Beatle-Mania

A Miscellany

A few bits and bobs:

Beatle-Mania, mixed media collage and screenprint, 2015 – Work about the Beatles isn’t something I would expect to be making – I was always a Rolling Stones fan and, in the early 1960s, you could not be both!  However, when I was asked on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support if I would be willing to make and donate one of my collages to be raffled as part of Beatles Day 17 I couldn’t say no!  During my research and collecting source material, I began to focus on Beatlemania (which really was an amazing phenomenon at the time) together with fandom.  I managed to buy an original newspaper cutting about their concert at Shea Stadium which was their biggest gig to date and, probably, one of the biggest in rock and pop history at that time (about 56,000 people – almost all screaming girls!).  Not only did I use this cutting as part of the collage I also based the screenprint on that single image (digitally enhanced to make the silk screen positives).  During my research I also started to concentrate on the years 1964/5 and I picked up ephemera about the Beatles’ Christmas fund-raising campaign in 1964 for “needy children” and this has also been incorporated into the collage.  The four sides of the collage are painted green, blue, purple and red being, according to fanzine trivia, the favourite colours of John, Paul, George and Ringo respectively.

D & G, mixed media collage including Dolce & Gabbana Collezione Autunno-Inverno 1992/93 Portfolio (photographs by Steven Meisel), 2015 – This collage was made, in the Summer of 2015, when I went back to making collages (see How To Spend It).  I had previously bought, at auction, a box of fashion presentation catalogues one of which was a loose-leaved portfolio for the D & G collection in the Autumn of 1992.  It was in poor condition so was able to use it (the others were all pristine and therefore could not be cut up).  I was struck by a combination of the use of black and white, the industrial landscape, and the faces of the models.  Someone commented, when I was working on this collage, that they had been commoditized by the make-up etc. and had lost all individuality / humanity – were mere dolls.  I don’t agree, I think they look very human and rather vulnerable.

Bird Flight 2, screenprint, 2015 – I have long been fascinated by the early experiments in under-standing movement (e.g. Eadweard Maybridge’s work which itself was based on that of Marey) and this tied in with my exploring the use of multiple separation photographic positives in screenprinting. Therefore, I took a well-known early chrono-photographie taken by Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) which is sometimes called Bird flight 2 and digitally enhanced it to produce an image which I think emphasises the sensation of movement. Why pink? A lot of people think the birds are Flamingos (they’re not).

Lost, mixed media diptych, 2014 – My Mum loved shopping, particularly for clothes and accessories.  She died a few days before Christmas 2013 and afterwards I sent her personal effects to charity but amongst them found some single earrings.  I hate shopping but love socks and had kept four of my favourite (but singular) ones for many years. The image of my mother that I have used is, I think, her one and only passport photograph (taken in the mid 1960s when she was about 40).