Wednesday, 29 September 2010

A couple of illustrations for a magazine article about Seattle's Hempfest.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Here's a piece I've just finished that I'm well chuffed with..... been thinking a lot lately how didactic and absolute stuff is these days, particularly in the media and how it presents information or opinions - you either see things one way, or the other; something is 'all about this' or 'all about that'; black or white - middle ground is seen as somehow lacking in integrity or taboo. I thought it'd be a fun thing to illustrate.

I've just taken on quite a hefty but very exciting new project, producing artwork and design for a forthcoming cricket website in collaboration with a web developer. Will keep you posted on developments yesyes......

Listen Against is back!!! Man, I'm chuffed, it's probably my favourite programme across all radio and TV - proper hilarious. Helps if you listen to Radio 4 anyway but either way it's comedy gold. Hurrah!

Stalwart dub and roots producer Dubmatix has a nice new album out; he's one of a refreshing minority in this scene who is evidently highly professional and forward-thinking, both in terms of the production and the promotion of his tunes, whilst still with a foot firmly in the foundation to keep the purists happy. Deep Root/Universal Egg also fall into this category - both have excellent web stores where you can also download a stack of ace tunes for free (hooray!) here and here.

In other news, I've just revolutionised listmaking, for myself at least..... if you really want to get something done from your 'to do' list, cross it off before you've done it.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Another new piece. Aren't elderflowers smashing?

Just made a little jaunt up t'smoke to see the Magnificent Maps exhibition at the British Library and The Printed Image in China at the British Museum. Both were very very interesting, and predominantly featured exhibits from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; I was amazed by cartographers' knowledge and accuracy in such times in the case of the former, and by how thoroughly modern the prints looked, both in style and condition, in the latter. I really loved the room of twentieth century prints (many with a highly political edge) and I'm sorry to say I was far more pleased than I should have been to learn that there's a printmaker called Wang Qing. The British Museum even had Kokerboom trees in its forecourt (Kew Gardens' South Africa exhibit)! Needless to say I got very excited took lots of photos.

The biggest huddles of people in the maps exhibition were around a cracking wartime map giving the worldwide lowdown on tea (it's great and everyone loves it), and Grayson Perry's meticulous and intruiging 'Map of Nowhere'; it would have been excellent to have had more along these lines (the sheer volume and variety of beautiful maps produced by contemporary illustrators could warrant a show in itself) as much of the exhibition favoured work of a similar, albeit significant, period, style and purpose. All in all, though, two fascinating exhibitions.

Just about to start a new show myself at the Claremont (just seen I'm top of the list! Get in) here in Brighton (Hove, actually) so check that out if you're in the area. Private view is this Sunday (12th September) from 3 till 5pm.

Thanks to another good Trick Music podcast, I'm very pleased to have discovered the gloriously off-kilter plinky-plonk music of Sebastien Leger, and have also been enjoying 4DA's output, RMS & Peak, Ajja, and revisiting all my lovely old metal. Choice.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A few more new pieces, including my entry for the AOI/Transport For London 'Cycling For London' illustration competition earlier in the Summer. I didn't win, unfortunately. Also some personal work based on funtimes in India. I've been slowly uploading photos from my trip to Flickr, so have a look there if you fancy. Doors and boats, mostly...

Whilst in Mumbai I managed to check out quite a lot of contemporary art, thanks to my excellent textile-designer friend with the local knowledge, Dimps. They've got some cracking galleries over there and a great buzz surrounding both local and international art. It was amazing how much it felt like being in London while going round some of the exhibitions! Three shows that really stood out for me were:

Pascale Mira Tschaeni / Michael Husmann Tschaeni / Aditya Pande: 'Was : Is' at Chatterjee & Lal Gallery - colourful, fun, playful and inventive work (some collaborative); every piece had a relaxed confidence that made for a snappy, dazzling show.

Mahesh Baliga: 'Confabulations' at Project 88 Gallery - second solo show of paintings and sculpture here from this young artist. Lots of lush paintings that brought to mind Peter Doig, Graham Dean and the late, great, Reggie Pedro. The exhibition is currently on show in their sister gallery, Gallerie 88, should you happen to be in Kolkata.

Narendra Yadav: 'Memory Minus Me' at Gallery Maskara - a really good solo exhibition of (very pleasingly) interactive sculptures and installations; not often my cup of tea (it did help being talked through every piece by the highly helpful gallery assistant) but the thought behind them all was interesting, succint (refreshingly free of hyperbolic waffle) and boldly executed, with a very considered aesthetic and degree of audience involvement. Fun, but thought-provoking - great stuff.

Other things I enjoyed in India were THE WILDLFE, all the hand-painted adverts, signs, trucks and so on (blimey!), the doors (naturally, and all the crumbly, peely paint and wood and wotnot - wabi sabi in full effect yo!), bus travel, swimming and cycling, chatting to Indians, reading the paper (such a treat to get such an insight into a country, in a language I understand!), riding 1st class at sunset on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, puri, dal fry, masala chai and Hello To The Queen (a soporific pudding if ever there was one). Ooh, and also reading 'Atonement' by Ian McEwan - one seriously sumptuous novel, among the best I've ever read; damn, that man can write. I also caught IPL fever good and proper and subsequently watched a lot more cricket on the telly than I probably should have done.