I don’t much like my last picture – so neat and tidy.
I prefer this.
In one of the infinite probabilities of the multi-verse, scarily this is actually happening.
Flap Flap the Big Wings
I am a long long way from squeezing oil paint in my fist straight from the tube onto a surface.
I don’t strike the picture like a murderer stabs a victim, or crush the paint out into slashes.
Karel Appel did. He paints like a well angry man. Not always, but definitely when he made The City, letting go of the skills he surely had. He purposefully relinquished them, not even allowing himself a brush in the old film I saw of him working.
Just the inch wide top of a 10inch tube that he squeezed from the middle to the sounds of some postmodernist jazz.
Cool. But I wouldn’t want to share the toothpaste with him.
Attempting to bounce off Karel Appel is like trying to share a head
Sharing a Head
Sounds ideal to me, probably rarely fatal. But a cluttered mind provokes external hoovering. If there were flies in your head as well as on the window ledge it would become unbearable....
Got to remember – however bad things are they can always get worse.
I just discovered this word UHTCEARE
It means pre-dawn anxiety in Old English and is nothing to do with ultra heat treated milk which is also horrible and the ruination of tea. I could make good use of this word most days.
A also just read ‘Fludd’ by Hilary Mantel – a perfect book. Strangely the main character is a faux priest who may be an angel, or perhaps an alchemist, of possibly the Devil.
And oddly, the effect he has seems to be to rescue an unbelieving real priest and a sad ‘professed’ nun. But here’s a funny thing – nobody can say what he looks like even while they’re looking at him, and the food on his plate disappears but nobody sees him actually eat it. He drinks whisky but the level in the bottle never goes down.
In the same way the Appel woman and her creature stand over the city, and no one sees her coming and no one sees her going. And she’s far too fey to eat anything I’m sure.
But suddenly she comes and suddenly she goes.
Here she isn’t
1 Sept 2015
She’s an enigma to me still
I saw her once, I can see her now
What’s with the arms?
A magical gesture?
A congenital malformation?
A peculiar valediction?
A horribly secret sign?
What do you symbolise?
O Servant with white gloves?
And where, may I ask is everyone else?
18 Sept 2015
And what about the skyline of the city? Like Venice, conjured but not understood. And what about writing in the style of a forgotten poet, probably dead, whose work I knew well when I remembered anything at all.
The world, my world, my city, spins around me at night while I lie still. Or I spin and the world doesn’t. Not good either way.
RELICS WILL DROWN
This may be my final image.
The drowning city – not a metaphor – a drowning city.
All relics will drown.
The Appel woman and her whatever-it-is survive to see the 11th Century abbey adrift and awash. Lights still blaze from the wobbly gherkins of a flawed modernity. The sea roils more as it reaches the walls.
You can be as solid as you like – one day the waters will close over your spinning head.
All relics will drown.
The Great Filter may have already been and gone, or is waiting somewhere along Time’s Arrow.
Ponder the Fermi Paradox.
Some relics will drown before they even become relics because they didn’t have time to become relics.
Waves come in various forms. We have to watch out for them, mythic or mundane. Afterwards there will be no relics, and not even a solitary angel with stunted wings to worship, and no worshippers either.
There is another witness who stands beyond the 4th wall, the invisible wall through which the viewer gazes from a lofty place, with wisdom, indifference and powerlessness in equal quantities.
THIS IS KAREL APPEL’S WOMAN
I SUSPECT WE MOVE TOWARDS A TIME WHEN EVEN IDIOTS ARE NO LONGER HAPPY
So here I am, still in Appel land and trying to connect with my inner WILD.
But just standing here trying.
I’m thinking about Guardian Angels. What are they like?
I suspect they’re on their i-phones constant, where all messages languish forever on unanswered voicemail.
Do we each have one? Or are they like the Macmillan nurse who never turns up? Where are they when you need them?
Are angels impotent like Appel’s viridian monstrosity?
continued on Gilly's page