|The magician announces a murder|
As I remember it now this one came out of the blue in 1994. Bad year in my life but also good , we had moved en masse from Bloomville to a friends farm , the idea being to set up another alternative community ( Bloomville was sold to us as such but fell apart due to what we were sold not being what it was - never trust a hippy) . There were a good few of us there living in the middle of a field in the middle of ireland , under canvas .
Claire wanted to go horsedrawn , I didn't so we parted ways amicably and she and her new boyfriend hit the road in the cart I'd built. So then there a few of us left , three in the end , we asked one guy to leave as he was just making trouble , drunk and leery , the usual hanger on who was only there for the drugs and the beer , violent, scary and threatening when he was drunk , sociopath when he was sober . You meet them a lot ( along with the almost as bad Trustafarians slumming it) when you try and live as much as possible in an alternative way .
But anyway I digress , this just left me and Ted ( a nice guy who saved my sanity many many times) alone in the field one day I'd taken a random board , primed it with black paint that was lieing around , and some of the gold paint I'd used to paint the lines on Claires' cart and was playing around with the design I'd used for that , Ted came along and said to me why dont you turn it sideways , so I did , and suddenly I had the first real painting I'd done since second year in college . Ted left to go back to England so it was just me in a large field in the middle of Ireland , without electricity , running water ( got water from a stream) living under canvas , painting this series of paintings which came from nowhere - I was still obsessed by Tarot cards , the magician was the card I most identified with then , and too me it seemed I was murdering my past so the Magician series became that, a series of almost geometric transformations as one charachter became another.
|One of the drawings|
I should also say that I was also obsessed with the number eight , if you look at the original Marseilles pattern tarot it reappears as a symbol constantly ( the book that I wrote in the squat in essex had it as the basic structure ) and its a symbol I've used in my work constantly ever since. ( the following are in roughly the order they were painted in , the magician transformed eventually into a character called the juggler . Now I'm still not sure to this day whether they count as paintings or drawings , they are painted , on any scrap I could find ( some on canvas cut from an old tipi which was left rotting in the field) but only black and gold .
The process itself was very simple , take the first painting , draw it out , cut it into sections and rotate it until it worked as a drawing then stick it down , measure it onto board or canvas using compass and ruler , paint it , draw it , and continue the process , a bit like an evolving kaleidoscope . All of these were drawn and painted in my bender by sunlight and candlelight .