As we enter 2020, part II: New York, Manchester, Geneva, London

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Greetings. Here it is, part 2. Part 1 had me tying up last year’s loose ends. Part 2 looks at the near future and which walls you’ll find my work on. As usual, everything happens at once. I’m in exhibitions at the Portico Library in Manchester (UK), the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva (Switzerland), and with Jennifer Lauren Gallery at the Candid Arts Center in London (UK) as well as at the Outsider Art Fair in New York (USA).

 

Outsider Art Fair – Jennifer Lauren Gallery /// January 16-19th. Metropolitan Pavilion. New York, USA

I’m not sure exactly what happened during the fabrefaction of my July 31st – November 28th, 2019 diary drawing, but the result is 12,627 words in my bubble text on A5 card. This is almost 2,000 more words than were recorded on the previous page and by now more than have been recorded on any of the ten A4 size diary drawings. If you want to go see the combobulation for yourself, find yourself at the Jennifer Lauren Gallery booth for their third year at the fair. Jennifer Lauren will also be showing work by Shinichi SawadaAkio Kontani, Margaret Mousseau, Leonhard Fink, Chris Neate, Norimistsu Kokubo and more.

For further info on the fair, opening hours, special events etc.. see here.

Outsider Art Fair, NYC 2020

Diary, July 31st – November 28th, 2019

 

Talking Sense: The Changing Vocabulary of Mind and Brain. /// January 17th-April 13th. The Portico Library. Manchester, UK 

James Moss curates the works and minds of 50 artists in this playfully conceptual exhibition fitting to the ethos of the Portico Library, a 200+ year old subscription library in Manchester’s city center. The exhibition “explores the idea of “mind/brain-then/now” – combining 18th and 19th century literature with new artworks to create a space for conversations around the vocabulary of neurodiversity, mental health and psychology”. Sugar Glider vs. Octopus, a painting I did in 2009 will be included along with works by the homies Darren Adcock and Dolly Sen. Quite pleasantly, we are accompanied by 47 artists I can’t say I am aware of by name. I look forward to discovering their work and how all this might fit together in the context! The public preview is from 6-8pm on Thursday 16th January.

Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain

Sugar Glider vs. Octopus, 2009

 

Scrivere Disegnando (‘Writing By Drawing’): When Language Seeks Its Other /// January 29th- May 3rd. Centre d’Art Contemporain. Geneva, Switzerland

I’m thrilled to have several diary drawings included in this near-exhaustive exploration of writing as drawing and how this leaves the communicative aspect in ambivalence and/or ambiguity, focussing on work from the early 19th century to the present day. At least that’s my reading of it so far. I impatiently await experiencing the exhibition for myself at the opening on Tuesday, January 28th. I understand the exhibition will be accompanied by an elaborately produced book of 300+ pages. I will report back with details regarding that as I learn them. Co-curated by Andrea Bellini (Centre d’Art Contemporain, Director) and Sarah Lombardi (Collection de l’Art Brut Lausanne, Director), it will be interesting to see works by artists associated with Art Brut side by side with contemporary artists, brought together through the context of this theme. On those walls I’ll be in the very good company of Nick Blinko, Gaston Chaissac, Aloise Corbaz, Jean Dubbuffet, Susan Hiller, Henri Michaux, Laure Pigeon, Luigi Serafini (Codex Seraphinianus!), J.B. Murray, August Walla, Melvin Way and Adolf Wolfli among others.. In my previous blog entry I spoke on the writer Michel Thevoz and the artist Carlo Zinelli. Thevoz is contributing text to the book published in conjunction with this exhibition, and there is a big Zinelli exhibition at the Collection l’Art Brut in Lausanne, so I’ll also be able to experience that, which should be wonderful. I’ll report back upon returning.

 

Monochromatic Minds: Lines Of Revelation – Jennifer Lauren Gallery /// February 25th- March 4th. Candid Arts Centre. London, UK

