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|Monday, December 15th, 2008|
was recently included in an exhibition on Brick Lane.
I heard someone say whilst looking at the work:Emin literally lives around the corner, you could lean out of that window and call out her name !
Someone else pointed out that her first name is spelt Tracey
rather than Tracie
as I had spelt it. I replied that since she was MY girlfriend, I could spell her name anyway I liked, THANKYOU!
Tracy Emin Is My Girlfriend
|Sunday, December 14th, 2008|
|NEVER, and FORBIDDEN
I submitted NEVER, and FORBIDDEN
to the recent Annual Open held at the Cafe Gallery in Southwark Park, London.
These two 'by order of the committee' hand written signs presumed that the organisers of the show had proclaimed authoritarian instructions to gallery visitors.
You will NEVER Forget This Exhibition - By Order Of The Committee
You Are Hereby FORBIDDEN From Further Thought About This Exhibition - By Order Of The Committee
|Sunday, November 2nd, 2008|
|From The Picturesque To The Demolished
From The Picturesque To The Demolished
curated by Julika Gittner, Adrian Holme and Jon Purnell to highlight the illegal demolition of Angel Cottage, Stratford, took place at The Railway Tavern, in Stratford, London, on Saturday 27 September 2008.
Despite its protected status, the Georgian Grade II listed Angel Cottage in Windmill Lane was demolished under the cover of plastic sheeting in November last year. The 1826 Georgian cottage had been sold at auction for £400,000 and stood opposite the Olympic site and the new Stratford City development on some of the most valuable development land in London . The illegal demolition was discovered by outraged local residents who demanded an investigation of the case by both the council and English Heritage.
The local council has subsequently prosecuted the owner and served an enforcement notice to have the building reinstated brick by brick at the owner’s expense. Architects are currently trying to reconstruct the building from old photographs.
For this I laminated a series of slogans (table mat sized) that played with the name of the cottage - Angel, the Olympic Games and the Fat Cat Capitalist who destroyed the cottage for material profit.
The destruction of this cottage, seemed to symbolise at the time, something greater, and several months later, we now experience if not the collapse, then certainly the demise of economic growth, caused by the collective greed of bankers and financial investors.
During the evening I kept thinking of William Blake, and how Allen Ginsberg, if he were present, would have made eloquent connections between this artist, his visions of angels, and the Fall of Capitalism.
Later Adrian Holme, sang one of William Blake's Songs, which he had set to music, standing right in front of the site of the demolished cottage.
|Sunday, April 6th, 2008|
Was an event curated by Another Roadside Attraction, which took place on 5 April 2008 along Oxford Street. Taking as inspiration the tall Golf Sale Signs that are held along this street, I devised a series of statements that asked shoppers to question their motives for spending money.
In response to the slogan which read How Much Will You Spend To Make Someone Love You
someone yelled out Five Pounds
A man was particularly concerned that I had no question mark at the end of each slogan, an Italian told me that he thought the English could never spend enough to make themselves feel happy, and an elderly German said he was rich because he had a loving wife.By using the methods of human advertising as a way of displaying art, ‘Subliminal Seduction,’ aims to explore the juncture between propaganda, advertising, activism and art ... artist’s Lee Campbell, Chris Clarke, Daniel Lehan, Paul Matosic, Katy Richardson & James Topple, Tony Rickaby, Daryl Waller and Kate Wiggs will all have work represented at points along London’s famous shopping conduit. Taking the various methods of high street promotions, each artist will add their own voice to the deluge of commercial, political and religious sloganeers.
|Sunday, March 2nd, 2008|
Included in You Find Yourself Here
an exhibition exploring - through the creation of maps - the city of Leiden was my map This Makes No Sense To Me.
Having never visited Leiden, and not speaking or reading Dutch, a map of Leiden, (and any other unvisited place) made little sense to me.
A prize awarded by the selection committee, was won by a twelve year old who created a skater's map of Leiden map.
For images and further details please see Sonja van Kerkhoff's blog: Sonja van KerkhoffYou find Yourself Here
3 February to 27 April, 2008, RAP architectuurcentrum, Leiden.
|Monday, February 25th, 2008|
|BE OUR VALENTINE by Davina and Daniel
BE OUR VALENTINE by Davina and Daniel
Invited by Frog Morris to present a work as part of his Second Thursday events at The Montague Arms in New Cross, Davina and Daniel, sent Valentine Cards to those attending the event held on 14 February, Valentine's Night.
