Monday, March 19, 2007

urban wildlife

the other week i went to see christopher campbell's 'epoch' exhibition.

the blurb says: "Epoch is a series of paintings that follow a theme of ambiguous storytelling. They depict England awash in a pseudo apocalyptic environment. Views of suburbia swathed in epic disturbing light deserted by man. Animals venture into view, horses and livestock normally tethered or penned in roam brazenly. Wildlife encroaches from the shadows, Deer unabashed stand in plain sight, almost ‘posing’ in the middle of what would normally be a busy street.

While the animal kingdom is foraging or just lauding their supremacy. The question of what has happened to the unfortunate previous inhabitants of these brick and tarmac colonies remains. There are clues, epic gargantuan atmospheric skies tell of what has possibly caused such an event, and left a path for new masters to flourish. It is these clues that suggest radioactivity or a geo climatic shift that politicises and socialises the context of these paintings.

The eradication of the human strain in these realist paintings is born from a pulp of source material, with books, such as ‘The Day Of The Triffids’ and ‘On The Beach’ and films ‘Twelve Monkeys’ and ‘28 Days Later’

The scenes are suggestive, tell a yarn of something that has yet to be written, something that may never exist. The paintings are improbable but not impossible. The aim of this exhibition is create a world that is fantastical, beautiful, yet darkly disturbing."

some of the pics are available here.

i managed to time my visit smack-bang in the middle of a creative writing workshop that they were holding, based on the artwork, so missed a few of the paintings in fear of tripping over desks and landing headfirst in someone's notebook. i found it a bit hit-and-miss - some of his stuff really grabbed me, other pieces did absolutely nothing for me.

one that i *did* like, though, was 'new dawn':

and, in the way that these things do, life started imitating art (a little bit).
i've seen foxes in the middle of town, badgers in someone's garden, the whole urban wildlife thing doesn't surprise me that much. or didn't.
on my way home from work last week, i saw a peacock wandering the streets. in the middle of a housing estate in the suburbs of bradford.

who on earth loses a peacock??

my mind is boggling.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


and yet more distraction. taking one of jim bliss's recent posts as inspiration, you're gonna get one of those blog meme things (i did one last year. looking back at it, since then i've done two of the things to do before i die (and am vaguely on the way to doing another), three of the things i things i 'could not' do, and one thing that didn't expect to do again. to replace it, i'd say that one thing i'll never be able to do again - comfortably, at least - is watch 'league of gentlemen'.

so. first lines. actually, first two lines, cos i'm in a kind of subversive mood.

1)We all got born so afraid
We still search for words to describe that pain
silver mount zion: hang on to each other - shattered star

2) Pass me that lovely little gun
My dear, my darling one
- nick cave & the bad seeds: o children – jim bliss

3) Cross the street from your storefront cemetary
Hear me hailing from inside and realize

4) I wake up every day to see her back again
Screaming my name through the astral plane

5) I invested it all, you threw in a dime
It's not good enough, it's not good enough

6) Busy at home
I was happy for a while

7) I'm put together beautifully
Big wet bottle in my fist, big wet rose in my teeth
the national: all the wine – shattered star

8) I'm trying not to stare, it's too late
The blankets over there, if you like

9) There's the same hotel, and we can go there now
We can go there now if you want to

10) Alexander, our older brother
Set out for a great adventure
arcade fire: neighbourhood #2 (laika) – shattered star

101st post, apparently

i'm distracting myself from filling in an application form at the moment. if i get the job, i'll fall over in shock but be a very happy bunny indeed.

it's all change again here. i stop working in corporate procurement (even if it *is* public sector, it's still pants) three weeks tomorrow. i'd like to put this on the noticeboard before i leave though:

i'm sure they find me weird too... i don't find them weird in the traditional sense (well, apart from the world's hairiest man who breathes loudly through his nose and somehow makes me feel physically sick to be around), i find them bizarre in that they actually seem to be passionate about what they're doing, while i can't muster up the slightest bit of enthusiasm for making sure that my local council gets a tiptop deal on water coolers.

i'm moving in *counts on fingers* twenty three days. i'm going to be a leodian again, after all my previous hissy-fitting-flouncing-off-ness. no matter how shit leeds felt, other places have proved to be shitter..... i've got a fantastic flat to move into, the offer of a pink bike and possibly taking on an allotment; the prospect of all of which are making me pretty happy.

instead of doing the whole 'moving and thinking everything's going to be *fantastic*' thing, i'm looking at it as 'i'm moving and everything's going to be ok'.

fingers crossed it will be.

on my list of things to do are:
start swimming
learn to knit
start up a night again
do another zine
get a job that makes me actually feel ok about going to work
laugh, smile, get drunk and fall over (in a *good* way) a hell of a lot more than i have done recently.
sort out putting this blog onto wordpress, cos me and google blogger sure aren't getting on too well together. grrr.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

back from the back of beyond

well, i figured it was about time i stopped neglecting blogging.

lots of ridiculousness and fuckuppery since the last post, but i won't bore you (if anyone reads this) with the details...

except for one thing. i'm not entirely sure how, but i've managed to wind up in the dullest job i've ever encountered. i recently had the misfortune to have to attend an 'away day', where we (well, everyone else) spent the afternoon discussing 'team strategies' and then had a councillor turn up to tell us all about 'snaring suppliers and seeing the whites of their eyes'. ugh. i thought the pub quiz afterwards might be a kind of saving grace, but no. it turned out to be five pages of poorly-photocopied pictures of celebrities when they were little. there were seventy two of them to try and identify. i couldn't leave fast enough...
i've handed in my notice (i did it before the awayday - such foresight!). no idea what i'll end up doing instead, but at least it's not gonna be what i'm doing now.

on a nicer note, thanks to the wonder that is norman records' weekly email update, i stumbled across a writeup for ballads of the book. "the concept is that writers send in poetry and they are in turn put into a song by recording artists... all freed up from the lyric side of things to concentrate on the tunes." musicians include james yorkston, aidan moffat, sons and daughters, malcolm middleton, vashti bunyan, king creosote and idlewild, with writing from ali smith, ian rankin, edwin morgan and a host of others..... i was starting to wonder whether it'd be one of those things that'd be a nice idea but terrible in practice, but the couple of tracks i've listened to on the website are absolutely fantastic. hopefully the rest (when it arrives) will be just as good.

now for the obligatory the national mention... they have a new album out on the 21st...

...and are playing london astoria on may 22nd.
i'm quite looking forwards to may.

right - that's more than enough excitement for one post - i'm off to make my mind up whether i like grinderman or not.