Sunday, October 30, 2011

Goodbye British Summertime

New drawings.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

New patterns

New shape-and-colour compositions from my sketchbook...


How To Keep Your Hired Help

I've had this article from Successful Farming (!!!) for a few years, although I can't remember how I ended up with it; and I've been hooked on what makes a good leader since I found out Tony Blair has the Simian Line on both hands.

Good advice for anyone intending to work with anyone else.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Underwater 35mm

The summer seems already a long time ago, but I found these pictures which were shot on an underwater 35mm camera on our last day in Corsica before we set sail for Toulon; the sun went in, and water started to fill up inside the cheap plastic camera - a combination of which resulted in these hypernatural images... I'm glad I finally got round to editing a series.


Winchester School of Art Illustration Workshop

Today I led a workshop for 100 (!!!) eager first years at Winchester School of Art who I was meeting for the first time. The morning took the form of a series of drawing tasks, completed one after the other, leaving little time for reflection or criticism while making, which can often be a crippling problem. I was interested in demonstrating how putting the same image through different processes takes it somewhere new / changes it beyond your imagination / creates surprise / adds (or takes away) drama / has unique results, to prove that a degree of repetition can lead to new answers just when you think you've exhausted every opportunity...

In the afternoon Mia Frostner from Europa and I ran a lightning-fast speed monoprinting workshop, in which more than 100 prints were produced in less than 2 hours! Well done everyone!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I produced this image to be printed onto a 140cm wide canvas for a Converse press event, along with Neasden Control Centre and 6 other artists; we were each given a pantone colour to produce a piece of work which would work in a single hue.

Selecting colours is one of the first things I do when working so being force-fed something I wouldn't naturally choose, and then being unable to work with complimentary colours was really challenging; I played with percentages and halftones to reconstruct these parts of these pages from one of my sketchbooks.

Photos from the press event coming soon.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Frieze Family Space 2011

Here is the finished Family Guide I illustrated with friends Europa for this year's Frieze Art Fair. The illustrations are based on artist Pierre Huyghe’s aquarium which was a live ecosystem created especially for Frieze 2011. The walls were really well used and fully populated with millions of new species of sea-monsters by Sunday afternoon!

As usual Europa and I experimented with 4 special pantone colours; this year using a bronze on a bright white matt paper to make the ocean floor sparkle, along with some pretty hot fluorescents.

Each year I have introduced more and more figurative elements into the Frieze Family guides, part in response to the client and part to see how I might treat the composition differently. I went a lot further with this one and while I'm not sure it works in the very detailed parts of the aquarium, I can see how it might work backwards, and abstract elements might help to build up something figurative. I'm going to experiment with this way of working and see where I get...


Friday, October 14, 2011

'75 Peters' opens in Brisbane

To celebrate the wonderful Archigram architect Peter Cook's 75th birthday, I have been invited along with 74 other artists to produce a portrait of Peter for this show in Brisbane.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Feynman Series (part 1)


What's Next?

Over the weekend, we visited Barbara Hepworth's studio in St Ives. Everything had been left in it's place; from her tiny workclothes hanging on pegs, to work-in-progress frozen in time; dozens of tools left to rust but all more organised and laid out than she may have had them; it was still great to get a glimpse into her world though, and while looking through the library this week, I found an article she wrote for Circle: An International Survey of Constructivist Art, which she illustrates with this picture of Stonehenge. It occurred to me that the thoughts I was having about stiles were similar to bigger questions raised about these monolithic structures on an altogether different scale. Similarities in material, texture and form; it makes me want to ask how should they be used?.

I find a lot of these thoughts keep coming back to the functionality of things; of images. They can no longer be left as they are; enjoyed, or understood over time - they all need to have immediate impact and readability. Are we in a hurry to assign images with a purpose because we want to be able to achieve immediate certainty? Do we cling to the feeling that if we know something for certain we can move on to the next much more quickly?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Stile over Style

A stile is a structure which provides people a passage through or over a fence or boundary via steps, ladders, or narrow gaps. Stiles are often built in rural areas or along footpaths to allow access to an adjacent field or area separated by a fence, wall or hedge. Unlike a gate, there is no chance of forgetting to close it, and should the stile break, the fence remains intact (livestock cannot escape). However, stiles may well be difficult to use for some disabled people and people with limited mobility.

We found this series of stone stiles in Cornwall this weekend while negotiating narrow footpaths with half-height doorways in the hedgerows, presumably for tall badgers or ferrel children.

I like the stile as an object because it is so concerned with function, it forgets the ridiculousness of it's form but in doing so blends seamlessly into it's environment; many of these Cornish stone versions could at a glance be accidental formations; rockfalls at convenient junctions - you're not sure whether the bit you're standing on is an intentional part of the design or a lucky stepping stone; most also have spaces or cavities between the stones which cater for dogs - cleverer than sheep in learning that they can go up, down, under, and over in that order.

Someone should tell them though, that the view on the other side really is this good.