A painter living in the wilds of Yorkshire (Sheffield, so not really 'wilds' as such). Has been painting for 15 years, properly established in 2008.
Visit my portfoilio website at www.artbyandyonline.com

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Video - BBC Ideas - What Is Hauntology? And Why Is It All Around Us?

 'Hauntology' is an open ended term coined by the philosopher Jacques Derrida in the early 1990's in his book 'Spectres of Marx' (1993). Created as a portmanteau of the words 'haunting' and 'ontology' [the philosophical study of being] producing a word to describe the study of a spectral, ghostly, version of being - "the figure of the ghost as that which is neither present, nor absent, neither dead nor alive."

Over the past decade the term has gained huge relevance to a number of art forms and cultural debates. The cultural theorist Mark Fisher in the 2000's, through his K-punk website developed the boundaries of the word for it to become a poetic description of a yearning for the lost futures that our collective pasts once promised but no longer hold to be true. A reaction for some that a future of utopian possibility has been cancelled.

Watch the following BBC video by Richard Littler (of Scarfolk fame) to gain further insight into the term.

Further reading:
Online articles:
Newspaper Articles:
Journal Articles:

Friday, 2 February 2018

A Fascinating Mood Photo of Coronation Street's Ena Sharples

A fascinating mood photo of Coronation Street's Ena Sharples (actress Violet Carson)overlooking industrial Manchester in the late 1960's. (Photo taken by Lowry... possibly?? John C Madden, 1968 )

Images of Sheffield's Hyde Park Flats Circa 60's/70's

Wow!! A view of Sheffield in the 60's/70's. That's Hyde Park flats on the horizon line. The largest part at the back was demolished in the early 90's. From the Facebook group "Pictures of Sheffield Old and New" shared by Jason Wragg - https://www.facebook.com/groups/picturesofsheffildoldandnew/permalink/10156332495139905/

When being part of the "Overlooked" show at Parkhill in 2015, I found this image showing another view of Hyde Park, I'm guessing from the 70's. It's a still from this following video by Pete Hill of http://Corvideos.com - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwiz1A9gEWM

Saturday, 10 December 2016

A collection of Words for Night Walkers and Night walking

 "Blessed are the owls, for they shall inherit the mystery and magic of the night."
Hilary Rubinstein "The Complete Insomniac",1974 p. 19

Night Owl (i), Night Hawk (i, ii, iii, iv), Night Walker (i),  Nocturnal Traveller (i, ii, iii),  Noctivagator (i, ii), Noctivagant (i, ii), Night Wanderer (i, ii)  Night Stroller, Night Reveller (i), Night Dweller,
Shadow of the Night, Noctambule (i), Noctambulate (i), Noctambulator (i),
Nyctophilist (i)

" . . .  [Matthew Beamont] claims to link the indigent or vagabond ‘noctivagator’ (the ‘common nightwalker’) with the leisurely yet purposeful ‘noctambulator’ (the ‘uncommon nightwalker’) . . . "

From James McConnachie's review of Matthew Beaumont's "Night Walking", 2015. The Spectator magazine: "Dickens’s dark side: walking at night helped ease his conscience at killing off characters"

A list of night deities - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_night_deities
List of nocturnal birds - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nocturnal_birds
List of nocturnal animals - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nocturnal_animals 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

'When streets become supernatural': the joy of walking in cities at night - Guardian article - Nick Dunn

"Dark Matters: A Manifesto For the Nocturnal City", 2016,
by Nick Dunn
ISBN-13: 978-1782797487 (paperback)
Click here for website - http://www.zero-books.net/books/dark-matters

"With technology whittling away at our attention spans, our sense of place is vanishing. In an extract from his new book "Dark Matters: A Manifesto for the Nocturnal City", Nick Dunn explains how a simple night-time stroll can help us to profoundly reconnect with our surroundings. Direct link to the full article - " 'When streets become supernatural': the joy of walking in cities at night "

" . . . To reclaim some of what is being lost, I propose walking in the night. This is not the chest-beating, public declaration of protest as commonly understood, but a gently recalcitrant act against the confines of the daily grind. To venture into the “thickness” of the night is to experience, in a powerful and visceral way, a much broader world than that which exists during the daytime."

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Alain De Botton - 'How to Make an Attractive City', 'The Ruin of London'

Though obviously London centric the following videos presented by Alain De Botton are saliant views of city planning and some of the huge errors that have been incured in recent years and how to mititgate such errors.

