March 30, 2009
THE G20 SUMMIT
March 26, 2009
IMAGINE A DANCING ARMY
A while ago I threw an idea into cyberspace to see if it would take root. So far it hasn't but some seeds stay in the ground a long time before they germinate and some ideas which at present look naive, childish, impossible, impractical and even objectionable could in future, perhaps, become reality.
Below is the paragraph I've now followed up with a video. I borrowed the movie clips and am grateful to all these wonderful dancing people for inspiring me and, I hope, you too.
An army of dancers, amateurs and professionals, wave after wave of them, every style of dancing from anywhere in the world, accompanied by their musicians, moving in disciplined formation like a very long carnival parade. But not a carnival.
A massive non-violent dancing protest, confronting tanks and trucks and armed soldiers intent on their power mission, obeying their power orders. On both sides of the divide, the dancing army confronts the violence and advances inexorably, rhythmically. The fighters in their tanks and behind their rockets are flabbergasted, the music and dancing are so contagious......
March 23, 2009
Eyes, brows, nose, mouth, chin, cheekbones - arranged in a certain way, reflecting the activity taking place inside the skull of that person - just one look is all you need to set off fireworks in your own brain: an explosion of feelings such as love, desire, lust, awe, empathy, recognition, déja vu, plus a whole cascade of indefinables.
From childhood onwards - maybe eight or nine years old - a particular kind of male physiognomy has fascinated me and I decided to pick out some well-known faces to try and define what it is about this particular arrangement of features which gives it such power. Apart from being in an elevator with George Sanders once, I never encountered any of these famous men but I have, in real life, met this type (he, or they, may, or may not, be found in my autobio).
So here's my rogue's gallery, my pin-ups. Searching the internet for examples of 'my types' and then lining them up , I was stunned by their similarities, not only physically but in personality. Rather than go into details (which can be found by looking them up), I'll ask you:
What strikes you about these faces? What do they have in common? Only one of them does not fit certain character traits they all have - do you know which one it is?
March 19, 2009
TIGERS OF INFINITY
A friend asked if I could paint something inspired by those words. They didn't immediately suggest a still image so I tried instead to make a video collage. Oddly enough, I wasn't previously aware that the mathematical symbol for infinity is the Moebius strip.
March 11, 2009
I was flattered and honoured to be one of the judges at the Recycled Fashion Show held in St. Christopher's School in Letchworth on February 28th. The show is organised annually by Emma Semple, who heads the art department. My fellow blogger Dick Jones, whose Patteran Pages many of you frequent, is Emma's husband and was the drama teacher at St. Chris for many years. The spontaneous, supportive, creative atmosphere of the school was palpable and I must admit I felt a bit envious in retrospect - my own schooldays were nothing like this!
I was stunned by the kids' inventiveness and skill and wanted to film the whole show but while the catwalk was in progress, we judges had to take notes and then adjourn to a quiet room to decide who should win the prizes. It was a real struggle because all the costumes had been interesting and quite a few were exceptional but in the end, we managed to agree. During the final parade and prize-giving I was able to bring out my camcorder and kept it running for about half an hour. Unfortunately, there's a ten minute limit on videos posted to YouTube so I've had to edit drastically and jumpily. But at least you can have a glimpse of the event and some of the amazing designs created by children and teenagers from throw-away materials: eat your heart out Armani, Gucci, Miyake, Prada, Versace and all - the fashion future belongs to creative kids and recycled junk.
The interviewer is Michael Wright, author, artist and lecturer, who was also one of the judges.
March 2, 2009
Apart from some minor tweaking (tweaking takes time) it's done. Then I have to watch the paint dry. Then order a frame. Then deliver to the National Portrait Gallery on the last day of the deadline, 19 March. After that, it's in the lap of the gods - or rather, the jury.
Behind the mirror on the right hand side, I have included a tiny version of part of my construction, The Lesson, which actually sits on that bookshelf. It's sort of a message to myself. Here's a close-up of the original piece, which you may already have seen in a video I made a while back.