I can’t help but feel this will be a historic exhibition relentlessly championing works in black and white, through a roster of 62 artists, most of which I admire immensely, and some I’d not heard of or seen but am thus far impressed with based on images revealed here. Jennifer Lauren has taken on quite a task and brought together an extremely impressive group of artists, which I’m overwhelmingly excited to see curated together in one space. On these walls I am joined by my PPP crew (Posca Pen Pals) Liz Parkinson and Julia Sisi, the highly potent Albert who I’ve met through the Bethlem, Madge Gill who needs no introduction, the great Aradne, it’s an endless list and I’d love to think of specific words to describe each artist but I must go and do my tax returns. It’s very tempting though.. Ody Saban who’s work I’ve admired over the last fifteen years, Cathy Ward whom I’ve crossed paths with since encountering her work at The Horse Hospital (which is in grave danger of being shut down after over 25 years, spread the word to your powerful and caring friends please!) around the time they offered to show my work for the first time in 2007/8, Nick Blinko who I’ve written about quite a lot over the years (here are a couple of bits: 2011, 2016), Rashidi, Margot, Harald Stoffers, George Widener, Ben Wilson, Malcolm McKesson, Dan Miller, Kate Bradbury, Nigel Kingsbury, Daniel Goncalves, Michel Nedjar, Evelyne Postic, Agatha Wojciechowsky, Ted Gordon, and the list goes on! I just wish brother Phil was here. Right,.. I feel like I’m about to malfunction. For full details check this  and I’ll reiterate all this in a more succinct and informative manner within the next blog entry in a few weeks, with updated specifics regarding the series of events surrounding the exhibition including presentations by some of the artists and more. 

 

Roger Cardinal (1940-2019)

It was saddening to hear that Roger Cardinal, the man who first used the controversial term ‘Outsider Art’ with having his book titled as such (published in 1972), has transcended the Earth at the end of last year. The forthcoming issue (104) of Raw Vision magazine will be a special tribute edition. I was privileged to meet him several times. My first encounter with him was interesting, I had been writing in my diary drawing for a couple of hours, alone at a table and he walks into the room and asks if I mind him sitting beside me. He then asked if I minded him taking some notes as we conversed. We went from there into another smaller room where a video interview with Jean Dubuffet was showing and we sat there for a short time before he nodded off for a while in an armchair. We crossed paths a handful of times or so after that and began a somewhat intense email exchange, which began with him actually saying he would be “honoured” to write about my drawings (too much!). He could also be quite playful in his approach. Referring back to that email, he wrote: I would be honoured to write something about your work, which is definitely on my personal list of a site of “outstanding natural beauty” (that’s a quotation from the Kent County Council road sign that you’ll find at the entrance to our local villages!). I regret not having resolved the unusual and perplexing tone of our last emails. Irrespective of that, Roger Cardinal will forever be gargantuan. 

 

Time is the whirlwind (part III: Short film, exhibition, publication)

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Is it sooner than you thought?

I’m following up my previous post with one containing actual things relating more to my output, considering the last entry reads more like a sort of travel log with a sprinkle of educational Jazz referencing.

 

New York, New York – Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head at the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival NY

The subheading for my previous newsletter/blog post was ‘New York, New York’. Initially that was because I was going to write about my trip to New York and showing my drawings at the Outsider Art Fair in January, and also mention that, to my bewilderment, my short film Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head has been selected to screen at the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival, also in New York, this March. There was plenty of New York in the previous post, so ‘New York, New York’ was still fitting, in my mind. But anyhow. For New York part II, should you be in the vicinity and interested, my short film (18 mins) will be showing with a couple of other short films as part of a programme considered under the theme ‘Freedom’. I only found out a couple of weeks ago and have since had to quickly put together a poster and a trailer..

note: click on images to enlarge

 

It will be an undeniably rare ‘opportunity’ to see this film in a real cinema, so if you can and are into it, please do, I wish I could! Having just come back from NYC, and needing to renew my passport right now, kind of puts the nail in the coffin for me. If you do go and have a further moment to spare, do let me know how it was?! Attendance, sound quality, etc.. photographic evidence would also be invaluable.

Now that it will be out in the world, perhaps I should demystify it somewhat. I have worked on this on and off for a few years physically.. The seed was planted in my mind about a decade and a half ago and very slowly grew from there, finding its form. A bit like my drawings, in a way. In fact, the name Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head comes from a ‘doodle’ I did in a sort of visual diary I was keeping in the mid to late ’90s. I mostly kept photographs and concert tickets in there, with associated stories written beside the documents. I also included terrible ‘poetry’ and some unconscious ‘doodling’. That’s where the title for this film was born. I had to rack my brain trying to recall it and thought for a long time that it was on some old schoolwork of mine but eventually found it in this book in January, 2018. In fact it reads ‘Tim Miller’ and not ‘Timmy’. I remembered it wrong for all those years. Not sure why I remembered it in the first place. I did start using it in a different context in the early 2000s and so it has lived on from there more so. Conveniently, there is a date at the top of the page, so I can see that it was drawn on Wednesday 1st of March, 1995. Just about 24 years ago by now. It was good to reconnect with the original drawing. I suppose at the time it was unconsciously referencing all the kids at my school, jacked up on Ritalin. Anyway, enough about me, where were YOU on Wednesday 1st of March, 1995?

