Sunday, 14 September 2014

Remains of the Morning

Stay here a while

Don't just get up and go

Be with me here

In the soft morning light

Listen with me now

Hold onto this moment

A moment or two longer

That's it you're doing great

Its easy once you hang

BE not afraid

I'm not going to bite your arm off

My toilet door is always open

Now see what you made me do

Staying here with you

Settle back down

And let you thoughts drift past

On the bank to the east

you're a natural oarsman

I've got the rudder

Being cartel not to oversteer

Private land no mooring.

Sign it says

We'll disembark here then

If that's alright you with

Certainly 'll tie it up carefully

Seaman might like to use as day bed the boat

Good daylight sleep tight

Wake me up when I'm pinching

Sweet dreams my Prince

Peace don't you want to kiss

Kismet Hardy

Don you feel paralysed

I'm not sure I could spell it even.

Smell that again

I could hardly see what you were saying

I smelt that its fine

If you don't trust me

Oh that's fine

I thought I caught the whiff.

Better fate that never.

Happiness Is A Cigar Shaped Hamlet

Stay the right side of the fence

Do not walk on the grass

These two simple rules

Will help you

On your request for sanity

I'm surrey Obviously I meant happity

Dumped I?

Get me. the word is Normality

(be resumes in church service)

Thursday, 26 June 2014


We could evolve.
This would need to be spontaneous
And simultaneous of course.
We all need to jump
off the edge of the world.
All at once
We could instantly forgive
Then turn to each other
in our transfigured state
laughing as we glance
at our glowing attire.
Laughing as we shake
Our heads in dis-belief
Gently breathing a sigh
Of Collective relief
Disbelieving the idea of civility
We had held so tightly
For so long
To our chests
Then slowly we could return
Back to our homes
And begin the process
Of clearing up.
We could evolve.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Dog and Bacon

The Dog and Bacon

The green to whence I ran away
(Rang home from the vanished red call box)
Landing there again with A&R again today
I saw the circular path that I had taken
Just as I was crossing the road to the shop
Looked up and there I saw
The freshly painted sign
Depicting in lush strokes the dog and bacon
Butcher gaily wielding cleaver
Dog with ham joint in its maw
Me striding towards the coop
To buy more butchers streaky bacon
Boys remain on the green
All long grass and butter cups
Looking after Betty chocolate lab pup
Borrowed from friends for the weekend
And now she’s ours to pretend
The moment never sours never ends
The circular path that I have taken
Back outside the dark and beacon
Co-Op was once a Vivo next to an offi
Now they’ve knocked it through
Text alert - Don’t forget coffee
It was here aged six I asked Lesley
With long straight dark brown hair
To marry me – wait for me
She was a shop girl but now I’m taken
In the twilight looking up at the dog and bacon
What is it about this place?
These steps I pad over again
That makes me see life non-cynically
The pleasure of living cyclically
Where I once had seen decay
Now its springtime everyday.
The circular path that I have taken
Back outside with a dog and bacon.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Cissbury Rings

Cissbury Rings

Personal best
Physical test
Mick the Fridge
Crossed the bridge
Antiques Assurance
Flog it
Pointless perfect general knowledge
Bingo lotto national prose drawer
Charity millions
Round the rugged rocks
Family fortune reruns
Record time
Pushed to the limit
Treatment works
Stinks to high heaven

So that’s all clear then
Classifieds Classified
Stasis ossified
Fall from grace
Eve suggested Adam
Plant the pips
Civilised Scene
Know what I mean?
Classified pools check
Makes the world navigable
You Infantile you
Bitesized chunking
Pointed bullets
Bounderied us
Down down deeper
Status quoted you
Trundled on unseen
Tongue hits the floor
Language falls from grace
Meaning is divine
Word is in decline
I jacked off
It’s all down hill from here
Jerry Halliwell Springer Maguire
A is for Apple pie
B is for Bluebeards castle
T is for the tip of my tongue
Inserted in your ears hole
Spelling and grammar
Is correct

Steering lock

So again and again I circle
Like a broken 
retired circus lion
Around the issue
The issue
Life is not like a game of monopoly
I used to think
That’s absurd
So I can’t be bothered with that
Then a quarter of a century on
I realise that yes it is
A board game
We need the fence to define
the freedom beyond the paddock
This is mine
Pink blue brown navy
Old boot steam iron candlestick
Time and space came into existence
Together atlasted
On the bus timetable of propagated wisdom
Sounds clever when you know how

