21 years old, Art Student, Illustrator, Photographer, Writer, Thinker, Existentialist.





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Sunday, 4 December 2011

Prose

Let me put this into proportion,
no room for error or distortion.
A simple verse for you to follow,
Bite size chunks are easy to swallow.
What I want to say isn't exactly hard,
It's more believable than a narcissistic bard.
Words are the vehicle in which I move,
If you avoid the potholes the ride is smooth.
Nevermind what I have to say,
This bit of prose could take all day.

Life Without You

Life without you is like animals without a zoo.
Life without you is like a sailing ship without a crew.
Life without you is like a biscuit without a brew.
Life without you is like gravy without stew.
Life without you is a like a tool box without a screw.
Life without you is like Roger Daltrey without The Who.
Life without you is like a bathroom without a loo.
Life without you is like a cow without a moo.
Life without you is like a sky without blue.
Life without you is like a room without a view.
Life without you is like Winter without the flu.
Life without you is like me without you.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Shelter from the Storm

Where would we be without the man at the bar?
It would be like The Smiths without Johnny Marr.

We've all come to see
a man about a dog,
Standing at the bar with
a glass full of grog,
Shelter from the elements;
protection from the fog,
A toast to the warmth
ends a 9 to 5 slog.


Respite and company, two things
you won't need luck to find.
An hour at the bar will
grant you peace of mind,
Just what you need after
the monotonous daily grind,
A hot meal and a chance to unwind.

He enjoys the crowd at the
good ol' West,
Talking away, cradling his
pint of Golden Best
The humble pub, otherwise known as
the traveller's rest.
Think of it as home,
a place to nest.

Where would we be without the man at the bar?
It would be like The Beatles without Ringo Starr.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

And I Think to Myself, What a Wonderful World.

A police car pulls up, Adam is bundled
inside. As the police car drives away the
spider places one of his many arms around
Alan, "Adam was just a fool who tried real
cool," Alan says. On the way to the police
station flashbacks of the fight replay in
Adam's mind, the bruise under his eye
stings...
'Never again will I drink two Lemsip's in
quick succession', Adam thinks. Adam puts
a hand on the policeman's shoulder, "It
was the Lemsip's guv, that's what done it."

Friday, 11 November 2011

Happy Anniversary


Anniversaries are a pat on the back for being able to put up with someone.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

How Soon Is Now?

This publication project that I'm doing, the plan is to illustrate the things I have written using typography and collage. At the moment I'd say I was going through a creative block, I'm probably exaggerating but I don't feel enthusiastic about anything. I mean, I've accomplished many things in the past few years and I've done well for myself even if I think that I haven't.
I'm not sure what instigated this 'block', but constantly being told about family quarrels isn't helping matters. Another thing that preys on my my mind is that I'm never good enough, this is stupid because it is pointless worrying about such things; things always work out.
I think what seems to have fucked me up more than anything is the F-word (family). Right now there are things going on back "Home" and which I'm told about, it may sound heartless and cold but I really couldn't care less. I have my own life and problems to think about, whatever is going on there has nothing to with me; I'm not a part of it.
As soon as I finish my course I doubt I'll speak to my Mum again, the reason why I have to do so is because I need forms signing. That sounds really bad, doesn't it? It's ridiculous when you aren't classed as independent and you're living away from home receiving no support whatsoever from your Mum.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

If I Was a Drug Dealer #3

I'd hand out business cards laced with LSD. I'd dispense them from my mouth like a human PEZ.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Coming to Terms, My Own Terms

I've never been honest about my last relationship and not many people know about it. When it came to an end all I remember is this...
Breaking down on the kitchen floor and eating my body weight in Viennetta. 6 months went by like a blur and here I am.
I'm Adam Lee Jones and that was my story.

Monday, 24 October 2011

If I Was a Drug Dealer #2

If I was a drug dealer and somebody asked for something that I didn't have in stock, I would say in a robot voice "Does not compute". Failing that, and if I was a bit short for the rent I would bob them a couple of Lemsips.

If I Was A Drug Dealer #1

If I was a drug dealer I'd stand in the ginnel near the Time Piece in Dewsbury and whisper, "Pssst! Psst! Yeah, you! Do you wanna buy some drugs?"

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Funny Ha Ha

This is supposed to be a joke.

In school, we had an assembly on bullying. The teacher spoke to a young gay boy, being bullied because of his sexuality.
She spoke at length about his life, and the verbal abuse he suffers. She then asked a question, "How do you think he takes it?"
Apparently, "Up the arse!" wasn't a suitable answer.


