Today’s piece was created in the Waterhall Gallery in Birmingham. Nice quiet space where the current selection of pieces from the city’s collection is themed round still life. It has a nice series of Jim Dine screenprint/collages in there. I popped into the Gas Hall afterwards to have a look at the West Midlands Open which I found massively disappointing. I cannot believe that our second city and the surrounding area could not produce some more exciting or interesting pieces. It mostly seemed a little dull, staid and derivative. Most of it would not have seemed out of place in a show from the Seventies. I place the blame on the curation and it really wasn’t displayed or lit to bring out its best. There was only one piece I thought I might like to have on my wall and three others that I thought had interesting aspects. There were quite a few well executed pieces and some superficially attractive stuff but nothing to stretch or stimulate.
A piece of music that has stretched and stimulated me for 40 years is Jefferson Airplane’s “Won’t you try / Saturday afternoon” – this version is from Woodstock
Today’s piece was very interesting for me and apart from being hugely enjoyable for me it gave me a huge sense of confidence; a sense that I could work in a whole range of untapped and untried ways. I still feel quite excited about it. I had prepared and taken some materials with me with a specific idea in mind following on from the work I did in Bath the other day. The idea was very different from Bath in some fundamental ways but shared some features. Specifically, I had chosen different materials. As it turned out I was inspired by some aspects of Birmingham as a cultural centre and the whole thing took shape in my mind very quickly and very differently to the plan. Fortunately it worked really well, though it took rather longer than usual to create. I did have back up materials, but wouldn’t have been able to create the original idea without buying some more stuff and putting more money in the parking machine or abandoning the idea of creating it till I got back home or the studio!
It’s all Bs! Bradpole, Bridport, Birmingham, Bath! Have I created a #Letter365 anywhere else yet? Maybe I should just do work in places starting with B?
#Letter365 did a tour of Birmingham today. Here the picture shows No8 with Antony Gormley’s Iron Man behind with Birmingham’s beautifully restored Town Hall as a backdrop.
Today’s piece was a challenge for me. Last night I realised that I had forgotten to take the materials I wanted so changed to plan B until I realised I hadn’t got the makings of that second idea. It turned out well in the end and was something totally new to me in one way!
For those falling in love with the post boxes here’s a picture of a modern Birmingham facility:
An unfolding artwork created a piece each day for a year