Susan Mary Gratwick: New work, explained

029
Nelson: Colonisation, Consequences | ©Susan Mary Gratwick
040
Algorithms | ©Susan Mary Gratwick
057
The Spiritual Form of Nelson Guiding the Leviathon – Homage to William Blake

All words and images, ©Susan Mary Gratwick.

I first saw William Blake’s painting, The Spiritual Form of Nelson Guiding the Leviathon, way back in 2007, on a visit to a workshop in the Tate Britain. The image would not leave me. I saw the writhing bodies squirming in and out of the labyrinthine form of the Leviathon, the sea monster, the nearly naked form of Horatio Nelson standing on the back of a crouching black man. And I thought of all the suffering of these different peoples all around this planet of ours, in order to create wealth. Even the Tate itself, purveyor of art to the masses, would have not existed but for slavery, based in and on the sale of sugar, again based in and on the Slave Trade.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

“The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. The direction of the force on the first object is opposite to the direction of the force on the second object. Forces always come in pairs – equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs.”

This is Newton’s Third Law of Motion, and I wonder if this can be applied to actions in political and economic history, such as Slave Trade. I don’t know, but I question it. It somehow feels as if we have built our civilization on moral quicksand, almost as if I had personally murdered someone in order to have the standard of living I now have. William Blake’s tempera painting, with the ‘spiritual form of ‘ Horatio Nelson, the loci of British courage, heroism and valour, standing on the back of a crouching African, reminds us what happened, ‘lest we forget’.

 “Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil”
Horatio Nelson to a midshipman aboard the Agamemnon (1793).

I had been thinking about how Great Britain became wealthy in the first place, how this was via the slave trade, and how Horatio Nelson defended this power on the world stage. Slavery created great power and wealth for the powers that were [and are] so, in order to become a world power, to create wealth, someone benefits and someone loses. Slavery, devoid of morality, was a logical means of creating wealth and it was of course morally unsound. To see another human being as a lesser mortal was expedient. Wealth creation on that scale based on logic, rational and expedient thinking –  see today’s algorithms which control movement of capital in the stock exchange – but is immoral, as the consequences on the planet and human life and living standards of the ‘ordinary man’ are not part of the equation. Morality is not part of an algorithm.

038
Alone, stands she weeping | ©Susan Mary Gratwick

I love icons, they emanate something directly to my heart. I can deconstruct Christianity, see how it has been and can be used as a tool of politics and control, yet, Christian icons bypass the literature somehow.

I think of the dark side of Christianity and I think of the young girl from Nazareth, who, by a trick of history became a focus of veneration throughout the world, and, imagine that if she actually existed, she might just look on and weep.

055
Bird Pecking My Heart Out | © Susan Mary Gratwick

I think that this painting is about fear.

063
Alone Stands She Falling | ©Susan Mary Gratwick

This is a ‘What am I?’ painting and is just showing a physicality, and this one wonders what she is doing and where she is going.

065
‘Fish or Snake? That is the question, whether ’tis./Stasis’ | © Susan Mary Gratwick

Again, she is wondering what to do…

‘Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?’

I think that the fish represents Christian ethics and values and the snake, knowledge.

I look at the world today, at our cultural values, codes of ethics and the confusion therein. There seems to be a criss-crossing of multitudinous interconnections, inferences, influences, and so very much history and I wonder about it all.

Advertisements

Call for Submissions: ONE BARE FOOT SQUARE

WHAT: Call for art submissions for One Bare Foot Square.
WHEN: Deadline, 7 May 2016. First show runs 30 July – 13 August 2016.
WHERE: Launch exhibition, July 30 2016, Amsterdam Outsider Art Gallery.

Are you an artist interested in exhibiting with other artists, in a collaborative touring exhibition, with the opportunity to host the artwork locally? Yvonne Mabs Francis alerted us to this excellent opportunity from Nok and Uncooked Culture, read on to get involved…

Following 4 years of travelling art work, across the UK and three continents worldwide, UNCOOKED CULTURE are calling for art submissions to be part of their new new touring exhibition, ‘One Bare Foot Square’.

Example of artwork: Painting created by Bert Schoonhoven on bare canvas,
16 x 16in (30 x 30 cm) including blank borders.

CONCEPT: ‘Led by artist ‘Nok’, the founder and director of Uncooked Culture, this new touring art project aims to “create mobility and accessibility of art and build a Sustainable Artists Community across the world”, and they “encourage and invite artists from all disciplines to participate in the project.”

BRIEF: Dimensions of the work must be 16 inches square, consisting of a painted area on bare canvas (without any support or stretchers). The painted area must be 12 inches square, leaving a 2 inch blank/unpainted margin around the artwork. Each individual artwork will be stitched onto a piece of fabric, to form a large collaborative artwork, using the four corners of the 2 inch margin area to create a big wall mural on large scale fabric support. 

The required 2 inch surrounding margin around the painted area is designed to serve the purpose of selling the work. Once an artwork is purchased, the work can be wrapped and fixed onto a standard 12 x 12 inch stretcher (canvas frame). Some stretchers/canvas frames and mounting service may be provided in the exhibition.

THEME: ‘Paradox of Life… Bright & Dark side of the Moon’. Your life expression, or story, on each single square canvas will be a part of this collected ‘Life Journey Mural’. The mural will reflect the spectrum of human paths, experience and psychology.

