I just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who was able to make it to the opening, it was a fun night and there are some great photos on Facebook of the opening.
If you didn’t get there, the paintings are all up on the web now and the show runs until Sunday 9 March. It’s open every day and I’m at the gallery this weekend and next with a table full of wine and cheese that I need help getting through.
A quick reminder that my exhibition opens at 6pm on Tuesday next week!
That’s 6pm, Tuesday 25 Feb
At the Queen St Gallery
28 Queen Street Woollahra
I’m really pleased to confirm that Sheona White, Head of Public Programs, AGNSW will open the exhibition, and also that the highly respected Indigenous elder Charles ‘Chicka’ Madden will conduct the Welcome to Country.
The show runs from Tuesday 25 February for two weeks through to 9 March.
I’m thrilled to say my new painting titled Field Colour has been selected, from over 1200 works from around the world, as a finalist in the 2013 Fleurieu Art Prize.
The winner of the $60,000 prize will be announced at a Cocktail Party on Saturday 26 October 2013 at the wineries of the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.
The painting contains a grid of nine 200mm square canvas stretchers. It plays in a tension between the joy of two-dimensional paint on canvas, and the compulsion to imbue those marks with a representational depth. It positions the visual shimmer of a Rothko Color Field, in the dimensional world of a landscape…
I have just sent out the first email from the new guychapman.net email list. I’ll only be sending occasional updates with exhibition dates or information on new art work. If you know someone who is interested, you can just send them this link guychapman.net/subscribe
A big thanks to everyone who was able to make it to my exhibition earlier this year - and for buying paintings! Works from that show have made their way across the world from Australia to New Zealand, Hong Kong and America. For those who missed the show, the paintings are all up on the web, and I’m working towards another exhibition in February next year - but more on that later.
Art for sale - This site has been updated recently and now has a section on the front page with Works Available for Sale. To start things off, I have gone back through all the paintings in stock and put a selection together - some recent, some never exhibited and other earlier works from the ’90s. The pair of paintings below is an example of my recent work. Have a look around, feel free to subscribe to the email list or pass the link on to anyone who may be interested.
Cool to Warm
Not specific to oil painting, more of a colour and design principle, and of course a rule to be broken…
but as warm colours appear to come forward and cool ones recede, in some circumstances it can be useful to work from cool to warm in the various layers of paint.
Strings is a short film by Guy Chapman that won the graduating students award for Best Film at City Art Institute in 1991.
The work-print was screened at the graduating exhibition and after graduating, received a grant from the Australian Film Commission and the New South Wales Film and Television Office to complete the work. This allowed an original music score to be written and recorded, re-work of some inter-titles and to have Atlab produce a print for screening at various festivals.
Strings was screened at several film festivals including:
2013-06-14 Update: I have recently updated the web site and changed the domain name from ‘throwdownyourguns.com’ to ‘guychapman.net’ so the sentiment of this post still applies but the name has changed.
A few people have asked me about the name of my Art Portfolio web site ‘throwdownyourguns.com’. Why Throw Down Your Guns? Well, why not? It’s my small statement for world peace - not sure if it’s working yet but I’ll keep trying. Imagine if we all stopped shooting each other and started painting, I’d be happy about that.
The following text is from the about section of the site but perhaps it’s worth repeating here…
Throwdownyourguns - it’s an imperative, I know and I’m not one for telling other people what to do. In fact that’s the whole problem; people who insist on telling other people how to live their life, people who want me to be just like them. Usually the same people who are fearfully deifying their ignorance. In this case though, I can live with an imperative…
Throw down your guns!
I can live with a command like that. I could live with us generally not killing each other quite so often. So, trust me, I won’t shoot, throw down your guns and come on out with your paint brushes raised. But hell, why would you trust me? How could you be sure I wouldn’t whip a backup-piece out from under my poncho as soon as your six-guns hit the sand? Perhaps I already have the thing aimed at your chest. Well I wouldn’t and I don’t. In fact I think in this case rather than the imperative it’s in the Jussive mood.
