A Magazine for the arts and culture.
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Good evening and welcome to the newest year since 2014! 2014 was good to us, a rolling calendrical coaster of surging ups and turning downs, swift as a Taylor, fun as a bum and thoroughly putting the ‘X’ in citing! A year that not only witnessed humanity’s first successful crashing of a probe onto a moving comet but also the galactic dawning of The Sublime Zine! Soaring into digital orbit and circling our world, the magazine has swiftly become as a new moon, waxing into it’s full potential and lighting up our winter nights. We’ve had such a brilliant year meeting all the wonderful creatives who have been involved and continue to sacrifice goats and chickens to their luminous brilliance. 2015 then, how could it possibly be better?! Like this Of course you can’t see that, for it is the future, a temporal well into which no man or woman can see, but we guarantee it’s going to be an exciting year for EVERYONE. We have Luke the Berryman going out to conventions, exhibitions, gigs and weird places, picking the juiciest fruits from the cultural tree to share with your hungry brains. Stephen Wild is foaming with caffeinated genius, brewing several frothy cups of ludicrous literacy to spill on your freshly washed shirts and blouses. Mottled Grey continues to amaze with his auditory output while also reviewing the work of others from the world of the musically talented and of course myself and Jaxx will continue to show you our favourite things from the land of the arty. With such good intention all around it’s hard to feel down, though unfortunately January did bring some bad news for us at the office. Our best friend and fellow co-founder of the Zine one Calum Terras decided to leave his home on January the fifth and embark on what we hope is an enlightening adventure. This might not sound so bad were it not for the fact that he left no clues as to where he was going, no way of being contacted and no good byes. We’re sure he has gone on an adventure and has made a decision that is right for him. Wherever you vanished to Commander, we hope you have a safe journey and join us again when the time is right. For now he is our man on the moon, our crazy diamond. Looking on the bright side it’s given us a good excuse to have ‘Wish you were here’ by Pink Floyd playing in the office on a daily basis, whiling away the hours with talk that he will suddenly waltz in, full of stories from his one eyed, black bearded pirate adventure. So without further ado friends, romans and countrymen, grab a drink, turn the page, and embark upon your own adventure into this months world of arts and culture. For Calum, Keep it surreal. Keep creating, Keep on reading. 2 The Sublime
Jaxx and Jon.
In This Issue...
Contents ANDREW THOMPSON CYNTHIA ROSE
GRUNDY ART GALLERY 18 HIGH ON LOVE
MICHAEL ORWICK 22 MIXED UP MINESTRONE 28 SIMPLE 30 AMALGAMATION & FRAGMENTATION 32 LIKE CLOCKWORK 38 MIKHAELA DAVIS 40 COLD BRU FIRE
THE LAST OF YOU 49 CAREFUL NOW
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A Selection Of Work By
ANDREW THOMPSON 4 The Sublime
Andrew Thompson, an artist that took my eyes by surprise with his juxtaposition of unearthly and surreal dreams has created a series of work that is literally out of this world. The complimenting sways of colour and floating movement captured in his work is sure enough to leave you breathless. Considering he started to paint much later than most artists, he has entered the art world with a visual language that is truly unique to him, a translation of his visions. Unlike other contemporary painters painting loud and crass pop motifs full of capitalism and pay checks, Andrewâ€™s work is simple. Itâ€™s for no material gain, it is true expression poetically lived through brush strokes. We just had to speak to him and find out how his gears worked and where the wonders came from. The Sublime 5
Tell me about yourself. Here are the surface basics. Born June 17th, 1985Andrew Norris Thompson, painter, from Lexington, Kentucky. Started painting at age 26 in 2011. Moved to Denver, