Warm up act


Brick wall, old timber sheds at factory site
Old fertilizer sheds at Paper Mill Lane

Often, in the past whilst attending gig there has always been an emerging band or solo artist supporting the main act. Yesterday I attended the AGM of the Contemporary Group of the RPS. It was held at the Art Workers Guild and I was billed to appear along with Fergus Heron to talk about my approach to making bodies of work. I was very much the supporting act.

Now, I have to say this, I’d rather go to the dentist than sit through the business of an AGM. There has to be a better way of discharging this seemingly necessary but exceedingly dull function. I’ll have to see if I can influence some changes going forward. I’m sure the veil of ‘AGM’ actually deters people from turning up despite having a class act such as Fergus Heron on the billing.

Those stalwarts who had travelled from the almost extreme South West and North East of England certainly were in for a treat once they got the support act off stage.

I had heard of Fergus and I had seen some of his work before. What I was not prepared for though was the cross-over and similarity to how we both make our film based studies of what I would call our vernacular environments. The oft looked over and taken for granted places that we occupy but do not necessarily see due to our contemptuous familiarity were on my agenda and very much on Fergus’. His night-time images of motorway pavement and structures made me think of Kate Jackson and her work.

Fergus finished his presentation with the image that adorns the front page of his site http://www.fergusheron.com/ . It is elevated viewpoints such as this that present the here and now in an almost unrecognisable way. Sadly I almost got exactly where it was from my numerous trundles around to Kings Cross from Liverpool Street before Fergus told us.

The little bit of oasis at Farringdon visible in part from the tube that is invisible from street level, a street that I used to walk up in the late 70s, early 80s on my work to clear international post at Mount Pleasant. It is funny how an image can pull back memories from many years ago. One thing that sprang into my mind was the fact that our office admin would be spotted walking past The Morning Star offices reading each page of their edition posted separately along the building. He would never buy it because he could read it for free going to work. Well ahead of Metro but not quite the same message!

Seeing the work of accomplished artists like Fergus, and hearing their rationale makes me realise I still have a long path to tread. I am grateful for the wake-up call yesterday.

Next year will be a hard act to follow.



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