In 1983 Australian Crawl implored less reckless behaviour saying…
Meet me down by the jetty landing
Where the pontoons bump and spray
All the others reading standing
As the Manly ferry
Cuts it’s way to circular quay
Hear the Captain blow his whistle
So long she’s been away
I miss our early morning wrestle
Not a very happy
Way to start the day
She don’t like that kind of behaviour
She don’t like that kind of behaviour
So throw down your guns
Don’t you be so reckless
Throw down your guns
Don’t you be so
Feel like Scott of the Antarctic
Base camp to far away
A Russian sub beneath the Arctic
Burke and Wills and camels
Initials in the tree
She don’t like that kind of behaviour
She don’t like that kind of behaviour
So throw down your guns
Don’t you be so reckless
Throw down your guns
Don’t you be so reckless
It’s a different context, I know - he’s almost mumbling to himself about screwing the relationship up to the point-of-no-return - but I quote it because it’s about relationships and the same principles apply.
All you slingers and fiends
hide behind your rocks
put down your guard
I’m not here to box
this is no showdown
so throw down your guns
you see it doesn’t matter
where you come from
you could be from park ave
or from a park bench
you could be a politician
or a bitchy princess
but if you’re lookin’ for a fist
and you’re lookin’ to unite
put your knuckleheads together
make a fist and fight
not to your death
and not to your grave
I’m talking about that freedom
fight like a brave
fight like a brave
don’t be a slave
no one can tell you
you’ve got to be afraid
The first verse is great - a mash-up of various images - but then they loose me a bit with the indigenous American fight like a brave simile. I get the freedom-fist v the boxing-fist thing but then they undo their argument. It seems like a different story to me, didn’t indigenous American people get unjustly nailed by the invaders from one coast to the other?
Anyway, about art…
Throwdownyourguns is The Art Portfolio of Guy Chapman. Given the surname, you could in fact, consider this site a Chapbook of sorts, it may even laps into being correctly classified as bum fodder at times. Have a look around, take your time, see what you think.
A quick snap of the back-end of the Queen Elizabeth 2 at Circular Quay today (8 March 2012)… they say it’s the largest ship ever to have docked at that terminal and about 10 meters too tall to make it under the Harbour Bridge.
The cafe used to be at 175 Campbell Street in Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia. It’s been knocked down now. A shame, it was a great old building and the Cafe had a good feel about it. I had an art exhibition there and it was quite an event at the time…
The cafe was setup by Herman who had an architecture business up stairs and the cafe below. All things must pass, as Mr Harrison said. It was great while it lasted…
In the ’80s, before The Palace Hotel was renovated, you could get a $1.50 beef and mustard roll to have with your beer. This was lunch for many City Art students walking between buildings. It used to be a routine after finishing painting sessions at the Flinders Street campus to walk back to the Paddington campus through the Palace Hotel, grab a beef and mustard roll from the hole-in-the-wall type kitchen. That and a quick beer set us up for an afternoon of Myth, Archetype and The Sublime.
L’otel used to be a small French provincial style hotel, bar and dining room in Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia.
Years ago it was run by Yvonne and Eli’ and a friend and I held the first art exhibition they had there.
It was a good space back then and I had a few other exhibitions there over the years.
The place changed hands and style a few times after Yvonne and Eli’ left and now and the wall space doesn’t work for exhibitions.
The Bagel House was a great Sydney cafe, near Taylor square, I played some jazz there in the ’80s with some friends. I wonder what became of the Portelli family? Lovely people, think we played at their house for a birthday some time too.
I caught this by chance the other day heading over the Sydney Harbour Bridge into the city. It’s the cover image of Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni aligned with a train passenger. It has a dream like quality fitting for the book with the umbrella adding another Magritte-type layer.
She came to stay for a weekend-break from the pet shop…
They had lovingly pumped her full of so much food, she spent the next twenty-four hours pissing and shitting everywhere. She was the shape of a small hippo’ at first but looked more like a staffy-shaped puppy on the last day.
Tears of course upon having to return the beast to the shop.
She stayed elsewhere on another occasion and caught ring-worm. It knocked her about a bit. Eventually she went to live with someone who sounded like they would take good care of her.