Now, I'm not averse to jokes in the slightest but this is not funny; hence not a joke. What I don't find funny is that at the start the child has being bullied because he is gay, which for a start is unacceptable as homophobia is wrong as it shows a lack of understanding and is a blatent display of ignorance.
The teacher then discusses the issue with the class, but the 'punchline' - "Apparently, "Up the arse!" wasn't a suitable answer."" - implies that the bullying is fine, because it is 'funny' and a 'joke'.
I'm no prude and I love comedy, especially if it is smart and witty; I take issue with the fact that this is viewed as humorous. Homophobia and bullying are anything but funny, they are major problems and lead people to take their own lives. I would love to know how that is funny.
The way that people can see the quoted 'joke' as a bit of fun does worry me, words and how they are read and understood are crutial and paramount to how we communicate and engage with the world.
People should really look at what they read more carefully, just because somebody says something is a joke does not mean that it is.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Generation X

People ask me "What have you left behind? You have all this and maybe more, but what have you left behind?" I pause and think, "I haven't left anything behind, it is you who has left life behind."

Monday, 3 October 2011

Burning Man

There was a man on fire in the crowd last night,
he screamed as he burned;
what a magnificent sight.

Harrogate Spa was thrown over him
He went on to smoulder, but it showed no end
You only get a mouthful in those bottles, my friend.

He danced the Waltz in the flames,
or maybe it was the Charleston?
I can't remember names.

Eyes, tongue and arms began to dangle,
How would you describe him?
How about a fluorescent mangle?

Come and visit Burning Man
And basque in the heat
He's the guy, the one you've to meet.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

What happened the day my housemate disappeared.

I once got into a dispute with a chimp about a woman, a pack of cards and a stolen suitcase. It took place in the Departures lounge, there was a lot of shouting and swearing. The chimp stormed off with the suitcase before Customs and Exiles could check it. The woman was my housemate, the suitcase was me.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The Time Traveller

In the corner of my room there is an empty time machine,
It lies abandoned, lurking there like the parasite that time forgot.
The Time Traveller left it on the promise that he’d be back
It’s been years since he left, no return address.
The battery has become flat and useless
My mind on the brink of pointless
I sit and guard his craft
Oh, how together we once laughed.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Hard Travelin'

I've only recently discovered Woody Guthrie, but his songs are amazing and it confounds me as to how contemporary they sound. It's mind-blowing to think that his songs were written in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. I love this quote, it shows life today isn't much different to how it was in the 40's. Mainstream music is still banal, society continues to be dumbed down by it. Even with all of the technological advances we have, society is still the same. His music offers hope and tells you of things that are important rather than irrelevant, capitalist bullshit. I'm folk mad, me.

"I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard travelling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think that you've not got any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow."
— Woody Guthrie

Recently I went to an art exhibition and saw very much the same work, just in different rooms and done by different people. I'll give you an example, Rob Ryan style papercuts - I think people have come to consider these as 'nice' and safe things to do, they know that people will like them and that's why they do them. The point I'm getting at is why should I look at their work when I can just as easily look at Rob Ryan's?
I've done papercuts, but rather than doing precise cuts and decorative scenes I chose to do things that were crude and not as inviting or pleasant as Rob Ryan's style of work. I did something I wanted to do. I didn't do it to play safe or because I knew that people would instantly accept it, I want to make art that challenges both myself and the people who view it.
Maybe the inclusion of this quote is not even a connection, I'm just stating that music, art, TV, film, society et al is in a state of sedation and nothing seems to want to change this.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Younger Generation

These are the paintings I have done so far for Raise The Roof Festival. I hope to do a painting a day or at least get them started, I like how they have turned out and it has also encouraged me to do something I wouldn't normally consider. I've missed being able to paint and I'm glad I volunteered for this project. Anyway, here they are.

All Along The Watchtower

Girl Afraid

Yesterday

All Tomorrow's Parties

Paint It Black (7 Shades Of Black)

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Ode to William Blake

Boundaries make sense,
Even if they're broken
They were there.

The Fall of Man was effortless.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Jesus and friends

A little bit of Jesus in my life,
A little bit of Moses by my side.
A little bit of Judas what I need,
A little bit of Mary's what I see.
A little bit of Joseph in the sun,
A little bit of John all night long.
A little bit of God here I am,
A little bit of you makes me your man!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Huddersfield University

On Friday 11th December 2009 we quested to Huddersfied University. Upon arriving we were met by Ian and Brent who were very informative and welcoming towards us. After about five coffees I was ready to look around, in order to get a feel for the place it was suggested that we attend workshops in all three departments - illustration, contemporary art and animation. At first I was apprehensive to participate in anything except illustration, but as the day progressed I adapted myself and found that I enjoyed all three subjects.

Illustration
After going in the gigantic lift and through a series of doors we came to the illustration department. We were shown all of the equipment inside the room and then we where allowed to experiment with some of the facilities - laser cut printing blocks, paint and a badge maker.
After a good half hour when it dawned on me that it was just a bit pre-school with the printing blocks, I wandered around the room and met a balaclaved Mexican who was drawing on a wall. A few other people and me assisted in helping him use white pens to finish the illustration. When I had finished I started making badges with the badge maker, as the paper was too thick I used tissue paper; I made a badge saying "I [heart] Adam".
By talking to Brent I learned about the interview process, what is required in my portfolio, tuition fees and what is taught within the first year of the course. In the first year we attend two and a half days a week and just tend to experiment with different materials and illustration techniques. The course sounds like something I would enjoy, although the title illustration seems a bit restricted.

