26 Dec 2014

Sometimes it's a little better to travel...

Norton featherbed frame and Triumph engine.

“Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive” ― Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig.

I dig bikes. While the world was going mental in the early 2000s over the ridiculous rakes and obese rear tyres of American choppers I was building a Cafe Racer. In fact, back in 1995, my first bike, an 88 CBR almost got chopped so many times with the idea of building a Cafe from a new jap road bike. It was obviously far too good for something like that, it was mint but it could have happened in a moment's weakness.

Anyway, I like bike docos too and I've seen heaps of 'em. I've often wanted to post one here just for the fun of whacking a big dirty, greasy slab of engineering on an art blog. Unfortunately, Cafe racer docos tend to be the kind of thing you would expect on an art blog. Bearded hipsters in new old t-shirts put away two tools, close the garage door, which we are expected to believe has been open for weeks as they build their bikes from scratch and take a ride for twenty minuets on a groomed forest road before stopping at a gallery for wine with other bearded skinny people in brown. What a crock. I gotta say, it holds some truth, Cafes are style you'd expect from an art lover but it seems to me, this coupling is redundant and somewhat perverse. Maybe this post is too but fuck it.

Anyway, here's a short Board Track piece from Vimeo. The irony of the riding being filmed in a grave yard is not lost on me for many reasons, especially since he talks about art being pointless because you can't take it to friends to see and enjoy. His beast is obviously not road legal but no bike touched a gallery during the making of this video. That is good enough for me... :-D

I like when people who think they aren't creative become creative too.

TWAD top tip for the fashion savvy - as fuel prices rise I believe we'll see more mopeds on the road and street legal Board Tracks will be the must have, dig it! You can quote me...

24 Dec 2014

Red car, grey car.

So, here we are. I'm a Kiwi. That's what we call ourselves in New Zealand. And I'm in New Zealand for the second Christmas in a row. If I'm honest I feel really spoilt and I should because I am. The rubble and bumpy roads can't hide love and sun, family and clean water. Hospitality is common here but no less hospitable and more so in many ways. It's 10:25pm and a man I look up to just said he feels Christmasy after a Christmas movie. Me, I feel Christmasy too, because of him and his family. I'm a lucky guy and I sit, trying not to get in the way of this household routine on a comfy couch in a corner with a special vantage. I see this family work together and laugh and share and do stuff only a family can do. I am lucky and they are good. 

I've been shopping today. Most have. There is a rush still going on out there even at this time. We passed it coming home from the pub. A sticky floor pub. My kind. There are people out there having fun and some not. There are people splashing out some some over extending. There are Mums and Dads, husbands and wives heading in different directions for sneaky surprises and some just having to make promises for next year. The better year. I feel more like that. I never think I do enough, be enough, buy enough, think enough and remember enough. I'm right too. I don't and can't. I'm just not very good by comparison and believe me, I have good comparison. My heros hold me to shame and so they should but I try my best and always will. But my shopping was not for Christmas. We did our humble mission a few weeks back and now I just cross my fingers that under that colourful paper is a thank you that might ring true. I cross them again. We bought flowers and ribbon and paper puffy ball things for a church. We bought flowers for two beautiful ladies to brandish and honourable gents to flash. We bought pure white for warning, this is the end of the pew. I solemnly declared truths to an official much younger than I and we drove in heavy steel queues. We bought miniature British flags for luck and spoke with a fine woman who to all this is routine. We planned our wedding. 

It's weeks away yet, well, two. Well almost two, but it's just like tomorrow for so many. It's a common reference. An olive branch, a rainbow, a book or a ring. It's a statement and a promise, a smile and a hand shake. It's just a very simple thing dressed like the Emperor. I hope that's OK to say. I hope it doesn't sound like I don't dig it because I mean the opposite. I mean I know truly what it is. I mean I know that beneath all the glitz and cake, the wrapping and pine, beneath the ceiling and ceremony, that these days, tomorrow and my wed, are nothing without the people. Nothing without kind whispers, nothing without love and nothing without your smiles. So like others of it's kind, tomorrow and this day in a couple of weeks is set aside. It's there so people like me, who get caught up in other days' toil and competing with ourselves and television standards, will take it out and spend it wisely. We'll sit and talk. We'll share and give. We'll tell each other how important we are and listen while better people tell us the same and be amazed and humbled. These are good days and every one of them should be taken.

