Friday, 25 November 2011

In the dark

Winter draws in, with hesitance and with flickering speed, inexorably, it draws in. Sunset here in this sheltered part of north western Europe, slips ever earlier, closing in on half past three in the afternoon, although fated never to quite reach there. This steep side of winter, sliding down into that dark well before the solstice, feels like the hardest part of winter (although in truth every part of winter feels like the hardest part of winter when it is happening).

Ahead of me, over the winter, I will be creating a new body of work for my forthcoming exhibition with Kevin Low in April at Edinburgh's Union Gallery. Ideas for that series, the subjects and the thoughts I want to explore and the moments I want to pin down are slowly gestating. But this is not the time to create a new body of work, in these short and dark days, with the light so hesitant and faltering in the old part of the year.

This is the time to close down, to circle hibernation, to consume culture and use its fire for heat, to follow fairy tales, dark, sinister and hidden beneath bough and bark, through the long cold nights. When day time begins its climb back towards life, that is when the work begins. Until then, I think.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Strange brew

It is approaching half past four in the afternoon and not a lot of sunlight is left in the sky, duck egg to the west, shading into deeper blues in the east. I'm back home in Scotland now and there is just not all that much light here. After spending nearly three months in Arkansas, it has come as something of a shock, this lack of daylight. I should be writing here about art, not light, however with jet lag still in full effect, it can be hard to stay focussed.

Art… right. Art.

Is there a conscious idea here?
© 2011 Stewart Bremner. Ink on paper.
Over the sleepless hours of the past few days, on two aeroplanes, a car, a bus and a train, across four and a half thousand miles and through three airports, I have felt something brewing deep inside. With that imperfect focus, that hands-grasping-soap-in-the-bath feeling when I think, I am not sure what exactly is brewing, nonetheless I know that it will become art.

Over most of this year, my painting has evolved into an means of expression. Abstract expressionism, for all of the baggage the term carries, best describes what I have painted: abstract paintings that express a particular moment in my life. Each one is a message in a bottle from the past, being carried ever forward on time's tide. What is brewing now, is what I expect to seed those next bottles with.

My hazy thoughts slip around in this messy brew of ideas and words. Identity, belonging, memory and distance shine in the murk. Will they figure in the work? Perhaps. I can't say. A number of strange scribbled sketches are dotted in two different books and again I wonder what their relevance is. They are neither on a medium or in a material I think I will use but again I cannot be sure.

Somewhere nearby lurks revelation. Wakefulness is what I seek first.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Amorphous time

Blind conviction
© 2011 Craig Munro and Stewart Bremner
(part of my First Thursday sale!)

It has been really quite a busy time recently, which is one of the reasons for my Friday blog being almost a week late! I've been heavily involved in the recent goings on at the Fayetteville Underground and in the artist's new campaign, which will soon see them rise like a phoenix from its ashes. I'm utterly convinced that these brilliant people are going on to something bigger and better in their new organisation.

Fayetteville is very lucky to have something so amazing and I really hope that its citizens will do all they can to assist this new venture. To learn more about what the artists are going to be doing, please, please visit morph the org. The artists need everyone's support in their exciting new venture, including yours (even if you are not in Fayetteville)!

Come and say hello, or goodbye!