Thursday, 7 September 2017

Down to Margate to see Howard Dyke

(With a little help from KCC Artist Investment Fund)The splendid Bon Volks studio in Margate were in the position of being able to offer free studio space, free accommodation and the chance to exhibit to half a dozen great artists. Last week I was delighted to catch up with the wonderful Howard Dyke and see his latest work. For more info visit: www.bonvolks.com
Above: Howard's back
Above: Detail number one
Above: Detail number two
Above: A side to Howard we don't normally see
Above: Detail number three
Above: Another close-up
Above: Me in a good mood. Find out more about Howard's work by visiting here: http://howarddyke.com/

Friday, 1 September 2017

Barney Bubbles exhibition in Lambeth Walk

Last night I went to the opening of "OPTICS & SEMANTICS" at Rob Tufnell's gallery, 139 Lambeth Walk, S.E.11. The exhibition, curated by Paul Gorman, is a retrospective of furniture, posters, records, videos, badges and ephemera designed or directed by Barney Bubbles (1942-1983). Many of his greatest hits such as the 28 different versions of Ian Dury's Do It Yourself album and the video for Ghost Town by The Specials were included in the show as well as a few things I'd never seen before such as the formica and lacquer ‘AC/DC Desk’ which is based upon a British Standard three-pin plug and socket. The exhibition is open 12 – 6pm, Thursday – Saturday and it's well worth a look.For further information contact mail@robtufnell.com
Above: Me wearing my Blockhead badge with pride. In the display box is a fold-out version of Elvis Costello's Armed Forces.
Above:Liz and Loretta with some Do It Yourself sleeves.
Above: Mikey recreates one of Humphrey Ocean's poses.
Above: Rob Tufnell "Four eyes one vision"
Above: Rita pulls the plug
Above: Reasons to be cheerful
Above: If you're interested in the exciting new collaboration between Fred Perry and Barney Bubbles go to Fred Perry shop in Henrietta Street in London’s Covent Garden and/or visit Paul Gorman's site: http://www.paulgormanis.com

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Blakefest

The legendary Mikey Georgeson has organised a William Blake themed show in a public library in Bognor Regis. Mikey says: "Personally I’m thinking that Blake's faith in creative imagination is akin to Beuy’s idea of a better living society reached via engaging with it as a huge collective art work." I've always wanted to show work in a library in Bognor Regis so I made these two new A5 sized works. William Blake once observed: "Great things are done when men and mountains meet."
Above: "Tyger"
Above: "Puck Dancing Under a Rainbow"

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Glassbox, Paris

Glassbox is an artist run space in Paris, France.The exhibition "It May Be Rubbish but it's British Rubbish" took place there in May, 2000. http://www.glassbox.fr/
Image above: Top photo is of one of the artists in charge of the space: Gemma Sheddon. The second photo shows artist Chris Coombes taking a photo of curator Harry Pye (wearing sunglasses) with friend Liz Purchase standing in front of a photo by Neil Reddy..
Above: Two Glassbox curators standing in front of a photo by Luke Gotellier. And a photo of a local eccentric who called himself "English Bob" looking at an early painting by Dominic Kennedy.
Other artists whose work featured in the exhibition include: Gordon Beswick, Eilidh Crumlish, Kevin Francis Gray, Geoff Lucas, Phil McCluney, Bruce McLean, Hadrian Pigott, Matilda Pye, Phil McCluney, Kit Wise, and Sarah Wood. The show was curated by Harry Pye and the works were hung by Johnny de Veras.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mark Wallinger's White Horse

