For Sale: After Pablo Picasso’s ‘Guernica’

guernica72dpifinshed
After Pablo Picasso’s ‘Guernica’

I have decided to offer my large multi-panel drawing for sale with all the proceeds of that sale going to Bank Street Arts in Sheffield. Bank Street Arts is a multi-disciplinary arts centre where I have have been a resident artist and trustee for several years. You can read more about the centre here.

The sale will take place as part of a solo show of my monochrome works at Bank Street Arts on the 16th and 17th June. If you’re interested in buying the work it will be offered unframed with a reserve price of £1500. We have to sort out the details, but basically the highest bid over £1500 made by the close of the show will secure the piece.

Some details:

  • Size: 2400mm x 1200mm.
  • Assembled from 144 square panels, with slight mismatches visible throughout the work. Click on the image above for a much closer look.
  • Graphite on Paper.
  • Unframed.

The drawing will be on display during the exhibition, which we plan to run in conjunction with a symposium on copyright. If you are interested in attending the symposium, you can find the details here. On that page is a call-out for twenty-minute papers, for which the deadline is May 15th.

If you can’t make it to the show but are interested in placing a bid for the work, please let me know (my email address is bryaneccleshall (at) gmail (dot) com) and we’ll see what can be arranged.

I will post much, more about the solo show in due course, but I wanted to make this announcement as soon as possible.

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A Summary of Work…

It’s been a while since I last posted anything on here. That’s not because I’ve nothing to say, but because I’ve been busy with all sorts of stuff. I thought I’d take a few minutes to summarise my practice at the moment with a few links to where it can be seen and to bookmark a few posts on this blog that keep getting hits…

  • Digital Rain
    • While I am still making monochrome pencil drawings I have been working on a series of digital collages that I impulsively called Digital Rain. I did post them on here to begin with, but I was making two or three a day and it was turning into a chore. I have revived by instagram account which is probably the best place to see them. I also post them on twitter, but mixed in with all sorts of other stuff. A couple of recent images sit at the head of this post. The work emerges form the Sans Terre work I make with Chris Graham and is concerned with refugees, art history, Beyoncé, dystopian science-fiction, religion, and loads more. I’m not thinking too hard when I make individual pieces as I see them as being in conversation with one another and what is clear in one piece is muddy in another. They are yet to be exhibited.
  • Radio Four Appearance
    • A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed for a BBC Radio Four programme about copyright. It can be listened to through the BBC iPlayer on this page. I’m on close to the end, but it’s a fascinating meditation on the fitness of copyright law (or rather the lack of it) in the digital age. Recommended, even if I had nothing to do with it. Listen here. In the programme Richard Taylor refers to my prize-winning drawing, After Joseph Beuys’s Wirtschaftswerte (Economic Values). You can read more about it here and see it below.

After Joseph Beuys Wirtschaftswerte II

  • 365 Project Advice
    • My advice for starting a 365 drawing project keeps getting referred to and you can find it here.
  • Antoine Berman’s Twelve Deforming Tendencies of Translation
    • The most popular post I’ve ever written is this one, concerned with the text that was the course of my Ph.D. research. I suspect that people click on and then click off. I probably ought to expand it. I will be writing a version of my findings as a chapter of a book. That’s likely to be the reason I disappear from view in June and July.

 

 

 

 

Critical Distance: Aleppo Kids 1 + 2

The image on the left – of a young boy crouching and sheltering his even younger sister in Aleppo – did the rounds on social media a few months ago. It was soon outdone by the picture of the poor lad looking bewildered in an Aleppo hospital, but it it hit me quite hard. I have a younger sister and it made me wonder how I might have reacted in similar circumstances. I am grateful that I’ve never been tested in this way. It was soon followed by the image on the right of a shell-shocked child in an Aleppo hospital

Each drawing is 1.26 m x 1.26m, graphite on paper. It was a much quicker process to make these than previous large works. I edited the photographs in PhotoShop. In doing so each section became quite blurred and so when I was working it wasn’t clear what I was actually drawing. When assembled the image reveals itself.

When Chris Graham and I made the first Sans Terre/+ installation I printed out large pixellated versions of photographs of charred corpses. Seen close up, they didn’t make much sense, but from across a room the pixels coalesced to form recognisably human shapes. It struck us that this was a manifestation (it seemed to concrete to be a metaphor) of how drone-centred foreign interventions take place. From a long distance things seem simple and clear, but close up – on the ground, as it were  – it’s messier and less clear. Making this drawing in a fragmented unclear way that, when put together, re-enacts some of that experience. I’ll be honest, it’s very muddled at the moment, but there’s something very real about distance and comprehension. It’s usual to talk about ‘critical distance’ in contemporary art practice, but I wonder if we really know what that means. It’s easy to subscribe to an oppositional ideology that is unlikely to ever manifest itself.

 

Digital Rain

Since completing the Garden of Earthly Delights and Mona Lisa drawings (see below) I’ve been working out what I’m going to do next. This isn’t unusual after completing a PhD as much of the thinking I’ve been doing has been geared towards the completion of an academic thesis and the work made during that period was less concerned with ‘content’ than might have been the case if I’d been making the work for other reasons.

I have, as avid followers of this blog will know. been working on and off with Chris Graham on the Sans Terre/+ project which is very content heavy, being concerned with refugees, Beyoncé, terrorism, wars in the Middle East, Mickey Mouse, Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa,  drone strikes, classical history, and so on. I have returned to this area to make an ever-expanding set of digital images, a selection of which are shown below. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure where these will end up. They feel like a set of inter-related images that could stand alone, raw material for further work, or both.

UPDATE: I have edited this collection down on this blog, but if you want to see more of them, you can follow me on the following platforms, where I post the works as they are made:

INSTAGRAM: @bryaneccleshall

FACEBOOK:@eccleshallartist

TWITTER:@eccleshall1965

005massacreoftheinnocents
Massacre of the Innocents
010vietnam
Stop The War In ________ NOW!
014carry-on-up-the-lindy-englund
Carry On Englund
017aleppoghostmother
Aleppo Ghost Mother
018movetowardsthelight
Move Towards the Light
028babel
Babel Surveillance
029toweroftumor
Tower of Tumour
039canttakemyeyesoffyou
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
047hereisthenews
Here Is The News
058golgotha
Golgotha
060seaofeyes
Sea of Eyes
068birth
Birth…
072youmakemefeelbrandnew
You Make Me Feel Brand New
074scienceandreligion
Science and Religion
079isabstractionbad
Is Abstraction Bad?
083drillbabydrill
Drill Baby Drill
090queenofthenight
Queen of the Night
091comingoverherewithyourdcuniformscript
Coming Over Here With Their Cuneiform Script

After Da Vinci: The Mona Lisa

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While trying to finish my PhD I engaged in a little distraction and made a start on a life size drawn copy of the Mona Lisa.Aside from the distraction it afforded me (though I abandoned it and knuckled down to writing after a relatively short while) it gave me a chance to see if I could capture something of the expression that is so well known. In truth, I saw this as a technical challenge and not as a work of art as such. The Sans Terre / + I make with Chris is much more interesting as art, but part of me is still fascinated by trying to achieve something that is perhaps beyond my grasp.

Last weekend I made an effort to finish it, at least for the time being. I think that there is still some tweaking to around the mouth (though I’m loathe to do too much as the expression can change in an instant), but for now this is complete.

What next? I’m thinking that that this ought to be exhibited on the wall that now masks my painting of the wall of the Salon Carré from which the Mona Lisa was stolen by Vincenzo Peruggia in 1911. I might then erase it.

After Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’

earthly-delights-72dpi

I have now completed a drawn reiteration of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. For now, I’ll leave the image here (and if you click on it you’ll be taken to a larger version so that you can have a better look).

I’ve been racking my brains to think of something to write about the making of this piece which is neither banal (‘it was difficult’) or predictable (‘it took longer than I thought’). Perhaps the best thing to do is to simply list some thoughts and see how they stack up as reflection. Here goes:

  • Each panel I drew was like a mini-painting in itself in that there was rhythm and composition and visual interest, often narrative or at least amusing. It’s a complex work when taken as a whole but that complexity arises out of the complexity ‘on the ground’, so to speak.
  • Notwithstanding that level of detail there is an overall rhythm to the piece that is its structure. The circling parade around the central pool might be obvious but there’s also a large ‘X’ below that.
  • There is no sex on the picture, despite all the nudity. Derek Jarman (who is trying to make a film based on the painting) reckons that there’s one couple copulating, but unless it’s couple who are mostly hidden, I have no idea who they are.
  • The ‘Hell’ panel was hard to make purely because creating a solid black with a .5mm 2B pencil is a slow process. There’s a rhythmic quality to the resulting surface which is missing form the source painting. Drawing and painting are not the same. Bosch could add opaque white to a coloured/dark background whereas I had to excavate the white back from the grey or black. One other solution is to leave the light or white parts and work around them but that can create the impression of an ‘aura’ or rhythmic surfaces that envelop the objects in the foreground. It is hard to make any brush marks on the painting.
  • In previous drawings (After Joseph Beuys’ Wirtschaftswerte and After Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of St Thomas, for example) I left a white border around each panel which formed a grid that appeared notionally ‘before’ the image and stood, in some ways, for my intervention. In this work (an in After Picasso’s Guernica) I didn’t bother with the white border. The grid, though, is still visible in the rupture created by the details not quite matching up.

Since completing this work, I have shown it with the Guernica drawings in an incomplete form as a response to Bank Street Arts ‘LEAVE // REMAIN’ call out for their 2016 members’ show. I titled the conflation: After Picasso and Bosch (The majority of this drawing remains at home. A minority has been left here for you to see).

guernica-earthly-leave-remain

‘Collateral Damage’: A Micro-Exhibition + Book Launch in Sheffield, 12th + 13th August

book

Last year I collaborated with Chris Graham on a complex and disorienting  installation at Bank Street Arts that was eventually called Sans Terre / +. The work sprang from a re-consideration of Théodore Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa in terms of the then burgeoning refugee crisis.

After the installation was dismantled we began work on documenting the work in book form. What began as a record of something that had passed soon sprouted legs of its own and became an altogether new work. The images that accompany this post are details of the books.

The books – a printed collision of an arms catalogue and photographs of the installation as well as fragments of the source material that inspired it – have been extensively reworked by hand with paint, ink, scissors, and collage, and have become a visceral reworking of the source material and a new work that reflects the complexities of migration, terrorism, the military-industrial complex, exploitation of the Third World, Beyoncé, depleted Uranium, art, Disney, Gorgons, drone strikes, and spray paint.

On August 12-13th a Bank Street micro-exhibition will re-present elements of the installation and provide a platform for launching these books which will be available to buy for £25 each. If you want to pre-order one, look at the Sans Terre / + Facebook page. Search for @artiscomplicit

The ‘+’ in the title of the work is a deliberate allusion to the idea of ‘more’. For this iteration of the project we will be joined by Richard Bolam who has created a film that uses a film he made last August of us in the space when the installation was nearing completion but also includes material from other sources and images from the new books. This film is an integral part of the new show.

Join Sans Terre / + for the launch of these books. There will be a performance / reading at some point during the show (details to be confirmed).

Show Details:

Admission is free

Friday 12th August: 11am – 4pm

Saturday 13th August: 11am – 4pm

Banks Street Arts, Bank Street, Sheffield

Links:

Web: bankstreetarts.com

Twitter: @BankStreetArts