26 Dec 2013

Gaia, The birth of an end. Photography by Kerry Mitchell.

Gaia, The Birth of an End © Kirsty Mitchell



Here is a short but stunning film of the creation of one of Kerry's works. Filmed and edited by fxmedia.




Kerry Mitchell's Blog is here.

20 Dec 2013

Look but please don't touch

I've been meaning to post this for a while but I've been traveling a bit and the internet is sparse in China.

Cthulhu idol


The mighty Propnomicon posted this picture of a piece he'd made a while back. I am partially taken with the stone texture although the sculpting work is very good as well. 

I've not worked much with polymer clay much and am in the process of remedying this at the moment. I love using new materials and this has been on my do-to list for years, it's creations like this one that have attracted me. Click the photo and check the comments to find out a little about it's creation or better yet, get some of this stuff under your finger nails!

27 Nov 2013

The bottom of the info chain


3301


I only just heard about this. Really interesting stuff. It seems the suspicion lays with the usual suspects, I think they do anyway but none the less, truly cool and art no-doubt in many forms. Shit like this makes me wish I was cleaver.




8 Nov 2013

Dragon Blood - Serpent Scales




The very beautiful Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento Italy is currently the home of the very entertaining exhibition Dragon Blood - Serpent Scales. I was there a few weeks ago and despite my diet of Vino Rosso, I was lucky to figuratively stumbled on it. As if visiting a castle as intact and functioning as Buonconsiglio isn't enough, the exhibition is amazing. It's subject is slightly loose but mainly centred around myth and early 19th century assemblage rooms. Enough said! 


The myth of Actaeon


Wandering the grand halls you'll see sculpture, paintings, architecture, and drawings, 17th century-masters to Egyptian mummies and gaff from before there was a sideshow. 


This is no Fee jee mermaid, it is an original.

I wasn't able to get too many photos of the show as the security were pretty intense but if you find yourself in the wonderful hills of Trentino the show is definitely worth stopping in to see.


Fountain of Neptune, Piazza Duomo Trento

I would suggest trying to get a little Italian under your belt before you go as the citizens of Trento, for the most part seem a little anti visitor compared to other more "touristy" parts of Italy but still worth a look. Like I said, even just going for Dragon Blood - Serpent Scales would be worth it.

26 Sep 2013

Extremities, organs and associated paraphernalia.

If you are a keen reader (Hi Nan!) you may remember a post I did a while ago about my Witch's hand and heart. Well the project had a point and direction which I didn't really touch on back then. The goal was to produce a couple of artifacts, storage for said artifacts and documentation to support a long, interesting but readable history. Well and am pleased to say I think I have finished. 


For the Glory of God


I've also produced a Witch's finger (Check out this fantastic one on Propnomicon) as a smaller project along with an aged accompanying letter and photos from the original seller of both items. So here's the story,  On the 25th of may 1951 The good Rev S. Jones contacts Mr C. H. Williamson of the Newly established Isle of Man witchcraft Museum. The Reverend has a rather expensive roof to fix and a church vault full of rather distasteful relics the diocese wish to distance themselves from. He snaps some pictures and toddles off to the post office. The deal is done. 



 
Cursed Finger


Mr Williamson takes delivery of the items, cleans em up, dresses up the cases a bit, archives them and issues his admission tickets. Happy days! In 1958 and in line with the attitudes of the times, favour falls from the struggling Museum and it is closed. These two items, being of sensitive materials and historical importance are again sold. The London Museum takes delivery, another set of archives tags are added and a new warehouse becomes their home.

Now if you are a keen eyed devil, I'm sure you'll notice the original post about the Witch's hand is dated the 9th of November. This was the first time I've created prop documents and photos of this age and I have to say it is a huge under taking. Not only the research involved in finding probable situations, but places, people, understanding their motivations and language are all part of the story and just as important as the main props. Then there's the ageing. I've worked with wood a bit and am comfortable with my ageing process but paper and photos are a whole different kettle of witch's brew. There's finding historical paper and photo sizes, stamps, postage marks, making authentic envelopes. I could go on and on. I can't remember how many versions of the photos I've taken, printed, then aged and tested. I know I'm up to six completed versions of the envelopes before I was happy and the letter. Oh god! The letter! lol. I certainly have a new respect for anyone producing this type of material but what joy! I really can't tell you how much I've enjoyed this project and how satisfying it has been. 


