Day 11 4/8/2015

I can't believe it's week 3 of the residency already. Now I'm in the thick of it, with one completed piece, a half completed commission and lots of ideas for new work. Today's aim is to prime up more boards, work out the dimensions of a new piece for the album and draw it up. I'm writing yesterday's blog in the gallery, drinking a very strong coffee, when a man comes in and starts looking at the Modernism reference book. I don't take much notice of him to begin with but as he looks around he begins talking to me. He's clearly very knowledgable about art and artists. He says he didn't finish his art degree and wishes he had. He likes the clean lines and shapes in my work and shows me two small lino cuts he's made. He's carrying the lino itself with him. I like them. Something about his manner is slightly off-kilter, but that's ok and we talk for about an hour in the end. It turns out that he's a regular Artheads attendee. Artheads is a Bury St Edmunds based voluntary group aimed at helping those with drug, alcohol and mental health issues through creativity. They hold regular drop in art sessions which anyone can attend to make paintings or prints and also hold music sessions. At the moment there's an exhibition of Artheads work at The Apex in town and my friend says he has a piece on show. I promise I'll go and look at it when I can. I wonder whether a creative outlet such as Artheads would have made a difference to John's life. I'm not sure it would. He loved music but didn't like change or strangers particularly so I can't imagine him going to a group activity with people he didn't know. We once tried to start a Fall tribute band, The Mitherers, so that John could fulfil his Mark E Smith ambitions and have something to focus on other than the pub, but he claimed he didn't know enough of the words to do it (he knew all the words).
http://www.artheads.co.uk/

I make a lot of progress thisafternoon. I manage to prime three new boards, explore options for the rest of the album art work, and draw up a new piece. It's a series of flyovers across the M25 at Junction 23, at least I think it's junction 23. I've taken so many photographs over the years that I forget where some of them are. At least two people (blokes obviously) have looked at my rough drawing though, stroked their chins and said, "That's the M25 isn't it?" and that it is. Looking at this handy map of M25 motorway junctions, I think that Junction 23 makes sense as I had a bit of an obsession with South Mimms after reading 'London Orbital'.
http://www.m25traffic.co.uk/maps/map-of-m25-motorway-junctions/

Thisafternoon I finally get round to listening to Jarvis Cocker on radio 4 talking about John Betjeman's 'Banana Blush'. A definite contender for the British Landscape themed Hoo Ha on Saturday.
 

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