Saturday, December 19, 2009

McArthur's Review of The Year - From East to West, A Tale of Three Rivers

"Not all those who wander are lost" JR Tolkien

I've wandered quite a bit this last year, and I still feel as lost as I did a year ago - actually no, I have progressed - a wee bit less lost I reckon- so maybe JR has a point. It's exactly a year since I left the tranquility of Spanish life for a bigger challenge and it hasn't disappointed.

I started in Delhi, an incredible city, full of road cows, no laned semi-cars, motorbikes and general human flotsum and jetsum carrying 20 feet towers of rubbish which stinks and honks like a rarely changed cat litter tray and sounds like 7th Avenue New York traffic in the middle of a herd of cattle trying to get through.

From Delhi, I went on a bit of a pilgrimage to Varanasi, allegedly the oldest city in the world. Hindus believe that if you die in Varanasi, you will be given the gift of eternal life, certainly that you will escape the eternal cycle of birth and re-birth, and that is where they go to die.

To me it seemed a little contrived to get on a train in the final days of your life in search of the eternal, but hats off to forward planning.. It is where the families cremate their (dead) relatives and the famous steps are the stairways to heaven. Really an incredible sight and smell - and not as freaky as you would think - it all seems quite normal once actually there.

The Ganges allegedly has the power to cleanse you of your sins. There were hundreds of pilgims there bathing in the river - I dipped my toe in, didn't go the whole hog - it looked truly filthy, which may have contributed to my occasional sinning this year, and a distinct impression that those sins of previous years are still with me.. Next time I'm going in - all the way...

From the holy waters of the Ganges to the not so holy waters of the River Spree in Berlin, which has probably witnessed some of the biggest debauchery on Earth. I had a wonderful time in Berlin, setting up studio for a few months in a puppetmaking workshop and living in a very strange street called Man Devil Strasse, together with an electric organ and a shrine - ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies...

From the Spree I traversed the Atlantic to the Hudson in New York, where I still am, snow mountaining outside, drinking a Manhattanly overpriced Merlot in a Manhattanly overpriced very dark apartment. However, the city has been a constant source of energy for my work and a constant source of inspiration life-wise. It is a city of endless human possibilities, and I fear something of an addiction. Being something of an addicitive character, I'm not sure if I will be able to leave it behind..

Although extremely restless as ever - I drink too much diet coke and smoke too many fags not to be - I am looking forward to a big fat rest. My first engagement of 2010 is as a bridesmaid in South Africa - an unusual thing for me, my motto being "Never The Bridesmaid, Please God Never The Bride". However it is a very special bride, so I shall rise to the challenge and try to restrain my wilder side up/down/over/from behind the aisle..

I would like to sincerely thank all my readers, my amazing friends around the world who deal with all my shit and most of all, those who follow and collect my work and whose continued support enables me to continue to travel, learn, develop and, most importantly, keep on producing work.

I would be delighted to see anyone that can join me for a glass of champagne on the evening of February 4th - you should get there early, I may have downed it all.

Flying Colours Gallery, 6 Burnsall Street, Chelsea, London for my latest offerings, "New Drawings from New York".

I will be in the posh bar nextdoor afterwards to see if I can get kicked out again like I did 2 years ago for unsuitable behaviour. I don't go down well in Chelsea - it should be a good night. Can't wait!

Till then, Happy Holidays as they say in America - I'll be back with new force next year!

"Life is like a pair of pants. If you don't change it, it starts to smell"

Patsy McArthur

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fly In The Ointment

Life has a nasty habit of kicking you when you're down.. Today a fly fell into a very deep sleep or decided to die on my kneadable putty rubber. What are the chances??? Not noticing, I proceeded to smear disembodied fly legs, thorax and wings all over an almost completed McArthur masterpiece leaving some nasty brown stains that won't come off. Bit of a setback.

I realise I am posting about a fly. So I'm not posting anything else till I've finished the work for the show. I don't want to play out my mental demise online.

If anyone would like a catalogue for the London show just get in touch to with your postal address and I will add you to the mailing list. Work will be available for sale from receipt of the catalogue. I will post details of the Private View nearer the time.

McArthur's Review of The Year will be coming shortly - once I've righted myself.

Till then, over and out.

PS. There will be a McArthur masterpiece going cheap with some dead fly attached to it. Mixed media they call it, so I believe.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Time Marches On


I could do with stopping time for a couple of weeks but it seems to be beyond my powers. I was toying with titling this piece, "Virgin Territory" but was concerned that it might be misconstrued. Gang of men running full pelt towards group of virgins lurking beyond the horizon...No....

I am clearly losing my mind. I am, however, more concerned about my face which seems to be suffering from "Tony Blair during the Iraq War" Syndrome. Ie. extremely rapid ageing due to stress. I appear to have aged 5 years in 3 weeks. Is this possible?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Walk The Line

All in a day's work.

Well, a few days work. I may extend the Line drawing quite considerably if I have the energy at the weekend.