Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Old Ideas

NPR allowed me to listen to Leonard Cohen's new offering 'Old Ideas' for free, over and over, while I fought to make something out of paint.
Being culturally Christian means that I can only see the pigeon feet as a crown of thorns.... The broken bird, Christ like, turns the sheep skeleton into a mother cradling her son .... and the whole thing becomes a strange pieta.

At the end of the day though it's a sheep skeleton, dead bird and pigeon feet. A simple collection of remains. Simply relics.

To get it right proved tricky, and this is supposing that to any degree I have..... got it right.
Ideas are all very well but the process is always a battle, a negotiation, an accomodation with stuff ..... This time paint.
Can I move it around, lighten it. darken it. Brush it on, Scrape it off.... I don't find it easy.
While I painted I listened to Cohen, to Joanne Harris' 'Holy Fools'. To every crime offering Radio4e iplayer could offer up. The listening is not concentrated.  Sometimes nothing is heard so a thing can be played over and over like a mantra. Whether the whole is ever absorbed ......?

The bones were easy enough. The bird was a bugger!

Well anyway.... It's pretty much finished now. Probably more strange than tender .... but I hope a little of both.

My Dad wonders why I do this ....If it were a commission, it would count as a job...

I suppose all I can say is ...  it drives me mad yet keeps me sane (ish)

There will be a break for a while now, while I go into schools and make some stuff with kids. Kids like making stuff even the ones that moan loudest....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

There is no reason....

There is no reason for any of this.
Why the taxidermy?
Why now the paintings?
To be honest I'm not sure I know. When I'm not doing the stuff folk ask of me I come back to this.
The taxidermy I keep. The paintings rarely survive!
I have been known to say that it's an investigation into ambivalence .... which it is.
But whether it is of any use or interest to anyone other than myself is doubtful.
As ever I'm looking at what remains when a life has gone ......
I often feel that I've stumbled into the wrong art form. That I should try and find some words or make some music rather than struggling with stuff.
But like that guy in 'Close Encounters' making his mountain from mashed potato I crazily continue ..... and probably shall 'till the spaceship arrives.

montegue and capulet2             

This one I called Montague and Capulet. A romantic notion of love. They can't have you for it ..... To put them together asleep in their fairytale glass casket was comforting.

This subsequent painting is a response to the taxidermy study and again that they go 'together' into the dark no doubt speaks of my own fears....

black and white

Here we have 'A little death' ....violent? ....ecstatic?
The taxidermied blue-tit came to a nasty cat-caught end.
There's nothing more violent than a natural order that involves predation.
But here poised on a knife point it looks more like a willing sacrifice.
The painting below maybe embodies more of the struggle.

And below we have an image that is so obviously religious.
I was but no longer am.
So why this?
To be honest the sheep skeleton, dead thrush and pigeon feet were quite insistant that they made the strongest image arranged this way and it's not always right to force your own views on stuff that knows best.
The painting will come soon. I've started and I'm hopeful for this one ...... but then I always am.