I have a print for sale in the Higginson Hurst showcase at the latest exhibition at London Print club - Blackout Blisters
The Show opens on Friday 3rd of December and is on for that weekend, Closing the 5th, all prints in the show are 40 pounds and there's always amazing work in the show. The print is a limited edition of 10 and glows in the dark Even.
I'm a little bit late posting about this, but the image below is included in the 'Pick Me Up' design exhibition at Somerset House. It's a screenprint and now available for sale at Somerset House through the show, or through the new illustration agency i'm a part of (Higginsen
Hurst) or maybe, just maybe if there's any left at the end of the show, through this site also.
Finally finished my first draft of my not-for-children childrens book "The Sad Robot". still a long ways to go till i get to the final version but i thought i'd put the draft up here in any case. -> view here <-.
A screenprint of the above work will be in an exhibition coming up this Thursday night on Brick Lane in London...
The work's available to buy for a nice round 20 pounds and will be in a lovely orange if the photos --> here <-- are anything to go by.
The show's co-organised by the ever-lovely mr James Hurst
here's the details:
The openingThursday 7th of May from 7pm till late at Bodhi Art Gallery on Brick Lane (opposite the bagel shops). The soundtrack will be provided by the sound doctor Rob-Tronica. All of the prints are being sold for £20 - we can only accept cash so bring a few notes with you! The show runs until the 27th of May 2009 - there are lots of events along the way - go to www.curestudio.com or www.twitter.com/curestudio to keep up to date with what is happening.This show is organised by Fred of Print Club London (www.printclublondon.com) and James of Cure Studio (www.curestudio.com).
Sometimes I think, I'm so cynical and wise to the ways of the world but I still find I can impress myself with my own innocent naivity. Late last night I was walking to the corner store and I walked past a bunch of guys who were hanging tough around their car with their bangla hip hop up loud and one of them calls over "Nice hat!" and I wave and say "thanks" and a part of me, even if it's a really, really small part of me thinks - "hey maybe he really*did* like my hat".
Also in the comics area, Love Detective and Boo Bear are on holidays somewhere nice warm and sunny...
There's also a couple of new bits in the "Pictures" section of the site, namely some illustrations from when i arrived in London last year and was looking (mostly unsuccesfully) for a room, they can be seen here...
There's a few other changes around but they barely warrant a mention. Hope you enjoy and feel free to drop me a line.
Songs I have heard pretty much constantly in Vietnam:
1. Hotel California. Mostly the (seemingly extended) live version. It just goes on and on and on.
2. Dancing Queen by Abba. It always seemed so incongruous, no matter where it was being played.
3. The theme to the Godfather.
3. Muzak versions of the above and more. I remember receiving one of
the best massages in the Blind Association School in Nah Trang, and
during this almost spirital experience having Muzak version of Abba
songs being piped through the soundsystem. Very relaxing.
It's a funny process, moving out of a city that you've called home for
the last 2 and a half years and not knowing if you'll ever return to
live in that city again or not. It's compounded yet again by also
leaving the country, especially for another country that you haven't
been to before and one where you can't speak a word of the language.
Little things like being able to talk to people behind the counter at
the local hardware store suddenly seem to have a lot of relevance. Even
loud-speaker anouncements in the local shopping centre take on a
greater sense of significance - I imagine that I'll be standing in a
shopping centre or public area and a loudspeaker announcement takes
place and I continue my shopping happily but everyone else falls eerily
silent and then starts running, and there I am, left wondering what
the hell was just said.
Having had plenty of time to pack up and leave, I began to get
overly nostalgic about the little things, like the people you see when
walking down the street, the anorexia girls on the bikepath, the smell
of the figs that always accompanied my ride on the last down-hill slope
before home. It starts with little things, like the last time I'll buy
this sweet chilli sauce, or that jar of marinated artichoke hearts, and
then I realise, this could be the last time I ever walk down this
street or the last time I'm served by my favourite waitress, the last
time I cook a meal in my kitchen, the last time i'll see explosion man
or any of my other favorite hobos and crazy people roaming the streets,
the last time I hear the optus lady telling me I have 3 new messages..
And then it grows to more difficult situations like the last time you
spent working with your friends at work, perhaps even the last time you
see this person or that person, who up until now has been so familiar
in your current setting. What I never even realised or anticipated was
that it may just be the last time spent living with the one I love.
Welcome to the new site! I've been working on converting this site and my others over to a more streamlined content management system and I'm finally at a stage where I can start rolling them out - well this one at least. So there's still quite a few bugs (actually - a lot of bugs) that I need to iron out, but it's a start, so tread carefully and do let me know if you come across anything amiss or awry.
Our house was sprayed for bugs today and i've found myself taking
numerous trips to the kitchen just to watch the cockroaches writhe in
pain in their last throes of life as i stand there throwing insults at
them "See that - not so tough now are you? That one's for all the times
you and your little brown buddies have snuck into our bathroom at night
to lick our toothbrushes - that's for all the time you've nibbled on
our rice packets or bread bags so that every time we pick them up a
trail of foodstuff spills over the floor. That's for all the time that
I've walked into the kitchen, barefoot in the wee hours of morning to
fetch a glass of water only to end up squishing your little friends
between my toes. Take that cockroach scum."
Needless to say, it's been a very therapeutic day...
John Laws came round my house again today. I forgot he had my
address, which i must have given him in a temporary lapse of judgement,
an unguarded moment or on a note of now regrettable frivolity. I hope
he doesn't start making a habit of it again. He said he wanted to get
away from things which i guess is understandable. We swapped stories
about our medication, radio careers (his still going strong, mine
waning) and love of trucking songs. I tried to encourage him to get
back with his producer - Jim Beam and set those golden tonsils to wax
once more but he would have nothing of it. There's not enough money in
rock and roll these days he opined and besides his fans aren't getting
any younger. He kept wanting to talk to me about the ladies. It's
difficult talking to John Laws about women, not only because we have
such different tastes probably on account of him being 50 odd years my
senior but i always get the uncomfortable sensation that he is getting
some kind of creepy satisfaction or gratification from my tales, the
way he's always probing for more information you can almost see him
salivating, his eyes watering up and him leaning further in towards me.
In all the time he was here and although it seemed to be hanging around
the visit unspoken, i never once mentioned the cash for comment affair
which seems heating up again. I think this is why he likes me I'm easy
on him and like him, also enjoy making fun of hippies.
So i bumped into Cinnamon the other week. He was outside Goldbergs
on a Sunday night. He gave me a big hug and really i was pleased to see
him. He said we hadn't seen each other since i left for London, but in
fact we had, he was just in the middle of a "satanic attack" and i was
in the middle of ordering a Turkish pidda so neither of us really had
time for the other. He said I was a handsome man and gave me a kiss on
the cheek, so i realised that not only was he still as crazy as a bat,
his eyesight had not improved any either. I was actually on my way home
and he was smoking a cigarette outside while the two men he was with
waited patiently inside. I was curious about who they were seeming how
all in all they seemed quite sane and for the most part, sane people
tend to give cinnamon a pretty wide berth. It's rare to see Cinnamon
hanging out with anyone since at best he' s a bag of insecurities and
paranoia. As it turns out they were two men from his local church
apparently "One's an alcholic and the other one, he's a drug addict" he
enthusiastically told me in his booming voice as the ears of everyone
at the outside tables piqued up and the heads of the two men lowered
and turned the other way. "Thanks Cinnamon, i'm sure they really
appreciate you telling me this."
Last night i dreamt of a prince.
I was at some art exhibition, of which there is nothing i remember
aside from the whiteness of it all - that is i can't remember if there
were any works on the wall or if the whiteness itself was the
exhibition. Needless to say there were lots of people there and it was
oh so fabulous. And that's where i met him.
