Suburban Beginnings

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.

Big thanks to Curating Coventry and Alan Van Wijgerden for film and photography, also to The Pod for their continuing support.

VIDEOS

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

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