This might be a simple recipe, a mere tomato and rocket bruschetta, but don’t snub your nose up at it. Remember, like our burlesque chef says below, it’s all about the ingredients and all about the love. So take care of each morsel, each element, pay attention and you will have a bit of divinity. Now over to our food writer;
This is recipe is always a winner. It’s fresh but indulgent charm is perfect for night time nibbles or a different morning brunch. The important thing to remember about this recipe is to purchase a good quality tomato, as this is the main basis of the dish.
There is nothing I hate more than tomato that tastes of nothing – an all too common occurrence these days. Big juicy red vine tomatoes can be found in just about any supermarket and although they cost a little more, they’re worth it, you can’t beat the extra quality and taste.
I used to hate tomatoes up until about four years ago, but just like mushrooms, Guinness and mayonnaise I randomly developed a craving out of the blue one day and I just had to have some. It’s a bit strange but I have been in love with them ever since.
Hey you lot! How you all doing? Hoping the world is holding you close and that alls well in your world wherever and however you are positioned in said place. You know I do live art, performance art, making and finding whatever I can within this wonderful yet edgy, odd world.
I may be a bit of a ‘bag lady’, picking up ideas and bits of material to carry around, sometimes in my head sometimes literally, until they and me get the odd chance to perform, be a live artist, doing live things…leaving bits of ideas, actions and materials behind.
Nothing monumental but all strong and varied with a common human issue nevertheless. Issues that we all confront or maybe don’t?
I found myself part of something that was also part of something else. Let me explain:
Live Collision 2013 was part of an international live art Festival that exploded out of the Projects Arts Centre, Dublin and across the city and into hidden locations, rooftops, gardens, public spaces, basement flats mobile devices and GPSsystems. There were about a dozen other projects involved in total. One of them was ‘Walking/Holding’ by Rosana Cade, (a queer artist based in Glasgow and co- founder of Buzzcut festival) whose work involved the interaction of the public and I got to participate in it.
Phillip Allen’s paintings will be showing at The Kerlin Gallery, Dublin from Friday 7th June – Saturday 20th July, 2013. Entitled ‘Oxblood’ the exhibition will feature new work from this idiosyncratic painter whose abstract compositions defy convention, are playful, exuberant and refuse to sit down, relax.
Allen’s paintings are glorious over the top evocations of modernist abstraction, his paintings dipping in and out of styles and motifs, graphic pattens that explode in a funfair kaleidoscope of thick sci-fi globs of impasto that look like they might fall off the canvas at any moment.
There is something serious yet inherently amusing about Allen’s paintings as if he’s poking fun at us and the painters of art history who led a life of idealism, believed in the transcendent properties of form and colour. This is irony in a painterly way. The proof that we now live in an age where anything goes, nothing is is new, all language, symbols, styles merely exist to be reinterpreted, re-built, re-used.
Yes. Allen is a re-user, a collage artist of sorts, a wonderful painter who has the bravado and humour to take it all on, his artform and tradition, mimic it, satirize it, make these rather incredible paintings that somehow manage to accumulate rich colours, textures, form, line and spiralling perspectives in a single composition without losing a sense of themselves. For that alone he must be admired.
Here’s a little from his press release:
In many of the paintings made by Phillip Allen over the last decade, a vivid and ebullient graphic clarity contends with more convulsive painterly features. His paintings have often presented brightly coloured, interconnecting volumes or repeating, distending patterns within more mutedly toned, wide-open zones. Bordering these spaces at the upper and lower limits of the canvas, Allen’s trick has been to lay down richly abundant lines of curling impasto paint: glorious blooms and bursts of multifarious colour that thickly combine to frame and deepen the visual drama at the centre of the picture.
Lately, his paintings have expanded in scale, and they have begun to present still more hazy and ambiguous arrangements. As ever, there is a concentration on accumulations of fundamental forms — often, now, the geometric shapes that provide the historical basis of painterly composition — but the surfaces are now a storm of agitated scribbles and incessant drips. Each ‘composition’ in these powerful works is in a state of decomposition. If as one title (from 2012) suggests, ‘Delusions provide solutions’ Allen’s recent works also showing him taking on the painterly challenge of scrupulous ‘dissolution’.
Trish Morrissey’s photographs from her ‘Front’ series really captured my imagination. It’s a fantastic idea, a simple concept that throws up all sorts of questions about friendship, family, hierarchy. Morrissey’s work can be described as narrative documentary as it blurs the line between fact and fiction, between what is real and what is not, between the conventions of portraiture and snap-shot photography and in this series she pushes it to the limit.
