Carol Banks

1950 – 2020

 

You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her or you can be full of the love that you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she has gone or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back or you can do what she’d want – smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

……………………………………………….

Puedes derramar lágrimas porque se ha ido o puedes sonreir porque ha vivido.

Puedes cerrar los ojos y rezar para que vuelva o abrir los ojos  y ver que se ha ido.

Tu corazón puede estar vacío porque no puedes verla o puede estar lleno del amor  compartido.

Puedes darle la espalda al mañana y vivir el ayer o puedes ser feliz por el mañana gracias al ayer.

Puedes recordar sólo que se ha ido o puedes apreciar su memoria y dejar que siga viviendo.

Puedes llorar y cerrar tu mente, estar vacío y dar la espalda o puedes hacer lo que ella hubiera querido – sonreír, abrir tus ojos, querer y continuar.

 

Carol Banks

1950 – 2020

You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived. Puedes derramar lágrimas porque se ha ido o puedes sonreir porque ha vivido.

    You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left. Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her or you can be full of the love that you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember her and only that she has gone or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back or you can do what she’d want – smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

……………………………………………….

  Puedes cerrar los ojos y rezar para que vuelva o abrir los ojos  y ver que se ha ido. Tu corazón puede estar vacío porque no puedes verla o puede estar lleno del amor  compartido. Puedes darle la espalda al mañana y vivir el ayer o puedes ser feliz por el mañana gracias al ayer. Puedes recordar sólo que se ha ido o puedes apreciar su memoria y dejar que siga viviendo. Puedes llorar y cerrar tu mente, estar vacío y dar la espalda o puedes hacer lo que ella hubiera querido – sonreír, abrir tus ojos, querer y continuar.

These images are from a fold-out card that Peter made for Carol’s 70th birthday

Each photo represents a special shared memory 

Click on any photo to see it full-screen

……………………………………..

Estas imágenes son del álbum que Peter hizo en el 70 aniversario de Carol

Cada foto representa un especial momento compartido

Haz clic en cada foto para verla en pantalla completa

 

Farewell  ~  Despedida

Carol, oh Carol. We were together for over fifty years and you left me in the blink of an eye. And now all around me everything is the same, but nothing is the same.

 

I keep thinking that I am starting to come to terms with it all and then I suddenly stop and I remember you aren’t here and it all goes to pieces again.

What will I be when the part of me that is you is stripped away?

Just when I had learned all those Spanish verbs in the “we” form I will have to start learning them in the “I”

When we danced together you would whisper the next steps to me. How will I learn the new steps on my own?

How will our gardens flourish when the head gardener is no longer present and there is only the undergardener to care for them?

How will I find my way without my co-pilot? I used to joke that at least a satnav had an “off” button whilst you clearly did not. I will miss you – my personal satnav

Though we didn’t quite make it to our fiftieth wedding anniversary, we have been a couple for more than fifty years, so I think that makes us golden.

 

You know that you were not perfect. None of us is.  You could be headstrong, self-focussed and sometimes judgemental. We argued and we laughed. But we spent so much more time laughing than arguing and that gives me comfort right now.

You had a huge determination and strength of will. In the early days in Spain I spoke the language better than you. Most people in that situation would give up and use their partners to do all the talking. Not you. You persevered, you made mistakes, but you got better and your Spanish friends loved you for that. So did I.

You had a generosity, a thoughtfulness and an energy that I really admired. You were naturally cautious and often needed to plan for the worst just in case. In your diary you had a quote – “a pessimist is an informed optimist”.  You were generally a proactive pessimist and I was often happy as a reactive optimist, so we managed to fit quite well. I would sometimes get frustrated by your need to allow all that extra time – “just in case”. But sometimes you were proved right and I’m not sure I always gave you credit for that.

