Sunday, 14 December 2008

Randomism

“Not much going on today.. I know I’ll start a new art movement

“The rules are.. there are no rules”
Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy

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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Artist’s Manifesto

The idea behind this manifesto is that artists should be employed far more widely than they currently are in many areas of society, and that incorporating art into every level of society has many benefits. Too often art is either forgotten or added as an afterthought. In my opinion art should an integral part of our social fabric and whenever a new development is proposed art and artist’s should be involved. I know many enlightened urban authorities and property developers already recognize and act on these principles but I feel there is still plenty of scope for improvement.

I know many of the ideas in this are not new but I feel it is worthwhile artists collaborating in producing and supporting some basics idea that purchasing bodies authorities, investment fund managers and entrepreneurs can consider.

Lets get things straight isn't mere decoration, I believe art can transform and add value to the most unpromising locations at a relatively low cost. In this context an artist is anyone who has the vision to see hidden potential and can achieve this almost magical transformation of a specific location.

If you look at the examples of Barcelona, Paris or Florence, here are cities whose fortunes have been enhanced beyond calculation by the works of individual artists. These artists works have become a major draw to the city. I recently visited Barcelona, the city is buzzing with creativity and excitement and visitors are pouring in from all around the world, to see the works of Gaudi, Miro and Picasso. In Barcelona artists and designers are at the core of an urban renaissance. The city is almost synonymous with these artists.

Antony Gormleys Angel of the North has become an important landmark for the north east of England and features in almost every article on the area. Has the region benefited from its association with Gormleys sculpture ? The answer must surely be “yes”, perceptions have altered dramatically the area as a whole is seen as interesting and worth a visit these days, when 15 yrs ago it was perceived as an area of industrial and social decline.

It is now widely accepted that art is an important ingredient in urban regeneration. But enlightened authorities are still the exception, many of our provincial towns and cities in the UK have not seen the urban renaissance of the last 10-15 yrs and can still very often be soulless artless inhuman ugly places. All too often our modern provincial town centres look and feel inhuman and mechanistic, art can bring a human touch to these places.

City and town authorities can play an important part in this, and the wider financial benefits of becoming a known art location should not be underestimated. Many cities and towns plough huge sums into promoting their locations to visitors but have little to set them apart from many similar towns and cities around the world.

Its not just the larger cities that stand to gain from promoting specific artist’s as synonymous with their town. What has Monet achieved for the little known town of Giverny? I wonder if the residents of the small hamlet of Perry Green in Hertfordshire regret there long standing association with the sculptor Henry Moore ?

Wherever art is taken seriously and championed within a community and allowed to flourish it tends to add value to the location.

I feel investment funds can also be important to this, they should play a larger role in enabling large scale art projects, possibly with a view to gaining some of the additional rewards art can bring to a location. Artists and the entrepreneurs are allies in risk taking, creating art and investing in art is a risky business, but the potential financial benefits of one successful outcome are almost incalculable. What has been the economic return to Barcelona of enabling Gaudi to produce his extraordinary works ?

Recently Becks have produced their beer’s with artist designed labels, its clear that this corporation recognizes that art adds value to its product.

I suspect in the past artists have been there own worst enemies in terms of anarchic attitudes and their isolationist, elitist and esoteric tendencies but in this day and age, many artists are realizing they need to be both creative and business-like.

So where can we continue to improve our environment and make our towns and cities unique. Here is a list of some areas of society artists could be used more widely.

The rise of conceptual art has brought about a new awareness of physical space and its potential and qualities. I feel there is scope for these conceptual ideas about the qualities and potential of physical space to be incorporated into architectural practice to a greater extent than it is.

I would like to see artist’s brought into all new construction projects, at the planning stages and seen as a vital part of the planning and development process all too often a sculpture is simply plonked into a foyer or a garden as an after thought. In my view an artist is anyone who can transform a space and make it of interest to the rest of us. Artists can be brought into to help create interiors that are stimulating and will impress visitors. I’m thinking far beyond hanging pictures of reproductions on walls here.

