Colour & Music Links

The Lingering and Mourning of a Star

Just last month I went to see a terrific and exciting new show of Gilberto Zorio’s work in an elegant space in the centre of London. I found the work revelatory. I loved the participatory and the visionary nature of it and the way in which he uses material in a transformative way. In particular one of his his Star pieces sticks in my mind. It is a shiny aluminium star which has, what appears to be a splash or as I thought, an unwashed wall behind the immaculate and finely produced star.  I was in the midst of pondering on the possibility of lazy decorators in this fine new gallery space, when suddenly the lights went out, light being replaced with fizzing filaments and the sound of electricity. The atmosphere was tense and exciting. Suddenly there was an intense flash of light upon the star and then sudden darkness revealing that the splash was in fact a phosperscent shadow of the star, creating a beautiful afterglow. It reminded me of the Intermingled Afterglow in sound that Peter Hill refers to in the chords in the music of Messiaen.

The following night there was a meteor shower where a similar effect occurred. Spectacular flashes followed by darkness and a memory of what had been seen.

This seemed to all encapsulate and attain a certain power and poignancy for me at this time, after thinking of all the people I have known, so important in my development as a creative being, who have died recently, shining and leaving their lasting impression.  I am, in particular thinking about Mike Stanley currently, who tragically and harrowingly died this time last year. The last time I saw Mike, just after a talk with the artist Haroon Mirza, we talked about Zorio’s work as he was responsible for a show of his at Milton Keynes Gallery a few years back.

Performance, Time.

Performance and Time.

In the last few months I have been working on a suite of drawings and Maquettes in the studio, reflecting on time and on themes of colour, and the Crossing the senses. In particular on small pieces and ‘tableau Vivant’s,’ which relate to certain performances. The window pieces I show here, for instance, extrapolate performance pieces with windows and objects reflecting on the passage of time between the immediacy at the cusp of improvisation, capturing the moment in juxtoposition with the product, with its ultimate legacy and beautiful decay. As with music or a performance, one is left with the recording, a photograph or the pressing of a vinyl and so on, but the performance itself like light passing over a mountain and is fleeting.  I have been looking recently at Jem Finer’s fascinating work , the transitory work of the Gutai group, and Carolee Schneeman’s work which all, amongst other things, beautifully studies and examines time and duration. The other night I saw some beautiful restored films from the Centre of Visual Music by Jordan Belsen at the Tate Modern, which are like cinematic paintings. They are actually quite short films, but when viewing them they seem much much longer, such is their beauty and complexity of the imagery.

Bryce Canyon in Utah.

Bryce Canyon

Whilst in Arizona over the summer, I came upon a beautiful site in an ancient landscape where a Buddhist Stupa had been erected. All around the site were many prayer flags fluttering, in a beautiful state of decay . Here there seemed to be a perfect harmony between the ancient lasting but ever changing landscape and the transitory but lasting nature of being. Most wondrous of all was a moment I had at nightfall at the amphitheatre at Bryce Canyon in Utah. It was the most incredible, spectacular and awesome landscape I have ever seen. As I looked at the colours glowing as the light fell, the beautiful “Unanswered Question” by Charles Ives came into my mind. Unfathomable beauty, which like Zorio’s star and great people, leave an impression which keeps on glowing.


Necks Mindset/Silverfish.

John Coltrane-Interstellar Space/ Ascension

Jason Moran-Artist in Residence.

Andrea Keller-Three Lanes.

Sons of Kemet- Burn.

Impossible Gentlemen- Aliens

Daniel Baremboim- Beethoven Symphony’s
Reading- Seamus Heaney-Seeing Things

Gutai-  Decentering Modernism.

Australian Aboriginal Painting Since 1960-Remembering Forward

Pablo Neruda- Selected Poems.

POSTED: 10/7/13 3:08 PM