Worldly Wandering and White Sticks





The Beginning of the end…

The year is almost out. Some are concerned about a potential Annunaki takeover. Others are exploring the possibility of living on Mars, or at least casting a reality tv show there. Back on Earth, the Circus Terminal are moving ever onwards having launched another installment of their touring exhibition. December 1st saw the opening at the Sangdee Gallery in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The exhibition features works by 54 artists from 17 countries, yours truly ever present. The exhibition goes on until the 10th so if anyone is in the vicinity, stop by and have a peruse. Here is a random curious image from the opening:

In other news, the openings of the Outside In National & Jean Dubuffet exhibitions on at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, UK, were a marvel. Both are on until February 3rd, 2013. If you are anywhere near there, it’s worth spending an afternoon there! I was surprised to see a shift in my perspective of Jean Dubuffet, and to see all those works next to each other/together. I’ve seen some of those images reproduced in books or on the internet quite a lot over the last few years but it really is a different thing seeing them in real, and all together like that especially. I thought it was very well curated. Prior to seeing the show, I was very interested in Dubuffet as a character and his involvement with the Art Brut movement. He is quite responsible for us seeing a lot of incredible artists that most likely would have been lost in time otherwise, but there is the question of whether he was manipulating them also. With Dubuffet’s own work, I find it interesting how as he described his approach in making work in a more primitive/childish way, though he had had art training/intellectual/technical background. I’d seen that before but actually upon seeing the show, I felt this wasn’t the case.The seemingly abstract paintings of a tea cup and of a bed for example, I’d seen the images a lot of times before but it wasn’t until the show that I could see/comprehend the imagery. I don’t think it’s primitive at all! I think it’s really difficult to transform those figurative images the way he did, into the stylized representations we see. I think his training was probably necessary in that process, to achieve those images. So the idea that his approach became more primitive/child-like, I don’t see that. I think it was Picasso who said (to paraphrase): ‘It took just a few years to learn how to paint like a professional, it takes a lifetime to learn how to paint like a child’ or to ‘unlearn’ I guess he means. Whilst this is what I think Dubuffet was having a go at, traits of professionalism certainly seep through in my opinion. In any case, I thought it all looked pretty fantastic. The Outside In show certainly contains some true gems. A little painting I did for the Jean Dubuffet people is also displayed. Oh, and it was a surprise upon first view to see myself being quoted in the wall text! (click on image to read):

 Earlier today I received some very sad and shocking news about the violent assault of Douglas (aka Professor Whitestick). He is now in critical condition, in an induced coma. The attacker has been caught and taken in. Let’s hope Professor Whitestick can pull through. Here is a review he wrote on his blog of the workshop that David Johnson and I recently conducted at the Royal Academy, London, UK. On the Royal Academy website, you can hear the improvised music I recorded on the day, with Douglas on thumb-piano somewhere in there.

I’m kind of lost for words now, but every now and then a little octopus appreciation should be encouraged, so I’ll leave you with these delightful videos:


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