I hope where ever you are things are good. I hope you have time and some cash left. I hope your family invited you round and your friends are well. I hope tomorrow is relaxed and honest and that honest is kind. I hope you have a good day and take time to remember someone who's not there. I hope Christmas is more than Christmas. I hope it is a family day and a friends day.


29 Nov 2014

Break those bones whose sinews gave it motion.

Method actor Rourke in "Crazy Rich Guy".

The Hollywood grind can be a tough one. After my short stint as a stunt double for Mr Pitt and some more well-known film talent, I felt I needed a brake from the spotlight so I packed my bags and moved to the good old United Kingdom to pursue my art. I copped no small amount of flack for this, especially from my agent who thanks to my acting skill and race horse like physique was in a rather comfortable position. I understood his nervousness and as stunt doubles and raw acting talent like myself do not grow on trees, I have always done my best to put him in touch when ever I could.

Surprisingly, I am not the only A-lister who has chosen the visual arts as a come down from the bright lights of Hollywood. On Friday night, film legend and possibly the second sexiest man alive Mr Mickey Rourke burst into the performance art scene. I must admit to being a little apprehensive when he first contacted me for advice on his career change. I have a lot of respect for Rourke and his ability to maintain his punishing collagen routine, but his first artistic endeavour titled "You'll never beat the establishment" seemed too academic, too complex for a work straight out of the box. None the less, the piece staged in Moscow, featured a taught Rourke playing the hero "Western man" and Mr Elliot Seymour as "He who must be pillaged". The set dressed almost convincingly as a boxing ring staged an epic David and Goliath styled dance but at last, this time though, the true hero wins. It was a glorious piece of work and although completely sold, my only criticism would be as good as the choreography was, it was apparent the powerhouse Rourke was holding back but I'm sure a few more performances will iron out the kinks.

Art's new Adonis takes a break.

I had the opportunity to chat to Rourke after his stunning private viewing.

TWAD: Congratulations on your new piece. It seems obvious your careerer in performance art has been cemented. Where did you find inspirations for this new direction?

ROURKE: Yeah, thanks Baz. You're obviously a huge inspiration for me but I think my main influence for this particular work was Bono. His piece "I'm trying really hard to save the world but being environmentally sustainable is actually really really dangerous" really spoke to me. I don't think the working classes or sorta smaller countries like Africa, Iran and Afghanistan know how hard it is to be rich and famous. It's a lot of responsibility and stuff.

Artist Bono in his horrific bike accident make up.

TWAD: Any other artistic influences?

ROURKE: Um, oh yeah, Kim Jong.

YWAD: Kim Jong-Un? That's pretty left field. Tell me more about that?

ROURKE: Well, like she's just a normal chick right, but she just gets her arse out and like, BAM! Amazing stuff. 

TWAD: Arh, Kim Kardashian? So you like her work?

ROURKE: Um, what does she do? I mean, that photo's hot ya know. All big 'n' shiny 'n' stuff. We've got it in the gym.

TWAD: Quite. So, your piece seems to be saying, we are not going to go away. Is that the sort of direction you were coming from?

ROURKE: Yeah, we are rich and proud ya know. Like, there's a lot of protests at the moment, kinda getting down on people with money ya know. It's like they (the protesters) don't know how much we do for them. I mean, I buy coke from this dude right. He buys it from another guy and he buys it from someone else. That's my money feeding like three guys, plus I always tip the concierge at places. Like, I make a heap of cash right but I probably spend even more than I earn!

TWAD: Ah yes, reminiscent of the banker situation? Very deep Mickey.

ROURKE: Yeah, like the bankers, yeah. See that wasn't even their money ya know. So how come they get the blame for losing it? That's not cool. An' like Bono right. Like, he's doing that charity song right but he pays for the limo to get there an' stuff. Some of those things are so big it must take like four guys to drive 'em. Don't forget, money's green and white! You remember in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro man, wait, you wanna do a line or two before we go on?...

