Please don’t let this be mistaken for one of those blog posts where the author justifies or excuses his prolonged absence. This is not a forum I use to keep up any kind of profile. It’s more of an online workbook, a place to consolidate my thoughts about my work. As such it becomes a record of most of my creative output, most of which I have been documenting elsewhere and as such I feel the need to make note of it here.
Today Blog – The premise is simple: once a week I make a collage on a 6” x 4” postcard from a red-top tabloid newspaper. These are para-surrealist compositions with no political agenda beyond the suggestion that these tabloids are documents presented to us as fact, yet are often surreal in themselves. The physical objects are filed away in a photo album and I consider the scans of the collages to be the finished object. I create them by hand, and this limits the level of manipulation available to me. Manipulation seems to be the key word here; I work only with an art-knife and a Pritt-stick, demonstrating my limited ability to edit the images I use, all of which are airbrushed and highly manipulative in their original context. There is probably more to this in critical terms, but really my overarching objective is to amuse myself, hopefully others too.
Disjecta – I have been working with Mike Saunders on this idea of ‘themed poetry mixtapes’. It started as a chain of emails; whenever we came across a poem about alcohol we enjoyed we’d email it to the other. This evolved into other themes, a blog to house them all, and recently the first Disjecta booklets. These were hand cut and stitched on a sewing machine by Mike and myself. The run of fifty booklets will be disseminated for free by Papergirl Norwich, a so-called non-curated project which calls for submissions from artists that will be rolled up and distributed on the streets by cyclists (a-la paper girl). It would have been easy to distribute these among friends and colleagues but we want chance to play a part in the way people encounter these booklets. I have enjoyed chancing upon good poems which fit our themes and I hope that experience is replicated when people receive the booklets.
It wouldn’t really be appropriate to provide this kind of explanation for Today and Disjecta on their respective blogs, as they are themselves the product, or at least a large part of the product.
Poems – This is something I don’t usually discuss on here, however I have recently been writing about the work of Sarojini Lewis and as such some of my thoughts about Locus have entered into the poems. I have said of the poems that they are not ‘about’ her work, but speak through it. That is to say my aim is not ekphrastic repetition, but to seek a subjective understanding of the concepts at work in Sarojini’s photography and start from there. As such the new work has become about absences and miscommunication, there are figures and places which recur but only through the photographer’s struggle to represent them in her work. I should clarify that the figure in the poems is not intended to be Sarojini herself. I should also probably post one of two of the poems, otherwise the above is all abstract, but they are to be assessed and I feel they shouldn’t be published until that process is complete. I’m really hoping to work towards a physical product that encompasses the poems and some of Sarojini’s work at a later date.