Note the puppy spit in the image, she did a bit of that.
Salivary Glands… okay, so I know you need to know, a dog (or cat) has four salivary glands, Mandibular, Parotid, Sublingual and Zygomatic. Got that?
Mandibular - the mandible, the jaw.
Parotid - in front of and below the ears.
Sublingual - under the toung.
Zygomatic - of the zygomatic bones, the cheek bones, Malars or Jugals.
An undated - clipping from a New Zealand newspaper, some time in the early ’80s reads…
Rock band really did
Brussells [sic] A concert on October 28 by the Irish new wave band U2 in Brussels rocked not only their fans but also seismic equipment at the Belgian Meteorological Institute, scientists said today. Martine Debecker of the Royal Meteorological Institute said its equipment measured unknown vibrations on October 28. The culptit has since been found: U2 which gave an ear-shattering concert in a music hall 5km away that critics have termed frightening and possessed.
I saved this image years ago from a New Zealand news paper - a great set of characters. The text reads:
Mrs Iris Strickland - one of the few voices supporting the MP for Hastings, Mr David Butcher. Mrs Strickland said the National Government had hit superannuitants harder and she was now "living better than I ever have."
It has - there's not a bloody original thought left in the world. Just try and come up with a catchy name for a web-site. Someone has always been there first. Pricks!
When I was a kid I used to look out the car window on long, boring, family holiday trips and watch the lolly-pop men at each end of the inevitable New Zealand roadworks - back then the concept of roadworks was to rip up the road, dump a whole heap of rocks all over the place and let the traffic pack it all down for a few weeks.
Anyway, on one of these trips, I thought up this idea (this is in the '70s) of portable traffic lights on a trailer at each end of the roadworks to control the traffic. Wireless technology didn't occur to me but I thought it would need long cables on poles so the wires didn't get crushed. I didn't realise what I was on to.
The Bob Dylan Revue are playing again this week in Sydney.
Being a Dylan fan from his late teens, Douglass is a great choice to play the roll of Bob Dylan.
There is an uncanny resemblance to the man himself. Douglass has a natural feel for the Guitar, Blues harp and that distinctive vocal style… even Dylan himself would be a little puzzled at first… but he’ll come around.
I agree with the DF, it’s a great tune. It’s slick, pop-rock and I like it. It could be a shocker in less competent hands but Tom has such cred’ in his delivery that it works for me. There are some contrived edits of the band interacting with each other but that’s just a bit of fun.
Art aside, something in the background of one shot caught my eye. There’s a poster on the wall that has been obscured about two thirds of the way through the video. Something legal didn’t like I guess. Perhaps someone wanted payment.
Saint George, later in life, meets another dragon and things don’t go as well as they did last time.
George has had a good life but when he gets older and a bit wiser he begins to question things he would have taken for granted previously.
Where is my beautiful lance? What is my beautiful lance? Why is that dragon looking at me that way?
The lance, a symbol of sexual and spiritual virility is broken, it’s more of a snapped blind-persons cane. It’s a symbol of beliefs, of a faith that’s broken.
These Lance paintings are about my father, poor bugger, he wasted a large part of his life fooling around with a seriously fucked-up religion, only to find later in life that he didn’t have the resources to get past what he saw as a loss of faith.
I said “What does it matter? So there’s no God, move on to something else, open a bookshop or something”.
Global nuclear disarmament would be nice, I’d be happy about that, but what can you do?
Regan and Gorby in Iceland, 1986
Various people have had a crack at it over the years but they all seem to loose traction after time.
In 1986 Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan came close to taking an unprecedented step. During the Reykjavik Summit in Iceland, they almost agreed to get rid of all their nuclear weapons - but that fizzled out.
…persuaded that immediate and determined efforts need to be made to rid the world of nuclear weapons and the threat they pose to it.
Later on in 1989, in reference to the Canberra Commission, Keating said, “I wanted to put the authority of a sovereign government behind the push to rid the world of nuclear weapons” - I like that.