My Etsy


So, what's next. Well I am pleased to tell you I've opened an Etsy. It's been in the works for a while and the  Witch's hand and heart was always to be my first listing. I've been working on a few other things as well to go on there such as the Fairy fossils and the DogÅ« so please check it out and let me know what you think. More listings to come. Thank you for stopping by.


23 Sep 2013

Double, Double Toil and Trouble


So we hire a rental car to move house, after a thousand trips back and forwards and countless flights of stairs the new place is full and looks similar to Warehouse 13. We are left only with the simple task of everything else. Que sightseeing day trip. Our little part of Devon is bordered by the world famous Cornwall. If you're an Artist or Surfer, Cornwall they tell me is the place to be. You didn't hear it here.


The hills of Dartmoor



We headed out to a little place called Boscastle. I really wanted to take the B3212 road running through Dartmoor National Park. The stretch between Postbridge and Two Bridges is famous for the Hairy Hands. A ghostly apparition which is reputed to appear to tired travellers, grab the steering wheel or reins and drive them off the road. I know what you're thinking. Late night at the local, travelling home, very tired if not distracted by the no doubt serious conversation had at said local, miss a corner, and the road, in the ditch, embarrassment, fantastic explanation, problem solved. Well I've seen the Hairy Hands on a website and a book so it's gotta be true. Anyway we didn't. Even though it was 11am, fear got the better of us and we took the A38. Devon and Cornwall are fantastic pieces of country. They remind me a little of some parts of New Zealand, only more condensed. A few missed turns and some suspect B roads and Boscastle opened before us. What a stunning place.


Boscastle


Boscastle is a settlement built on a rather steep valley heading down to a small port. The first thing that struck me was that it is a place which has all the signs of a harsh environment and yet everything looks very fresh. I remembered then some friends, who had recommended I take the trip, had told me stories of the 2004 flood. Everything seems to be rebuilt now and very nice it is indeed but the flood must have been a horrific thing for the locals and to bounce back in the fashion they have is a truly commendable feat.

The town itself is beautiful. The rendered buildings sit light in white and slate against the rocky valley. The contrast is amazing, it gives a rather strange yet peaceful feel. My destination was the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft. I've been chomping at the bit to get down there from the moment I'd heard about it. I'm not a Pagan nor can I pretend to understand the in's and out's of Paganism or any religions for that matter but this period of history interests me greatly and one can find no better place to gather interesting information on witchcraft than Boscastle or indeed the greater Devon/Cornwall area.


Museum of Witchcraft


The Museum is small compared to other institutes bearing the word but their collection is more than extensive. Beginning with the most violent period, the Witch trails of the 1600s drops you very much in the deep end and to be honest I found this part of the museum really quite sad. History in similar respects normally just makes me angry but the presentation of document and artifacts of which hunting, "questioning" and torture, really drive home a very sombre image of the period. 



A very handy device used for weighting your local Witch


I was beginning to think this was going to ruin my day but the rabbit warren of witchery delight was just beginning. I could have spent hours there and did my best to. 


Note the floor. I love it.


 Over the remaining rooms and second floor the journey is much more up beat and spans the very wide field of left hand secular spiritualism and yes there is even a small display dedicated to the C.O.S. and its beloved head carny. I did feel there were a few gaps and still wonder at the lack of Mr Crowley paraphernalia but I'm sure it could have something to do with the prices items in this area fetch and not some theological differences. The Golden Dawn is featured rather impressively. 


Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn


Enjoy the photos but if you are ever in the deep dark Devon, take the Dartmoor National Park road and turn violently right once you pass the Hairy Hands, enjoy some amazing scenery and the very beautiful town of Boscastle and Museum of Witchcraft. Make sure you try the Devon cream tea and take a walk to the coast as well. The slate is stunning and you'll swear you've been there before. A long time ago.


Boscastle to the Celtic Sea

29 Aug 2013

Yeah, I'm, I'm hip about time.