Honestly, this is powerful stuff. I suspect we'll be hearing about this piece for many years to come and I think it is safe to say Rouke and Bono for that matter will be entertaining us for many years yet. May the rich keep us all honest.

21 Nov 2014

I have to guard against order.

I have to guard against order. If it’s too chaotic, nothing comes out. If it’s too ordered, it becomes sterilised. You have to find the way between these two things. - Anselm Kiefer

I shall not pass this way again. - Etienne de Grellet

Thanks Speckles

The trees have shed their last and the grey sky has begun to weep. Winter is very slowly creeping across this ancient land. Our neighbour doesn't rise till lunch these days and although busying with nuts and seeds his days are short. Like him we've made preparations and there is a certain nostalgia in the air as again, a southern Christmas calls. My sinuses have even pre-emptively lubed in readiness for the dry winds and pollen of the beige Canterbury plains. They're good like that. I suspect this is sympathy hay fever for my future self. I wish I could do sympathy work or sympathy problem solving but the Gods would never settle for that. I blow my nose. Our house is in slight contrast to the plains. Beige, yes, with raw card but stacked high and jagged, calling great shining birds and leviathan hulks. These bizarre towers are blind to the coming celebrations, pub punctuated friends, in-jokes and family familiar. These boxes, they stand ready but they see further than I dare today. The pub will not be for granted, least the family time but as we prepare for festivities, we lie to ourselves of our "holiday". A bag and good shoes are for the holiday. This other collection of memories and work, gear and packaging is for something else. And the holiday belongs in part to it. We are moving once more and the boxes, birds and steel whales are hungry and will not wait any longer.

Four years is a long time when you are 10 years old. When you are 18 it is a life time but when you miss, it is a death. And we've missed so many in these last four years. Some have made it easy with well wishes and calls. Some have made it easy with none. But blessed, the great and mysterious Schiphol has ferreted us at times and just enough, to remember where we were and sometimes, why we came. And we did come and in ways conquered and in some lost. But it was just and righteous.  So what now. Who now will we miss. The southern homeland and this new old, equal. This another place. This promise more fulfilled than we could have hoped. More complex and complete than we dared to know. More warm than foreign wind should be and somewhere amongst life's other plans, home. This must be some kind of witchcraft. We never signed up for this. We've said good bye there and now we must do it here. When did this happen? How is my family here when they should be there? Why are they not there? I know well the differences and yet now they are me. I know what I miss and who and where and now they and it and the places are here. 

There is a small neighbourhood, quiet between the flats of University of Nottingham's students and the same city's drug dealers. It's surprisingly manicured. Just down the road from a long gone factory that produced British motorcycles and just off a street named after one of the West's great explorers known for his idea to sell some harmless tobacco. It was home. There was a humble Crocus nestled amongst binging students and concrete thugs. It was home and school, and a style of pub and refuge. It was my first link and I knew it then as well as I know it now. It was precious because of that and always will be. But like Raleigh's tobacco became fast far more than the sum of the parts. Sophie, Alice, Lester, Adam, the NTU girls, Charlotte, Jenna Kay. You are never far from my thoughts. Paul, thank you. You are a true gentleman. Kind Marie, if you were a stone from this day on, the grandest of wings would still wait for you. Alyn, I have no words. There are none. I honestly could never thank you enough. I hope that echoes for aeons like truth should.