I felt certain
 I was sure
Linguistic language
Part of the problem was
You’ve been paradoxed
Up I get at half past six
Catch myself in a mirror
Park at the station
Buy a ticket
From the ticket machine
Or the one concierge
Who will write you one
Saves getting the change
All the others obey the letter
I’ve been tempted to alter
The handwritten ticket
There lies the vapour
But she is leaving us
The last of the ticket writresses
Off to pastures green
I conject
No more tickets on the dash in
School girl loop escargot
You sir need organising
Steering clear of temptation
Escalier no cursive escape

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Denne Hill Walk 1/3/14

Bundled boys into the car
Avoiding eye contact with neighbour cleaning car
He most likely heard my shouts
No dialogue just a stiff wave
Head bowed shammy in motion
Drive into centre towards old town
Where are we going dad?
Park between two transits
On historic street leading to parish church
Lucky to find a space on Sunday
Youngest tells me I look like a tourist
Large digital slr round neck
Walk past the exiting churchgoers
Daffodils swaying on the graves
A delicious contrast in the sun
Balloons tied to a gatepost
Now starting to shrivel a little
Youngest son darts away from the flag stone path
Down to the stream
Oh no exclaims eldest boy
We stoop to pull him out
Thick mud up to his thighs
Forced to beat a retreat
I drive home at speed
Youngest tells mother I hate him
I return to the historic street alone
This time parking with ease
Church has emptied out
The bell strikes eleven as I round the Norman bell tower
Daffodils sway this time in grey light
I go on up and over the bridge
Past the cricket ground
Pausing to fathom the score box
An enchanted house
Part facade part real.
On I go over the iron railway bridge
Marooned tree carcasses
Fallen heroes on the gently sloping field
Then whales split asunder
Charred blubber
I pass the remains of a fire
Empty (I presume) cans of cider
Please don’t light fires
Or take alcohol onto the property
Up and up past a brick gate post top
Left on the hill for sledgers benefit
Memorial iron bench at the summit
The spires hold no meaning
And I move on
The mud thickens and the undergrowth encroaches
The smell of decay rises
The boys would have loved this
Mud squelches slasher movie sound effect style
Fallen trunk across the slimy trail
Solid immobile and lifeless
I crouch underneath
On and on the smell rising
Branches and trunks split with brutal simplicity
No sense to this
And now as I reach another brow
The smell of burning creeps into the frame
The forest opens into a muddy plateau
A country house daddy building a bonfire
Daffodils below the wall of the plateaued garden
Ordered and compliant
This is a neighbourhood watch area
I turn back this time on tarmac drive
Slooshing my boots in pothole puddles
Back down into the woods
Weaving through the broken trunks
Back at the fallen oak I stop
Compelled to stroke the hulking form
Still slumped across the path
Its flesh still bright and glistening in the gash
That’s it old boy – all those years
All I can muster by way of comfort
New barbed wire fence
Leaves me wondering where to go now
Out of the woods to the top of the slope
Below I see their forms still lying there
Alone and exposed. Unseen.
Broken but still breathing
On top of the iron railway bridge
I close my eyes feeling suspended
A judder passes through my legs
A premonition of the London train
I watch it pass under me
Back then past the scoring-box
Down to the river
Children gathered in a huddle
Fizzy coke bottle rocket splurging
I smile and look away
That’s litter states a girl's voice
On I go this time another way
Out past a towering wall
Into a Sainsbury’s car park
So this is where I am
Then at last a cut-through
Back to the historic street
Returning to the car from the other side
Not a hero but somehow changed
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe

Thursday, 20 February 2014

An academic story

The university lecturer adjusted his seat and turned towards the student who remained surprisingly engaged, “Now I am going to try and explain in as clear a terms as possible what I believe is troubling the western world. One sentence in and already a number of finger posts have sprung up like magic seedlings at the reverberations of my mumbling. Troubling? Western? World? Do I mean what is troubling me? Not exactly because I can behave as I chose. So then what do I mean? This dis-equilibrium, which manifests as a perpetual state of having to correct our coordinates. You may have read enough of Guy de Bord to think, “Hold on that is exactly where we are at”. I mean “exactly”. His thesis was that the spectacle replaces the first hand experience. The trouble here is that some people are fast to call this post modernism according to Baudrillard. (Thus turning it into a symbol. This is what the quest for knowledge and truth does.) So the over emphasis upon the visual is one aspect of civilised modern life that troubles me. Now more finger posts are springing up. The visual is a very literal aspect of contemporary culture but it also serves as a metaphor or perhaps I mean a paradigm – as in this means this and that means that. Target based culture places value on the token you are aiming to achieve. Now I think I’m getting somewhere. These tokens (exams, results, targets, quotas) are symbols. They are not real things in much the same way that fixating on an app is not fixating on a real thing. So we could then say that symbolic and visual are interchangeable in this instance. To clarify I would say that there are lots of paintings that move me a great deal but the pleasure is not purely visual despite a large part of their content apparently engaging initially through the visual sense.
 Joseph Campbell explained this in terms of the symbol being outside of us. We have a relationship with the symbol. The trouble as he saw it started because the symbols all emanate from within us. This separation from an aspect of ourselves is confusing and must, in my view, lead to a continual state of adjustment because we presume these things really are outside of us (Is this like measuring the distance of an object in a mirror?). Campbell commented that in a purely symbolic rationality we had replaced the goddess with a God. This confuses us and yet this confused state of constant adjustment is absorbed into our default settings. I realise that we all know the rapid acceleration of digital technology has changed our sense of self but it has also meant that the shift to symbolic is now instant.
The other aspect that troubles me is a distrust of the spiritual. This distrust is a result of visual rationality - you believe or you don't believe. If it can’t be measured it doesn’t exist. In Zen and the ART of Motorcycle Maintenance Pirsig talks about the classical – romantic split. This makes a lot of sense but I am not sure it explains everything. For him Quality was the pre-intellectual awareness that fed both these “interfaces”. He also seemed to accept that this split was skewed due to one framework not recognising the pre-intellectual state. To the rational mind there is no such thing as “quality” (Tao, bliss, enlightenment) there is only lack of rationality. If we take Romantic to mean Keats’s idea of Negative Capability then this is a conduit to the non-symbolic realm of “pre-intellectual” awareness. At the beginning I mentioned how I am free to act as I chose and this brings me now to Roberto Unger’s idea that Negative capability provides us with a route through the constraints of classification. For Unger negative capability is the "denial of whatever in our contexts delivers us over to a fixed scheme of division and hierarchy and to an enforced choice between routine and rebellion."
So I guess this is what the Communist Gallery offers us - A means of bypassing the false choice of routine or rebellion." He held the students gaze and resisted the urge to say "make sense?" and took a sip of his luke warm coffee.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Art Raffle @Paper Dress 15 Feb

The Art Raffle is almost upon us and I wanted to record all the items available as prizes. I should also mention that a fantastic tombola has been made for the event by Iain McCallum's friend Mark David Gray. It is a thing of beauty and will, no doubt, spur us on to instigate more and more Art raffles for Kids Co.
So if you come to Paper Dress this Saturday you will see two bands - Simon Love and The Olde Romantics PLUS Mikey Georgeson and the Civilised Scene - all free!
the Raffle (tickets probably about £3-5) contains the following Art Works :

Action Painting Action Man – Elemental Epiphany 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Melissa Alley – Empress – Body Colour on Paper 2014

Eddie Argos  - Annotated book of Lyrics 2014

Jackie Clark – Drawing untitled 2014

Sarah Doyle – Biopic Marilyn Triptych – body colour on paper 2014

Emma Edmondson – I Never Promised You A Rose Garden – Mixed Media

Tinsel Edwards – Big Fish Eats Little Fish – Signed Print 2014

Mikey Georgeson – Felicitas – Acrylic on Canvas 2014

Paul Good and Kirsty Wood – Our Greatest Pain in life is that we will never get to see ourselves play live. Signed ltd ed. Print with authentication Cert
John Hegley – Peace, Love and Potatoes with Annotated Book Mask 2014

Alex Kapranos - Cook Book signed to Mister Solo

Calum F. Kerr – Mallard Confidential report 43 (The Subject may have a lead)
                        Coot Confidential Report 943 (Coot Preening during interrogation)
Both laminated for outside investigations

Daniel Lehan – Save our Sheds  - drawing on brown paper

Lee Maelzer – Signed phototype print urban high-rise

David Martin – Digital Drawing – David Crushing Rubens 2014

Ryan Mcclelland Pug and Goat – 2 signed linocuts
                        Believe in an Alternative – Screen Print