Wyatt was OK. OK in the decadent American drifter trying to do (right) while self destructing on the highway to hell. We've all been there. The most interesting have anyway. Not that it's a requirement but it helps sometimes to know where the edge is and it makes for a good beer story at the very least.


The Quick


 I've been digging the last few weeks, in boxes of mixed purpose and decision. I've the opportunity in my day job of doing the same but it's very different when it's your own shit. I managed to do it in NZ too and both times have had very different outcomes. I've been looking over a few sculptures, some craft and prop based and one art sculpture. Time away from stuff like this, things you are really invested in, can really teach you things. Perspective is a wonderful thing I guess. Everyone says stuff like that. Everyone knows stuff like that too but the slap of realisation is always a slap. Never softened by experience. Sitting here writing this I'm thinking who the hell am I to be even talking about this? I know shit. Point is anyway, I'm pretty pleased with my sculpture. Dunno when I'll get the chance to finish it but I live in hope. It really was a surprise to hold it, almost like a pair of socks or bottle of beer and then realise I'm holding Grandma's vase. I feel kinda good!

So grab some fresh eyes when you can. This is a personal note so please don't feel I'm preaching. I'm writing this so I can reflect on it when I need to. You see my good family lost a special person in the last few weeks to suicide. It was a hell of a shock to everyone and like most things in life, happened when we are least prepared to deal with it. I had only just left the country so missed the funeral, my chance to grieve and give my support. For the former, I feel cheated and the latter, so very sorry. Seems our young friend needed fresh eyes. It's hard to look into the abyss. Harder still when you don't think you will ever see anything other than. We need to know time. Give it time. Take time. I'm gutted for him and his kin. He was a great guy, brother, son, grandson and cousin. Our family was better for him and now we are not. Please, take some time. Know winter too will break but for summer. Give yourself some time.

Rest well Cam. 18 November 1989 - 6th August 2013


25 Aug 2013

Reduce Reuse Recycle.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have had the great pleasure of being in New Zealand for three months. As if thats not enough, I met my Lady in Singapore on the way back home to the UK for a tour around Malaysia and Thailand. If you are ever over that way and get the chance, check out Tioman Island. It's off the east coast of Malaysia, about an hour from the town of Mersing by boat (but I would suggest flying in). A stunning and very relaxing place. We also went to Penang, KL and good ol Phuket (a staple for sure but we needed to blow some off). A great time was had. 
I thought often of litter on our trip. It is not my intention to criticise any country about waste management, it's just that visiting anywhere as beautiful as these parts of the world ones eye and mind can turn to such things. It's a real distraction to see plastic water bottles and food wrappers blowing along beautiful beaches and icing sugar sand. As a tourist I do my best to leave a good impression of my home country by leaving as little behind as possible bar smiles and tips. Do the right thing out there folks and take it with you or use the bin (as long as it's not over flowing). 
To my regret, that leads me to another point. My (old) cellular communication provider has a policy of rather intense recycling. After a period of 70, yes 70 days of not using ones number it gets recycled back into the system. I know what you are thinking. "Wankers!" or "You didn't use a phone for 70 days?" Well yes and kinda. I used a NZ number.

So...



Please feel free to get in touch if you need or wish to order anything. I am available by E-mail at the address contained in my welcome message to the top left of this blog. My sincere apologies for any inconvenience this has caused. Go get some sun.


18 Aug 2013

Sketch books, The Birds and Bill Hammond Pt3

Oh yea, The Byrds.


Sketch books, The Birds and Bill Hammond Pt2

I bet Artist Bill Hammond of Lyttleton New Zealand, has some very informative sketchbooks. Hammond attended the School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury from 1966 to 1969 and began exhibiting in 1980. I'm not sure how quickly or warmly Hammond was received but he surely seems to be a powerhouse. His early work still seems contemporary. The cubist/tribal/surfboard cartoons of the 90's pop culture surely must have been schooled by Hammond in some shape or form but he still very much transcends it.


Bank Video 1989
     
Bank Video is an earlier work depicting a rather violent scene in comic book style. These 1980's works were painted on metal, wallpaper, canvas and Holland blinds. It seems Hammond was reckless, desperate, almost exploding to produce. I've always loved diverse use of materials and believe this slight disregard of tradition or forced audience re-focus is a clue to Hammond's concerns and to his credit. By 1991's Modern Day, one of the last of these works, his style had begun to change. The background and foreground had merged reminiscent of Japanese vase paintings.


