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 https://www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk/ 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, XX2P.com (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.


Podcasters

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.


https://www.xx2p.com/




Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Norwich - a fine city

I love Norwich. It's a great place to live. We have some really fine graffiti too. As a city I'm sure we're not perfect but a lot of people's hearts are in the right place. Here are a few photos from my jaunt yesterday. There's hope.




Wednesday, 3 June 2020

How to effect change

Protest is good. Particularly if you are unhappy with a particular issue. Protest can achieve short term and single issue results. Sometimes protest can even bring down governments. But it can never change the underlying injustices of life. Protest is a very blunt instrument. It can be the catalyst for change and so it should never be dismissed or underestimated. The only problem with protest is that nature abhors a vacuum; if you topple something you need a replacement. If you start a revolution you need to be organised to see it through. If you are not organised and don’t have a coherent strategy you are doomed to fail. The oppressors always have one. That’s why they are successful. You can call being organised what you like but at the end of the day what it really is and what you always need is politics. You need a political will.

When people say that they are not interested in politics what they don’t understand is that uttering those words is in fact a political act. Doing nothing has consequences. Doing nothing is an act of either anarchy* or fascism. Doing nothing is saying fuck you all. If you are not interested in politics you are not interested in life. Breathing is a political act. Turning on the telly or surfing the interweb are also political acts. Making a choice is politics.

If you allow others to govern they will govern for themselves. It’s pointless bleating on about not being listened to. No one will hear you if you sit on your sofa scratching your arse and swearing at the television. If you don’t engage with the political process how is anyone going to listen?

If you think life is shit don’t moan, organise. It’s only through collective action that you can effect change. It’s not about leaders. It’s about coherent policies. A clear sense of direction. As John Lennon said, “It’s no good carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow”.

Those that oppress us are in a minority. There’s many more of us than there are them. We have the power to get rid of them. We just need to wake up.



*As a pacifist I have to say that I have a lot of sympathy for the true anarchist. Anarchy is freedom in its pure form