In ‘Front’ Morrissey embedded herself into groups she found on beaches around the UK and Melbourne thus becoming ‘the mother figure’ in other peoples families, the imposter in a group of friends. It’s weird, funny and utterly disarming.
To make the series she approached families and groups of friends and asked if she could join them. She then assumed the role of a woman within the group, often borrowing her clothes and accessories before asking the woman to take the photograph using a camera which was already set up. Once in place Morrissey made herself comfortable in the role – as you can see from the pictures above – and part of the group. Each photo you see is of a chance moment, nothing is staged, it is an evocation of the cuckoo who makes her home in other birds nests to lay her eggs.
Anthony Zinonos collages take minimal and simplicity to a whole new level, a space that is giddy and funny, smart and wry. What I love most about the work is his creation of a landscape through the juxtaposition of image and coloured paper – the process of turning a scrap of paper, a torn fragment, into a swimming pool, puff of smoke, road, pillar, beach – and populating it with people moving through wonderful bright colours, who are happy with the world, in awe, full of life and majesty.
Cosmic Nuggets illustrations are of strange biological hybrids, bizarre species evolving in his young artistic imagination. Cosmic Nuggets art lies somewhere between Aboriginal Dreamtime art and Japanese Kaiju – strange monsters that are at once ancient and alien, modern and prehistoric, fossilised and futuristic. They’re also playful and drawn from a wonderful clean design aesthetic.
Harry Paul Ally‘s paintings are primal, visceral pictures that hark back to prehistoric cave painting, to mankind’s need to make a mark, a gesture, a physical proof of existence, a acknowledgement of our place in time. As he says himself:
Painting is the primal impulse to mark. It’s a visual record of the mind, the body, and the human spirit. The works are an existential search for an abstract presence, an intuitive search into the unknown, a search for truth revealed through distortion and through exaggeration
To emphasis this physicality Ally uses a wide variety of materials including dry pigments, acrylics, tar, fabrics, oils, bonding agents and different clays from his home state of Georgia. This is work that digs down deep into the heart and soul of the artist, that constant need to expel, the urge to make a mark, to bang against the inevitability of death, to reveal the wonder of life, to make sense of something, anything.
This is a primal and artistic act of frustration. The result is a series of beautiful images that cross boundaries, that have some sort of universality that we can all understand on an intuitive level. They are a reminder of our commonality.
Gordon Douglas Ball‘s photographs are made without a camera. He’s made it redundant. Of no use. Instead he creates images by exposing 35mm and 120mm film to different light sources after which he processes and prints the results. At every stage of the artistic process he experiments with chemicals, film and light to create his beautiful images. For example in his ‘I’m So Broke’ image, seen at the top of this post, the white in the image is hair taken from his wife’s comb. After the film was processed, he re-bleached it with the hair. His wife’s chemically treated hair stained the already developed emulsion producing the green, pink and blue.
In short you could say that Ball is interested in play, in the potential for experimentation to teach, to open up endless possibilities. This is work that fundamentally challenges the role of photography, the value of the photographic image in which tradition and method have historically distinguished it as a controlled observation of literal reality.
Günter Ludwig‘s ink on paper drawings are evocative compositions that bring to mind the Japanese approach to landscape wherein nature becomes a reflection of the soul, the physical reality a starting point rather than the subject of the composition. It is in this space that Ludwig works as he chases the universal truth.
Ludwig’s work is heavily influenced by his interest in Zen practices, his actions as an artist an attempt to create a simplicity that goes beyond physical representation and instead focusses on the development of a pictorial language of signs, texts and graphic teasers that ask questions about our very being, our existence.
In the same way Zen practice encourages one to empty oneself of experiences in order to open up the self up to a new reality so Ludwig does in his art, his gestures, his spontaneous mark making. In many ways Ludwig could be seen to be an artist who has spent his life working towards childhood, to that moment in time when gesture is immediate, automatic, true.
Sergio Cerchi‘s paintings aren’t what I’d normally post up on this blog, realistic paintings don’t excite me, but what Cerchi does in his exploration of time and colour is present us with iconographic paintings that are forever shifting, moving, mysterious. It goes beyond realism and into the realm of magic and religion, poetry and romance, cubism and symbolism.
What Cerchi attempts to achieve in each of his paintings is to marry art history – in particular the Renaissance – with his love of music and literature. Although the subject of his paintings are constructed in a rather straight forward manner his pictorial surface is anything but, rather it is fractured, broken up and realigned, each section painted in a slightly different hue, some bolder others softer, depending on the movement and angle of the fragment. The result is the fusion of a flattened hyper-realist aesthetic that references popular culture and art history with an image that is moving, shifting, peeling.