Despite all this you were surprisingly also a risk taker, even if you often immediately regretted it when you considered what you had just committed to. I will miss your drive. Without you I would probably not have had all those holidays to exotic places. I may never have come to live in Spain where we have created a whole new life and been adopted by our Spanish “family”

Without you I wouldn’t have made half the friends or worked anywhere near as hard to keep in touch with them. You are the one who picked people up in airport queues and made us several really good friends as a result. You were the one that made all those phone calls when we were in Dorset and remembered all the details of our friends’ lives.

You have been a huge influence in my life and I am what I am in many ways through you. I will try hard to continue to make you proud of me.

 

You asked me, you asked us all, in the event of your death to “smile, open our eyes, love and go on”. I will try.

In your diary you had also written this:

“It’s the events in our life that shape us – but it is the choices that we make that define us”

I promise you that I will try my best to make good choices. I will not be you. I will be me. But you will always, always be part of me.

 

Right now there are a host of people in England and in Spain who are thinking just of you. They are thinking of you warmly and remembering the good times they had in your company and the joy that you brought to their lives. The ripples of your life are still active and will continue for a long, long time to affect the lives of others.

 

I love you

Goodbye, my pet………..goodbye

 

Carol, oh Carol. Hemos estado juntos más de 50 años y me has dejado en un abrir y cerrar de ojos. Ahora, todo alrededor de mí está igual, pero nada es lo mismo.

Cuando empiezo a aceptar todo, de repente, paro y recuerdo que tú ya no estás aquí y todo se hace pedazos de nuevo.

¿Qué  voy a ser cuando la parte de mí, que eres tú, ya no está?

Justo ahora cuando yo había aprendido todos los verbos en español en la forma plural (nosotros….), tendré que aprenderlos en primera persona (yo….)

Cuando bailábamos juntos me susurrabas los pasos a seguir. ¿Cómo voy a aprender los nuevos pasos sin ti?

¿Cómo florecerán nuestros jardines cuando el jardinero jefe ya no está presente y sólo queda el ayudante para cuidarlos ?

¿ Cómo encontraré mi camino sin mi copiloto?. Solía bromear diciendo que cualquier navegador tenía un botón de apagado, mientras tú, claramente, no lo tenías.  Echaré de menos mi navegador personal.

Aunque, por poco, no llegamos a celebrar nuestro 50 aniversario de boda, el hecho de haber sido pareja más de 50 años, nos concede el honor de haber cumplido las bodas de oro.

 

Tú sabías que no eras perfecta. Ninguno de nosotros lo es. Podías ser obstinada, centrada en ti misma y algunas veces crítica. Hemos discutido y hemos reído pero hemos pasado más tiempo riendo que discutiendo y eso me consuela en estos momentos.

Has tenido una enorme determinación y fuerza de voluntad. En nuestros primeros días en España, yo hablaba el idioma mejor que tú. Mucha gente en esta situación se hubiera rendido y hubiera usado a su pareja para comunicarse con los demás. Tú no. Fuiste perseverante, te equivocabas pero mejoraste mucho y tus amigos españoles te quisieron por ello. Yo también.

Has tenido una generosidad, una consideración y una energía que yo realmente he admirado. Has sido cautelosa por naturaleza y a menudo necesitabas planificar lo peor sólo por si acaso. En tu diario tenías una cita: “ un pesimista es un optimista informado”. Tú  tendías generalmente al pesimismo y yo era a menudo más optimista, así que logramos encajar bastante bien. A veces, me enfurecía tu necesidad de disponer de un tiempo extra sólo “por si acaso”. Casi siempre tenías razón y no estoy seguro de que siempre te lo haya reconocido.

 

A pesar de todo, has sido sorprendentemente arriesgada, incluso cuando inmediatamente  te arrepentías al considerar lo que acababas de hacer. Echaré de menos tu manera de actuar. Sin ti, probablemente no hubiera tenido tan buenas vacaciones en lugares exóticos. Quizás, nunca hubiera ido a vivir a España donde hemos creado una vida nueva y donde hemos sido adoptados por nuestra familia española.

