Friday, April 30, 2010

Time for T?

graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm

Representing, via the drawing process, one of the more intriguing shapes into which the found 'roadkill' has been reformed - crumpled, folded & flattened, with significantly altered surface qualities & additional textural dimensions - barely recognizable from what previously was, a new kind of aesthetic object altogether.


Elvis Costello 'Girls, Girls, Girls'
Jesca Hoop 'Hunting My Dress'
Geraldine Fibbers 'The Hut Recordings'

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seeing Red...

Another delightful find of 'roadkill' upon a stretch of the double black lines, particularly so given the presence of a named colour imprinted upon the surface of the object & thus that of the picture plane, another serendipitous nod, of course, to the work of Mr Jasper Johns - in a way, these little coincidences are getting to be almost ridiculous in their fecundity, but gloriously so...

No soundtrack to accompany the process of taking photographs out in the 'field' (never having owned/used a Walkman, even, back in the day, let alone an iPod or whatever, for the purposes of music-on-the-go, the enjoyment & consideration of which being, rather, more of a sedentary pleasure), but note also the lightning bolt graphic amongst the branded design upon the can, accompanying the 'thunder' of its name, redolent as it is, somewhat, to those music-&-artily-inclined, of Mr D Bowie's 'Aladdin Sane' facial flash.
Further to the subject, those discerning few of us partial to the enduring charms of Galaxie 500 prefer our thunder 'Blue', of course...

Monday, April 26, 2010

More 'Relational Aesthetics'...

graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm

Rolling along with the ‘roadkill’ diptych series of drawings, the folded planes of the latest found flattened object to be subjected to the process again provide something of an example of ‘Readymade Cubism’ &, with the red, white & blue colouration of its branded livery & particularly the pair of red stripes across its surface, continue the occasionally recurring recent theme of relations (however tenuous) to or suggestions of the American ‘Stars & Stripes’ &, thence, inevitably, Jasper Johns'Flag’.

As often transpires, serendipitous correspondences occur that initiate dialogues with the history of art: note the similarity in font here between the isolated numeral 5 as featured upon the surface of the can in the drawing & that of Johns’ collage & encaustic ‘Figure 5’, the form (or close similarities) of which subsequently recurs in a variety of the artist’s ‘numbers’ paintings & prints, as illustrated...

Jasper Johns 'Figure 5', 1955 & detail from 'Figures in Black and White' 1969

Also, a particular reproduction of Johns’ ‘No’ (& one notices how the physical, three-dimensional nature of much of Johns’ work highlights the differences between the many individual photographic reproductions of) drew my attention to how the painting features two aspects that relate specifically to the ‘roadkill’ diptychs in general, namely the imprint of the base of Marcel Duchamp’s sculpted object ‘Female Fig Leaf’ & the cutout flat metal letters N & O, which, suspended slightly above the surface of the painting, thus cast shadows upon it: presented as an adjacent pair of details of the whole, the former corresponds to the erased outlines that form the linear element representing the shape of the compressed, reformed object in the left half of the drawings, whilst the latter suggests the flattened cans as realistically described in the right half, habitually lit from the left & thus casting their shadows to the right. The overall greyness of ‘No’ also finds a parallel in the predominantly graphite nature of the drawings, both as a series & the individual instances of.

details from Jasper Johns 'No', 1961

Whilst referencing Johns once again, & drawing little parallels & coincidences, note also the outline imprints of the bases of cans upon the familiar crosshatched surface of ‘Between the Clock and the Bed’ (a work which itself references Edvard Munch), which serve to suggest Johns’ iconic Savarin coffee can (packed with paintbrushes) & Ballantine Ale cans sculpted objects, & in turn stand in for the (presence of the) artist himself.

Jasper Johns detail of 'Between the Clock and the Bed', 1981


Rufus Wainwright 'Want Two'
Boards of Canada 'Music Has the Right to Children'
& 'Geogaddi'

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Morning After...

The Sunday morning constitutional pleasingly provided more evidence of ‘roadkill’ upon a section of the local phenomenon of the double black lines road markings, the flattened aluminium objects as found & photographed actually occurring in very close proximity to each other, but not quite so much as to be captured within the same picture plane: upon reflection, this situation is preferable, not particularly wanting at this stage to overcomplicate the compositions with too many objects – minimalism remains philosophically & aesthetically important to the enterprise as such in general...

Again, there's something more than a little 'Johnsian' in the manner in which the divided legend 'Strongbow' suggests its continuation from end-back-to-beginning & allows one to read the name in its entirety & imaginatively reconstruct the flattened can in cylindrical form.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reduced Circumstances...

graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm

Another drawing in the ongoing series of 'roadkill' diptychs, the found object/subject matter in this instance having been particularly tightly compressed during its process of complex reformation, slimmed down, battered & gnarled yet still offering sufficient synecdochal formal clues as to its original identity, not just any old fragment of scrap metal.


