Break glass for full effect…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s lost plectrum is the one eventually found at the bottom of a jar of pickled onions.
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I was sitting on a train…
It is nice when I have a spontaneous idea for an artwork, even one that will never be made. When I have one of these I do like to think it out reasonably carefully though, I hate seeing pieces of art which the artist not really thought out, and has subsequently cobbled together badly – or because of their lack of practical skill, has paid an unskilled friend to cobble together badly for them. These pieces rarely have anything to say to the person who happens to wander into the gallery on some rainy Tuesday afternoon; a lot of sighing and shrugging goes on in front of pieces like this. Pieces that are, as the artist’s statement pinned up by the door states, ‘A document personal and meaningful to me, and my Weltanschauung – it speaks of my relationship with… blah blah…’ They might was well just say, ‘This is all about me, me, me!…’ I’m sure you know the sort of thing – a good example was of course Tracey Emin’s famous bed of 1999.
Speaking of beds, imagine an artist lying (or apparently if you are in the US, ‘laying’) in bed one morning, considering the possibilites of getting up, staring at the ceiling with open eyes and a blank mind – and then suddenly, ‘Hey, what a great idea!  Wow! When my toothbrushes finally wear out, instead of throwing them away, I’ll start keeping them, and then, when I have enough, I’ll show them, as a ‘personal statement’ in my friend Giles’s posh little gallery in Knightsbridge! I’ll text him about it later! Hang on though, how will I display them? Oh, I’ll go minimal and just pop them into a clear plastic bag pinned on the wall, that shouldn’t be too difficult… Phew! That was a good day’s work! I fancy a nice coffee and croissant now!…’
I seem to recall some artist a while back having a show in some gallery or other of his personal excrement collected and displayed in plastic bags… I think this was real, I can’t have dreamed it can I? A nightmare perhaps?…
Anyway, back to the start of this post, it seems like I’ve been typing for hours!
I was sitting on a train…
I was coming back from Liverpool after seeing Fernand Léger at the Tate there – he was very good! So, I was staring around the carriage, as one does and my gaze landed on a little glass fronted box up near the ceiling, it had a little hammer inside it. Next to the box was a sign saying something to the effect, ‘Break the Glass to Get at This Little Hammer’, but I don’t think they phrased it quite like that. I assumed that the hammer was to be used for breaking a few windows to get out should one suddenly find oneself in an upturned carriage covered in hot coffee with flames licking all around.
They didn’t say what one should use to break the glass on the box with though, but I’m sure one could find something appropriate in amongst the debris. Still, it’s nice that Transpennine Express are planning ahead.
This object on the wall set a train of thought going in my head – an idea for a silly, but perhaps engaging artwork for a gallery situation, perhaps an installation?
Here we go!
On the gallery wall, a notice and box as above described. To the right, another, slightly larger glass fronted box, with a slightly larger hammer in it, and to the right of that… Yes, you have guessed it – a larger glass fronted box with a bigger hammer in it.
You get the idea I’m sure. Somewhere off to the right it would climax with a full-size sledge-hammer in a really big, and tempting, glass fronted box.
This was about as far as my train of thought got, but then, one must consider – would there be yet a final box with no hammer? Would it be empty, to be pointlessly smashed by the previous sledge-hammer? Would it have perhaps an artist’s statement displayed in it? A tiny hammer? A vase of flowers? I’m open to suggestions, but as it will never really be done, well by me anyway (Perhaps someone will steal this idea and eventually do it?) it doesn’t really matter does it? I have seen far more boring things in galleries dear reader, haven’t you?
Ah, but of course! There’s more. There is always the chance that someone, some upstart, some confident nitwit, would take advantage of the situation and begin sequentially crashing away at all that glass – whom could resist?…
Ah, but all would not be lost! The security footage of the outrage could be shown as a video installation in a darkened booth next to the piles of hammers and broken glass…
Brilliant!… I am a genius!…

Posted in academia, art, brain, cool, creation, design, drama, humour, information, instruction, seeing, serendipity, style, surrealism, thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s a decalcomania sort of day today…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s colours are: Bodmin beige, Grimsby green, Oxford orange, Blackpool blue, Manchester mauve, Totnes turquoise, Pontefract pink, and that funny speckled cream that the man down the road has painted his front window box.
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Decalcomania monoprint. Black acrylic paint and pencil on paper. (I seem to have forgotten to initial and date this one, but it was probably done in 2010.)