Prince was a lot shorter in person than i thought he'd be. I wasn't
entirely surprised but i kept thinking that the amusement i felt at
looking at his diminutive form was betrayed in the smirk that wouldn't
stop from creeping up on me. We exchanged pleasentries and i thought it
was kind of cool to be seen talking to him, even if i'm not really a
fan of his work. The next day i'm walking down a street in
Darlinghurst, Sydney, even though the scene of the dream is supposedly
in London and a car beeps it's horn and who is it waving frantically at
me, but Prince. Again, i thought this kind of cool, even though no one
saw or would really recognsie him behind his big shades anyway and i
thought him to be quite a genuine fellow, to wave like that at a guy
who he has only met once - i mean; this is prince, he must have heaps
Time passes and i'm going for my lunchtime coffee at the same cafe i
always have my lunchtime coffee at even though more often than not they
curdle the soy (a practice i suspect they do on purpose since all i
ever have is a coffee and it's their way of quietly trying to shoe me
out of their cafe but because i suspect this, i stubbornly refuse to be
budged) - the organic one off Marylebone High Street in London and
again, Prince waves to me from the car. He looks rather excited to see
me and signals that he will park the car by circling his index finger
in a whirlpool motion. As you do. He parks his car, a white porsche
right outside the large windows of the cafe, that take all the
afternoon sun, where i sit and have my lunchtime coffee every working
day. He bounds up to me in his petite dainty way and pats me on the
back and asks me what i'm up to. I hesitate to tell him i'm going for
my coffee because i really don't want to be disturbed, let alone walk
into the cafe with Prince by my side. But i do, and he does invite
himself along with me, and even though i knew i shouldn't feel
embarrassed, the knowing looks the waitresses gave me, his impossibly
high voice, his loud camp laughter and his purple frilly shirt were too
much and i sat hunched over my coffee wishing it all away.
I'm standing in line to buy some water for the day ahead of me and
the old lady bent over the counter next to me is buying a whole heap of
lollies, (presumably for her many great grandchildren judging by her
age). She starts educating the store clerks on the origin of the jellie
babies she has piled infront of her.... "Australia, they come from
Australia!" she starts excitedly. I turn and smile, deciding whether or
not to tell her that though I'm not a jellie baby, I too come from
Australia but she starts on me "Did you know they make jellie babies in
Australia - what will they think of next?" I think perhaps i could tell
her that yes, they make many things in Australia and Jelly Babies are
only the start of a long list of weird and wonderful things we produce
but decide it's best to just smile and walk out as i hear her repeating
again "Yes, yes Australia" in a bemused monologue.
Sometimes i see my dad on the street, riding a pushbike, in line at
the grocery store or walking a dog along the path. He never owned a dog
himself, or for that matter rode a bike, at least as far as i know. It
never is him of course, and it's not neccesarily that these men look
like him, but they all do share a quiet sense of despair and loss. A
feeling that the world has given up on them and that nothing works in
their favour. And if by chance something does, it goes unnoticed and
does nothing to quench the bitterness that they feel in the world.
I was on my way to meet Nik at the cafe when i notice, on the road
right infront of me, a five dollar note. Sure, it wasnt much but it had
been a while since i had found any cash (the last time being when i
wrestled a stray $20 note out of an automatic teller which has probably
caused banks across the country to be postering the photos of the event
on their notice boards under the heading of "desperate loser" or
something to that effect) As casual as you have ever seen someone bend
down and pick something up off the road, i casually bent down and
picked it up off the road. I barely stopped, didn't look around to
check if anyone was watching, just picked it right up in one smooth
movement as if it was a letter addressed to me from god. "Hi Damien,
how are you doing? here's a little present to get you off to a nice
start for the day, sincerely-God. PS. if there is anything else i can
do for you, please don't hesitate to ask." is how it read. I sticks it
into my top pocket and imagined Australias' funniest home videos or
another vouyertainment show filming the episode. I wondered what
soundtrack they would play over the scene and settled upon the James
Bond or Peter Gun Theme because i was soo cool assed!
