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The weekend Open Studio event drew to a close yesterday with a set by Cambridge-based band Delphi playing in the yard. The great and the good of Stoke Newington society turned out in numbers, and it was nice to catch up with a few people we haven't seen in a while. But what's the work that you've been showing? I hear me ask. Well, there's a website for the studio that gives you an idea of what we're about, but I have taken the liberty of shoe-horning in a few out of focus snaps taken in haste.


These four came as a result of learning to use some Japanese calligraphy brushes that I was given some time ago. For some reason I seem to set myself restrictions or challenges before I start work at the moment. So this one was to learn how to mix a smooth ink from a sold block of pigment and a slate slab, before getting used to the way the ink flows from the brush, etc. All very Zen I know (or possibly all very Stoke Newington), but I got quite absorbed in the process, which reminded me of why I feel the need to draw and paint in the first place.


These two are a reflection (geddit?) on the passing of my beloved Highbury Stadium, sadly no more. Progress, huh?  They have preserved a wafer thin facade of the East stand, as this was listed. I find it rather bewildering the way that the Grade II listing only seems to penetrate about six inches of the front of the building. We are in danger of only preserving a Disney-style pretend version of our architectural history for future generations.


Finally, here are two pieces that were inspired by a page in Forward, the magazine of the Spinal Injuries Association. The piece consisted of an excerpt from the regular newsletter produced in the fifties by Lyme Green, a residential care home for injured service personnel. The whole newsletter seemed to be full of 'who's copped off with who at which dance, etc'.

The page also contained a black and white photograph of a man in a wheelchair snogging a woman who was is sat on the arm of the chair. I was struck by the sense of passion revealed in the position of their hands, and also how positive it is to see someone in a wheelchair caught in the throes of such passion. It is an image I will no doubt return to in the future.

So that's that. Now we're busy preparing for our forthcoming camping trip to France. What's that you say? A damn-fool thing to be doing? You betcha!

Oh, and just to add a bit more of a challenge, I'm going to have another tattoo first. Right in the middle of my back. Two days before we drive 1200 kms across France. Hmmmm, comfy.

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