Contemporary Art
We were led into a basement/dungeon setting where we watched a presentation about the course. Personally, I cannot stand contemporary art. After the slideshow we were told about the kind of work produced on the course. We were then allowed to take apart furniture and use power tools, which was exciting. Our group consisted of five people, but we all eventually split up and created individual pieces.
I made an outdoor sculpture for birds; it was made out of a bare wardrobe, a cupboard and a piece of wood. The piece of wood was taped to the top of the inside of the wardrobe - allowing it to become a swinging perch. I called this first part 'The Birdhouse'. The bottom part of the sculpture was made by placing an intact cupboard inside the bare wardrobe - this part was called 'The Nuthouse', as the birds could enter it and eat nuts.
I really enjoyed the oppurtunity to experience this art style as it allowed me to improvise as well as work under pressure to create an independent and new form of sculpture from recovered furniture.

Dinner Time
Two contemporary art students who looked like Mary Poppins and Woody Allen showed us where the eating facilities were; I had chicken kiev, chips and Lucozade.

Animation
The idea crossed my mind to leave, but I felt like giving animation a chance to impress me. I opted to use Lego to create a short film, this developed into being two films that astonished the tutors on the course. I used Lego and a digital SLR camera mounted onto a tripod linked up to an Apple Mac computer. My team were Tom Howarth and Big Z - my job was to operate the camera and insert stills onto the timeline as well as build Lego models with Tom.
The first film showed Lego men building a Lego helicopter car, only for it to destroyed by a Lego monster and the Lego monster to be destroyed by a Lego missile. The second film was co-written by me, three Lego men were lost at Lego sea. One was saved by a Lego helicopter, another by a Lego boat piloted by the King of Lego World. The third Lego man was washed away in a Lego tidal wave.
The tutor who sounded exactly like Chris Moyles said that he first thought we were a bunch of jokers who just wanted to play with Lego, but our combined skills pleasantly surprised him.

Bradford University

On Tuesday 15th December 2009 we voyaged to Bradford University. The campus is a ten-minute walk from the city center of Bradford, it looked like a mix of an urban London housing estate blended with a modern architectural structure. Once we were shown the main attractions and exterior of the building we were introduced to the animation tutor.
The course itself relies on GCSE Maths grade C (or equivalent) and GCSE English grade C (or equivalent), the interview process is equally as relaxed as there is no need to even show up as it operates on giving you a conditional placement based on UCAS points and GCSE's alone. This method seems strange to me because I think if a University were to offer me a place without at least viewing the work I produce I would be slightly confused to say the least.
A PowerPoint presentation was shown to us within the 'lecture theatre' (basically a large room full of cameras and thousands of pounds worth of equipment), this outlined the course, modules and history of Bradford and its University. When we had sat through the 40-minute presentation, a DVD enlightened us to the technological advantages that Bradford possesses as well as allowing us to experience a piece of animation work entitled 'Fisherman'. The animation subsequently had nothing to do with a man fishing, the short was cute but the message it conveyed was difficult to determine.
Afterwards, the animation tutor guided us around the building; there were computers in every single room - each room was equally as generic as the last one we went in. Every room I walked into I recieved the impression that if a powercut happened, chaos would descend. All the tutor could show us was the "state of the art" computers thus creating an even more defunct environment than what was already constructed.
A room that piqued my curiosity was the life drawing room, it contained about seven easels, one skeleton, ten chairs and harboured a look of a GP's surgery. Overall, I felt that the University lacked the variation, personality and tone needed for a comfortable and unique learning experience. What annoyed me the most about the open day was that the tutor was too focused on talking about the advantages of computer technology and advertising his course rather than giving the other courses a fair voice. At one point he said being a photographer was a pointless job, after that he went even further downhill in my opinion.

Leeds Metropolitan University

On Wednesday 25th November 2009 we journeyed to Leeds Metropolitan University. This particular University is based at the Headingly Campus; the location is quite far away from the city center and proved difficult to find. From the outside the building was large and very traditional, based on the exterior it looked like a pleasant place to study.
Upon entering the campus we were guided into a boardroom type setting and presented with comfy chairs, a large projected screen and a tutor who looked like Doc Brown from 'Back to the Future'. The tutor then told us about the animations created by the students and the very many companies born from the University. The animations looked pretty basic, something that would have taken about two hours to produce.
When we had sat through the introduction and the lecture had been concluded we were shown around the campus' facilities. The canteen contained numerous branches of food outlets - a jacket potato type function, a Chinese takeaway restaurant affair etc. After being 'wowed' by the appetising aromas that were on offer we were introduced to the millions of pounds worth of blue screens, recording studio space, computers and video equipment.
The vibe of the University reflected that of a lifeless atmosphere fuelled by money and a mass student population. It all seemed like the staff at the University primarily cared about the money that was invested into the campus rather than the concerns, ability and development of the students themselves.
From the visit I learned that no matter how much money, swimming pools or award-winning physiotherapists were at the University's disposal, it was all in vain as far as the wellbeing of the students is concerned. The onslaught of computers communicated that a severe lack of creatiivity was at play, and the outcome was not something that I would ever dream of aspiring to. My conclusion is that it is the environment and the tutors who make the priceless and fulfilled education that is recieved, not the money.

