A very happy Christmas to everyone and I hope 2013 will be as good as we all would like it to be . Exhibitions are currently being planned , new work is in preparation and I’m looking forward to it .
At present I’m a guest artist in a group show in Amsterdam at the C&H Gallery near the Jordan area . I’m a guest of Josien Vogelaar who I have know since a residency in Kerala , Southern India in 2000.
Also working on a new series of large scale paintings – one series being ‘Ghost Ships’ which are a little bit different to whats gone on before . And there is another series on several huge heads with figures. More details soon on where these will be shown as there are a few possibilities coming up in 2013.
I will be exhibiting an earlier lithograph print -‘Decoy’ in The Original Print Show at Waterhouse and Dodd , Cork st , London from Nov 21st to Dec 14th . This was from a small edition that I made at Edinburgh Printmakers about a decade ago – 2001 in fact and its an edition of 36 . I worked on several editions of silk screens , lithographs and some trial proof etchings but these were the last handmade prints that I have made.
Oct 21 st
Just getting info for a new solo show for late Feb next year in Maastricht to coincide with the Maastricht Art Fair (TEFAF) . more details soon – it will be a mix of brand new work and ones from this year and last year .
Interesting to see a survey show of Caillbotte on in Frankfurt . There are two images which I have had on my studio wall for a long time and both were sneered at by serious artsworld visitors in the seventies and eighties . One was a Hopper and the other was Caillbotte’s ‘Floor Scrapers’. Both have been critically reassessed in my life time but I do wonder at certain art critics/curators/academics and their tramline opinions – they should know better , but I guess they never will .
I forgot to say in a previous post that the Bath exhibition attracted over 18,600 visitors which is a record for me . Now I’m back to thinking about new ideas , experimenting, trying out a few more unusual approaches. This period can be frustrating until the day they seem to gel and something unexpected happens . In the meantime it is head down and concentration time – one minute thinking you will never do a good painting ever again and the next thinking you can conquer the world ! I can see all too clearly the correlation between mental instability and creativity – its because of these bi-polar opposites which are day to day activity in the studio.
In between coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose I have been finishing off works for the Pan Art Fair in Amsterdam from 18th to 25th November . Several new small ones and a few from a couple of years ago never having been shown in Amsterdam before . I will be the Frans Jacobs Galerie.
Sept 26th ,
I have been using handmade paper (Khadi) from Southern India for over 23 years now but I have only just found out that the paper is made up from T shirts . I always knew it to be rag paper – i.e. bits of cloth that are mushed up,pressed and made into high quality handmade paper- but I had no idea they were T shirts . These are , no doubt , first made in the Far East for Western shops then the ones that don’t sell or are damaged are presumably sent to India where they are then turned into art paper to be exported back to the West . Some journey . I’m now working on ideas around this T shirt theme .
Don’t forget for those who haven’t visited my Facebook page , I regularly post new small work /ideas on there. I find this is an excellent way to road test new ideas – that direct feedback that you don’t get through the traditional gallery system .
It’s good to get back to my other work – taken a while to re-focus but I’m starting to produce several small new ideas . One has a working title of ‘Shush’ which could be a large painting – its a work about officialdom .
I had a potentially exciting e mail last week regarding next year but I will have to wait until its a bit more solid . However, I only say this to illustrate how strange an artists world is at times – one minute you are looking at a blank page wondering where the next idea will come from and then an e mail request sets off a hundred ideas all at once.
Back from a very , very hot Umbria – up 40 % and a bit uncomfortable at times. Don’t think we will try mid August again . Bath show is continuing to pull in visitors – now around the 14,000 mark and its still two weeks to go . I’m now back in the studio attempting to focus my thoughts on new work . It took me a long while to re-focus in order to make the Olympic series and now I have to do the reverse. I’m looking forward to getting back to my territory though .
And 2,500 for the second week in Bath and London is now kicking in with the spirit of the Games – the foreign press have had a field day reporting how negative and cynical the British are about the Olympics . I guess its in our nature – especially Londoners , but then again the same is always said about Parisians and Romans in their countries.
I’m winding down now , slowly getting these two massive shows out of my system . Three weeks at the house in Italy will sort that out though – again we have a full rota of guests out there . I like that – its what suits it best.
Both exhibitions are now up and running – Bath and London . Bath had 2,500 visitors for the first week which sounds a lot to me . Apparently there are ‘rave comments’ in the visitors book . I’m off to do a gallery talk – a tour around the exhibition , this friday at 1pm . Its free , no need to book .
Catching my breath in between exhibitions and I’m back in Brighton , and the studio, for a week . Wonderful time at the private view in Bath with well over 300 people attending despite the heavy rain and Mr Murray on TV . Some very good reactions as well and coverage in the press which is all welcome after two and a half years of work . Now , the attention moves to London for the opening on tuesday next week and then I’m back in Bath for another talk , this time a ‘tour’ of my own show . I have no idea what I will say as I tend to do this sort of thing ‘off piste’.
