A layer of golden yellow begins to be applied. Red needs 2/3 coats, yellow about 4. Painting with acrylic paint can be a long old process...
Today ill be accompanied by the sounds of Uncle Dugs on Rinse FM from 11am-2pm. When i stumbled across his show about a year or so ago i was instantly drawn in to the interactive element of the show - and his selection of jungle techno never fails to take me back to my youth. I spent so many hours of my early teenage years locked into local pirate radio stations like Ragga FM and Passion FM with my then hero DJ's Roni Size, Die, Dazee, Fellony, Bunjy and the Specialist, with MC's like Joe Peng, Jakes, Megatron and my school-mate Smiley, Bristolian kids of the 90's were spoilt with quality beats straight from the heart of the underground of our city - and i found the live element of radio exciting and infectious. Not to mention the underlying buzz that came from the knowledge that the radio station was being broadcast illegally and bringing us music that no other commercial station would dare play. From a young age i appreciated direct action.
Uncle Dug's 'Run Come Follow Friday' show always teleports me back to those carefree days, memories of which have undoubtedly spilled over into the paintings that deal with the notions of transitions from boyhood to manhood. So a big thanks to Uncle Dugs for beaming sunshine through my speakers every Friday lunchtime; in a weird and unexpected kind of way those vibes and memories have been captured in these paintings.
Special shout also needs to go out to Billy 'Daniel' Bunter who hosts a similar show on Kool FM on Mondays - but perhaps ill come back to that early next week :-)
The Scottish writer and activist Alistair McIntosh once told me ‘It’s tough to be a young man in this world’ and he was right.
Images of adult manhood given to us by popular culture and mass media appear worn out. The right man, the tough man, the true man, all of which have been force fed to us since birth and are neither accurate nor relevant to the real life of a modern male.
When I recently became a father, my preconceptions of what it meant to be a man were flipped upside down. I found that the irreversible transition between boyhood and manhood had begun and with guidance from a long forgotten fairy tale, my most recent work explores key moments from what is perhaps the most challenging and turbulent time in any man’s life.
The collection of work comprises paintings that juxtapose imagery of London streets and statues of immortalised heroes, double exposure photography and installations that use images of light and death as an allegory for change. ‘Where is Iron John?’ is a visual representation of a young man dissecting masculinity whilst negotiating the complexities of modern life in the inner city.
(Detail of final canvas in progress - currently untitled)
Over the next two weeks ill be uploading a photo or two a day to document my progress in getting everything together ready for my first London based solo show, 'Where is Iron John?' For those of you who havent heard about the show yet, this collection of work is based on the iconic Brothers Grimm fairy tale 'Der Eisenhans', which was later reviewed and retold by American Poet, Robert Bly as a metaphor for the journey of masculinity. Over the past 12 months i have been producing paintings, photographic prints, a screen print and reworking an installation, which together make up my response to Bly's insightful writing. Im now two weeks away from displaying this work to the public and the nerves are beginning to creep in...
So i have decided to share my process a little and post a little snap or two with a few words for build up to the show.
Some of you may have noticed that i recently reworked the header of our local rag 'The Post' with an image of two Greek gods during the recent 'See no Evil' event which dominated Bristol's art scene for a week in August. With an average daily circulation of 36,000 copies, i was pleased to get my work on the front page, even if just for a day...
(The Post, 13th Aug 2012)
My ninth and final painting for the show is a reworking of this image and i began putting paint to canvas yesterday. Its no secret i am probably the slowest painter in the city, so to think i only have 14 more days to complete this - and everything else - before all this work has to be in the capital makes me feel somewhat unsettled. Panic and progress will be documented daily here for the near future.
(Initial layer of white being marked up onto canvas)
'All Things Are Changing; Nothing Dies' - a pasted installation on wobbly boards at a festival in a North Somerset field.
There is so much i could write about this weekend past, but there are more posts to upload, canvases to complete and a screen print to execute... So if you want to read a proper review of BrisFest at Ashton Court, i'll leave you in the ever reliable hands of Bristol Culture.