Colour & Music Links

Self Isolation Studies. Time, Memory and Creation.

These pages have been lying dormant for a long while now, and I am thankfully resurfacing this year after some large life events which rightfully have dominated much of my time and energies over the past few years, recently, I am entering a new breathing space for embarking on a fresh phase artwork. With the second COVID 19 induced period of self isolation, It seems a pertinent  time to introduce two films online and make them available for viewing on this website and other platforms. They signify a change both in pace and style from my work thus far.

The first of these moving image works is simply entitled ‘Black and Blue’ and features a ‘Space Painting’ that I did in my studio a few years ago, and an action piece of  burning a canvas in the Woodland close to my house and studio. This piece explores the processes of creation and destruction, resonating with a wonderful poem by Wallace Stevens about a painting by Picasso. Stevens wrote much around the senses (of which my work is based) and about painting too, even writing a fascinating essay on “The Relations of Poetry and Painting.”

The simple and stark black space, was inspired by two spaces. The first  Wally Hendrick’s war room, a powerful protest installation  piece which, I first came across  at an exhibition in London , and  Tuol Sleng a disturbing place in Cambodia, a crude bessablock structure built within a crudely constructed within an old school, by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970’s. The place seemed to be an embodiment of people’s cruel capacity for the destruction of humanity.

Bringing the colour blue and my own body into this stark broken space is both symbolic and reflective, and partly  hommage to the history of action/live painting in particular referencing Klein and Pollock, and the work of the Vienna Actionists, the Gutai movement and of Stuart Brisley and Carolee Schneemann, exploring ideas of the nature of painting , destruction and the limits of the body in painting. The poem “The Man With The Blue Guitar”  resonated well with the resulting images, it being in itself a meditation on the nature of art, performance and the imagination.

Film Still from "Black and Blue"

Black and Blue-Film Still 2019.

"Black and Blue" Film Still 2019.

"Black and Blue" Film Still 2019.

The second piece “Empty House Studies” 2019.  also takes its cue from the poetry of Wallace Stevens, whose work has had an important impact on my thinking lately, and the film is more personal and centred around objects and transformation. The poem used in this case is “Asides on an Oboe”. The lines I have placed as titles, contain particular resonance with each segment of filming. Each action is also  punctuated and introduced by one second long compositions of music by long time collaborator Roger Redgate.

Empty House Studies-2019 Film Clip.

"Empty House Studies" 2019 (Film Clip)

The Actions performed as part of the whole piece reflect an overriding sense of loss, and of the daylight passing through my old house (by then falling into a derelict state) each different sequence acting as a visual poem.

The segments are all moments, and mostly important objects and memories from my life thus far, personally significant to me; self revelatory, and transformative. They explore ideas of fear, isolation, solitude and in particular vulnerability. A feeling which picks up from my performances.

My friend, the writer Professor Peter MacDonald (who introduced me to Stevens’ work) has kindly said of this work “These moving Image works overcome one of the greatest challenges  in the work so far,  The narrative arc of of the synaesthetic action and movement, versus the static final product.”

Strangely, at this time of Covid19 and “Self Isolation” for all peoples around the globe, and viewing these works again after a couple of years in gestation, these moving image pieces become more focussed and seem to me to gain an extra relevance to the moment that we currently find ourselves in.

1st December 2020

“Empty House Daylight Studies” 2019.

“Black and Blue” 2019/20

Music Listening.

Portia Winters-Bliss of small things.

Andrea Keller-Transients Vol 2.

Yosi Horikawa-Vietnam

Autechre-Plus and Sign

Django Bates- Tenacity.

POSTED: 03/26/20 6:19 PM