Tuesday, 26 May 2009


The Drawing Room micro-festival outside Tate Modern

The Drawing Room represented as part of the House of Fairy Tales festival outside Tate Modern on 23-24-25 May. We had our own very spacious marquee (see picture) into which we'd invited artists, collectives, performers and bands, and it all went remarkably well.
There was a hell of a lot of drawing, some drinking (mainly afterwards), and generally hanging out by the river over a the so far hottest and most gorgeous weekend this year.

Apart from the Drawing Room gang we first had Amelia Johnstone cutting paper drawings and being harassed by a reactionary mother, Material of Ludlow being over-run in a badge-making frenzy, the Mighty Low rocking out the day.
On Sunday we started with a banquet, followed by a 10m-drawing of the Thames as imagined by LE GUN and the great unwashed, the amazing printed drawing games produced by heretic, and the Bohemianauts for some gypsy klezmer pop classics at the end.
And on Monday we followed two hours of dress-up&draw with Strangeworks' hilarious 'blackboard drama' and Lina B Frank's crazy performance machine and finished the sticky day with Victorian punk revivalists the Rubbishmen of Soho.

In retrospect I think it was a supremely successful event, we did get loads of people drawing and enjoying themselves. The children-to-adult ratio grew over the three days, which was ok, but unfortunately this meant the parent-to-normal people ratio also increased dramatically, and while on Saturday I did feel like smacking a few of the pushy, narrow minded, overbearing parents, on Sunday I would have liked to punch them and by Monday evening I was ready to shoot them. Refusing to get involved themselves as in their minds 'drawing is just for kids' - but constantly 'correcting' their children's drawings, some literally taking their pens and intruding them with their 'ideas'. Thankfully there were others who were just fabulous and got right into the spirit.

Monday, 25 May 2009


I've been wondering why I find doing the Drawing Room so rewarding, apart from the fact it's silly and playful and fun... and I've come to realise I do feel very strongly about getting people to think of any art (be it their own drawing or art in a museum) as accessible to anyone.
The notion that there is such a thing as 'high art' that must take itself very seriously and needs a certain kind of person or a certain level of study to be appreciated really annoys me, and people who cite their background/class/occupation/education as reasons why it's 'not for them' or why they 'won't understand it' even more so.
And the same goes for doing a bit of drawing - no-one thinks twice about jotting down a note, but most people above the age of 11 start stressing out if they're asked to draw anything. Otherwise perfectly articulate adults will panic, mumble about 'not being any good' and revert back to the classics (hearts, flowers, smiley faces, penises).
When there is so much hilarity and enjoyment to be had with just a cheap pen and some paper, and a little imagination!
I think I was very lucky to be brought up to think of drawing as entertainment, as something that takes you on excursions, that can be sociable or solitary but is almost always fun and interesting. And it's such a brilliant conductor for ideas, people should just realise they're perfectly able and should be doing more of it.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Grab this bullshit by the horns!

BARE BONES launch exhibition at the Dazed & Confused gallery next thursday!
( 112-6 Old Street - time tbc but usual private view time)

Fourteen people providing fourteen bespoke written/ranted/drawn/cut/carved/copied works.
Profile, interview and portrait of a featured artist.
Curated, funded and distributed quarterly by it's contributors.
We are not in this for the greater good, this is a coin-op co-op.
There are no flies on us.

Barely another bright eyed example of the present trend for non-electronic human communication,
this is a modern day Jack London loitering about in the rough heat of the self promotional art ego wasteland.
The scaffold on which were are hung, temporarily it supports us but will inevitably crumble like nonagenarian bones and end up a pile of spidery dust.
Grab this bullshit by the horns and hop onto our tabloid eye junket.
Consider this timely opportunity for you to loaf and invite inspiration straight into your hands.
Put BARE BONES in your pipe and smoke it.

welcome to the real world

been too busy to update anything - this was an exhibition at the Coningsby gallery organised by Dominik Klimowski to coincide with the launch of his illustrated book of short stories 'Welcome to the Real World'. The book and exhibition featured illustrations by Ali Mobasser, Tom McShane, Graeme Stuart, Neal Fox, Bill Bragg, Robert Greene, Steph von Reiswitz, Andrzej Klimowski, Danusia Schejbal, Swava Harasymowicz, Chris Bianchi and Dominik Klimowski.

(at the private view I was recognised as the creator of my picture by another exhibitor whom I didn't know, which he said demonstrated his theory that people always look like their own drawings. I do know what he means, but considering that particular picture was of a band of bearded gypsies with fur hats and evil stares I'm not too sure if I'm flattered...)