Monday, 11 August 2014

Indigo Octagon: 'The Compulsive Orgonists of West Bromwich'

Today sees the launch of ‘The Compulsive Orgonists of West Bromwich’, the latest publication by Indigo Octagon, the small collective of artists I work which with comprises of myself, Andrew Smith, HR Smoke and Chris Cowdrill. This is our fourth publication now, with two of the others: ‘Stolen Car’ and ‘Black Highway’, accompanying two of my solo exhibitions, and the first one, ‘If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words Then Why Can’t I Paint?’, accompanying our first (and to date only) collective exhibition in 2012.  
The general idea is that when we meet up we all bring different ideas, bits of work etc to the table and try and develop something from this. This new publication mainly belongs to Chris and Andrew and grew out of some great drawings Chris had been doing based on Victorian era beards and moustaches which seemed to fit well with some of Andrew’s recent writing and poetry, which includes ‘The Compulsive Orgonists…’ of the title, and some of his photographs. My own limited contribution was mainly working with Chris later on in developing the concept of it looking like an old book cover using one of Andrew’s photographs as inspiration.  
  Here is a link so you can view it online, and over the course of this week we are sharing some extracts from it on the Indigo Octagon Facebook page. We hope to sell it, alongside the other publications, at some Art Book or Fanzine fairs or stockist’s and are currently looking into opportunities for this. In the meantime, we are selling copies at just £3 each, and if anyone would like to buy one you can contact me through my website, or Indigo Octagon via the Facebook page.  There are only 30 copies, each one editioned, and each copy also comes with three great portrait cards featuring fantastically bearded gentlemen created by Chris. 
Following on from this we are currently looking into venues and potential collaborators to organize ‘The Compulsive Orgonists of West Bromwich’ exhibition….


Monday, 4 August 2014

On a roll....'The Gaze' in The West Midlands Open 2014

'The Gaze', oil on canvas, 210 x 150cms, 2013
….And today I heard that one of my paintings has been selected for the West Midlands Open 2014, a biennial collaboration between Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery, showcasing the best the region has to offer from practicing artists.  It has become a regular feature on the region’s cultural calendar since it’s first exhibition in 2006, and I’m lucky enough to have been selected twice, in 2006 and 2008. This year It was selected by Birmingham artist Barbara Walker and curator Zoe Lippett from New Art Gallery Walsall.

My painting ‘The Gaze’ was selected which I’m so pleased about for a couple of reasons. It’s great to be in this exhibition, which will be seen by so many visitors in a very prestigious venue, and on a more personal level it’s a nice validation to have one of my more recent pieces selected which have only been exhibited once at Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery in January in my exhibition ‘Black Highway’. I think some of these paintings are much more unusual and experimental and you never know how they might be received. This is how I felt about ‘The Gaze’ in January, but actually it turned out to be one of the most popular paintings in the show, which encouraged me to therefore put it forward for the West Midlands Open. 

Phew, I’m on a roll in these last few weeks….

Sunday, 3 August 2014

'Spirit Of Place' at Ragley Gallery, Warwickshire

'Silence', oil on canvas, 100 x 120cms

I’m pleased to announce that one of my paintings, ‘Silence’, has been selected for the Ragley Open Art Competition and will be represented in an exhibition on the theme of ‘Spirit of Place’ to be held at the Ragley Hall Gallery and Studios in Warwickshire. The exhibition will run from August 17th to September 7th. Here’s a link to the website if anyone is interested in visiting. Ragley Hall itself is well worth a visit for anyone interested in art, heritage and culture.

Having made all this work in the last two-three years, what with this and the representation by Cupola, it feels good to be putting it out there to good use whilst I concentrate on making new work.