Playing with the notion of the number 3 standing for the years she has run this gallery, Elena Chimonas held an exhibition opening on the 3rd of this month, at her Camden Image Gallery. A group of her artists produced triptychs for the event. Here is my contribution.
The over-title is “Night and Silence” and the central painting is also titled thus. However the flanking paintings are titled, on the left, “Cavé” (as in an old term for Beware), and on the right, “Valé”. The pricing is in GBP. Each painting is 800, but the three as a triptych cost 1600 (making it three for the price of two). And each is sized 805 x 655 mm.
Also Elena needed to take down all info on her site regarding exhibitions earlier this year, so here’s a reference to what mine was like.
And if it’s hard to read from the top image here’s the wording. “Clute’s work at the Camden Image Gallery is mostly recent, though there are some threads of connection back to the first Darkening Garden exhibitions in Austria and the Czech Republic (2011 – 2013). Etchings and paintings continue to present painterly arguments about how it feels to be a human animal living deep within our history on this planet.”
Another painting, finished and titled. It is called “All Flesh is Grass” and is 60 by 43 cms framed.
Here is another painting using Hieronymus Bosch. The same bird from “Parley”. The chaps in their starched dress shirt fronts, partly obscured by the bird, are Franz Schreker, Austrian opera composer, and Bertrand Russell, philosopher and political activist. Both images were taken from photos in 1911 before the horrors of the twentieth century World Wars came to change their lives: Schreker, because he was Jewish; Bertrand Russell, because he was imprisoned for being a pacifist. Note the CND symbol: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Bertrand Russell marched on the 18th of February, 1961, to protest to the Ministry of Defence. This is a small painting, 53 x 63 cm, framed.
Another painting using a green-man profile. It relates to “Voiced” 8 October, 2013. The strange profile in this case is laid across something from the Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch, late 15th century. And there’s also a letter “a” in two manifestations.
After the distractions of this very special August (friends from disparate parts of the globe came to London for the World Science Fiction con) I finally got back to the workshop and worked on – Coming through. The salient thing in this composition is the barbed wire. So it’s a variation on my war pictures. (plate size: 165 x 250 mm)
And it is also a reworking of an earlier plate. Actually I wish I had pulled a few prints because the enclosed is the only one in existence.
Here is the price list for my work to be shown at Loncon3, from Thursday, the 14th of August, to Sunday, the 16th of August. It’s mainly for the titles. (If you click on it for size, then to get back – go to return arrow upper left.)
Another painting finished: The Fire Next Time.
970 mm by 670 mm.
If you click on the thumbnail to get the large size, then, when leaving you have to go the upper left back arrow. It takes you to the beginning of the section. I really don’t know why WordPress saw fit to change when they had a good thing before: you could just click on the full picture and it would bring you back to where you were. But now you click on the picture and it just makes it larger. And larger. You tend to get angry and therefore leave the premises. Please don’t.
Ah, wait. You can just click outside the pic and it brings you back.
This painting had an earlier manifestation several years back. I started with thoughts of notation, musical modes. They haven’t survived through the various changes. In due course variations on the letter “a” came to reside in this painting. Also a Peruvian mummy cloth design, an Inuit shaman, and a young girl caught in this strangeness. What kind of world am I trying to occupy here? Is the child projecting all this stuff around her? The idea of projection is interesting. Building blocks of the psyche? Machine codes of the mind? We carve up our emotional experiences in ways that are just below our radar.
Here’s Punctuated Equilibrium. This painting has taken me a long, long time to finish. It bears a relationship to Quorem which also took a long time to finish, back in 2010. So I’ll include it at the bottom. (Some of the seemingly simple paintings take longer. Strange. I don’t know why.) Dimensions:
Punctuated Equilibrium is 1030 by 730 mm.
Quorem is 1045 by 792 mm
Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory in evolutionary biology. There is phyletic gradualism, which states that evolution generally occurs by a steady and gradual set of transformations. But in 1972 Niles Eldridge and Stephen Jay Gould published a paper developing the notion that gradual evolution was seldom seen in fossil records, and that actually, and more interestingly, there were in the records to be studied, a sort of “stasis” and then “sudden jumps”. Gould coined the phrase – punctuated equilibrium.
