Wednesday, 28 October 2020

I am Dada

I think I was born dadaist. I was certainly into dadaism long before I knew of its existence. With Dada there are no rules. I like that. I’m a walking contradiction, like most people. That’s so very Dada. By nature I’m a non-conformist, who likes some conformity. When I eventually discovered Dadaism in my early adult life it totally struck a chord. Being a pacifist meant that this art form born out of the horrors of the first world war resonated with me. 

As Wikipedia puts it
”Developed in reaction to World War I, the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works. The art of the movement spanned visual, literary, and sound media, including collage, sound poetry, cut-up writing, and sculpture. Dadaist artists expressed their discontent toward violence, war, and nationalism, and maintained political affinities with radical left-wing and far-left politics.” 

Dada is the only real way I know how to express myself. My thought processes are often lateral. Thoughts combine as strange cocktails that aren’t strange at all. Everyone is an artist. Anti-art is art. All art is anti-art. Long live Dada.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Birthday girl

I can't believe that I haven't come across Catherine Ringer until this year. What a talent. A polymath in every sense of the word. A national treasure of France. I would so love to see her live. Today is her birthday. Born on this day in 1957. Her music and her performances are phenomenal. A true star. Check her out. You won't regret it.

So impressed I wrote about her for my French homework a few weeks ago. This is what I wrote:

I first became aware of Catherine Ringer as a member of the group Les Rita Mitsouko. I heard a song of theirs played on a French radio station and thought wow! Born in France, Catherine is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She is also an actress and a dancer, plus has many other talents. Difficult to categorise, her music is a mix of styles and influences from around the world. Her catchy songs and ballads are often curious or bizarre. Much of her work is quite surreal. An accomplished performer, she can still enthrall an audience, as an appearance earlier this year on French television singing one of her Les Rita hits, C'est Comme Ça, shows.

J'ai découvert Catherine Ringer pour la première fois en tant que membre du groupe Les Rita Mitsouko. J'ai entendu une de leur chanson jouée sur une station de radio française et j'ai pensé wow! Née en France, Catherine est chanteuse, compositrice et multi-instrumentiste. Elle est aussi actrice et danseuse, et possède de nombreux autres talents. Difficile à catégoriser, sa musique est un mélange de styles et d'influences du monde entier. Ses chansons et ballades entraînantes sont souvent curieuses ou bizarres. Une grande partie de son travail est assez surréaliste. Interprète accomplie, elle peut encore captiver un public, comme une apparition plus tôt cette année à la télévision française en chantant l'un de ses tubes Les Rita, C'est Comme Ça, le montre.


Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Hallo Spaceboy

I was two when the space age began with the Sputnik 1 launch and I've been fascinated with space all my life. 

As a lad I watched anything and everything to do with space that I could. I followed all the ups and downs. Whilst for many the moon landings were the most interesting I don’t think anything can rival the excitement of the Apollo 8 mission. I remember watching and being so enthralled. It made my Christmas. Obviously the moon landings were important and awe inspiring. I would sit, mouth open, as I watched the blurry black and white pictures of the astronauts stepping down onto a different stellar body. 

I used to draw lots of rockets and spacecraft as a kid. Fireball XL5 was my favourite I seem to remember. I also collected pictures and cuttings about various missions into space. Plus I had an Action Man space capsule and the large Airfix Saturn V rocket that I built from a kit. 

Occasionally space features in my art. The oldest thing I have is a linocut of an astronaut that I produced in the late seventies/early eighties. In recent years I’ve drawn Valentina Tereshkova and more recently I’ve recorded a couple of space inspired tunes that I’ve also made videos for. I’ll put examples below. 

If you were born around the same time as me and you are creative I’m sure you couldn’t help be influenced by such a major change in our lives. And how did we manage before non-stick frying pans?

Friday, 21 August 2020

Free radicals

 In the late seventies I was just as left wing as I am now. I was a strong supporter of many organisations including the Anti Nazi League and the Chile Solidarity Campaign. I used to receive a lot of various stickers to plaster here and there to promote the causes that I supported. Anyway whilst looking for something else the other day I came across these, so I thought I'd share them with you.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Credit Unions are not just for poor people, they are for everyone!

Are you a member of a credit union? If not why not? 

 If you are disgusted by mega-finance and rip-off banks then the mutual finance sector might just be the place for you. Credit unions are co-operatives, owned by the people that bank with them. They are flexible, local, community benefit enterprises that enable people to manage their financial affairs with ease. They are for both borrowing and saving along with many offering other banking type services.

Smash the capitalist banking system. Join a credit union now. To find a credit union close to you visit the site You can probably do it online.

Credit unions come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking for a credit union with online and phone banking, a payroll partnership with your employer, a local branch or service point you can walk into – or a combination of all three – there’s a good chance you’ll find the credit union you’re looking for to meet your needs.

The first credit union in Britain began trading in 1964, and over the last 50 years, credit unions have grown to provide loans and savings to more than 1.2 million people across England, Scotland and Wales.

Credit unions have a proven track record across the world. In fact, 217 million people are credit union members in 105 different countries. A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services to its members. It is owned and controlled by the members.”

Monday, 27 July 2020

My comfort blanket

Somedays during this pandemic I’ve found it hard to take myself off and out for my daily exercise. My solution was to take my camera with me. I find it acts as my comfort blanket. It helps me to take my mind off what is happening in the wider world, and I’ve ended up with some pictures I’m both pleased with in photography terms, and some which have been very useful in my art. Here’s a small sample in slide form.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Shout out to artists, musicians, performers, poets and writers - Free publicity

As well as being an artist I run an arts blog, (and a complimentary Twitter account). I’m always happy to help publicise the work of fellow creatives.

If you’re an artist, musician, poet, performer, writer, promoter or curator and you would like some free publicity for your work, or your latest project, then why not send me your press release or an article you’d like me to publish about your work. Please make sure it is written in the third person and include at least one picture. I will do my best to publish it.

Planning an exhibition?

If you’re arranging an exhibition or show and you are looking for contributors etc etc please contact me and I’ll put a shout out.


If you’re making podcasts that relate to the arts please get in touch and I’ll give you a mention.

In the first instance message me on here and I’ll give you an email address to send contributions to.

Please feel free to share this.