Monday, 5 December 2011

In a way the purpose of art is to create impact and meaning and to resonate with something inside people. George Shaw's work does that brilliantly. His paintings bring truthfulness and beauty to the everyday and you can't deny the immaculate skill shown in his work. I don't think he needs to win The Turner Prize for people to recognise that.
I'm just getting emotional about art again.

"It's a landscape that's ill, it's fading away. The hedges are falling apart. The tarmac's got cancer.
The sky's just about to leak." George Shaw


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Fenwicks Christmas window is one of the most beautiful things

At Night

On the bus, going to meet Sam by the Monument. Most of the passengers seem to be getting off at this stop, I don't know where it is but it's opposite the school I think that weird kid from middle school moved to. The voice of a camp man on the back row says that Sophie is free to model tomorrow. I can smell someones body odour and see a lady holding Christmas wrapping paper near the front of the bus. The perfume of the woman next to me reminds me of the middle school canteen. I think this is my stop. Why do I write about things like this?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Reflections of Reflections. The Cure at The Albert Hall

For a good few weeks I've been frightening members of the public with Cure hysteria. I've never loved anything more or as much as I love The Cure. It's quite dangerous really. But now to wish impossible things has come true. (If you aren't a Cure fan or have issues with people who reaaaaaly love bands I maybe wouldn't read this detailed synopsis of their Reflections gig)

The sound of bird song being played across the vast, circular room is suddenly replaced by Robert Smith's voice swimming amongst the smell of anticipation that clings to the hairspray of a thousand devoted fans. "Hello. This is 1979. Talk more later" The three piece hurtle into 10:15 Saturday Night, jumping and climbing to an almighty guitar solo. Plucking the strings like part of a surgical operation, the song promises an unforgettable evening. Counting in to Grinding Halt, the energy rises and the band feed the masses with teasing, punk inspired aggression and an inescapable finishing beat. Groaning and thrashy, Object chants of confusion and desire. Sung with more experience and wisdom, Robert acts as the puppet master to his teenage self. The songs don't appear too stuck in the past either, they could even be appropriate to any time. A quivering harmonica now brings Subway Song creeping into the air with a snarling sense of mystery and un-easiness, Simon Gallup leaping through the mist like a shadow, with a heavy bass suggesting footsteps in a chase. Foxy Lady is unique excellence, one of the only acceptable covers due to it's complete re-invention. "I didn't think I'd ever be playing that song in this building. But then I didn't think we'd be doing an awful lot of things that we've done since this album came out!" Fake golden flames then crawl around the stage, licking the drum kit as Fire In Cairo is played joyously, the chanting chorus thrown around the hall and back. A wonderfully passionate and angry It's Not You later and Three Imaginary Boys is complete with The Weedy Burton "somehow stuck on the end". I'm left feeling something I don't quite remember. Happiness, amazement, wholesomeness. I'm not too sure. Although only last Tuesday, the entire event seems distant and unclear. I've decided I simply mustn't be ready to accept that I've seen The Cure just yet. But that's not all for now, we have Seventeen Seconds and Faith to discuss first.

Thinking the interval was at least 15 minutes, I'm at the merchandise stall restraining from stealing a cardboard cut out of Robert Smith's face when I hear the sound of cheers welcoming him back to the stage. Me and stairs don't get on but when I have motif as great as that I'm skipping three at a time. Back to the celebrations of 1980 and there's little time to catch my breath and rearrange the back combing before Play For Today kick starts into an incredibly important and cracklingly rhythmic piece that takes me back to the first time I ever experienced Staring at the Sea, about 4 Christmas' ago. It has an urgently melodic sound that runs and escalates to collide with Robert's lyrics of frustration and the expectations within relationships. Secrets, haunting, gorgeous, enchanting and honest is then performed as if itself is being shared as a secret. A secret between the band and about 4500 others. Clear white smoke then engulfs Simon's legs, in the lilac low lighting, Robert's voice whispers solemnly and truthfully "I wish I was yours". The intimacy of that song felt like those 4500 were just relaxing in a small bedroom with Rob in the early 80's. The ability The Cure have to capture such a range of emotions as love, hate, loss, confusion, joy and to convey that to an audience through just three main instruments and a keyboard is baffling. Simon sneaks through the spot light, prowling as Robert's voice, dull and soft sings In Your House, creating a feel of wanting to be lost somewhere safe. And then it starts. A Forest. Suggestive, dark, ghostly, possibly one of the most intensive song introductions ever. And then the renowned, infectious ending to the story with the most pulsating final beat that echoes around the fixtures, closing the story. Now M. My favourite. M for melodic, magical, majestic, magnificent, marvelous, moving. If I was hit by any song so far, it was that one. I remember first hearing it and being overwhelmed, when they played it I think I even grinned through a few little tears. Beautiful. I keep banging on about Simon but the bass in At Night was incredible! It thundered round the venue like the integral heartbeat of The Cure. Then Seventeen Seconds itself was done brilliantly, a perfect ending to a wonderful album "OK we're just off for one year, see you in 10 minutes"

