Sunday, 10 February 2019

Are you a self taught artist?

We are looking for artists to join our Artists’ collective.

Myself and the artist known as JED have for a while been looking to set up an artist collective for artists who are self taught, having had no formal art education.

Our idea is initially to use the collective to promote the work of the member artists. Firstly on the internet and then progressing in whatever direction that the membership decide. We currently have very few rules and would quite like to keep it that way. We realise that it will take a little while to become established and that having members is key to this. We have to start somewhere and here's a chance to be part of something from the beginning.

When we asked for members before we seemed to get a few people contact us that wanted it handed to them on a plate. We intend to be a collective. No leaders, no one in charge. Just something organic that is driven by its members.

If you'd like to be part of a group that wants to give exposure to its artist members then please make contact. Presently there are no membership fees. That would only change if the members wanted it to happen.

We'd love to hear from artists who want to be part of something democratic and forward looking and where your ideas matter. Please make contact.

This is not about instant fame. It’s about building something sustainable that will promote our work long term.

Please share.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Potentially we are all refugees

Imagine if we let the thick of neck, knuckle dragging, beer bellied, spotty, low IQ, shouty white blokes take over. Think about that. Think it couldn’t happen? Think again. The Brexit vote happened because filthy rich white blokes exploited the intellectually challenged members of society. Those simple souls who can only think in black and white. The filthy rich could take back even more control! Think!

If that were ever to happen what would you do?

Under fascism no one is safe. Not even the fascists. Fascism rules through fear. Fear breeds distrust. Distrust creates purges. People, yes real human beings, are vapourised. A knock on the door in the dead of night, a scuffle, and you are spirited away. Your name erased from history. Think!

Imagine this happening, then imagine having to get out of your house as quickly as possible and fleeing in fear of your life. What would you take with you? What of your most prized possessions would you love into your single solitary suitcase? This is the dilemma that hundreds of thousands have to face each year. Your life in a suitcase.Think!

What would I take? I really couldn't say. A change or two of clothes I guess. But what else? Important financial records/papers perhaps, a small momento or two, relevant medication, travel kettle, iPod and perhaps a travel radio might fit in two. I guess it would also be useful to take small things of high monetary value like jewellery. Things that could be sold to raise some cash. Have I forgotten anything? Probably. Think!

What would you pack in a solitary suitcase? Could you cope with that? You'd have to. It would be cope or die. Think about that!

Being a refugee as far as I can see is no fun. You don't upsticks just because you fancy a change of scenery. Refugees are people. People fleeing persecution. Put yourself in their shoes; you've escaped persecution or death, wouldn't you hope to be welcomed when you reach a safe haven? What if there were no safe havens? Where would you go if you needed to?

We all have a responsibility to help refugees.

Think!


Friday, 1 February 2019

Poetry

Poetry is for everyone


As long as I can remember I've liked poetry. In a way it's hardly surprising as being born into the rock and roll age I was weaned on what is essentially poetry set to music. The earliest poetry I remember was stuff by Edward Lear, Walter de la Mare, Lewis Carroll and Spike Milligan. As a kid I loved rhyme, and if humour was involved then a double bonus. The works of Lewis Carroll have always stayed with me but later I learned to love the war poets, especially Siegfried Sassoon, and then at school I was introduced to Dylan Thomas. Well! That was it. It opened up my world and my understanding of poetry. His poetry was like molasses, black treacle, rich, sweet and fruity. And then when he read it in that lugubrious voice it took on an even more magical quality. I felt and still do feel truly enriched by his work.

Next I discovered William McGonagall. The poor chap is often cited as the worst poet ever but I think that's rather unfair. His work has something. Yes it's challenging at times, and not to most people's liking but that's the nature of art; there is no good or bad, just personal preference. McGonagall was ahead of his time. The original punk poet.

John Betjeman was always there during my childhood. In the background. Later the poet laureate. The poet of the establishment. Abuser of Slough. But he released what was the rap of the day in his blockbuster Betjeman's Banana Blush. Poetry set to music. But in such a way that it was both comfortable and radical at the same time.

Punk, which changed my life totally, brought forth a whole heap of fantastic poets. Across all the arts the rule book was torn up. Linton Kwesi Johnson was the first poet of that era that I really got into. I'd never heard anything like it before. Naturally that lead to John Cooper Clarke and then Benjamin Zephaniah. Poetry had become exciting!

Poetry is exciting!

Of course in my youth I wrote shed loads of dire poetry. It was my way of dealing with the deep depressions that I went through. It helped. It stopped me from topping myself. So it wasn't all bad. Very little of it has seen the light of day even though I still have loads of note and exercise books full of the stuff. I'm not sure the public would ever be ready for it.

Since the days of punk my interest in poetry has blossomed and grown. I appreciate such a diverse spread of work and am constantly coming across new stuff that fires my imagination.

In my art I've always been inspired by pop/rock music but recently I've turned my attention to poetry as a source of inspiration for my pictures and videos. First in that series is a very short poem by W.B. Yeats, The Great Day. You will find it here. A video is to follow.