Alain De Botton: 'How to Make an Attractive City' - We've grown good at making many things in the modern world - but strangely the art of making attractive cities has been lost. Here are some key principles for how to make attractive cities once again

Alain de Botton: 'The Ruin of London' - London's skyline was for decades protected by regulations governing the heights of buildings in the historic core. These regulations have now been torn up, and an unprecedented tower building-boom has been unleashed.

The ghastly tragedy of the suburbs - TED talk by James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler is an author who stirs up strong feelings. In this TED talk he is deliberatly provocative in tone and wants to elicit feelings when talking about architecture and town/city planning, something which has been leeched out of all conversation around those spheres. You may agree or you may disagree, but whatever you think this is well worth a watch to my mind.

I highly recommend Kunstler's 1994 book 'The Geography Of Nowhere: The Rise And Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape':

click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'The Geography Of Nowhere: The Rise And Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape', 1994
By James Howard Kunstler
ISBN-13: 978-0671888251 (Out of print)

I came across this book when looking for writing about cities going through huge moments of change. The title alone had me hooked.

This following general synopsis from the Waterstone's Marketplace Online describes the book perfectly -

"Eighty percent of everything ever built in America has been built since the end of World War II. This tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside is not simply an expression of our economic predicament, but in large part a cause. It is the everyday environment where most Americans live and work, and it represents a gathering calamity whose effects we have hardly begun to measure. In The Geography of Nowhere, James Howard Kunstler traces America's evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the city is a dead zone and the countryside a wasteland of cars and blacktop. Now that the great suburban build-out is over, Kunstler argues, we are stuck with the consequences: a national living arrangement that destroys civic life while imposing enormous social costs and economic burdens."

(Though 'out of print' it is available to buy online from the Waterstone's Marketplace here.)

Also see -
'Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the 21st Century', 1998
by James Howard Kunstler
ISBN-13: 978-0684837376
Abebooks link

'The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition', 2003
by James Howard Kunstler
ISBN-13: 978-0743227230
Abebooks link

Kunstler's website - http://kunstler.com/

Friday, 25 November 2016

Whistler's Nocturnes

(Originally posted  at the "Uncertain Spaces & Obscure Views" show blog- http://obscure-views.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/whistlers-nocturnes.html )

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) is a painter whose work has had a huge impact and followed me all the way through my painting career. During my studies in the early 1990's I was often able to visit the Tate Gallery (Tate Britain). I always remember being swept by the sensation of seeing large art pieces screaming for attention, all wanting to convince, shock, and/or entertain to a point of being overwhelming. However, there was always one painting on display which rather than existing on the large monumental scale existed in the relatively small. Whistler's 'Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights' of 1872. It did not shout for attention it was not aiming to entertain. It was a painting whose aims included contemplation but also had an undefinable something else. A painting that was avowedly introverted.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
'Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights', 1872
Oil paint on canvas, 50.2 x 74.3 cm
for more details see here - link

The summary that accompanies the painting on the Tate website (link) -
Whistler's aim in this picture, as in all his Nocturnes, is to convey a sense of the beauty and tranquility of the Thames by night. The epithet 'nocturne' was first suggested by Frederick Leyland, since it conveys the sense of a night scene, but also has musical associations. The expression was quickly adopted by Whistler, who later explained,

    By using the word 'nocturne' I wished to indicate an artistic interest alone, divesting the picture of any outside anecdotal interest which might have been otherwise attached to it. A nocturne is an arrangement of line, form and colour first' (quoted in Dorment and MacDonald, p.122).

The composition of this work, with empty foreground and high horizon, relates closely to Nocturne in Blue and Silver - Chelsea (Tate T01571) of the previous year. The view is from Battersea Bridge, looking upriver towards Battersea on the left and the lights of the Cremorne Pleasure Gardens on the right. Whistler preferred the calm of the river at night to the noise and bustle of the Thames by day. With would set off in a rowing boat at twilight and sometimes remain on the river all night, sketching and memorising the scene. He never painted his Nocturnes on the spot, but rather from memory in his studio, employing a special material devised for painting swiftly in oils. He thinned his paint with copal, turpentine and linseed oil, creating what he called a 'sauce', which he applied in thin, transparent layers, wiping it away until he was satisfied.

