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September 15, 2007

You start a thousand tiny fires in me


You start a thousand tiny fires in me


During a viewing of the movie Quills tonight, I felt the need to tell my friend who was both watching for the first time - and had seen the painting earlier in my room, that when I was painting it I thought of the pyromaniac in the movie who is encourage to paint fires instead of setting them. I think I was afraid she'd be making the connection silently on her own. A word of advice. Don't start talking about missing children, Jack the Ripper and other unsolved murders if your friend is leaving you well after midnight.

August 20, 2007

The Dali Universe and beyond

The Space Elephant by Salvador Dali

If you've ever studied art and decided to leave some of its better lauded superstars well alone - for what's the point in producing the same project that generations of A-level students have produced before you - it's always a pleasure to one day stumble across what you've been missing. Dali's most famous paintings have always left me cold, but the extensive retrospective I found at the permenant Dali Universe (its' logo is a simple text / handlebar moustache combo - being an art gallery they had to skimp on  imaginative advertising?)

After returning to London Waterloo on Sunday morning, I decided to visit the South Bank, and that's when I found the Dali Universe at County Hall. I'd only visited the County Hall gallery once before and no idea that it housed this extensive collection.

The annex to the main display rooms is a black-lit hall is a place for Dali's rhetorical gifts to be displayed, as zillions of quotes adorn the walls. Like me, you might also take pleasure in how your shoes look when you walk across the floor projections.

I'm so glad that I got to see so many of his more obscure sculptures, watercolours and drawings. There's a kind of spicy mysticism to Dali that I had missed before. The exhibit is a lane peppered with all sorts of mythology - symbolism of course being the chair on which the whole thing is draped. This is a land peopled by stilt-legged elephants heaving striking crystal obelisks on their backs, presumably across the desert. Apparently, it is meant to symbolise pride, conquering. Although I know nothing about the interpretation of the tarot, I love the traditional images used within the deck, inspiring even for someone who is ignorant of the art of tarot card reading. Dali designed a deck that retails for a princely 100 US dollars.Maybe for my birthday? Other favourites include a huge, very 'solid' looking interpretation of a Renaissance venus that is exploding with Dali's trademark drawers of the psyche.  I'll be looking for a book with some nice pictures of this stuff in, happy to be a Dali convert as I now am.

That was the icing on top of a wonderful weekend. I now need a day or two to be in my bedroom, lighting incense (you read right) and switching the music between northern soul and the Velvet Underground. No apologies necessary.

July 11, 2007

Breaking the habit

roadworks3_thumbnail.jpg roadworks2_thumbnail.jpg


These are some paintings I did last week. I haven't done much abstract before, and I consciously tried to paint differantly to how I normally do.  The colours came from thinking about driving long distances... and also just the general wacky, clashing, anything goes pallete that's around at the moment.

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