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July 31, 2008

Five to eight

Five o'clock this morning in Moldgreen, UK

Eight o'clock last Thursday evening in Gjakova, Kosova

Posted by john at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2008

Past, present and future

the old keeps going,

the young dance to old tunes,

the new is given a coat of paint.

Posted by john at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

Splish Splash Splosh


Have you ever wondered, while sitting in the bath, soaping the limbs and generally wetting the parts, whether you might, after all these years, have always missed a bit – the same bit, somewhere round the middle of your back perhaps, which remains, to this day, unwashed?

Posted by john at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2008

meanwhile, back in the Balkans


Posted by john at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

Swart reportorial

risen benign came

page bridle priam? cowbird, skeleton constipate.
pasty came inversion grimm damnation tress, fredericks
profligacy doorman grimm pasty reportorial.

inversion tress.

Jacqueline Blanton

doncha just love spam...

Posted by john at 09:33 AM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2008

100 degrees and it’s raining in the kitchen

Life’s like that in the Balkans, the Summer School I run each year in Kosovo is all smiling faces and bad plumbing.



We arrived in temperatures that are both unfamiliar and uncomfortable for those of us residing in the maritime climes of northern England. We sweltered for a few days, then it went dark and rain rained like rain hadn’t rained before. It rained all afternoon and the flat roof above the kitchen slowly filled with water.

The state of the hostel being what it is, the roof leaked and it proceeded to rain in the kitchen for the next four days. As I say, life's like that in the Balkans

Posted by john at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2008

Great Art Theft

That is the theft was great, not necessarily the art. We got back from Kosovo to find two paintings, that were screwed to the walls on the stairs, gone.

Here’s a picture of one of the missing paintings:


This now puts me in line with some of the great painters. To sell your work is one thing, but to have it stolen – well…

Unfortunately I don’t think the crime was master-minded by a crooked international art dealer, more likely some ignorant dope-heads looking to get twenty quid for their next fix. Bastards.

Posted by john at 11:50 AM | Comments (2)

July 10, 2008

Breakfast in Belgium

Last year, crossing under the wet bit in the wee hours, we tried to have breakfast in Belgium. We tried, and failed. First of all we couldn’t get into Antwerp, our breakfast destination of choice and home of some of my forefathers.

“Antwerp” appeared, reassuringly, on the sign posts and way markers as we made our way across the Flanders flatlands. Then, without so much as a Zentrum, Antwerp disappeared. We whizzed off the autoroute and back on again in the opposite direction believing that, whilst dreaming of coffee and croissants, we had just missed the sign to Antwerp centre. But no. Antwerp, like Atlantis, had disappeared, or at least any signs as to how the city might be accessed.

This year, somewhat unexpectedly, we found ourselves in Brussels. Then, just as we were beginning to enjoy the urban architecture after the faceless miles of motorway and noticed a rather interesting Byzantine church looming by the roadside, we were plunged into some stygian underpass which proceeded to tumble us beneath the city.

The driver of the tunnelling engine must have been at the Absinthe for the road went up and down like a rollercoaster and we hurtled along holding tight looking for an exit of which there were none. When we finally surfaced into the glaring daylight we assumed we must at least be near the border to the Netherlands, but no, after a couple of left turns we noticed a certain, albeit’s interest diminishing, Byzantine church.

We decided to breakfast.


Then began the tedious task of trying to leave Brussels, The problem seemed to centre on the fact that we couldn’t seem to shake off said Byzantine church. Obviously this is a recurring problem, for the good Burghers of Brussels had provided a convenient device for asking directions.


Posted by john at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2008

Back to the Balkans

It's time to head out east and set up the Summer School in Kosovo.


But first to Germany for Katrin's final show.

3 torsos, silk and starch


so if you happen to be in Munchberg next Tuesday, do call in...

Posted by john at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

Scratchy Exhibition

the complete scratchy catalogue


the scratchy blurb


the opening night



see the show at the Holme Valley Warehouse, Honley, HD9 6AA, until August

Posted by john at 09:41 AM | Comments (1)

July 03, 2008

Scratchy Preview

full size prints before mounting

thumbnail prints to plan the hanging order

Posted by john at 05:19 PM | Comments (1)

July 01, 2008

Two mills and a posh house

Bankfield Mills, Huddersfield

Fairfax Mills, Huddersfield

Saddell House, Kintyre

Posted by john at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

round and round the studio floor


Mess is a good thing, or at least the potential for mess. Too much mess and everything gets tatty. But you've got to be able to extend yourself if needs must.

I don't let go completely, for there lies madness and that can lead to destruction. Admittedly destruction often goes hand in glove with creation, but it's a fine balance, made all the finer by being aware of it.

To bring something from nothing it helps to not know what you're doing. I believe the work should be an experiment not a process. The work comes out of trying to get something down, trying to get across a set of feelings. Mind you most of the time it's like an itch you can’t scratch.

Pinocchio by Jim Dine, painted wood, from his series of the same name

Posted by john at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)