WHAT: Art exhibition
WHERE: Leeds Gallery (map)
WHEN: 21st Apr, 12
Take a look at the rest of my photos from the exhibition HERE.
MY STORY IN A NUTSHELL:
- Northern Arts Uncovered is one of the newest additions to Leeds’s independent art scene. It was founded by Helen Brady and Victoria Rosso, and aims to support up and coming local artists.
- I loved the huge range of media on display, which includes everything from oils to photography.
- The works of emerging artists and students were deliberately juxtaposed – but they were all of very high quality anyway.
- My favourite pieces were Pippa Dyrlaga’s dizzying paper cuttings and Nicole Viner’s quirky ‘Mad Giraffe.’
MY FULL STORY: The independent art scene in Leeds is spreading like wildfire. It seems like there’s no stopping it, despite the wind and rain trying to do their worst. Sorry Nature, but Art wins.
After hosting exhibitions such as the first ever Leeds Print Festival and ‘Access All Areas: 20 Years of Back to Basics,’ Leeds Gallery recently paused its current show, ‘Leeds Through a Lens,’ to make way for a one day event dedicated purely to emerging talents.
Northern Arts Uncovered is a brand new project founded by Leeds University graduate Helen Brady and producer/designer Victoria Rosso, who studied at Leeds College of Art. Its aim is to provide up and coming local artists with a platform to showcase their works in public. All profits made from the event went to Art Fund, a charity supporting the art industry in the country. Although neither Helen nor Victoria have ever curated an art exhibition before, the show was a huge success.
The thing I loved most about it was the variety of media on display. There were oil paintings, photography, book illustrations, textiles, prints, ink drawings, paper cuttings and more. It was a jungle bursting with a combination of colour, imagination, and talent that you rarely get in such mixed styles outside large galleries. There was no strict theme – just a bunch of great works beautifully juxtaposed against each other.
‘We deliberately mixed the works of emerging artists and students,’ Victoria explains, saying that they did not want or see the need to make a clear distinction between the two.
Helen and Victoria received an overwhelming number of entries from artists all over England after they opened up the submission area on their website. After an arduous decision process, they eventually whittled it down to the 24 artists whose works were displayed on the day.
Many of the artists were present at some point during the exhibition, and I had the honour of meeting Omnipresent Art – aka Okey Ebizie. His works are interesting in that they differ so much from one another. While his prints are mostly inspired by hip hop, his textile works are more preoccupied with simple pattern and bright colours.
It’s hard to choose a favourite in such a varied exhibition, but Pippa Dyrlaga’s paper cutting piece is probably the one I found most intriguing. Beautiful, dizzying and creepy in equal measures, the work clearly reflects the amount of time and patience the artist must have spent on it.
Another piece I liked is ‘Mad Giraffe’ by Nicole Viner, a 21-year-old Design student at Leeds Met. There is a sense of lightheartedness about it that almost borders on the absurd – but it makes you smile nonetheless.
Overall I really enjoyed the exhibition. It was definitely worth the trek down. Not only were the works on display thought-provoking and well executed, I also like that Northern Arts Uncovered helps to debunk the notion of “high art” by supporting these young artists and making their works accessible to all. Great stuff.
WHAT: Art exhibition
WHERE: Yorkshire Sculpture Park (map)
WHEN: 17th Mar 12 – 6th Jan 13
MY STORY IN A NUTSHELL:
This was the first time I have ever been to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, but it was an incredible first visit as I was invited to a preview of the first major Miró sculptures exhibition in the UK.
- Miró’s sculptures represent nature and life. His more delicate works are displayed in the Underground Gallery, but other larger works are shown outdoors where they belong. The playfulness in all of them is self-evident.
- There are three types of Miró’s sculptures on display here, which were made at three different forgeries. The first are black, smooth and solid; the second are colourful and embody various found objects; the third are more delicate and often contain shoes, which represent birds.
- Birds are an important motif in Miró’s works. His mythical Solar and Lunar Birds appear in two thirds of his pieces after he came up with the idea in the late 1940s.
- Miró himself sounds like a wonderfully quirky guy. He did not believe in knowing too much and instead preferred to let other artists influence him. He also used to get his inspirations by doing gymnastics on the beach.
- I really enjoyed wandering around his art. Despite the difficult times he lived through his works remained positive and child-like, and a beautiful dynamic exist between them and the visitors. Not to be missed.
MY FULL STORY: I have been berated time and again. ‘You live in Leeds and you’ve never been to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park?’ People always ask in that patronising tone with judging eyes of astonishment. I know, I know, but say no more because I have finally made my first visit. And what a first visit that was – I was invited to the national press conference there last Wednesday for a preview of the first major Miró sculptures exhibition in the UK.
I have to admit that I did not know much about the great artist prior to my visit, and had no idea that he was such a prolific sculptor. But the exhibition at the Park proves that he was a master of both trades.
Miró’s art progressed very much as a journey. He started off with the 2D paintings he is most renowned for, and then moved on to collages, then to making sculptures with found objects (he was a forager, so to say), then to ceramics, before sculpting in brass. That said, he would return to the various media throughout his career.
He very much saw his sculptures as parts of nature, and hoped that they would ‘be confused with [...] tree, rocks, roots, mountains, plants, flowers.’ This exhibition, which is a collaboration between Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Miró’s trust and family, grants that wish. Although his more delicate pieces are displayed in the Underground Gallery, a lot of his larger works are shown outdoors in the vast green spaces of the Park.
I love the playfulness in his works. His coloured sculptures, such as ’Monsieur et Madame’ (Sir and Madam), 1969 or ‘Personnage’ (Personage), 1967, are like 3D versions of his paintings. They are bold and subtle at the same time, and it is impossible to ignore their humour.
In fact, the more Sarah Coulson, Assistant Curator of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, told me about Miró, the more I wish I could have met him.
‘His sons used to find their toys missing before seeing them cast in [the artist's] sculptures a few days later,’ Coulson giggled. ‘And he used to do gymnastics on the beach to get inspirations.’ He sounds like a wonderful guy.
Furthermore, Miró was very much anti-elitist. ‘He was a print-maker,’ said Coulson. ‘He wanted people to be able to own his works, and prints were the most affordable option.’
This is evident even in his sculptures, for they are not objects of grandeur. They depict everyday things like chairs and birds, but are impressive in their own rights.
I thought that the giant black pieces in Room One – namely ‘Oiseau solaire’ (‘Solar Bird’) 1966, ‘Oiseau lunaire’ (‘Lunar Bird’) 1966, and ‘Femme (Femme debout)’ (‘Woman (Standing Woman)’) 1969 – stood out in particular. They were simply shaped, but smooth, elegant, and powerful at the same time. Miró supposedly came up with the idea of the mythical birds in the late 1940s, and they since appeared in two thirds of his works. He was particularly interested in their duality of sex and colour.
The third type of works that could be found at the exhibition are also made of bronze. However, in contrast to the black, solid blocks or the colourful pieces, these ones are a lot more delicate. They have a more greenish-copper shade to them, and often embody shapes of shoes, which are meant to symbolise birds.
Each type of work – the coloured, the black, the fragile – was made at a different forgery. Miró was notoriously innovative, but he also strongly believed that one should not know too much. In fact, he preferred working in collaboration with other artist so that they could influence him instead.
I really enjoyed being amongst Miró’s sculptures. There is a sense of them interacting with each other, as well as with the visitors. Although the artist had lived through difficult times, having suffered a breakdown in the early 1920s and constantly had to be on the move to keep his family safe from wars, his art remained positive. There is so much life in them, and his inquisitiveness never died even at the end of his life.
This is not an exhibition to be missed.
WHAT: Art exhibition
WHERE: Royal Academy of Arts (map)
WHEN: 21st Jan – 9th Apr 12
ENTRY: Adult £14; various conc. available
MY STORY IN A NUTSHELL:
- I’ve seen David Hockney’s paintings in many places before, but seeing them in person was a completely different experience altogether – they are much brighter and bigger than the cameras will have you believe.
- There are 13 galleries in total and it is an extremely popular exhibition, so make sure you go first thing in the morning (check opening times here), and set aside a good couple of hours for it.
- Most pieces on display are oil paintings, but some of his charcoal, watercolour, photography, film and iPad works are also shown.
- A lot of his works were created specifically for the exhibition, and so have never been seen by the public before.
- His paintings are controversial as some people reckon that a child could have painted them, but I believe it takes a genius to create these highly sophisticated pieces whilst still maintaining such a wonderfully child-like quality.
- My favourite painting is his 1998 masterpiece A Closer Grand Canyon - looking at it was a strangely moving experience and I was absolutely transfixed by its bright, contrasting colours.
- Definitely go and see it for yourself – it’s worth it.
MY FULL STORY: People always tell me how underwhelmed they are when they go and see the Mona Lisa in person. ‘It’s tiny,’ they said. ‘It’s encased in a bullet-proof glass box, and there are so many people there you can hardly see it anyway.’ I was therefore mildly worried that David Hockey’s works would similarly disappoint when I went to see his exhibition lat weekend.
When I eventually arrived at the Royal Academy (after hanging about the back entrance for half an hour wondering why it looked closed – my biggest tourist fail to date) at 10.20 on Sunday morning, I was surprised to find that the queue was already stretching more than half way down the courtyard. The queue edged forward very slowly and I didn’t get in until 11.30, but once I stepped through the glass doors into the first gallery, I immediately understood what all the hype was about.
I’ve seen pictures of Hockney’s works in all sorts of places prior to my visit: in magazines, on posters at tube stations (that’s subway, for any Americans reading this), on websites… and even in my university exam paper last semester. But seeing them in person added a completely different dimension to the picture. All the subtle details, like the smooth yet bumpy texture of the oil paint, popped out from the canvas. And really, no camera can truly capture just how vivid, and how gigantic, some of his works are.
The exhibition is comprised of 13 galleries, which means that I easily could have spent all day there were it not for those glorious inconveniences of life (namely, food). This is the first time that most of Hockney’s larger works are displayed in public, as he created them specifically for this show knowing that he had pretty much the whole of Burlington House to himself. He went all out of course, as he would. The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven), for example, is a staggering 365.8 by 975.4 cm in size. It was almost terrifying to stand in front of it. The painting was very pretty and harmless, but at the same time I felt like it could just as easily expand and engulf me. I even started imagining what I would look like inside the canvas – an oil-painted girl in an oil painting, wandering around Hockney’s woods like Alice in Wonderland… Curiouser and curiouser.
Although grand in scale, the paintings are also brilliantly child-like in their simplicity and brightness, perhaps partly because most of them were painted from memory rather than observation. The harsher details of reality are smoothed out while other elements like colours and shapes are intensified. As a woman standing in front of the famous Winter Timber commented, ‘Who wants to see natural colours all the time anyway?’ Touché.
His famous oil paintings aside, it was also interesting to see Hockney’s art in other media from other times. These include his earlier works (some of which date back to the 50s when he was still a student) in charcoal, watercolour, and photography, and his recent exploration of film and iPads. Each is as innovative and controversial as the next. Looking at Flight into Italy – Swiss Landscape from the artist’s 1960s collection, for instance, an elderly gentleman next to me decidedly declared, ‘I don’t like this. No, I really don’t like it at all.’ A younger lady, however, spent a good few minutes commenting on how it was ‘the most beautiful piece of art.’
But I guess that’s Hockney for you. Some say he’s a genius, others insist he’s a cheat due to his simple style. I’m personally more inclined to slide with the former. I think he’s one of those artists whose final products look so deceptively simple that they give the impression that a ten-year-old could have done them. But really, how many children could draw something as astonishing as these insane beasts? And moreover, how many adults in their 70s could still draw with the freshness of a child’s mind?
My favourite painting from the exhibition is without a doubt his 1998 masterpiece A Close Grand Canyon (I don’t have the rights to include a photo of that here, but check the homepage of Hockney’s official website). In fact, it has now officially become my favourite painting full stop. Standing in front of a giant panorama of red hot, rugged landscape, juxtaposed against the juicy green vegetation that inhabit it and a slit of blindingly blue sky, I was absolutely transfixed. It is so beautiful and so sublime at the same time, and I felt strangely moved as I tried to absorb as much of it into my memory as possible. I was simply in awe.
But why just take my words of enthusiasm for it? Go and see the exhibition for yourself. Make sure you arrive very early (check opening times here) and set aside a good couple of hours for it, because it’s worth it. Don’t worry if you have kids, because there were plenty of little ones around when I went, and most of them were very happily crouched in front of the paintings and doing their own pastiches of them. And I can assure you that they looked just as fascinated and delighted by Hockney’s art as their parents and grandparents.