Decalcomania! Decalcomania for ever!…
Yes, that’s what the crowds surrounding the Decalcomanian Embassy in London might cheer when the Crown Prince, in his white military uniform and shiny medals, steps out onto the balcony to…
But no, decalcomania is not some quaint central European principality, it is a method of fine art printmaking that relies on randomness, playfulness, and serendipity. If you’d like to know how I do prints like this, and maybe try doing some yourself dear reader, you could see an earlier post on the subject by clicking here.

Well!… This looks very dramatic doesn’t it? What do you make of it?
Oh, this is proper surrealism for you! Does it have a whiff of Max Ernst about it, what do you think?
Could this be a human and their pet? Perhaps a dog? The human is saying, ‘Come on! You lazy fat brute! There’s another half-mile to go yet!…’
And the dog is saying, ‘No, no, you go on, I’ll catch you later, I’m just going to scratch behind my ears, stretch, and then perhaps snooze for a few minutes…’
Or… Perhaps, if you are that way inclined, this might depict Saint What’s-his-name bumping into Jesus on the road to Damascus and having a short chat with him?…

Posted in abstract, academia, art, brain, colours, composition, cool, creation, decalcomania, drama, fine art prints, humour, information, instruction, prints, religion, Royalty, serendipity, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ah, more of those Crush characters!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s confused film stars are: Melen Hirren and Hom Tanks.
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And speaking of people with odd names, I had an email this morning from Veronica Crush, writer from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League, now living in New York with tall tree surgeon and heir to a multimillion dollar fortune, Monty Tick.
She attached a new batch of the best character names she has created over the last week or two; she says that she thinks up one or two every day, and she hasn’t any holes left in her recent stories to accommodate them all – so she likes to make them available, via my blog, to those poor writers who, haven’t the imagination or wit to come up with decent names themselves!
She also asked me what my views were on Brexit – but I said that I’d never heard of this strangely named thing – and that I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.
As usual Veronica has mischievously slipped a real name into her list – see if you can guess which one it is – the answer is available via a link the foot of the page.
Oh, and by the way, I think that Veronica might use the same brand of handy spiral bound notebook that I use for my jottings – see photograph below (you may need to zoom in).

Peter-Paul Poppinjay
‘Big’ Mal Thrusts
Sugar-Pie Ormorod
Rufus Phuss RA
Rocky Terrain
Silvine Notebooks
Frank X Change
Dame Melody Dratz
Lord Sneff of Old Bottoms
Otto Dix
Laurie Orry-Rorry
Ivor Mansard Roof RIBA
Rupert Bath-Chants
Perry Oddik
Gwen Van Soups
Sir Barry Hedshape
Ralph Buttermount Blye
Blanche Soomes
Jeff Underlay

Real name.

Posted in art, brain, celebrities, composition, creation, Dulltown, Film, history, Hull.UK., humour, politics, puzzle, style, surrealism, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Some overheard and misheard snatches of cafe conversation…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s instruction is to strip naked, close your eyes, cross your fingers, levitate and hover round the room for ten minutes thinking about clouds, pale angels and birds – then put a pair of pants on, proceed to the kitchen and make some nice tea and toast.
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‘On the other side, you can’t just wander back Ed…’
‘Whoo!… From the knees! From the knees!’
‘It’s lovely! Her eyes was all snow!’
‘He been charming – a big alpha!’
‘It was all sandwiches and stories until then.’
‘Parson Wilbur?’
‘It got a bit boring, but then there was a colour fly.’
‘It happened personally, we really happy, really more than happy.’
‘Go round in the vector and get a wavy one.’
‘So you got half-love… Jane, the idea is Coptic…’
‘A fireball? I, dear, idea, and then they have to walk around it?’
‘It’s a pound slot ridivule, and a blind ten!’
‘Jones R – a small something?’
‘It was a sovereign doughnut you know, then he called me over.’
‘But the interesting thing – yeah yeah yeah – is speech meat!’
‘She’s called “wonderful” – CBC, ADC, BBC – hell!’
‘Well? What do you think?’
‘Nuthy nuthy, and then you’ve got another new app!’
‘You always go thither like a fellow Dean.’
‘No Stephen, it’s a mop pin!…’
‘A one leg diddly-dee? Drag it down, drag it down!’
….
For some information on how these lines are compiled, you could click here.

