Days 16 & 17 11&12/8/2015

It seems the further I get into the residency, the busier I am and the less time I have to blog about it! This week I am finishing off the second of my British Road Movies paintings, 'M25'. This one has been much easier to paint than 'Flyover', partly because I plotted out the colours over a year ago when I was still living in Rome. This will be the third time I've painted this picture already, having done a rough version on paper and an experimental version on perspex. It looks better on the MDF board. The primed MDF provides a perfect smooth surface for the straight edge tape I use. Ronnie and Phil pop in to see me. They are so excited as they found out yesterday that they are expecting a grand-daughter, to whom I will be known as Auntie Kate. I can't wait to meet her at Christmas when she is due to arrive.
I'm starting to get into a panic about the album listening party on August 29th. I've been so busy thinking about the Hoo Ha, the video shoot and mum's 70th birthday party, that I've forgotten to organise what's supposed to be the climax of the residency. I know the album is being mastered this week and will be ready by then, but it's a question of how an album listening party will work. It's fine in theory, but the reality of inviting an audience to listen to a record without any kind of live performance element is not that appealing. Iain suggested on Saturday when he was very drunk that I should do an acoustic set. I baulk at the idea of acoustic sets; so wishy washy, so cheesy, but, in this case it might not be a bad idea. So, I ask the band if they are up for it in theory, if we can make it interesting. Shannon has tonsillitis. Reuben is in Milton Keynes. Richard is in Wetherspoons. I'm still thinking. 
I've made a collaborative Spotify playlist from Saturday's Hoo Ha and spend most of Tuesday listening to it. Pulp comes on which prompts a conversation with Emily about seeing them live at the UEA in 1996 with Minty supporting. Everyone remembers Minty. They were legendary on that tour. I wasn't even at the gig and still I remember Minty. Never before or since has a support band cast such a long shadow. We end up talking about Russell Senior and his bat pen. One of the more surreal evenings of my life was when we invited Russell to come to the studio and add some violin to 'Appropriation'. He turned up in his safari suit with a cheap can of lager for each of us ("one each, no more") and a cardboard box full of "noises" which included a set of keys and a toy slinky. When asked what he'd been up to lately he told us that he'd invented a pen for Halloween to flog outside Sheffield Wednesday football club. The pen was filled with liquid and a floating bat. Amazing guy.

Wednesday, market day again. I'm late into town and feeling stressed about the amount of things I have to organise this month. I feel like I've forgotten some tiny but crucial detail, my brain is too full to compute what that might be. Instead of worrying I decide to paint, maybe the crucial details will come to me. We have the Crit Group thisevening so Natalie and I need to arrange the format for that. It's the event I'm most nervous about holding, as I haven't taken part in a crit group since university. We have four cancellations and even though part of me wants to cancel the whole thing, I'm slightly disappointed by the prospect. We have to make it happen, even if there are only two or three people there.  
A lady called Susie chats to me about developing a style of work. She's just finished a foundation in Art and Design at the college and is about to start a BA at Colchester. We talk about how difficult it is to be free with a blank page. I work in a very precise way, mathematically working out dimensions and perspectives and drawing on a grid. I paint to straight edge tape. I never give myself the opportunity to play with paint anymore. I have an idea to hold a painting improv group. No tape. No grids. Just paint and paper and sound. Susie is up for this.
Sam and I are talking about Nick Drake again. About how much his songwriting breaks our hearts. I'm sure I saw a documentary film about Nick Drake at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield when I was at university. I look it up and it seems to be on youtube, but it can't be the same one surely? 
I spend the afternoon working on 'M25'. It's nearly finished, just a case of adding some white highlights. 
Tom Owens arrives for the Crit Group first. Then Vicky, then Deborah. Tom is the photographer I met at the start of the residency. His work relates to mine in that we both seek out edgeland spaces; brown field sites, motorway slip roads, industrial estates, abandoned factories. Documenting that which no one cares to document. His exhibition, 'Edgelands' is on at the Museum of East Anglian Life. Vicky is a painter based in Diss, working on abstract pieces relating to nuclear power stations and power lines. Her work is also somehow about dividing up the land, the spaces between things, capturing what cannot be seen. Deborah is a ceramicist based in Bury. Her work is about FGM. She lays out two carrier bags full of clay vulvas, sculpted by hand, symbolising the brutality of FGM, of what is cut away and discarded. It reminds me of Schindler's List, with the piles of discarded shoes and teeth.
We discuss each other's work for a couple of hours, enjoy a glass of wine, some cheese and crackers. It's a lovely thing to do. 

 

1 comment

  • Iggi

    Iggi Kings Road

    I find what you say about your days and being so open about them refreshing . To let us all in is a big thing ! Love the M25 picture too

    I find what you say about your days and being so open about them refreshing .

    To let us all in is a big thing !

    Love the M25 picture too

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