While the performances were being watched and enjoyed, Davina and Daniel, wrote cards to those who caught their eye: staff, several performers and members of the audience.
The cards were placed in a post box, and those wishing to see if they had received a card, searched the post box. Were they, as it said on the envelope The Girl with Red Hair Drinking The Glass Of White Wine ?
Some were disappointed, others flattered, some even wrote Valentine Cards to Davina and Daniel.
Recipients with their cards.
|Thursday, December 20th, 2007|
|The Notion Of William Blake Singing His Poetry ...
The Notion Of William Blake Singing His Poetry ...
The last few entries here have concerned the recent events to celebrate William Blake's 250th Birthday. During one of these events I repeated Allen Ginsbergs assertion that Blake sung his Songs of Innocence, and Songs of Experience, to his friends. And noticeably at the event at Tate Britain, a number of performers sung Blakes poetry.
I think I remember Ginsberg saying that he came to his conclusion by recognising the similarities between his experience of Buddhist chanting, and the breath beat of Blakes work.
In Peter Ackroyds biography of Blake there is evidence to confirm that Blake did indeed sing his poetry:I have often heard him read and sing several of his poems. He was listened to by the company with profound silence ....
Page 83, ISBN 0 7493 9176 6
|Thursday, December 6th, 2007|
|I Am Champion Of Kim's Game, Wiebke Morgan, 2007
I Am Champion Of Kim's Game, Wiebke Morgan, 2007
As part of The First Thursday Programme, Wiebke Morgan held Nikolaus Tag on 6 November, described thus in the gallery press release:As you may know, in Germany December 6 marks Nikolaus’ Day. It can be seen as a preliminary round for Christmas, with sweets and fruit or a birch handed out to children, depending on how they behaved during the year. Children deliver a verse, sing, or otherwise show their skills. Join us, along with some of the gallery artists, in an exploration of the Nikolaus Geist, as part of our participation in First Thursdays. Visitors will be invited to draw, think, sing, try their luck, and more besides in art games and processes presented by Daniel Lehan, Julia Moore and the gallerists.
As part of this event I invited visitors, one at a time, to play the memory game - Kim's Game. Having studied for one minute, a collection of small objects gathered on a table, each player was given a further minute to recall, either by drawing or writing, as many objects that they could, on black sheets of paper using chalks.
At the end of the evening the winner was presented with a commemorative hat stencilled with:I Am Champion Of Kim's Game, Wiebke Morgan, 2007
The Winner, Vivienne Soan
The Winner Wearing The Hat
|Thursday, November 29th, 2007|
|A Blakean Birthday Party - Tate Britain
A Blakean Birthday Party - Tate Britain
Following Bad Boy Billy Blake's Big Birthday Bash held at The Ivy House on Sunday in Nunhead, a Blakean Birthday Party was today held at Tate Britain on what would have been his 250th Birthday.
I received a phone call asking me to bring along the placard I had made of Blake's dictum I Must Create My Own system Or Be Enslaved By Another Man's
for Sundays event - given the short notice it was only possible to transport the actual boards not the entire piece - and so I joined a host of Blake devotees, poets and performers at the event, organised by Mental Fight Club and Tate Britain. Many wonderful perfomances including musicians who had set the Songs of Innocence and Experience to music. Too many names to remember, but here are some photos of the event.
The I Must Create My Own system Or Be Enslaved By Another Man's
Jazzman John Clarke
These two performers set two of Blakes songs to music, including The Sick Rose
Paul Howard and Jo Clack, who have set twelve of Blake's songs to music, performed several at the event.
A wonderful ornamental Cake for Blake, was lit, and after a chorus of Happy Birthday, Dear William, was eagerly eaten.
|Monday, November 26th, 2007|
|Bad Boy Billy Blake's Big Birthday Bash
Bad Boy Billy Blake's Big Birthday Bash
Celebrating the 250th anniversary of William Blake's Birthday, Bad Boy Billy Blake's Big Birthday Bash
- an all day event - was organised by Mad Pride, Mental Fight Club and Creative Routes - and held at the splendid Ivy House in Nunhead, close to Peckham Rye Common, where as a child, Blake had his first vision, seeing a tree filled with angels - bespangling every bough like stars.
