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From my recent exhibition Infinite Narratives – optimism / End-Times at 139artspace. Interview by Orli Ivanov.

The concrete jungle repeatedly depicted in your drawings in a very eerie, dark and apocalyptic manner, what is your relationship with the urban landscapes and living in the jungle?

I was born in camberwell, south east london and have always lived in surrounding areas of greater london. Urbanised areas. As a boy and young man I lived nearer to woodland and closer to Kent and always felt drawn towards the woods. i don’t want to get too into talking about the city, or the “concrete jungle” too much. But I have had many dreams where I’m in a industrial area and am running away from something… The building type structures in my drawings I have taken to symbolise civilization more generally, which I think is going to go through some radical changes in the next fifty years or so. I do the drawing kind of automatically, then afterwards I relate it to my state of mind, things that are influencing me, what I am consuming, reading etc… I am trying to work from a non-anthropocentric perspective. I think a lot of art, a lot of writing is centred around the human experience, I’m trying to get away from that. the point of my recent work; optimism / end-times, is, I think that when the buildings fall, when civilisation falls and the numbers of humans – either over a long or short period – decrease, because of fuel crisis, war, poverty, climate crisis etc etc then that will be a big bonus for the rest of the nature. Ultimately urban landscapes are of not much interest to me , as what they relate is a human influence on the earth, viz: destruction.

What significance does the creative practice and creative engagement hold in your existence?

My work patterns are sporadic, but when I am working , whether writing poems, drawing, painting, producing a book, I feel most complete. I feel that the work informs me. When I work I feel its a learning process. It’s not always comfortable but I often feel I gain something internally from practicing my art. Sometimes though I think, “what’s the point?” and I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m thinking right now about how I can practice my art in a way that is practical and meaningful maybe in a political way. I haven’t figured it out yet…

What was your most surreal and vivid dream you had?

I feel this question is irrelevant generally, and dreams are highly personal reflections of our subconscious as well as images of our conscious minds. I have mentioned something on this subject relative to a previous question.

I’d like to recommend some reading which has informed my recent work; Endgame by Derrick Jensen, The Dark Mountain Manifesto, any of the films on submedia.tv ,Petrosubjectivity – de-Industrialising our sense of self by Brett Bloom.

Also, go to any local protests, join the mailing list of your local disabled activist group, do some research on the current political situation, don’t have kids, think about what comes next…

D/A/P

www.illustratedself.com

 

 

 

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Saturday 9th April, 139artspace, Greenwich. Installation private view 6 – 9pm. Work will be exhibited through April.

Friday 15th April, BookArtBookshop, Pitfield St. Launch of self published collection of drawing.

Be good to see you there!

Dx

 

BLU-ISH

Download my most recent book

“This is not a composition, it is how I feel” 

Free!

D/A/P/XX

If you would like you can purchase real copies here.

I had no say in the place I was born

and the flag raised above the land I call home is just that

a flag

cotton

or nylon

or worse

with those same colours that flew

from the pirate ships

that stole sugar and tea and spices

and the very heads of indigenous peoples

their land called home for thousands of years

re-imagined as a profit-resource

by a group who

believed so whole-heartedly

in their supremacy

that they exported their beliefs

culture and ways

and implemented them savagely

under a red, white and blue banner

rich white men, bloated by corporate greed and wealth

and an obsession with cock-power

everything that is wrong with the world

over centuries built a world for themselves

on the bones

and the bodies

of dead peoples that they viewed as irrelevant

as less than human

and now

no

i’m not proud

of a people who talk of the poor

in derogatory terms

of the vulnerable, the sick and in-need

with derision

and point out that those worse off than themselves should

“get off their arses”

and

“pull their finger out”

and that look on those fleeing

in agony

war torn countries ruined by neo-colonialism

with suspicion

that maybe they come

to steal from this land

from this people

it’s a distortion of reality that is tied to our times

it’s a lie

that was sold to you with your morning coffee

by the same rich white men

that yeah

were doing this 500 years ago

and are still doing it

and you bought it

you bought the lie

and so no

i’m not proud

you let the blood run dry

 

you could’ve stopped it

 

but

you never caused it

you never caused

the wound

you never asked me

to pour it

 

so i guess

it was never your responsibility

 

but you stood there

 

you watched

 

you held my hand

and whispered

so sweetly

 

and I cut me

so deeply

to show you my love

 

i opened myself up

i wanted you to see

how bright it was

how fast it ran

for you

my blood

 

i shoulda realised

i left myself empty

and blood’s better

in

than

out

 

i shoulda shown you

through my adult actions

how your love drove the blood

that made me

run

that made me

bright

now I’ve bled me dry

 

i

could’ve stopped it

 

i

caused the wound

 

i poured it

 

and my blood’s no good

by you

in the street

by your feet

running down

into the drain

past the chicken bones

past the dead mice twitching on the glue trap

 

sure the light reflects

in the crimson

and that’s nice

on a cold night in upton park

but that’s not a life.

