Lists, Thoughts

What I’ll miss, what I’ll not miss

So 2013 was nice! I was maintaining a good blog for the main part of this year, but then i went and got busy. I started a new business, Barfoot + Duggan. We make products for people who have a taste for eccentric designI have thrown my creativity into that somewhat, which is GREAT! I don’t want to stop this though, an have an aim to keep blogging forever! Whilst I get my arse into gear, I do use Instagram. Here’s me as an ice cream, from the Summer, when I got to DJ wearing this outfit, in an ice cream van. 

Anyway, in homage to a cheesy ‘End of 2013/beginning of 2014, I thought I would share this. Inspired by this: Nora Ephron: What I’ll miss, what I won’t miss. “In an extract from her latest book published in the Guardian earlier this year, writer and film-maker Nora Ephron, who has died, listed some of the things she liked and disliked about life …” So I thought I would write mine, non-exhaustive, and what sprung to mind just now.

I will miss:

Silly/crap jokes

people with bouncy walks

Waking up in the middle of the night really thirsty, and drinking a big glass of water (I love this so much)

I won’t miss:

The feeling of being  grumpy / grumpy people / moaners / moaning for no reason

Papercuts and knocked knees on the corner of the bed

The feeling when you forget something important

 

Wow mine’s crap compared to hers. Go and read Nora’s! Now!

 

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Art, Music, Thoughts

Jay Z’s ‘Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film’ + Abramović

Here is something new from Mr. Carter.

And some notes I made whilst I was watching it. This is the first thing in quite a while which links back to my fine art degree and provoked a reaction. I’m not for or against this piece of work from Jay Z, but that’s usual of my mediator demeanour in life: never quite taking an opinion (I try to see that as an asset!) So here’s what came to me:

Marina Abramović – hugely respected performance artist. Recently lots of hype from her ‘The Artist is Present’ performance piece in 2010 at MOMA. 736 hours, each sitting 30 minutes long of sitting opposite someone, (any spectator). Huge time and emotion investment. Imagine staring into so many different people’s faces for that long, that often.

Jay Z’s newest music video, shot in one day, nicking the performance piece from Abramović, but being friendly with her – she appears a few times in the video, mostly head-butting Jay Z and staring into his eyes, adding some weight to the interactions – everyone else seems to be showing off.

I wonder if Jay Z paid to use Abramovićs’ creative idea?

jay z

Everyone looks so excited at the end, that’s nice. Like the end of a really good gig where everyone’s wanting to go and carry the party on, like it finished too early. ‘people’ include the general public as well as Jim Jaramusch, Judd Apatow, Jemima Kirke and Alan Cumming. Which is great. Everyone, come along – just like Abramović did for her performance piece.

It’s out of the box for rappers, which is great. I like that. But it’s sneaking into the box of performance art, and making it another consumable, you-tube-able, quick-fix of art. No space to be bored, bang bang bang. “I’m a celebrity!” The excitement of seeing a rapper compared to the stillness of an artist staring into someones eyes for 30 minutes and seeing what happens.

Jay Z’s video shoot looks like a lot of fun, I wish I was there. He’s got this crazy cult following, that triangle shape he makes with his hands, which his crowd copies and shows him. Bet he loves that.

That’s it really. Just some thoughts. I don’t know if I like it or not. Do you?

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Drawing, Process, Thoughts

Never

One word, simple really- I HAD to make SOMETHING and I couldn’t find my motivation, my interest, my inspiration. So I imagined never having any of those three things, and realised that this is a monetary thing and it’ll all whiz back to me, and it’s ok! So I wrote the word ‘NEVER’ to remind me of this, and played around with some little page-tab things I found in a dollar shop in NZ. Taking inspiration from this quote, but exchanging ”dance” for “making shit”

We’re fools whether we dance or not so we might as well dance (Japanese proverb)

 

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Drawing, Thoughts

Three Small Pieces

Three small pieces, made from a commitment to “I will spend 20 minutes making something today”. I didn’t really enjoy it, it felt like more of a ‘have-to’ but I bloody did it! (And I don’t like them much, apart from the one which secretly says ‘Start’.)

slow down

Recycled paper, letraset, ink

squares

Recycled paper again, with ink, and some sticky sponge squares, which were peeled off post-ink

tart

More recycled paper, ink dabbed on with a tiny paintbrush, letraset on the top.