The current Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd seems to have re-branded Keating’s idea, and in collaboration with the Japanese government, has launched the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND). It’s a mouthful of a title but a worthy move, with the aim of reducing the number of nuclear weapons over time. It has a long term goal of eliminating them beyond 2025 - too long for my liking.
Of course the United Nations were on the case from day one. The first resolution ever passed by the UN General Assembly, on 24 January 1946, was for the “Establishment of a Commission to Deal With the Problem Raised by the Discovery of Atomic Energy.” They were to “…proceed with the utmost dispatch” to make proposals “for the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction” - nice try UN.
There is one crowd who have actually had some success. The Nunn-Lugar project claims to have helped in the decommissioning of over 7000 nuclear weapons. Seven thousand! They also claim to be chronically underfunded, or in fact criminally underfunded. Just imagine what they could get done if we threw just a fraction of the Bush-Blair-Howard-Iraq-invasion-cash at them. Nunn-Lugar state a goal…
…to lessen the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, to deactivate and to destroy these weapons, and to help the scientists formerly engaged in production of such weapons start working for peace.
That’s the practical stuff that needs to be happening. Nunn is also involved with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) who seem to be doing some good work.
Revisiting Reykjavik would be a more dramatic place to start but perhaps a less idealistic proposal is to sink a few lazy billion into projects like Nunn-Lugar and NTI.
I know I’m probably being overly optimistic but there do seem to be a few glimmers of a positive new momentum for nuclear disarmament growing again. Obama is heading in the right direction by chairing a UN Security Council summit on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. It’s the first time a US President has done that.
Earlier in 2009, in his first address to the UN, Obama promised three important things…
America intends to keep our end of the bargain. We will pursue a new agreement with Russia to substantially reduce our strategic warheads and launchers. We will move forward with ratification of the test ban treaty and work with others to bring the treaty into force so that nuclear testing is permanently prohibited.
We will complete a Nuclear Posture Review that opens the door to deeper cuts and reduces the role of nuclear weapons. And we will call upon countries to begin negotiations in January  on a treaty to end the production of fissile material for weapons.
I will also host a summit next April  that reaffirms each nation’s responsibility to secure nuclear material on its territory and to help those who can’t, because we must never allow a single nuclear device to fall into the hands of a violent extremist. And we will work to strengthen the institutions and initiatives that combat nuclear smuggling and theft.
If he just gets those three things happening he will have earned that Nobel Peace Prize several times over. Let’s see what happens with those promises in 2010.
While Obama may be at the beginning of something new, some of our other institutions just continue to reinforce the same old thinking. Take the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for example, perhaps instead of the paradoxical statute of “…accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace…”, we could lobby for someone who has been to the brink, like Mikhail Gorbachev, to be the head of a new United Nations body for Nuclear Abolition (UNNA). Screw peaceful use! Let’s burry this crap for good.
It will take a someone to make a move that is uncharacteristic of most of the conservative clowns mis-managing this stuff today. I suspect politicians are the wrong people to be running this disarmament show, their self-serving, small-minded, nationalism will continue to reinforce their little-dick militarism and get us nowhere. Take Chirac for example, who decided in 1995 it would be fun to screw the Pacificsome more with another eight underground nuclear tests - mutha-fucker! We don’t need clowns like that in charge ever again.
We need a new paradigm of thinking to manage nuclear material. A structure that sits above nationalism and restates the purpose of the UN agencies. It should have two parallel streams of work, one to rid the world of nuclear weapons and the enriched material to make them and a second stream, to begin undoing the damage the nuclear power industry is inexorably storing up for future generations with waste from power generation that none of us can work out what to do with. We need a base-load of new thinking.
Get the power stations managed by a central global body, no one can own them any more, make nuclear power the possession of the globe. It will be a while before we can completely replace those things with clean energy options, but we have to start heading that way now rather than building more of them. If you want a nuclear power plant in the interim, it has to be managed by the one international body, the land it’s on is excised from the national boundaries - no chance to get in there and start bomb making classes again.