By now I think I needed a break. Not only to digest what I'd just seen but mainly to prepare myself for Faith. Not the album. The Song. No song in the world has ever effected me in the way that Faith does. The reason for it's profound effect on me is consequently down to the live version on Disintegration remastered. Faith (Live in Rome 06-04-89 crowd bootleg) It happens at 9 minutes 04. The Scream. I never fail to become corrupted by how much extra intensity and emotion and feeling Robert pours into the elongated versions of the song. (typing in faith 89 to Youtube brings good results) He creates tales on the spot and just slots them in, singing with such force and brutality and power it's inevitable not to completely absorb yourself in the atmosphere he creates. I always wonder exactly what he means in the on the spot lyrics, something a long the lines of someone pushing a gun to his mouth "I'm gonna ask you a question and if you say no, I'll shoot the back out of your fucking head. Do you love me? Do you love me?" It's chilling. I remember one night I thought I finally deciphered it. The only way to understand is to experience it. I was really stressed and everything was piling up, I was crying and it was all emotional and I think I'd just been listening to the song beforehand, once I'd calmed down I sort of understood what being involved in such a painful situation could be like. When you're feeling terrible every bad thing becomes exaggerated and you see yourself as the problem. I think the man that walks into the room holding the gun is how Robert sees himself in those moments. He is the barrier, symbolizing pressure. "He's so much bigger than you and says 'shut your fucking face!'" as if the issues with himself hold a bigger un manageable force upon him. I'm not sure. All I know is that that's the song. It just does it.

And so after leaving us listening to the sound of rain trickling, they're back and this is it. It starts here with The Holy Hour and Primary. Simon's at it again, the bass is pounding and the drums have a feel of great importance and character, all the songs sound alive and thriving, even on the album, but there's another dimension live. With the lights and smoke and people and smells and feelings and just The Cure's aura. This album has it. Faith has imagery and attitude and a backbone. It's like the frustrated, jumpy child of Disintegration. There's a haunting presence to it, especially with Roberts almost possessed screams in the great Other Voices, outstretching his arms shouting "Your allwaaaaaaaaays, wrong." almost moaning as if he feels guilty after having moved on. Doubt sounds faster and more violent and energized, that and The Drowning Man leading us steadily into the climax of Faith. When it begins I step back and try not to think of anything, I try and make myself believe that it is really them in front me and that I really have just seen an eclectic and perfectly performed mixture of some of my favourite songs, I try not to again think negatively about the lack of interest and enthusiasm shown by the man next to me, I don't think about recording a video because I know I need to be there with the song. That familiar on going guitar slows everything down. Surprisingly, I cope extremely well. My main feeling is one of realisation that The Cure are extremely talented men who make extremely wonderful music and who are extremely generous enough to provide us with that music and how incredibly lucky I was to be experiencing it live. Listening to The Cure takes you into an entirely different place of mind until the only thing you're aware of is not how exactly you got there and not how exactly you'll get out but simply that you're there. All I needed to see The Cure was faith. All anyone ever needs is faith.

'Another Journey By Train'

Just as Subway Song plays, the train pulls away from Darlington and the sun shines through the station's glass roof.
The train jumps and the dusk sets. The sun quickly falls through the sky.

I'm watching the sky go dark and trying to prepare myself for the euphoria that's about to commence.
My pilgrimage to experience The Cure has begun.
that was all very dramatic

Sunday, 23 October 2011

'Jumping Someone Else's Train'

I am reading someone else's newspaper through the gap of the chairs infront. The person next to me is wearing too much man perfume. I am paranoid encase he can read this. He is also reading the other person's newspaper, but in a less discreet way. He must think this is a very long text. I feel myself go quite red. It's a bit selfish that I never send these to anyone. My Ipod has been playing a lot of Cure songs today, as I listen to Lovecats Katie texts me from the other seat to say hello. I appreciate it but don't reply. If the man next to me could read this I wonder what he would think. I can see the reflection of the person in front's Ipad as we go through a tunnel. I am not implying anything by writing this down, I am merely observing what is going on around me. I can hear Rachael laugh from the table seat. I love how you can distinguish people from the sound of their laughter, even if you don't hear them laugh very often.