 

I know none of that explains much about the contents of the film. I would prefer to leave all that a bit ambiguous at this point. This is the trailer though:

 

The screening takes place on Tuesday 19th of March at 5pm as detailed here. Various options available in regards to purchasing tickets but probably the best deal will be to get the early sales discount here. This is happening at one of the oldest continuously operated art cinemas in New York, Cinema Village. Well, I think that about covers it for now. I’ll be posting any updates on my Facebook artist page.

 

Fly Paws group exhibition in Lausanne, Switzerland

A couple of my small drawings are being shown in an exhibition with a title which translates as ‘Fly Paws’, referring to the insect rather than incorporating slang for ‘fly’ and ‘paws’, though I think the latter is more appealing. Both are amusing. In any case, this is currently on as of the 13th of February and will remain so until the 13th of April, 2019. The place to be is the Galerie du Marché and these are the coordinates.

 

Drawing/Writing/Drawing by David Maclagan

Recently, an academic journal found its way through my letter plate. The reason for this was that an article about the relationship between drawing and writing, written by David Maclagan, is included and my diary drawings get a mention in there, as well as a full page illustration. The article references a lot of artists and cross references various mark making disciplines, as practiced by artists and non-artists alike. If you’re a fiend for this kind of thing, there is a physical version (as was posted through my door) and an electronic version which I found here. The physical copy is pricey (as seems the way with these types of publications) but I can attest to the quality of my reproduced image. Maclagan’s article is interesting to consider and ponder on, and I would say an enjoyable read also. I haven’t gotten round to trying to read any of the other writings though but am curious..

 

25 years of Horse Hospital

I managed to get up to The Horse Hospital in its last days of exhibiting a show celebrating 25 years of its own existence, which is no small feat. I will forever be honoured to say that the first exhibition of my work was in a three person show at The Horse Hospital in 2008. I went along to see this current show thinking I’d be in there for twenty minutes or so but came out of there over an hour after entering. It was visually minimal in its presentation but the timeline of events they had printed out and plastered to the walls had me transfixed and I almost read the entire thing. If those walls could speak, eh? In my previous post I spoke of Joe Coleman‘s work and included some I’d photographed at the Outsider Art Fair in New York in January. One of the paintings contains a portrait dedication to visionary artist Norbert Kox who had passed away just weeks before. Both of these artists have shown at the Horse Hospital also. I forgot to mention in the previous post, that I first saw and learned of Norbert Kox’s work here, in an exhibition of his work and Cathy Ward‘s, whom I also hadn’t encountered before. Norb was present and did some speaking at a special event. I fondly recall his stories of escaping death when having to squeeze through suffocatingly tight passages in caves after water had risen and almost drowned him. He was there with his son. I think this was leading up to the exhibition I was in. So, at the celebratory exhibition, they projected images from all the shows they’d put on and I got to see my works on the walls, which by now feels like some time ago, partly due to seeing which works they were and how they were hung. That whole process of hanging large paintings, it’s been a while by now.. What really sealed the deal was a video compilation of footage from exhibitions that took place, on a screen with headphones for sound. There was a great video of Joe Coleman explaining the details in his paintings, in some detail, in the late ’90s. Fantastic. Such a special and unique place. Certainly singular.

video of Joe Coleman at his Horse Hospital exhibition, speaking about his work

 

Still image projection of my painting The Void II hung beside the door (when the gallery used to be upstairs) with painting The Void and a couple of smaller works in view on other wall behind. The Void II has been packed away for a while now. Would be good to get it out for some air soon..

 

Beginning of the Horse Hospital timeline

 

STUMP: Art From The Obsessive Mind exhibition from October 11th – November 1st (2008). Maurice Burns, Carlo Keshishian, Joe Wilson

 

The Horse Hospital timeline continues…

 

Flyers

 

That’s all for now folk dem. Most probably I won’t write another one of these for a while. Not much happens usually, I am mostly in a room drawing continuously and occasionally taking a break to put a radio show together. Hence my intense whirlwind-related trilogy of posts. The weather is likely to change for now.. Let the wind be my direction.. yadda yadda.. but give me a shout if you feel so inclined and in the meantime,

Peace,

C.

ps. For the sake of realtime chronology, I’m putting this here and not in the above section about Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head. On my way to work today, to my bafflement, it appears I have been honed in on and retweeted on the topic of the Timmy Miller film by none other than co-creator of Troma EntertainmentThe Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke’Em High and hundreds of other inventive comedic horror films that send a message (to paraphrase Marvel Comics creator, Stan Lee). That I very rarely use Twitter and barely understand how to use it, only begins to explain how confused I am by this strange occurrence! Shout out to the master of subversion Lloyd Kaufman!

 
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