Bolam365 / Bolam360 / Bolam247 / BolamXYZ #bolamat50+1 #bolam365+1

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To quote, again, the famous 10 rules by Sister Corita Kent, from the art department at the Immaculate Heart Convent School in Los Angeles (c1968).

They are all good, but these are the ones most important to me:

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” (John Cage)

Helpful hint: Save everything — it might come in handy later.

Strange how a convent school, not generally known for their liberality, has some of the most broad-minded and helpful guidelines for creatives.

For me, one of the most helpful is rule eight about not trying to create and analyze at the same time. I know artists who are paralyzed into inaction by over-thinking what they do, and so I try not to bother thinking about it at all.

Until afterwards. Or later. Or maybe never.

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I made some of these composite images from stills where I have accidentally captured myself during timelapse shoots. My photoshop skills are not great, but I’m getting better, and some of them are a bit rough. But I really like them.

I don’t know if I can manage 365+1 for the whole year (it’s a leap year) but I don’t see why not, and I might start staging more of them like the one shown at the top.

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I don’t know what they are, or what they mean. But what I do know is that they are something, and that I am making them, and that I have not allow any thinking to get in the way.

I’ll leave the analysis until later, and wait for the X quantities to kick in.

Retrospective: Richard Bolam at 50. It’s all over bar the shouting. #bolamat50

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I was 50 in real life and the passport photo was taken when I was 19 or 20.

However, it feels as though there is still a lot of shouting yet to do. Here are a few photos from the closing event at Access Space and the Rutland Arms.

My year of being 50 is over and the project has been an extremely varied and qualified success.

With hindsight, it was a mistake to start the project so much earlier than the year itself – after the launch event in April 2014, I was so burned out that I couldn’t maintain the energy levels that I had done for the previous two years. As a result, the middle few months of the actual 2014/15 fiftieth year was when the anti-climax hit. It was no surprise to me to have a dip, but the timing could not have been worse.

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Making Bolam masks for the free goodie bags that I gave out at the closing event.

However, I never really thought I would be able to achieve everything that I had planned, but the biggest failure is not getting the 12 issues of “Catalogue” finished within the year. This part-work magazine is the central piece of the project but I got distracted with other things. What’s more, I spent far too much time making new work, rather than cataloguing and presenting existing work.

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Wife #2 and backup wife #2 at the Rutland Arms, with “HYPE!” in the background.

None of those failures matter, of course, and the project has been a huge success in many ways, but not in terms of global fame, obscene wealth or critical adulation.

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One rather perverse pay-off is, thanks to the almost universal indifference to my work, I now feel completely disenfranchised from the art “world”. Not from art, but from the world of art, or the establishment at least.

This is not a good thing if you want to be successful in that world, but I have little respect for it because I refuse to do the artspeak and do not base my work upon the theoretical conceits that seem to be de rigeur these days.

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That’s me on the left.

Anyway, I currently have two exhibitions open, “Casualty” at Access Space (limited opening times) and “HYPE!” & BOLM•ART™ at the Rutland Arms, both in Sheffield, UK.

I will aim to get the remaining 11 issues of “Catalogue” finished over the coming year, and I will be continuing the project as Bolamat50+1.