This particular scene is painted over a composition of four or more robed figures. Whistler presumably rubbed down the figure composition before adding a thin layer of pinkish grey paint, with which he worked out the main features of the river scene. The expanse of blue sky and water, creating a phosphorescent surface right across the canvas, enhances the mood of peace and tranquility. The orange lights of the pleasure gardens twinkle in the distance, adding to the dreamlike atmosphere. The reeds and raft in the foreground are barely indicated, with deft, calligraphic strokes of paint. The influence of Japanese art is evident here, and also in the restricted palette, the economy of line and Whistler's characteristic butterfly signature on the right.

Frederick Leyland's suggestion of the nocturne name to Whistler was rooted in Chopin's series of Nocturne's between 1827 and 1846.

Chopin - The 21 Nocturnes as played by Claudio Arrau

Some other Nocturnes of note (public domain pictures via wikipedia and wikiart)- 

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
'Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge' (c. 1872-1875)
Oil paint on canvas, 66.6 × 50.2 cm
for more details see here - link

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Nocturne in Black and Gold The Falling Rocket' (c. 1874 - 1875)
Oil paint on canvas, 60.3 × 46.4 cm
for more details see here - link

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
'Nocturne in Gray and Gold, Westminster Bridge' (c. 1871-1874)
Oil paint on canvas,
47 × 62.3 cm
for more details see here - link

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
'Nocturne in Gray and Silver' (c. 1873-1875)
Oil paint on canvas, 51.4 x 31.1 cm

for more details see here - link

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
'Nocturne, Blue and Silver: Battersea Reach' (c. 1870 - 1875)
Oil paint on canvas, 49.9 x 72.3 cm

for more details see here - link

 James Abbott McNeill Whistler
'Nocturne, Blue and Silver: Battersea Reach' (c. 1872-1878)
Oil paint on canvas, 62.9 x 39.4 cm

for more details see here - link 

Links for further interest

Wikipedia Links

Tate Links

A Google image search Whistler's Nocturne paintings on - link
A Google Arts & Culture search for "Whistler + nocturne" - link

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Video - Margaret Drabble's "I Love This Dirty Town" 1969

"I Love This Dirty Town" ( www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00rzvqv/i-love-this-dirty-town )

Though filled with large amounts of nostalgia, this film is strangely relevant to many of the conversations taking place regarding Sheffield's current redevelopment plans.

"First transmitted in 1969, this personal plea from Margaret Drabble is a lament for the death of the city, which questions whether 'civic redevelopment' is tearing the heart out of our cities. Are tower blocks, giant supermarkets and an ever expanding suburbia the way forward? Margaret Drabble thinks not and argues that a successful city combines areas where residents and office workers share a space and a multiplicity of shops serve their needs. She also challenges the myth that streets are traffic arteries and unsavoury places to be in, especially for children, arguing that it's traffic that's the problem, not kids."

Unfortunately with being on BBC iplayer you will need to view on the BBC website (click on the image below to go there )


First posted on my blog for the Nov 2016 Bank Street Arts painting show "Uncertain Spaces & Obscure Views" - http://obscure-views.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/video-margaret-drabbles-i-love-this.html

Monday, 22 August 2016

'Flaneuse: Women Walk the City' by Lauren Elkin

A recent book has come to light - 'Flaneuse: Women Walk the City' by Lauren Elkin - due to being a Radio 4's "book of the week" this Augus. All episodes can be listened to on iplayer via this following link -

This following description is for an interview of Laura Elking talking about her book with Brian Dillon in the London Review Bookshop

"The flâneur – an almost invariably male idler dawdling through city streets with no apparent purpose in mind – is familiar to us from the works of Baudelaire, Benjamin and Edmund White. In a glorious blend of memoir, cultural history and psychogeography, Lauren Elkin investigates the little-considered female equivalent, from George Sand to Agnes Varda and Sophie Calle, leading us through the streets of London, Tokyo, Venice, New York and, of course, Paris. Lauren Elkin, a contributing editor at the White Review, was at the shop to discuss the phenomenon of the flâneuse, and her own walking life with Brian Dillon."

