Tag Archives: dystopia

Here Be Dragons At The Barbican, London

20 Feb

A free arts festival at London’s Barbican Centre on Saturday February 23rd from 12 noon to 8pm. My work, “Here Be Dragons” will be featured alongside many other artworks commissioned by the TV channel Sky Arts for their ART50 project about post-Brexit Britain.

finished

I did this humungous woodcut print with chine collé inspired by the concept of a new flag for post-Brexit Britain. My work is dystopian, I cannot remember the nation being so fractured and divided. One of the roles of an artist is to hold up a mirror to society and reflect back what’s going on. That’s what I’ve tried to do here.

 

The Sky Arts series of films and programming will be aired in the UK on March 25th.

sky arts 50

Dystopian Man

23 May

I haven’t done much sketchbook work for a couple of weeks because I’m working flat out on a painting – sort of. I’m not a painter but I’m entering an international painting competition and I decided I’d push the definition of painting a bit and approach it as a scribbler and printmaker. The theme, broadly, is Utopia or Dystopia and of course I’ve e gone for the dystopian viewpoint. I’m very close to finishing but it’s taking all my time and energy, no time for sketching or printmaking until the deadline, which is this Friday.

It’s on quite a large scale, about four times the largest I normally use and I’m working onto primed heavyweight cardboard with litho/relief inks [oil-based] applied with squeegee, roller and pallette knife and using oil bars for the detail. So it’s sort of paint. But I don’t use a brush – ever. It also involves a lot of rubbing off with rags and scraping with all sorts of implements. I’m having a good time. This is a detail. The finished piece has three figures – male, female and child. This was the man as of last night. I’ve done a lot more work on him but I forgot to take my camera in today. It’s a pretty grim image but that’s okay because I wanted to see how far I could portray a concept, a state of being, using just human figures with little else to contextualise them. It might fail miserably but I’ll know by Friday.

BTW I’m using cardboard because Toulouse-Lautrec used it and if it’s good enough for him ……….

Dystopia In My Studio.

23 Mar

Elysium Artspace is sponsoring an international painting competition, BEEP, in May and I thought I’d go for it. Now, I’m a printmaker and a scribbler, not a dauber, so I’ve decided to approach it from that angle, using printmaking and drawing tools to create a painting. Normally my work is quite simple and self-contained, using just one subject, usually a solitary nude figure but the topic for this competition, Dystopia, has spurred me on to try a multi-figure piece with at least five people in it. The composition that I’ve sketched out is a complex one so I find myself in the position of having to do an awful lot of preparatory drawings. I’ll usually do a simple prep sketch as the basis for my printmaking, but they’re not normally detailed. For the BEEP thing, though, I’m rattling off loads of preliminary drawings and thoroughly enjoying the experience, which is a new one for me. Here are a few in progress. I’m really excited about it. I’ve been using a squeegee and a roller to apply oil pigment to a huge piece of prepared cardboard. I’m in good company, Gerhard Richter has done lots of paintings with a squeegee and Toulouse Lautrec painted onto cardboard. I’ve got about 2 months left to complete it so I’d better crack on because I have to remember the drying time for the oils. Dystopia is a pretty grim topic and some of the drawings are getting me down, so it’s good that I do a lot of sketchbook work of the daily life around me, which helps to ground me and shake me out of the deep and dark things going on in my head.

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