11 influential bits from Tate Liverpool

一 Sylvia Sleigh I only spotted these beautiful, hairy nudes in gift shop on my way out.  The luxuriant masses of hair in Sleigh’s paintings speak of a decadence too often rejected in the modern, flesh-gazing world.

Paul Rosana Reclining 1974.

Felicty Rainne Reclining, 1972 Oil on Canvas 42.5” x 60” (107.3 x 152.4 cm) Private Collection, New York

二 Eikoh Hosoe’s Man and Woman This too was spotted in the gift shop – it punched me in the eye as I leafed through one of Hosoe’s photography books.

三 Richard Hawkins’ Hajikata Twist

Featuring exciting turns of phrase from the translated notes of Eikoh Hosoe, such as ‘flowering epileptic pus’, and glimmers of magnificently strange painted artworks, including (四) Jean Dubuffet’s The Tree of Fluids:

五 Louise Bourgeois’ Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature – beautiful parallels drawn in this series between over-pruning/artificial enhancement and the destruction of the health of the whole organism in both plants and humans (particularly women):

六 The word ‘Gesamtkunstwerk‘, meaning ‘translated as total work of art, ideal work of art, universal artwork, synthesis of the arts, comprehensive artwork, all-embracing art form or total artwork… is a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms or strives to do so’

七 (Very important now) Len Lye’s Free Radicals.  Stumbling on this piece in the way that I did had a profound effect on me.  My preconceptions were shattered, I felt so full of potential, so new and fresh and filled with enthusiasm.  Looking at it now, on the computer screen – on YouTube, no less – I can’t reclaim that feeling.  The small, dark enclosure for the screening was essential to the power of the piece.  The sudden, independent, and personal realisation of the perfect synchronicity between the audio and the visual while being fully immersed by both was a moving experience.  Gaze upon it now anyway, it has made me certain my FMP needs to be a projected piece:

The attendant in the room also let me in on Lye’s motivation.  He says Lye was on a mission to find out what makes us happy.

八 Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, a French sculptor and draughtsman.  I quickly became a fan, caught by one of his more colourful pieces:

‘Sophie Brzeska’, 1913

九 Valie Export’s Action Pants: Genital Panic, just look:

(single image) Action Pants, 1969

十 Robert Longo’s Sword of the Pig:

十一 Hélio Oiticica’s Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 ‘Purity is a myth’ and PN 3 ‘Imagetical’ 1966-1967

This is something I would push anyone to go see, and don’t much fancy going into much detail on what this actually is, for the physical interaction with the piece is key to ‘Oiticica’s hope that this sense of engagement would spread to all areas of [the viewers’] lives’.  One of the most entertaining and interesting pieces of art I have seen in a gallery – though I benefitted massively from the guidance of a fascinating gallery assistant.  I thank her from the centre of my enriched soul.


Little White Woody – LWL Twitter Competition

Yay!  Only a day or two after I see Manhattan for the first time, Little White Lies gifts me with drawing exercise.

I did this:


One day drawing pressure is a good thing, I should do this stuff more often.  It’s not the greatest drawing, but I did it and it’s finished, and that is vast improvement for me.   Ain’t heard nothin’ ’bout no iPad being won by no one neither.

Return to Albion


I practically skipped over the Irish sea with a bagful of excitement for what I had hoped would be a massively transformative few months for me in terms of productivity, professionalism, and above all, being much more happily on top of things.  I was all set to launch a new and exciting career of teaching enthusiastic young children about the innards of animation for the Summer School at college; get a part-time job to prevent starvation and eviction; as well as that real big dream of work, work, working at animation to the point where I could actually say, “Me?  Oh, I’m an animator.  Yeah, hey check out my Vimeo sometime.  Sure thing, sure thing.” (I’ll never say those words, don’t worry.)

These things did not happen.  The Summer School animation course did not get the numbers they needed to run.  A few hours after arriving in Leeds, I got the message and I seemed to shrug it off pretty quickly, thinking this would just leave me even more time to do plenty of reading and watching for my COP3 Extended Research Project, as well as look for jobs.  These things I did, though the latter was not quite as enthusiastically approached as the former.  In the past, I have struggled against the unbalancing and upsetting demons of anxiety and self-loathing to the point where I could not face going to college without a bellyful of beta-blockers, never mind an interview (even for a part-time retail assistant post at Wilkinsons).  Going to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy last year was helpful, though with the end of year deadlines, and being out of the country on a few occasions, I wasn’t committing to the appointments, and missed out on the full benefit of what they were offering to help me with.  This is something I will return to at a later date – it’s an ongoing issue that always rears its head with pinpoint timing precision to help muss my brain up some more.  Long story short, I didn’t get a part time job.  HOWEVER, I did go for an interview, a group interview no less, for Shelter.  I talked openly and amiably – potentially being a little too honest about the fact that I am in no way suited to hailing strangers on the street and asking for money.  The surprising thing to come out of this mini-adventure, was that I actually enjoyed the experience, and am beginning to believe that I am at least mildly capable of functioning socially in public.

So, back to the dream of working on animation in college, applying for larger overdrafts to cover rent, and also trying to enjoy my first summer in Leeds.  There were a few problems with these goals (who’dathunkit?).  Firstly I wasn’t able to rent out a graphics tablet much while the college was functioning under summertime timetabling, which was a dampener, but not a catastrophe since we have very lovely and very accommodating technicians in the college.  Secondly, banks are awful hard to negotiate with sometimes, and sometimes the bankers just don’t really feel like doing the job they do, so sometimes that fucks up, and you’re left with no money, and your only – very, very fortunate – salvation is getting a bloody generous gift from a great aunt you barely even see any more.  Sometimes things like that happen and you can’t understand how in the hell you are so lucky.  And then that makes you remember your responsibilities again.  Thirdly was quite successful.  I went swimming in a beautiful place with some beautiful people, enjoyed barbecues and tea with the same and more beautiful people, and had beautiful study days in the beautiful park with very beautiful people.  Beautiful.

As well as this, I went and done my first ever paid illustration commission work through People Per Hour!  I hope to keep on building my profile on this site, as well as Behance (though I’ll have to actually produce some work to flesh that one out).  I’ve been making noise on Twitter and doing little bits of ink drawing to make myself think.  This has more recently come to a halt, but I did manage to have some inking fun in the closing days of the Summer of 2013.





(a tint snippet from the working progress on my PPH commission)

(a tiny snippet from the working progress on my PPH commission)

Well, that was the sickening dirge of complaint I needed to expel, and I’ll do my utmost to avoid stinkin’ excuses and blame displacement throughout the rest of this blog.  Third year will be good, so help me I’ll…