Wednesday, April 15, 2015

EXCELLENT REVIEW OF FRANCIS BACON'S WORK BY JONATHAN JONES

An excellent review by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian today.

The exhibition he lambasts is the much heralded 'Francis Bacon and The Masters' show at the Sainsbury's Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich.

Placed next to the great works of Titian to Picasso, Bacon's work appears to be a sham. The aesthetic problem is what drew so many of us to Bacon's work as fans: the notion of chance in later Modernist painting. Bacon talked a lot about 'chance' in his many published conversations with David Sylvester. Bacon's chance of brush stroke and drip seemed for many of us to penetrate the flesh to illuminate the deeper character (and even soul) of his subject.

Yet Bacon's chance was all about manufacturing the grotesque, posing as the defining experience of the age. George Grosz didn't have to invent grotesque figures. He experienced them. 

Jackson Pollock, one of the greatest Modernists, in my view, employed his drip effect as if carpet bombing the planet and the human mind.

In contrast, Bacon seems detached from his subjects and confuses the narratives of the great masters with underlying references to contemporary culture in the age of cartoons. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

THE INFLUENTIAL JOE SOAP'S CANOE MAGAZINE ARCHIVE IS NOW ONLINE

Poet Martin Stannard edited the influential joe soap's canoe from 1978 to 1993. It is now available here in PDF files.

As it evolved, joe soap's canoe became an unusual mix of British and US poetry and reviews. Spanning from the 1970s to the 1990s, the magazine not only spotlighted voices from both sides of the pond, it reflected a vibrant poetry scene through the widespread publication of independent magazines and books. Over twenty years on, none of us back then could foresee the impact of the internet on poetry, for good and ill. 

Do cast your eyes over these 16 canoes. There are some gems.



 

MUSIC IN NORTH EAST SUFFOLK AND NORWICH

STEVE TILSTON + LITTLE BIG MOUTH
 
Rare appearance in Lowestoft for the long-time leading singer, songwriter and guitarist on the English folk scene. Not to be missed...
 
Friday 17 April, 7.30pm
Seagull Theatre
Morton Road
Lowestoft
NR33 0JH

Tickets £10 / £8 (Tel 01502 589726)
 

THE JOHN WARD BAND + WOODLAND CREATURES + NICK MURRAY BROWN
 
The respected local singer / songwriter and band return with original songs old and new to boil the blood and moisten the eyes. With great support.

Saturday 18 April, 7.30pm
Seagull Theatre
Morton Road
Lowestoft
NR33 0JH

Tickets £7 / £6 (Tel 01502 589726)
 
 
PANGAEA
 
The 'world jazz' quartet returns with more grooves and improvisation to its regular haunt.

Thursday 23 April, 8pm
The Stanford Arms
Stanford Street
Lowestoft
NR32 2DD

Admission is free
 
NORWICH INTERNATIONAL JAZZ WORKSHOP AND CREATIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL

Listen to and participate in some great music. Concerts, workshops and jams throughout the day featuring a few big names from the national scene including The Perico Sambeat Quartet. If this is a success there could be an even bigger festival next year!

Sunday 10 May, 4pm-midnight
Maddermarket Theatre
St John's Alley
Norwich
NR2 1DR

Various admission prices - Box office 01603 620917



AND FINALLY, DONT FORGET...

Sunday 3 May, 8pm
Horn Factory Big Band
Milestones Jazz Club
Hatfield Hotel
The Esplanade
Lowestoft

Admission £7 / £6
Visit http://www.milestonesjazzclub.co.uk






Friday, April 10, 2015

WHY I SUPPORT THE TRADE UNIONIST AND SOCIALIST COALITION AT THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTION

For many years it has been said that the British Left is in disarray, composed (or decomposed) of warring fragments, with workplace struggles on the back burner and capitalism's global neo-liberalist ideology so dominant. However, as austerity has hit us hard and will hit us harder after May 7th's General Election, The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has come together to stand 135 parliamentary candidates in England, Scotland and Wales. This is the biggest Left electoral challenge for generations.

What is so impressive is that very different and diverse organisations and individuals have come together on The Left to make this possible - The Socialist Party, The Socialist Workers Party and The Independent Socialist Network, together with the RMT trade union, ex-Labour councillors and many trade union activists. TUSC is also standing a few TUSC/Left Unity candidates, which shows how the Left should embrace each other, rather than get sucked back into the moribund Labour Party.

Labour, moribund? Ask the Scots! Labour in power led us to war, brought in PFI as the wedge to privatise the NHS and schools, introduced university tuition fees and promoted corporate business interests against the working class. Labour's historic role is to control the working class in service to big business and the Two Eds will continue this process in power. 

Artist, artisan, academic, arc welder, hospital cleaner, house bound carer, student or claimant TUSC is your obvious 'X' in the box. TUSC is for the 99 percent not the tiny elite Tories serve and Labour embarrassingly protect. Every TUSC vote will count from May 8th in building campaigns against austerity and the grinding poverty of increasing homelessness and ever growing food banks.

***

Sadly, in Norwich North and South, we've not got a TUSC parliamentary candidate, which actually says something about the Left in this "fine city." It says there are too many in left leaning campaigns, organisations and trade union branches who cling to some sort of 'third way' via the Labour Party. They want the Labour Party of Owen Jones but this isTony Blair's party! It is belief in rhetoric over the deed!

***

I will be voting for Mick Hardy in Norwich North. He is a disability rights activist and is standing as an independent.











Wednesday, April 01, 2015

ANNE, A BOX by RUPERT MALLIN



'Anne' is an Out Of The Machine Box in progress, as are the following two samples.

THE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD, A BOX by RUPERT MALLIN



This box incorporates a landscape. But what to put in it? I've always thought the phrase "create a level playing field" to be such a futile sentiment, when obviously the world is built upside down.

In the boxes I search at car boots for scraps of life's merry-go-round, I find quite a lot of toys and models (usually broken). Given our ruling ideology, it is hardly surprising that the toys given to kids reflect the world's realities more starkly than the ornaments collected in our adult years. Training is all about preparing the next generation for the battle field - if not in the field, then in their heads.

THE KEY HOLDER, A BOX by RUPERT MALLIN



Here is The Key Holder. He can unlock the birds and set them free. Or keep them caged, like the inmates of this establishment. He has clawed his way up a barbed-wire fence, as it were, to get the key and will do all in his power to keep it...

Well, this is one yarn. Perhaps there will be others. This box incorporates my painted backdrop, some of the endless number of seagulls found on seaside souvenirs and the handle end of a Victorian letter opener (The Key Holder's head).

And here is The Key Holder.



Friday, March 27, 2015

ART WORK FRAMED



As my painting presently takes place on very specific days each month, I work fast and it tends to be a process in which movement (across the paper and from one piece to the next) tends to drive me on. That is, I seldom have time to contemplate a finished piece.

So it is tremendous to see my work simply but professionally framed in a lovely setting. Thanks for this Helena.

Note: I say 'finished' but in an important sense these landscape studies are never finished. I've just stopped working on them before I push them to destruction.

ART IN A PINK BOX by RUPERT MALLIN


I've been creating a new range of boxes, mainly smaller boxes (3 by 2 by 1 inch) but this is bigger box (8 by 5 by 3 inches). All the items I use are found or are from the residues from house clearances. I'm not sure of the text which will accompany this box. I'm sure it will come to me soon.

ART IN A BLUE BOX by RUPERT MALLIN



Here is another large Out Of The Machine Box. This is very much a dramatic scene, set off by the dandy gentleman studying himself in a huge mirror and the signed Kevin Kegan photo on the wall. Those were the days of hair!

The wallpaper is from a sheet I found in a 1950s art folder.

I haven't written a text to accompany this box yet and that is the next part of the process.



SUNSET STUDIES by RUPERT MALLIN





Wednesday, March 25, 2015

APRIL 5TH GIG AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB - RED SHADOW QUARTET



RED SHADOW QUARTET AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB
This month’s concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 5 April features the return of one of the most original and thoughtful bands to emerge from the local jazz scene in recent years - Red Shadow Quartet.

Pianist Peter Hayes and bassist Dave Pullin formed Red Shadow Quartet in 2003 to combine the jagged influence and swing of Thelonious Monk, sophisticated harmonies of Herbie Hancock with contemplative grooves and vigorous improvisation.
 

The quartet's repertoire also embraces the music of Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Steve Swallow and Sam Rivers

The result is fresh, accessible jazz for anyone who appreciates ear-catching melodies and interesting forms.

As musicians firmly in the tradition of 1950's and 60's Blue Note jazz, the band take their name from two significant but under-appreciated musicians of that era: Red Garland, pianist with The Miles Davis Quintet and Shadow Wilson, drummer with Thelonious Monk.

The band's members are all respected musicians on the East Anglian music scene and, although rooted in the jazz tradition, also bring a wealth of experience from over 40 years of playing pop, rock, blues, Latin, African and big band music.

Red Shadow Quartet has regularly performed at concert halls, theatres and venues throughout East Anglia and this is their first concert at Milestones Jazz Club since 2009.

This concert will feature original songs from their CDs, ‘Turning Point’ and 'Pine', along with a number of brand new compositions and specially arranged jazz standards.