Modern Day 1991

I first became aware of Hammond by a truly modern way. Channel surfing while bored, flatting, broke and idle. Hammond was the focus of discussion on some daytime/morning lifestyle show. This must have been around 1996 and the work I remember was Icarus. The "Placemakers" series/ideas was the result of a trip to the Auckland islands in 1991 and Hammond's interest in Walter Buller's "A History of the Birds of New Zealand".


Icarus 1995
 
Obviously I'm no P.h.D. so my ignorance will be staggering in its dogs balls likeness but I remember being blown away. I remember thinking, why is there not more art like this. Haunting, blatant. Twisted with a slap in the face. Anti-everything that's wrong but so bloody sweet as to infiltrate the white walls. I for many years forgot Mr Hammond's lessons to me like I do with many others. One sunny day after a young death, a good friend was by my side for a peep talk. Hammond came up. Stories of his work ethic and dedication lifted me and my dear friend set me to sail. This was many years ago now. This past April I had the good fortune to spend a few months in my home town of Christchurch, New Zealand and with another good friend spoke of Hammond. The smell of green hills and the turquoise harbour inspired me like never before.



Placemakers 2 1996


I talked with friends, artists and musicians. Mused on work, working and process. I freed my old car from storage, drove through the feat that is the Lyttleton tunnel to the port and thought of Hammond. Somewhere among the leafy, broken port, in secret, scribing in a sketchbook. Quite an intimidating thought for a person as short on talent as myself but inspiring none the less. 


Ballroom 2000


Thank you my New Zealand friends. Thank you to the Australian brethren. Thank you to The Eastern. Thank you for the Territory. Thank you to the Wunderbar. Thank you to artists and their scuffed pages, grubby hands, spilled paint and dirty clothes. Thank you for the Sketch books, long talks and cold beers. Thank you to the friends. Thank you for the support, shared tears and hard words. Thank you to my family and my other family. Thank you to Mr Bill Hammond.


1 Aug 2013

Sketch books, The Birds and Bill Hammond. Pt1



I love looking at Artist's sketch books. There is something about the note, the ignition of an idea. I love to try and interpret the reminder. Elements and composition imagined and tested. It's comforting also to know others do and sometimes must perform these tasks. To me, it's also a very intimate experience between it's author and viewer. When faced with a sketchbook, anyone would blush. But it is an honour to be offered to check out what was never meant to be checked out. And always fun.

I put the word out asking if anyone would let me show a picture of their sketchbook. Even if it was just the cover. So I kept an eye on my email. To very much my pleasure, a few very helpful and generous folk sent some in. I was initially a little disappointed to only receive these wo. They are great pictures and in one case I felt very honoured to be sent a variety of images to choose from. But I honestly thought or wanted to get a few more to show you all. It wasn't long thinking about it that I realised what may have happened. I've mentioned here and in the post asking for them that a sketchbook is a very private thing. I guess there is more truth to this than I first thought. I completely understand the reluctance to release into the public domain something this private and I'm sure in many cases, one's secret formula's. None the less these are great examples of how simple and also, how complicated a sketchbook can be. They are also very reassuring in both these respects and this I hoped would be the outcome.

So, here are the images I received. I won't comment on the pictures or work, for it is not my place to do so but enjoy this very private experience. Please click on the image to be whizzed off to the corresponding links provided.


Alyn Mulholland



Alice Thickett



Thank you so very much for sending these in. I really appreciate it.

Grab some paper folks and have a doodle. It's good for the soul.


23 Jul 2013

Twice daily with food.


If you are anything like me I'm sure you spend hours grazing links and art works online. I have at least a dozen sites I visit everyday for the run-down. Most of which are high-end clothing houses but it aren't easy looking this good.


Lioncorn



I wanted to share some of the stuff I check out because some of these sites, Artists, Writers and Admins have given so much pleasure and knowledge to me and my fellow readers it's the least I could do. So in no particular order, here is one. Lioncorn is great. It's an Art, culture blog. Always something interesting.



