30 Dec 2012

Offerings of a bird man

Offerings of a bird man. Mixed media 251mm tall

Jock Orr, the Birdman of Cathedral Square in Christchurch New Zealand died in 1988. I was 12. I remember him very well considering my age and the fact I've forgotten so many other things during that time. I remember nobody seemed to like him. He was thought of as very strange and frighting and maybe even dangerous. I remember the first time I saw him being ushered to the opposite side of my mother as we neared. I wonder now whether this is the basis of the opinions of him that have stuck with me. It was never hard to find him in the square. You just looked for a blur of chaotic white and grey billowing with the cries of seagulls and pigeons surrounded by a large gap in the crowd. I remember this as shameful. A stain on the tourist friendly image of my home town. A dirty singularity.
I've always been aware of the birds. They're everywhere. Fleeting in some way but steady in reserve. Mocking with flight. Closer to both reptiles and the heavens and never letting us forget it. I've seen them watching me with weary disregard. I feel the same, just with a healthy dose of jealously.
According to the Christchurch City Council website the remembrance plaque of Jock Orr is on north facing wall of the old Chief Post Office Building in Cathedral Square.

25 Dec 2012

Alex CF

Alex CF

If you haven't heard of Mr Alex CF something is very wrong. He's an illustration artist who's work features in many mediums including lot of design work for bands and promotional material. Obviously every artist has a day job and his is none other than the sole curator and custodian of the incredible Merrylin Cryptid Collection.

Infant Draco Alatus

Being one of the only examples of it's kind I can't begin to explain how important the Merrylin Collection is. The work in the cryptozoology field has always been lacking due to the close minded pop science community but thanks to the hard work of Mr Alex CF it is safe to say the world is a better place. 

Homo Vampyrus

 Check out this Video link to learn more about the Merrylin Cryptid Collection.

21 Dec 2012

Mr Adam Jones

Before another year passes and this link becomes even older. I never seem to hear enough about Mr Jones. Here is a lil interview from 2010 on Artist direct.

18 Dec 2012

Blogs and linking to blogs n stuff.

Those of you who know me know my computer and web skills have the finesse of a toddler mashing their soggy bread into a laptop keyboard but I try. I found out how to add links to this page. They are just down the right hand side titled, Links. I know, I toiled with the title for hours. There you'll find many an interesting artists, a couple of artifact and prop builders and a few interesting art blogs I follow. I've added some of these as a point of reference and others because of the quality of the work but all make interesting reading.

Blog'n about blogs and people who write blogs.

The times have been crazy I tell ya. The last month or so has just disappeared but left many a bizarre artifact and document so that in the new year I'll be able to look back and have prof it really did happen. So, the evidence. I got a wee mention on So Super Awesome. I thought that was really lovely. When I hear people mention or tell me they've read my blog my first thought is "Oh God, they know I'm mental now" but I'm really touched for the thought. They are great folk who do very nice work too. I'm hoping to have a wee chat with them asap and getting the low down on how it is for them so I'll give ya the gossip when I get it. Annnnnnnd Handmade Arcade posted some lovely words about the last event. It's all going on in the south!

Exeter is an interesting lil town. We have the mall and various dirty corporate bunkers shooting subliminal messages from their store fronts in the centre of town. Fortunately like so many other cities if your willing to machete through the vines of Christmas shoppers and find yourself in one of the ally ways or even better on Fore St the rewards are endless. Handmade Arcade is on Fore. It's held in McCoys Arcade. The Arcade itself appears as if it's been there forever and houses a few really amazing small businesses but few know. Like every other city with a place like McCoys the businesses in there fight tooth and nail to market themselves on budgets of nothing and no prime time screaming. What the good folk at No Guts, No Glory have done is develop a monthly hand crafted goods market (weekly during December) as a vehicle. The crafters put much work into their goods and go to inspiring lengths to market and display them and build interest. Hayley and Nathan from No Guts, No Glory go to extraordinary lengths to promote the event and get the public down there. I see the surprised faces of the Exeterites as the walk in and all too often I hear them say "I didn't even know this place was here". My first visit to McCoys Arcade was two weeks after I arrived here.