The band’s full line-up features Trevor Rowland (tenor/soprano sax), Peter Hayes (piano), Dave Pullin (double bass) and Rob Masters (drums).
All ‘Milestones’ gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

Admission - £7 / £6 (concession).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I DON'T REMEMBER by RUPERT MALLIN



Richard Cawston was a sickly child I played with.
I don't remember stealing his toys and burying them in the garden.


I don't remember my father digging holes to bury our cats.


I remember Old Mrs Streeter's small house
and her black and white television - and its
stagecoach, dust and gun smoke.


Our cats were Domino and Socks.
They ate birds, frogs and mice before they were run over.


I remember Tina Frost bought me two rabbits for my
eighth birthday but I don't remember starving them.


My brother found an antler and a rusty flintlock rifle
in the hedgerow of Mr Gifford's Meadow.
I don't remember any curious connection
between rifle and antler.
I don't remember Mr Gifford.


I don't remember the toys I stole
but I do remember the first lawn mower my father bought
and the second mower shortly after the first.


I remember blackcurrants and gooseberries, apples and chickens, and the stagecoach and gun smoke.


I don't remember the arguments.
I don't know why my mother's rolls were as hard as her life.
I do remember school but try not to.
I remember the school's huge wooden rocking horse
and the whippings, dust and smoke.


I don't remember you.


I remember the first television my father bought.
We watched Sir Winston Churchill's long funeral
and my father bet me a wrestling match
if Churchill's coffin fell and his body rolled into the Thames.


There was no match and I never saw the stagecoach again.


I don't remember when colour arrived
or when Richard Cawston was moved away.


Colour came.
And I bet Richard's brightly painted tin cowboy
Still waits beneath the lawn to draw his guns again.





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

WHERE ARE YOU FROM? by RUPERT MALLIN

I am from Marmite and cracks in the playroom floor
     filled with flour paste.
I am from apple blossom and a Victorian school
     and a heavy tiled kitchen table.
I am of the 1960s.
I am moonwalking from muesli and dog eared
     exercise books, from Suffolk, from Egypt.
I am from these parts
     and those stars.
I am from a time when we feared sleep
     and Chiltern Brook.
I fear you now.
I am from the priory and an au pair weeping
     by the River Stour.
I am from Egypt and swallowed dust
     on the Spanish Steps.
I am from the land and followed the plough
     into a storm of wasps.
I am much louder now.
I came from your wet whispers among the hot evening
     bails over the stream in Egypt
     when the jets flew in.
I am from a secret notebook passed between children
     at the back of the maths room in 1967.
I am from the plasticine playroom.
I am from a plastic infantry.
I am from the Battle of The Little Big Room.
I am from a caged linnet
     and the whitest fantail doves.
I am from death.
I am from the sweetest summer in Suffolk,
     the day of the massacre.
I am from a fringed bag I kept my tobacco tin in.
I am from two pairs of flared jeans.
I am from the winter of 1962
     and the storm of 1987.
I am from London and Leicester and the YMCA
     on London Road,
     on the road to Damascus.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

HOW TO TACKLE THE UNSEEN EXAM POEM by RUPERT MALLIN

Before everything, take your pulse.

Annotate the poem if you wish,
Then turn the poem upside down.
Draw a house around the poem.

How many floors does your poem have?
How many windows? Is there guttering?
Is there a chimney?
Can you find the door?

Turn your house upside down.

Does your poem look like a boat?

Circle a metaphor, if you find one,
And draw down an anchor from this bubble.

Is your boat swaying in a sea of similes
And alliteration?

Are the occupants drowning?
How's your pulse?

Before you leave
Smash as many windows as you wish.

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

KENNETH KOCH, A REDISCOVERED POEM

Poet Martin Stannard has sent me an interesting link to a re-discovered Kenneth Koch poem

An article about the poem and a Koch letter are to be found on the Poetry Foundation website.

Kenneth Koch 1925-2002 mastered the long conversational poem and has given me a lift having just had to teach GCSE poetry where I find most of the loved contemporary poems (many by Simon Armitage) are the weakest.

It has much to do with concepts of Modernism and post-modernism - a huge arena of a subject - but one I will take on here at some point.......
 

Friday, February 27, 2015

ART IN BOXES: THE LAST TRAIN by RUPERT MALLIN



Waiting for the last train. But what if the last train had been the last train?

Here are some new art boxes I've been working on.

ART IN BOXES:ON ICE A LONG, LONG TIME



He was so rich that every bone and sinew of his being had been frozen to be born again through science...

The champagne was on ice for a very, very, very long time.

ART IN BOXES: WELCOME TO MIDSOMER

 
 
A broken window, a body, an isolated building, onlookers and some inquisitive pigs. Welcome to Midsomer.
 


ART IN BOXES: REAL LOVE by RUPERT MALLIN



Real Love