Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm painting a picture.

Not, you might think, a surprising or original thing for an artist to be doing. But it is a long time since such a proportion of each working week has been spent on a single painting.

'Meanwhile' is a word I use all too often here to draw attention to the projects that interest me and are still in progress, some since the sixties and early seventies. In addition there is almost always a portrait on the go, for portraiture, especially in leaner times, has been my financial life-support system.

I do not yet know what size it will be or how long this painting will take, nor do I have a title for it or can exactly say what it is about. I shall refer to it (in occasional progress reports) as 'my picture', the ever present 'meanwhile' of my current working life. Here is a detail. More to come.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Crumbling news...

Another photographer, Heini Schneebeli, virtuoso imager of artefacts, is in the studio office at the moment taking pictures of Akan goldweights from my almost embarrassingly large collection. These miniature bronzes (often referred to as Ashanti weights), each an unique lost-wax casting, reveal a whole civilisation in miniature. They show every aspect of human activity from copulation to music making (as in the trumpeters above) and the animal world in all its variety. The abstract weights make a comprehensive inventory of ornament. We are making a book to be published by that guardian angel of almost all my printed work, Hansjörg Mayer, who on our first meeting (in a Corsham pub over forty years ago) announced himself my publisher.

Traders using goldweights 19th C. Photographs: Heini Schneebeli 2007.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not another book

CRUMBLING NEWS: a small announcement of a curiosity to come, made topical by my just having painted (if only to postempt another design offered by the publisher) its title page.

For quite a few years now a little South London enterprise has been brewing in which the haunting still-life tableaux of photographer Bruce Rae have provoked appropriately atmospheric poems by Terry Jones. These texts in turn have been worked over (as one might say) by me to provide a further twist of reflection.

Publication now threatens - probably towards the end of the year in a limited edition...
Watch this space.