Archives for posts with tag: illustration

talesblog1

Three Score Dance has been commissioned by the Brighton Festival to work with famous choreographer Lea Anderson (The Cholmondeleys, The Featherstonehaughs) to make a new piece, Tall Tales.The Founder’s Room at Brighton Dome is rather small for a rehearsal for 50 people. No collisions even though we’re all moving rather quickly in different directions (and that’s just the warm-up). Because the company is so large (yes, 50), we’re split into two groups to rehearse on alternate sessions, but we all do the exercises together. We’re looking forward to the finished piece in the Festival, though we don’t yet have an idea of the final shape of it. Working with Lea is really exciting, and her designer Tim Spooner has dropped some intriguing hints about possible costume designs (I’m not telling!)

The piece is based on paintings and designs by the Bauhaus artist/designer, Oskar Schlemmer.

http://www.leaanderson.com/

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tracesTraces (sold)

Still life: for many years a favourite subject. From commissioned illustration way back in the 1970’s and ’80’s (often food) through to today’s paintings, I’ve loved the composition of the domestic. Initially those illustrations were supposed to suggest a concept (those were the days), but the ingredients – jars, bottles, glasses, bits and pieces from around the house – took on their own life. The shapes were enough to work with. The silhouettes became the material. No ‘meaning’. So working with, from, and through still life, came this series of paintings. All were painted over the last eighteen months, through the joy of shape; through observation, play, and accident. These have become progressively more abstract, yet underlying each is the nature of things.

This is an exhibition of a selection from the ongoing series: just ten paintings. Through still life.

Friday 17th to Sunday 19th July, 10am – 6pm. The Stable Gallery, Paddock Art Studios, Paddock Lane, Lewes BN7 1TW. http://paddockartstudios.co.uk/

email: design@michaelmunday.co.uk

Adobe Photoshop PDF

After I illustrated Grace Nichols’ and John Agard’s poems in the November issue of VivaLewes, the three of us decide to make a limited edition screen-print of their poems with a new image to accompany them. The last time I was struck by the poignancy of Grace’s mother closing the curtains on the Bonfire celebrations – is she Guido’s mother, the mother of a Protestant martyr (16th C!) or the innocent mother of a British jihadist? This time I try to incorporate something of the wry humour of John’s poem, but incorporating references to Lewes (the castle), subversion (the mask) and the real person behind the mask, plus a tiny amount of the debris left behind after the celebrations, that has always completely disappeared by the next morning…

The limited edition of 100 prints, signed and numbered, on 300gm watercolour paper, are on sale at readings and performances by John and Grace, and available at Skylark Books shop in the Needlemakers, Lewes, priced £20.

John Agard is the guest on Desert Island Discs tomorrow (Sunday 16 November, repeated Friday 21 November)

http://www.skylarkshop.com/

 

guidoGraceLo

 

To celebrate Bonfire, VivaLewes magazine invites the wonderful poets Grace Nichols and John Agard to contribute a poem each. I am flattered when they ask for an illustration to accompany them, and particularly taken with Grace’s poignant ‘Fifth of November’:

 

From day-break the build-up,

which I like best, begins to stitch the town –

threads of an ancient ritual.

 

The boarding-up of shop fronts

in case of shoving crowds;

in case Prometheus’s children

out to commemorate

his hotly stolen gift, get out of hand.

 

Already the scent of kerosene invades the air.

Street-food vans take up their stand

as ordinary folk become

transformed into Tudor and Victorian ladies,

blackened-faced Zulus, fine-feathered Indians,

the no-nonsense striped-jersied.

 

Later in the crowded streets

among the bangers, sparks and brass,

we crane our burning cheeks to see –

the procession of lit torches

soon-to-be burnt effigies

wheel barrows of flaming logs.

 

And now, the whole town

reverberates and shakes

to the crackling booms of fire works –

the cold air gasps at bright spells cast –

fountains of diamonds

showers of falling stars.

 

Am I the only one to glimpse

at an upstairs window

the pale face of a woman

drawing her curtains on it all –

as if she were the mother of a martyr

or one called Guy Fawkes?

 

© Grace Nichols 2014. Published with kind permission.

 

KenMohicanlo

kennethsLO

Kenneth, fresh from his shower, is settled back into bed. Chris, in playful mood, combs his hair into an upswept Mohican look: Kenneth is not that enthralled with the style. I personally think it could work with a little trimming round the edges, but I’m not his style guru. I’m rather taken with the disgruntled pushed-lip look in profile, so I ask him to hold it for a few minutes.

We embark on a series of profile portraits, exploring Kenneth’s modes, as he gets better. None has the clarity or character of the Big Lip Mohican drawing, but he consents to adopt a Quentin Crisp (whom I drew back in the 60s) and somehow I turn him into Anthony Burgess, too.

I give him the drawings, and the staff make a little gallery of Kenneth on his wall. He’s pleased, and I’m flattered, and glad to have found such a good model. Thank you, Kenneth!

Dome

The drugs are working: a breakfast of Asacol, Prednisolone and Co-Codamol. Consequently I’m here, on the big stage of Brighton’s Dome Concert Hall, built by the Prince Regent in 1805: otherwise I’d be languishing in bed feeling miserable. Overhead are the huge scalloped cut-outs of the circular layered ceiling – the place is gorgeous but not fancy Art Deco – with modern lighting gantries hanging (though unlit now). Facing me are 1700 empty seats, but we won’t be performing here – we’ll be in the black-box Studio theatre next door. Jason, our rehearsals director, and now – at last! – our choreographer, is working up a new dance piece – contemporary dance, dance-theatre, ‘modern’ dance, some calls it. The women rule this one. We men (5 of us) scuttle around, hiding behind the 13 female bodies, till we’re revealed, snaking geometrically round the stage, heads down. We don’t know where this is going, yet…

What I do know is that I have to rush around onstage, trying to get attention, becoming increasingly desperate, until, humiliated, I strip down and stand alone in my underpants…

 

 

razor

A big thumb pressing down on my nose and I can see the straight-edge blade coming towards my mouth. I am confident of this man but not of myself. I assume a tacit responsibility for not moving a muscle lest we have a Chien Andalou situation. My face is thick with cooling white stuff, badger-brushed on. How did I get here? Well, by a Christmas gift voucher for the Luxury Wet Shave and train, tube and a walk through Trafalgar Square to the Pall Mall Barbers (est. 1896) – ‘ A mixture of oak panels, ceramic basins and open blades’.

