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Battle Royal

Recruiting a new posse – signed these guys up today. You think I’m kidding? They work for me now. Advance prep for Clifford Owens’s slate of live performances as part of Clifford Owens: Better the Rebel You Know at Cornerhouse.

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Rough Cut international premiere

Proud parents and participants, all. Group shot for the world premiere of Rough Cut on Fri 29 Nov 2013 before it embarks upon the international festival circuit, beginning with the prestigious Rotterdam International Film Festival. Left to right: Jamie Shovlin (Director), Agnes Aspen (lead actress), Bren O’Callaghan (Producer), Mike Harte (Writer, Hiker Meat), Euan Rodger (Composer). The giant lactating monster worm wouldn’t come outside for fear of getting his wig wet – you know how touchy mutant invertebrates from prehistory can be.

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Family Photo

A fantastic morning in the Fred Aldous photostudio with special guests Joseph of Nazareth (Darren Timmai) and Mary, Mother of God (Natalie Dawson), alongside photographer Elle Brotherhood, as we gathered material for the upcoming Nicho Nativity installation and grotto. The pair were surprisingly pliant for such stars of Bible and screen, although Joseph had to take a few business calls, and Mary is fond of a roll-up or three.

Jack-in-the-box


Meet Jack. as in Jack-in-the-box, the method of transport in which he arrived. He’s the prosthetic head standing in for CLARK, a character in our film-within-a-film, Hiker Meat, part of the ROUGH CUT experimental feature film I’m producing with artist Jamie Shovlin.

Less Important Portraits

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I’ve received my augmented portrait from artist Jeremy Bailey as part of his Important Portraits: Less Important Portraits series, and I’m blown away! My living room has been transformed by purple grass, levitating cats and a noble steed awaits me upon a rocky outcrop as geometric shapes detach themselves from the precipice. It will be appearing in exhibition at Devotion Gallery in New York, opening Fri 14 June 2013.

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Sketch-O-Matic at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2013

I can now announce that Sketch-O-Matic will be appearing at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival from Sat 22 – Sun 30 June, featuring a new rosta of community artists and perhaps some familiar faces (or silhouettes, depending on how close you peer to the mirrored screen). Previous artist-participants are welcome to get in touch if they feel inspired to make a trip out to the countryside, and as anyone who has been before will know, it’s a wonderful, picturesque little town by the river, with the festival celebrating its 20th year. The booth will be sited inside the newly renovated and expanded Town Hall, which forms the hub of activity. You know the score – form an orderly queue and empty your pockets of cash!

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Cue fugue

Will you look at the state of those fingernails?! In my excuse, the place hadn’t been dusted for years… fifty-odd years to be precise. Much to my surprise I make it into the exhibition poster for Berlin-based artist Rosa Barba‘s forthcoming exhibition at Cornerhouse: Subject To Constant Change. Including a new film commission in partnership with Turner Contemporary, Margate, where I pop up again in ghostly, semi-transparent form… Also starring 84 year-old Sean O’Callaghan, also known as ‘Dad’, as an old timer who can’t play the same giant pipe organ for toffee. No, not even a Werther’s Original.

Harry Hill tour highlights

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Alternative Gallery Tour with Harry Hill

With the current Cornerhouse exhibition – David Shrigley’s HOW ARE YOU FEELING? – being very much focussed upon participation, it was the ideal opportunity to return to last year’s successful format of an alternative gallery tour with someone able to cast a fresh light upon the work on display. Barbara Nice would be a tough act to follow, her seemingly clueless but ultimately sharp-as-a-tack schtick having gone down a storm as she equipped visitors with feather dusters and requested they keep an eye out for mucky pictures taken during her glamour modelling days.

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Digging for worms

A rare day off means I get to play catch-up, so here it is, my full write-up of this year’s incarnation of Sketch-O-Matic.

David Shrigley: Cornerhouse residency video clip

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David Shrigley life class drop-in

Last night was the first of x3 drop-in sessions for the public to have a go at drawing David Shrigley’s ‘The Life Model’. The artist was still adding eyelashes an hour before opening but after lifting ‘him’ into position and adding a rather fabulous wig, and connecting the arduino board and power for animatronic action, he was blinking and pissing into a bucket in no time. First through the doors was a huge group of students from the Visual Art Society at MMU, followed by a herd of public, so many that we had almost 100 people in the gallery. The drawing materials table was completely blitzed (actually quite pleased about this, I love shopping for art materials/stationery so this is the perfect excuse to hit-up Fred Aldous today), and dozens upon dozens of illustrations and sketches were produced that will be added to the walls in time for the exhibition opening on Friday 12 Oct. Sessions continue tonight, Tue 2 Oct and tomorrow, Wed 3 Oct from 18.00 – 19.00.