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Wednesday - is is Art?

What is Art?

Take a block of sea salt – shave a very small amount using a salt shaver and swallow…… now – read on.

What is Art?

It is a question that has been brought into sharp focus and harsh reality for me with my Rejection Letter from the Arts Council for my putative work – A Stone’s Throw.

“I am sorry to tell you that your application for A Stone’s Throw was not successful. We realise that this is disappointing news……..” So far, so good. Don’t be disheartened candidate, we feel for you.

then, THEN, “ we decided that the artistic and/or public engagement outcomes of your activity were less strong than other applications received” Bit of Ouch, but still fairly OK… Ouch – but hey – the next Picasso – the next Karsh or Salgado got in ahead of me….

then, THEN “ There was NO EVIDENCE THAT EXCELLENT ART WOULD BE MADE. ALSO, PLANS FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT WERE WEAK” Say what? Say – HELLO? A Death Wound – a Sabre Slash – a Coup de disGrace.

How can this be? What do they mean? How can they say such a thing?

But wait – it is not that the work is not Excellent Art – it is specifically that Excellent Art Would Not Be Made…… because the Art Council assessment process does not include viewing the work….. so, maybe the blood loss is stemmed, for a moment. And Plans for Public Engagement Were Weak….. 40,301 viewers of the last exhibition and an estimate of 50/60,000 viewers for this putative work. Perhaps it is the quality of the audience? No, Arts Council wants to see art made accessible to all and especially those who might not otherwise access it.

So…. Now I salve these wounds, reflect and regroup – continue with A Stone’s Throw which will be exhibited in Spring 2016. But in the meantime, I present a current, immediate, ‘pop-up’ (that has got to help…. Pop-up….) work entitled Wednesday.


A bed, or is it? Unmade or is it? Wednesday? We will never know.

Drawing on a lifetime of going to bed (mostly) and awakening (often), I have explored the boundary between, light and dark, night and day, existence and pre-existence. This work is informed by the cumulative dreams of all those who I have met and reaches out to those people and dreams yet to be encountered. And for this, I thank you and seek your forgiveness for plagiarising your sleep.

As for public engagement, this exhibition is only available online and is best experienced by viewing the image whilst blinking, but slowly; think a simulation of sleep and awakening. Oh, and press the ‘K’ key each time you blink.

Love John



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