Propnomicon


Propnomicon is a prop focused site leaning strongly towards the Lovecraft mythos. Up-dated with incredible regularity, propnomicon is an all ways interesting stop off. It also places great focus to learning, ideas and technique.         



Replica prop forum


The Replica prop forum is the largest prop builders forum. It is an amazing database of knowledge thanks to the incredibly talented members and a great community.



Beinart


From the website: "The beinArt Collective was formed to increase public awareness of strange figurative art, in galleries, online and in print."  Lots of incredible work and Artists. 
 
Colossal
 
Colossal is an Art and design blog. Always interesting and inspiring stuff. 
So, there you go. Have a look at these if you get a chance. I'm sure you'll find them handy. And to all the content providers out there hacking away, Thank you.
 

29 Jun 2013

Blog about bloggin.


I'm working on a wee blog post and I would really like some photos of sketchbooks. I love sketchbooks. Hard working, scuffed up sketchbooks. If you message me a picture of yours, I'll post it on my blog, label it anything you like, give you photo credit and link it to anything you like. If you're an artist I can link it to your art page, personal page, a business, your dogs facebook page or a charity if you like. If you're not an artist, no worries, same thing. And if you don't want any arty weirdos sniffing around just let me know and we can link it accordingly. I'll link it to anything you like.
Doesn't have to show any work or sketches, could be just the cover, could be the dodgy top draw you keep it in. Anything, no rules except just a photo of your sketch book.
Watta ya reckon? Anyone keen? Flick me a message. You can get me on the Facebook on the right or at barryjohnlikesart@gmail.com

Thank you!!!

Here's mine...


My Sketchbook. Click here for the mighty Propnomicon. 
 

20 Jun 2013

Lyttelton Port, New Zealand

Lyttelton Port


Out On The Weekend

Think I'll pack it in
And buy a pick-up
Take it down to L.A.
Find a place to call my own
And try to fix up.
Start a brand new day.

The woman I'm thinking of,
She loved me all up
But I'm so down today
She's so fine, she's in my mind.
I hear her callin'.



The WunderBar


 See the lonely boy,
Out on the weekend
Trying to make it pay.
Can't relate to joy,
He tries to speak and
Can't begin to say.

She got pictures on the wall,
They make me look up
From her big brass bed.
Now I'm running down the road
Trying to stay up
Somewhere in her head.



The Eastern


The woman I'm thinking of,
She loved me all up
But I'm so down today
She's so fine she's in my mind.
I hear her callin'.

See the lonely boy,
Out on the weekend
Trying to make it pay.
Can't relate to joy,
He tries to speak and
Can't begin to say.

-Neil Young


10 Jun 2013

Sam Jinks



Untitled, 2007 - Sam Jinks


What do you do when you get bored making props and puppets for television and film? Sounds like a trick question doesn't it. Well I guess every job has a Monday morning so if you're Australian born Sam Jinks you take your silicon punches to the gallery. Melbourne based Jinks has 23 years of commercial sculpting under his belt, the last 16 of which have been spent peddling his hyper-(sur)realism on the white walls. 




Woman and Child. 2010


 
Of the "hyper" clique Jinks is my fav. Far more sinister than Mueck and somehow planted firmer than Piccinini. Jinks whispers to us about ourselves. From clay marquette to clay positive. Moulded and poured in silicon. This simple recipe is all that is needed to gift, or relieve, vital breath to or from his powerful figures.  He is surely a witch, or in cahoots with the beast. We may have to discuss the pitchforks soon.


 

Still Life (Pieta), 2007



It's apparent from his works like the 2007 "Still Life, Pieta" that the stories were fleshed out before we arrived, we are left squarely with the punctuation. Savage on the part of Jinks, for the tragedy is blunt force but it also seems to me to be a large part of the point. Caring, gentleness, is subtle, often lost in the mix, over looked or taken for granted. Worse yet, cancelled out. Powerful stuff. Do something nice for someone/thing today, and keep it a secret. It's magick.




