Monday, July 30, 2007

Time And Relative Dimensions In Paint

"The Residence rises to sacred ground as it re-launches at The Verger's Cottage in Hackney Wick, Olympic BangBang E9. Departing from its previous shop location, the gallery reassigns Director Ingrid Z's living space as exhibition platform. The inaugural show stems forth from ideas of private prop(erty) with links to reasonable facsimiles, identity theft, intellectual property,& paparazzi…, featuring new work from our favourite artists and latest fancies"...

This is my 'Self Portrait Study as Doctor Who', painted for the re-launch of Residence Gallery. I was rather pleased with the scarf, and the colours are reasonably close to the original (did you know that there are entire website's devoted to Tom Baker's scarf...!?). The show opens this Friday with performances, a DJ and garden party. You can email off the galley's website to be on the guestlist.

I was torn between painting myself as a child dressed as the fourth Doctor Who, or as an aduIt, and decided in the end that the picture would be stronger set in the present time. The picture holds a lot for me, and having only just finished it last night, and having had to deliver it today, I haven't spent any time with it. On the surface it's a picture about being an obsessive fan, but I'm not actually a fan anymore especially, so perhaps it's about remembering a fanaticism, having left it behind. Although the face is manic there's a sadness too. I think it's also a picture about seeking solace in a character, and attaching yourself to a hero to absorb bits of them in an attempt to escape the trials of life.

Painting the picture made me remember the descent down the dark stairs of the Doctor Who Exhibition in Blackpool, to the loud churning of the seventies theme tune, feeling mildly terrified but not wanting to show it. I remember my Dad driving Paul and I all the way there as a birthday treat or something but my little brother being so hysterical at the thought of entering that dark Tardis off the Golden Mile that we couldn't go in. I was far too young to be allowed in on my own, and I don't know where Mum was that day but there was noone to leave him with so we had to come home again. It was probably days and weeks before I forgave him. Blub!

In any event, I think that this may be the start of something and I'll be doing more. The 'Doctor Who Paintings' anyone?! We'll serve 'sonic screwdrivers' at the opening!

'Private Prop'
4th August - 2nd September

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Back now... no excuses, and been up to loads over the last six weeks or so and it would be far too difficult to condense... So, what's new? Well, I'm feeling better now after nursing the mother of all hangovers (and I should know, I'm an expert) after spending the weekend getting smashed at Lovebox in Victoria Park. How marvellous to have a festival ten minutes walk from one's front door! Saturday was a bit hit and miss weather-wise, and we missed most of Patrick Wolf due to having to wait in for a plumber (the boilers gone...) but we still managed to catch his last few songs and the remnants of 'I love Mika' smeared over his bare chest in lipstick. What an athletic voice that young man has, with a proper pop-star stage presence, jumping on cameramen, throwing microphone stands and half his clothes into the audience... just how pop-stars should be. Kicked myself for not being in the right place at the moment his black and gold sequinned waistcoat came hurtling into the crowd. God I wanted that. Didn't really understand why he wasn't nearer the top of the bill. Hung out with Bouncy David and friends most of the afternoon and bumped into various Retro bar/Duckie types. Very much enjoyed Fujiya and Miyagi who were in a sort of small clubby tent and The Presets were good too. Blondie sounded good but Debbie Harry's voice was far too low in the mix and also she appeared to be having difficulty hearing the music, fiddling with her earpiece, but the crowd didn't seem to mind. Blondie's easy to dance to anyway and after ten cans of Red Stripe who the hell cares.

Sunday felt bigger and busier with considerably more sunshine and we arrived to the ery pleasant Tinariwen who were a nice start to the afternoon. They were a bit too 'world music' for my tastes but it was nice sunny music for a sunny early afternoon and all the cute boys had their shirts off. We were joined by her Imperial Highness Dawn Right Nasty, Jon and Small Tom. Didn't feel too hungover as luckily Crazy G had put the kaibosh on going to UnSkinny Bop (my drunken pleadings fell on deaf ears).

Didn't like the first song Hot Chip played but they were good after that, quite nice to be won over during a set. Loved The Rapture who I realised I'd heard loads but didn't know who they were (not being as musically educated as most of my peers) BUT the B52's were nothing short of INCREDIBLE! I thought they'd be good, but wasn't quite prepared for quite how good. Grown men were actually crying with pleasure (this is so NOT an exaggeration). They were Fierce with a capital F with their big hair and 50's styling... and Kate! How completely incredible is she?! A seriously cool lady... Curvacious, sexy and glamorous with tumbling red hair and flared sleeves with flames on. She makes Ana Matronic look about as effective as a 5-year old clip-clopping around in Mummy's shoes. In fact these old-timers could blow the Scissor Sisters out of the water any day of the week... not that the SS would wish to enter the competition of course... I mean who would want to risk being shown up by their bigger and better template? They were my absolute highlight and their new songs sounded as fresh and impressive as the old ones we all know.

Talking about things being fresh the good thing about these festivally things is that I get to see loads of bands I wouldn't normally so it serves as sort of a occasional crash course in modern music meaning I at least have some idea of what Gerald/Jon/Peter natter about in the bar.

I also, as an claustrophobic with no sense of direction, find traditional gigs increasingly difficult because finding the loos/bar/exit in a dark gig packed with people is just asking for trouble. I dread it being my 'round' at such things because no matter how many markers I visualise I can never find my bloody way back to my friends. At 'things in parks' however I feel instantly relaxed and calm, getting comfortably sozzled in the company of shiny happy people, with fairground rides twirling in the distance. Perhaps I've got a strong hippy streak. The only thing I don't like is mud which means I can never go to Glastonbury so I'm destined forever to remain 'festival lite', rather than hardcore. But I don't mind. I'll look forward to corporate V and not wear a bin bag thanks!