I have been posting a number of photographs from the show on my Facebook page for those so inclined .
Just posted details under News re. my talk on the 28th .
I’m starting to post pages from the new catalogue on my Facebook page .
Received the catalogue over the weekend from Waterhouse and Dodd – it looks really good, and well designed by Jamie Anderson at the gallery . Often catalogues can be a let down through poor reproduction or photography or design but this one hits the nail . Currently I’m packing paintings, organising invites for both shows and finishing a late piece for possible inclusion into the Bath show . Only one month to go .Plus I’m starting to think of the next series – one or two ideas . I will also be showing soon at Basle Scope with Frans Jacobs of Amsterdam .
Exhibiting with Frans Jacobs at KunstRai which starts today in Amsterdam. This is the start of an important 4 exhibition run for me over the summer .
We have had to retitle the Victoria art Gallery and Museum , Bath exhibition and the Waterhouse and Dodd exhibition . They no longer have the Olympic motto (Faster, Higher,Stronger) as their title but now they both have ‘ Fitter, Quicker, Longer’ as the exhibiton title . This is due to the governing Olympic body for London -LOCOG- putting a legal embargo on the use of certain words with Olympic associations .
I will be exhibiting with Frans Jacobs Galerie at the Kunst Rai, Amsterdam from May 30th -June 3rd and at Scope Basel from 13th -19th June .
I’m now working on the last paintings for the ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ exhibitions to be held in Bath and London over the summer . Its been a long but rewarding two and a half years since I first visited the Boat Race to get my initial images and ideas . Since then there have been cold , wet days trying to keep warm at all day track events in Birmingham and Crystal Palace , wrestling in Worthing, weight-lifting in Croydon, paralympic events in London, swimming, diving, et etc in Brighton . Places and events I thought I would never visit . More details on the shows soon .
Two talks by myself are now confirmed for the Bath Exhibition . Please see News section for details . I’m currently in talks about many activities surrounding the Victotia Bath Museum show and the London W&D show . More details to follow but at the moment I’m planning on a small limited edition print – ‘The Diver’ -on watercolour paper and set in a box . This will be available for sale at both venues at a special exhibition price . As soon as I have details I will post them here and on my Facebook page . There will only be 100 available .
Other interesting things to come ……..
Currently exhibiting at the Hotel Dis in Maastricht, Holland . This is prior to new work at TEFAF- the Maastricht Art Fair with Frans Jacobs Galerie . Also exhibiting my large Art egg in central London . More details and photos on my Facebook page .
The Williamson Museum show still on for another month but meanwhile events are gathering pace with the next few exhibitions . TEFAF- the Maastrict Art Fair, probably the most prestigious art fair in the world, is coming up in mid March . I shall be exhibiting as usual with Frans Jacobs Galerie, Amsterdam . I’m also starting to have meetings re. the Faster, Higher, Stronger exhibitions in Bath and London for July . These are going
to be big shows – two and half years in the making . I said to someone the other day that I was in the last lap of making these works without realising the pun I had made . I suppose I should also say ‘I can see the finishing line’ . I will post more about this in the next few months.
There will be two talks about my work at the Williamson exhibition by Colin Simpson , the curator . These will be on Wednesday March 7th and Saturday March 10th at 2pm .
Due to popular demand the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead have extended the 60th birthday exhibition until March 11th .
Returned from Liverpool/Birkenhead after a hectic few days of visitors, press and school trips on preview day of the exhibition . I have posted photos on Facebook to give everyone who requested , an idea of what it looked like . I had three rooms – two being huge and I’m relieved that I took one or two very large paintings to try and combat the space . This is the important thing with Museum shows as opposed to gallery ones – space becomes a crtical issue. But it has also been good to road test several of the small Olympian series and I know now that I will need to create some larger works for Bath so that the exhibition can ‘hang’ around them . Exhibitions nowadays are as much about the curating as the showing – I think there is much more thought that now goes into large exhibitions than there was twenty odd years ago . But what I love abot doing these shows is the chance to let rip on some really big paintings and see what develops . I still have ambitions to one day construct some of the largest watercolours ever made .
Back working on the Olympian paintings and I now have confirmation of the dates of the show – details in news section . I’m really pleased with several new small ones which I may make up into larger pieces . I have been experimenting with some new colours – contrasting ones – they are quite vibrant and trippy . I have been looking at all the colours now found on sportswear – in some cases very luminous . Sportswear has really a life of its own nowadays .
All works now being packed for the Birkenhead show . I think it is goping to be a strong show complete with a first outing of 18 small ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ paintings . I will also be showing a few 1988 ones which have not been seen since that date . I was suprised how powerful they looked when we got them out of storage – so into the show they went . And they looked big – that was another suprise. The egg is also ready to go to London . I have now switched my attention to the Maastrict Art Fair works and also back to the Olympian paintings .