"All the pieces in this exhibition bear a mistiness; a sea-worn palette; an air of distance. There is an altered roll of pianola-music drooping silently on the wall; another plan or mechanism unfulfilled. We can’t hear the music of this score; only look in quiet. A series of Seascores, gently plotting the waves and the Interludes of the opera Peter Grimes are included. Beautifully minimal, quiet silences resembling literal waves on the shore. Here again, we as viewers must employ our aural imaginations to complete the visual record of the earth’s natural, kinetic music. The pianola score is both a written music–a sort of score– and a mechanistic design; to be played internally; originally inside the pianola, now inside the silent viewer. In a way, this is a gentle reminder of our essential isolation in all sensual experience, including the seeming universality of musical beauty; we sit in crowds but listen alone; we live in towns but we sail through our lives alone."
Review of exhibition BOAT (for Peter), in The Idea of Building a Boat, John-Paul Burns, 2017, 3:AM magazine
Work shown at Access Space, Sheffield (May 2017). S E A S C R I P T explored a single aspect of Britten’s opera Peter Grimes: the representation of the sea, and the role of scripts and scores in music production. Hugely inspired by Frank Bridge’s The Sea, Britten gives the changing character of the sea a role of its own in his opera. Agnes Martin’s 1963 work The Wave suggests the sea using minimalist graphic notation. As well as two new works on paper, both 'scores' for the sea, and a film work on loop, I displayed three paper pianola music rolls. Acting as score, and somehow also as a recording, for player pianos, these are fed into the pianola manually. The machine reads the perforations to make the prescribed sound. Despite the physical programming of the paper roll, the pianola (human) 'player' can effect real variation in speed and volume. The rolls, like waves, represent variation possible within repetition and proscription.
The exhibition is silent – there is no sound on the video loop, and my painted and perforated ‘scores’ (as well as the pianola music rolls) hang inertly against the walls. Sound is suggested and scripted in the exhibition, but not performed or heard.
Still life paintings are about stuff.
Stuff in paintings / painting stuff recalls more stuff: stuff in real life, stuff in still life, other stuff in other paintings.
Stuff in paintings / painting stuff means something. Stuff means stuff.
Beautiful, in such circumstances, does not mean much.
Didn’t want to make paintings about stuff, wanted to see what stuff would look like next to other stuff.
Wanted to observe stuff, then paint it. Didn’t want to make mannered paintings.
Wanted memories of stuff to resurface in the painting, in the paintings.
1. white china mug
3. cricket ball
4. pine cone
5. wooden bowl
I played around with a lamp.
5-minute timer: 5 minutes to observe; 5 minutes to paint.
5 minutes isn’t a long time.
5 objects to pin down, 5 objects to plot out in paint.
5 minutes of looking at stuff that won’t move. Still stuff. Apathetic stuff.
5 minutes to observe became 5 minutes to plot, plan, prepare for paint.
5 minutes to paint became 5 minutes to
Still stuff still paint still
On the Apathy of Inanimate Objects, as installed within Stillness exhibition, held at Bloc Projects, Sheffield, January 2015
(Oil on card, 13 x 8cm) ; (Pastel and chalk on paper, 14 x 10cm)
Price list available on request - please use contact form provided
See also http://www.blocprojects.co.uk/supported_projects/stillness/ (link opens in new tab)
Inspired by majestically coloured polystyrene tubing protecting pedestrians from scaffolding poles on pavements, as spotted in Caernarfon and Finsbury Park.
A collection of work, possibly ongoing, inspired by images of Classical architecture and the manipulation thereof for the purposes of tourism. The fragments of text below come from a Mary Beard TV series and have been used as titles when exhibiting the work.
*Pozzolana (volcanic ash) was a component of Roman concrete.
Romulus needed a population
So he called his city an asylum
Carthage was Rome’s rival
Rome’s enemies said Rome was cruel, greedy
Rome gives us Greece
Delos was a marketplace for slaves
Empire without limit
front room experimental experience