Posted in abstract, brain, cafe, conversation, cool, creation, drama, Dulltown, existentialism, Hull.UK., humour, information, instruction, misheard, overheard, poetry, puzzle, serendipity, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Telephone, monochrome, telephone…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s cute fish names are: the African glass catfish, the football fish, the lenok, the green swordtail, the halosaur, and the orangespine unicorn fish. Just going by the sound of the name, which of these would you ask round one evening for a friendly game of snooker?
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No, no, it’s no use you getting shirty with me! And no, you haven’t seen this one before! (I wonder where ‘getting shirty’ comes from – what a strange phrase that is! Click here.)
The picture you may have seen in yesterday’s post was the full colour version. Last night I was wondering what that one would look like in black and white, and, if I were to do a separate post about a monochrome version, it would also give me the chance to waffle on about images with colour compared with those without. Here is yesterday’s version, just to remind you dear reader.

So, what’s the difference then?
Is one of these photographs ‘better’ than the other? I would say not, they are just different – they both have their attributes. I suppose the colour one is more ‘realistic’ and ‘natural’, more as one would see it with one’s eye; there is quite a bit more ‘information’ available in it too. It’s like asking if an oil painting is ‘better’ than a pencil drawing or a black and white lino print – they are just different things.
By the way, did you know that us humans see in colour (of course we do), but we also sort of see in black and white. When there is plenty of light, say on a sunny day, we see plenty of nice bright colours, but as the light fades towards darkness our vision becomes more and more monochrome; you know, say on a moonlit night – when you pop out at midnight to see what that funny noise is that’s emanating from the bottom of the garden – it’s like being in a film noir! I think I’d better put my trench coat and trilby hat on!…
For me, if I look at the two of these photos, the top one looks more ‘dramatic’ – you are more aware of the forms and the relationship between them, and when you glance down at the colour one it seems a bit less straightforward and a bit ‘weaker’ in its message, that’s if it’s actually got a message. The top one looks like it could be a still from some gloomy avant-garde European art film from the 1950s. Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Nuts for instance – well, not really…
Just look how those pesky blobs of blue jump out at you in the lower picture, and the cream telephone box looks a bit too bland and distracting, but then, going back to the top one, the composition works as a whole and is perhaps, more ‘powerful’? The shades of grey, from black to white, make the people, and all the elements, the bicycle, buildings, pavement, and the signs, equal – the composition and the forms take over, and can be seen as a harmonious whole.
I think that’s probably enough waffle for today.

Posted in academia, art, brain, colours, composition, creation, drama, Film, humour, information, observations, phones, photography, science, seeing, serendipity, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Telephone, telephone…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s confused film stars are: Gary Crant and Smill With.
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I do try to be varied in the things I post daily on this here blog thing, not too much dense text, not too many photos, or prints or drawings; not too many lists of things, or pages from old books. So, a couple of days ago when I snapped a quick photo through the cafe window, and was rather pleased with it, I just couldn’t wait to shout out to you dear reader, ‘Hey, come and look at this one! I think it’s really great!’
So, even though it was only a couple of days ago that I showed you a picture of Huddersfield railway station in the early evening, in my excitement I really wanted to bung this one on straight away.
‘Hey dear reader, come and look at this one! I think it’s really great!’

I was sitting guzzling tea at one of the window seats when this chap glided up outside on his bike; he had been riding along on the pavement in a nonchalant and carefree manner – but he then stopped, and slid forward into the now well established ‘texting whilst on one’s bike’ pose. I think typing a text as you actually ride along must be pretty challenging…
It is an odd pose isn’t it? Sort of crouching, or sitting, but not really. If I stood like that for long my back would certainly complain, but he looks young and reasonable healthy and his back can obviously cope with such antics. I was almost expecting him to start walking forward, still crouched and tapping away, steering his bike with his knees as he went, but unfortunately he didn’t.
Was it worth my getting my little camera out and a photographing him? Probably not, but then I noticed the telephone box with ‘telephone’ written on it, nicely positioned behind him – oh, and look, some people are walking past in the distance…
I moved fast, he could finish his text and ride off any second! I rushed to get the camera out and switched on – point the thing, waiting for a half-second for those passers-by to get into shot and… Click!… Phew!… Got it!
I do like the composition! Lots of movement from left to right. Even the chap walking in the distance has his foot in an elegant position. And look at the lovely stolid cream phone box (a model K6 [1935]) standing there, unmoved, letting the world rush by…
Hm, I think this photograph might be all about telephones…