The interview can be listened to here - (direct link to mp3 file)

The book "Flaneuse: Women Walk the City" by Lauren Elkin (isbn 978-0701189020) is currently available in hardback. (Waterstones, Abebooks)

First posted on my blog for the 31st March - 11th April 2016 APG Works painting show "Uncertain Spaces" - http://uncertainspaces.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/flaneuse-women-walk-city-by-lauren-elkin.html

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Books - 'Nightwalking", "Street Haunting", "Concretopia", "A New Kind of Bleak", "Scarp", "Estates", & "London Orbital"

A continuation of my previous book recommendations blogpost - "Books - 'Edgelands', 'Geography Of Nowhere', 'Non-Places', 'Night Walks', & 'The Sublime'" - however this time these are books that I have not read but do keep appearing in mentions in a variety of places.

click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London', 2015
By Matthew Beaumont
ISBN-13: 978-1784783785 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1781687956 (hardback)

Matthew Beaumont brings the description of a contemporary nocturnal London and its history to the page. Following in the footsteps of Dickens, Woolf, and others he outlines views around walking at night in past times and the descriptions and perceptions of those that did so.

'Nightwalking in London' - in the following audioboom.com podcast Matthew Beaumont talks to presenter N Quentin Woolf about his book

'Nightwalking & the city: In Discussion with Matthew Beaumont' an interview by Novara Media .

An indepth article, "Nightwalking: a subversive stroll through the city streets",  written by Matthew Beaumont for the Guardian as an introduction to his subject of Nightwalking can be read here - here

A new article (2016) by Matthew Beaumont has appeared in the Guardian picking up on all themes already mentioned above. "The heart of darkness that still beats within our 24-hour cities" - link
A review of the book on the Guardian website can be read here

click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Street Haunting', 2005 (Penguin version out of print. Original version printed 1927)
By Virginia Woolf
ISBN-13: 978-0141022468 (paperback )

In Virginia Woolf’s 1927 essay ‘Street Haunting’, the narrator explores this imaginative act of dipping in and out of people’s minds as they move through the city’s wintry, twilight streets. From prime ministers to the homeless, the narrator examines the city’s inhabitants and the spaces they occupy. ‘What greater delight and wonder can there be than to leave the straight lines of personality’, the narrator asks, to feel ‘that one is not tethered to a single mind, but can put on briefly for a few minutes the bodies and minds of others’. (Description from the British Library website )

A version of Virginia Woolf's "Street Haunting - A London Adventure" which
can be read online here and here

An article in the Independent by Emma Woolf, great neice to Virginia Woolf,  "Literary haunts: Virginia's London walks", 2011. 

click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain', 2013
By John Grindrod
ISBN-13: 978-1908699893 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1906964900 (hardback)

"Was Britain's postwar rebuilding the height of midcentury chic or the concrete embodiment of Crap Towns? John Grindrod decided to find out how blitzed, slum-ridden and crumbling 'austerity Britain' became, in a few short years, a space-age world of concrete, steel and glass.
On his journey he visits the sleepy Norfolk birthplace of Brutalism, the once-Blitzed city centre of Plymouth, the futuristic New Town of Cumbernauld, Sheffield's innovative streets in the sky, the foundations of the BT tower, and the brave 1950s experiments in the Gorbals. Along the way he meets New Town pioneers, tower block builders, Barbican architects, old retainers of Coventry Cathedral, proud prefab dwellers and sixties town planners: people who lived through a time of phenomenal change and excitement.
What he finds is a story of dazzling optimism, ingenuity and helipads -- so many helipads -- tempered by protests, deadly collapses and scandals that shook the government.
Acclaimed by critics from all sides of the political spectrum, Concretopia is an witty and revealing history of an aspect of Britain often ignored, insulted and misunderstood. It will change the way you look at Arndale Centres, tower blocks and concrete forever.
Catherine Croft, Director, Twentieth Century Society

John Grindrod explains his aims for the book in this following BBC interview.

John Grindrod in this lecture for the 2014 BORING conference explores 60's utopian city planning through Ladybird visions of modern Britain.

click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys Through Urban Britain', 2012
By Owen Hatherley
ISBN-13: 978-1781680759 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1844678570 (hardback)

Speaking in 2012 Owen Hatherley presents ideas of his then new book to the Architecture Foundation.

This following talk explores the 'mismatched ideologies' of Brutalism and Heritage, through examples of condemned post-war buildings that have either been saved or attempted to be saved by architectural enthusiasts, including Park Hill, Birmingham Central Library and Preston Bus Station. The talk was delivered as part of 'Revisiting Utopia: Modernist Architecture in the Post Regenerate City'
 "I’d often idly wonder when the riots would come: when the situation of organic delis next to pound shops, of crumbling maisonettes next to furiously speculated-on Victoriana, of artists shipped into architect-designed Brutalist towers to make them safe for Regeneration, of endless boosterist self-congratulation, would finally collapse in on itself… What I don’t understand is how absolutely anyone in any large British city could possible be shocked by all this. This is urban Britain, and though the cuts have made it worse, the damage was done long before."
- Owen Hatherley, A New Kind of Bleak

click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Scarp', 2012
By Nick Papadimitriou
ISBN-13: 978-1444723397(paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1444723380 (hardback)

'The London Perambulator' a 45 minute documentary following Nick Papadimitriou and his psychogeographical explorations of London.

click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'Estates: : An Intimate History', 2012
By Lynsey Hanley
ISBN-13: 978-1847087027(paperback)

Lynsey Hanley was born and raised just outside of Birmingham on what was then the largest council estate in Europe, and she has lived for years on an estate in London's East End. Writing with passion, humour and a sense of history, she recounts the rise of social housing a century ago, its adoption as a fundamental right by leaders of the social welfare state in the mid-century and its decline - as both idea and reality - in the 1960s and '70s. Throughout, Hanley focuses on how shifting trends in urban planning and changing government policies - from Homes Fit for Heroes to Le Corbusier's concrete tower blocks, to the Right to Buy - affected those so often left out of the argument over council estates: the millions of people who live on them. What emerges is a vivid mix of memoir and social history, an engaging and illuminating book about a corner of society that the rest of Britain has left in the dark.

Lynsey is interviewed by Little Atoms in this following audio

click here to buy at Waterstone's online Marketplace

'London Orbital', 2002
By Iain Sinclair
ISBN-13: 978-0141014746(paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1862075474(hardback)

"Encircling London like a noose, the M25 is a road to nowhere, but when Iain Sinclair sets out to walk this asphalt loop - keeping within the 'acoustic footprints' - he is determined to find out where the journey will lead him. Stumbling upon converted asylums, industrial and retail parks, ring-fenced government institutions and lost villages, Sinclair discovers a Britain of the fringes, a landscape consumed by developers. London Orbital charts this extraordinary trek and round trip of the soul, revealing the country as you've never seen it before."

A fascinating documentary is at this following link. Created to go alongside the release of "London Orbital" the film is created using footage collected over several decades by Iain Sinclair with writing by Christopher Petit
"A filmmaker sets out to make a voyage of discovery on London's orbital motorway, the M25. He enlists the help of several others to film the motorway from several points, drive endlessly around it and dig up stories and potential beauty behind the motorway."

First posted on my blog for the 31st March - 11th April 2016 APG Works painting show "Uncertain Spaces" - http://uncertainspaces.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/books-nightwalking-street-haunting.html

Sunday, 22 May 2016

"An Occult Psychogeography of Hawksmoor’s London Churches" - the Bohemian Blog

I've been following the writings and explorations of the 'Bohemiun Blog' for a while and this following post is a great example of just how engaging one person's walk can be when given a curious frame to hang on. The writer has used the work of Alan Moore's "From Hell" as a starting point. "From Hell" is a wide ranging and sometimes fantastical investigation into the 19th century murderer Jack the Ripper and who he could be. Masonic symbolism overlaps religious iconography in most of the questionings surrounding the Ripper in the book which in turn links heavily with Nicholas Hawksmoor's architecture and his idiosynchratic churches built within London in the 17th and 18th centuries. And that's the point where the wanderings of the following blog starts. By mapping out the churches mentioned in the story and then spending a quite considerable amount of time journeying to each one, with moments of note that are experienced all coming together to form a hugely enjoyable record of one person's journey.

I highly recommend clicking the following link and reading the article on the Bohemian Blog's site itself where you can also read other wanderings and imagery that have been experienced - direct link to the full article - "An Occult Psychogeography of Hawksmoor’s London Churches"

Alan Moore's "From Hell" can be bought from Waterstone's here

First posted on my blog for the 31st March - 11th April 2016 APG Works painting show "Uncertain Spaces" - http://uncertainspaces.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/an-occult-psychogeography-of-hawksmoors.html