Archives for posts with tag: Shadows

Message of Love, 2014– Message of Love, 2014 –


Talk of the Town, 2014– Talk of the Town, 2014 –


The Howler, 2014– The Howler, 2014 –


Two Hands, 2014– Two Hands, 2014 –


SONY DSC– We Don’t Own It, 2014 –


SONY DSC– Real Life, 2014 –


We Don’t Own It, Real Life and Feed The Light are all tracks on Joan As Policewoman’s album, Real Life (2006). You can listen to the rather lovely title track here.


SONY DSC– Feed The Light, 2014 –


A photograph and a painting are essentially the same thing. One is just a series of pigments in emulsifier put down on canvas, while the other is silver nitrate deposits put down on paper. There is very little difference between the two.

(extract from an interview with John Baldessari in AnOther magazine, 2010)

– Night Shift, 2014 –

In 1986 I saw a TV documentary about the theatre director, and artist, Robert Wilson. There were the usual talking heads, interviews with the subject, and clips of RW’s work being performed. The production that stuck with me over the coming year was Einstein on the Beach. Visually and aurally stunning, it looked and sounded like the future.

Wilson structured the work not around a narrative arc, but from storyboards made up of dark charcoal drawings, images he had in his head and needed to make real. His designs are unlike any other’s – they appear to be symbolic – a pair of school desks, a crane-like structure, a steam train, but what do they symbolise? A story does unfold, but not in a naturalistic way, and emotional content is there, but not what and when you’d expect. It’s a powerful cocktail when mixed with Philip Glass’ score, Lucinda Childs’ choreography and Christopher Knowles’ text.

What got to me most in the documentary was seeing Robert Wilson drawing a picture of a crane on the side of the stage and then in a flash forward the final set design taking shape. He made making a big multi-media production out of something as humble as a charcoal drawing seem achievable. I was bowled over by his approach to such an extent that I wanted to be him. What I would have given to inhabit his head for just a couple of hours. Sadly, this would not come to pass – I’m Richard Guest to this day.

Before admitting defeat, I took my misunderstanding/ misremembering of his work to art college with me. With some help, over the four years of study, I worked it out of my system.


– Monitor, 2014 –


Monitor and Night Shift are the fifth and sixth tracks on Siouxsie and the Banshees’ LP Juju (1981). The album features John McGeoch on guitar, Steve Severin on bass, and Budgie on drums. Steve Severin had this to say about the album:  “Juju was the first time we’d made a “concept” album that drew on darker elements. It wasn’t pre-planned, but, as we were writing, we saw a definite thread running through the songs; almost a narrative to the album as a whole.” You can listen to Night Shift here.

You can see a trailer for the 2012 revival of Einstein on the Beach at the Barbican in London here.


Painting has a nature which is not entirely translatable into verbal language. I think painting is a language, actually. It’s linguistic in a sense, but not in a verbal sense. I think that one wants from painting a sense of life. And I think that is true. One wants to be able to use all of one’s facilities in all aspects of one’s life.. ..You may have to choose how to respond and you may respond in a limited way, but you have been aware that you are alive. The final suggestion, the final statement, has to be not a deliberate statement but a helpless statement.

(extract from Jasper Johns: Writings, Sketchbook Notes, Interviews, edited by Kirk Varnedoe, 1996)




The Drift, 2012

This was taken in Beckenham, UK.

The Drift  is Scott Walker’s thirteenth studio album (his first release in eleven years!). It was released in 2006.

The album followed 1995’s Tilt (Scott’s masterpiece), and takes that album’s darkness for a trip to Dark Town. The Drift is unrelenting, disturbing, experimental and oddly emotional. There are songs about disease, Elvis Presley’s dead brother, the execution of Mussolini’s mistress, and 9/11. There’s nothing flippant or obvious about the way Scott deals with these subjects and the music reflects the emotional complexity of the lyrics.

Late period Scott’s another of those artists you either love or hate – it’s impossible to be indifferent to this music.

In our house, this CD can be found: dining room, second shelf-down, right-hand bookshelves.

Here’s Clara from The Drift.

And here’s Farmer In The City – my all-time favourite Scott song.

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Thanks to John and Deanne and Terry for title shenanigans and Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator. Our last collaboration is but one post back.

* * *

If you’re in London anytime up to the 2nd December, I strongly recommend you visit Simon Martin’s exhibition, UR Feeling, at Camden Arts Centre. Why has he brought together a fascinating selection of architectural, art and design objects for your consideration including work by himself, Ettore Sottsass, and Richard Artschwager?

Untitled, 2012 by Richard Cooper-Knight

(fig. 1)

Untitled (for R. C-K), 2012

(fig. 2)

A while back I had a bit of a moan about how the weather was going to stop me taking photographs outdoors. Richard from CK Ponderings suggested we would have to just be inventive. This led to a dialogue and we ended up collaborating on this photographic project…Richard explains it better than me:

“As a result of the appallingly wet April, we found that we didn’t have the best of opportunities to get out and about to take photographs. So, we set ourselves the challenge instead of photographing indoors. The restrictions were that the image had to be based around shadows, and had to be taken inside.

Given that I’m not the best at low-light photography, I was up for this test, and set about trying to see what I could come up with. The vast majority of the results were conclusive – I am hopeless at trying to create that kind of image – the sun wasn’t shining long enough to get any shots by window and I didn’t have a torch that would create the sort of shadow that I was after. Eventually, after a bit of playing around, I used a torch with multiple-bulb, LED lights; this created not one clear shadow, but multiple ones. This worked well with one object – a plastic container – and, with a bit of tweaking in Photoshop Elements (a semi-opaque gradient fill), this is the result (see fig. 1). It’s not the best image I have ever produced, but it’s a start, and these blogs are all about learning and developing!”

For my response to the challenge, I decided not only to stick to the restrictions we had set ourselves, but to completely change my usual way of working (i.e. taking “natural” shots of stuff that’s happening around me) and stage something. I spent several days trying to conceptualise the piece and at one point considered creating a kind of shadow-casting monster out of my clothes. Yes, I was that desperate. I spent the following Sunday afternoon taking photographs of net curtains with interesting folds and the shadows of buildings showing through. With so-so, drab, melancholy results. I wasn’t enthused. Briefs are obviously not my strong point. So, disconsolate, I returned to work on Monday, got in the lift and found my shot a foot above my head (see fig. 2).

It amazes me that given all the possible approaches we could have taken, we ended up taking two photographs that compliment each other so well.