Further to this we should link the possession or suspected possession of nuclear weapons or the material to make them to trade in a similar way to a carbon tax. Every gram of nuclear material you are suspected of possessing will increased a hefty tariff on your exports. This way there is an incentive for transparency, and for all nations, including the US, UK, France and the others holding on to this shit, to be seen to be giving it up. Now I know this is crazy talk, I have no idea how you would administer a tariff like that - but it’s an idea.
Here ends my potted history of nuclear disarmament. Sweet dreams and throw down your guns.
A while back I made a decision to stay away from using any Flash in building this web site...
I am deliberately avoiding the use of Flash. The misuse of flash in web sites is responsible for some of the most ridiculous, frustrating and avoidable usability issues. So, dumb-is-good could be the motto here.
So I was pleased to see the new ClickToFlashplugin for Safari today and tried it out straight away. It elegantly blocks those shitty flash impositions all over the web. You gotta be happy with that.
Because NetNewsWire on the Mac uses WebKit, the plugin also works there too - twice as little flash trash has got to be even better.
I guess it's not Flash that's the problem really, it's the crazy overuse of it ruining user interaction that gets me. I know there are sites that are totally Flash driven that will just be blocked but then I generally loose interest in them in a few seconds anyway. I'm sure in a few days I'll find a number of situations where having Flash blocked will be a pain... but I'll give it a go.
I recently upgraded to the latest version of NetNewsWire for the iPhone. Like many out there, I had been eagerly awaiting the new version 2.0 that would sync with Google Reader. Having my desktop feeds back in sync with the iPhone was going to be one of life's small pleasures
...it was not worth the wait.
In short - NetNewsWire 2.0 is unusable.
The software has numerous design flaws and seems to be faulty in many ways. The biggest issue is the time it takes to load feed data. It's so long my short attention span has moved to other things (like watching paint dry in the shade) before the first blank screen has refreshed. It's a huge step backwards from the previous version in my opinion. When I say slow - this is on the iPhone 3G over 802.11g wireless.
Of course it's free so you'd be a prick if you complained too much but they are trying to flog the no-adds version for a couple of bucks and this is not making me feel inclined to cough up.
Issues I have with it are:
the unread badge count doesn't work - mine has been stuck on 940 for a few days
slow as all fuck in many screens
the Show/Hide Feeds takes for ever to show up
Show/Hide Feeds doesn't work - after unselecting numerous feeds and going back to the feeds list it starts to download everything again. Sometimes they stick sometimes not.
it has crashed a few times
and when it crashes the feeds are all selected on next launch - which in turn takes for ever
when selecting or de-selecting feeds in the Show/Hide Feeds, feed icons seem to come and go from the left, not just the one being clicked.
no sort order for feeds - in particular the sort-by-attention option
no unselect or select all button in the show hide feeds
Show/Hide Feeds is a flattened list of all feeds - why not follow the convention of many other iPhone apps of having an edit button, leaving the hierarchy of feeds and their folders in place and adding the delete, hide, add option in that view?
I could go on...
Admittedly it's easy to slag things off in a blog after minimal testing. I have tried a few times to limit the number of feeds in my list (82) on the iPhone to see if performance improves but even that has been difficult to achieve with it crashing and turning them all on again.
It leaves me with the impression this is one of two things
- either a rushed job by good developers whose work got compromised by some crazy deadline promised by the boss
- or they don't care about this product any more but felt they had to knock some crap together to keep the punters off their back.
Let's see what transpires.
I'll be looking for a new feed reader, perhaps the google offering will do.
Waking up today and seeing the grey, overcast sky reminds me of working on the farm. The feeling of what the day would be like out in the the weather was tangible. What the wet grass, the frosty gate latch and crossing the ice on the wooden foot bridge would feel like.
Wet dogs, finding a horse for the day in the dark before breakfast. Cracking the ice on the water troughs that never thaw out in the shade of the wool shed, so the dogs can have a drink.
The chill of the morning pine plantation that becomes a stifling heat in the afternoon in those woollen trowsers and working boots.
…different to the days now, with office tower, fluros and computers. I can go a whole day in 21 degree air-conditioning without knowing what it’s like outside.