BLAUGUSTINE / BACK TO ARCHIVE

February 27, 2013

MUSEUM ASSEMBLAGE

I've had family staying with me for the past week - a legitimate excuse not to have kept to my 5-day rule - but here I am again, continuing with the theme of constructions.

I have a stock of small objects accumulated for this purpose, amongst which are plastic football players in various positions. This scene was particularly enjoyable to assemble: on the back wall of the box I pasted the only proof of an etching I'd done some time ago, brought in the stag, put him on a plinth to act like an ironic modern sculpture, added the bemused spectator in shorts and, presto! A mini-play inside a Museum of Modern Art.

"Museum" construction

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February 19, 2013

ASSEMBLING

Keeping to my resolution of more frequent posting, I'll stay with the subject of constructions for a while. What appeals to me about the process of making them is that you can manipulate the parts and re-assemble them in innumerable ways without having to lose anything, unlike painting on canvas or any flat surface.

If you decide something doesn't work when you're painting a picture, or have an idea that replaces a previous idea, you have to destroy what you started with, or partially destroy it, to introduce the new layer. That's fine and can create lots of interesting painterly effects, layer upon layer, but you can't have it all. Whereas in a construction, the elements you're using - found objects, bits of wood, paper, metal, whatever - stay there in front of you all the time, they don't vanish forever under a coat of paint if you change your mind. You can throw pieces out but that's different. It doesn't have the melancholy finality of painting over.

Here is a construction based on my attraction to ancient Egypt. I don't remember what the hinged glass-fronted box was originally used for but I saved it, knowing I'd do something with it one day. Because the lid can be opened, I included a very small book which can be taken out and handled - its pages are painted and textured, like fragments of ancient walls.

The top photo is with the lid open, the bottom one with it closed.

Egypt box open

Egypt box, lid closed

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February 15, 2013

NOT A VALENTINE

Well I haven't managed to keep to my three day plan but five and a half isn't too bad. I also missed the opportunity to post something sentimental or silly or sarcastic about Valentine's day but I don't feel guilty about that at all.

Below is a photo of a construction that hangs on my wall and which I suspect I may already have posted some time ago. If so and if you remember it, sorry for repetition. It's called The Creators in Their Ruined Temple and I'm very fond of it. I love building things out of found or discarded materials and giving them new identities. This scene has all those elements and the title simply suggested itself. I see it as a sort of icon, humorous but also serious. Russian and Greek icons, very early ones, are among my favourite works of art but I've never seen a humorous icon, at least not intentionally.

Creators in their ruined temple

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February 9, 2013

GOOD HABITS, BAD HABITS

Every day I tell myself that I must post something because if I keep on avoiding the blogging habit I will lose it altogether. Funny about habits, isn't it? If you have a bad habit - say, smoking, snacking junk, biting your nails, etc - it's excruciatingly hard to lose it. But if it's a good habit, one you've acquired by sheer diligence, creativity, persistence and hard work, it can disappear without the slightest effort on your part, almost without your noticing it's gone.

WHY IS THAT? Why can't it be as hard to give up doing something good (for you) as doing something bad (for you)? WHY WHY?

To try and keep the blogging habit alive, I am resolving to post something at least every..um..let's say three days? Yes okay that should be possible...every three days a new post...from now on? Yes. Go fishing through my files, drawers, portfolios, memories. Whatever will keep this space active and yes, attractive? The aim - as every blogger must admit - being to attract an audience, however small. Preferably a loyal and interactive audience, one who waits with bated breath for your every effusion. Can a blog post be an effusion?

Whatever. This is today's effusion.

Below is a painting I began around the middle of last year which still sits on the easel undecided as to whether it's finished or not. It belongs in my Apple Series and really shouldn't need an explanation. It is a fairly objective depiction of objects which are actually in my studio. The figures in the centre are a paper cut-out hanging on the wall; the speech bubbles say: "This is art" and "No, this is a cartoon".

Puzzled apple