The day was a mix of performances by poets (including Jazzman John Clarke and Zolan Quobble) and bands (including The Children appearing with Lol Coxhill, and Mark Astronaut & The Otters).
Manchester based band The Children with Lol Coxhil
At the start of the event I talked about Allen Ginsberg's theory that Blake actually sang his Songs of Innocence, and Songs of Experience, to his friends. Ginsberg himself set a number of Blake's songs to music and regularly sung these during his poetry readings. I played recordings of Ginsberg and assorted musicians, including Dylan, performing these from an audio collection of Ginsberg's work, Holy Soul Jelly Roll - Poems and Songs 1949 to 1993.
I also made the board stencilled with Blake's dictum -I Must Create My Own System Or Be Enslaved By Another Man's
which was placed on stage.
|Wednesday, November 21st, 2007|
|Cafe Gallery Projects Open Exhibition
Cafe Gallery Projects Open Exhibition
(21 November to 9 December)
I entered Tommy Trinder
, Ken Dodd
and Mae West
three stencilled text works to this Open, held at the Cafe Gallery Projects located in Southwark Park. And it was other text based works that I really took my eye - including Gangland Cafe
by Andrew Lee, a cafe menu which listed items such as Cauliflower Ears, Black Eyed Peas, and Knuckle Sandwiches, comprising a black board, with movable white letters, the starkness and implied threat of this work contrasted with the lyrical word play - and also a number of stencilled boards by Richard Owen with phrases such as 'How Long Should You Stay ?
|Monday, July 2nd, 2007|
|Sunday, July 1st, 2007|
|I & ME TOO - Part Two - At Cubitt Studios and Gallery
This was the second part of the I & ME TOO project (part one was held earlier in June at Studio Voltaire). Students from Hackney Community College collaborated with artists Abigail Hunt & Kieren Hunt, Gabrielle O'Connor, Nina Jan Beier & Marie Jan Lund, and Davina Drummond in a series of workshops to orchestrate a series of participatory artworks which were presented to the public at Cubitt on Saturday 30 June.
As with the previous event at Studio Voltaire, the exact nature and form of the artworks were unknown until the completion of the weeks' workshops.
Abigail Hunt & Kieren Hunt invited the students to make posters about something they felt passionate about. Visitors to the Saturday event, were then invited to create posters which commented on the posters made by the students.
Students working with Gabrielle O'Connor made simple hand puppets, which were then used to voice thoughts that would normally be suppressed. During the workshop, Gabrielle drew attention to a thesis, which considers that artists use art, in a way similiar to how ventriloquists use puppets, as a tool to convey ideas and thoughts. A video of each student 'speaking' through their puppet was shown at the event, and a video booth constructed for visitors to similarily use the puppets to say the 'unsayable'.
Davina Drummond worked with the students to create a 'perfect' romantic text message. During the event, the students presented my favourite activity. Having bought a number of two piece jigsaws, people were invited to find the other person in the gallery who possessed the missing, and of course, matching piece, to their jigsaw.
Cakes decorated with flags bearing details of the event, were handed out to passers-by during the Saturday morning of the event. As is usual, the passing general public are generally suspicious of accepting anything that is offered for free. However, despite this, and the pouring rain, cakes were offered and some were accepted, and later, at least half a dozen people admitted to having been enticed to the event as a result of this Cake Marketing Exercise.
At two o'clock, the students decided to stare in complete silence at various points of the room. Whilst doing this, the room, although not descending into silence, became significantly quieter.
The hanging two piece jigsaws.
Nina Jan Beier & Marie Jan Lund filmed the students as a group smiling for as long as they could.
The Puppet Video Booth.
|Sunday, June 24th, 2007|
On 23 June, Rachael House from Space Station Sixty-Five
presented Peckham Pet-Tastic 3:
For this event I paraded a sandwich board titled Dog Tails
, a handpainted selection of stories featuring dogs gathered from national newspapers throughout 2006 - The Chinese Year Of The Dog.
The press release describes it thus: During 2006 Rachael House’s Peckham Pet-Tastic was enticed far away. In May, dogs dressed up and congregated at Hå gamle prestegard in Norway. In August, Bexhill Bow-Wow transformed the De La Warr Pavilion into a gaudy throbbing mass of dogs and humans. In 2007 we even went to neighbouring Lewisham.