My studio is now here at home and being surrounded by my things is spurring me on.

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Interesting and Inspiring, Thoughts

Advice to Myself

Scan 2 advice

 

1. Do it now

2. Ask yourself – What do I aspire to be?

3. Ask yourself – What do I want to create?

2. Don’t Self Sabotage (something I’m quite good at) it’s what stops you from being the person you want to be (making the things that you want to make) Comes from being scared – “What do I gain from this?” and self sabotage usually leads to short term gain

3. Don’t waste time on guilt. Get on with it and resolve to do better.

 

A few good little things (big things!) I’ve already picked up from reading a great book called ‘The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life’ by  Twyla Tharp

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Thoughts

Some old things

A comment on my artwork from 2008, which was good to see again

“Very charming! Your work seems so very honest and casual. It gives me feelings of positivity, optimism, light-hearted-ness (and such things) in yourself and others. Your art certainly makes me giggle. Your gallery seems lightly/subtley critic

 

And me, from 2006: “I HAVE NEVER CREATED A SERIOUS PIECE OF ART, AND I DON’T THINK I WANT TO. AND I DON’T THINK THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.”

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Art, Thoughts

Who influences my work?

Some creatives who influence my work include:

Jessica Stockholder, Yayoi Kusama, Richard Tuttle, Helen Frankenthaler, Jen Stark, John Cage, David Shrigley, Bobby Baker, Miranda July, Eva Hesse, Ian Davenport, Spencer Fitch, Anya Gallaccio, Joseph Havel, Mona Hatoum, Janine Antoni, Gaston Bachelard, Matthew Barney, Amanda Couch, Tara Donovan, Richard Long, Irving Penn, Nicholson Baker, Conrad Shawcross,Tim Knowles, Phydilla Barlow, Anne Bean, Cornelia Parker

“Found objects are massed and lyrically intertwined with vivid color” Stockholder

“Art is in the ability to make unpredictable associations and connections, making ordinary things seem extraordinary.” Unknown

Even though I make discreet works, i like to consider the way in which everything works together as an ensemble so that there is an accumulative effect, so that not only the work will have a specific intention or construction or some specificity, but the whole group of things will build to one kind of idea” Havel

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Art, Organisation, Process, Studio, Thoughts

Triangle Multiples

Today is the THIRD day IN A ROW that I’ve been in my beautiful studio. It feels great! I’ve made more time for it, and a free weekend has been a lovely way to ease myself into making more time for studio and creating. I have made some things I really like, and which were fun to make. Working with multiples, thinking about an exhibition / arts trail event, where I show all the ‘multiple’ work I’ve been creating. Mostly centred around the Poppy pieces, but also on other multiples, things I have collected, like these metal triangles, which were in an old frame, keeping the back on and in place. Some of them are rusting, they are very sharp, and I used some extra strong and thin double sided tape to attach them on. It seems to fix most things, although some of the objects I have created are 3D and I’m playing with a glue gun today, to test the fix of that.

 

I have started a shopping list, what do I need to make what I want to make, and have on-hand in the studio instead of being out and up and down Gloucester road shopping for big rolls of paper. Also I’m measuring up my old frames to find big paper for, or glass to fill the frames with, if it’s been smashed or used for something else.

 

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Animals, Bristol, Interesting and Inspiring, Silly, Thoughts

Two lovely things seen today

1. A 4-ish year old boy, holding onto the lead of his sheepdog. Mum 10 steps away and urging the dog to walk- dog is wondering why the little boy is walking him, not the mum, and is stood still. Mum plays game where she walks a bit (boy wines a bit) then turns around and slaps her thighs, tells the dog to come, in high-pitched dog voice. Dog gallops on (boy hysterically laughing) and repeat. Little kids look so cute taking care of their pets, and the dog was so puzzled. Mum was laughing hard. I told her it was cutr, she commented on the dog i was walking, we smiled and parted. Heart warming!

2. The mum’s daughter is walking another 10 steps ahead! Both hands lazily above her head, pointing roughly at the pelican crossing’s flashing light, nodding her head and bringing her arms down slightly each time the light blinks. Nearly walks into a
Grown man whilst doing this, and doesn’t notice; she is in a daze. The man laughs and smiles at me laughing.

