Learn to Drive and Everything

Here, a monochrome preview of a three-colour Risograph print (using pink, teal and gold), made for Landfill Editions' new collection of works to be exhibited at Pick Me Up, Somerset House. It opens tomorrow. The collection — 'Lots of Pictures – Lots of Fun' — is named after (and inspired by) Eduardo Paolozzi's 1972 silkscreen print. "Each work is connected to elements of his visual maximalism, disorienting juxtapositions and oblique political commentary". The piece is called Go-Go Elite Traveller, after the genuine model name of a mobilty scooter.
It's been a period with lots of drawing, not much object-based making and zero blogging. Drawing seems to suck up concentration in contrast to the object-based work, which needs to be made at arm's length. I do love Paolozzi. And wanted to make a work that owed something to his Ballard collaborations and to the Independent Group's focus. Oddly—in researching Nigel Henderson in relation to the Group—I returned to Full Table, the extra-ordinary online trove of treasured ex-tutor Chris Mullen. He gives first-hand, fond testament to the under-documented Henderson and sadly here, the evidence in letter correspondence of an eventually broken and bitter relationship with Paolozzi.
But this little project has aggregated a set of visual thoughts around, for one, hi-octane and 'performance' graphic liveries (see previous post on motorhome swooshes). I've enjoyed synthesizing and uprooting a set of forms, to see them as a family shed of their application. As an aside, this image was made for dear friend Derek, a true Gooner. It's derived from the notorious c.1991 'tyre track' Arsenal away kit. An unpalatable he learned to love.

So picture items that reference the vehicular. Familiar—therefore invisible—ingredients but also those than point to the petroelectrical pulse.


I'm quite mesmerised by the formulae at work, tattooing the surface of each piece of protective-performance wear. So I wanted a skin-tingling, sensory rider. But of a mobility scooter. A potent individual riding that most impotent of machines, genitally fuelled by a go-large bucket of St*****ks and chicken in a basket.

At an earlier point, I wanted to incorporate a clumsy crash, with Duane Hanson's Motorcycle Accident (1967) in mind.

And most particulary the sleeve image of David Bowie's seminal Lodger (1979).

For ROLU, for this, for other stuff, I've been trying to create an Everywo/man. A default puppet, from the inside out. Dressed according to the occasion and application. Borne of Henry Drefuss' anthopometric percentiles of wo/man and first drafted for a study of ROLU's chair use. So a relook at the blog top, profile image will give an idea of how this applies. I was working the image just here, infused with David Bowie in this end of the 'seventies moment, when he appeared both 'other' but also almost like a proto-salesman, with the kind of once-an-hour combed through hair you sometimes see on old school London white working classers. 

I was looking at the squashed nose of Lodger and again thinking of the Independent Group's exhibition with Roland PenroseThe Wonder and Horror of the Human Head (1953).

If I'm going to have anyone as indirect scaffold for a dress-up doll, who better?

I recall seeing years ago, in Brighton Polytechnic's library, an old 1962 bound copy of Town magazine and an article which featured Marc Bolan in his Mod/ernist teen years. A Hackney Face. Very good account here, on Dandy in Aspic, which describes his obsession with clothes since the age of twelve. The kind of attention to sartorial detail amongst late teenagers which feels so familiar to somewhere like Peckham High Street now.

Finally, Giger. I have a similar love of but problem with the overwroughtness, as with 'performance' graphics. But the vision and teenboy sensuality carries.