WHAT: Art exhibition
WHERE: Leeds Art Gallery (map)
WHEN: 25th Nov, 11 – 19th Feb, 12
MY STORY: Due to various silly reasons, I almost disastrously missed the Northern Art Prize (NAP) exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery. Everyone was talking about it at the turn of the year, and now that it’s ending there has been a final mad rush on Twitter and other social networking sites yelling at me to go and see it. I had no real excuse not, after all, given my close proximity to it. And so one cold morning, I dragged my lazy legs down.
The prize, now in its fifth year, is awarded to the ‘best’ (I use this word loosely, of course) contemporary visual artist living in Northern England. The artists were nominated by one of twelve arts professionals chosen by the NAP, and the winner was decided last month by a panel of qualified art experts. £1,500 was awarded to each of the three runners up, and the winner walked away with a whopping £16,500. Not bad, really…
Leeds Art Gallery has been displaying works of the four shortlisted artists across three main rooms. Looking at them, I wondered how difficult the judging process must have been, considering how much the art and artists varied in style, medium and approach. Each is striking in their own way.
Upon entering the first room, I was immediately drawn towards James Hugonin’s works. They all resemble a sort of psychedelic optical illusion, and I was hypnotised by their colours and patterns. I even tried looking for hidden messages in their meticulously rhythmic beauty – but have so far found none. I did however, upon closer inspection, find some sort of order amidst the chaos: beneath the colours lie faint traces of pencil marks, which form the backbones of the paintings. According to the catalogue, there are over 55,000 marks on each large painting, and each colour block was preplanned in Hugonin’s notebook before the paint was applied. The end results are a marvel to behold.
Liadin Cooke’s works share the room with Hugonin’s, but unlike Hugonin, her pieces are drastically different from one another. Her most eye-catching piece is probably ‘Felicific Bar’, which is a very long, green-wax-coated brass pole propped up precariously against the wall. Its title was inspired by Jeremy Bentham’s algorithm ‘felicific calculus’, which according to a reliable source (also known as Wikipedia), is used ‘for calculating the degree or amount of pleasure that a specific action is likely to cause.’ I have to say that I was not sure what to make of that – the danger of balance is certainly represented clearly, but shouldn’t ‘pleasure’ be a little prettier to look at than that?
There was one piece that I did enjoy, though, which is called ‘Colour D.’ Cooke has said in interviews that she often associates spaces and even numbers and letters with a colour, and ‘Colour D’ is an example of that. In looking at the pale greyish-blue blob, I became fascinated by the possibilities that it embodied – did the colour remind her of a person? A place? Does ‘D’ stand for anything? Dampness? Dread? Death? I’m not sure, but either way, my imagination had a whale of a time toying with different ideas.
After making my round a couple times, I left the room and entered another, in which Richard Rigg’s collection is housed. Focusing more on carpentry than painting, his works aim to reconsider everyday objects. ‘Some rest on six occasions,’ for instance, is a clever piece consisting of three identical chairs he made himself – a sort of fun, quirky ‘beast with two backs’, if you will. (Who knows, it might even be quite handy for that…!) Rigg also demonstrated his prowess as a painter, however, in ‘The fort was here before it was built.’ The use of colour here is sensual and complex, as he subtly explores how a 3D knot structure would appear on a 2D canvas.
So far so good, and I was relatively impressed with – or at least amused by – what I had seen. I walked into the final room, home to Leo Fitzmaurice’s creations, expecting to be gobsmacked. He is, after all, the man who won the top prize. But alas, I have to confess that I was rather underwhelmed. His main work, ‘Horizons’, was no doubt impressive to the eye. It consists of 12 paintings from the Leeds Art Gallery collection, all of which were made in the 19th and early 20th century. Fitzmaurice lined them up so that they moved from day to night, with their horizon lines connecting to give the illusion of a single long painting. According to Michelle, one of the lovely ladies who work at the gallery, the artist chose the works by taking photos of everything that was available in the gallery’s archive, picked the ones he thought he’d like to use, and carefully aligned them in their current form.
Except this prompted me to ask a fundamentally problematic question; one that I feel like should only be asked in hushed tones. But I mean… is that really his art? It took me back to all the debates I had with friends after watching Banksy’s ‘Exit Through the Giftshop.’ If the artist didn’t create the art himself – should he still be credited as the creator? Isn’t it cheating? Of course, I understand that a lot of care must have gone into the selection process, and after Googling images of Fitzmaurice’s other works, I find that he has indeed made some very compelling and beautiful pieces. And yet I’m still not entirely convinced that he should have been the final winner.