Both these sights and interactions spoke strongly to me today. I couldn’t stop grinning. Talk more and smile more to people on the street! it makes you feel good.

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Art, Drawing, Process, Text Project, Thoughts

Text Project version 2

An idea, researching now, experimenting too.

The idea of being part of one of the Bristol arts trails next year, North, South or West, either. Showing and selling a series of repetitive works, the kind I love, the ‘serious stuff’, full of compulsion, happy accidents, flow, doing the same thing over and over and really boring myself, like a factory worker. I love the task ahead of creating a large body of work. To frame and exhibit and sell. Then I imagined the space and all this seriousness. There’s lots of beige and white.

I realise there is a bit of a schizophrenic within my artist self. One half the above and one half fun, fancy-dress, silly things to make you smirk, color and vibrancy. It would be good to see the two sides represented in an exhibition, but perhaps under another name. The things I want to make as this second half are usable, aimed at adults, for adults to play. And at the same time being things for the cool kids to have. Pop-up signs, elaborate wigs, old man masks, vegetable and weather fancy dress, fake poo’s in different colours. All of that and more.

So I’m starting with lettering, making words on sticks for people to spell out different words. I like the idea of them being 3D, but this is proving impossible to find on the internet. All I found was this one guy’s attempt: (see his blog here)

but as he says, the curved letters are near impossible, and it’s all very fiddly. More searching found me this…

A wonderful person made a font! Free and downloadable from here: at DaFont He’s got around the issue of the curves by making everything not curvy.

(This font is a set of cut-out layouts with which you can build 3D pixel style letters. They should all work. Just cut along the solid lines, fold along the dotted lines, put some glue on the shaded flaps, stick them together and there you go… If you want to use this for commercial projects, please contact me: tobias (dot) sommer (at) gmx (dot) ch )

No printer here, but I’m going to copy down the net onto cardboard and have a try myself, get that trusty old scalpel out.

Here’s what I’m trying to make, but in 2D version. I couldn’t find any thing stick-like in my studio, (and I just had the idea that using an actual stick, painted…Would be really nice) So I’ve used a dental mirror. I came across these at a strange market stall selling mostly nuts and bolts. They are extendable and have a tiny rounded mirror on them.

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Thoughts

Lovely writing

“You hear old love songs you used to feeeeeel, like when he sings “i’ve been loving you too long to stop now” and you switch the station and make your mind think about a little knot getting untied, or a little blood mixing with so much water that it looks clear again, and you just keep on driving, man.”

K.B

Feels important to read this!

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Thoughts

Resolutions 2011

  • Seize creative opportunities. Film stills, faces, take photos.
  • Remember: ‘my work is a translation of what I see in life, things that excite me’ and get on with it
  • Fridays are mine for creating
  • Social exercise: roller skating, long bike rides, hula-hooping
  • Get really fit!
  • Pursue beat-boxing as a hobby
  • Productively steer Light Box with love and dedication. have fun constantly.
  • A personal diary maintained – an output for cloggy thoughts
  • Be proactive and regular in maintaining relationships. Keep in touch
  • Plan a New Zealand trip for late 2011. an adventure, a catch-up and for creating/exhibiting artwork
  • Up at 7. Note any dreams down and write in diary

Happy New year to you! And that’s the end of 2010. I feel thankful for this year, which has in truth been very hard at times, it has felt like a test. And I passed. Life is fantastic, I’m in a completely different place to where I was at the start of 2010, and enjoying myself hugely. Thank you friends, family, everyone.

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Art, Thoughts

Linda Florence

“imaginative application of ‘fugitive’ materials – sugar, rust, iron filings, biscuits – recognising the floor a the most touched surface and yet the most  overlooked and least inspiring of surfaces.”

I read this in A-N magazine years ago, noted it down and now I don’t remember what the specific piece of art was. The online Linda Florence seems to be into wallpaper, but I remember her art being much more interesting than that.

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Art, Thoughts

What Still Applies?

I have here my 3rd year Fine Art learning proposal, which I have just read through and picked out the bits which are still relevant to my practice now.

CONSTRAINTS, AESTHETICS AND ENJOYMENT.

I have an addiction to experimenting. A compulsive need to make things. I am experimenting with the process of limiting the creation of artwork. As well as this, I place importance on two inner workings; pleasure in creating and simple aesthetics. Both are vital to my work.

