Chamarel is a village high in hills in the S.W. of Mauritius. From there, in places, you can look down onto The Indian Ocean. It’s a village up in the clouds. Here’s a portrait of Christian, the town’s artist. He created the look as you drive into the village – his distinctive style of sign writing is on all the restaurants and shops along the main road. My friend, Martin Ursell made lots of beautiful drawings of them while we were there, in particular, several of the pineapple & sugar cane juice stand just down from the Village Hall.
If you go to Soho tonight I’m putting on a little exhibition presented by the Society of Imaginary Friends upstairs in Berwick Street (83-84) with three of my one-time students, Alex Grasso, Kristy Leung and Yurina Shimoju. 6 pm – midnight. Impromptu. There’ll be people making music… Bottom left bell is the one to press. Ring!
Years ago, back in the day of the independent book shop, while browsing in one (opposite, what was then, the Czechoslovakian embassy) I came across The Poetics of Space. The paperback English translation had been recently published by Beacon Press. I’d never heard of it.
I bought the book for its title (after the standard test: – open a page at random, begin reading anywhere, see if I want to keep going.., try same a few more times – if all good – buy). Eventually, one or two studios later, I got around to opening it (again).
Whatever prompted me to start reading Bachelard’s book, I must have been primed and ready because it changed me – the Poetics of Space gave me, quite simply and dramatically, a new view of the world, other ways to perceive things, tools to open up my thinking.
It’s written in plain, clear and direct language. Which doesn’t mean it’s good for a quick read. He gives you so much to chew on. It’s so packed with ideas it can take me an age to get through a page. Often a few lines of simple prose contain so much for me to ponder – setting off trains of thought which might play out for days! [Read more…]
This is the most recent addition to “Identity Parade”, the series devoted to Fernando Pessoa. It is one of a set of 20 x 24 inch canvases which I began in 2013. The others came together quite quickly, but not this one. Because I wanted both to tease out and impose an image (or three) it involved a deal of trial and error to try to find some kind of balance…. Why the make up of a picture should have overly complex intentions is questionable. But whatever the reasoning behind it, the painterly task I (sometimes) give myself is to see whether an absurd set of criteria can hold together and still work as a painting. I think this one does, it has a strange power – maybe, if you can bear with its narrative aspect, understand the characters involved and are able to stomach density, richness and colour – then it works.
oil on canvas
61 cm x 51 cm
Fragments of fired clay, ceramics and tiles, retrieved from the mud of the River Thames, assembled and cemented onto a vertical, concrete surface