Closer To God
2019 / 166x120cm / Mixed media on wood
The lockdown has affected me professionally in a huge way. First of all, I cannot get to my studio. I do not really have the space or materials at home to be able to carry on making in the way that I normally would. It is a bit frustrating as I have the opportunity to be involved in a show at a new gallery space in Germany as soon as this situation passes and I was hoping to be able to send new work for it.
That said, before my kids were born (when time seemed more plentiful) I was making music alongside my studio practise. I didn’t really push it to the same degree, but a project such as ‘ Inheritance Wax‘ from 2005 will give you an idea of one of the ways I have combined music and art. Plus all my street pieces are based on lyrics from music, so it is the obvious place for me to go back to now…music is my muse and I usually communicate that or transmute that in to visual art. Now I am just going straight to producing sound itself.
Making music again actually is a real luxury. In some ways, making sound and exploring this medium a while is a bit like going back to life-drawing for me. It´s a part of the fundamentals.
Though going back to the audio programmes themselves left me feeling like a bit of an alien for the first few days. I also had a slight technical problem with my mixer which I tried to fix but ended up making worse and whenever I try to record with the microphone you can hear the kids playing in the background. It´s far from perfect, but I think the kind of music I want to make has traditionally been made with a large slice of improvisation. We need to be resourceful in these times.
The consistency in my practice is the music: the patterns of positive and negative space can have the same energy, the same funk to it whether it´s visual or acoustic.
Apart from the media change, I am still ‘sampling’ as before but usually in my studio I work very much alone. Now I have been in contact with some people I have collaborated with before, musically, to help complete some of the new work. People such as Pseudo Slang from the U.S. and Poet Curious from London. Also Cesar Comanche, also from the U.S. We did a project together last year for his tour t-shirt and we talked about the possibility of working on a sound project then.
The specific text I’ve done for this project says: you’re mind ain’t confined. Think what you wanna think
It is based on some lyrics I have been cutting and scratching in to some new music and it makes perfect sense under the circumstances.
I had my kids help me with the chalk drawing. I wanted it to have a bit of a ‘do the right thing’ vibe to it. As you can see, we are really lucky to have access to some outside space…that also helps keep me sane!