I would include road building schemes in this. In France and many parts of mainland Europe art is incorporated into road construction and at roadside locations, enhancing a long journey. Many towns place art works on roundabouts, which might emphasise a locations past or industrial specialities. There is a sense in France that new road projects can be things of beauty and add to a local environment. In England a road building scheme is seen as the destruction of a local environment, a road scheme is never seen as a creative act. Would art be one aspect of a new strategy to make new road schemes more palatable to local communities ? Although there is an obvious need for care about the location of work to avoid driver distraction on our congested roads I still think there are thousands of locations were art could be incorporated into road schemes without creating a hazard. In mainland Europe tiling is often used to add design to what would otherwise be a bland concrete surface. I think ceramicist’s could be used far more widely in the UK than they are at present to create one of designs in tiles for otherwise bland and inhuman urban locations.

Art Hotels
I think Hotels should be using artists to create unique artistic experiences for their visitors. Personally when I visit hotels I want to experience something more than just an overnight stay in another corporate hotel, I want high quality food, high quality architecture and I believe this should include high quality art, to make my visit to hotel a new and unexpected experience. Art adds value. I would make a special journey to visit a hotel with its design obviously influenced by an artist I am interested in. Locally we have the Midland Hotel, Morecambe which is almost unique in that artists and artist craftsmen were involved in its design and construction. After years of being neglected and undervalued it is now seen as a high vale location and this is certainly because artists work was incorporated into its fabric.

The old BBC broadcasting house in London is a similar example of a building that integrated art into its fabric. Unfortunately today many new developments are built with little or no artistic input, or a token involvement of artists.

Housing projects and apartment blocks. How often do you see yet another housing scheme which incorporates the same tired old housing designs. As a developer how do you convince buyers that your development is more prestigious than a rival location and is worth buying into.. location itself is important obviously, but art can also add value to a location.

In general larger one off construction projects have improved massively over the last couple of decades. Architects are looking at locations creatively and producing artistic and innovative designs but even then I feel artists could still have a bigger role in this process.

The small things in life are important.
Signage
I think we all understand that major road signs need to be clear and have standardized and recognizable visual appearance but how often do you see boring mass produced information signs in non-essential locations and wondered why an artist can’t be employed to create something more interesting, stimulating and memorable? I would like to see local, regional and national authorities saying as part of their purchasing process that they will employ artists to create a greater percentage of signage.

Street signs are a good example of this.. beyond a simple requirement that they be understandable there is plenty of scope for artistic license in designing street signs.

Town and City gateways
“Welcome to Holby” signs create an impression for visitors and really should be used as a way of demonstrating that a city, town or village values creativity and artistic endeavour.

These are just my own ideas on possible uses for artists and artisans, I’m sure you know of other ideas and possibilities.

I am sure fellow artists will agree that these ideas are not new, but I still think we need to keep drawing these The idea behind this manifesto is simply to draw attention in the wider community to the value added impact of quality artistic endeavour.

I hope this article will stimulate other artists to come forward with their own ideas. Please feel free to respond to this article and leave your own ideas and suggestions.

I would also be happy to link to examples of projects and developments where artists have transformed or enhanced a location.



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Sunday, 12 October 2008

Flying Lines




I'm enjoying this latest series of works.. check out my bubble site for further examples. The idea behind it is that abstract drawn elements can exist beyond the page in a realistic space.. in this case flying through the air at a couple of thousand feet.


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Monday, 15 September 2008

This work shown on ABC TV website



Not quite as exciting as it sounds.. you just send them an image and they decide if they will display it in their "public art" online gallery.. in this case they did.

Wastwater voted by fellow artists into 2nd place in "Abstract" Competition Sept 08 at Online Visual Artists

Colorscope voted by fellow artists into 3rd place in Abstract Competition Sept 08 at Online Visual Artists



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Monday, 1 September 2008

The Artists Manifesto


The idea behind this manifesto is that artists should be employed far more widely than they currently are in many areas of society, and that incorporating art into every level of society has many benefits. Too often art is either forgotten or an afterthought. In my opinion art should an integral part of our social fabric and whenever a new development is proposed art and artist’s should be involved. I know many enlightened urban authorities and property developers already recognise and act on these principles but I feel there is still plenty of scope for improvement.

To read more

Yes..all my own work ;)

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Thursday, 28 August 2008

My nose explodes



August has been an eventful month.

My daughter got married,. the whole day went well, even if it did rain all day. And although I might be in danger of blowing my own trumpet, my speech was described as brilliant by a leading international TV producer in attendance.

We then went away to Spain for a rest and holiday, and visited Barcelona were they kindly agreed to display one of my works at Sagreda Famillia (True-ish). We also visited Sitges and my nose exploded on the beach (True).

I also had a work accepted for a juried exhibition in California ! (True)

The Tuna Tin arrived and has now been photographed.. see Collaborative International projects and will shortly be winging its way towards California. So far its been to France arriving from Australia.

I also sold pictures which is always nice !

Andy


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Budget Posters of my work at art.com
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Sunday, 3 August 2008

Collaborative International Projects

I am delighted to be currently engaged in a couple of interesting international collaborative projects.

The "Tuna Tin Project" is an idea developed by Soxy Fleming and based on the work of French artist Pascale Baude. For more info on this click here. The Tuna Tin was posted from Australia to France.. and I believe is now winging its way to me. I have my suspicions it will never get past the UK customs but you never know.
More info on the Tuna Tin

I've been told on several occasions that a number of my works look like quilts, so
I am also delighted to be working collaboratively with Cathy Stewart an American quilt artist who is creating a quilt based on my Metropolis work.

I am looking forward to some interesting outcomes from these projects..
Stay tuned to this "channel" for further developments..


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Friday, 27 June 2008

Buy one get one free

SPECIAL OFFER
I know you art lovers like a bargain !
So I am offering a sensational BOGOF deal on my ART ! Buy an original picture from me (for the knock down price of $100,000 and get another of your choice free ! Thats right.. “BUY ONE GET ONE FREE.”

Okay.. while your thinking about my amazing two for one deal, I feel I must explain what its going on because I am sensing some of my vast “watchlist” are getting bewildered and confused by the seemingly random nature of my artwork.. but I can now reveal that it is in fact not random at all. I am a man with a plan… to reinvent consumerism and the world of business ! And just for good measure I have invented a whole new art movement.. The New Consumerist’s !!

Of course every great sociological movement in society has to be called “new”.. New Labour.. New York.. Cromwell’s New Model Army.. Newton’s law of gravity So welcome to “Andy’s New World of Consumerism”

Please form an orderly queue.. you will be served at the next available desk.

(Wait 10 minutes)

Now that you have reached the front of the queue.. please follow this link for more details.

Thank you and have a nice day !

http://www.redbubble.com/people/merca
http://AMercer.imagekind.com/UrbanIcons
http://www.artistrising.com/galleries/apmercer
http://www.zazzle.com/apmercer*

Saturday, 14 June 2008

I got this email from a superb French artist Pascale Baude the other day.. I like what she says, even in broken English makes a great deal more sense than many to me.

I like your way in the photo… the serie of Anglezarke, Blue bay too. very “clean, abstract & “presque” conceptual… = This sensation of lake of silence… lake of vacuum…
To do a “frame” which “frames” nothing… nothing in particular… simply bits of colors, shapes… without “subject” ! What you tell me = exactly, it’s “sensible in your compositions.