Exeter started as a trading hub for Devon, the political kind. It was also one of the first places to offer treatment for sailors who became too close to that old sailor's friend. That was long ago now and the treatments are now catered for they say, under a new framework called austerity. I'm not sure how well that is working but caring is not short here. Leon, the first person I met in Exeter, in a toy shop. It was great. Micky, Ali, I couldn't have done it without you guys. Abi, the time has flown too fast and we share too little. Hayley, Nathan, everything you have built is everything you are. I have huge respect for you both and look forward to the rest of the story. My best wishes to you and your young family. Lisa and Yuchen. You offered company when I could not and you have my heart for that. See you in NZ. Natalia and Shaun. The pleasure has been mine. Thank you for welcoming me and offering us company. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Neil, where do I start. I suspect I will get a chance to try but know I'll never cover it all. Katie and David. How am I even able to address you so very informally. I am honoured. Might I be learned one day. Might I be wise and caring and selfless. Might I build a home and family and have them proud of me and wish to see me. Might I open my home to strangers and have them sit and eat and be welcome and forget they are a stranger. Hear me gods. I will weather my hands and my face if we might strike a deal. Eva, you have been on my mind for too long. I have dear wishes for you. You like all these names will be forever in my thoughts. Sincerely, being there was everything at that time. You are a blessing. Leen and Zaid. This is the beginning for you again. I feel it too but you are good and good will find you. I hope you settle in well and soon. Mr Speirs, soon to be Doctor, soon to be Minister. My hope is that many have the chance to meet you and your work is never hindered. So many more names. The Notts punks I never got to jam with. The Exeter colleagues who offered so much support and understanding to Jo and who kept each other well and sane or tried to. The folks who have shared lunch and dinner and cider and beer. The guy who sells the big issue on the high street who never seems like he sells the big issue on the high street. Jo's family here who've offered support, comradeship, homes, beds and a place within their fine ranks. It has meant the world to me and more to Jo. And Jo. There is just not enough time or space. One from seven odd billion souls. From a glance to a smile. From a smile to a wink. From a wink to a poked tongue to a drink to a night to a life time and beyond.

On the 10 August 1901 Charlotte Anne Moberly and her friend  Eleanor Jourdain travelled in time. I suspect I will too, back to this 1960s tribute to utilitarianism. This house of Moberly and the house of King Edward. I'll laugh and shake my head. I will forget the trials and the cold and the Britney Spears tracks and I will feel old and distant from here but I will feel just as close to you all as I ever have. I hope at times you might remember me. I hope I have left something behind. I hope I have been human and I earned your time. I swear to do justice to the kindness you have shown me and pass it on to others you might never meet, but it will be my gift to them from you. I've never learned as much as I have being a stranger. I'm Barry and I'm a Foreigner.

I shall not pass this way again but I might just pop in for a bit. I hope so and hope to see you. I hope you might be glad to see me and that things are well.


“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” 

- Etienne de Grellet

20 Nov 2014

Back in 5

I would like to thank every body who has taken the time to stop by my Etsy and a very special thank you to those who have purchased from Order of the old bones. It's been a great year getting to feel out Etsy and an test the quality of my craft item against some of the most amazing crafters in the world. Although the 'handmade' definitions seem to have changed a bit over the lasst year I think Etsy has a great community and one I've very much enjoyed being a part of.

As you may know, I am off in a month to get married to the lady of my dreams and in a freakish turn of events, will also be moving. Internationally no less. This of-course means I'm going to be very busy but it also means, for now, OOTOB will be closing for a time. I hope to be back up and running late January early February 2015 in a new city, with new stock and a new direction I hope you all will enjoy.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement. I promise, next year will be HUGE!!!



18 Nov 2014

No borders.

It's always interesting seeing where my views come from. For some reason, views from the Ukraine have shot up in resent weeks so a very big hello to you all over there. It's been a while since I've posted but I have a few in the works. Thanks for stopping by. Sending you my best wishes.


7 Nov 2014

Beyond the eternally-formless state.

METACHAOS is a short film by Alessandro Bavari. It hit the net a while back and I've only just realised I didn't post it here. I'm good like that. You can check out more work from Alessandro Bavari here.

6 Nov 2014

30 Oct 2014

An age of reason

Georgia Guidestones

I'm sure you've heard about the recently placed '20-14 Georgia Guidestone Block'. Well, on the 25th of September is was removed and destroyed by an official from Elberton under the watchful eye of the Elbert County Sheriffs Department. A video of the removal was posted online and gave everyone a good look at the block from all sides. I'm sure that was not the outcome or publicity they were hoping for but the result has so far been many 'End is nigh' sandwich boards and a bizarrely interesting video by MrCati. I've tried very hard to watch and follow the video but alas, Mr Cati is either leaping too fast for me or jumping at shadows. Nothing against the dude but I'm really not yet sure which it is. It seems to me some of the conclusions are based on far more than the 'block' itself. Things I just don't know about or just don't see. It also seems apparent that the conclusion was going to be reached even if the 'block' had the golden arches on one side and a cock and balls on another. Actually, I suspect that may in fact have made the matter worse. We all know what you're up to Ronald, you prick!