Sin ti, no hubiera tenido ni la mitad de amigos ni hubiera estado tan cerca para seguir manteniendo contacto con ellos. Tú eras la que abordaba a la gente en las colas de los aeropuertos y finalmente llegábamos a entablar una bonita relación. Tú eras la que hacía todas esas llamadas telefónicas cuando estábamos en Dorset y recordabas todos los detalles de la vida con nuestros amigos.

Has ejercido una enorme influencia sobre mi y soy lo que soy, en muchos sentidos, gracias a ti. Intentaré duramente que estés orgullosa de mí.

 

Me pediste, nos pediste a todos en tu despedida: “sonríe, abre los ojos, quiere y continua”. Lo intentaré.

En tu diario tenías escrito esto también: “Son los eventos de nuestra vida que nos dan forma pero son las elecciones que tomamos lo que nos define”.

Te prometo que haré lo posible para elegir bien. No seré tú. Seré yo. Pero tú serás siempre parte de mí.

 

Ahora mismo hay gran cantidad de personas en Inglaterra y en España que están pensando en ti. Están pensando en tu cordialidad y recordando los buenos momentos que han pasado en tu compañía y en la alegría que trajiste a sus vidas.

Las ondas de tu vida están todavía vibrando y continuarán por mucho, mucho tiempo influyendo en la vida de muchas personas.

 

Te quiero.

Adiós, querida…… adiós.

 

Lockdown Stories

 

In Spring 2020, during the period of the Covid 19 virus, most people throughout the world were obliged to self-isolate in their homes.

During this time the artist did not have access to his studio. After developing pieces of current work as far as he could, he was unable to progress them further. He therefore started a new series of purely digital work, using imagery from the Open House piece, exploring the themes and emotions of living in lockdown. This led to a series of sequential pieces,converted to videos.

To see them press the video buttons below

 

Lockdown Stories

In Spring 2020, during the period of the Covid 19 virus, most people throughout the world were obliged to self-isolate in their homes.

 

During this time the artist did not have access to his studio. After developing pieces of current work as far as he could, he was unable to progress them further. He therefore started a new series of purely digital work, using imagery from the Open House piece, exploring the themes and emotions of living in lockdown. This led to a series of sequential pieces,converted to videos.

To see them press the video buttons below

Open House – a reflection

 

A house is where people live – or once lived. It holds memories. It reflects lives

Each room contains many layers of concealed memories stretching back over time. They fade and they merge and they overlap

This is a portrait of one woman through her home and a portrait of a home through the people and events which have shaped it.

 It is a celebration of a huge cast of characters occupying the same spaces over a period of many years.

To hear the inside story of the house press The Reflection below

To see how the work developed press The Process

Open House – a reflection

 

A house is where people live – or once lived

It holds memories

It reflects lives

Each room contains many layers of concealed memories stretching back over time

They fade and they merge and they overlap

 

This is a portrait of one woman through her home and a portrait of a home through the people and events which have shaped it.

 It is a celebration of a huge cast of characters occupying the same spaces over a period of many years.

Open House – feedback

 

In February 2020 Sue invited family, friends and neighbors to her home to see the Open House in the context of the real house.

They also saw the processes involved in creating the work and watched the video of  “The Reflection”

These are some of their responses :

Intriguing, thought-provoking, very rewarding piece of work.  It not only had me remembering shared memories with Sue, Bob and friends but inevitably has me thinking about my own house and its place in my own family’s history.

It has made me think of the rooms in our house in a completely different way and the ebb and flow of characters who have visited, stayed, played, lived and loved and laughed. And who is yet to come……Lovely work Peter.

Remarkable – brought back so many memories.  Houses need people to create the stories – to be more than just a building.

Beautiful and warm.

Wonderful to visit your house and listen to your narration. An emotive experience that has reinforced my own belief in the power of friendship.  Thank-you for inviting me.

My first experience of anything like this and my first visit to Sue’s house.  Thank-you for making it part of my life’s memories! Simply stunning, you’re a true master of art! Congrats ( a new fan)

I have found this immensely moving.  It highlights the importance of taking time to step back and reflect and how we don’t do this enough.  Yes so much is all about the people and how we know so little about what goes on behind closed doors.