His other piece, ‘The Way Things Appear’, is a slideshow of 60 images of random things he captured in his daily life with his phone. The photos were never intended to be exhibited, apparently, but Michelle told me that they were there to provide some context for his works. I was still not particularly impressed. Yes, there were some unconventional and interesting shots, but they hardly set the standard for great photography – or great art, for that matter. If they were indeed merely intended as a visual form of note-taking, then perhaps they should not have been presented as a work in itself, but rather as evidence of his thought process. There is, I believe, a difference between inspiration and presentation. While the latter is a direct product of the former, the former cannot necessarily become the latter. I do, however, agree with Michelle’s view that ‘at least one more work is needed to really complete his collection.’ Perhaps I would have been less critical if I were able to see a larger variety of his works. After all, all the other shortlisted artists do have at least four pieces on display.
Although I am hesitant in fully agreeing with the NAP committee’s final decision, however, I did genuinely appreciate everything I saw. They were not necessarily all beautiful – if beauty is your way of judging ‘good art’ – but they were definitely all thought-provoking, if not controversial. And I suppose that is an important part of what art is supposed to do. Out of all four artists, I would say that I admire James Hugonin’s works the most. They may not have as much variation as other artists’ creations, but he has clearly found a formula that works, and stuck with it. Besides, I believe that patience is an art form in itself, and the careful attention to detail he gave to each mark of colour deserves immense credit.
I cannot say that this was the most gorgeous and breathtaking show I have ever been to, but it was nevertheless still an interesting experience. It made for some great conversation afterwards and is definitely worth a visit – if only as a platform to contemplate what contemporary art has come to be about these days.
WHEN: 26th January – 2nd February, 2012 (Fair: 28th Jan)
WHERE: Leeds Gallery (map)
MY STORY: ‘Do you know anything about print at all?’ asked one of the artists at the Leeds Print Festival Fair. Er, no, I’m afraid not. I love and enjoy and admire art, but when it comes down to it, I’m ‘mere prattle without practice’ as the Bard so harshly put it. All is not lost, however, because the best part about the Print Festival is that you don’t necessarily need to be an art guru in order to understand or like it. By combining simple, effectiveness ideas with a meticulous process of production, the resulting prints make for a very universal, informal kind of art. What you see is usually what you get.
Held at Leeds Gallery, the relatively new independent art space at Munro House, this was actually the very first official print festival in the city. Judging by the huge crowd that turned out despite the biting cold though, you wouldn’t have guessed. Being Little Miss Keen Bean, I visited the exhibition twice. The first time was for the Print Fair on 28th Jan, which was incredible and a lot of fun. The artists all work with different types of print media, but regardless of whether their images were done in the good old fashioned way or made digitally, each of them were just as compelling as the other. There were monsters, whales, stars, mock-propaganda… you name it, they probably had it on sale in the form of greeting cards, posters, stickers or books. The artists themselves were all lovely to talk to, too, and you can scroll down to read more about three of the artists whose works I found particularly interesting.
My second visit was very different. It was the second last day of the exhibition and I went by myself. Winter sunshine was streaming peacefully through the huge glass windows of the gallery, and there wasn’t anyone else around apart from those enjoying their lunch breaks at Cafe 164 in the next room. It was a quieter, more reflective experience, and I got to enjoy the prints in a much closer and more personal way. Most of them were slightly curled around the corners and looked a bit tired from having been on show for so long, but they were still beautiful. There was a lot of talent displayed on the white walls. Some tackled personal issues of identity (photographs of an ex-model who was constantly told that she looks like Courtney Love), while others challenged social ideas of political correctness (a bathtub filled with a red liquid and what resembles the decapitated heads of Felix the Cat). They were all weird in their own ways, but in a lovingly quirky sort of way. And one thing’s for sure – Print Snot Dead.
I’ve heard the winds whisper that they might be doing something or other in May… We’ll be keeping a look out!
View my full set of photos from both the fair and the exhibition by clicking HERE.
* ** *** ** *
MY 3 FAVOURITE ARTISTS FROM THE FAIR
#3 Jonny Packham
The first word that slammed into my head when I looked at Jonny’s – aka JAYPEE – posters was ‘Monsters’, accompanied by several exclamation marks (from which I shall spare you). They were somewhat comical and cartoonish, but at the same time also quite disturbing.