Joker McDonald by shinix01 d4lem3o

Anyway, hold on to your seats!!! The Georgia Guidestones Documantary Movie is coming to a screen near you! Yep, I'm sure you know how I feel about kickstarters but it seems Mr Mike Reser funded most of this project himself and is using kickstarter to finish up. I'm really looking forward to this. There are not enough Mystery docos made nor art ones for that matter, but Mysterious art! The last good one I watched was Resurrect Dead so Reser has his work cut out for him. I just really hope the Georgia Guidestone Documentary has something to say rather than the usual New World Order ranting and tired Denver Airport links. Don't get me wrong, DIA is bizarre and I've no doubt some rich knobs think they control the world but not all roads lead to Rome and unless this yet to be realised documentary sheds some new findings on things, to me, the Guidestones are just a paranoid day-one bible. My fingers will remain crossed...



18 Oct 2014

A book about death.

Exhibition by Sonja Benskin Mesher. Poster by Rob White.

A book about death has now opened at The Royal Cambrian Academy. If you are looking for some thoughtful, life affirming and very personal art to enjoy, I suggest you pop along for a look. Let me know if you seen my submission on FB and I'll get a copy out to you. 

Give someone you love a hug.


17 Oct 2014

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man.

Graphic stolen from www.victorybaptistharvey.com

One of my favourite subjects from my high school days was creative writing. Not that I did much of it as you might be able to tell but I dig trying to find interesting ways to describe things. Seems to me, convenient terms of reference served with a healthy dose of imagination and excitement can paint a picture far more accurately than plain speaking. I guess, these days Bukowski, Thompson, Lynch and Burroughs are kinda 'Old Guys' but I'd have thought, given the cyclic nature of human culture, our (re)-reinventing and the frail nature of celebrity disposition and its habit of being lost in time for the sake of a good tune. I'd have though their good works would leave some template, a lasting example. One to be learned from and stamped on our psyche. One to be built on whilst not forgetting on whose shoulders we stand but to be proud of, add to and in turn make us just a little better if not a little more human or even artistic. Nar.

Anyway, all good. I received a little feedback from my last few posts and it got me thinking. I do rant. That's kinda the point with this thing and I think that's the fun bit. I hope that comes across because, apart from the stuff I try to tell you I like, most of this is all bullshit. It's a laugh and an exercise for me while I explore the world I float around in. There is enough serious shit going on and I'm sure you get your share and do your learning and I'm not here to teach. I help where I can even if it's not enough for some but in here is the fun stuff. Art for me is about peace and soul. Maybe I don't make enough of that. I just don't know. Maybe my descriptions are too much icing and not enough cake. Maybe my writing is worse than I thought (although that would be amazingly bad. Huh!) I donno and none of that is gonna change is it and I don't mind, even as much as I try. I wonder if Facebook, with its quick response and sound bite conversations are all we can collectively handle now. I really hope that's not true but the evidence is stacking up. I know we all worry about the future as we grow and whose hands it may fall in. I also know that's been going on since day one so I'm not the dude who loses sleep over that stuff cause that's Nietzsche's monsters right there. I just hope that we will still taste the fancy cake, smell the pretty flower, read the books not on the top 20 shelf and the text, not just the headline.

So, to answer a couple of questions:

Do you smoke pot? - No.

Do you take LSD? - No

Do you take drugs? - No.

Do you worship Satan? - No.

Do you believe in Satan? - I'm Agnostic.

Do you believe in God? -  I'm Agnostic.

Do you like Black metal? - Often, No.

Do you like Damien Hirst? - I don't know Damien Hirst.

Why do you like gory stuff? - I don't.

Cheers. You can leave comments if you like.

