Sunday, 19 September 2010

conspirators of pleasure 1997

I'm really enjoying a lot of Jan Svankmajers films at the moment. Bizarre, surreal and playful. However, I am struggling to find full length copies of him films.
Here's another taster of his work.

Meat love Jan Svankmajer (1989)

Curiouser & Curiouser By Manic Pianic

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sketch Book

Still in progress..

Drawings from my concertina Moleskinne book. one long continuous drawing - so, sorry about the lines.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Good Art Gallery

The prints from my last post were recently exhibited in 'The Good Art Gallery' in Birmingham, thanks to Matt Moore & his Art detection services. The Good Art Gallery is an open-sumbissions art competition curated by Art Detection Services Ltd. in Created In Birmingham, Bullring, Birmingham.

Photo is property of Matt Snowden

It was a diverse and interesting show. I particularly like the idea that the show is curated purely by the 'Art detection service', effectively it was curated by chance. Leaving it entirely open for different works to be shown, without being chosen by a person or panel of judges per se.

The Exhibition was on until the 5th May 2010 - so this post is a bit late.

Also, if you are in and around Birmingham, check out the Created in Birmingham shop in the bullring for interesting, affordable art, prints and crafts

Friday, 26 March 2010


Recently I have been working on a series of 5 etchings depicting different animal masks. They are still currently in progress but I thought I would share where I have got to so far..

Dog mask I

Rabbit Mask I

Pig Mask I

In terms of the prints themselves I feel there is a lot of changes to be made, such as the paper - I have been considering using a different paper that is a darker shade of cream/yellow. Also just practicing with the printing and attempting to get the quality of print to a higher standard.

I wanted to make a series of mask prints as they feature so frequently in my drawings. I tend not to draw faces bit have them masked, i feel this gives a sense of anonymity, or an air of mystery to the character.
The animal masks have almost begun to represent archetypal characters, that re-appear from time to time absorbed in their own world and absurd or uncanny activities.
I'm not sure the personalities or traits each animal has in my drawings - or whether it is something I wish to develop in the future, but I enjoy the fact I don't really know, it's like saving a little mystery for myself.
who knows what I will have them do in my next drawing or what mischief they will cause?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Ericailcane: 'Lepus timidus'


Upon first encountering Ericailcane’s work, you might think you'd stumbled across some obscure personal work by a somewhat perverse Victorian children's book illustrator. His unique vision combines elements reminiscent of anthropomorphic morality tales like Aesop’s Fables and The Wind In The Willows with the dystopian political allegory of George Orwell's Animal Farm and the disturbing patchwork-automatons of the Brothers Quay.

The manner in which these elements are brought together in Ericailcane's work creates a sense of alienation and anomie in the face of an absurd and meaningless world, while at the same time gently compelling the viewer to project these creatures' nonsensical yet poignant situations onto the human condition.

I first came across Ericailcane's work in this March's issue of Juxtapoze, his drawings really stood out for their excellent draftsmanship, timelessness, intelligence and emotional range. In his drawings, Ericailcane exhibits a deft extrapolation that brings to mind Albrecht Dürer’s imaginary Rhinoceros, not to mention macabre contortions that could be likened to Hieronymous Bosch’s visions of Hell – yet his work is imbued with a satirical wit and childlike melancholy that make it quite accessible.

Ericailcane a.k.a. Erica il Cane, hails from Bologna, Italy, where he studied at the Academy of Arts. For several years, he has been working in an Italian street art collective, and has painted some incredible murals all over Europe – many in collaboration with the legendary street artist and colossal-scale stop-motion animator Blu.

In many ways Ericailcane's drawings illustrate domestic and wild animal's set in an alternative universe where they have taken revenge against mankind. I thought this quote from animal farm seemed quite fitting:

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself... All men are enemies. All animals are comrades."– 'Old Major,' Animal Farm

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Viewing Life Through A Shoe

I've discovered two artists who's work I find not only to be quite profound, but also playful and curious - It's this kind of childlike curiosity that intrigues me so much.

João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva
On the Movement of the Fried Egg and Other Astronomical Bodies
IKON Gallery 2nd Feb - 21st March

Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva have worked together since 2001, creating objects, installations and short films which they
describe as ‘poetic philosophical fiction’. Ikon’s exhibition focuses purely on their short 16mm films, featuring those made recently in Brazil alongside a selection from the last five years.

Gusmão and Paiva’s work reveals a deep curiosity about the nature of reality and embodies a constant dialogue between fact and fiction, humour and poetry. They are infuenced by a wide range of references including historical literature, mythology and the occult, informing their own pseudo-scientifc investigations.

3 suns 2009
16mm film, colour, no sound

The artists’ films reflect ongoing preoccupations such as vision and blindness, metaphysics, the void and infinity. Works such as The Great Drinking Bout (2007) involve an unidentifed cast of characters who enact anarchic rituals, while other films are unpopulated, often focusing on the nature of objects and materials. In Experiment on the Effluvium (2009) the use of slow-motion creates a dream-like quality. A stone skims across the surface of a body of water in a scene reminiscent of a mythological planetary event. Meanwhile in Astronomy Of The End Of The Boot (2009) a man observes the sky through a hole in his shoe. Against a background of profound thinking Gusmão and Paiva’s carefully crafted films exude a playful inventiveness that makes us look again.

In many ways I feel their work has they same playful inventiveness you see in a child when experiencing the world for the first time, it is unfortunate that with age and wisdom most of us will loose this sense of our former, curious self.