 Joanna McCormick – Moontime Amalthea – Mixed Media on Board

Martin Pickles – Lie Detector Video Storyboards Signed

Team Beswick and Pye – Camila – Acrylic on Canvas – Framed 2014

Tecklenberg and Georgeson – Urban Arboretum Bird Box 

Sarah Sparkes – Love Me tender – Original Collage 2014

Julian Wakeling – Refracted Interior Untitled Signed photographic print

Tisna Westerhof – British Standards – Etching AP
                                    Ltd Ed Delft Tile in Box Glazed Frame
Emma Edmondson - I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
Camila - Team Beswick and Pye
Marilyn Triptych (detail) Sarah Doyle

Thursday, 6 February 2014

360 degree horizonless environment

I was looking for the route to my son's football match at the weekend. it's on the way to Brighton as it turns out and I'm hoping that the soil will be well drained as they haven't had a match since Christmas. The other team South Downs Athletic or something play at Hurstpier Point and I wanted to make sure I would find the right turning so I clicked street view on google maps. Low and behold the turning was actually a motorway bridge. A motorway bridge! yes and you could walk over it in cyberspace. Think of all the bridges you've passed under speeding on your way to something important. Now you can go back and investigate what you missed.
This gif animation I made as a result of my rising sense of digital wonder has the satisfying element of time passing during an experience that is clearly outside of time's classification zones. There is also the giddy sense that the digital world, which is an extension of the fixed point perspective of the Renaissance and then the camera has led back to the 360 degree world of medieval humans. Or at least that's how it feels.
See for yourself

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What's The Point of It? Martin Creed Exhibition

I have a long standing love of the Hayward Gallery which to my mind stands on the cusp of the art establishment (despite showing much of the Art's Council collection) on a windswept crag called the Southbank. It's a good size for a satisfying show and Martin Creed has made a really good fist of this task. I informed a colleague where I was going and we both chuckled at the idea that one reviewer found "Joy" within the exhibition. I mean martin Creed is not a joyful artist is he? Wrong. The show has the effect of instantaneously imparting the knowledge that Martin Creed has been joyous all along. His familiar themes are there - the minimalist repetition and the cod-systematic distillation but Creed has adeptly placed them in an edifying context. Sol le Wit was never this charming I thought as I watched a beautiful oriental woman take a crap on a pristine white floor whilst a gallery attendant gently tickled the ivories in a resolutely ascending and descending scale. In an uncanny piece of scynchronicity the cloak room attendant had handed me my ticket saying "you can have number two". I mention synchronicty because Creed gets to the edge of implying we live in a magic universe and that all these basic patterns that possibly underpin everything actually might unlock its secrets. Except he doesn't go that far but nor does he sneer down his crinkled nose at the wonder seekers. David Shrigley also had a one man show at the Hayward and there are similar minimalist themes but Shrigley's world is heavily ironic and Creed's is not. This is a pretty skilful feat to pull off. His various stacks and scales put the business of classification through an alchemical process whereby the logic that once seemed transparent somehow alludes us. This is the technique that allows more freeform and representational pieces to sit in harmony with minimalist studies. Is it going too far to make the comparison with Bach's etudes? An individual's approach to creating exercises can be just as revealing as complete freedom. If not more.
The essence that Creed seems to seek is human-ness but unlike Shrigley his version has a joy at the absurd banality of life compared to a nihilistic cringe (I like both by the way). Creed has the critical distance that Greenberg urged us all to adopt way back when but he has managed to rejoin the human race. His work is saying I am an artist and a human (in no particular order) - The whole world plus the work equals the whole world.

*There is one piece that should have a spoiler alert which is not something you expect to say when writing about an art exhibition. Be prepared for the sublime.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Shoe laces

A Pair of Laces

In the end it was easy
Do you sell laces?
Trying not to wince
Fully expecting the negative response
Having already given the premises an inspection.
But no sooner had the words sounded
Then there they were
On top of the glass counter
Inside a shallow box
Once used to store cognac miniatures
Between the gum and the flapjacks
An assortment of various
Widths, lengths, textures and colours
The expression of the girl at the till
Seemed to tell me she
found my enthusiasm ironic
somewhat unbelievable
It’s been a bit of a quest
I explained beaming
Finding a pair of laces
Yes I can tie them
But I’ve been trying to find a new pair.
My shoes have lasted well
The soles welded tight
As I walked unlaced
Head bowed examining the feet of strangers
For signs of renewal
There just isn’t the call for it I surmised
There’s no business in laces
No local shop seem prepared to take a stance
To provide a service
Was I seeking laces or no laces?
A confirmation of my view
That target-based culture had purged
Our shelves of this functional appendage
I now see the girl at the till
All alienated Bar at the Folie Bergere
Beers champagnes tangerines and shoelaces