Archive for June, 2014

Premier of Ralph Steadman documentary fronted by Johnny Depp
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2112152/ starts at 9 tonight on sky Atlantic.

Who He? i hear you say…?

He is the amazing, acerbic, caricaturist and illustrator that became famous/synonymous for his association with the acid drenched craziness of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism and the “look” of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The man’s a bona fide genius.

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Neo-feudal Britain – the Barons are back in control 800 years after Magna Carta

After 800 years, the barons are back in control of Britain

The Magna Carta forced King John to give away powers. But big business now exerts a chilling grip on the workforce.

Hounded by police and bailiffs, evicted wherever they stopped, they did not mean to settle here. They had walked out of London to occupy disused farmland on the Queen’s estates surrounding Windsor Castle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that didn’t work out very well. But after several days of pursuit, they landed two fields away from the place where modern democracy is commonly supposed to have been born.

At first this group of mostly young, dispossessed people, who (after the17th century revolutionaries) call themselves Diggers 2012, camped on the old rugby pitch of Brunel University’s Runnymede campus. It’s a weed-choked complex of grand old buildings and modern halls of residence, whose mildewed curtains flap in the wind behind open windows, all mysteriously abandoned as if struck by a plague or a neutron bomb.

The diggers were evicted again, and moved down the hill into the woods behind the campus – pressed, as if by the ineluctable force of history, ever closer to the symbolic spot. From the meeting house they have built and their cluster of tents, you can see across the meadows to where theMagna Carta was sealed almost 800 years ago.

Their aim is simple: to remove themselves from the corporate economy, to house themselves, grow food and build a community on abandoned land. Implementation is less simple. Soon after I arrived, on a sodden day last week, an enforcer working for the company which now owns the land came slithering through the mud in his suit and patent leather shoes with a posse of police, to serve papers.

Already the crops the settlers had planted had been destroyed once; the day after my visit they were destroyed again. But the repeated destruction, removals and arrests have not deterred them. As one of their number, Gareth Newnham, told me: “If we go to prison we’ll just come back … I’m not saying that this is the only way. But at least we’re creating an opportunity for young people to step out of the system.”

To be young in the post-industrial nations today is to be excluded. Excluded from the comforts enjoyed by preceding generations; excluded from jobs; excluded from hopes of a better world; excluded from self-ownership.

Those with degrees are owned by the banks before they leave college. Housing benefit is being choked off. Landlords now demand rents so high that only those with the better jobs can pay. Work has been sliced up and outsourced into a series of mindless repetitive tasks, whose practitioners are interchangeable. Through globalisation and standardisation, through unemployment and the erosion of collective bargaining and employment laws, big business now asserts a control over its workforce almost unprecedented in the age of universal suffrage.

article continues here

 

Popups have been an integral part of the exhibition and display industry for more than 15 years – particularly with the introduction of large format digital display printing technology which meant you could have a minimum run of one. Almost everybody in marketing departments will have seen one, the majority will have used one and most will have been involved in purchasing one. Popup displays are a way to achieve a high end look on a low end budget – or in my case, virtually zero budget.

I have been fortunate to be allowed to up-cycle several popups retrieved from a pile of unwanted or faulty ones at a Cardiff Repro company. I painted the popup marketing banners and added distorted figures and other artwork designs and ideas on a narrative theme. My idea was to utilise these popups as a series of guerrilla art interventions. An art exhibition I can literally pop up and pop back down in virtually any location. Their size of approx 2m x 1m unfolded and portability because of their light weight of approx 6kg meant that these were ideal canvasses for the type of artworks I had envisaged.

photoshopped image printed on 4xA3 sheets transferred using a translucent type of silicone adhesive

photoshopped image printed on 4xA3 sheets
transferred using a translucent type of silicone adhesive

I used acrylics and iridescent acrylic… and coffee

I used acrylics and iridescent acrylic… and coffee

I used a number of risky techniques on the finish of this banner. I used a gas torch, soldering iron, bathroom sealant and "drew" with wet wipes.

I used a number of risky techniques on the finish of this banner. I used a gas torch, soldering iron, bathroom sealant and “drew” with wet wipes.

a pop up art intervention.here I'm photographing my artworks in a corporate environment

a pop up art intervention.here I’m photographing my artworks in a corporate environment

What are my artworks about?

I have tried to galvanise various strains of my developmental ideas that I’ve made over the last eighteen months into a narrative. My artwork depicts the anthropological notion of “Structural Violence”. As a narrative for these exhibition pieces I have referred to the 2008 Joseph Rowntree Foundation study which identified four main “Social Evils”.

Greed and the decline of honesty are among seven social evils undermining Britain’s society, according to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The research organisation said collapsing moral values and failing institutions such as the education system blighted the lives of millions. A report by the group found the abuse of drink and drugs, the permanence of poverty and the breakdown of the family are all scourges that deeply worry most of the population. The foundation said that while many of today’s problems can be solved, social evils run deeper and are “something more complex, menacing and indefinable”. They “imply a degree of scepticism, realism or despair over whether any remedy can be found”. The research found there was a deep unease about rampant greed, individualism and decline of community. Respondents said that they felt our society has become more greedy and selfish, at a cost to sense of community. They said that Britain no longer share a set of common values and that we have lost our ‘moral compass’. Rampant greed was blamed on the behaviour of those in positions of power and influence; politicians, corporations and bankers.

In my research and dissertation essay I have referred to the elite group as a neo-feudal paradigm. I have also referred to my research into a mass cognitive dissonance and the worship/fetishization of commodities and the commodification and monetization of basic human needs and rights. My artworks are a response to my feelings, my anger and my research.

 

Marketing popup materials specification:

Basic Roller Banner

  • 2120mm Single-sided roller banner
  • 850 and 1000mm widths
  • snap rail
  • Twist out feet for balance and stability
  • Anodised silver finish
  • Carry bag included
  • weight approx 6kg