12 May 2013

Wartime economics, The little green army man




Casualties of War, Dorothy Collective, 2009


The Dorothy Collectives Casualties of War was in my opinion one of the greatest art pieces of 2009. It was a welcome relief to the already stale talk concerning Hirst's For the love of God and coincided very nicely with one of the most important experiences of my life so far, my travelling through India and Egypt. Looking back now it is also interesting to note that this leg of my trip started in Turkey (New Zealand and Turkey share many very sad wartime stories) and the very stunning city of Istanbul. In the short time I spend there I became convinced it is not only one of the most romantic places in the world but also my spiritual home. I'm glad now for the rest Istanbul afforded as although India and Egypt are equally stunning and also hold an often intense spiritual pull for many, (even for some who have actually made it there) they are demanding. The realities of being in the fringes of the Middle East were not lost on me, nor was the small chance of my potential mistaken heritage (I even stitched a New Zealand flag to my pack, up-side down of course). It was though the smiles, sweat, interest and dirty old corporate logos worm by descendants of Pharaohs and holy men that caught my attention. It seemed apparent to my "western" eyes a trade had been made with these great empires, for their structure, their history. The deal must have been subtle over the years for a few generations later and these kings and gods looked at me with wonder. In my wonder I was confused.

In many ways 2009 was very much a transitional period for me and one focused one introspection and global awareness. I feel I woke up. Not in the "I've gone out and seen the world and I'm amazing" kinda way but more "I've gone out and seen the world and now I feel as insignificant as a bug and I really wanna help" kinda way. I don't know if I've really been too affective in my intentions since then and to be honest I'd have to be suspicious of anyone who spouts bollocks like this but that is the way I did and still feel. It's a small arse little ball o' mud 'n' rock floating in toxic space and we spend most of our time on here just bumping into stuff. Case in point a few weeks earlier I was standing in Billund, Denmark, gazing upon pyramids made of lego.



Wartime economics, The little green army man, 2010, Barry John


My concept for The little green army man is where I think we are heading. It may not be as salient as that of the Dorothy Collective's where we are now, especially considering recent military history but that mixed with the current and very much ongoing world wide economic situation, seems almost a certainty. I despair as to what employment the surplus of the human resource will be presented with once our militarises reduce overheads by way of cloning. I fear our young will one day muse on the genitally manipulated and ruminate over the heroes kept in cages. To war there seems no end but increased efficiency.



1 Apr 2013

Emil Alzamora

Emil Alzamora


Being a true follower of fashion and the go to guy for advice on shoe and collar alike, I'm always reading the latest glossy or perusing the sharp end of the high street. I'm only at home with shop assistants doting and tills ringing and if the boutique is absent the fashion channel, I'm outa there! I've stated this often but there is one thing I've never understood. Once in a while some correspondent in a bad take on a good suit or a columnist so obviously dressed by a sponsor, will remark, ________ is the new black. Normally this kind of craziness would launch me into email admonish or swift twitter reprimand. Those in the know, know, black will always be the new black and I don't mean very very very very very, very very very dark blue!



Masochist



Emil Alzamora has broken this rule. White is the new black. His clean gypsum and bronze work is as simple and refined as you could expect. Blindfolded and drunk, using only a trusty pointing stick you could pick any piece, place it in any gallery, in any city and draw stellar review and crowd to boot. Mesopotamian art and myth seem to influence a lot of his work giving us easy approach, until we find ourselves standing in a puddle of surreal dripping on the floor. Like many of my favourite artists his interest is emotion and situation expressed in the human form but like only a few he does this with such cunning and subtlety, as to fool any audience of his severity.



A Nice Reflection


 
His form is flawless, even while so obviously holding back in realism, giving just enough space for us from the warts. I love this. Like the murder ballads Alzamora has infiltrated the daily art scene. Morrison said "like a spy in the house of love". I say like Manson at Polanski's pad. I do not wish to make light of the misfortunes of the great Mr Polanski or the tragic death of his good wife and friends and I just know I'll feel bad about that statement in the morning. I just feel I should drive my point that although Emil Alzamora strikes me as a true gentleman and very talented artist, I do believe at least some of his skill is his fooling us into gazing upon ideas and situations which would, in the dark hour, haunt.



Ultima Thule


 His work sneaks up well after we turn away and the knowing is a slow growing cancer. Realisation at snails pace, doing us the true favour of softening the blow. Few will immediately see the gut wrenching that stands lightly in white, black or rust. This is to Alzamoras credit. I envy this element of his work the most. 


