More Thoughts on Performance Painting

Walking out in the Peaks today among the first flushes of Autumnal tints in the hedgerows my thoughts turned again to Expressionism and Nature Based Abstraction two themes close to my heart. I am still seeking to understand the connection between the organised chaos of the natural world and that zen still point in the midst of the seeming chaos. The natural world does not care or worry about the colors that are thrown together . They shouldn’t work together but they do .

The same applies with sound . So called discordant and experimental music , like abstraction, is often dismissed as noise yet to stop and pay attention reveals hidden moments of beauty . We are so trained for immediacy that there is no time to taste, think ,to listen or to look.

Allowing yourself to move with the music and color takes you beyond . There is no shape or form to copy, no tree and hill or bowl of fruit. New territory. This constant journey is motivation enough.

 

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I find myself excited at the prospect of taking part in “SENSORIA” with Jim Ghedi again .Listening to him rehearse magically creating soundscapes with his guitar voice and samples is inspiring.

 

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Todays walk revealed the calligraphy of bird flight , brush strokes in dying grasses and vibrancy in death.

 

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“Performance Painting”

One or two people have enquired what I mean by ‘Performance Painting” so it seems appropriate to try and give some form of explanation of what it means to me.

My first (unknowing) attempt at live painting was when I was 17 in 1967 when I painted a psychedelic mural on my bedroom wall while listening to “Sgt. Pepper” . My parents were not impressed. From then on album artwork was almost as important as that lovely round 12″ of vinyl. I would sketch and paint while listening to Pink Floyd ,Yes, Soft Machine etc. on my headphones. I always loved special effects at gigs – atmosphere enhances the experience.Unknowingly a connection had been made.

When I returned to painting many years later I was watching the band “These Monsters” in their jazz rock days. From nowhere my head was filled with shapes and colors as the music surrounded me . I just had to paint that sound! A further encouragement came while listening to Gregor Kurtag’s E.C.M. album “Kurtagonals”. The brooding dark electronica fuelled a series of works I called” Keefagonals” .This series was exhibited in Finland . One buyer confided almost apologetically that the picture she had chosen had “spoken to her”! I have always painted while listening to music but the “Keefagonals” experience helped make a real connection between color and sound.

So what actually happens? For me, an empty space and sound.  Waiting and interpreting. Letting the music become one with color and them fuse together then expressing the connection in a visual context. The results are unique and cannot be repeated and the live experience is an experimental/sensory journey.

When I began to explore this way of working I had no idea of the long tradition of pictorial abstraction , the synthesis of sound and color . My major exhibition with potter John Rogers this year was totally inspired by The Mahavishnu Orchestra and the poetry of Sri Chimnoy . The exhibition was entitled “Between Nothingness and Eternity” . I painted a picture to represent each album track.

Being invited to collaborate with Jim Ghedi on his “Satori” project has encouraged me to continue to explore this media further. I understand this is a simplistic explanation of what is a complex subject , I may understand more as I go on.

Further reading ” The Sound of Painting (music in modern art”)  Karin V. Maur (Prestel 1999).

Further listening : The Mahavishnu Orchestra ” Birds of Fire”. Gregory Kurtag “Kurtagonals”.

 

 

 

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Resident Artist

I am proud and thrilled to announce that the lovely people at The Little Mesters’ Recording Confederacy have invited me join their family as resident artist.

Please check out the website and listen and buy the fantastic music on the label. These folks are brimming with creative and artistic talent and great people as well who really deserve recognition. Please give them your support .

http://littlemestersrecords.com/

They said some nice things about me also !

Artist Keith How has joined our family!!

He paints beautiful paintings and looks like an italian mob boss, godfather and now resident artist for yours faithfully LMRC

Check out his great works on the links.

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“SATORI”

I have been thrilled to work with musician Jim Ghedi producing artwork for his project “Satori”.

Listen o Jim here  https://soundcloud.com/jim-ghedi

A inner city photo shoot with photographer Billy Bye and then a live painting at the Audacious Art Experiment . Another photo shoot with photographer India Hobson this time a rural affair out in the woodlands.

You can see what fun we had here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lowhorizons/

Jim_HighRes-58

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Great Longstone Art Show

Great Longstone was great fun . I was able to exhibit with fellow Yeld Arters Debbie Stone and Gary Wingrove . Happily three people have given homes to some Low Horizons landscapes.

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WOW

What a couple of weeks. Flying out to Pori Finland for my exhibition with John Rogers at Galleria Elise. A great opening night and a brilliant response.

Back to Sheffield to do “LIVE ART” . Painting while Jim Ghedi and Neal Heppleston played songs from the forthcoming album “Satori ” . I named my piece “Satori” as I painted directly on to the wall at The Audacious Art Experiment.

Coming up next I will be exhibiting in the Great Longstone Art Show .

If you have time check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/lowhorizons/http://www.flickr.com/photos/lowhorizons/

https://www.facebook.com/events/534919856570720/

to view images from Pori and Sheffield……

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” between nothingness and eternity” Gallerie ELISE 12-27 july 2013

“Between Nothingness and Eternity”.

 

Artists Notes:

“ Above the toil of life my soul

Is a Bird of Fire winging the Infinite” (Sri Chinmoy).

 

paintings inspired by the record “ Birds of Fire” by Mahavishnu Orchestra and the poems of Sri Chimnoy .

 

front cover : “The Red Thread”                           ( acrylic) .

side one

  1. ‘Birds of Fire”                                                  ( mixed media)
  2. “Miles Beyond (Miles Davis) “                         ( acrylic)
  3. “Celestial Terrestrial Commuters”                   ( mixed media)
  4. “Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love “                      (mixed media on vintage plywood)
  5. “Thousand Island Park”                                  (acrylic)
  6. “ Hope ”                                                           (acrylic)

Side two

  1. “ One Word”                                                    (mixed media)
  2. “Sanctuary”                                                     (acrylic)
  3. “ Open Country Joy”                                        (oils)
  4. “Resolution”                                                    (acrylic)

 

back cover : “Beyond Nothingness and Eternity” ( acrylic)

 

Journey’s End:  “The Golden Eye of the Supreme”.

 

The inspiration for these paintings finds me seeking to break free of former ideas and concepts . “ Miles Beyond “ (2) was a breakthrough . Inspired by the space and freedom found in the intricate music I discovered the “zen calligraphy” that echoes through nature . Branches , star clusters, bird flight , winding rivers and horizons , leaf and stalk shapes. They are all around but we often miss their beauty and message.

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safe and sound

Good news from Finland . All paintings have arrived safe and sound . Excellent service from T.N.T. Express .

In the mean time my thoughts turn to artwork for Jim Ghedi’s new album and also a rather exciting experiment .More Later !

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