Hello. I’m exhibiting 1 x painting and 1 x drawing at Blakefest 2017. Dandelion Visions is a group exhibition led by Mikey Georgeson, at Bognor Regis Public Library from 16 September – 12 October.
Here’s what I have to say about the work I’m showing…
“I was nineteen years old when I lost track of time and space, as we know it; the big bang presented itself as a giant game of marbles, with a man-made God at the helm. As the doors of perception creak, don’t be too upset about the seams of your fabric unravelling, everything is temporal. An ‘unfortunate lunatic’ is only so as he has noticed glitches of mans reality.”
In addition to the exhibition, weekend line-up includes poets Cherry Smith, Stella Bahin, music acts Gwyneth Herbert, David Devant & His Spirit Wife, and Blake aficionado Michael Horowitz, amongst others.
For more information, visit www.blakefest.co.uk.
One weekend down and Suburban English Magick is taking shape. I can’t stand artspeak, but when I say my painting is entirely ‘responding to the space’, it’s true. I’m painting inside a shed, or, to be precise, Bob and Roberta Smith’s old back garden shed, which became the ‘Centre of Contemporary Art’. It started life in Leytonstone, went on tour, spent some time at the Serpentine, now resided in Fargo Village, Coventry, with The Pod as its new custodians.
The photos, above, show how I started, the marks made. It was an unsure, constrained start. The more I painted, and subsequently painted over, the more loosened up and in tune with the space I felt. It’s sort of painting itself. See the videos below to have an idea of where I’m at, now.
There’s a piece of sound art that I made, which accompanies the live painting. As it’s only 5 minutes and 13 seconds in length, and I play it for hours on a loop, I’ve had to take respite with the assistance of Gravenhurst and John Renbourne.
If you watch the film and you can’t hear me telling stories over sheep noises and other insanity, then you are listening to either Gravenhurst or Renbourne. I would encourage you to buy all their albums.
I’ll be back at the CCCA tomorrow (Thursday, 11am-6pm), Saturday (10am-12pm, 4-7pm) and Sunday (11am-4pm), painting live.
Friday - Sunday outcome. PAINT: ME MUSIC: GRAVENHURST, 'ANIMALS' . Read the lyrics, Nick Talbot understood Suburban English Magick... . "They descend upon the city like flies Spraying their eggs into a dead dog's eyes It's England on a Saturday night I wish I could be like them and I try But I find it more rewarding to walk along the river Picturing my body discarded in the water I wonder who will do it and I wonder what they're doing right now They opened up the sewers tonight Animals caged in their appetites Let loose upon the passer-by And people like me are just parasites Take me to the river I want to feel the water Closing in and helpless as you're pushing my head under I wonder if you'll do it and I wonder what you're doing right now At four am you're lying right there With urine and wine dried in your hair I take you to the river I want to show you something I'm making a map from all the flowers I'm collecting I wonder if I'll do it and I wonder what I'm doing right now" . #coventry #cityofculture2021 #backthebidcoventry #fargovillagecoventry #painting #livepainting #installation #soundart #illustration #mural #people #bodies #suburbanenglishmagick #collectivepod #cccashed #ccca
"She wore flowers in her hair And all the town would stare And all the young girls followed picking up the petals strewn everywhere And when the flowers died they saw through the disguise And all the townsfolk circled her With prayers and tar and feathers And fire There's a dog loose in the woods A fox tied to a tree And when the farmer raises his gun The bullets pass right through me And everyone you know will be crawling through the snow at the four furthest corners of town where they buried my bones" PAINT: ME WORDS: GRAVENHURST . #coventry #cityofculture2021 #fargovillagecoventry #artistsoninstagram #painting #largescalepainting #folk #witch #occult
MENTAL SPAGHETTI & COLLECTIVE//POD PRESENT
MARIE-LOUISE PLUM: ‘SUBURBAN ENGLISH MAGICK’
02.09 – 16.09 2017
“Behind every brutal scene/there is beauty/in Suburban English Magick: Peer in to the world of semi-rural village life in the Shires. Modern day folklore, witchcraft and the uncanny, dressed in sportswear, driven in souped-up race cars, depicted in paint and recited in tongue.”
From 2-16 September, a picture of Suburban English Magick will be built up, in paint and tongue, in Bob and Roberta Smith’s CCCA Shed, Coventry.
Custodians of the CCCA, Collective//Pod, have programmed this live painting exhibition as the run-up to the Scratch the Surface Festival, 2017, co-curated and programmed with various partners, including Mental Spaghetti.
