A little while back, maybe weeks ago, maybe months (what is time anymore?), I began collecting images of empty rooms. Read the rest of this entry »
A man may be in as just possession of Truth as of a City, and yet be forced to surrender.
Religio Medici, Thomas Browne
Admiral Booth lived his last years in the area of London known as World’s End, an apt place for a man who had once rowed out onto the Thames in order to avoid having to declare that he resided in the city, and who now wished to end his days in obscurity. At the end he was nursed by his companion, Sophia, who all assumed was his wife, the Admiral swallowing down his last spoonfuls of milk and brandy. It was only some time after he died that the residents of World’s End found out that the old man who had shuffled around in a naval greatcoat was no admiral, that his name was not Booth.
I have stayed inside lately, as I suppose we all have. It has felt best to just stay out of the way, and while I know this is the direction from government for most of us (and how unsettling it feels to type those words), I am not sure everyone feels this way. As I look out my window people are still milling about, buying their daily newspaper, tinkering with their car, pushing a child on a bike. And so beyond the official guidelines, and beyond my reservations around how quickly the world has fundamentally changed, it just feels right to be home. An exterior life already feels peculiar. I have always been happiest at home, I think. And obviously now, more than ever. It is the only thing that really makes sense. And I’m not even sure of that.
Rien was the result of feeling accompanied by an uncomfortable presence, a jangly burden which I eventually unloaded in this picture. I think the way this happens is an experience common to most artists.Victor Willing
I wasn’t familiar with the work of Victor Willing but enjoyed the exhibition of his work at Hastings Contemporary, however I was struck most by this quotation – the idea of a “jangly burden” certainly resonates, it feels right even if I can’t put my finger on why.Read the rest of this entry »
Staying inside today. Outside it never really moves past twilight. As such, it feels like the day never really gets started and so, in many ways, it feels like the new year and new decade are on hold too. No bad thing, there is plenty of time for both.
I read some pages from Smiling in Slow Motion, the final journals of Derek Jarman. I think diaries offer something that other forms cannot – a poetry of the everyday, the magnitudes of fragments, where a few lines suggest so much more. He writes a few words on a friend who had just died, Graham Cracker.
The last time we saw Graham was in New York. He had been asked to trompe l’oeil a Manhattan dining room to look like a sun-baked prairie. Graham painted a beautiful desert with cactus plants and Joshua trees; as he put the finishing touches on the sky he included a tiny twister, almost invisible on the far horizon; it looked so good he made it larger and then larger. After a week of frenzied repainting the dining room was transformed: storm clouds and lightning flashes circled the eye of a thunder-cloud tornado. The best work he had ever done.
The millionaire owner returned from his vacation as Graham was making the final brush strokes. He hated it and threw Graham out on to the street, screaming: “I’ll see you never work again.”
We need more art like this.