especially the strand of chanting which seems to reference Native American ceremonial singing. And I do wonder if it is synchronicity in the artwork or perhaps in fact, I myself, am being referenced. Either way, I’m happy.
31 December 2017.
Art note – how I got to where I am now. I feel that I’m still that same human-creature/machine-in-harness that I discovered myself to be, back in the 1950’s. In English class I learnt about T.S. Eliot. He helped sort some of the confusions around me. I was a child born during WW2. I was, like many others of my generation, safely away in Canada, specifically kept from any stories of the war that had just finished. I was part of the clean slate. But that wasn’t going to work, was it? My Darkening Garden theme started then, although of course I didn’t put it in those words. When I was at school I was reading not only about WW2, but also about some of the awful things that happened in WW1. How to make sense of these terrible losses and all the others around them? A world of big sadnesses. Then T.S. Eliot and The Waste Land. And a little later, Science Fiction and Fantasy. Books, all sorts of books, but mainly fiction. The stories we tell ourselves: they all feed – present tense – into these big rooms, my inside factory where art happens. It’s all a-hum in here. And so I’m still making paintings. Just the way I used to.
But back in the day when I was starting out, I noticed, for instance, Joseph Kosuth, a young American painter of my age, rejecting painting and going a quite different path. I saw him sailing off from “my” pond arguing that only ideas mattered in art. Fine: we’ve already had Marcel Duchamp and his urinal in 1917. But that moment in the late 1960’s had me smiling and crying because the rift was being clearly set up between “ideas” on one side and “making” on the other. I felt somewhat depressed by painting being lessened in that way and not until the 1970’s in London did I get to grips with my problem. I got John Clute to help me with my titles. I wanted people to see that there really was thinking embedded in the craft of making these works.
Titles. They should help you as you look, reassure you, that you can interpret as you choose. I give open-ended directions. But that’s not to say there isn’t an element of mystery. In this context I’d like to pass on a neat observation by Peter Viereck in his play, The Tree Witch: “Truth is not graph and glare, but fluff and side-glance.”
21 June 2017
The touring for “I Can Spin a Rainbow” has finished this June 2017 and Amanda has given me signed copies of the Vinyl and the Cd: they are signed by Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel of course, but also by Patrick Q. Wright who played the violin. What a delight to have done this artwork for them.
And here is the back of the Vinyl:
20 June 2017
I want to thank the ESFS (European Science Fiction Society) for the award they have just given me. It’s a life achievement award. I’m entered in a tie with Aurélien Police for best artist in their Hall of Fame award this year, 2017. (And what a stunning companion he is!) Thanks to everyone involved.
14th to the 17th of April 2017
Artist Guest of Honour at the Birmingham Metropole Hotel: Eastercon.
7 March 2017
Exhibition in Gainesville, Florida.