Adrian – thickblackbearded, and not the gorgeous Erin (‘voted the best female barber in Europe’ – blimey) I’d hoped for, makes friendly chat as he prepares. Are you in town for the day? – (how did he know? did he notice the mud on my country gaiters?) – and he makes the best responses he can to my nervous streamofconsciousness about visiting art galleries, and flicks his eyes to the window each time a woman passes.

So: he starts on the face with the cut-throat. Short strokes with the grain of the beard (yes, I’d not shaved for three days – thought I’d make it worthwhile), I can hear the rasp, but there’s no tugging or snagging – it’s actually pleasant. Music playing – an extended two-minor-chord funk groove with incantatory voice over – surely James Brown about to launch into It’s A Man’s World? I can only talk when Adrian takes the razor off my face – it’s for best. Then he wipes off the remaining foam, and relathers, and shaves against the grain (two shaves then!) No nicks cuts pain of course. He wraps my face in a freezing wet towel for a while, then moisturises and aftershaves me. I breathe out, and float, cleansed but closed-pored, into the London street.

owena's

It’s the heat of high summer on my neck, and buzzing, seething sounds. Snuffling, grunting, scratching sounds. Smells too. This pig is much bigger than I thought, and hairier – I think of pigs as pink and rubbery, not being a country person – and now, here I am, squeezing through the gate. The huge sow waddles up to me on her little dainty feet, eyes completely hidden by drooping ears. A bristly wetness on my bare leg, tickling, as she investigates the intruder. Not really interested, though, it’s so hot. She roots around in the weeds for a it, then retires into the shade of her sty, flops down. Carla has already eaten the cap off Emily’s tube of paint, and she’s got a bright green mouth now.

Owena has invited some friends down to her small-holding to draw the animals – she’s an artist herself. We regularly buy excellent meat from her, courtesy of her animals, and now I get to draw them first. So, after a brief talk about how to approach them, I take my sketchbook and decide, initially, which end of the pig to start with. Though they don’t stand still for you – pigs are constantly moving, shifting, flopping, turning.

We move into the rams’ field. We’ve been told not to run away from them – we have to sidle, really. What’s this not-running-away business? Aren’t they sheep with balls? Well, no. They walk purposefully towards you, four of them, in a line, as if they’re going to walk through/over you. We try to look calm and confident, and they walk right up and push you a little (but not actually butting).  But it’s too hot, and they go and stand under the shade of the thorn bushes. I draw them for a while (great horns!) then sidle away. Carefully. I’m in no hurry.

dancing men

Oi!  Men!  What is it about you and dancing? (Sorry – I’m addressing too broad an age range here. Let’s narrow it down). You guys – yes, you over 60: you went to the Palais, the Odeon, the Locarno, the Lyceum, the Marquee, the Flamingo, the Twisted Wheel, or wherever, didn’t you? Did you dance to Otis Redding, Georgie Fame, Zoot Money, The Animals, the Rolling Stones, Geno Washington, and to Tamla Motown, Blue Beat, rocksteady? Then in the late Sixties, to psychedelic stuff by Traffic, Floyd, Arthur Brown? Come on – you know you did! In that willowy, hair-swirling, floppyflared style that we called ‘idiot dancing’? Ah – there’s the rub! It’s the ‘idiot dancer’ memory, isn’t it? I sympathise.

(The hard sell: a new 10-week Contemporary Dance course in Lewes for men and women aged 60 and over. Contemporary dance technique and creative exercise. No prior dance experience is necessary; suitable for all abilities, over 60. Mondays, 5.45pm-7.15pm. 23 September – 2 December)

Venue: Cliffe Hall, Cliffe High St, Lewes.
Contact Lauren at South East Dance: 01273 696844 or lauren.proto@southeastdance.org.uk

http://www.southeastdance.org.uk
http://www.threescoredance.co.uk

bearings

This noise is driving me crazy!! It’s so bad I can feel it in my seatbelt. I can’t hear the engine or the road, or Ry Cooder’s clanging guitar, come to that. I’m driving my Honda Jazz to the garage to have the clapped-out bearings replaced. I’ve had one lot done but the noise has got worse. It’s 40 minutes of aural torture, then relief, I hope.

I book it in, then walk the half-mile on the path beside the noisy road, to the garden centre. A huge Alsatian starts barking crazily at me: enough to deter the casual visitor, but I’m here for breakfast, and to while away the hourandahalf it takes to change the bearings. A burly waiter(? – I don’t know what to call a man who serves breakfast in a garden centre) welcomes me. He’s an old rocker – the softened Triumph tattoo and quiff are the clues – and friendly, but the hash browns are off because the chef hasn’t arrived yet.

I sit and listen to the retired couples at the next table talking about caravan holidays past for forty minutes, till my Full English arrives (it’s worth the wait). The caravanners are driven indoors by wasps  and I stroll around looking at plants and an interesting weather-cock till it’s time to walk back to the garage. I spend two hundred and thirtysomething quid and drive off, listening to Ry’s glistening guitar, and the sound of the road…