Batley School of Art and Design

On Wednesday 18th November 2009 we had the privilege of having three courses present to us their presentations on Further Education. They compiled together an overall rundown of what the course consisted of, how it was assessed/applied for and how it worked best for us. In order is what I thought of each course and my opinions on how I feel it would benefit me.

Foundation Degree in Digital Photography
We were welcomed into what would be our study room if we were to choose the course, after sitting down we were each given an example of work that the students had individually produced. The books that we were given all had a them, this ranged from a sports catalogue, a lingerie brochure, a cocktail recipe book, a tourism booklet etc. The books were made by a company called blurb.com, the finished product was a hardback book consisting of both words and images and possessed a look equal to that of a professional photo book.
The next piece of work we were shown was a video about snowboarding, I wasn't as wooed by this so I didn't absorb much of it.
Overall, I enjoyed the presentation that we were given and the examples of work that we had been show were excellent. I feel that although this looks like an interesting course, I would much rather study something that does not have to be mostly digital based.

Foundation Degree in Graphic Communication
We were shown into the room that would be our home for the next three years, if we were to study Graphic Communication. Examples of work were limited, as the course had just recently been revamped. The modules to all of the semesters were clearly explained, they were - rebranding a genre of music, designing badges based on the theme of self, bottled water and company logos. The course favours fluency in digital practices, even though I have this skill I much prefer the freedom to improvise, the ability to use the world around me as inspiration and to be able to involve a wide spectrum of materials to answer a proposed problem.
The presentation was mainly focused on the functions of digital media, experimenting with cardboard was mentioned a few times.

B.A. (Hons) Fine Art For Design
This talk took place in the lecture theatre. As we sat down various examples of work were being passdd around the room - things previous students have made, such as activity books, issues of magazines, badges, books etc. Once everybody had had a look at the items the talk began. A slideshow presentation was shown with narration from the course coordinators, samples of animations were shown; my favourite being a simple illustrated cartoon about a boy named Johnny who shrank, the narrator of the story communicated with the audience on a level that was both charming and heartbreaking. The presentation went on to describe just some of the many things that people had created on the course, they featured a 9-seater cinema, sculpture, self/identity based work, books, gouache paintings, screenprints, clothing design, graphic novels, postcards, furniture, films etc.
This was my favourite presentation of the day (even though the room was stuffy, kind of like being stuck inside a toy box), the tutors explained everything about the course and how they operated. The exhibition show in London particularly appealed to me as it is a chance to plan, organise and showcase your own individual works to a wider audience.

N.B. The day after the presentations I spoke to Richard Gray (a tutor for B.A. (Hons.) Fine Art For Design) and discussed more in depth what is studied in the first year. The variety of projects and the fact that you are at liberty to use any materials is ideal as I can broaden and further my understanding of different types of media, rather than being fixed to one in particular such as a camera or a computer.

And Now For Something Completely Different

I'm belated at writing up these next four posts, but they will give you an insight into what my overall impression was of the Further Education courses I saw. I've dug them out and edited them as my writing back then was rusty and the grammar was nothing short of horrific. They may or may not help you, but they give my opinion and criticism of things as I saw them in November-December 2009.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Coffee Cup Swirls and Cigarette Girls

It was around about late January or early February, New Year had been and gone and I was once again thrust into another year of existence. 'The Roaring Twenties', 'The Golden Era', 'The Jazz Age', the 1920's stained with the dried blood of the Great War. The European economy was booming; for anybody who wasn't me prosperity and money flowed like wine.
I was living in Paris at the time. If you'd have asked my father, he'd have told you I was living out a lie, a delusional fantasy of which no good would ever come. However, if you'd have asked me I'd have told you straight - I was there to fulfil my lifelong ambition to become a writer. I got by on what little I had, my determination and drive were the only things that I could call riches.
The Cafe Laurent was a place I frequented often, it was a hive for people such as I, down on their luck artists with financial constraints. Artists, writers and models gathered in clusters to talk recent publications, latest exhibitions, business, current affairs, lost and newfound loves; half empty coffee cups filled the tables of the despondent clientele. Cold, unnerving and as bitter as the ferocious wind that bit at my lips.
I sat inside people watching, comparable only to star-gazing. It was then that I saw her, my eyes fixed on a distant étoile. Fumée projected from her delicately formed mouth, rouge lips emanated smoke in thick, full of life plumes.
My throat became coarse like emery paper; a human heart that beat with the rapidness, urgency and uncertainty of a locomotive. Lust, need, want, desire, every primal instinct was redundant next to love.
She stood to walk out, as she passed I smelled a pungent aroma in the air - roses and cedar wood. I sat there fixed in what seemed like a lingering purgatory, entranced and encapsulated in an otherworldly bind.
I followed her out onto the densely packed street with the intention of declaring my love to her. Just ahead of me and about to cross the road I saw her...
Absent-minded faces cluttered my path, constricting the blood flow and causing a temporary block in the arteries of fate.
As the clot dispersed I regained my vision and composure, she was gone.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Times They Are a-Changin'