 
Minotaur

 
Visit Emil Alzamora here or better go to a show if you're lucky enough to be near one. You'll be glad you did.



28 Mar 2013

Horology by Eric Freitas

Horology  
noun
1. The study and measurement of time.
2. The art of making clocks and watches.
            -Oxford Dictionary 


Eric Freitas


 I can't think of many arts that are so intertwined with their subject nor can I think of an artist who's work is the sole need as an example of discipline than Mr Eric Freitas and his clock making. Freitas was born in Chelsea, Michigan, studied his BFA at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and currently lives and works in Royal Oak Michigan.



Mechanical No. 5



The first work of Mr Feitas's I came across was Mechanical No. 5. This was maybe sometime in 2009, it was a staring feature in an article concerning the seemingly death defying sub-culture-(fashion) of steampunk. I'm not sure I see steampunk, I feel that is unjust. I've mentioned my acceptance of convenient terms of reference in my occasional online rants and I will try not to contradict myself here. The punks of steam are a very creative bunch but I believe are often, somewhat tarnished by low quality crafters drifting scene to scene and the odd commercial encroachment, so please, do know I see their battle and would happily give them a boost but I do not see coal, steam or any continuation of the steam age timeline. I do see brass and gears but like when I see a horse, I do not see a Tesco burger, a brass gear makes a steampunk not.





I see design. I see theory's tested. I see a young Leonardo up late with candle and secret commission. I see cryptic structure and clue, not for the sake of but for necessity, protection and uncertainty. There is no doubt, a hint of the Prince Dakkar but it seems to me, this is our reference, not that of Freitas. His work is pure and consistently his own but maybe channelled. His devices are unique in that the art of clock making is stretched, force to overlap aesthetics and myth. The purity of measurement is treated, decay morphs into creation. We are left wondering with only the knowledge of our position in the day or night to ease the incomprehensible. Eric Freitas presents an inspiration, an invitation. To what world we can only surmise. And we are better for the wonder.


ericfreitas.com

25 Feb 2013

Handmade Arcade



Only a few short days to go until the hustle 'n' bustle of Handmade Arcade cranks up once again Thanks to Hayley and Nathan of NGNGDesign. I'm really looking forward to getting back to Fore St and seeing what everyone has been up to over the last two months.

Coming from a very long line of "do it yourself"ers it's habit for me to walk streets and wonder what marvellously inventive things are going on behind the walls. Although I'm kinda use to meeting folk and expecting them to be up to some kind of "extra curricular activates" ;-) it never ceases to amaze me at the variety and to the extent some of these run. Handmade Arcade and anything like it are great places to have a wee peek into the creative lives of other folk and maybe even inspiration to take up a new hobby. They are proof that being interdependent and original are good things. They also show that people with different interests are really not that different at all and the most common coals of community, friendship and experience are shared by everyone.
 
I've been a lil slow on the up take but thanks to my friends over at Facebook I can tell you Abi and Leon of The Spirit Forge (facebook) will be there showing off their unique Wiccan goods as well as the ever bewildering work of glass artist Madeline Bunyan. I also have it on good authority that the ever growing and proud Exeter Local Records will also be slinging some tunes. That's all the goss' I've been able to pick up so far but rest assured there will be plenty more. Please take a few moments to check these good folk out and pop down on the 2nd of March to see many many more.



21 Feb 2013

No rest for the wicked.




Exeter's only faithful weather lady has joyously informed me that the few lonely blooms are no joke. We have achieved three days straight with out rain. The shadowless grey of this good Thursday is doing it's best to hide that spring is here. I smell paint, glue and various art and craft surplies in the air. Right across this little town artisans of every kind are wrapping up the last of the fresh work and counting their change. Thanks to the good folk at No Guts, No Glory, Handmade Arcade is back.  




Myself and lot's of other interesting and far more talented crafters will be dragging our rag tag selves to the intimate, ever changing and fiercely interdependent McCoys Arcade on Fore St on the 2nd of March for some live music, friendly chin wagging, a hot brew or seven and some good ol' style handmade goods of every kind.


 


I know a few of the people who will be having stalls but I'll let you all know when I find out a bit more gossip. Pop on down and say.