Wednesday, 22 June 2016

This is a new piece of personal work I made to celebrate the changing seasons and everything becoming more green as Spring arrives and eventually becomes Summer.  Having found a printer that not only makes square postcards but can print multiple designs in the same run (yes mate) I also wanted to make a bespoke image for my next postal campaign.  It's also quite a good example of something that I occasionally try and incorporate into my work - a dub influence.  Dub music is quite a big presence in my life - I make it, spin it and listen and dance to quite a lot of it.  It's a unique genre in many ways; indeed, it originated not as an actual genre at all but more as a mixing technique and for a while there was no purpose-built dub - the only dub records were reworkings of existing (reggae) tunes.  It's also the only music style (alongside reggae) I can think of that encompasses such a wide gamut of transmission or dispersal - you could go and hear a dub DJ (whose set could comfortably span forty years of music), and an MC or a singer or you could see a fully live dub band or an entirely digital/electronic solo producer or band, or you could hear (and most crucially, feel!) dub in its most natural and archetypal setting, the soundsystem (if you've never gone to a proper, heavyweight dub/roots soundsystem dance you really should!  An experience like no other, but not for everyone...!).  And part of the beauty of dub is that, whilst strongly established as a stylistic form in its own right, it is, in essence, a process - something that is 'done' rather than something that 'is'.  Therefore you can apply dub techniques to any style of music and combine it with anything.  And I thought, why not art?  Why not dub things up visually?  So I often like to strip things back, cut things up and add 'effects', chop and edit, whilst leaving traces, snatches, echos and impressions alongside little pockets of detail.  And the best dub is always a little bit rough and unrefined - grit, gnarl and texture always feature in my work, alongside pattern and repetition in the manner of a spaced-out delay.  One of the key aspects of dub is also creating space (and thereby emphasising the underlying structure) - I'd love to do this more but it doesn't always work out that way (especially in commissioned work).  And, in Jamaica, where it originated, there is a strong culture of re-using, recycling and re-purposing, which is something I also like to do (both in my work and life generally - waste is a terrible thing and "if it's nice, do it twice").  As a wee aside on repurposing, my friend Mairead once suggested doing a Google images search for the term "gambiarra" - if you're unfamiliar with the term do check it out.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Today is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, truly an excellent time of year.  Best wishes to all of you on this most auspicious of days and may a wonderful Summer lie ahead for everyone.  This was going to be a colourful image, but being England, today is cold, wet, windy and grey, therefore I've kept it monochrome (for now, it's trying to brighten up out there...).

Thursday, 16 June 2016

I suddenly found myself with a bit of bonus time on my hands after a big-ish project fell through earlier this year, which conveniently coincided with the timing of this year's Secret 7" competition.  So I picked two songs (not my usual cup of tea at all but good songs) and did two routes for each (one I posted previously).  Yet NONE got selected for the exhibition (bah)... clearly there was some kind of mix up at HQ or something.  Still, it's a laugh eh.  Always enjoyable getting a bit more experimental and responding to specific music, in this case Tame Impala's The Less I Know the Better and Clearest Blue by Chvrches (still not sure what that v's doing there).  Trivia fans will no doubt be thrilled to learn that those windows are in Essaouira in Morocco and that's a finest South Cornwall sea.