Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
As I wander around a sun drenched Spanish city I come across a square of modern architecture. Here two mechanised statues lead me into doorways to the tourist attractions. They are supposed to be fun but are a bit irritating. I enter one building and find a huge photograph of a wall of ancient rocks with a hole in the centre. The image suggests something pagan and mysterious.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I am on holiday with the family in the Algarve. Mum sits at the top of a steep bank crowded with sandy towels. Dad has already gone for a swim. I leave my towel with her but realise I have no trunks so need to go and buy some. The water is brown like the Thames and although we are by the sea we are also at the start of a long river.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I am back on my MA drawing course for a term but have not been attending so do not know what is planned. A meeting is being held in my flat. How did everyone get in? No-one has a key. I notice the printer has been left on and has printed endless pages of numbers and letters.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Princess Diana's funeral cortege is parading outside a grand old house. I step to one side: I have priorities elsewhere - I am carrying parts of an unhewn cello that I am supposed to play in a concert. I have never played before but there is no other cellist around. Music emerges from different rooms inside the house. I look in at a group of primary school children using charcoal to draw an animated oboeist.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I am setting up the opening sequence to a film or game I have made with X, one of my severely disabled students. He has painted the title THE RATS or THE REBELS on banners. Two divers drag them under water alongside a submarine for a video promotion. Someone bundles up the banners and tells X to stop making a mess.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Encased inside a cardboard puppet C performs a mesmerising tightrope trick. Although you can see into each cardboard compartment he is nowhere to be seen. Everyone is baffled. He tells no-one his secret not even me. When I tell him how good it is he says nonchalantly yes I should give up the daily job and do this full time. I fall back to sleep and am woken sharply as half of the cardboard puppet explodes with a bang. This is C's finale - he is of course safe within the other half.
Friday, June 22, 2007
I am leaning into the corner of a small hall where evensong is taking place. The congregation consists of white haired women and young children. The music is substandard and slow, "Get a move on", one of the kids mutters. Two women limp out. The organist, an old man with Downs' Syndrome turns and says, "It's not working." Someone tries the keys - the organ has broken down.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I've just been let into the cinema with Ivan for free. I quickly go to the loo before the film starts. A string of grubby white porcelain urinals are squeezed behind a row of metal lockers. Parallel to that is a long supermarket aisle of sweets and beyond that, along the far wall, is a line of bank cashiers.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Five young men of different heights are staging a musical. I stare up at the stage getting a preview of the show. They are all stripped to the waist and have impressive firm six packs. They obviously worked hard for those. I tell myself I should start exercising a bit more to be like them.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Walking back from a trip to a country museum, the rain starts to pour down, and my shoes are not waterproof. I see a group of people crowding round the edge of a waterfall. In the clear water below at least three old women are drowning. There is no struggle - they sink slowly and I am too scared to save them.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
A business tycoon with obscene amounts of money has booked a hotel suite with a sulky blonde. He swigs from a bottle of champagne so heavy he can scarcely hold it to his lips. Musak plays in the background on the radio.
Meanwhile a film of W H Auden's Night Mail is projected directed by Picasso. In it dancers hurl themselves over and under each other like letters being sorted by 1930's machinery. The sound of the poem dominates the space showing up the real poverty of the first man.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I am in a big warehouse painting skirting boards and door frames a gun metal grey. The hastily constructed stairs do not quite lead to the right places, so I can't reach everywhere I need to. A young artist asks me to work on her harebrained project, painting portraits of visitors on the walls engaged in intimate activities. I tell her I am not able to help so she will have to find someone else. "Don't mess up my paintwork," I tell her. "Oh we will have to..." she says casually.
Friday, June 15, 2007
A kitsch clock in pastel glazes depicts the childhood scenes of Christ, viewed through a misty romantic haze. Each little figure has white porcelain skin and moving parts, the whole thing topped by a grownup Jesus waving one hand cheerily. Our point of view pans around like a promotion on a shopping channel.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I have moved into a large squat. An old schoolfriend who I have not seen in thirty years is living there (alongside a diamante clad Carol Smiley). When he sees me he hardly reacts, "So you never kept up contact," he says. I mumble excuses. "You never really made the effort. You are not even being frank with me now." "OK," I reply, " We were friends at school but somehow we drifted apart." "You were a moody sod even then. Always moaning. " "I still am," I acknowledge. "Yes well," he continues, "my brother is coming to visit tonight. You'd best keep out the way." And he walks off leaving me crushed and unable to work.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
"You think I'm mad don't you?" I ask this young woman. She laughs and nods. I am projecting a slide of a city scene onto a wall. As I stare at it, it seems to spring to life like watching an image in a Camera Obscura where the most bland scene becomes enchanting. "If you concentrate, the same thing will happen for you," I say. She shrugs and laughs again. She's not really interested.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I am about to go on stage to open the play. I have the leading role and although I know my part reasonably well, I have a terrible habit of feeding the wrong cues to the rest of the cast. With one minute to go I decide I am going to have to keep a script on me throughout. I frantically search the dressing room but can't find a copy of it anywhere.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Sal and I are in a forest. We have been instructed to shoot a deer as part of our training programme. I concede that I do eat the occasional venison sausage so we should not baulk at the task. A fawn is trapped behind a wooden gate. I load my gun and shoot straight for the heart. Nothing happens. I try again - still nothing. By my third attempt I say, "No, I can't do this. We are just frightening this beautiful creature - we have no real need to kill it." We set it free vowing never to eat venison again.
Friday, June 08, 2007
A friend and I are on a massive sailing contraption, hurtling towards the Thames barrier. It slows down just at the last minute and then swings round heading back so fast that the scenery disappears into a blur. The speed is exhilerating. When we come to a stop I calculate that we covered a mile every 1.25 seconds. A passenger from a previous ride is being hoisted by a body harness having broken his leg from the pressure.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
My learning disabilities group has moved into a mansion. Everyone is excited. X asks to see all the rooms. He can't stop smiling, his face full of wonder. Already his vocabulary has expanded and he seems much more alert. "You will be a changed man here, " I tell him.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Marlene has been robbed and is now being blackmailed by the woman police officer. I am mad when I find that Marlene has handed over an envelope containing cash and a letter begging to be left alone. I let the WPC know I am onto her game and she will not get away with it. She replies that she expected me to come out with something like this and that she has already reported me for suspicious behaviour and I am number one suspect for the robbery. I am shocked that anyone can be so evil.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
After an increase in terrorist attacks on England has been predicted, a bomb goes off in Murder Street in London. Our city is becoming like Iraq. Five people are killed and there is panic in the air. What has our government led us into? "The panic you feel is just shapes in your head," someone tries to reassure me.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
A line of young models stand in a line on stage in an empty auditorium. They are practising handing out prizes for an award ceremony, their jokey chat stilted and embarrassing. A TV programme maker's name is announced and a woman in absurdly high heels staggers down the steps to present the winner with a box of Maltesers.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
In a smoky bar the customers are transfixed by a very ordinary looking man who is singing a heart rending love song. He leans against a pencil smudged pillar dragging his fingers through the graphite surface. As the song grows in intensity his whole body creates a drawing of marks left behind by the unexpected twists of his limbs. He slides down across the floor and ends on a clear high note, "If you feel that love, can't you beam it up here..." The audience hoist him up and carry him outside.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Fourteen years after his death Kev is about to die again. I don't cry. I feel nothing. As he pushes forward into an endless stack of brown bottles, Chris tells him, "You will come out the other side." I know he won't. I can see he can't push much more.