Aug 31 2011: Zeitgeist & After: An Interview With Christopher Le Brun (Metro, 2008)

I interviewed the painter Christopher Le Brun on 19 November, 2008, in preparation for a piece in Metro to tie in with the launch of a career-spanning exhibition of his work in all mediums – painting, sculpture and prints – at New Art Gallery Walsall. Part of the generation that came to attention in the early … Continue reading

Aug 30 2011: Art, Elephants & Black Stars: An Interview With Chris Ofili (Big Issue In The North, 1998)

This transcript was made following an interview with Chris Ofili on 9 November, 1998, to mark the opening of a retrospective show at Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery, and during the run of Ofili’s Turner Prize show at Tate Gallery in London. An edited version appeared in The Big Issue in the North during the week of the … Continue reading

Aug 29 2011: Kangei – Welcome Aboard! (Japan Airlines Booklet, 1964)

A brochure from 1964 giving information and instructions to passengers on Japan Airlines might not seem the most fascinating of documents, but within its few pages a whole other world is evoked, as far from our own, in some respects, as that of Augustan Rome or Eighteenth Century London, and certainly evokes the attitudes and … Continue reading

Aug 28 2011: Space Age Exploitation (Advertising from Valiant Comic, 1970 – 1972)

Two issues of Valiant comic, from 1970 and 1972, featuring a host of derivative comic strips (recognisable knock-offs of anything from The Bash Street Kids to Roy of the Rovers seem to be its staple material) put to their true service, which is carrying advertising for companies like Kellogg’s, Wall’s and others. I’m especially interested … Continue reading

Aug 27 2011: Birth, School, Work, Church: An Interview With Dave Allen (Big Issue in the North, 1998)

I travelled across London, having not long been living there, on the morning of December 12 1998 to meet Dave Allen, in order to interview him mainly in relation to the release of a videotape (yes, this was the days before DVD became the dominant medium) titled Dave Allen On Life, essentially a two hour … Continue reading

Aug 26 2011: Woodlouse from Poetry Wales (p.33, Vol.20, No.4, 1985)

In London on Thursday, I was making my way towards Tate Modern to catch the Joan Miro exhibition (which is highly recommended, incidentally, especially if a reminder of how dark, strange, affirming, transformative and deeply political visual art can be is needed). On the way there, cutting between tube lines, I stopped in at a couple of … Continue reading

Aug 25 2011: Three Postcards Showing Views Of Mount Fuji (Japan, 1964)

Among the things I’ve been seeking out this year are old enevelopes, specifically from the period between around 1953 and 1977, preferably with their original stamps and postmarks intact. Not, it should be said, because I collect the stamps or postmarks themselves, but because these are easy to adapt into authenticating vessels for a continuation … Continue reading

Aug 24 2011: Two Monochrome Photographs Contrasting Heroic and Automated Mining Techniques (Dates & Locations Unknown)

Two images: one is a photograph of an unidentified miner in which his figure is framed as a kind of elemental archetype, representing labour itself as his skin becomes one with the geology he hews. The other is a technocratic re-photographed illustration showing an unmanned conveyor belt (this is signed Duncombe but I’ve not managed to find any information on who this illustrator … Continue reading

Aug 23 2011: Plates from Popular English Art by Noel Carrington and Clarke Hutton (King Penguin, 1945)

As an example of commercial book design approaching the quality of fine art, this 1945 King Penguin edition of Noel Carrington’s brief study in English popular and folk art is a thing of beauty, alternating monochrome drawings with the hand-coloured effect of the various illustrations by Clarke Hutton seen in the gallery below. It’s also interesting for … Continue reading

Aug 22 2011: The Road To Mazetlan: An Interview With Isaac Julien (Big Issue in the North, 2000)

I met with Isaac Julien on a cool and slightly overcast mid-morning at a cafe just off the Tottenham Court Road, where we sat outside and chatted fairly informally about Julien’s life, ideas, installations and films: the exact date and location I can’t remember, but I have a strong memory of the interview itself, as … Continue reading