I really love Egor Badin’s paintings, his portraits, but I can’t find a bloody thing on him, not even a facebook page. It kills me when I come across artists and work I like but can’t find out anything about them, their lives, inspirations, process, etc. Nothing at all. Nada.
But in regards to his work Badin is without a doubt a graphic orientated artist, his colours are bold, the forms simple and strong while his brush work and use of line reminds me of the neo-expressionists of the 70′s and 80′s. Artists I love; Philip Guston, Ouattara Watts, Jean-Michel Basquiat and so on.
Matteo Varsi‘s photography lies somewhere between photography and literature, between now and then, the physical reality and a romantic vision of the world. The medium – primarily pinhole and polaroid cameras – and his use of expired instant film is merely a means to an end, to find a visual poetry in the everyday, to capture the light of a timeless space in which memories live and breathe, a place that beings to mind the sub-conscious, the ephemeral, the abstract.
Instant photography allows Varsi the opportunity to pursue the tone of his stories, the colours of his ideas and more importantly allows space for change, for accidents to happen over which he has no control. This matter of control is a fundamental part of his work.
While I often post up collages on this blog I’m sometimes reticent about it if only because there is a proliferation of collage art on the web. Everyone seems to be at it as it’s a good medium to have online being immediate, colourful and the images used familiar. Having said all that I love Daniel James Leznoff‘s collages for the opposite reasons.
Leznoff comes from a film background and thus his images and the manner in which he juxtaposes them are more complex, have a more surreal aspect to them than your average collage artist. He allows us to create our own narratives, our own stories from his compositions, his pictures often humorous, psychedelic and bizarre. Like many collage artists Leznoff finds his images in old library books, early print ads and family photographs but while many rely on digital processes to create their final image Leznoff relies on the old school technique of scissors and UHU glue.
Lekan Jeyifous‘ architectural drawings from his ‘Settlements and City Strategies’ series are a testament to his skills as an architectural technician and draughtsman as well as his sense of design and ideas about future urban spaces. His drawings are beautifully created using both geometric and organic shapes that remind me of the Nazca lines in Peru, futuristic hubs for spacecraft, charts, maps and blueprints.
What makes his drawings stand out however is the dichotomy between the digital and hand made techniques that exist in the series. Jeyifous’ drawings start out as digital images that are then outputted, sketched and drawn over and scanned back into the computer in order to be retraced, textured and layered. This mix of techniques creates an aesthetic that makes each drawing seem as if it was an historical document from some distant future relating to one not so far away.
Michael Cusack‘s paintings take us back into a time immemorial; of Irish land, it’s people and the topography that has embedded itself into the Irish psyche. Although he has lived in Australia for over 20 years - Byron Bay which is a divine place to live – Cusack is still using the visual language of Ireland; the muted colours, forms, spaces, in his paintings. It’s as if painting connects him to his homeland; the rocks found in the walls of the West of Ireland, the bogs, moss, lakes and wild, cold places.
Cusack explores this terrain using subtle graphic elements – derived from his interests in architectural blueprints, boat diagrams and the interlocking shapes found in building and technical drawings – that are almost symbolic, metaphorical, his markings drawn, rubbed, smudged or scratched, his gestures suggesting connections through which we create our own narratives. Here’s what he has to say about his work on his website:
Poetry and a graphic impulse represent the cornerstone of Cusack’s practice. The poeticism is both formal and conceptual. His palette, for instance, is usually confined to nuance, with fine shifts in a pale tonal range. And his use of haloed shapes and vessels can be particularly poignant. They seem vulnerable, fragile, and become vehicles of mysterious promise, keepers of secrets and stories; no two the same.
His is a compulsive mark-maker, routinely drawing throughout the course of building ground. Graphite elements are sometimes buried, or become translucent motifs as they are filtered through the washes of overlaid paint. More often, they are an openly lyrical component of the surface of the work. The marks also act as narrative keys, like the snatches of history that a pedestrian might gather from pavements, doorways and walls. It is no accident that some of his paintings, both in the chalky quality of the finish and the seemingly random marks, recall urban details. He photographs these as reference. He will even use framing bands of contrasting colour and/or texture to accentuate a particularly sensitive area of the work and so render it path-like.
our next DIY arts festival, the Trash Culture Revue, will take place sometime towards the end of the year. So if you want to create, produce, get involved, play, experiment, try stuff out, have fun, design, administrate, organise, volunteer or just come along then let me know
we provide free creative and production skills for your arts projects and events through our skills exchange so you can experiment, fail, make and play no matter who you are, where you are, what you do or when you do it