‘ice cream dreams’ a new illustrated story collaboration with artist michael holyoke

big brenda

big brenda

A dark tale of seaside romance. Written by Andy Bullock. Illustrated by Michael Holyoke.

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Say hello to Big Brenda Bagley.

Big Brenda Bagley was very big and very Brenda.

She lived in a small grey house with a matching cat, in a small grey seaside town, that would like to be a bit more Brighton but was less than Bognor. A town that had been studiously overlooked by the new wave of south-coastal migrants from London seeking a new-wave life of lentils, lattes and chi-chi retro cafés.

This was a real English seaside town, where the only thing on the up was unemployment and the only shops opening were selling everything for a pound which made the charity shops look expensive so they were now all closing down.

There was however one splash of colour in Brenda’s otherwise monochromatic life – her van.

Not just any old van; it was an ice cream van, all pastel shades, sparkly stars, pale yellow sides and a sky blue roof, topped off with a smiling mister whippy and a fading seaside tune. It was her work, her living, her life. It contained her passion and guilty secret too …

cont’d.

greytown-by-sea

greytown-by-sea

… story continued in the ‘writing’ section of this site. Click here.

pervigilium – new six sculpture installation for central oxford

pervigilium1

pervigilium (latin – vigil, nightwatch, wakefulness, sleeplessness)

A brand new public artwork for central Oxford currently in production, to be launched by the end of the year. The work consists of six small sculptures of cherubic angel-like figures positioned high up on city centre buildings in places of dark shadow. The sculptures are cast from a unique new photo-luminescent material which will store energy taken from daylight and emit this as a cool green glow during the hours of darkness. The sculptures will slowly begin to fade over the course of the night before melting back into the dawn light.

Guardian angels or malevolent demons? Keeping watch or covert surveillance?

This work is fully supported by the Oxford City Council arts and culture team and is my first major piece of public art since returning to Oxford last year after spending the past six years in France.

Below is a working sketch design for the sculptures.

pervigilium2

Inspiration – a fickle mistress

tomorrow3

“tomorrow or another day”

The inspiration here came from a completely unrelated communication.

The words for this piece are by my friend and poet Agnieszka Studzinska. The image has perhaps even greater significance and impact when one understands that the photo is from a series of images i made in east berlin some years ago. it shows the main railway lines out of berlin to Poland and eastern europe.

Agnieszka was born in Poland.

The Blackadder Moment?

tinhat

the time has come. i can delay and prevaricate no longer.

it’s time to put on the tin helmet, say a little prayer, poke my head above the parapet and go for it.

this website and blog go ‘officially’ live as of this second.

my blackadder going over the top moment, to be met by a hail of bullets or who knows what?

as anyone who ‘creates’ for a living or even just for fun and self-fulfillment will understand, the metaphor of going over top, leaving the trenches or the safety of one’s studio is often all too apt. and although i seldom care to admit it, my skin can be as painfully thin and my ego as worryingly fragile as the next man’s. i challenge any artist, working in any field, to say that they really and truly do not care what anyone thinks of their work. for my part i know i make work that interests me but i also want to share it. i do not want to live and work in a vacuum, that would not be healthy. it is also the reactions of others to our work that can often lead to a greater understanding of how we are perceived, which can then further inform our future efforts.

and that can only be a good thing.

so, when you have a few spare minutes take a look around. i have created (imagined?) categories to file various work under. but why a ‘photography’ section and separate ‘artworks’ section? it is all just different types of art in my book. it just seemed to make sense to thematically draw some kind of line to make navigation easier. when you have a look it should make sense.

to (badly) paraphrase grayson perry from his (excellent) recent reith lecture, “if it looks like art, feels like art, tastes like art, then it probably is art”.

i genuinely welcome honest comment and critisism. but be gentle or at least tactful (see above!).

there is some work on the site which is intensely personal but which i am clearly okay about putting into the public domain as i didn’t make it to be kept in a cupboard.

i would be truly flattered if you saw fit to bookmark this blog and visit again. i will attempt to make frequent, if irregular, postings on things that i find interesting, on work that i am doing and anything of worth that pops into my head. as i am just starting to get my feet on the ground here in my new hometown of oxford i have lots of new ideas that need to be given wings and put in motion, so expect a small flurry of new bits and bobs in the early days.

also, having been completely ‘out of the loop’ with work in the uk (six years in the normandy wilderness can have a very disorientating and numbing effect on the brain), i am very keen to meet up with and organise professional representation across all my endeavours, visual and otherwise. so, if you would like to get in touch about anything like that … then please do, details at the bottom of this page.

note – to access the blog page at any time just click on my name in the header above.

happy new year to all.

andy b