For Skidda I’ve used “troubling”, not exactly for the rock but for this great great similarity between these lichens on the rock – your photographic glance – and your graphic works… similarity, so large osmosis… with the first vision – the very first second when the eye is in contact with an image, before even to have started to analyze =I saw not a worked over again photograph but l’ve seing one of your drawings, or another manner of drawing… // with the series of the turns and the black flowers ” naissant” with the feet of the destroyed towers…
I was “troubling” with my perception…


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Sunday, 1 June 2008

Skiddaw

We recently spent a couple of days up at Bassenthwaite.. as usual I had the trusty Canon with me. I freely admit I know very little about photography but I still enjoy snapping away.. all those settings go in one ear and out the other.

This is the beautiful ancient Chapel of St Begas on the shore of Lake Bassenthwaite...reputedly founded by an Irish saint who converted this part of Cumbria.



I will be uploading uploading a few of these pictures to Flickr
Click Here

You can also find em here at Red Bubble.. I've then go on and created some digital pictures using the same Lakeland photographs as a starting point and scanning in bits of drawings...and generally messing about with them.



Hope you like em..

Saturday, 22 March 2008

And now for something completely different...

A great win for the whites today against the Dingles!

PNE New build

I've always been careful not to mix the various parts of my life but they seem to be merging together.. I expect the folks who think they know me will be raising an eyebrow at finding these out these things. I am what I am..

Saturday, 8 March 2008

These are all links for my works on the Net
Art prints,posters,cards at Red Bubble
T Shirts Cards Posters at Zazzle
Art prints at Imagekind,
Budget Posters at Art.com,

Last summer we visited Venice and I produced a couple of digital montages of photographs and sketches from the trip. In Renaissance time painters would often include the likeness of their patrons in their works. If anyone is interested I will include their likeness amongst the figures at the bottom of this picture. I think it will make an interesting "dinner table conversation peice". If you have any photographs of you preferably while in Venice I can easily include you. Incidentally this picture was selected "best of the day" at Zazzle.com from the thousands of images they receive every day.

These are all links for my works on the Net
Zazzle
Imagekind,
Art.com,
Red Bubble

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Artworks based in Morecambe Bay


These are a couple basic ideas for a sculpture in Morecambe Bay. I've been playing around with some ideas like this and thought I would throw them out there to see if I get any interest.

I see the bottom one as a combination of metal and glass or maybe even plastic.. it would have to be real tough to stand everything nature would throw at it. Would glass erode in such conditions ? Would shiny glass become roughened like worn glass you find amongst the pebbles on the beach ?

Is it possible to re-enforce glass ? Any glass makers out there fancy having a go ?
Could it even be made ?

I have no idea..

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Glorious February sunset at Morecambe Bay



A couple of weeks ago the weather settled down for a few days and allowed me to get out with my camera. We went for a walk along Morecambe promenade late one afternoon with the light fading, the tide was close to shore and the water was as calm as a mill pond. The sun dipped over the horizon and the light was fading creating some gloriously subtle colours. If your interested there are plenty more pictures like this one at artistrising.com. The top picture has not been altered in anyway, the colours are as the camera recorded them..

Friday, 22 February 2008

Hmmm.. 10 yrs behind the rest !



The above icture was featured on the Home Page of Red Bubble.

So 10yrs behind the rest of the world I have joined the blogging game. I have to be honest the word "blogging" put me off for a start. What kind of a word is that ?

I'm not the sort of person who rushes to engage in public activity that sounds more like some sort of group sexual perversion than simply keeping a diary. "Blagging" I could deal with.. thats just "exaggerating your own importance" and blagging is quite apt considering some of the blog entries I have read.

Anyway, somewhat reluctantly and still fearing some sort of secretive society, I'm here. I am now officially a "blogger"

And here are some links for what I get up to for the most part. I've read the blogs on blogging.. I'm not blagging about this. I am led to believe that when you write a blog hordes of new friends instantly descend to read your every word.. and visit your links. So I am waiting with baited breath for you all.

Andy