‘Yeah, a lot of my works are based around the idea of monsters,’ said Jonny when I expressed my thoughts outloud. ‘But they can get quite personal and autobiographical too – sometimes they’re like my inner demons that just spill on to the page.’
As we talked, a group of guys came over and immediately decided to buy a poster before even knowing how much it cost (a tenner), saying how cool and beautiful it was. And they were beautiful, albeit in a slightly sinister sense, as colours violently explode all over the parchment, juxtaposing dark shapes or backgrounds.
‘Most of these are hand-drawn, although for some of them,’ Jonny explained, gesturing towards a pile of drawings which all had the same black outline of a skull in profile with varying embellishments, ‘I use a template outline and then fill it in with different colours and styles.’
Another poster was sold. At the rate that the prints were going, surely he can make a whole living out of this?
‘It’s my first show or stall actually,’ he said, to my surprise. ‘I mean I’ve done a few other shows and things before but this is the first time I’m showcasing these works – but so far it’s been going well!’
Visit Jonny’s website at: www.jonnypackham.co.uk
#2 Robbie Porter
Currently living and working in Scotland, Robbie is an illustrator and designer whose works caught my eye with their clean, friendly mellowness and quirky ideas. Amongst them were a park ranger riding a triceratops to work, some stickers with keyboard control buttons printed on them, and a portfolio of his drawings published in the form of a graphic newspaper. Looking through his art was like revisiting the stuff that my childhood dreams were made of – and his creative process seems to be just as carefree.
‘I don’t really know where I get my ideas from… I guess I just draw. I get a lot of inspiration just from drawing on bits of paper,’ said Robbie with a shy smile. ‘So far I haven’t run out of ideas yet, luckily. I have too many ideas actually, and I struggle to write them all down!’
So how does he create these images?
‘I first draw the design out in pencil, then go over it in pen, scan it into the computer, clean up the messy bits and just fill in the colour. So it’s half done by hand and half digitally.’
Visit Robbie’s website at www.robbieporter.co.uk
#1 Alex Pritchard
‘I studied Surface Pattern Design for my first degree,’ was what Alex told me when I caught up with him over lunch a few days after the Print Festival. Surface Pa… Specific much? ‘Well I like design because it allows me to work within a set parameters but still be creative. There’s a principle of discipline involved. But I’ve always liked book-making the most – they were the modules that I always got the highest grades for and enjoyed the most.’
Here is clearly a man with many talents and interests – and it doesn’t stop there. When he was young he went through phases of being interested in different things. ‘I went through a dinosaur phase, and then I moved on to butterflies, and then to diggers and street cleaners – you know, the ones with the spinning bristles in front? – and then trains… Wasn’t into cars though, don’t care much for them. Oh, and I was also into military history, like battles and stuff, and Kings and Queens of England, and birds….’
The list went on. One thing in particular stood out against all this though, which is his unwavering love for astronomy. This is what his most central book/work of art, entitled ‘We Are Here’, is about. Alex said that he has been interested in cosmology and all things universe and Earth related ever since he learnt about planets in Year 3. As he delved deeper into the mysteries of outer space, however, he began to find it increasingly difficult to explain the more sophisticated concepts to his friends. That was until he realised that they’d get it immediately once he drew his ideas out on the back of a napkin – and that’s when the idea of making an infographic book struck him. ‘We Are Here’ is based on the idea of a tourist map, with the red arrow pointing to your current location, except expanded to include the whole known universe and planet Earth’s relation to it. It is a beautiful piece of work – colourful, simple to understand, and immensely entertaining.
‘Learning about things in the universe is very humbling,’ he philosophised. ‘When you look at our planet from afar you realise how insignificant we are, and how meaningless life is – but life is what we want it to mean, and what we make it to be.’
In saying that, I feel like he had managed to sum up the whole idea of art and science. They are both studies that provoke thought and debate, but ultimately you can make and take what you wish out of both. Would he ever quit the life of art and become an astronomer instead, then?
‘Oh God, no! I wish!’ he said with a dry laugh. ‘Most of the time you get scientists wanting to become a poet or artist or something, but I’m the other way round. I’m an artist who wants to become a scientist. I’m okay at maths, but I’m just not good enough to go professional.’
He said that he’ll just plan a sequel for his book instead – fair play.
Alex has yet to develop a website, but you can find his bio and works at folksy.com/users/APbooks