I am by inclination a non-conformist, by accident of upbringing a loner. Not anti-social but a little intolerant I admit. I have been pretty well self-employed all my life – or as one friend put it, pretty well unemployable. When welcomed into ‘institutions’ I have changed them, sometime wilfully, but always I hope for the better (see About for more detail). I have expressed myself through my art and through words. Since the digital world came into being I have worked with digital cameras and self-published on the web. I have exhibited widely and written critiques of the work of others. Here you can enjoy my idiosyncratic take on the world, including art and design, where I have made a living for over 50 years and counting. I would be delighted if you use the feedback areas to let me know what you think (be kind to an old man), and even happier if you buy from the Gallery/ shop! You can also find my work on the Singulart Gallery website
Latest Blog Posts
Those who were staff and students in the Bauhaus are known as ‘Bauhäusler’. The last leader of the crew was Mies Van der Rohe, appointed in 1930. Mies remained in Germany until civil architectural work dried up as the economy shifted onto a war footing, leaving in...
There are still ringers being recruited. There are always things to ring for. This great tradition has, as a result of the Ringing Remembers campaign, breathed new life into previously quiet towers. I look forward to the next year and the next challenges. First of which is to get my hands in the right place and not pull so hard!
Place: Kasbah Angour, Tahanaout, Nr. Marrakech, Morocco Type: 4-star Hotel Operator: Owner and Creator Paul Foulsham Web: www.Kasbahangour.com Date of Visit: March 2019 A man with a dream – no, a Yorkshireman with a dream. A geologist working for oil companies buys a...
As art and design courses are threatened by forces from either within or outside of their institution, they tend to curl inwards protectively. The advantage that Gropius and his successors had was that they ran an institution that was dedicated to the art, from architecture through to weaving. They understood and fostered lateral thinking and its role in creativity, innovation and design. They understood the relationship between disciplines. They were free of academic oversight and bureaucracy able to innovate, setting a lesson for other learning institutions.
Death of a Dream In looking back at how the Bauhaus influenced and guided my own artistic, design and teaching practice I have come to realise that in the UK the art colleges are dying. The students are as bright and clever as ever, but the system is inimical to the...
Albers used paints straight from the tube showing how colour against colour changed perception of each in juxtaposition. Seeing change in a stable situation suggested that change in life could be seen too when it seemed unchanging. As one critic remarks, when these painting appeared in the 1950’s it marked the end of the Bauhaus revolution. Revolution became evolution. However, the impact on late 20th century art college teaching sprang not just from his work at the Bauhaus but also his work in the US at the famous Black Mountain College after the Bauhaus was hounded out of Germany in 1933
The employment of so many artists injected creativity as the Bauhaus made a major influence in modernising the world of design in parallel with the revolution in political thought taking place. Quite ironic when you consider the radical form of German socialism that was to ultimately destroy it in the same way that Stalinist thought destroyed much of Russian artistic revolutionary activity
The Pre-Dip or Foundation course was not seen by them as a necessary diagnostic for young aspiring artists and designers but as a course without parallel in other disciplines and which required investment over and above that for the diplomas and degrees it serviced, forcing a constant battle of justification in an area that was the foundation of Gropius’ model. With over 45 different design and fine art disciplines to be fed now, it is surely even more necessary today than when introduced by Itten originally in the Bauhaus, especially given how little teaching is now delivered in our Universities.
For now, I am like a Greek god maliciously deleting houses, whole roads and communities, removing data as preparation for adding new information. In a sense I am priming the canvas, making ready to create a new mythology. I am changing the meaning of the map from map into a piece of artwork.
No “Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir” and the only stately galleons were the rain squalls sailing majestically up the Channel as I walk the shingle shore. Closer to the water the smaller stones glistened like “diamonds, emeralds, amethysts, topazes, and cinnamon,”. There wasn’t a “dirty British coaster” in sight, the closest to a “gold moidores” is the bright yellow of the Transmanche ferry reversing its way out of Newhaven harbour.
Part of the beautiful displays are the cabinets containing items discovered in the cabins of individuals. Skeletons recovered so far allowed facial reconstruction to show images adding the faces of the dead to their belongings in the display cases. My partner found this disconcerting, but for me it brought the spiritual presence, the ghosts of these men from Henry 8th’s navy, into the room. Their spirits haunt this stunning museum, reminders everywhere of them in the initials, even names, carved into the recovered dishes. It is intensely moving.
The campaign started a year ago with a target of 1400 new ringers. Out of the eye of national media, but noted by local press with enthusiasm, the Ringing Remembers campaign has been a stunning success both for the organiser and for the individuals like me who took...