Lots of memories here- lots of blues, jazz, harp etc. etc.  Quite a few glasses of weak rose.  Sue’s fantastic dinners, lively discussion, late evening visits to the garden to look at the moon with Bob……

 

When I think of this house, my mind goes back to New Year’s Eve parties, partially in the house, the garden and in the street.  There was room for everyone and lots of long-standing friendships were forged.  Also many occasions of meals and fiery political discussions around the table.

Fabulous and though-provoking.  So original and moving.  Thank-you for sharing.

Emotional !! Thank-you.

What a haunting piece of work.  Process and triptych format interesting.  Something to treasure.

Watched and listened to the story of your house, very moving………the whole project works beautifully.

Beautiful piece of art – the narration and the realistic and carefully crafted dollhouse mirroring the actual life size version as well.  I will never forget that record room of Bob’s filled to the brim, floor to ceiling with absolute gems of records.

 

 

 

 

Absolutely lovely.  House as memoir, with each room evoking part of a whole life.  I have very warm memories of the house, and walking through the miniature version brought back such clear images in my mind.

 

 

 

 

 

When I think of London I think of your lovely home first and foremost. I’ve been told of many wonderful memories that took place in your home from my mother over the years, it was great to hear it told through your own story.

Talk to the artist

  Above is his latest piece of work

  • What do you think of it ?
  • Has it made you think or feel differently ?
  • Is this work like anything else you have seen ?

To talk to the artist :

Talk to the artist

  Above is his latest piece of work

  • What do you think of it ?
  • Has it made you think or feel differently ?
  • Is this work like anything else you have seen ?

To talk to the artist :

Talk to the artist

  Above is his latest piece of work

  • What do you think of it ?
  • Has it made you think or feel differently ?
  • Is this work like anything else you have seen ?

To talk to the artist :

Peter Banks is an artist and photographer. He explores the potential of photography to make us question what we see and how we see it - the ambiguity that can be used to alter or heighten our interpretation of reality. He aims to create the shock, the surprise, the new way of seeing something that opens up alternative possibilities. He is interested in the relationship between what a photograph is and what it represents. What can be done to a photograph as well as what can be done in it.

He uses life-size photographic images to both cover and reveal their subjects – masking or boxing something in by its own image. He enjoys the ambiguity of photographic space and his work creates tensions between real form and space and a two-dimensional illusion of them.

He explores the idea of photos as the trace that people leave behind them and how photos can punch a hole through a current situation to reveal something of its past. He is intrigued by analysing the ordinary – isolating, ordering, framing, extracting, reflecting – as a way of understanding and affecting the interpretation of its meaning – like a forensic approach to a crime scene.

He believes that how and where you see things affects their meaning and he is keen to explore these possibilities and to access a wider public by developing and showing his work not just in conventional galleries, but also in a range of different public settings.

Peter Banks has exhibited widely in the UK and elsewhere at venues including:

AIR Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Riverside Studios, Whitechapel Gallery in London; Whitworth Gallery, Peterloo Gallery in Manchester; Impressions Gallery in York; Midland Group in Nottingham; National Museum of Photography, Film And TV in Bradford, ARE in Belfast.

His work has also been displayed at a wide range of public venues, including shopping centres, railway stations, town centres, poster hoardings and derelict buildings.

He has received financial support from Arts Council, major galleries and commercial sponsors, as well as working to private commissions. His work has been featured in national press, specialist art and design journals and on line publications.

Peter Banks is an artist and photographer. He explores the potential of photography to make us question what we see and how we see it - the ambiguity that can be used to alter or heighten our interpretation of reality.

He aims to create the shock, the surprise, the new way of seeing something that opens up alternative possibilities. He is interested in the relationship between what a photograph is and what it represents. What can be done to a photograph as well as what can be done in it.

He uses life-size photographic images to both cover and reveal their subjects – masking or boxing something in by its own image. He enjoys the ambiguity of photographic space and his work creates tensions between real form and space and a two-dimensional illusion of them.