Telephone telephone…

Posted in archeology, cafe, celebrities, composition, cool, creation, drama, Dulltown, existentialism, history, Hull.UK., humour, information, observations, people, photography, seeing, serendipity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Choosing a name for the band…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s carefully selected adjectives are: rumbling, brattling, Priapic, triarch, knurled, Peloponnesian, heteromorphic, and boggy.
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‘Hm, suppose, I was, forming a band…’
‘Oh yes?…’
‘Yes…’
‘Have you been in bands before?’
‘Me? Of course I have!’
‘Would this new one be a riffy band or a strummy sort of band? They generally fall into one of those two types, don’t they?’
‘Oh, a riffy one, of course… Any more tea in that pot?’
‘Yes, just pass your cup over… So, what would you be playing in it, what instrument?’
‘Thank you… Guitar of course! What else could it be?’
‘Are you any good on guitar?’
‘Oh, I’m excellent – some say “stunning”…’
‘Do they?… But, ah… you know what’s hanging in the air…’
‘In the air? Where?…’
‘The metaphorical air.’
‘What?…’
‘What?… The name of your new band of course.’
‘The name?’
‘Yes, and by the way, did you know that I play drums?’
‘Yes, you are right, a good name, that’s so very important!’
‘Something clever, and interesting, that sticks in the mind, something that…’
‘That, sums up the music, and something that is catchy, and that people remember!’
‘Biscuits?’
‘Is that band name suggestion?’
‘No, I was just inquiring, if you’d like some… Ginger nuts?’
‘Is that a band too?’
‘No, just another inquiry, they do go nicely with tea. You know I mentioned earlier that I play the drums?’
The drums?’
‘Well, drums then.’
‘Yes, you did… Oh, they had very some good, strange, and memorable band names back in the mid 20th century.’
‘Yes, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, X-Ray Spex, the Swinging Blue Jeans…’
Swinging Blue Jeans, that wasn’t a very good name was it?’
‘No, it wasn’t – that’s the last of the ginger nuts by the way, I have nice…’
The Nice, the band?’
‘No the biscuits, I have some. They are very good when dunked!’
‘The short names for bands, for me they didn’t work quite as well as the longer ones.’
‘No, and I always wanted The Who to have a question mark after it too, it never really worked that well without one.’
‘Indeed!’
The Velvet Underground.’
‘Oh, so evocative!’
Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin…’
‘Oh, Led Zep, great, I wonder why they spelled it wrong though?’
‘Oh, they had to, if they’d spelled it as the metal ‘lead’, people might have thought it should be pronounced to rhyme with ‘bead’… The Zeppelin in lead position, in a Zeppelin race perhaps?’
‘Ah, right… I’ve never thought of that before…’
‘After that time people stopped coming up with good band names – I mean ‘Oasis‘. What the hell is that supposed to conjure up?’
‘Conjure up?’
‘Hm… and all that Brit Pop crap, Blur, Stereophonics, the Verve…’
The Verve, perhaps they were being ironic? I see you’ve finished the Nice biscuits, I think I’d better open up a packet of bourbons.’
‘Yes, yes, do!.’
‘I still have my drum kit set up in the attic you know…’
‘I think the most enjoyable part of forming a new band is definitely choosing the name!’
‘Have you come up with any good ones?’
‘Oh a few, over the years…’
‘So… a name for our new hot riffing band then…’
‘What do you mean ‘our’ hot riffing band?…’
‘Well, you’ll need a drummer won’t you? Here, have a couple more bourbons. How about the Bleak Tuesdays?’
‘No, no, too eighties!’
Bulging Pants, Snake Bastard…’
‘Oh, they’re not bad!’
Eddy and the Domes…’
‘I like it, but it wouldn’t suit the music, too rockabilly! Are you any good on drums then?’
‘Well, only fair…’
‘Fair, eh?… Can you write lyrics?’
‘No.’
‘Me, neither.’
‘I do have a van though.’
‘A van? Really? Oh, that’s good! Welcome to Snake Bastard… or The Vicious Pods, or Reptile Pie, or The Naked Popes, or Pigs on Fire… See! I told you this was fun!’
‘Me, I like Snake Bastard!… Will there be drugs and groupies?’
‘Only if you bring your own…’
‘Oh right oh…’

Posted in adjectives, brain, celebrities, conversation, cool, drama, dreaming, Dulltown, guitars, history, humour, information, irony, music, style, thinking, Uncategorized, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments