that’s a cool supermarket

in a little while i’ll be on my way to penzance to see the imran qureshi exhibition at the exchange and at the newlyn art gallery (here’s the page from the gallery’s website), but before i leave the house…

it’s about a supermarket. a big box supermarket that’s part of a national chain that i never use, in no small part because it’s owned by a gargantuan US retailer that will never, ever get a penny of what little money i have. and yet, i gotta say, the new ASDA on south quay in hayle, cornwall, is a phenomenal building. i know, ASDA. but, the building is beautiful. it sits in the landscape like it grew there, it works with all the surrounding structures, especially the railway bridge that is more or less next to it. it’s shape is a big parallelogram, but it’s hard to get a handle on that looking at it from the ground. frankly, i’m a little in love with this building right now.

the architect is FCBStudios, here’s the page on their website about the project

hayle’s south quay is listed, and it’s in the middle of a world heritage site, so the fact of this huge building in the midst of that, might seem offputting. but consultation was done all the way along with everyone from the local council to UNESCO, to make sure it would be done in a manner sympathetic to the area. local materials were used in its construction. and in a nice coda to the story, when the community wasn’t happy with the giant green ASDA signs after the building was finished, the corporation replaced them with stainless steel ones. it’s the only ASDA in the country without big green signs. and did i mention, it’s a beautiful building. i’m going to see it from the train today, on the way to penzance, so that’ll be a new perspective. i probably won’t ever be able to shop there, but man i’ll get a lot of pleasure from standing outside looking at it.

hayle2 hayle3 hayle4 hayle5 hayle6 southquay1 southquay2

what’s going on

over the past week, i’ve read far too much ‘ryan lochte olympic scandal’ coverage, and far too much ‘marina abramovic insults the entire agoriginal and torres strait islander community’ coverage, but at least it means my consumption of ‘oh my god donald trump’ coverage has gone down, proving there’s always a silver lining. i intend to write at more length about lochte and abramovic (probably not in the same oiece, but who knows?), so if you’re bored of those subjects, be sure and avoid me (or the virtual me, anyway). i’ve repeatedly broken one of the cardinal rules of the internet this past week – don’t read the comments. but i’ve put my hand on that hot plate again and again recently, and boy has it been depressing.

anyway, heres some stuff:

rebekah raymond’s piece about marina abramovic in catalogue magazine.

steph harmon, also on abramovic in the guardian. in the article, harmon speaks to Yindjibarndi artist Katie West, whose profile, also in the guardian, is worth a read.

an article in mashable uk led me to those others, so thanks mashable.

found some delicious pottery…

and while hanging out with the lovely and talented phil magee, threw a pot at Flameworks, thanks christina for all your help. now i’ve conceived roughly 14 projects that involve making a lot of pots. so, there’s that.

photo of matt in a hat at a potter's wheel

here’s a good unpicking of debord’s ‘society of the spectacle’

and some thoughts on zombie urbanism.

what else?

made photos of waves

monday waves 22

and before i forget, new galleries…

mostly recent (2015/16) paintings on panel

a series of paintings i made when i was in seattle in 2012

and a new look drawing page

that’ll do nicely…thanks for watching.

green plastic man in a woodland landscape

one thing leads to another

i often describe my work as abstract, but bearing the influence of the landscape, or my experience in the landscape. it’s an influence that’s perhaps more evident in some cases than others, but one that’s always present, always doing its part to inform whe way i make pictures.

here’s a specific example of how one thing leads to another. when i go to a particular beach, i always lock my bicycle to a post at the edge of the carpark. this is what is see when i stand at that post:

photograph of seascape with signpost

and here’s a painting, ‘interrupted view’ that came about as a result:

seascape painting with big black and white obstruction

now, here’s what’s going on…after looking at that arrow decal on that post several times a week for a couple of years, i started to get intrigued by its qualities as a pretty rigid, graphic, abstract element in an otherwise ‘natural’ setting. i made the photo in order to capture that juxtapostion. the photo is a key element in the whole process.

it’s clear, in the photo, that what’s visible is a signpost (presumably on a path of some sort), with a directional aid on it, in a landscape – in this case the beach. but by framing it in the way that i did, and choosing to focus on the arrow rather than the scene behind it, i flattened the space, which allows me to treat it much more formally in terms of composition, the play between positive and negative space, the similarity in tonal values of the greys in the background and the reflected light on the arrow, the way the shapes are arranged (as a side benefit, the way the arrow is curved at its tip suggests it’s pointing at the horizon, which brings in a whole metaphorical element – travel, adventure, risk, a ‘spiritual’ journey of some description). i made the photo because the scene intrigues me, but i had only the vaguest notion that i might use any part of it in a painting.

in the case of the painting, it was a piece whose progress was not going well, and it was becoming more a source of frustration than anyhting else. dropping a big black and white vertical stripe on top of the piece was a way to disrupt the visual space of the painting, but to also disrupt my intentions regarding what i wanted the piece to be or ‘look’ like. by reframing the composition in terms of how the disruption, the ‘post/arrow’ relates to the rest of the picture, i was able to relax about what i thought the viewer should be ‘seeing’. the formal qualities i described about the photo are still present to a degree, but oddly, in the painting, the presence of the ‘post/arrow’, and the thin vertical line to its right serve to create a sense of space and depth in what otherwise would be a pretty flat composition (as opposed to flattening the space in the photo). titling the piece ‘interrupted view’ plays to that, and suggets that though the composition appears abstract, there’s something else going on. the one element that’s sorta lost is the metaphorical one suggested by the arrow pointing at the horizon, but maybe that’s something to be addressed in another piece at another time.