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
I recently took part in the Mental Spaghetti group exhibition, ‘Mind Machine’, at Menier Gallery.
A few of us were mentioned as highlights of the exhibition. Here’s the word on me, by Judith McNicol, in good company with Yvonne Mabs Francis, Terence Wilde and Jan Arden.
“Having spent most of her early life around her Italian artist grandmother, a woman immersed in myths, superstition and legend, Marie-Louise Plum has become a painter of magical realism. Within her bold paintings of heaving, tortured, intertwining bodies and nightmare scenarios imposed on fairy tale images, are Marie’s ‘secret messages’ that remind us ‘not is all as it seems’.
That’s a nice thing to say. Thank you.
“Did Cecilia Giménez burst in and finish that while you were out of the room?”
It’s actually quite useful to be living with the ghost of Brian Sewell, even if I don’t act like it all the time, and I only really lap up the criticism when it’s not really criticism at all.
But my dear partner was right, of course. I had somehow taken a mysterious, sylph-like creature into a bog-dwelling Jenny Greenteeth, in but three or four brush strokes.
“It’s okay, I’ll pull it back. You can be crap if you’re good.”
Saying something like this is just like turning to a crowd of your mates and saying “Hey, watch this!” before you prepare to jump the Grand Canyon on a pair of Argos roller skates. It got worse, yes it did.
Cecilia Giménez, if you remember, is the Helpful Lady of Borja, Spain, who decided to give Elías García Martínez a helping hand with his fresco, ‘Ecce Homo’. Now it seemed she had come to live with us, in North London, England.
This is a tale I can only really tell with the aid of photographic evidence, so I will share the horrors, whilst guiding you through my torturous three day, but felt like years, relationship with a disobedient painting.
Day 1, AM: Fondly recalled as the ‘good times’. A lot of flirting, ridiculous infatuation, in some part god-like complex that felt I could in fact walk on water, surely, as I was already walking on air with this gorgeous being. I loved the way she looked at me. She was keen on how I built her up. Everything was working out.
Day 1, PM (left image): Things took a sour turn very quickly. As much as we loved being in each others company, we’d rushed into things far too fast, had no idea of each others’ horrid peccadilloes which would ultimately lead to a long stretch at Her Majesties pleasure.
We could barely look at each other for more than ten minutes before wanting to punch our fists through each others faces. Me for her brain-draining inability to do anything she was asked, she for my ruining her entire being.
Day 1, PM (right image): CECILIA HAD ARRIVED.
Day 2, AM (left image): Having slept on it, I was brimming with misplaced self-confidence which seemed to allow me to take The Girl from the clutches of Giminez to something that resembled almost humanoid form. I probably should have stopped here. But no, no. I carried on, slicing and stitching and shoving the implements in, until my simple procedure of a neat stomach staple was actually a gut full of wrenches and spanners.
Day 2, PM (right image):
We weren’t speaking at all. Fuck her. That’s how I left her to sleep that night. With that face on. Perhaps I could foist this off as an outsider folk effort?
Day 3, AM: Collateral damage mode. Thoughts: She can keep the car, I’ll take the house. Maybe this will be okay. Maybe it can go in the outsider folk art box. Things had reached stalemate, both of us still refusing to have anything to do with each other. I spent some time wondering how long it would take to dig a canvas sized hole in the garden, deep enough for the horror beast never to emerge in heavy ground-rearranging rain. We decided that whilst we weren’t entirely happy with each other, we could make do and mend, and this is how our relationship would end. We’ll chalk it up to experience.
Day 3, PM: Having stared at her teeth-like-a-bag-of-chips mouth for a few hours, wishing I’d never ever seen her face, I felt an empathetic awakening. I couldn’t leave the poor girl like this. I would have to be a real woman, step up to the mark, and put things right as best I could.
Anyway, here she is now. And this is how she is going to stay. I was a little unsure, but having received such heartwarming feedback as “Those eyes! Stuff of nightmares”, I know my work with this girl is done. And let that be a lesson to me.
I’m doing a performance. A proper one that I won’t be able to run away from, or hide my face with a mask. I might zone out a bit. It’s about dissociation so that’ll work, I think.
’12 Months’ is a sound and live painting performance. I’m painting in response to the words I am saying, prose and journal entries I have carefully selected from 33 years of being a morose tart.
I’ll be doing the performance at the opening reception (yes, there will be alcohol), Thursday 23rd October 18.00 – 21.00, then the two following weekends from midday until 5pm, and finally on Saturday 8th November for our closing reception, again from 18:00-21:00.
“The Lights Are On… is a group exhibition relating to and exploring issues of mental health, well-being and the quirks of human existence and takes it’s title from the saying ‘the lights are on but no one is home’ which alludes to the idea of someone being preoccupied, be it by an outside distraction or something more subconscious.
Artists taking part:
Charlie Tuesday Gates
Matthew Lee Knowles
Christina Violet Sabberton
Address: Fox Court, 14 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8HN, UK
Opening reception: Thursday 23rd October 18.00 – 21.00
Exhibition opening times:
Weekends 11.00 – 17.00
And by appointment during the week.
Closing reception: Saturday 8th November 18.00 – 21.00
The lights are on… is hosted in Fox Court a Uthink PDP venue.”
Details of my latest exhibition, located at Wood Street Indoor Market, Walthamstow, London.The private view is next Thursday 19th April (not the 18th at stated on poster) from 5:30-8:00pm. There will of course be wine and all are welcome.