Sunday, 27 March 2011

More Ducks

Remembering my recently posted photograph of four dead ducks in Leadenhall market, here is something else I found at The question is, would it work? Are the ducklings following one after the other, or are they all following their mother but at different distances?


The original is here.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Rachel Whiteread's House (1993)

Whatever one thinks about contemporary art, one must find Rachel Whiteread's piece 'House' thought-provoking. It consists of a concrete cast of the interior of a Victorian terraced house – 193, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, London. As such, it is an 'endocast' – a cast of the interior of a hollow object. In palaeontology, for example, endocasts of the cavity in the skull where the brain was once situated are taken to assess the brain's size and its state of evolution, even in its absence.

If the brain is where the mind might be said to reside, Whiteread's house – being an endocast of a former home – is where it might be said that people used to reside. Sadly, this piece was demolished in 1994. In the picture on the right, you may be able to make out the graffito 'WOT FOR' scrawled on the side. The vandalism, the ignorant sentiment, the poor spelling and the apparent lack of a question mark are also rather sad.

(Once again, I think my liking for right angles is catered for by this piece.)

House [1] House5

The second image is © John Davies – please, follow the link to visit his page.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Four Dead Ducks (Untitled)

Many years ago – certainly over 20 years – I had a photograph displayed in the Cardiff Photographers' Gallery Christmas exhibition. (I can't remember whether 'Photographers' Gallery' was spelt with a 'Ph', 'F' or 'Ff'.) This is that photograph. It was called 'Untitled' at the time – and probably still is.

I took it in Leadenhall Market in London, probably in 1981. I think what I like about this picture, apart from the darkness (I work predominantly in black and white), are the verticals and horizontals – even though they are not entirely perfect. It's my obsession with right angles which, back in 1981, I didn't realise I had. The use of a square format was also important at the time and also the place the image was printed upon paper. (Hence, the miniature version.)

Ducks Ducks (2)

Friday, 11 March 2011

A Paradox

I found the following picture being used to represent a paradox – although I am not so sure that everyone confronted with this object would necessarily get it. I wonder how many, in practice, would be persuaded by the utility of the object to use it as an ashtray rather than respond to the message of the symbol it contains. Furthermore, what would people be inclined to do if the ashtray already had ash in it, as opposed to it being in pristine condition?


Monday, 7 March 2011


Some comments by various people regarding creativity. Just five for now. There are more for another time.


'Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.'

Scott Adams


'When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.'

John Ruskin


'If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.'
Robert Fritz


'The ideal way to work on a project is to ask a question you don’t know the answer to.'
Francis Ford Coppola


I can vouch for Coppola's remarks. The drudgery of writing is lessened and can even be made pleasurable when it is a doubly creative process in the sense that there is creative content within the created (written) object.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Good Old Days

I've had this picture on the wall above my desk for years. Hence, it's faded and tatty. You can even see two of the 'Blu-Tack' marks. It's a picture of the late actor, Ian Carmichael publicising the film of Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim. Whenever the film is on the BBC this picture gets reproduced in the Radio Times. To juxtapose with the pint of beer he is holding, the book Jim has open is entitled 'The Alcohol Problem'.

1950s Academia