Friday, 30 October 2009









Yesterday Maurizio Cattelan was brought to my attention. I had seen his images prior to the set reading and following lecture, but had never really questioned his motives, his work and their functions within the art world. The image that sticks out in my mind, probably due to it being all over my art history corridor, is-

It was his deliberate attempt to bring attention to the fact that the art and its huge prestigious institution, with its acquisition of immovable High Art morals, is actually no more than a surreptitious commercial drain on the ever willing subservient public. Atop of one of his cronies sits the exaggerated head of Picasso, the artist considered the founder of contemporary art. Here he stands outside MoMA- the worlds most prolific Academy like an imitation Disney character. This serves to make fun at the seriousness and the apparent facade of the arts world, to make a mockery at our pretence and subvert our gaze from the pretension; if only for a moment.

And by this I do not mean to poke my own disdain upon the arts world, on the contrary I am completely driven immerse myself within its perimeters, and it is my focus and utter passion in my life, but I mean to make it apparent to take from it what you will, and to enjoy and be enlightened by it, not sucked in and spat out. Its like anything, become tunnel-visioned and you lose the fun, your deceived by critical importance and the entertainment is displaced. This is what I believe to be the motivation behind the whole construct of his work.

His work is all about play. The constant questioning about meaning, purpose, function its all irrelevant. He makes art because that is his 'job' he wants to create something that is jovial, he pushes the boundaries of what is allowed. His inevitable disappointment but lingering fascination insues however as it seems he can get away with anything. It is the credulous public, gallery assistants and other peple who work for him, who show niave willingless to partake in any demeaning task that the artist requires of them. His focus is on pushing the limits of what will be accepted within the art society, but so far has had no obstruction with even his most bizarre of concepts. It makes a mockery of the whole valued system and critique. He once had an exhibiton where he came up against an artistic block, and found himself stuck for anything to produce; so he simply went to a gallery stole another artists work, boxed it all up and labled it 'Another Fucking Ready-Made.' Not only was the exhibit a successs but the victim of this obnoxious, but undoubtably clever robbery did not seem to mind either.

What does it take to piss people off when you are that reknowned? Has he reached the point where now the whole ethos of his work is unsucessful because people do not react in the way he wants? Or maybe this is what he wants, maybe he wants to exploit peoples behaviour.


Sunday, 18 October 2009


Its so easy to create a facade around ourselves these days. There is so much techonolgy that helps us to hide from reality. We have the ability to invent whetever persona we want to project with the help of digital. Digital photography, editing programmes and the internet. As well as these being undeniably useful tools which aid us in directly influencing and controlling our own lives, it is hindering our usual social interations. Therefore in addition to our online constructed-selves, it is also affecting and instigating a new way of meeting, talking, building relationships, and formulating opinions on one another.

Pre- social networking, for example, meeting a new perSon, we would spend the initial time with an individual, processing what we could about them; first impressions, what they looked like, maybe briefly overviewing their 'look', subconsciously analysing their body language and their responce to us. After this we would have a vague but significant outline for who we determine this person to be; then it would be a back- of- the- mind ponder until we next met them.
Now im not saying that with techonology this process does not exist, but for the mass of youth [and im sure its spreading to a whole spectrum of ages], a hugely incriminating backlog of information at our finger tips. Potentially we can find out who they know, what they like doing, have access to an infinate number of otherwise private photos, which can then be exploited by the ever questionning and fantasical human. This means that we can now invent and judge enormously on the unsuspecting individual we had a 10 minute converstion with! All we needed was a first and second name and BOOM- I know who you are! Its a bit stalker! Usually this would have been the stuff of thrillers, 'who is lurking about looking at your records' 'i want to know everything about you'. its quite an eerie prospect, but its not even given a thought as its become second nature, its a part of what we use the internet for. Its so unfair but in ways its absolutly brilliant. Im certainly guilty of it. How much trouble can this get us in? How many relationships could be destroy before we have even given them a chance? For a society that is entirely judgemental anyway its a vehicle for a huge range of negative issues that i wont even get into; bullying, expolitation, intimidation and embarressment.

This need to access information, and the ease at which we can all attain it, is why i believe that its ultimately a negative happening.

For a shy and unnoticed person the internet can be the confidence, the person with all the jokes a massive proportion of friends we have never met, yet have spoken to about our lives in the minutest of details- truth or fantasy. We can take hundreds of photos til we get that one shot that is perfect. We can entirely forge our own being. For the better part however its not reached obsession or criminal stage yet! but we do have in the back of our minds the guilt of looking at other people and judging, so we in turn make sure what is on show on our own pages is acceptable to us for what we want people to see of us. Have you noticed how many people have got hundreds of photos up of different times and locations yet have the same poise? Is this spontanious or terribly contrived? Has our willingness to let go and have fun dissappeared for the fear of someone capturing the moment and plastering it all over the internet for people to witness and concoct their visions of who we are as a person?

My own personal experience of this is that you can stumble upon an image where the person looks so interesting, so full of spirit and energy and then you meet them and its entirely disappointing and frustrating. They are nothing that you had percived them to be. The problem is that we build up such an idolised creation that there is nothing that can reach the our standards. This leads onto a whole other dimension however. Its where the whole debate of media pressure, of body image, of celebrity obsession comes into play; its about putting people on a pedestal and trying to make them out to be perfect but its a losing battle!

I have realised that in this blog I have wandered into such a huge range of issues! I have started something here. Watch out.....

