Washoe

Here’s a film I made in 2013. Back in the mid 90’s I became interested in an 18thc genre of painting portraying monkeys as painters at the easel. It seemed to sum up how I felt about my own painting at the time.

I later read Roger Fout’s book Next of Kin, about his successful attempts to teach a Chimpanzee called Washoe to use sign language.

There is something in this relationship that reflects the dynamics of Human Relations on all levels from Parenting to Social Engineering and Colonialism. The Chimp becomes the stubborn partner or the rebel against cultural imperialism.

Lucy Newman played the Teacher.

http://www.vimeo.com/179551131
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Juxtapositions No.1

broadmoor_02

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Westworld

Is it really four years since the London Olympics? Ah…the memories!

westworld_collage_01

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War is Peace!

I’ve been playing around with the propaganda slogans from George Orwell’s 1984. I made these imaginary posters incorporating cartoon characters.

Beetle Bailey for the War Is Peace poster………

war_03

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Yankee Go Home

When G. W. Bush was saying “You’re either with us or against us” post 9/11, I thought it was a statement complicated by the fact that any art made with the intention of dissenting against the US, may well be made in the pop aesthetics of the dominant culture, i.e. that of the US, and therefore be in someway for the US.

This led me to try making  images explicitly in opposition to US imperialism, collaged from illustrations in 1950’s American war comics.

yanky_go_01

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The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes

This comic strip is a satire of the incorruptible British legal establishment’s inability to see any wrong doing in the Libor scandal, HSBC’s drug money laundering, RBS’s meltdown, oil price fixing etc, etc.

In 2016 I submitted a version of the strip to Common Sense, a magazine produced by emptyspace, www.empty.co.uk

bob-common-sense

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The Lost Films


My first full-time job was as a Trace & Paint Artist at Pentagon Motion Pictures in Nottingham. We made the Little Green Man for Central TV.

In The Lost Films project Ive been painting acetate cells and backgrounds as if they are artifacts from lost or abandoned films made in this obsolete medium.

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Still Life

I’ve noticed that making films and videos has started to influence the way I approach making paintings.

Whilst reading about Russian Psychic, Nelya Mikhailova, I thought that the groups of objects that she attempted to move with the power of her mind looked like little Still Lifes. I thought of making this painting called “Still Life with Psychic” as a one panel image, but then added another panel with the Still Life in an altered arrangement, as if it had been moved by Psychic powers.

The objects in the Still Life are things I had to hand in the studio. The portrait of  Nelya Mikhailova is adapted from a photograph in Sheila Ostrander & Lynn Schroeder’s book Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain.

still_life

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Privateer, Prison Hulk.

In this diptych I’m looking at the breakdown of the social contract and the rule of law relating to the financial crisis. The way Banks and Corporations flout the law with impunity, whilst the poor are jailed for minor indiscretions, is reminiscent of the days of the Privateers and the government sanctioned piracy that they carried out on the High Seas.

privateer

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Painting By Numbers

This is my pastiche of a 1950’s Painting by Numbers canvas. I’m interested in the way the subject matter evokes freedom but the act of Painting by Numbers is devoid of free expression.

Painting by Numbers kits tell us something about conservative notions of the role of art in our society.

painting_numbers1

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