2015-02-11 23.02.56They said

my blue sky

was aggressive and violent

my experience

the pounding heart

the breath of life

pumping through my body

pouring out into the world

is the transition

is the anger

that looks forward

is the calm after

the riots

after the fires

the outrage

the blue sky that comes

after the smoke clears

is the beauty that comes

through the blood

ours

?

after the dust settles

and we can enjoy

the blue sky

unencumbered by

aggression

and

violence

Dear friends,

 

I’m still about! Check out the zineography page for details on my new books… soon on my shop at illustratedself.bigcartel.com more details soon! X for now… a poem for you:

bureaucracy-01

bureaucracy-02

bureaucracy-03

bureaucracy-04

bureaucracy-05

Talking about the passing of time after work one night with a colleague, an interesting idea arose which has stayed with me… I’ve been thinking a lot and here it is:

When we are young, a unit of time, say a week, is a larger portion of our lives; to a one year old, a week is 1/52 of their total time lived. As we grow up the same unit of time begins to become smaller, to a 30 year old for example a week is 1/1560 of their life. Even though the week is physically the same (in terms of the movement of the Earth around the sun) it is experientially much smaller…

The adult life is experienced through routines, and data that we have accrued during our lives. So much data that we don’t really need to experience certain things any more to do them… Think about making a cup of tea, or doing shoe laces, something that can be done with minimum thought or effort. How often do you notice the sound of an aeroplane going overhead, or the colour of a bus, or the smell of the street? Do we experience these things? Or just exist alongside un-noticed occurrences, and as part of events where we respond automatically, unthinking, to stimuli that fails to stimulate anything but a rehearsed response…

When we are younger we are seeing things for the first time, learning new things, experiencing the world around us and all the things in it.

“Mum, what’s that?”

“that’s a puddle, dear”

“what’s a puddle?”

“when it rains, puddles are formed”

(child looks up) “why does it rain?” etc…  

The child is interacting with the world in many ways and thus a unit of time is heavier experientially. Mummy hardly sees the puddle really, until little Johnny asks or starts splashing…

As adults we are often “somewhere else” when experiencing the world; thinking about dinner on the bike ride home, day-dreaming about a holiday at work or having lunch with a partner, remembering how things were when you first met… In this disconnection from our immediate experience we are devaluing the unit of time experientially, and thus it passes without much notice, when we look at our lives, we say “wow, this year is going so fast!” another colleague might say “it seems to get faster the older you get…” and they’re right, it does seem to. We experience less during time; we experience time less.

The thing is to try and connect with our experiences and so really live the time we have. However, this would take some mental training, a revaluation of the value of experience and an understanding that experience is a deeply personal thing. Your green isn’t the same as my green, you have your experience of the colour green and I mine. Bacon frying in a pan has physical properties; the heat, the evaporation of liquid within the meat, and there are physical occurrences in us as we see the meat change colour, hear the sizzling sounds of its frying, smell the particles in the air around us or feel the heat of the hob. However, your experience of these occurrences is something just for you, and mine for me… The tendency is to accept a given value of the experience of an everyday occurrence and to not notice them at all, a bus is just red; that is it. Occasionally something from this order of events or occurrences will get through and we’ll experience them, often a smell; a certain perfume in the air while walking in the street will evoke an image in memory, maybe I smile look around, and notice other things about my surroundings, now I interact with what is around me psychically, and experience it more fully…

Seeking experiences out of our routines,  seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, experiencing things we haven’t before, or trying to experience them in different settings, with others we’ve never shared these experiences with before… Or even better; learning something new, being active, engaging with the world around us mean we don’t ignore the passing time, but we really live it…  then who will care how quickly it seems to go by?

Love all round.

DAP

xxx

This is a poem.  It started when I was reading this book in the bath called “Scripts People Live” by Claude Steiner,  it is a book on the subject of Transactional Analysis. It is very interesting to think about why we behave the way we do and why we make the choices we make, and I have been reading a lot on this subject and it has been informing a lot of my poetry and abstract drawing.

There are lots of people in lots of difficult situations, bad relationships, jobs they hate, drink and drug problems, depression etc, some people don’t think they’re good enough for love, or they don’t deserve to be happy, or maybe they have become comfortable in their situations because thats how they’ve learned to live and its more safe than making a change. Basically these are “Not OK” positions… Either they feel “Not OK” or that other people that are “Not OK” or both!

I was feeling a bit down, so as I read I started to think “It’s OK to love, it’s OK to be happy…” I laughed! Then I started to say them out loud. It felt really good! I was giving myself permission to get what I want!! So, I wrote them down and riffed out a drawing on the subject and relating to stuff I have been thinking about recently…That it’s Okay to get what you want, Okay to be happy and Okay to love.

These are the scans of the work, the photos of the booklet are in my Zineography page on this blog…

Love all round

DAP

xxx

For Julie Kane’s Colorless Green Ideas Zine (she is still taking submissions), but for a larger piece I’m working on also… I’ll speak more about the metaphor later. DAP x