Now Peckham Pet-Tastic is back where we belong, in Peckham Square, our spiritual home. Bigger, bolder and even more extravagantly beautiful.
We are excited to be joined this year by artists Marcia Farquhar, WebsterGotts, Daniel Lehan, Simon Ould and Laura Wilson. While you exchange tales of stepping in it with Marcia, duo WebsterGotts will desperately be attempting to befriend your dog. You won’t believe your eyes as Simon transforms himself into a canine war hero. Daniel will be headlining dogs in the news as Laura feeds you popcorn and reminisces about dogs of the silver screen. You may also dress a dog-shaped biscuit with icing, decorate a dog mask and become part of the pack, have your face painted to more closely resemble a dog and pose for photos with a Pound Puppy.
As if that’s not enough, there is also a display of dog masks embellished by artists Edwina Ashton, Marc Baines, Gayle Chong Kwan, Susan Collis, Craig Conlan, Jo David, Sarah Doyle, Amanda Francis, Sam Jones, Lady Lucy, Rebecca Nassauer, Stephen Nelson, Woodrow Phoenix, Hester Reeve, Rosemary Shirley, Andrea Stokes, Shane Waltener and Annie Whiles.
|Saturday, June 23rd, 2007|
|GORILLA IN THE ROSES by Davina and Daniel
This work took place at Camberwell Public Library on 22 June as part of Camberwell Arts Festival - Live Art Programme.
The work drew its inspiration from the defacing of books belonging to Islington Public Library by the playrght Joe Orton, and his partner Keith Halliwell in 1962, for which they were both imprisioned.
Presenting a collection of withdrawn library books, Davina and Daniel encouraged visitors to the library users to deface and re-make the books through the acts which included the cutting, ripping, tearing, folding and shaping of pages, the re-writing of text, and the addition of comments. The defaced books were subsequently displayed on a shelf in the Reference Section of the Library remaining there for one week.
|Friday, June 22nd, 2007|
was a collection of twelve proverbs I had written, which although non-sensical, were written to mimic the form of traditional proverbs, and which, hand printed on small cards, I handed out to passers-by on Camberwell Green during Camberwell Arts Festival - Live Art Programme.
Again, like the sandwich board that I made for the BonkersFest Festival, I was particularly interested in the reaction to the work by those who directly experienced it.
I find Camberwell Green to be a strange place.
I consider it an arena.
People entering the Green become highly visible, there is no place to blend in or hide. The Green also has a reputation as being a place with a brooding malevolent atmosphere.
In considering how I should hand out the cards, I decided to adopt the attitude of being a person employed to hand out the cards, and this might probably help to distance me from any negative comments the work received.
It took a while to find a comfortable position from where to stand and hand out the cards. Peoples' reactions varied. Some people refused to accept a card, others read the card, paused, and turned back for an explanation, while others immediately stopped to talk to me. Several people did return later, wanting to collect another card.
It was not the most comfortable of experiences. This was pretty unfamiliar territory to me, and I am aware that people can sometimes react strongly to unfamiliar situations, particularly when it comes to art. However, nothing untoward occurred, and I later calculated that I had given the cards out at a rate of one every one and a half minutes.
|Thursday, June 21st, 2007|
|SERVICE WASH TALES by Davina and Daniel
Service Wash Tales
was included in Camberwell Arts Festival - Live Art Programme
and took place on 20 June at the Tumble Wash Laundry on Camberwell Church Street. The work was concerned with memory and the passing of time, and the degree to which a personal story changes when retold by someone else.
Davina and Daniel invited customers of the laundry to exchange memories about an item of clothing. Davina and Daniel, having heard a customer's memory just once, recorded it on a piece of paper, which was then washed in a bowl of water, dried, and returned to the customer to take home with them.
Participants included a Frenchman, two Brazillians studying English, and a young man and woman, who, it subsequently, turned out, were partners.
Davina and Daniel were taken with the range of stories they were told, as well as by the enthusiastic responses to their invitation to participate in the work. Just before they left the laundry, one of the Brazillians pinched our arms, to make sure that we were real, and that they had not imagined the whole episode.
|Monday, June 18th, 2007|
|Sunday, June 17th, 2007|
|I & ME TOO - Part One - At Studio Voltaire
I & ME
is a project that bridges the gap between arts education programmes and exhibition through collaboration, run by the artist, and curator Davina Drummond. The first I & ME event took place in London last August and involved eight artists working with a group of young people to create work that explored notions of self-identity. The work of the young people and the artists was subsequently exhibited together at Studio Voltaire.
