Summer 2010, some unusual pieces of assemblage emerged from my visit to the Festival Hall, arriving too early for a meeting with the Figure & Ground artists group, I wandered onto the shore and sand along the River Thames, finding a wide variety of unusual stones and beached drift wood and faded items. Some I collected and brought back to my workshop in Birmingham, my mood was meditated on difficult problems. For some time a response to some highly dishonest and unpleasant attacks to a friend of mine had been on my mind, ugliness by his neighbours, one of whom had followed him to work and tried to kick off there, when this failed getting a job at the same workplace and making further malice from his work place (a family member of the neighbour was a director at the council.) Painting and sculpture seemed to be above the level of nuance called for but the stones seemed to be ready and fully able to represent the meanness of the events. these were such that I stopped working with Coventry City Council in protest and disgust. The ‘What Are They Like’ is my initial response to the wrong behaviour of the people involved: I consulted my MP: saying “they have got two witnesses making false claims about false claims they have made up themselves” – Exasperated he said: “They could go on like that forever” – The titles of these pieces Gargoyles of the 21st Century: are Avaricee, Malicee, Deceivio, Water Creature….The Gargoyle has a healing and mentally purgative power to offer release and restorative clarity, and protect – so the lore goes.
(Not least the direct expense of neighbour and then council nuisance to my friend amounted to £36,000 over eight years)– What Are they like
A second exhibition in Shipston on Stour showed the exhibition ‘In the Garden of Ges’ in July 2010.