27 Jan 2013

Paul Bowring

Rites and Rituals

Relic. Rites and Rituals: 6

I met Mr Bowring while working at the Crocus Gallery in Nottingham. Paul was a technician there and one of the go to crew. This gave me ample opportunity to try get to know him and pick his brains. We'd spoken a few time before I saw one of his pieces and to be honest I don't know now what I was expecting. We'd talked mainly about film and life's tos and fros. I'd found out he enjoyed the odd Lynch and a dose here and there of Terry Gilliam. He'd mentioned his fondness of the sonic lobotomy that is LD50 and occasionally wore black t-shirts. Obviously I found Paul to be a kindred spirit. On reflection so many things pointed to Paul being an individual capable of expressing the way only a true individual can. But like bullets on a desk belie inertia, Mr Bowring's quiet, gentle manner ensured a surprise soul kicking of the acrylic kind. This post concerns Bowrings "Rites and Rituals" series. Unfortunately to date these are the only works of his I've had the pleasure of seeing in the flesh.

Resolute. Rites and Rituals: 8

It's immediately apparent looking at Bowrings work that there is story there. We've walked in late. The settings are placeless, halls and rooms leading to and from others during nondescript hours. His characters are slight, dressed in a style of neither past nor present but at the same time both. We find them often caught during their transition from one space to another in intimate yet surprised liaison. Intentions are mysterious and covert. Apprehension hangs thick despite the shadowed faces. The walls and arches steer these beings but do little to restrict their scope. These stories are long, involved and personal. There is a high degree of contrast in both the ambient light and the identity of the subjects. Some seem human and very much alive yet others have a distinct air of ghostly or other worldliness. I get the impression what we're seeing is not the end, not even close. It's the thick of the action and the drama still refuses to give up the direction. It's all right there but as a viewer I feel primordial. These scenes we glimpse have played out over millennia and they are no longer on our evolutionary rung. In fact his characters no longer need the ladder. The world Paul presents is far off yet we all seem to be playing a small part in getting there.  

Schism. Rites and Rituals: 2

I spent a few quiet moments in front of one of Bowrings works from the "Rites and Rituals" series one night during an opening and I don't think I'll ever forget the experience. Once I'd become accustom to the light and the scene and motion developed, I felt a strange sense that the frozen time before me would at any moment once again begin to tick. I wanted to step forward. Not for a closer look but to keep pace with the events. A very enjoyable experience and a feeling I strive to achieve in my own work.

I hear throught the cybervine Paul is looking to launch a new web site so keep checking back for new content. Please click the link here for Paul Bowrings site.http://www.thepaintdistresser.com/

20 Jan 2013

Deacon, there's a fly in my cauldron.

Being a self abscessed moron, I have been able to enjoy a few of the fine things in life. My reflection for example. Unfortunately education has long eluded me and instead misunderstanding and confusion is often my basis for opinion. For this reason I have, for a long time held one pet peeve close to my liver (that's the beating one eh?). I've been interested in occult art for a long time but have failed to recognise both the occult and art in many forms. I can remember many times giving the response, “Yes but what is it saying?” “It's only a suggestion, where's the message?” “They are to scared to say what they really mean!” It has at time really pissed me off! I'm sure many of you may now see where I've failed and already know where this is going so please feel free too dismiss the rest of this post for I deserve it.

Cathedral of Saint Peter. Exeter UK

Being in the general vicinity of the grand Cathedral of Saint Peter (the current site est: 1133) in Exeter city in Devon I was inspired to read up on church reading. I've known about the occult nature of church design for a long time but never gave it more than a passing thought. I know right! Anyway, other than the masturbation that is St Peters “longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England.” it possesses many notable features I and would urge anyone who has the opportunity to check it out. Click here for the wiki page or here for “How to read a church” by Dr Richard Taylor . I've found it really interesting to investigate the complexity of the symbolism contained in these buildings and more so concerning the readable history and the often no holds barred stories available if we just know where to look. 

Leo's mate and proportional gangstar Luca Pacioli

This church fancying like many of the best things in life turned me onto the “harder stuff”! Italian mathematician and monk Luca Pacioli was born in 1445 in Tuscany. He was as well as being a good buddy of no other than Leonardo da Vinici a bit of a bad arse. He published several works on mathematics, art and magic including the “De divina proportione” (1509). This particular work is concerned with mathematical and artistic proportion. That's right folks, the golden ratio. Until then mathematical and proportionate ideas concerning artistic layout and design had been very hush hush. Pasted down from mentor to student in both art and building trades and protected as vigorously as the good Colonel's proprietary knowledge. In my opinion this is also a telling point. Freedom it seems from Pacioli actions is knowledge and vice versa. The occult is in understanding the occult. Pacioli gives every Tom, Dick and Barry licence to paint. It is also interesting to note Pacioli's “De viribus quantitatis” on mathematics and magic, written at the during the same time and published a year latter than “De divina proportione” was divided into three parts. A man obsessed. Leonardo work is beginning to be re-examined after the article by Ian Suk and Rafael Tamargo in a 2010 edition of the scientific journal Neurosurgery concerning the hidden anatomical information in his painting. The same year numbers and letters were found in Ms Lisa's eye's. Unfortunately investigation of renaissance art in a occult regard is still shunned by academia but it seems we've only scratched the surface.