That was written on my way to London on an English trip but the photo is of Emily on the way back from our Art trip to Edinburgh. I will blog more about both after watching Autumnwatch.

This House Is A Circus

In preparation for making a house of sin in art I re-discovered my doll house and Tabby loved it, what a cutie. If there's anything I love more than The Cure it's Tabbitha. The other one I'm not so keen on. He's a beast. We've called him Midnight but I prefer Roger Black, he's not ours but sneaks in all cunning and viscous then makes his eyes go cute. He's honestly a wild animal and we really don't get on with each other. Him and Tabby used to have a bit of a thing but she saw sense and came back to me. I'm gonna stop adhering to the insane stereotype of a crazy cat lady and watch Autumnwatch. Chris Packham is my new thing, what a man.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

more artistic situations

 Sometimes I prefer the random colour blending and the leftover mess of paint than the actual painting itself
this is england

Trusty Wikipedia said "Punk fashion is the clothing, hairstyles, cosmetics, jewelry, and body modifications of the punk subculture. The distinct social dress of other subcultures and art movements, including glam rock, skinheads, rude boys, greasers, and mods have influenced punk fashion. Many punks use clothing as a way of making a statement" No other style movement has interested me more than punk. It's got attitude and meaning and personality. I think the threat and edge is the main attraction. 'Do I ask for a photo or could that be seen as ignorant and intrusive?, Are punks really as angry as stereotypes suggest?' I don't think so. When 'punk's' get up and get dressed I presume they don't think 'oh I'd better find the safety pins and denim jacket so I can look punk', they just get dressed like everybody else and happen to end up looking really cool. If only I had a more adaptable face, a nicer shaped head and more obedient hair I would get a mohican in no time. Sadly, I don't think that'll happen any time soon. For now I'll just stick to the Dr Martens and excessive Google imaging.
(photo's gained through the window of H&M)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Candida complete

Yay! This is for my art history of Dario Tironi. The poor doll's been through a lot but now everything is over and she's finished. She can finally rest covered in crab's legs and bottles and abandoned children's toys and broken electrical equipment. I'll stick all the photos of her on a big sheet then upload a photo of that when it's done, now I just have to try and draw her x

The Cure. Royal Albert Hall. London. Novemeber

GIGGLING LIKE A MANIAC woooooooooooooooewifbiurebgpiebwekjvgjkidfgfdhthrehjbf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thing is, The Cure, I've wanted to see them SOO MUCH that now there's a realistic opportunity I don't believe it. It can't be real. It can't possibly! Especially because throughout this year I've already been insanely lucky enough to see Pulp, Morrissey, Maximo Park, Grace Jones and Iggy and The Stooges... AND The Cure play 2 days before I see RHCP (which is outrageously unbelievably enough!) It's too much. How is this true??
I LOVE The Cure more than words can express. They are everything to me. I think I love music more than anything. There's nothing bad about that and if there are opportunity's to see people that you absolutely adore, why not? I greatly apologize for this outburst, I'm not even sure who I'm aiming this at.
This is life and I have to do this. I have to.

My cats being cute

Sunday, 25 September 2011

This is what happens when I get locked out

I forgot my key so am sitting in the Library not sure what to do. I just got a whiff of the nice vanilla smell I also got a whiff of in English, but I don't know where it's from. I'm very hungry and quite restless and a bit annoyed. I've started reading an excellent book but I don't have it with me. It's called The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. I really just want to go home. This is really quite inconvenient for me.
I am now sat on top of a big pile of rocks and steps that dad said used to be a slide. I'm watching the sea, it's very calm and flat and big but it makes me need a wee even more. Just as I think to myself 'I'm sat here watching so I hope something interesting happens' a man wearing long, black, religious robes and a grey beard walks past, we often see him going past our house.
That mans gone now, another person we often see has turned up. She's wearing a long, pale blue coat and drags a lilac shopping basket behind her, she walks the same path he did but from the opposite direction. Come to think of it, I first saw her where I last saw him.
Now a jogger in bright red shorts with a dog has appeared. I can hear his trainers stamp in time with the dog's claws. They don't go up the same path as the man and the woman though. Now a speed boat is going past on the sea making many different noises. I should clarify that the runner was wearing red shorts, not his dog. I hope mum gets home soon. I'm starting to get a bit aggravated and this stone is no longer comfortable. I cough and get a bit startled as it's the only proper near by sound I've heard since lunchtime. The sun's reflecting on a life jacket, making one part of it's case really bright white. It's odd down here. No one's gone past in a while. Looking around me I feel a bit alone but not in a sad way. I've never wanted to be home so much.