3 years ago I would have considered myself to be immature, annoying and a general nuisance. Now, I am still all of those things, but slightly more so. I was just beginning to start art college after working for a year and a year-long stint of bad and unproductive relationships. It was around this time that I was persuaded (perhaps seduced is a better word) by Tom Howarth to enrol at art college and do what I love and enjoy and hopefully gain some form of qualification from it. In many respects he has helped me to see the light, not in any religious sort of way, but by encouraging me to break-up with my then girlfriend and making me aware that I should persue the thing that I am best at, which is art. The way I think, write and act now has radically changed compared to how I did then. Where as before I believe I put on a front and acted the way others wanted me to act. Now I do what I want, please and feel to be right. I'm not afraid to speak my mind or wear my heart on my sleeve.


N.B Done during the writing workshop, in conjunction with 'Monologue of a Coal Miner's Wife'.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Colour Separation

The world and the monoply guy live as one
He buys and sells; speaks and tells
When he dies there'll be nothing but the sun.

Song for a Son

To a Son
As these things usually start
Cards, letters, greetings

For a Son
Suggests you're willing to provide
Shelter, warmth, love

I'm on my way oh how I'm on my way

The present that refuses to be wrapped
I'm every image that you once were
A permanent reminder that will never stray

From every Son
This is their solemn vow
Hello, Thank you, Goodbye.

Lowry

When I watch the people,
I stop and think.

I stop and think,
when I watch the people.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Odysseus

We died believing we were worthy
of divine intervention.
They wrote mine and your name in
the local paper without a mention.
Sadly and lastly this is my
only real intention.
To be reborn with new working parts,
a work of pure invention.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Dorothy

Follow that road,
then you will find
the keys to peace and paradise.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

In God We Trust

Let me be honest, this entry is a little off topic; then again what I write, say and do tends to lack any continuity at all. I don't expect this post to change anything or alter things in any way, it is just what I think and how I view religion.

Once again we have seen an event which cites religion as the catalyst, more specifically Islam. The motivation behind this atrocity is said to be about immigration and the spread of Islam. What I like about religion is that it encourages people to form a sense of community, belonging and to respect one another - Islam does not differ to this. Yet, we have people such as the perpetrator who carried out these atrocities who spouts fundamentalist ideas and far-right views about how Islam is taking over. I am sorry, but nobody can force you to believe in something, everybody has free will. Islam is not taking over, no religion is. People with the views such as the man who carried out these henous crimes, the EDL, the BNP etc. are wholly and totally wrong. They are ignorant and base their judgements on a very very small minority of people, many of whom were not even Muslim. Far-right groups such as the EDL and BNP masquerade as "against Islamic extremism", but in actual fact they are against anybody who is non-white.

On 3rd September the EDL will enter Tower Hamlets, one of the UK's most Islamic areas; their reasoning for doing so? To protest "against Islamic extremism" of course. I am baffled by this because A) what will this achieve? B) what have the residents of Tower Hamlets got to do with "Islamic extremism"? C) to march through an area of people and condemn their religion is sickening D) this will neither help or change anything (for the better).

Segregation is what promotes paranoia and fear, I understand that many cultures densely populate certain areas and this is an issue which needs tackling. It can be solved through inclusion and encouraging people to come together, i.e through events, street parties and get togethers. This country was built on multiculturalism, it is one of the few things that makes me proud of society. Everybody should have the right to live in any country they wish to; after all, it is only an island on which you happen to have been born on. Multiculturalism is something that should be embraced, not shunned. Why do you think there is so much hatred and prejudice against other cultures and ethenicities? It's because of segregation.

There is good and bad in everybody, should we then suppose that all Catholics and Protestants are violent due to the conflicts in Northern Ireland? - the answer is no, we shouldn't. An individual is responsable for his/her actions and how they treat people, their religion isn't.

Everybody is an individual, regardless of background, sexuality, religion, skin colour, gender, appearance etc. A person should be viewed for WHO they are rather than WHAT they are.

A lot of problems would be eradicated if religion didn't exist, but then again people are happier, friendlier, more spiritual and peaceful with it. It is people who misinterpret it and take the context out of hand who give it a bad name.

The BNP say they want to "keep Britain British" (I suppose they mean keep the things we haven't taken from everywhere else then). The EDL say they want to keep England English. Okay then, how do you explain them just concentrating on Islamic extremism and overlooking Americanisation and Globalisation? The answer is you can't. I'm absolutely all for multiculturalism, but what would be nice is if local businesses, working men's clubs, grocers and paper shops could be kept open without being taken over by huge conglomerates. This is what the BNP and EDL should be campaigning against, not religion.