He explores the idea of photos as the trace that people leave behind them and how photos can punch a hole through a current situation to reveal something of its past. He is intrigued by analysing the ordinary – isolating, ordering, framing, extracting, reflecting – as a way of understanding and affecting the interpretation of its meaning – like a forensic approach to a crime scene.

He believes that how and where you see things affects their meaning and he is keen to explore these possibilities and to access a wider public by developing and showing his work not just in conventional galleries, but also in a range of different public settings.

Peter Banks has exhibited widely in the UK and elsewhere at venues including:

AIR Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Riverside Studios, Whitechapel Gallery in London; Whitworth Gallery, Peterloo Gallery in Manchester; Impressions Gallery in York; Midland Group in Nottingham; National Museum of Photography, Film And TV in Bradford, ARE in Belfast.

His work has also been displayed at a wide range of public venues, including shopping centres, railway stations, town centres, poster hoardings and derelict buildings.

He has received financial support from Arts Council, major galleries and commercial sponsors, as well as working to private commissions. His work has been featured in national press, specialist art and design journals and on line publications.

The website displays current work, along with the ideas and processes that underpin it, as well as acting as a comprehensive archive of past work and its development over time. The home page shows work currently in progress (below) and also features a display of the most recently completed piece (top of page). Previous work is accessed through the main menu. It is arranged chronologically with earlier pieces at the top of the menus and more recent at the bottom.

Some related pieces are grouped together. Most have supporting text and imagery. This includes related sequences of supporting images, videos and a developing record of how the piece evolved during production.

The purpose of the site is not to sell the work, at least not in a literal sense. In fact the majority of the work in Gallery Installations and Public Works no longer exists, other than as a photographic record. It was conceived and realised for a particular location at a particular time and was taken apart and destroyed at the end of that time.

Proposals for new installations, venues and commissions are always welcomed, as are your thoughts on the work displayed on the site.

 

The website displays current work, along with the ideas and processes that underpin it, as well as acting as a comprehensive archive of past work and its development over time.

The home page shows work currently in progress (below) and also features a display of the most recently completed piece (top of page). Previous work is accessed through the main menu. It is arranged chronologically with earlier pieces at the top of the menus and more recent at the bottom.

Some related pieces are grouped together. Most have supporting text and imagery. This includes related sequences of supporting images, videos and a developing record of how the piece evolved during production.

The purpose of the site is not to sell the work, at least not in a literal sense. In fact the majority of the work in Gallery Installations and Public Works no longer exists, other than as a photographic record. It was conceived and realised for a particular location at a particular time and was taken apart and destroyed at the end of that time.

Proposals for new installations, venues and commissions are always welcomed, as are your thoughts on the work displayed on the site.

 

The work is produced from photographic imagery built into three-dimensional structures made from card, timber, wire, acrylic, glass and mirror.

They range from small-scale objects that fit in the hand to large structures and installations in galleries and public spaces.

Whether they are fully three-dimensional or wall-mounted relief structures, they change appearance and meaning when seen from different viewpoints.

 

Photographs and sequences are one-off images and narrative sequences.

Photosculptures are structures that incorporate or are made up of photographic imagery to create three-dimensional photographs.

Photopuzzles are three-dimensional games – sculptures to play with.

Gallery installations are works commissioned by contemporary art galleries and usually developed in the gallery space during the exhibition.

Public works are pieces carried out in a range of public venues, including poster hoardings, shopping centres and outdoor spaces. Many were commissioned by the venue or by third party funders.

Work in Progress…..

Work in progress is a display of new pieces at different stages of development. The content includes first thoughts and ideas, source material and influences, trials, experiments and mock-ups.

Each work is developed progressively and when it reaches a state of completion it is featured at the top of the home page and then is transferred to the main menu.

For more information click the Process button below

Borrowed Thoughts

In a Japanese garden the term “Shakkei” or “Borrowed Landscape” refers to the view beyond the garden. It is borrowed because it is not owned or controlled by the gardener, but it expands and gives context to the garden.

