If at first you don’t succeed, extend the deadline. #bolamat50+1

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I have very mixed feelings after the end of my 50th retrospective year. As I have already said, some aspects were highly successful and some were dismal failures, and I left a lot of things that I planned to do unfinished.

So, if you don’t achieve everything that you wanted to achieve in only one year, what do you do? Easy, take ten years and claim that’s what you intended to do all along.

With hindsight (and brutal honesty) I never really expected to achieve everything I wanted within the one year when I was 50 years old. Counter-intuitively, the anti-climax was not at the end, but at the beginning. Having already spent nearly two years preparing, I suffered an energy dip after the launch event and didn’t attack the project as I had intended during the year itself.

A few months after the end of the project, it seems obvious what to do next. Instead of finishing the project after the 50th year, I will just continue. After all, I am still “at 50”. Or more accurately, “at 50s”.

There has been so much spin off from the project I have decided to just continue the project until I am 60 (if I make it) as there is more than enough existing material and new stuff to fill the next nine-and-a-half years.

I knew I would not do everything I had planned but the only thing I consider to be a real failure is not making the 12 issues of “Catalogue,” which was the most important publication of the entire project. It’s too late for me to get that done on time so I am still going to publish the whole 12 issues (plus one) over the next year (or so).

Stand by, there is much more to come…

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Stillness – An exhibition of new work by Sean Williams, Rita Kaisen, Richard Stott, Helen Stokes, Janie Moore, Iris Harris, and Andy Cropper. At Bloc studios, Sheffield.

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This blog site is primarily for promoting my own work, but here is a forthcoming show that I am really looking forward to. I know three of the exhibiting artists and am familiar with their work. I can’t speak for the other four, but Andy Cropper, Rita Kaisen and Sean Williams are all exceptional artists (and you can buy their work).

Interestingly, I do no think of any of these three people I know as particularly “still”, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

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“Lies About Nothing”, 2014 Sean Wiliams

Sean’s work is in the “photorealistic” stable, although I don’t know if he would use that word. This image is a painting, not a photograph. Much of the work I’ve seen before is definitely pointillism, but this has a distinct filmic fuzziness. His work is very often of bland scenes such as domestic building sites or neglected corners of suburban landscapes, but the quality of the painting gives them a serene calmness that is at odds with the detailing. I strongly recommend you see them in the flesh.
http://swseanwilliams.wordpress.com/

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A page from “Life”, 2014 Rita Kaisen.

Rita’s work has a number of distinct styles, all excellent including a stylised realism, surrealism and expressionism. But the stand-out work for me is her surrealistic graphic novel style. This image (not in the show) is from a work-in-progress called “Life”, and I wish I could draw like this. I am a major fan of her cross-hatching. It reminds me a little of Ian Miller but not as as obsessive or phantasmagorical.
http://ritakaisen.blogspot.co.uk/

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I’ve written about Andy’s work before and I have a huge respect for his range, from the almost jarringly photorealistic, through bland street scenes that have a tiny touch of the naive, breathtaking portraits and graphic design too. However, he has warned me that the work in this show will be very different.
http://www.artbyandyonline.com/

I don’t know the other four artists or their work, but I will tomorrow.

There is a “private” view (free and open to everyone) on Thursday 9th January 19.00 – 21.00, and the show runs from 10th – 28th January, Wednesday to Saturday, 12.00 – 18.00 at Bloc Projects, 71 Eyre Lane, S1 4RB Sheffield, free entry.
http://www.blocprojects.co.uk/ (Bloc’s website is a bit out of date on 8/1/14)

The New Bank of X Official Launch – the movies and the photos.

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The New Bank of X pop-up bank at Bloc Studios, 25th June 2013.

Brand it and they will come, and come they did. The New Bank of X is open for business and that business is to relieve you of any (other) currency that we can tempt from you.

That could be Pounds Sterling (check!), Korean Wons, (check!), postage stamps (check!), books (check!), CDs (check!), original artwork on a paper plate (check!) etc, etc. The exchange rate has not been finalised yet, but this was a good start.

How hard can it be? Piece of cake (check!).

Here are some of the commemorative photos from the official launch of the New Bank of X at Bloc Spring Fete 25th May 2013 at Bloc Studios, Sheffield, UK. It was a roaring success and I spent so much time talking, the following day I sounded like Barry White. More photos on Flickr.

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http://blocprojects.co.uk
http://newbankofx.wordpress.com

Other goodies available on the day were a sealed document of (binding) Terms & Conditions and some high visibility fashion-wear.

The next appearance of the pop-up bank will be at FORGE Contemporary Art, Design & Craft Fair, at The Workstation, Sheffield, UK on Sunday 23rd June 2013, as part of my High Street X stall. There will be the bank, a pop-up bookshop and a pop-up tuck shop. Entry is free and there will be 30 stalls in total.

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http://www.hallamroseswi.co.uk/forge

Bolam, Bolam Retrospective, New Bank of X, bank note, Bloc Studios, #bolamat50, Sheffield, UK, Black Daffodil Press

Official Launch of the One-X Bank Note at Bloc Spring Fête, 25th May 2013

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Please join me at Bloc Studios, 71 Eyre Lane, Sheffield S1 4RB on Saturday 25th May for the official launch of the New Bank of X’s one-X bank note during their Spring Fête 2013.

The notes can be exchanged for other currencies, bartered for or paid for in-kind.

New Bank of X Official Bank Note Launch – Bloc Spring Fete 25th May, Sheffield, UK

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Printing money, how hard can it be? Pretty hard, actually, but not impossible and the process has given me a new respect for the world of banking. I remember seeing a tv programme many years ago about the design and technicalities of bank note printing. It’s a very complex affair with many details included for security rather than design reasons.

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New Bank of X One-X bank note, obverse.

A bank note is intrinsically worthless, but is a mode of exchange. You can meet me at the Bloc Spring Fete at Bloc Studios, Sheffield, UK on 25th May 2013 3-9pm (Facebook event here) and negotiate an exchange. The notes can be bought for other currencies, bartered for, or paid for in-kind. Each one is serialised and unique and there is a limited edition, although there will be other denominations issued in the future.

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New Bank of X One-X bank note, reverse.

I will publish a more exhaustive discussion about the graphic design and physical specifications of the note on my sister blogsite Black Daffodil Press at some point in the near future, and there is a Retrospective flyer with the design here. In the meantime, come along to Bloc Studios fundraising event for music, food, drinks and fun, and you can plant your seeds in my hedge.
http://blocprojects.co.uk/

A chip(board) off the old Bloc

The flyer from the 200sqr show at Bloc Projects in 2002.

It’s hard to believe that Bloc Studios / Bloc Projects has been going for 10 years. Bloc existed as artists’ studios elsewhere before, but it was the move to Granton Works, Sheffield, UK that transformed it into one of the most interesting artists’ communities in the country. I had a studio for a while but gave it up as I did not use it enough, but I am now an Associate Member.

Information about renting studios is here, and Associate Membership here.

Below is a piece of work I made for the first group show there  in 2002, where Richard Bartle, the prime mover behind the whole project, issued everyone with a piece of chipboard 200mm x 200mm, and that was our starting point. It’s called “ChipBoard™” and there is more information about my work in this PDF and Issue 03 of Retrospective, featuring this work, can be  viewed and/or downloaded here.

More information about this show, Bloc Studios and Bloc Projects is here:
http://blocprojects.co.uk/programme/exhibitions/2002/2002/