Monday, 1 August 2011

#624815

There is an age old philosophical question, can money make you happy? I think at some point we have all wondered this, but I can say with much certainty that it does not.

Think about it, what is money? Pieces of paper, useless by itself, it is merely a middle man. If you think money can make you happy, imagine yourself in this situation - you have all of the money that you could possibly ever want, but are forbidden to use it, would this make you happy? Money by itself is useless, it is something that is man-made and designed to elevate people to a higher status than others.

It seems, at the moment anyway, money is what it's all about.

Money = Respect + Power

Having money doesn't make you better than anybody else, it doesn't make you more successful, more respected, more powerful. Did having money educate humans how to survive? Knowledge did that, and in my opinion knowledge is power. Knowledge has helped us to adapt and cope with change and whatever has been thrown at us since humanities inception.

Hapiness doesn't come from little pieces of paper or from what it can get you, after all they are just materialistic things, they're worthless compared to what really matters in life. Love, relationships, hapiness, peace, respect, equality, morals and freedom are just some of the things that money can't buy, they are also essential components to life.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Death of a Businessman

There
comes a time
in
every man's life
when he must
rest

Forget
all that he
has
learned and
return to the
nest

Say goodbye;
put aside his
differences,
lay his cards
flat against his
chest

Everything
will be okay
here.
"Rest In Peace"
is said in
jest

And
as the pillow
smothers,
bear in mind, this
was for the
best.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Revolution 9

Accidently, I fell
Into the garden,
There lies the path of no return.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Naked

I have laid bare for all to see
A sickening, twisted, marrowfat of a lie
I expressed my own freedoms on the
shirtsleeves of others

I was trying to maintain my status
Of that being King of the Hill
I know full well that I spoke ill of the weak

Stripped at the waist, here it is
The tortured broken bones, dismantled and hot
I extend this gratitude to those left to rot

You better be aware that I am,
Numb and cold in need of stitches
When I have no rags and I have no riches

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

I couldn't afford to travel the world in order to 'find myself', so I did the next best thing and went to art school. After completing my first year of Fine Art for Design BA Hons. I find the change in my thinking, views and attitude to be staggering. Before the course I was unsure of what kind of work I wanted to create and how people would find what I do interesting in any sort of way. This first year has helped me to understand that art doesn't have to be accurate, resemble reality or be to everybodys taste at all - it is a study of how we as artists perceive the world.

Rather than go to a university where their sole focus was all about money and how many students they could cram into one class; I decided to go somewhere that cared about who you are and saw you as an individual. The thing I love about my course is that I have the oppurtunity to be myself, and whatever mad shit comes out of my mouth or brain it isn't frowned upon or discouraged.

I would never have expected to be producing the kind of work that I am doing now, and in all honesty if I went anywhere else my creativity would have been stifled and I would have had to conform to what they wanted me to be. I couldn't ask for better tutors or classmates, we are like one big family, a huge collaboration if you will.

I'm sure that my ideas have become more informed and better developed since I started this course, its helped me become comfortable with who I am and how I think. This first year has gone incredibly fast, but I have enjoyed every single minute of it and I truly value the encouragement and support I have received from everybody.

In this first year I have identified where my strengths and interests lie and how I can use those to my advantage. I've discovered a newfound love of typography and writing and I will incorporate this into my work more and experiment with its possibilites.

Every single project I have done so far has benefited me greatly, in particular the collaboration as it forced me to work with others and come out of my comfort zone. I am proud with the results and outcomes as well as what I gained along the way. I can say for certain that I will miss Batley Art School terribly at the end of the third year, I intend to make the most of the two years that I have left and cherish all of the the things that I learn and do.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Monologue of a Coal Miner's Wife

I am ambition, before 1984 I aspired to be a housewife, mother, housekeeper. Now I have the independence and the drive to be anything I want to be.

I am Janice, I desire to be a school teacher, to teach children what I know, to instil in them the belief that they have the oppurtunity to be whatever they wish.

I now recognise myself to be a woman who has the same authority, rights and integrity as any man. Women have now been given a voice and a sense of purpose rather than being taken for granted. I am no longer seen as useless and weak.

I am a woman, I am ambition.


Image sourced from www.mothering.com

Monday, 4 July 2011

1908

White is the colour that suffocates this room, carrier bag white, ironically. On the walls are white paintings, white fixtures and white fittings. If you were to open the cupboards you'd find white labelled products on an equally white shelf. The soundtrack to my room is that of a white fridge pleasantly humming, inside it stores milk, bread, fish, chicken and mayonaise, each sharing the same sickening colour. In usual circumstances this kind of life could cost you an absolute fortune. I tell myself everyday how lucky I am, to be able to live in a world of comfort, fully furnished. I wonder, how many of you envy my pristine life complete with padded walls?

Monday, 6 June 2011

Letter to housemate

Dear Alana,


I am writing to you regarding the incident that took place on Friday 27th May 2011, I know I said it was Thursday, but I am in holiday mode and days just tend to blend into one. I know we have never got on and there has been tension between us since day one, the cause of which I have never been able to establish.