Marie-Louise Plum is painting the entire interior of the shed, improvising contemporary folkloric vignettes inspired by a spoken word and cut-up sound composition.
Please note that live painting and audio installation will only take place between 10am-6pm, Fridays and Saturdays, and, 10am – 4pm, Sundays, from 2-16 September.
The installation is visible at all times during Fargo Village opening hours.
VENUE CCCA Shed, FARGO Village, Far Gosford Street, Coventry, CV1 5ED
DATES Exhibition runs 2-16 September, 2017
OPENING HOURS Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 18:00, Sunday 11:00- 16:00
GETTING THERE 20 minutes walk from Coventry train station MAP
These things leap out at you later in life, and, you feel a fool for not fully understand the glaringly obvious. All the things I loved, all the things that fascinated me, as a child, are the sum of all my parts. Not only the sum, but all of the parts.
Above is a blurry photo of my grandmother’s old study. Below are two photos of just one of my many Collected Items, a repository for everything and everyone I have known and/or loved.
I read or heard or saw somewhere that nine lovers maketh the woman. Needless to say that’s a load of old toilet wash, although at the time I was convinced that, by number nine, I would be fine.
This is what happened after number nine, absolutely nothing.
“The present was an egg, laid by the past that had the future inside its shell.”
– Zora Neale Hurston
I was a college dropout, ergo my dazzling University educated brain doesn’t exist. However, with intuition on my side, I tend to feel around for the answers and check to see if I’m right, later. So what I’m about to say, regarding the mighty egg, might not be correct in a historical folklore context, yet rings true for my own experiences of egg symbolism.
The eggs came to me. The first egg, from my grandmother, also an artist, an Italian immigrant, born in the 1920’s, is filled with superstition and magick. Grandma decorated duck eggs when I was a child, usually with scenes of countryside life, often adorned with some reference to the holy trinity. When grandma’s eggs weren’t on display at the local garden centre, and, once, very proudly at the Cecil Higgins Museum, she sat them on cheap, gilt-covered thrones, placed in her Edwardian wunderkammer.
I wasn’t allowed to handle the eggs until I stopped playing with muddy worms, sticky-fingered from rotten garden apples. On my eighteenth birthday, I was given my very own duck egg, decorated with fuchsia and bumblebees. Different from the ones she usually painted, more occult, more meaningful somehow. It became a powerful object.
Around the same time, my great uncle, Kazik, arch enemy of my grandmother, gave me a child sized decorated enamel egg from a visit to Poland – certainly a coincidence. It was his first time abroad since coming to England after taking part in the liberation of Dachau. The eggs turned heavy then, both literally, compared to the hand-painted duck egg, this weighed a tonne, but also heavy in the sense of their potency. Not only the symbol of new beginnings, eggs held it all: secrets, birth and rebirth, nostalgia, the past, present and future, to act as a celebration and also a warning, to remind you to live, and that you will die.
Behold, this revelation set me on another trajectory. I was in my early twenties, with no ability to naturally astrally project, I dabbled in the engineered cosmic, purchased from a true hippy burn-out, a market trader in a market town. Egg visions became a common visual hallucination for me. The world took on a different likeness, I saw it in another unrecognisable form. Ever revolving doors, forever looping escalators, and eggs, coming steadily into my vision – before the first one had passed me by, the next began to take shape. It was a constant theme, regeneration of time, place and sense of self.
Into adulthood I purchased decorative eggs when I saw them. I didn’t seek them out, they always came to me. My collection is small but that’s what was intended. Ukranian pysankas, the Polish enamel egg, my grandmothers duck egg. I started to paint eggs into my art work, both in a figurative and abstract sense, to symbolise life and death, strength and fragility, and protection. Eggs in nests, eggs as body shapes, egg shaped wombs and coffins.
I’ve got a sneaking feeling that the eggs are to blame for the ‘l’appel du vide‘ type feelings which permeate my entire being – in this particular case, the destruction of fragile objects, but, in general, the compulsion to do the exact opposite of what I should be doing. It has a special place in the formation of Who I Am, both in a negative and positive sense. I’m obsessed with the ‘moment before’ and ‘moment after’, for example the fine line that defines fucking up or not fucking up a piece of art, or the bombshell that you’re about to drop to your closest friends or family, that might see them fleeing out of your life for good.
These days, my special duck egg resides in a drawer, safely away from my destructive temptation, as it always has done since it was given to me, while the other eggs sit in a little collection for people to look at, pick up and touch…hopefully to feel the magick.