I have no control over THE HAPPY ACCIDENT. I have an influence over my materials, but they are ultimately allowed to do what they want. I am only manipulating, having minimal involvement, such as dripping, pouring, filling, hanging. I am not always part of the work, it creates itself in the time when I am absent. Time and chance allow this to happen. I witness what the materials do, which is absorbing, a degree of immersion is involved – not just being a witness, but being the work; making a performance.

It is important for me to be excited, stimulated by what I’m making. I have a constant dialogue with myself whilst making, whilst still working fast to avoid being too self conscious. The thinking process is important – to keep changing my mind, thoughts evolving and changing.

I have an encounter with the work, my hands transforming the surface. There is a lot of time investment and use of multiples. The monotony of making and labor intensity is important. I appreciate the ENERGY TRANSFORMATION which is taking place, I create rituals of making.

My work relies upon structure and good planning. I figure things out. It is casual, but has beauty and order. It has an intimacy to it, a sensual appeal.

Within this, I regularly work with creating objects which are natural but manmade, I am making things artificial, sometimes influencing the longevity of there natural things, preserving them. I am very drawn to using candy colors. This color selection is important. It is what’s first seen, catching the eye and drawing you in. “what is this”.

I place importance on two inner workings; pleasure in creating and simple aesthetics. Both are vital to my work. this simple aesthetic is shifting to become ECONOMY AND LIGHTNESS. I see that this is contained in each of my pieces, drawings and ideas. I embrace this and feel like I have found out what my art is about.

Colour has become more important, something to think about rather than to pick at random. Great efforts are going to be made in finding the perfect colour for my sprayed apples. The optic effects of this colour when applied to many units of the same shape will be immense. This links to my sensuality and the enticement of senses. The sickly smell of fermenting apples will increase this optical dazed effect.

The encounter with my work is extremely important at this stage. I am a factory worker and the monotomy of these tasks I make myself complete have an effect on me. The balance of control is off-kilter as I feel like I am being controlled by my objects.

AIMS AND THOUGHTS

  • I am thinking about titling work, what that could bring to my work, or if it would detract from it.
  • Read more Bachelard
  • Advocating the work, speaking about it with authority and care. Having discussions.
  • I want to use the camera more thinking of the idea of video art, playing with time. Attempting to capture something – a moment when something strange and beautiful happens.

INSPIRATION

  • Susie Brandt – “A compulsive need to make things.”
  • Javier Peres – “I think people try to overemphasise the analytical and intellectual aspect of contemporary art. The reality is when contemporary art is being made, the people who are making it are just making it.”
  • Helen Chadwick – “Gorgeously repulsive, exquisitely fun, dangerously beautiful”
  • Joseph Havel – “Even though I make discreet works, I like to consider the way in which everything works together as an ensemble so that there is an accumulative effect, so that not only the work will have a specific intention or construction or some specificity, but the whole group of things will build to one kind of idea.
  • Anne Bean
  • Richard long
  • Richard tuttle
  • Yayoi kusama
  • Susan Stockwell, Spencer Fitch, Ian Davenport, Anya Gallaccio, Phillida Barlow, Mona Hatoum, Fischli & Weiss, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker, Eva Hesse, Jessica Stockholder, Susan Hillier, Christian Boltanski, Joseph Havel, Permindar Kaur,  Halen Chadwick, Matthew Barney

contingent: 1 subject to chance

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Thoughts

Getting lost from it and coming back again.



“I thought about an old boyfriend a lot today. i don’t know why. i thought about the time he got home from a trip and i came over to see him. his house was full of people but he just came over and took my hand and pulled me into his room and turned up gloria by van morrison as loud as it would go. I can’t hear that song without remembering how fun that night was. or how fun it always was– trying and failing to be quiet because he made me laugh so loud, or made me knock something over, or had me declaring something wildly because it felt good to be wild. One time in particular was the night he decided to teach me all the scientific names for all the body parts. he would say them and i would repeat them and we drank all night that way, getting tangled up and doing accents and getting lost from it and coming back again. There was a sweetness there. he never asked me to be his girlfriend, he just bought me a hair brush and put in it in his room, told me it was mine. it was yellow and he picked it out. on the way home from work i remembered it’s his birthday today.”


By K.B

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