The point is Hayley and Nathan use Handmade Arcade as a way to promote their vision of Exeter. Actually scratch that. They do it because that is the right thing to do. It's a good thing and a way I aspire to. They do it to bring people into the arcade, for us as crafters and stall holders as well as for the other businesses in there and for all of Exeter. They do not because it is easy (hahaha see what I did there?). I know the grief they put up with to put this event on. This kinda thing is never easy for countless reasons but they do it anyway. They'll do it where ever they are. We need to ensure we don't loose places like McCoys arcade to St&%B@*ks or any other homogenized rubbish but more importantly we need to ensure we don't loose people like Hayley and Nathan. We need to ensure people who think outside the box and do what they think about. If your town or city has folk like them tell em before you wish you had.

EDIT: Here is a selection of pic's I've stolen from the Handmade Arcade blogspot for old times sake. Thank you both for the good times.:-)

13 Dec 2012


Torn. Clay, 203mm high.

The Rogue

The mentally ill tend to betrayed in popular media in to distinct ways. The first is all too familiar. The likeable but completely inaccessible lunatic. He is a little chubby, slightly afternoon of middle aged with a tidy yet quirky appearance. He franticly works away on a concept or project too far outside our own circles of thinking to be understood but, we can trust he is a true humanitarian at heart. He will save us, how and why we do not know but we like him, because he doesn't care that we laugh at him. The second, again a common suspect is the maniac. He too has a plan but this one may be considered “Master!” He has zero body fat, strangely nondescript but at the same time unattractive. He lives in a tidy apartment in a dilapidated building with attached chaotic secret lair filled to the roof with artefact and design, hell, maybe even a head or two. He hates us. We don't know why but we know if we look him in the eye we will see the devil himself. He will kill us, maybe eat a piece or two but in doing so will believe he is doing the good lords work.

Now wait. Before you think I going to go all politically correct on yo ass then shoot off to check the latest nude celebrity snapshots and night vision home movies like any good internet politician should, please let me tell you. I do not disagree.
In fact both are stereotypes and so by definition must hold some semblance of truth or perception. They are also not souly reserved for fiction and in some cases are traits featured in the lives of many in/famous personalities throughout history.
The interesting thing for me is both of these types share one very important factor. Our respective characters are both seen to believe their own perceptions and at the same time struggle to understand them. This I can tell you is fact. This is how it is.

At a time when my own mental illness was very much in control of my life, I with two friends took a drive to the mall. As we pulled into the car park I noticed a sign. It stated in no uncertain terms I was not welcome on the premisses. As you can imagine this was of great surprise to me.

“Well, I'm in the shit then aren't I!” I muttered.

Both my companions ask what I had said or meant. I shrugged them both off and hesitantly continued on. I've had various episodes similar to this over the years to varying degrees. Occasionally they can be very disturbing (I was once faced with the prospect of performing customer service duties to death himself until he was called away on duty.) but more often than not just very strange. The most difficult thing about these moments is that they once we accept them as tricks of our minds they begin breed distrust within ourselves. We can no longer believe of our own thoughts, ideas and perceptions. This is the rogue mind.
Not only does it distort the way we see others and the world but also forces us to reassess everything we think we know. We become suspicious about the people and places around us and can become distrusting and withdrawn. We may think the beliefs we hold are wrong or have been twisted. It creates confusion and can literately change who we are. It is this rogue mind that destroyers friendships, relationships and most of all positivity.

Many mentally ill people do tend to have a certain je ne sais quoi which can appeal to people from all rungs of life and can bridge huge gaps of interest. It is often the strangest of our friends that we consider the glue of our social groups. These same people can at times be difficult to deal with but when we consider the rogue mind it doesn't seem too surprising nor unreasonable.

3 Dec 2012

The Anglergnome

A few months back I became quite interested in the Anglerfish. I know I'm not the only one. I see them and their likeness in all types of art and pop culture. I'm not really sure what it is about them I like or despise the most. bioluminescence is an amazing thing, a truly remarkable part of nature. On the other hand the idea of the carrot and stick is familiar but at the same time and under close examination perverse. Coercion obviously is not always a bad thing. I am quite glad I no long wear nappies or bite people I'm not getting on with but I also find the slippery, salty corporate lure of the golden arches to be one of the most disturbing things about the state of the world.