Literately everyone who is alive today is talking about "Bonjour" (Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye's debut L.P.) I wonder how many of the millions of people who've bought Bonjour and stared lovingly at the cover have wondered about the life sized statue of a white horse? Well, wonder no more - here are some fascinating facts... Way back in 2014 The British Council Collection commissioned Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger to make the sculpture which they then put outside their offices in The Mall for approximately two years. Mr Wallinger part owns a real horse called Rivera Red. His horse was put into a white line scanner and the scan was moulded into a robust resin, marble and steel structure. The ambitious Mr Wallinger will one day make a 50 metre high version of the same horse which will be the biggest piece of public art in the whole of the United Kingdom. He's been given the permission to build the giant horse in Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent but doesn't have the funds to realise the project. Some estimate building the statue could cost as much as 15 million pounds.
When Mark saw a C.D. of Bonjour for the first time he exclaimed "Good Heavens!" and seemed pleasantly surprised.
Here are some other recent reactions to the album... "Would make perfect Summer listening, if there was a Summer." - Ian Rankin "A thoughtful collaboration with Macdonald providing the elegant soundtrack to Pye's lyrics on art appreciation, nostalgic reminisces and the simple pleasures." Fiona Shepherd, The Scotsman Newspaper. “Punky vignettes, fusing spoken word with classic pop, easy listening and more” - Robin Murray (CLASH magazine) “Old fashioned, poignant, likeable and offbeat. Macdonald is a dab hand with sweet melodic easy-listening indie numbers, while Pye contributes spoken word anecdotes that are perfectly written, clumsily delivered and gripping” – Thomas H. Green (The Arts Desk) Sympathy For Jean-Luc Godard is “shimmering and radiating feel good vibes” Mark Barton (God Is In The TV website) “Delightful stuff.” Roland Monger (Listen with Monger website) "Odd but good" **** (Jenny Bulley Mojo Magazine) “I Feel Like a Record That’s Scratched is pure catchy power pop... a work of art.” Calum Craig (Is This Music? Website) “Wonderfully quirky” – Flux magazine “The results of their collaboration will make you want to smile” – Carlos Benito (El Correo website).
Bonjour
the art pop album which costs a lot less than 15 millions pounds is available on i-tunes, Spotify, Amazon, Rough Trade in London, Monorail Music in Glasgow and all good record shops in UK/Europe. For signed copies visit: https://bonjour.tmstor.es/

By The Sea exhibition at Gallery 64a

Gallery 64a is a small independent exhibition space on Oxford Street in Whitstable, Kent CT5 1DG The opening party for the gallery's second show will be on Wednesday the 6th September.
Above: Bullock on a Beach by Harry Adams
Above: Horizon by Gordon Beswick
Above: Untitled by Jackie Clark
Above: Sea Fever by Emma Coleman
Above: Stokes Bay by Beverley Daniels
Above: At The Harbour by Charlie Day
Above: Worthing Statue by Mikey Georgeson.
Above: At Brighton Beach by August Kunnapu
Above: Rocks, Snow and Sun by Lee Maelzer
Above: Sea Witch by Sarah Sparkes The exhibition is curated by Harry Pye and will feature paintings, prints, photographs,collages and drawings by; Harry Adams, Martin Brown, Gordon Beswick, Billy Childish, Jackie Clark, Emma Coleman, Beverley Daniels, Charlie Day, Peter Doig, August Kunnapu, Lee Maelzer, Joanna McCormick, Mark McGowan, Paul, Sakoilsky, Sarah Sparkes, Tom Shedden, Geraldine Swayne, Sandra Turnbull, Julian Wakeling, and Agnieszka Zapala.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Q & A with "Legs" Larry Smith