KEY WORDS: Life journey, bright or dark side – Imaginative journey – Fantasy adventure – Reality – Capability – Incapability – Coordination – Fragmentation – Dream – Struggle – Naievety – Purity – Manipulation

INSPIRATION: The project is inspired by artists mosaic canvases from the previous Uncooked Culture art project, ‘Circus Terminal Worldwide’, Suriname, South America 2014.

DEADLINES TO MAKE A NOTE OF:
Deadline for expressing your interest: 25 March 2016
Deadline for artwork JPEGS (work in progress images are acceptable): 30 April 2016
Deadline for artwork delivery to Uncooked Culture in London, UK: 7 MAY 2016
Submissions must be sent to: uncookedculture@gmail.com
http://www.uncookedculturegallery.com / www.uncookedculture.com

LAUNCH EXHIBITION: ‘One Bare Foot Square’ is scheduled to be launched 30 July 2016 at The Amsterdam Outsider Art Gallery in The Netherlands at its old location in Amsterdam (Nieuwe Keizersgracht 1A, 1018, DR Amsterdam), with the first exhibition from the project. Dates of the debut exhibition are to be concluded.

SELLING WORK: All works will be at set wall-price of £200 each, including 20% contribution to the project from the sales of artwork. Pricing your artwork in an exceptional cases can be discussed. Changes of price are possible, based on situations such as required commission from the venue/gallery hosting the project and nature of different currency. All participating artists will be informed in advance if the set price would need to be adjusted.

OPPORTUNITY TO HOST THE PROJECT: All participating artists are invited to host the touring wall mural in their town or city. ‘One Bare Foot Square’ adopts a format used in the ‘Uncooked Culture – Circus Terminal Worldwide’ project, bringing local and international artists to collaborate and share their inspirational creativity together. Everywhere the project will be held, local artists will be invited to create square canvases to incorporate the mural from international artists. Lead artist(s) of each exhibition stop, where the project will be held, will be working closely with Nok, the project lead artist. Additional events, such as workshops, are encouraged to be held along with the exhibition to inspire creativity to the local community.

Please feel free to get in touch if you are interested in hosting this project with Nok in your community: uncookedculture@gmail.com

PLEASE NOTE: Only original artworks will be accepted. Computer generated work and any forms of reproduction, except handmade print-making, will not be accepted. Only recent artworks created during 2013 – 2016 will be included in this project. Artists can replace their sold artworks with other artworks that follow the format required for the project.

WHO CAN SUBMIT: Both non-members and members of Uncooked Culture at http://www.uncookedculture.ning.com. An artist can submit various forms of art on canvas – drawing, painting, collage, handmade print-making & mixed-media. A maximum of 3 works per artist can be submitted. Sculptural works can be submitted upon discussion of format, dimensions and weight condition, please contact Nok to discuss specifics: uncookedculture@gmail.com.

More info about Circus Terminal Worldwide, on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CircusTerminalWorldwide

Circus Terminal Worldwide at Uncooked Culture’s Archive

Exhibition: Cathy Ward at Good Luck Gallery


What: UK artist, Cathy Ward. Click here for press release.
When: 05/09/15 – 03/10/15
Where: Good Luck Gallery, Los Angeles

Friend of Mental Spaghetti, Cathy Ward, has a solo show opening this weekend at Good Luck Gallery in Los Angeles.

We could do a lazy post about how intricate, complex, mysterious and other-worldly Cathy’s work is, which would be a bit like saying ‘the sky is blue, the grass is green and the sun is yellow’, but that would be crap.

So please read this article on Dangerous Minds, guest written by another Friend of Spaghetti, the artist and director Nick Abrahams, who actually introduced us to Cathy.

If you can get yourself to La La Land, you absolutely must head to see Cathy’s show. If you already live there or are in the vicinity, and don’t go, well, quite frankly, no one could help your silliness. Go, go, go!

Mental Spaghetti Roadshow: PRIVATE VIEW – all welcome!

What: Exhibition – private view
Where: Studio 3 Arts, Boundary Road, Barking, IG11 7JR. Tel: 020 8594 7136
When: Friday 10th July, 5:30-9:30pm

Good morning all!

We’re having a private view of our group show, in support of the art workshop residency at Studio 3 Arts in Barking, and you’re invited!

Jan Arden, David Feingold, Lazz Ozerden and Marie-Louise Plum are showing 2D visual art for your delectation. There really is a lot of special artwork on show, in particular a massive wedge of never-seen-before acrylic on canvas from Lazz, and four of Jan Arden’s magnificently detailed, large-scale pen drawings.

The private view is a chance for you to come and see the exhibition out of daily hours, by appointment, in a way. You can meet the folks from Mental Spaghetti, and I’m sure the artists will also be mingling. We’ll have snacks and drinks, both alcoholic and non, of course.

As mentioned, this private view is for the accompanying exhibition to our current residency of workshops at Studio 3 Arts – creative writing and drawing, woodcut relief printmaking and plaster sculpture. Tickets are free and available here.

Any questions, email us. Hope to see y’all there!

Exhibiting artists: Jan Arden | David Feingold | Lazz Ozerden | Marie-Louise Plum