Piet Mondrian. Composition No. 1: Lozenge with Four Lines, 1930.

So the beauty of the golden ratio and right click, open in a new window took me to Piet Mondrian. I've found abstract art easy to dismiss as self indulgent. I'm not really interested in deconstruction unless it's in regard to fixing something. That's something I'm not very good at but I'm sure the idea is to put it back together in the original way. Mondrian's De Stijl cubism places extreme restrictions on his work contrary to my general impressions of abstract and as such is far from self-indulgent. His fascination with the golden ratio points also to another man obsessed. Here though, where is the statement? Is he all about the religious trinity? Is he questioning it? Is he looking for the basis of visual appeal? My initial peeve and the point I missed. A Nottingham based sculptor Alyn Mulholland produces some work in a similar vein. Geometric structures constructed of plates engage the viewer in light play. But what does it mean?

Alyn Mulholland. Rothley Lodge Commission.

The subtly of suggestion is the most powerful tool in occult art so much so it retains it's true essence. Occult, hidden. It is the art of investigation that can be taught. The lessons of life must be learned. The Tau represents the duality of the material world and the unified heavens. The material world is divided as are the heavens from it. When we choose we walk through one of the doors of the encircled Tau and find that which we choose. All the while the mysteries watch. The gods are good. They just want to make sure. On a side note I find it interesting when the Tau device is deployed in church design the heavens are also often divided but not completely by a Saint or religious figure.

Left: Encircled Tau. Right: Tau device used in church door design.

To hint at the mysteries of the unknown or other worlds is not nor has ever been the end of the statement. It is not saying I don't know anything other than it's is there. It is an invitation to look further. To consider ourselves in relation to. It's saying "I've looked into this. I enjoyed the process. You may too. I get it now. I've known to do this. I just didn't know that's what they were telling us to do. Yoda would be both glad and relieved. I've had a delusion that one must be obvious. I've thought to play an honest game of poker it's only right everyone knows who has what cards. I've had a belief one could teach any and all lessons to a passive audience. While all the time doing the same thing I've accuse these great names of. A few nights ago I was at dinner with minds far beyond my own and during the course of conversation I expressed my occasional regret at the name of this blog. Although I've already discussed the origin of the title, I often receive questions and more often accusation about the association or even more ridiculous, my own dedication. Many lessons are to be learned from all of this. The most obvious is don't judge a book by it's cover but further more read the book. Click the link for the pdf of Talks with a Devil. Any further question regarding my devil worship are now being handled by my press secretary Helen Wait. Please see her.

10 Jan 2013

Tracie Shaylor

I only just really stumbled onto Tracie Shaylor's work. Like a lot of social network connections they tend not to work until some kind of formal introduction. I was doing some lurking on the dreaded Facebook today and Tracie's Name popped up. Cue stalking.

I've stolen a couple of pictures of her work from her website which you'll find in my links or click here and you'll go straight to her bio. Very interesting reading. Ms Shaylor is primarily concerned with biotechnology and the associated ethics. I must admit I was certainly impressed with her work and not only because of the subject matter. It is a rare and pleasant thing to find artists who are not afraid to produce work with such immediate impact but who also strive to and achieve work containing readable and coherent ideas. Check it out, you'll be glad you did.

Eugenic overspill

Contra Naturam I

5 Jan 2013

The Servants, Michael Marshall Smith


I stopped reading Stephen King books a long time ago. Can I get a halaula. I don't mind a bit of horror and they are mostly good. Mostly (see what I did there?). I just always hated the fact within the last two pages the thing or guy or beast or clown would turn into a ghostly figure and drive his equally ghostly horses and carriage into the night sky. Then there was The Tommyknockers. Before I get abusive messages about putting Mr King next to Mr Smith, please bare with me.

I read The Servants a few months back. My first Michael Marshall Smith in a while. I've been reading the Strawmen books and a couple of other MM's but the MMS's are truly something else I'm sure you'll all agree. Like all his books under MMS it takes me months to recentre and find the right mental shelf to place the new found sentences. I love this about Smith and although The Spares tore me to my very thin soul I thank Mr Smith for the pleasure. The Servants is no exception although it is a slight departure. It's gentle, more like some of the short stories but it is still a very surprising book. Living in the UK currently made the story even more interesting as the images are so much more familiar and the subtleties of the new loosely plastered on top of the old are all there.
Young Mark is all of us. Mr Smith never lets us for get this but There is something else here too. His mothers peace, his stepdads fight and his fathers anger are even more us, even more real for the understatedness. Smith like every tell off I've ever had cuts me to the bone very quietly. This lil number happens while life goes on. The point is clear and I've grieved for the moments I've pissed away and I'm back now.

I'm sorry in a way now that I never persevered with The Tommyknockers. I'm also sure I don't need to now. Sorry Stephen. Thank you Michael. I should say I realise Kings idea was to morph but I believe the art in his his writing was the style even if I don't see it in the story. I can now appreciate the pace of The Tommyknockers. I never got it before Smith.

1 Jan 2013

You only live once

+3 + -5 = -2

Be careful who you let into your life.

Best wishes to you all for the new year. May your choices be correct and your course true.
Stay safe.

Barry John