Some biologists have applied punctuated equilibrium to non-sexual species including the evolution of viruses.
And perhaps in a Science Fiction context, Punctuated Equilibrium might bring us to recall a certain moment in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is when the mysterious alien artefact, a black monolith, triggers prehistoric ape people to start making tools. The first tool was, of course, a weapon.
Someone used the phrase – a violin in a void. Yeah. I like that. Or – marching out of Eden. Whatever, this painting is not a barrel of laughs. It was started with the CND movement in mind and all the rest followed. Not forgetting, of course, the soldiers borrowed from Sargent’s famous painting, “The Gassed”. So here we are with the absolutely last version:
Since the beginning of September I’ve been playing with a green man open-mouth profile theme. It combines with west coast Canada Inuit shapes. Size in centimetres: “Voiced”, 105 x 79; It is framed, oil on canvas, £3,000.
The recent upgrade has made the pictures in the galleries of my site much easier to look at, in, for instance, the for sale section. But here in the blog section it has made the viewer go through extra work. I don’t know why we can’t, as we used to, just click to change from size to thumbnail, back and forth. If you click as before, the picture is merely enlarged with each click. And to leave the picture you have to go the return arrow, upper left. Each time. And it takes you to the top of the section. I’ll try and get this sorted, but in the meantime – apologies.
Here’s an article published in the Geneva newspaper, Le Temp, on the 2nd of February 2013. It’s written by Joëlle Kuntz. The subject is the various types of marriage prevalent today: le mariage dans tous ses états. And she uses one of my paintings to illustrate. The painting is a riff on the famous Arnolfini double portrait sometime called the Marriage of Arnolfini. I painted this in 1988 and it is called “Radiance of the Genes”.
Radiance of the Genes
Here we have four more etchings. This time, almost without my intention, casual portraits are worked into the compositions. These are from photos I’ve taken of friends. I’ve a stash wherein I rummage every so often. Feels good to have this strand of personal vitality in the midst of my stern theme – Darkening Garden. Here are the names: Nick Harkaway; Sarah Lasley; Morgan Doyle; Erin Kissane.
I was there
As usual I asked John for help thinking up a title. For the first in this group he brought out Edwin Muir’s – One Foot in Eden. In the title poem of the book he found just the right words: Compactly Grown.
Here are the lines in the middle of the first stanza.
…Time’s Handiworks by time are haunted,
And nothing can separate
The corn and tares compactly grown.
Here’s the latest etching in the Darkening Garden series. The top part is derived from my painting: Bone Scan. The lower one can look look like a skull, or whatever the viewer wants. It started from a photograph of me drinking from a wine glass, but maybe we don’t need to know that. I really do like things unexplained. (I’m pushing time for this pic because the frame is only half finished.)
This time I’m only putting in three new works, and one, is an amendment. It is a mark-two version of WarHorse.
In the last set of etchings entered here on the 17th of February, I see that I’m not well served by the small square thumbnail format. This time they are photographed in their mounts and their dimensions are accordingly, in inches, 19 by 9 and a half. And in millimetres, 487 x 244. Please click on the images to get the full view.
Meet my daughter
Falls From the Air
The working title for this set continues to be – The Darkening Garden.
Today’s the publication date for our book. We drink champagne. Against the Art of War: poems by Ernest Hilbert and Henry Wessells; etchings by Judith Clute. Temporary Culture, Upper Montclair, USA limited edition, 26 copies lettered A to Z. Edited by Henry Wessells. (Price to subscribers: $375.00). And here’s the cover:
Here are the four editioned etchings set within:
Jason Van Hollander is utterly brilliant. Look what just came through the letterbox today: HELL STAMP:Slough of Despond.
We are amongst the lucky few. It’s a limited edition of 60. Ours is 45/60.
And there is a beautiful note to go with it, quoting John Bunyan.