The Tanks: Art in Action…15 week festival 18th July – 28th October – The Tate Modern and The Tate Modern’s Appearance in “London Down Pour” Painting. Plus Being Very Silly with “F” words.

August 24, 2012

Well, “Art in Action”.  That always sounds good, doesn’t it.

Had a wild day out with a friend, the highlights being:

Our own contribution to the board with stickers on in The Tanks.    I changed “art” to “fart” by tearing a label into an “F” shape, which is always silly, but appealing to an infantile mind, like mine.  Even more appealing was the general effect,  as it was part of a sentence saying something deep like “How does art influence culture” or something like that.  “How does Fart influence culture” is also a very important consideration.  I can assure you, this is a VERY pervasive matter.  Never underestimate the difference to quality of life that freedom of expression and mutual understanding have on our society.  I suspect our valuable contributions will be removed, but if people are going to make boards and ask questions, and provide stickers and pencils, then this is what happens.  I had a journey on the board with torn stickers and arrows, my friend made a Matissey type torn sticker face,  and we did a few other bits.

Whatever the blurb says about what and why,  Lis Rhodes Light Music was a hit in the moment for us.  As my friend was in a wheelchair we got some great shadow images as I spun her around and around.  This was quite a “happening”.  We went from two figures to one, and there is something very interesting about shadows and form, which is delightful. Fascinating.  I could strangle her in the shadow play, with no harm done!!!! And her, also me, of course!   ( I had also been along to Lis Rhodes Light Music a few weeks before, and seen another beautiful show with children playing in a “who is the strongest?” type drama which I will post up soon when I get the time to take it off the camera.   Here’s the blurb http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern-tanks/display/lis-rhodes-light-music

I didn’t look into it much but there was some kind of performance type thing going on with people chanting and walking etc.  It is soooooooooo tempting to do silly things, like whistle, isn’t it?  There is a kind of interface between the “sacred” realm of “art” and “Joe Bloggs” which is delightful to prod and press, and indeed we did, in several ways…

On a more serious note, we saw the Munch Exhibition and had many interesting and serious discussions about the paintings.

I’m busy making some frames for the Alliance Healthcare paintings and looking around for some  affordable open art exhibitions to enter.  There are quite a few where you don’t have to pay until you get to the point where they have chosen your work, which is much, much better.  And fairer.  It’s important to put work into open submission art exhibitions,  but I don’t have much money available to throw it around regardless of the fact my kids need feeding and broken things need to be mended, and so it just gets crazy when organisers start asking for £20 entrance fees.  If the entrance fee is low, at least it is possible to be able to afford to enter a few each year.  (Maybe £20 is considered little for some people, but for most people, we have to think for some time and weigh it up before popping those two ten pound notes into the wind).

I’m getting lots of emails from Vanity galleries at the mo.  Right pain.  Nothing worse than being told how someone who wants to exploit you, and hopes you have lots of money to throw away in an unwise manner, really likes your work!  Yeah, fine.  Let me give you my cash (Er, what cash?) Well, imagine.  Let me give you my cash.  Yeah, I’ll have that bit of your wall.  Yeah.  Don’t worry, you just take my money, sit down, have a cup of tea, and I will jot your gallery name on my CV.  You’re paid.  I’m not.  Oh, Oh dear.   Well, if someone has thousands, it might be useful for them.

Am I moaning? Yes.  Let me stop.  Here is a recent painting:

london, southbank,southwark,memory painting,thames,river thames london painting,river thames abstract painting,semi abstract urban landscape london,water,rain,buildings,urban view,river thames southbank,emotional lyrical romantic imaginative painting of london,

Just occurred to me regarding the tower, that it might be the Tate Modern!  I painted the painting in a process led way from my imagination and memories slipped their way in as they do, but though I felt very strongly about having the tower shape in there, it has taken until now for it to slot into place in a logical way!  It probably is that.  The Thames was always the Thames, and the amount of water and the title was so apt for the weather we have been having.  Painting this painting felt like making my way through London, as I have been exploring and visiting parts of London, and places in London, which are not familiar to me.  So it’s got a kind of navigational feel to it.  Nearly time to find a boat, navigational feel.  With the amount of water.   It’s very Claude Venard – ish.

Responses so far have made reference to traffic lights, concrete, smog and grime, a feeling of attempting to find ones way through the cityscape, awareness of water and reflections, all of which I am pleased to hear about, because all were in the intention, as it emerged over the course of painting.  It is very interesting and helpful to know what the response is to painting, and for this reason I hope that during the Alliance Healthcare Exhibition people will make comments in the contact book with respect to what the paintings communicate to them.

Just found this on Abstract Critical: http://abstractcritical.com/article/sol-space-and-the-question-of-integrity-in-abstract-painting/#comment-52354

Ah! Great!  Integrity. My favourite word.  I have just read through the article Sol-Space and the Question of Integrity in Abstract Painting once but will revisit it several times, as it looks rich (in a good sense!).  I have a collection of various articles on abstract painting waiting to be read, which I found on JSTOR but they are always waiting, very patiently.  I sometimes wish I did my degree in Painting rather than Literature, because of where I am now, but on the other hand I can, and have, learnt a tremendous amount through contact with other painters, short courses in Adult Education settings, and of course,  the West Dean Short Course Programme.  Plus  three very large books on Theory.    I’d like more formal education in painting and fine and applied art, but it has been seven years since I started on my current path, and my walk is just starting to take off; the direction is setting in there and I am finally managing to make myself focus in more. In the end, words are words and painting is painting.  The relationship between logical thinking and painting is an interesting one, but I find I learn more from focusing on the painting itself rather than anything else. I learn most of my worthwhile lessons that way. Instinct leads the way when painting.  Practical skills pave it.  Logic wanders around on the path, trying to make sense of it, and hoping to put up signs that other people might follow if they want to.

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