These thoughts do likewise.

Poetry relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special, so that it will be remembered and valued.

John Carey  2020

It is our knowledge – the things we are sure of – that makes the world go wrong and keeps us from learning.

Lincoln Stiffens

Art is a basic human need, a basic human activity. It is what makes us human and offers us the tools to become ourselves. In a time when we are driven mad by the lure of false desires and the promise of objects of consumption, art can be a free and open space of experiment and experience. Art can release us from the need to possess objects of power and allow us to enter the field in which the power of objects frees us.

 

Antony Gormley   2011

Plato speaks of an artist turning the invisible world into the visible.

I hope that someone seeing my sculpture is lifted out of his ordinary state

 

Takis

The fool is a very important character in a Shakespeare play as he fulfills two important functions:

  1. He has licence to speak truth to power with no holds barred – in a context where no-one else dare do that, for fear of their lives –  and he acts like the chorus in Greek drama – commenting on the characters and the action for the benefit of the audience.
  2. He is usually the wisest character in the play. The other characters refer to him as ‘the fool’ and we usually know him as ‘the jester.’ He does not normally have a dramatic role but some fools do.

An unreliable narrator is a first-person narrator with a compromised viewpoint

Narrators serve as filters for stories. What narrators do not know or experience cannot be shown to the reader. The first-person narrator is powerful because that viewpoint is the only one that we have to judge the events on the page. The reader believes that the narrator will be truthful and provide an accurate account of the story.

When we have an unreliable narrator, the reader cannot trust his or her version of the story.

These narrators may be insane, angry, strung out on drugs or alcohol, naive, foreign, criminals, liars or simply younger than everybody else.

They can be comical or absurd, tragic or serious, terrifying or surreal.

The actors I like most are those who have an air of mystery about them, who don’t make themselves bigger than the story they’re telling. I’ve tried to be like that myself.

 

I think, as a storyteller, you’re interested more in the darker aspect of things. Often it’s where a lot of the gold is.

 

Shaun Evans

2019

It’s very hard to get rich and famous at a young age and handle it well…… Fortunately I wrote stuff that people didn’t like. I dodged a bullet there.

 

And it suddenly dawned on me – that’s why I’ll never win the love of the American public. They want artists to mean what they say.

 

Randy Newman

Although photography generates works that can be called art – it requires subjectivity, it can lie, it gives aesthetic pleasure – photography is not, to begin with, an art form at all. Like language, it is a medium in which works of art (among other things) are made.

Out of language, one can make scientific discourse, bureaucratic memoranda, love letters, grocery lists, and Balzac’s Paris.

Out of photography, one can make passport pictures, weather photographs, pornographic pictures, X-rays, wedding pictures, and Atget’s Paris

 

Susan Sontag

1977

The reason that a Mobius strip gives one a strange sensation is that, conceptually, the distinction between “front and back” which ought to be clear has become ambiguous and vague; this phenomenon, however, can also occur with other dualities such as “inside and outside”, “up and down” and “light and dark” … Yet this violation of logic still permits us to say that such a world is formed by “representational truth”

The small devil wondering, “Am I inside or outside the bottle” is concerned with this kind of “representational truth”.

 

Nakahara Yusuke

1977

A photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stencilled from the real, like a footprint or a death mask.

 

Having a photograph of Shakespeare would be like having a nail from the True Cross

Susan Sontag

1977

My pictures are like maps, which perhaps only I can understand. Therefore, in following my maps there are some travellers who get lost. There are those who become angry when they discover they have been fooled; but there are also those who enter into the maze of my maps willingly, in an attempt to explore their accuracy for themselves.

 

Mitsumasa Anno

1980

Imagination (which is about impossibility) and reality aren’t opposites, but complement each other. One might say that reality and imagination differ from each other in the same way that the audience at a play is set apart from the actors. It’s where the two meet that hope is to be found.