Acrylic Afternoons

I finished my first painting wooohoooo!!!
It began with doubt, worry, uncertainty and a bit of 'what am I doing painting? I can't paint! Why's there so much skin colour!?' then I actually started it and anxiety turned into 'oh this is quite enjoyable!' Now I love oil paint. Wooh! Thank you to everyone who liked this on Facebook =)

Monday, 5 September 2011

This is what happens when I can't sleep

Early Saturday morning. Still on a bad Sunny D come down, that drink does things to me. Can't sleep. Wide awake yet fast asleep, this is a dark time. I hear seagulls, the sky keeps changing. I'm surviving on half the recommended hours of sleep a night. I dream of festivals and make up stories in my head. It's too hot but I know that without the duvet I'll shiver. I hear cars pass the window, it's too early. Where could they be going? I've spent my night and morning watching the hands of a clock. Even when I close my eyes. There's nothing else to do but lie and tell myself I'm sleeping. But me and my head and my body and all the eyes on the wall know this isn't true. Shadows are cast over the bed as the sun rises, cheating me. An orange glow seeps through the window where the curtain fell down, shining on my insomnia. I hear the world and the sea and it's animals wake up, just like I heard them sleep. Everything is still and silent. The birds are awake but slow and the sea still sleeps, it's turned lilac in the reflection of the sun. My mind sung myself awake. I watch a baby bird peck at rubbish on the road. A driver takes no concern in considering to swerve. It lands by the damaged bollard another driver hit. I think to myself here, as I sit. Darkness hides nothing when it comes down to it. If I look around the corner of the window I can see The High Point Hotel. A national reference point for locating local scandals. Like when those boys got caught in a storm and when that girl threatened to jump into the sea. Thing is, The High Point Hotel's been closed for as long as I can remember. Lighting is almost the colour of daylight now. Things are getting brighter and bluer and whiter. Ships are moving about, a small boat swims into the path of sunlight. This is the time for joggers and cyclists and dog walkers and drivers, or people who've been awake all night and have given up on trying to sleep. One day I'm gonna draw this room, face by face, thing by thing. I would paint the sky too but it's different every time I glance my eye. I hear a cat's collar clinking on a food bowl in the kitchen as I watch a bird's wing trace the edge of a long blue cloud, like a fingertip along the top of a dusty shelf. My mum wakes up in the next room, puts the kettle on and opens the back door. It seems like the day has started. Without me embracing the night. I close one eye and see the opposite side of my room reflected in the dressing table mirror. The crumpled heap of my duvet suggesting restlessness, the pile of jumpers and underwear I moved from this chair. My sleeping bag thrown in the corner from when the end of August became too cold and we had to stop kidding ourselves that there'd even been a summer at all.

This is a quick self portrait I did in the Laing Art Gallery on a strange silver board about a month ago =)

Art gallery's make me happy

Photo number one is a painting board at Bingley Music Live. Just out of shot it said 'Jarvis Cocker is god' in yellow paint but 'god' looked like more like 'goo'. No points for guessing who wrote that (me) Photo number two is from The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle, my favourite art gallery. It would be cool to have a massive doodle wall that like that in my room, I might try it. Interactive art is the best kind.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

"Oops, I think we just broke the small Yorkshire town, Bingley. What a night! What a crowd!"


After six or more years of waiting to see Maximo Park, I'm now lucky enough to say that I've finally managed to see them not only once but four times! With each performance I swear Lukas Wooller becomes more and attractive and Paul Smith's moves become slicker. Not only have they both replied to me on Twitter but at my request they've been playing my favourite song, Postcard of a Painting, on their recent festival dates and I even managed to touch Paul's knees and get their setlist from The Cluny. Happy, happy happy! I would go into more detail about all of the gigs and all of the encounters but it would be best if I didn't as I can get carried away, as anyone who remotely knows me will agree,  plus I need to try and look presentable for going to see the original King Kong tonight, bye