Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Emanations From Beyond the Void

"I Have Seen The Dark Universe Yawning" 22"x30" graphite on watercolor paper

"Le Mystère Lycanthropique " (work in progress) 22"x30" graphite on watercolor paper

"The Mirror Gazer (10 minute sketch)" 10.75"12.75" graphite on colored printmaking paper

"The image is lured into the vortex of consciousness by a curious rite, a stratagem of tantalization, to the verge of mania. This is the Formula of the Vortex which has been used by initiates-especially by initiates of the Left Hand Path-from time immemorial."
-Kenneth Grant "Outside the Circles of Time"

I'm excited to unveil some of my recent drawings to you, O faithful readers (are you there?). Having been in the midst of chipping away at a few commissioned projects, other forces have been at work, prompting a creative detour of sorts, and a trickle of large drawings have manifested themselves. Hoping to channel these creative impulses into a productive output worthy of exhibition in my next show (tentatively scheduled for May), I've looked yet again to inspiration from occult sources.

Although seemingly worlds apart from some of my previous works, I believe the new drawings fit comfortably into the larger canon/aim of my work and my recent experiments with esoteric processes and source inspiration. In short, the new work reveals my interests in the idea of culling imagery from "beyond the void" of normal consciousness. Mirror gazing, meditation, studying the images found in flame and smoke, utilizing patience and repetition, trance states, astral projection, all these methods have been tested time and again for magicians, artists, shamans, etc. to glean knowledge that is hidden away from our normal conscious selves. If you haven't already guessed it, I've been reading a lot on English artist/mystic Austin Osman Spare.

I guess that's an ambiguous enough description of what I've been whiling away at for now, eh? Don't worry, I'll have much more to say (and show) in the future as I begin to get into the thick of this new series.

Always glad to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bulldog Breed "Austin Osman Spare"

A truly amazing story direct from the mouth of one of the musicians involved in the English freakbeat band Bulldog Breed back in the late 60's! Please read (reposted from youtube):

There are very few instances of Spare's work influencing musicians before 1970, but Bulldog Breed was one such example. Released in 1969 by Decca, the album is now a rarity. In a post on the Fulgur Yahoo Group (now closed) musician Rod Harrison described how he came to include a track on the artist:

"Well you certainly hit on a rare one there! As a matter of interest "Austin Osman Spare" was an acquaintance of my Grandmother. She had been been friendly with Austin and had been given many of his works! Before Gran came to London she had been a tutor at Bristol University (Piano and Art) My Mother also became interested in his Art as she herself was an artist. I recall that she worked just up the hill from Brixton at a place called Skolniks -- they were involved in commercial artwork somewhere around "Streatham high" as it was called then! Not too far from where Austin used to live! "My Mother and I went over to Ilford to see an Auntie of mine and as a child I was introduced to a world of Canvasses and painting -- mainly Austin's. This was shortly before my Mother had a very bad breakdown. I suppose I would have been about seven years old at the time. Everyone in my family was a bit artistic and even now I do the odd portrait or watercolour. I inherited a lot of prints and sketches of Austin's work, but with the passage of time they were lost (I think I left them in a bedsit in Ilford just round from the Bus station, 1969!) This was at a time when Bulldog were merging with T2! Keith Cross had turned up on the scene, most of my equipment had been stolen and I suffered a setback financially (as musicians do). I did a runner 'cos I couldn't pay the rent! "Austin lived in or around the Brixton area and was a good wartime painter but in later years I believe he suffered very badly with illness losing his limbs (gangrene) and dying somewhere about 1956. He had a belief that art should be within the reach of the common man. As to his involvement of the occult I really don't know too much about that- that was just how the lyric panned out. "I suppose you could say that he was a little influenced by William Blake and I am not too sure of his relationship with Crowley! "I was sharing a flat with a friend of mine just off Wanstead High Street and Bernie Jinks, Robin Hunt (whose family lived round the corner -- Nightingale lane) and numerous young ladies would come round for a bit of music practice! These two guys were always the ones with women in tow! I think that Robin, Bernie and I were sitting around on one such afternoon and since the pressure was on to write some material for the LP, for some reason Austin's name cropped up and we all worked it out from there! It was probably the introduction of the Artwork that inspired Robin to work on the Lyric! I had already got some idea of a Guitar part and with Bernie's' input the song came together in a very short time!"
Thanks to Philip Legard for this information.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Barry Adamson "The Taming of the Shrewd"

A great overlooked album by ex-Bad Seed, Barry Adamson. I'd been looking for this album for ages, until my friend Frank let me borrow it from his great collection! Noise-drenched, Morricone-inspired, "let's drive through the city at night and shoot somethin' ", post punk/crime jazz from the late 80's.

I so rarely do this, but this gem is a tough one to find in mp3 format. A little treat for all my readers (if you're out there).

Betty Heredia at Ñ

Forgot I had snapped these few pics on my phone while helping my friend Betty hang her show at the wonderful Ñ bar in Avondale a few weeks back. I think the show is up for a little while longer. Check it out if you can, great stuff!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jackie Mittoo

The real "Cool Ruler"!
Trying to find his album "Stepping Tiger". Drop me a line if anyone has a rip of this supposed holy grail of rootsy dub.