Mitsumasa Anno

1980

 

A person who only looks for what he wants in painting will never find that which transcends his preferences. But, if one has been trapped by the mystery of an image which refuses all explanation, a moment of panic will sometimes occur. These moments of panic are what count for Magritte. For him they are privileged moments, because they transcend mediocrity. (But for that, there doesn’t have to be art – it can happen at any moment.)

 

Suzi Gablik

1970

The development of Magritte’s painting from 1924 until his death in 1967 may be studied by art historians; they will find him to be an artist who throughout his life confused every trail, displaced every landmark and turned dates into a jumble. It will suffice to say here that his work evolved from complexity to simplicity, from an outcry to eloquent silence, from arrogance to wisdom.

Since our friend left us, each of his pictures lives its own life and sheds on the world a magic radiance, so that we behold everyday sights through his eyes instead of our own.

 

E Langui

Brussels 1973

How slowly one advances in a boat that does not float with the stream in a specific direction! How much easier it is when one can connect with the work of great predecessors whose value is not doubted by anyone. A personal experiment, a construction whose foundations one must dig himself and whose walls one must erect himself, runs a real risk of becoming a humble hovel. But perhaps one prefers to live there rather than in a palace that has been built by others.

MC Escher  1958

Whosoever wants to portray something that does not exist has to obey certain rules. Those rules are more or less the same as for the teller of fairy tales: he has to apply the function of contrasts: he has to cause a shock.

The element of mystery to which he wants to call attention must be surrounded and veiled by perfectly ordinary everyday self-evidences that are recognizable to everyone. That environment, which is true to nature and acceptable to every superficial observer, is indispensable for causing the desired shock.

That is also why such a game can be played and understood only by those who are prepared to penetrate the surface, those who agree to use their brains, just as in the solving of a riddle. It is thus not a matter for the senses, but rather a cerebral matter. Profundity is not at all necessary, but a kind of humour and self-mockery is a must, at least for the person who makes the representations.

MC Escher  1958

Borrowed Thoughts

In a Japanese garden the term “Shakkei” or “Borrowed Landscape” refers to the view beyond the garden. It is borrowed because it is not owned or controlled by the gardener, but it expands and gives context to the garden. These thoughts do likewise.

Poetry relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special, so that it will be remembered and valued.

John Carey  2020

It is our knowledge – the things we are sure of – that makes the world go wrong and keeps us from learning.

Lincoln Stiffens

Art is a basic human need, a basic human activity. It is what makes us human and offers us the tools to become ourselves. In a time when we are driven mad by the lure of false desires and the promise of objects of consumption, art can be a free and open space of experiment and experience. Art can release us from the need to possess objects of power and allow us to enter the field in which the power of objects frees us.

 

Antony Gormley   2011

Plato speaks of an artist turning the invisible world into the visible.

I hope that someone seeing my sculpture is lifted out of his ordinary state

 

Takis

The fool is a very important character in a Shakespeare play as he fulfills two important functions:

  1. He has licence to speak truth to power with no holds barred – in a context where no-one else dare do that, for fear of their lives –  and he acts like the chorus in Greek drama – commenting on the characters and the action for the benefit of the audience.
  2. He is usually the wisest character in the play. The other characters refer to him as ‘the fool’ and we usually know him as ‘the jester.’ He does not normally have a dramatic role but some fools do.

An unreliable narrator is a first-person narrator with a compromised viewpoint

Narrators serve as filters for stories. What narrators do not know or experience cannot be shown to the reader. The first-person narrator is powerful because that viewpoint is the only one that we have to judge the events on the page. The reader believes that the narrator will be truthful and provide an accurate account of the story.

When we have an unreliable narrator, the reader cannot trust his or her version of the story.

These narrators may be insane, angry, strung out on drugs or alcohol, naive, foreign, criminals, liars or simply younger than everybody else.

They can be comical or absurd, tragic or serious, terrifying or surreal.

The actors I like most are those who have an air of mystery about them, who don’t make themselves bigger than the story they’re telling. I’ve tried to be like that myself.