I & ME TOO was the project's second event, and took as its starting point the idea that it would be the participants - one group of young people working with artists at Studio Voltaire, the other with artists at Cubitt gallery and studios - who would devise and then present and deliver, a series of participatory works at two seperate events, rather than mount an 'end of project exhibition'.
So, at Studio Voltaire, Yara El Sherbini worked with students from the Brit School in Croydon to devise a Pub Quiz, Neil Taylor explored which newspaper stories participants wanted to include in their own newspaper and Kerry Duggan & Oli Cloke explored the notions of giving and receiving.
I decided to pose the question Where Do Ideas Come From ?
and in particular, to explore the notion, held to be true by certain philosphers, writers, poets and artists, that the act of walking is itself condusive to the creative process - it was Rauschenberg who said that if you have no ideas, then a walk around the block will provide you with some. So, armed with reams of Post-It Notes I asked the group to record ANY thought (whether it had anything to do with art, or not) that they had, as I led them on a guided walk around Clapham. At several points I halted the group and asked that they continue to write their thoughts whilst standing silent for one minute. Returning to Studio Voltaire all the Post-It Notes were displayed on a large wall.
The next step was for each participant to chose a Post-It Note (someone else's thought) that appealed most to them and to make a monoprint, an artwork, of it. This was to encourage the idea that 'an idea is an idea' it can come from anywhere, possibly from somebody else.
Here are some photographs of the workshop.
At the event on Saturday 16 June, a selection of the monoprints were tied to ballons, and released in the hope that if found, they might inspire further thoughts and ideas.
Participant writing a thought during walk.
Participants on Clapham Common
Some of the Post-It Notes on wall
Participant making monoprint
Ready to release the ballons - Image courtesy of Neil Taylor
A released ballon - Image coutesy of Neil Taylor.
|Monday, June 4th, 2007|
Photograph courtesy of Mark DrinkwaterDaniel Lehan provided a fantastic modern day take on the rarely seen sandwich board man. For this event Lehan painted a sandwich board titled It's A Mad, Mad World with a collection of stories gathered from around the world, together with the invitation to Stop Me and Read One! By wearing these bonkers stories on his board, viewers are forced to consider whether madness is a normal state. What is normal? What is mad? Probably every edition of every newspaper contains at least one bizarre new story, but seeing a collection of them certainly focuses the mind.
Review of Bonkersfest by Mark Drinkwater - Art Disability Culture - August / September 2007 BonkersFest!
was held on 2 June on Camberwell Green, South London. A free, annual one day summer arts and music festival featuring live music, theatre and poetry (including a performance by John Hegley), BonkersFest celebrated creativity, madness, individuality and eccentricity, and aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues.
For this event, I painted a sandwich board titled Its A Mad, Mad World
with a collection of strange and bizarre new stories gathered from around the world, together with the invitation to STOP ME AND READ ONE!
As well as the stories themselves, I was taken by the strange conjunctions of words of the story headlines, which often had a strange 'Dada' like poetic quality. This was the first time that I had painted and 'paraded' such a sandwich board, being encouraged to do so by the artist Tracie Peisley.
While painting the board, I found a collection of books by Geoffrey Fletcher in the window of Shipleys on Charing Cross Road, and bought London's Pavement Pounders
which described, and beautifully illustrated, the various people who had once earnt their living on the streets of London: buskers, match sellers, fortune tellers, pavement artists, and sandwich board men. Apparently during the 1950s there were long lines of hired men continually walking up and down Oxford Street, wearing sandwich boards.
I was interested in how people would react to the sandwich boards - would people be interested, stop, and take the time to read the stories ?
It turned out to be a strange experience standing and watching strangers as it were 'reading me'. Many people did engage with the work, telling me which of the stories they had heard of, and sometimes telling me other stories. I enjoyed these conversations and am thinking now of how to somehow incorporate these interactons in to the work.
I discovered too that I could enjoy the festival as an observer whilst wearing the boards. Standing to watch the Morris Dancers or Samba Band perform, acted as a focus, rather than a distraction to that event.