You made it clear that you do not believe my version of events, what I told you is the truth and is entirely plausible. I did consider telling you about the exploding robots, the cake and the YMCA tribute act – but this would have clearly been a lie.


After consuming much alcohol my friend Nicola who becomes narcoleptic when under the influence of alcohol, went upstairs to use the bathroom, two minutes later my other friend Lola came upstairs to use the bathroom too. Walking up the stairs Laura saw Nicola sprawled out on your bed, after prodding and poking Laura managed to awake Nicola and swiftly brought her back downstairs.


I would just like to point out that the way you have dealt with this matter hasn’t been as I expected. If the roles had been reversed and this had happened to me, I would have the capacity to accept that this was an accident that will never be repeated. I would also be grown-up enough to draw a line under it and move on.


If as you put it, trust has been breached and privacy invaded, I can kind of agree. Although it is not my responsibility to escort females to the bathroom, however much I would enjoy that, it isn’t likely to happen. I would like to think that that in this past 7 months you have come to realise that I am not a bad chap, if a little quiet and awkward. Even though I spend 99.9% of the time in my bedroom, I like living here and I am still adjusting to living independently.


I am honest, trustworthy and I also respect people’s privacy. I understand that this is a shared-house, and my reasons for living here are because there are NO halls of residence or student accommodation in Dewsbury. My friends all live at home, get on with their parents and have it comfortable in their present circumstances.


I’m not going to continue to worry about what will or will not happen as a result of this accident, because it is that, an accident. If you want to continue to ignore my existence I couldn’t really care to be honest, but it would be nice if we could be civil towards each other.


Stay beautiful,


Your Hero,




Adam

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Xenophobia =/= Ignorance

Ota Benga and the Worlds Fair

1904

Although nowadays we would consider the exhibition and exploitation of humans in a socially accepted way to be wholly inappropriate, in 1904 it was considered a form of entertainment at the Saint Louis World's Fair. Although there were many exhibits on show at this event I feel that the most shocking and disgraceful was the Human Zoo. After the Spanish-American War the United States gained new territory, such as Guam, the Philippines and Peurto Rico – in order to show their ‘achievements’ they took the people from their homeland in order to place them on display in Human Zoos.


Ota Benga with an orangutan named Dohong at the Bronx Zoo in 1906

These exhibitions were designed to make people think that the white race was superior; many of the world’s leading scientists swore by the anthropologist Alfred Cort Haddon’s theory when he said that, "on the whole, the white race has progressed beyond the black race." People left the World’s Fair fascinated by these ‘uncivilised savages’ as they were initially described - it’s hardly giving them the respect, equality and civil rights that the human beings deserve.

I was first aware of the World’s Fair after seeing a documentary telling of the poignant story of the Batwa pygmy Ota Benga and his struggle to secure his own independence and identity within the western world. His harrowing tale is both upsetting and fascinating, from being born in the Belgian Congo he was brought into the public eye and described as being a savage and a primitive human, when in actual fact he was friendly, kind, peaceful and gentle - if anything he was more of a human than the people exhibiting him were.

The lessons we have learned throughout history have taught us that no good has ever come from any of this pseudo-research, just more reasons to oppress and persecute others. We are all human and we all express the same feelings and emotions, therefore we all deserve to be treated equally without fitting into the stereotypical categories that the society we live in has created.

Monday, 9 May 2011

A Christmas Memory

Adam Barsby

People think I’m nosey, I disagree. I just have a keen interest in people and maybe this translates as a bad thing, I consider my work to be very people-orientated. I am influenced by the world around me and what is happening in that world. Celebrities and scandals don’t do it for me I’m afraid; but things that are closer to home, things that are more REAL.

Another artist for whom I have gathered a love is Adam Barsby, his paintings look to be actual moving scenes, from a distance. His portfolio is very varied; it consists of some Dali-esque pieces and some pieces that resemble Paul Klee’s style of work. I personally much prefer his ‘observational’ paintings, things that look like they have taken place. His way of painting is very delicate and neat, his landscapes are stunning and a joy to look at. The characters that he portrays are all individuals and have their own unique personality and purpose. The trees are not all in focus – it is very true to life and what you yourself would expect to see if you were stood in the same position observing people having fun on a snowy day.

Looking at this the feeling I get is a slight chill, the kind you would feel on a cold brisk morning; looking at people enjoying the weather and making the most of the snow is humbling to see, if this were a photo I probably couldn’t give two shits about it, the fact that it’s a painting shows that the artist has considered every minute detail and laboriously breathed life into each character with the intention of making the audience ‘feel’ the image rather than just look at it, give it a passing thought and dismiss it – this painting stays with you.


Catch Me If You Can

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Love, Love, Love

HELP!

I severely lack the ability to go with the flow. This collaboration project has really took it out of me, at least I gave it a good go and now realise that unless I have at least some say in the matter it won't work in the future. Anyway, The Leeds Debacle said they'll publish some of my stuff again, Raisetheroof have let me get involved to do a mini-exhibition/installation and Ryan Larvin said some really nice things about my work and writing, he seems like a bloody great bloke to be honest.