 

I think, as a storyteller, you’re interested more in the darker aspect of things. Often it’s where a lot of the gold is.

 

Shaun Evans

2019

It’s very hard to get rich and famous at a young age and handle it well…… Fortunately I wrote stuff that people didn’t like. I dodged a bullet there.

 

And it suddenly dawned on me – that’s why I’ll never win the love of the American public. They want artists to mean what they say.

 

Randy Newman

Although photography generates works that can be called art – it requires subjectivity, it can lie, it gives aesthetic pleasure – photography is not, to begin with, an art form at all. Like language, it is a medium in which works of art (among other things) are made.

Out of language, one can make scientific discourse, bureaucratic memoranda, love letters, grocery lists, and Balzac’s Paris.

Out of photography, one can make passport pictures, weather photographs, pornographic pictures, X-rays, wedding pictures, and Atget’s Paris

 

Susan Sontag

1977

The reason that a Mobius strip gives one a strange sensation is that, conceptually, the distinction between “front and back” which ought to be clear has become ambiguous and vague; this phenomenon, however, can also occur with other dualities such as “inside and outside”, “up and down” and “light and dark” … Yet this violation of logic still permits us to say that such a world is formed by “representational truth”

The small devil wondering, “Am I inside or outside the bottle” is concerned with this kind of “representational truth”.

 

Nakahara Yusuke

1977

A photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stencilled from the real, like a footprint or a death mask.

 

Having a photograph of Shakespeare would be like having a nail from the True Cross

Susan Sontag

1977

My pictures are like maps, which perhaps only I can understand. Therefore, in following my maps there are some travellers who get lost. There are those who become angry when they discover they have been fooled; but there are also those who enter into the maze of my maps willingly, in an attempt to explore their accuracy for themselves.

 

Mitsumasa Anno

1980

Imagination (which is about impossibility) and reality aren’t opposites, but complement each other. One might say that reality and imagination differ from each other in the same way that the audience at a play is set apart from the actors. It’s where the two meet that hope is to be found.

Mitsumasa Anno

1980

 

A person who only looks for what he wants in painting will never find that which transcends his preferences. But, if one has been trapped by the mystery of an image which refuses all explanation, a moment of panic will sometimes occur. These moments of panic are what count for Magritte. For him they are privileged moments, because they transcend mediocrity. (But for that, there doesn’t have to be art – it can happen at any moment.)

 

Suzi Gablik

1970

The development of Magritte’s painting from 1924 until his death in 1967 may be studied by art historians; they will find him to be an artist who throughout his life confused every trail, displaced every landmark and turned dates into a jumble. It will suffice to say here that his work evolved from complexity to simplicity, from an outcry to eloquent silence, from arrogance to wisdom.

Since our friend left us, each of his pictures lives its own life and sheds on the world a magic radiance, so that we behold everyday sights through his eyes instead of our own.

 

E Langui

Brussels 1973

How slowly one advances in a boat that does not float with the stream in a specific direction! How much easier it is when one can connect with the work of great predecessors whose value is not doubted by anyone. A personal experiment, a construction whose foundations one must dig himself and whose walls one must erect himself, runs a real risk of becoming a humble hovel. But perhaps one prefers to live there rather than in a palace that has been built by others.

MC Escher  1958

Whosoever wants to portray something that does not exist has to obey certain rules. Those rules are more or less the same as for the teller of fairy tales: he has to apply the function of contrasts: he has to cause a shock.

The element of mystery to which he wants to call attention must be surrounded and veiled by perfectly ordinary everyday self-evidences that are recognizable to everyone. That environment, which is true to nature and acceptable to every superficial observer, is indispensable for causing the desired shock.

That is also why such a game can be played and understood only by those who are prepared to penetrate the surface, those who agree to use their brains, just as in the solving of a riddle. It is thus not a matter for the senses, but rather a cerebral matter. Profundity is not at all necessary, but a kind of humour and self-mockery is a must, at least for the person who makes the representations.

MC Escher  1958

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