Saturday, 10 October 2009


Southend is proud to announce upon the art world a trio of enthusiastic entrepreneurs whose ambition is making art and promoting other emerging talent from their home town. There has been an abundance of creativity seeping from the borough, in the past we have seen infamous fashionable social scenes, some niche musical accomplishments but of late the arts side has seemed to have become stagnant, the Beecroft Gallery, Southends biggest institution, self-confessing its ‘stuffiness’; but a fresh young collective is forming and it comes with a powerful driving force behind them.

After a few years of branding the name Southend Young Creatives along with a small grouping of artists on the social networking site, Myspace, Darren Berry, took his established group to new levels when he decided it needed to be brought to the real world. The Graphic design graduate, decided along with Peter Brenchley, music student, to organise their debut show merging the creative arts with music. Along the way Charlotte Hopson, artist, joined the triumvirate for promotions, and between them gathered a strong collective of working and practising artists, in which created a bold exhibition teeming with energy and enthusiasm. Each artist held their own, not one piece was out of place. Emphasis was that the work be varied, unbound by the constraints of other shows and staying clear of pretension, making the collection refreshing and inspiring. All art forms were included, from sculpture to painting, printmaking, illustration and photography, unpolluted by stuffy expectations of the tired question of ‘What is art?’. The artists included were chosen because of their passion and rawness of style, the honest approach to doing what they love doing. The exhibition was bursting with blossoming talent and was a huge success with the visitors. Over 200 of the public streamed in and out of the venue, the newly renovated upstairs of the Railway Hotel, keeping a constant babble of interested and often pleasantly surprised people congregated. Local press showed their support and local business made worthy contribution to make the show exceed all expectations.

The vigour of the organiser’s means this is no one hit wonder. SYC were part of the Village Green Festival in Chalkwell Park last month in conjunction with Metal Organisation. It was a day of fun interactive artwork, where young and old got involved as well as promotion and live music from local DJS. There were also some t-shirt designs going round with plucky artists quick to organise their next commissions. Stalls displayed refreshing art work that the Creatives are quickly being recognised for and the whole day was filled with as much excitement and passion as the previous. The next shows in the pipeline, focus on expanding and taking the coterie around the country, Nottingham being their next target. . .

Importantly SYC are advocating the unpolluted idea it is not art for arts sake, its about creating something visually interesting that everyone can partake in. With the current economic climate people need a release, to be able to go and enjoy themselves. The events are free and there really is something for everyone!

So citizens, there is no excuse in saying your bored or that there is nothing to do in Southend because the Young Creatives will be nurturing their enterprise to not simply give support to local artists and to make an impression on the art world, but for people to be able to get involved and inspired by art but most of all to just have a really good day out!’

I can safely say that Southend Young Creatives has arrived and judging on its triumphs so far id definitely say WATCH THIS SPACE!

Thursday, 21 May 2009


there is a real sense of urgency with everything I find myself doing at the moment. I dont seem content in sitting still. I think there is a growing apprehension in the future and what will happen, whether it be job, living, my situation in general. Is it the age?

ive also had the niggling contemplation of tradition and values. Is culture all for themselves? Divorce rapidly increasing, affairs, jobs being one and only priority. Does this mean the next generation are going to be lonely, childless?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


These are some images taken by Peter Brenchley, model Daryl, I have contrasted them for a basis for an up and coming paint project.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


So I’ve finally escaped the deceiving bubble of Loughborough, evaded the grips of the safety of the small town community, left the student roar and set up camp in Nottingham. Being in Loughborough I’m sure for the few is a nice little nest with a few mainstream niceties to all get mindlessly wrecked sleep with each other and listen to bad music.. but hey its university isn’t this what we do…? Banter about how sick we all were that night, the exceedingly thoughtless conversations with the next pretend adult who also just found vodka and a funnel and all kid ourselves that this is the life? No. To be perfectly frank this is something that I needed be no part of. If people really took a outsiders perspective of what they were moronically doing with their days, wake, piss, headache, eat rubbish food, do the least amount of work possible moan about a lecture, narrate the weekends pointless debaucheries, eat more crap, feel like crap, do nothing, look really slobby, wear your jack wills and uggs/ or flip-flops in winter if your one of those, and then get battered again. What exactly is that existence? Why live for the weekend? What is it that makes doing nothing and only talking booze and drugs and the opposite sex so appealing to the mass of youth? Why has this become the only culture? Why not live for the days? What is it that means that the majority need to live nocturnally and waste what is potentially the best time period? No responsibility, no really urgency for jobs, nothing to hold you back, the chance to really learn and develop your subject, to flourish and improve as a person. Why not use the opportunity to become who you need to be?I’m glad I’m out of this dead end nothingness. It is vibrancy, energy, youth with ambition and flare, people who dare to be different and who can see something beyond the confines of university that I need to be around. Being in a city will be the basis of this but it will not provide me with everything so casually that I need no enforcement of process or effort on my part,,,, I will take every opportunity Nottingham offers me and make my own. It will be an environment for me to prosper but not without personally draining every little bit of life that will better me as an artist and as a person. Its not about accepting things that happen its about using and bettering them. Its about making time to do that bit extra that will make me stand out from the crowd. Extra research. More reading. Work experience. Blogging. Meeting people. Taking time to listen to people who give invaluable advice. If you’re being told an opinion listen to it. If someone tells you to look up so and so then fucking do it, they are telling you for a reason…. That’s another thing about all of us. There’s a certain arrogance in ignoring lectures, tutors…. And I’m guilty of all of this myself, its just that I’ve bloody realised what a huge mistake I’ve been making so far. I’ve my first step, and there is no way I’m looking back.