I didn't feel quite so "cool assed" however when the large disgruntled
guy who "claimed" to own it (though who i suspect only saw me pick it
up) followed me into the cafe and demand his money back and wondered in
a not altogether unaccusing manner just where the rest of it had gone.
My fingernails were in a bad state, to be sure. I had better things
to do the past couple of weeks than to keep the sparkly blue glitter
nail polish in a condition worthy of hand shaking Elizabeth Taylor. But
today i was working at the bookstore and i probably could have either
given them a fresh coat or completely removed it rather than leaving
the polish chipped and scarred like that. A matronly woman was
purchasing books for her daughter when i slid the book across to her in
its brown paper bag. She spotted the glitter on my thumb, grabbed my
hand and tapped the guilty thumb while smiling and slightly nodding her
head.. I am still not sure what she meant by the action but she did
seem very pleased with herself. I kind of think that she saw the polish
and suspected it to be the remains of some wild cross dressing activity
that i engage in after hours where me and my "special" friends gather
round and paint each others nails while playing nude twister. or
perhaps she just thought i was an idiot.
I was walking down the street with Alex, Nik and Ian. We were
passing the Crown and Anchor Hotel, a fairly well known place to avoid,
unless you have a penchant for drunken sailors steel workers and those
bar fights where they break saloon chairs over your back. I don't think
there are really drunken sailors there, maybe it's just the pub's
situation in relation to the harbour or something but it does seem like
the kind of place that a drunken sailor would go, and not leave for a
day or two.
Certainly the mess sitting outside would be a qualified candidate. On
the bench enjoying the winters midday sun was a man, sitting, sleeping,
unlit cigarette in his downward mouth, about to get lost down the front
of his checkered shirt while both hands rested obediently closed on his
lap as if he was posing for a school photo and had the questionable
honour of being one of the kids in the front row. On one hands knuckle
he had love tattooed and on the other, the one still clutching the yet
to be put to good use lighter was written - fairy. Actually, no, it
said hate. Sure we had a chuckle., hell, i even recall us walking past
him a couple of times just to soak up the scene, as if repetition would
etch it on our visual memory.
We are walking off and thinking alloud how good a photo that would make
when i realised what should i have in my bag but a polaroid camera...
Now, it's at this point that i realised that any photographer worth
their salt would have immediately whipped out their camera, stolen a
moment and be on their merry way, instead i had to convince someone
(Ian) to walk back with me and save this moment in time.
So Ian and i walk back to the big lug, still sleeping like a baby and
we pause at the corner to take out the camera when, just as we have it
out of the bag and are about to walk towards him he wakes up and looks
directly at us at which point we turn as if nothing was happening here
sir, certinaly not us taking a photo of you and good day to you and
walk the hell the other way with no photo and only a remotely
interesting story to show.
I visited Canberra yesterday. If ever there was a hole big enough to
put our nation's capital in, they certainly found it in Canberra. I
went there with my mum and my brother on some package deal to see an
art exhibition which was more or less (and mostly more) very
forgettable. We stayed in a hotel (i don't know how many stars but by
the looks of things i'm sure it was in the lower half of the scale). I
think it was my first time in a hotel, but if it wasn't, the first time
couldn't have been too memorable an experience. I couldn't imagine
myself smashing televisions and ripping the place apart, especially
considering i am not even in a band and it really wouldn't be a good
thing to do with my mum there. Although i could easily see how the
monotony and faux neat and tidy homeliness could drive you to do such a
thing. The news report said that it was minus 5 out so i thought it
would be nice to go for a walk in the cold air (we would rarely get
below 0 degrees in Newcastle - if at all) and explore a bit of the
town. Not really knowing where i was going i came across a large block
of offices. There was a window about 3 floors up that was smashed.
Though it was smashed from the inside, as if someone had thrown
something heavy against it. I imagine a disgruntled worker throwing
their desk up and hurling their chair against the window pain then
calmly recomposing themselves, softly saying "it's been a pleasure
working here" to no one inparticular, walking out and becoming a porno
actor (Canberra is Australia's leader in the porn industry - as tabloid
news is always quick to point out-) or likewise a born again Christian.
I'd like to think both.
Someone dropped a jar of something outside the shop i work at. I think it was a big jar of mustard. They did their best to clean up the spilt glass but left the mustard which for all intents and purposes looked like shit. It was so much fun watching people walk past it and smile to themselves or grimace or scream to their friends and laugh or just look at it in fascination, not knowing what to make of it.. i mean, if it was shit, it was pretty serious looking shit. "please! someone take that dog to a doctor! fast!" It just sat there for a while, all sloppy like till eventually a few people stepped in it and completely grossed out. This was even fun for a while but eventually i thought i should do the right thing and clean it up.. And then people walking past started saying they felt sorry for me.. "no it's just mustard" i'd say, and they would still keep their distance and be all like "well it looks like shit" or once i had watered it down a bit say "well it looks like vomit, i still wouldnt touch it" and i'd say " well if it was vomit i wonder what they were eating to be spewing up all this glass"
Sometimes, when i'm standing in line at the bank, sitting down by
myself at the cafe or even just walking down the street, i get the urge
to break into dance and start singing. I never do, of course, unless it
is a quiet street at night and no one is in sight. But during these
urges i imagine what it would be like and picture myself actually doing
it. For those brief moments the world turns into a musical, the bank
tellers smiles are genuine and brimming with emotion as they sing back
up "doo wops" and "ooh ahhs", no one in the cafe minds as i jump from
table to table and the light fixture doesn't even break as i swing from
it, somersaulting to the ground to a rousing applause and a free cafe
This afternoon i was riding home from work at the bookstore and i
saw Cinnamon walking along the street wearing a jacket that just the
week previously i had seen in an op shop and thought about buying. I
didn't for 2 reasons, being that i didnt really have the money to go
blowing it on a jacket, no matter how fancy it was and also i just
didn't think i would be able to "carry" it. After seeing it on Cinnamon
however i began to wish that i had. Our conversation went like this:
"Hi cinnamon how are you?"
"I'm good mate, and you?"
"Oh I'm fine, say that's a real nice jacket you got on there"
"Thanks man, you know, I'm very sexually attracted to you"
"Oh.... I wish more girls said that to me."
"Yeh.... But I'm not gay"
"Sure you're not gay"
Cinnamon came around today. As usual it seemed more of an
inconvenience than it was worth, but at the same time i decided to take
this opportunity to take a break from the work i was doing on my
computer. He asked if he could have some tea and sit down. I am sure
that he comes here as a last resort if not only because i wont let him
smoke in the house or smoke dope with him and will sometimes not let
him come in at all. It's not that i don't like him, its just that
sometimes his condition can be a little, well, overbearing, and you
can't help but be bored by his talk of "satanic attacks" and the
"gestapo" and what not. That sounds terrible.
So, while the tea was on the boil i sat on the floor and began leafing
through Kathy's Marie Claire magazine. No sooner had i opened to a
centre spread on the Jonestown massacre than he starts crying. And real
loud too. I quickly changed the page and looked up but he hadn't even
seen it. I didn't know what to do. I asked him what was wrong and he
said, as if it was plainly obvious "I'm having a satanic attack man!"
He had never been this bad or at least i had never seen him that bad
before, i just said "oh". really i wasn't sure if i should get up and
hug him, pat him on the back, or hold his hand. I continued looking
through the magazine, full of pictures of beautiful people, unbridled
and guilt free consumerism, opulence and depictions of a life most will
never have the chance to know, of beautiful people, their beautiful
loves, and their beautiful homes and the beautiful food they ate and
how plastic everything is. Cinnamon continued sobbing on the couch as
the water boiled.
Tonight i was walking home past the corner store and two young guys
asked me if i could buy them cigarettes. I only do this to save them
time. I figure they are going to get the cigarettes anyway, and if i
don't get them, they will have to wait longer to get them and its best
they get on their way and do whatever they have to do. What is funny
though is that they are not legally allowed to buy cigarettes but they
were stoned out of their mind anyways. I asked them what they wanted
and asked them if that's all i would have to say to the man behind the
counter because i just don't know cigarette speak. They assured me it
would be cool, but it wasn't, the man behind the counter started asking
me about milligrams and i just didn't know the answers to those sorts
of complicated cigarettiquette questions so i asked him to give me
whatever he thinks underage kids that he wont sell cigarettes to would
buy. He said, "Oh. They usually get the stronger stuff."
Marcus and i were walking from west Hunter St. to The Lucky Country
Hotel in the East. Due to recent incidents of unwanted violence to us
and/or friends we tried to work out the best way to walk there, which
road, which side etc would be the safest. After crossing to various
sides, and even once walking along the medium strip quite contently. We
are within 300 meters from our destination when we notice a large group
of the sort of guys you really dont want to walk past on a dark street
and we so happened to be on a dark street. We decided it would be best
to cross the road and really, it was probably obvious that we were
crossing the road to avoid them but what did we care. We were!
The guy at the front broke ahead and while in the middle of the road
stopped us and said "Gimme a dollar". If i was by myself, now would be
the moment when i high-tail it out of there, but considering these guys
were dressed in sporting attire (must be good runners then?) , and me
having flashbacks of coming last in all my school races and having
marcus there too i felt no choice but to see it out. Marcus pulled out
the change from his pocket (mostly shrapnel but a handful of it no
less- actually i can remember being quite amazed he was carrying so
much silver coinage in his pocket) and gave him that, the guy turned to
me and said the same and i said i didnt have a dollar. This is then
followed by that weird moment between guys where you lock eye contact
and both wonder if and who is going to throw the first punch while in
the background one of the gand is waiting patiently beating a large
stick against the metal fence.
We nodded like two cowboys in the middle of a dirt street and walked
away, him with his shrapnel booty and me with my heart in my mouth and
a pocketful of coins i had to practically limp with to stop from
Marcus and i were walking from west Hunter St. to The Lucky Country Hotel in the East. Due to recent incidents of unwanted violence to us and/or friends we tried to work out the best way to walk there, which road, which side etc would be the safest. After crossing to various sides, and even once walking along the medium strip quite contently. We are within 300 meters from our destination when we notice a large group of the sort of guys you really dont want to walk past on a dark street and we so happened to be on a dark street. We decided it would be best to cross the road and really, it was probably obvious that we were crossing the road to avoid them but what did we care. We were!
The guy at the front broke ahead and while in the middle of the road stopped us and said "Gimme a dollar". If i was by myself, now would be the moment when i high-tail it out of there, but considering these guys were dressed in sporting attire (must be good runners then?) , and me having flashbacks of coming last in all my school races and having marcus there too i felt no choice but to see it out. Marcus pulled out the change from his pocket (mostly shrapnel but a handful of it no less- actually i can remember being quite amazed he was carrying so much silver coinage in his pocket) and gave him that, the guy turned to me and said the same and i said i didnt have a dollar. This is then followed by that weird moment between guys where you lock eye contact and both wonder if and who is going to throw the first punch while in the background one of the gand is waiting patiently beating a large stick against the metal fence.
We nodded like two cowboys in the middle of a dirt street and walked away, him with his shrapnel booty and me with my heart in my mouth and a pocketful of coins i had to practically limp with to stop from rattling.