Moon Wiring Club 'A Field Full of Sunken Horses' EP
Rufus Wainwright 'Want One'
Nick Drake 'Five Leaves Left'
& 'Bryter Layter'

Recourse to the original recordings became a necessity in the light of the TV broadcast of the Nick Drake 'Way to Blue' concert in tribute to the man & his music: whilst a noble endeavour, most of the interpretations managed to seem too reverential & yet somehow foreground the personality of the various performers to a mutually detrimental degree, Lisa Hannigan's radical take on 'Black-Eyed Dog' being perhaps the one notable exception, making one realise just how unique a talent was Nick, & that the real compelling magic of the songs was best communicated through his own performances of them, the recordings of which remain enduring & essential evidence.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ragged Glory

graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm

The latest example in the 'roadkill' diptych series, the found object/subject matter processed in one flat planar aspect (if not all) of its ragged glory: it never fails to intrigue into just what form the objects have been reconfigured as a result of the compression they have been subjected to.
In this particular instance, in the manner of typical examples of 'Readymade Cubism', multiple views - of top, side & bottom - are condensed within the same plane, along with an appropriate synecdochal fragment of brand name & logo.


Galaxie 500 'Today'
Moon Wiring Club 'Striped Paint for the Last Post'
Scritti Politti 'White Bread Black Beer'
Mark Mulcahy 'In Pursuit of Your Happiness'
Hanne Hukkelberg 'Rykestrasse 68'
Jesca Hoop 'Hunting My Dress'

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Another example of aluminium can 'roadkill' photographed as found besides a stretch of the local double black lines, this reformed object being compressed into a particularly compact state.
The gap in the black lines allowing the underlying yellow to show through is a pleasingly Robert Rymanesque feature, appearing (or being able to be read) as the point between the respective end & beginning of two separate brushstrokes...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Study of 'and'...

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

The title of Stendec's collected works CD, quoted from AS Eddington, providing a most appropriate(d) one for the purposes of announcing the presentation of this latest drawing to be processed in the 'roadkill' diptych series, now into its second year...

One may observe the presence of the graphic sign of an encircled ampersand upon the branded surface of the represented subject/object matter, preserved in its entirety amongst the sequence of folds into which the compressed object has been reformed, thus providing both something of a pleasing focus & a little conundrum as to what words, names, it might link, being, of course, a linguistic symbol that habitually does not exist in isolation, implying both a 'before' & an 'after'.

By way of a rather delightful coincidence, given said artist's enduring influential presence here at TOoT & in particular the flurry of recent references, note the reversed ampersand upon one of the collaged fragments of printed matter forming the ground of Jasper Johns' 1974 'Target' (it's all been done before!), as serendipitously found illustrating the cover of the 'Abbeville Modern Masters' monograph on Johns, as came to one's attention in the day job environment...

detail of Jasper Johns 'Target' 1974, including collaged reversed '&'

I'm sure, too, that one of the Moon Wiring Club's tunes features a brief chant of what sounds rather like the word 'ampersand' somewhere within its spooky there's some aural research to be done in the interests of confirmation.

Update 17/04/10:
The tune in question is 'Autumn Fair Thursday at Four' from 'An Audience of Art Deco Eyes'


Not then, perhaps, the most appropriate accompaniment under the circumstances of the subject/object matter as featured in relation to what might otherwise be available-as-referenced, but...

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 'Best of'
Jesca Hoop 'Kismet'
Belle & Sebastian 'The Life Pursuit'

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Found Out

More on-the-way-to-the-day-job finds, following the opportunity to indulge in a little light drawing, the first being an item of the familiar aluminium can 'roadkill' upon a stretch of the old double black lines...

& then some linear 'drawing' against (& thus upon the 'ground' of) a beautiful bright blue sky, with a distant vapour trail bisecting some overhead telecoms wires...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Seeing Stars Again...

graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour, on newsprint collage/30x20cm

It transpires that today is in fact the anniversary of the very beginning of the ‘roadkill’ diptych series of drawings, a year to the day pencil was first laid upon paper in the processing of such, initially as a sub-theme of the then recently-begun drawings based upon photographs of the local road surfaces with their distinctive ‘double black lines’ markings, the supplementary presence of a roadkill can amongst which had been an occasional feature, one seized upon as an additional & particular point of interest in the selecting of images from which to draw. Curious it is how a body of work might develop, from largely unintentional beginnings, with - because of a combination of circumstances that have relegated the proposed road surface drawings to a position on the back-burner, still being kept in reserve for bigger plans &/or more expansive opportunities - the roadkill diptychs taking precedence for what has become such a substantial period of time. Not entirely sure if there might not have been something of an inevitability about such an occurrence, however subconscious, given one’s general long-standing tendency towards the still life (as an area of artistic practice & interest, & as an overarching philosophy, it might be said!), but it’s something of a brief pause for thought to realise that one has spent the greater part of a year’s drawing practice & a considerable amount of one’s time engaged in the close, obsessive study & representation – celebration (?) - of such disregarded ephemera, of ‘looking at the overlooked’ over quite such a concentrated span of time.