10 Oct 2014

The Sewers of the Sacred - Mark Powell

Dream Diorama 6 -  Publishing House

If you are anything remotely like me you'll spend your life searching and absorbing art. Art that many people wouldn't recognise as art. Small minded people. The ones who get eaten first. The slimy ones, who rattle off pointless names of pop and atrophy. Well they are not here and if so you know where the door is. Thing is, it's a fucken tightrope in here. This is the ground of Roy Batty, Robert Johnson, Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, Shain Erin and Alexander fuck you McQueen. Obviously Erin is still alive as far as I know but that's the thing. This thing, this producing or more accurately, this scrying, is brutal. Batty said it best so I won't bore you. I don't mean that in a typecasting, whack you in a box thing but more a pay the bills and occasionally eat some beans on toast way. Folk need a wee break sometimes. Having blatant, haunting and sharp still lives, paused and naked on the wall or shelf can be tough to live with. I get that. My three story mansion in Florida is adorned simply with landscapes and prize winning Bull paintings to ensure real life, the sweaty life, keeps it's homeless distance. So here we are, out in the cold fringe of a fat stinking nest. Sitting in the ally behind a trendy club smoking a shit joint, laughing at the hook and I miss Mark Powell. 

Dream Diorama 4 - Meat Fascism

Dream Diorama 4 Meat Fascism

I stumbled across The Sewers of the Sacred in 2008/2009. Those years are a bit of a blur but it was something like that. Powell was a revelation to me. A dirty fist, a burned short black. Like a meat Lynch, Powell scratches the surface just enough to bare truth in it's potent stinking honesty topped with bad acid and the sound track of intentionally under produced black metal of the tinny kind.

Dream Diorama 2 - Meat Orchestra

Ugly Spirit

His Dioramas speak for themselves so I'll shut the ranting and just post pictures. I should warn you though, Powell's site 'The Sewers of the Sacred' is gone. Long gone. I can't link to him and this is all the work I've managed to dig up from raving reviews of days passed. He used to be on beinArt but no longer. Type the name and you get some hits but I can't tell you if this is just a clever name or not. Fuck this war and it's casualties. It is forever and they are consistent. Like I said, Batty and others have well prophesied my heroes' durability but I think this is a prediction not a law.
I'll fire and medic where I can. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Look after each other. You know who you are.


Dream Diorama 9

The sewers of sacred

Meat Eater - Anatomy Lesson

1 Oct 2014

We can never see past the choices we don't understand. - The Oracle

I'm building a cigar box guitar at the moment just for a bit of fun and after a bit of toing and froing decided to go with the very heavy, very metal, very bad news Ouija scratch plate. I tried to find one big enough on the web to use but to no avail so it was a photoshop mission. I just thought someone else might run into the same issue so, if you need one for a non-commercial personal project please feel free to use this one under the creative commons licence

Ouija - Barry John

Creative Commons Licence

24 Sep 2014

This is now.


Just a heads up. The new beinArt website is finally up. What a relief! It's seemed like forever. I've only managed a wee peek so far but will know doubt be knee deep asap. Enjoy.

19 Sep 2014

The ghosts of Ilfracombe pt2 - Philip Wakeham

Philip Wakeham

So after our stop at Hirst and the customary fridge magnet purchase it was time to make our way back through town. I'm inclined to walk up hills. The gods provide them often and I am just a man so we took the high road, left onto Capstone and up onto Fore Street. After a short stomp I was stopped in my tracks outside Jessica Dove Gallery by a collection of bronze figures.


Philip Wakeham lives and works in Devon. His career began in casting pewter and is now rooted firmly in bronze. Wakeham does all his own casting and his website states -  'Lost wax casting is intimately bound up with my creative process, and because I do my own casting I can use it as part of my creative process rather than just a means to reproduce originals.' I. Dig. That!

Winged Man

I've stolen these pictures from various places around the web as Mr Wakeham's web designer is smarter than I. It's a shame because these are the quality shots I could find but although the selection on his site is limited the photography is better. None the less I really can't tell you how impressive these are in the flesh.

St Ives Version 2

Unfortunately the Jessica Dove Gallery (the link is the only one I could find for them) was closed so I was relegated to pressing my face upon the window Aphex Twin style, mouth open, chin damp, otherwise I might have came home with a piece. There's still time...
 You can check out more of Wakeham's work here.