"Legs"Larry Smith is best known for being the wonderful drummer of the legendary Bonzo Dog Band. In 1967 The Bonzos appeared with The Beatles in the film Magical Mystery Tour and on the TV show Do Not Adjust Your Set with members of Monty Python. The Bonzo's single I'm The Urban Spaceman was a top five hit in 1968. After The Bonzo's went their separate ways Larry went onto work with Elton John, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and John Cale. The Bonzo's reformed in 2006 and a year later released a 28 track album of new material called Pour l'Amour des Chiens. Yesterday Harry Pye pleaded with Larry to do a fun size interview via e-mail. Now read on...
Harry: "I tend to play Bonzo records when I need cheering up.Could you list a few things that make you happy? Are there any records you put on, old films you re-watch or books you re-read? Larry: "When I’m not dancing with the arts or being a Daddy to my darling twin girls Rebecca and Delphie – my passion is Horse Racing. Re films: George and I would watch Mel Brooks; ‘The Producers’ most every night over at Friar Park – but may I suggest a movie that seems to have slipped under the net? ‘Walk Hard’ – quite breathlessly funny, brilliant."
Harry: How is your health these days? Will you ever be able to perform the Wilbury Twist again? Larry: "My health is fine, thank you. I’m looking younger each day – thanks to coconut oil and 2-stroke petrol. A girl arrives to do my feet every couple of weeks. She files, trims, shapes, moisturises and massages – (and that’s just my eyebrows). Seriously, feet are important – a gracious and noble path to all the senses."
Harry: Your lead vocals on Let’s All Go To Mary’s House was one of the highlights of The Bonzo album released in 2007.Do you sing in the shower? Do you find singing seems to help a troubled soul? Larry: "I sing in the shower – but generally it’s to attract the attention of my Mexican maid – ChickitaRyvitaSleepsweeterBournvita®,(she always knows where the soap is). But frankly, I talk in the shower. Much more fun."
Harry: "I love “Legs Larry at Television Centre” what can you tell me about John Cale? The Bonzos and The Velvets were releasing albums at the same time – do you remember how you became aware of him or your first meeting? Larry: "John also produced a version of ‘Springtime For Hitler’ – which further endeared me to him. We had dinner in Amsterdam a couple of years back but he seemed somewhat ‘distant’. He’s a melancholy boy. He married my ex-girlfriend Miss Cynderella from the GTO’s. I recall Moon and I drove a somewhat serious and dare I say ‘normal’ Lou Reed out to Heathrow airport and bunged him on a plane to the States. Then, good Lordy – a couple of years later he arrives back in England as the ‘Ultra-COOL’ (‘Walk on the Wild side’) Lou Reed. A change of image, of wardrobe, of style – and why not? I’m currently dressed as: ‘A Garden Shed’ – (Caban de jardin) and drinking a fairly boisterous weed-killer – I’m hoping that ‘Homebase’ will sponsor me for the Book Tour.PS. We didn’t pick him up (Lou Reed) from the airport."
Harry: David Hockney shares your passion for digital art. Do you think the work Hockney makes now using his i-pad is as interesting as the paintings he made on canvas in the 60s and 70s? Larry: "Nope. He’s a good draughtsman – which is rare these days,but I find his current work flat and predictable."
Harry: Rodney Slater has raised the money to record and release his first ever solo album (Parrots Parrotopia) do you keep up to date with what your Bonzo chums are up to and listen to their new stuff? Larry: "I guess that we catch-up when we Tour, which is great fun, but generally my ears are not for sale."
Harry: Has your autobiography been completed or are there still a few final touches needed? Has writing your memoirs been a happy experience? Larry: "I think it’s complete; it’s now in the hands of my literary agent. When it meets a publisher – who knows what will happen. I like to imagine a couple of boardroom brawls. However, closely following the memoirs I have a film project which might well set the business on-fire. In closing, to have written my memoirs has been a joy. To write is a joy."
Harry: What’s the best bit of drumming you did that got recorded? Who are your percussionist heroes? Larry: "My drum-break in ‘Jazz Delicious Hot – Disgusting Cold’. Heroes of the dreaded drums? Has to be Moon and Buddy Rich. They’re both what I call ‘fiddly drummers’ – maybe they overiced the cake. They jumped about wildly but they always got back inside – on the beat, or very slightly ahead (of the beat). For we must never be bad to the beat."
Harry: In 1982 George Harrison released “Gone Troppo” but didn’t tour or do any promotion for it. When he asked you to make artwork for the album did you get the feeling he’d had enough of showbiz or that he felt he had nothing to prove? Larry: "I was thrilled when George asked me to design the ‘Gone Troppo’ project – the album cover, the songbook and a poster or two. He loved and admired my artwork and we had a couple of rare painting classes atop one of the towers at Friar Park.But the bonk on the head was his song for me: ‘His Name is “Legs” Ladies and Gentlemen.’ And the fun we always had in the studio. Maybe George was a trifle ‘Troppo’ at the time (Troppo being an Australian term for ‘crazy’ – or mildly bonkers) he fell under a lot of pressure; it was a constant state of affairs."
Harry: What do you think about Shirts? Do you think they are still necessary? Larry: "A crisp white shirt (event) worn with a beautiful girl underneath, (with just an occasional glimpse of her silk undies) is a heavenly sight to see, officer. But ‘The Shirt Event’ – is one of my favourites. A piece of recording history. How dear Gus managed to pull the faders and press those devilish buttons as the song unfolded is a mystery – for we were all rolling about the studio floor and peeing our pants, as Vivian grabbed those darling passers-by. It was set in a mild London, a caring London. A London that has sadly vanished. (Sob!)"
(The song Shirts appears on The Bonzo Dog Band's Tadpoles album produced by Gus Dudgeon for E.M.I records)
For more info on Larry and his forthcoming autobiography contact: clare@lordlarrington.com