Regarding the present drawing, the recently-found object as represented – featuring as it does, centrally, the fragment of a star shape amongst its visible branded livery - came to attention rather serendipitously when considered in the context of the recent post incidentally but nonetheless significantly featuring mention of Jasper Johns‘Flag’ & related objectified representations of (the) stars & stripes. Consequently, such coincidence inspired the opportunity to explore a certain referential twist on a technical addition to the drawing process as has featured on occasion in the past. Having previously constructed grounds of collaged torn paper fragments for a few of the ‘roadkill’ diptychs, the influence of numerous examples of Johns’ early work, including ‘Flag’ specifically (& many a Cubist collage & drawing too, of course), suggested doing so with newsprint on this particular occasion, with the result of adding a further two layers to the creative process in the tearing of the paper & then gluing it to the support: it might be noticed that both of these were done in a manner intended to relate to the form & arrangement of the habitual hatch-marked graphite grounds, with which the newsprint was subsequently overlaid. The original intention was not to choose text of any particular significance, but then the process of sorting-through the over-abundantly available stack of newspapers & deciding upon the most appropriate-looking material unearthed the physical copy of this Guardian article of Germaine Greer’s on the subject of textiles (in response to the exhibition ‘Quilts: 1700 – 2010’ at the V&A) – of which flags such as the Stars & Stripes are manifestations, of course - & such examples of visually-echoing star-rated music reviews as those pertaining to Laura Marling’s, Jesca Hoop’s & the recent reissue of Galaxie 500’s albums, which just seemed, once again, too serendipitous not to press into service. Hence the text-based ground features a number of (self-)references & interesting little words & phrases, ‘clues’, relating broadly & specifically to the context of the drawing(s), processes of making, the naming of an artist (who, by way of something of an uncanny coincidence, featured as the protagonist of the post-script to the plaster cast-themed blog entry referred to during the course of that recent aforementioned post, as informing the making of the drawing leading this one, conflating the same subject matter as decorated by 'Stars & Stripes' with Johns' 'Flag') &, of course, oft-featured elements of the ‘soundtracks’ as habitually documented: my own particular favourite, mentioned in the course & context of the Galaxie 500 review, is the occurrence of the word ‘shoegazers’, with the personal tendency towards & practice of shoegazing relating to &, indeed, underpinning the finding of ‘roadkill’ objects at the roadside.

After & on the very subject of which, here's another image interlude, featuring an example of fresh 'roadkill', as found upon a section of the double black lines this very morning.


Galaxie 500 'Today' & 'On Fire'
Jesca Hoop 'Hunting My Dress'
Love 'Forever Changes'
Lambchop 'Is a Woman'

& (regularly, via The Times stream) Laura Marling 'I Speak Because I Can': sublime

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Double Trouble...

Today the opposite of tomato is Arjen Robben's decisive goal for Bayern Munich in the Champions' League quarter-final

graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm

The latest drawing to be processed in the 'roadkill' diptych series, featuring for the very first time not just a single entity but two found objects of the same brand identity, recognizably so even though each has been reformed into a state of 'Readymade Cubism' in its own quite different manner, now bearing distinctly unique traits & no longer the identical twins they might have been when rolling off the mass-production line...


Portishead 'Third'
Sigur Ros 'Takk'
Throwing Muses 'In a Doghouse'
Jesca Hoop 'Hunting My Dress'
Moon Wiring Club 'Striped Paint for the Last Post'
Low 'The Great Destroyer'
The Sundays 'Reading, Writing & Arithmetic'

Saturday, April 03, 2010


graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm

Being the latest of the 'roadkill' diptych drawings & featuring another example of intriguingly reformed subject/object matter, this one rusting in a pleasingly additionally colourful manner.


Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 'The Boatman's Call'
The Associates 'Fourth Drawer Down'/'Sulk'
Galaxie 5oo 'This is Our Music'
Elliott Smith 'Roman Candle'
& eponymous
Geraldine Fibbers 'The Hut Recordings'