I purchased a new camera yesterday, it's a purple lomography fisheye, it is absolutely gorgeous and hopefully the pictures I take with it will look good too. I also got a Polaroid book - basically a collection of Polaroid photographs by 200+ artists, the photographs in it are breathtaking I realised some things about myself while looking at them and that's what art is about, challenging perceptions and preconceptions in order to evaluate new ways of thinking and observing the world. The book 'People I've Never Met & Conversations I've Never Had' by Nick White was £12.00 well spent I reckon, it genuinely made me laugh out loud on the train, that is a rarity in itself!


So for the past three days I have been cutting and sticking for this Manifesto, the blisters and boredom were not what I expected, but the results seem to please my collective even if I myself am not bowled over by my endeavors.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Well, this is nice

Ryan Larvin

I first discovered Ryan Larvin’s work when I went to the Red Brick Mill, my intention was to see one of street artist Blek Le Rat’s works – but what I found was an inspiring and interesting artist who has perhaps made a profound influence on my work and practice.


These relatively basic figures are beautiful in their simplicity. The colours that Ryan Larvin has employed create a sombre mood, the image itself reminds me of summer when the colours in the sky become vivid and intense. The figures themselves are going about their lives, quite similar to L. S. Lowry’s matchstick men and matchstick women. The myriad of blobs that make up the leaves on the tree contrast starkly in comparison with the plain surroundings. IU which is inscribed upon the tree looks very childlike, very reminiscent of what almost everybody did when they were younger – carve or draw the name of their first love onto anything solid.



Love Can Be Busy


What makes Ryan Larvin’s paintings so interesting and delightful to look at is the scale, 40 X 16 in this case, they are by no means huge in proportion but they allow the viewer to be completely absorbed within the warm, little, peaceful worlds that he creates. A reoccurring theme in Ryan Larvin’s work is love; this is explored by variations in tones and shades of colour. Love is something that everybody seeks and these paintings help to portray the feelings that love can produce, the Beatles wrote songs about love, well Ryan Larvin paints about love – and like the Beatles he is bloody damn good at it.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Sorry I Forgot About You Martin Parr, Please Forgive Me? You Got Me Begging You For Mercy, Why Won't You Release Me?

On 17th February 2011 we went to see Martin Parr give a lecture about his work and how he became the prolific photographer that he is today. My knowledge of Martin Parr was very limited, I know he is a photographer and that he photographed a woman by a petrol pump - other than that I was simply clueless.

The trip was compulsory and free so we had to go. It was at the Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield, it is a rugby or football stadium which I have never and probably will never step foot in again - with not being a football or rugby fan and all that.

The lecture began with Martin Parr talking in front of a powerpoint presentation about how he was influenced by his uncle to start taking photographs. He showed us some of the pictures from the beggining of his career, looking at these images it was clear that people interest him and that they are at the forefront of his work. The photographs he began with were of a group of bird-watchers, including his uncle, the images like much of his work didn't include birds, but people instead.

He went on (quite a bit) to explain about some of his favourite projects, they included peoples living rooms and a period where his black and white film photographs were laboriously hand coloured. I enjoyed listening to him talk so enthuisiastically about his love for photography and determination to capture the moment. There were a lot of highlights from this lecture, I was pleasently surprised to see that his first solo exhibition was not conventional at all - the way he laid it out was more like an installation, it was a reconstruction of a living room complete with shoddy wallpaper and tacky photo frames from Woolworths, it injected humour into what could have just being another arty-farty-poncy run of the mill exhibition.

Another highlight was an on going project 'Auto Portrait' where he travels the world having his portrait taken, in Russia he had his photo taken with Vladimir Putin - it was a back-drop, not the real deal unfortunatley. The bizarre and interesting customs of world portraiture are represented within these works and it is delightful to see them embraced rather than shunned as is stereotypically presumed with the British tourist. In the Parrworld segment he told us about his collection and fascination with 'odd' memorobillia, for instance he has amassed a lot of Saddam Hussein watches, he exhibited these during his Parrworld exhibition. I also found the Boring Postcards rather witty - Boring is a town in the USA, so he played on the name and created an ecclectic book with postcards of a 'Boring' town.

The lecture was topped off with a question and answer session, I didn't feel like subjecting him to my monotone voice; although one girl asked, 'What if people don't want their picture taken?', to which Martin Parr replied, 'The good thing about this country is we have the freedom to take pictures unlike places such as France', this wasn't a good enough answer as she responded with, 'But that doesn't make it right!' - the microphone was then swifty taken away from the girl. Martin Parr's response was much better than what my GCSE photography teacher told us - Just tell them to fuck off and take it anyway.



Parrworld

Picture courtesy of The New York Times

2008

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Just Draw! Part 1

My drawing book. I haven't done one before, but they are very helpful as a repository for ideas, thoughts and general doodles. After doing several quick one-off ideas I know how I'm going to weave a narrative for my illustrations. As I have so many drawings these posts come in parts, naturally.