Tuesday, 24 March 2009

#4 (Namor and Namorita in the British Museum Reading Room)

8 Characters

Oil on Canvas
3' x 2' x8


Watercolour on paper
30cm x 20cm x 8

See also my play: 'The Three Buttons'




As drawn by the artist's mother.

The Naming of Grodd(d).

"Mighty Osr''t'yo(nr)sossd'' welcomes you to 'Os''s'ar(ra(ran.ho.j(k'er(dos)))), realm of the true lord Yur(ba.b(FRE)jo.ba''''b)stort(((gurt)f)u)wryp," bellowed Jr'tr'REWQ(YU)kr'yst to the visitors, and flung open the court gates for them to see what wonders lay within. Their jaws dropped when they beheld mighty Lord Yur(ba.b(FRE)jo.ba''''b)stort(((gurt)f)u)wryp, leaning forth upon his throne, ready to belch his putrid fury.

James and Elizabeth Cook


In this painting, Mrs Cook is played by the actress and Novelist Carol Drinkwater (from All Creatures Great and Small). Here she is as a talking head, talking about a book that she wrote about herself:

Bunny Girls Vs. French Maids

In 2007 I painted this as a record cover for a group called Wolfie who, almost immediately upon completion, split up and never used it. It was based on something I was writing at the time called 'Bunny Girls Vs. French Maids.' The knee-length socks are meant to make a 'W', as in Wolfie and 'Wendy Whack,' the name of the song.

See also my synopsis for BGVFM

Routes of Biblical Figures





The Weather

2003-04, all the Calendar weather reports from the first day of spring to the last day of Winter.

Wife on Wheels

Summer 2002.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Tanked up in Tank-Tops

There ain't no Christmas like a Yorkshire Christmas

The Death Counter, my encounter

I remember when I was just a little lad, I went to the museum Eureka! in Halifax, just by the train station. It was one of those terrific children’s museums where you can play with stuff and dress up and jump on things and pretend you’re learning. Once there was an LED they had recently put on one of the walls of slowly increasing numbers, somewhere in excess of 6 Billion. I found it to be the number of people in the world as the human race kept multiplying, and I felt an almost Malthusian fear in my boyish bones that this figure kept creeping up and up, as I imagined the world running out of room.

The newest bit of art by Santiago Sierra looks exactly the same, but much bigger, and in reverse, with the figure increasing with every death that occurs over the course of a year. I saw the work before I knew what it was, working as I do in the City of London, just round the corner from the Hiscox Insurance building on the exterior of which the work is exhibited. I read about it whilst sitting in my office at another Insurance Firm and realising it was 30 seconds from my office. I made myself a nice cup of tea, and went to have another look while it cooled.

I try to go for a walk around the block occasionally, throughout the day, for the sake of my eyes, my legs, my circulation and my poor enfeebled mind. Today it was bloody freezing and the floor was frozen over with all that snow from two days ago that had managed to somehow grind London to a halt. I’ve always thought the little corner of the world where the Death Counter is now located is particularly interesting. There is a medieval church, right next to some Victorian façade, right next to a post-war development, right next to some awful seventies office block right next to a building site, all surrounding a little courtyard where builders and bankers huddle over their sandwiches and fags. It would make a great location for a very low-budget time travel movie.

I saw the counter and funnily enough there was a middle-aged Spanish couple in front of it. She was taking a picture of him in front of the rubble of the building site rather than any of the notable buildings immediately surrounding it, which included the gherkin, protruding out of the concrete earth like a giant Manga demon cock. Perhaps when the death rate reaches a certain level the ground will shake as the gherkin writhes and undulates before spurting its fiery spuff into the stolid city air, raining judgement down upon the corrupt of London before going limp and lying flaccid across the entrance to Prêt-a-Manger.

Apparently Santiago Sierra had made an agreement with Hiscox Insurance whereby they could have the work on their building for a year in return for a year’s life insurance policy for the artist. Its all very smart, but it did make me wonder about my own satanic pact I had made in my own job, working two days a week here, in exchange for a life of 'art' (ie. navel-gazing).

I continued my route around the block and back to the office. My tea was just right.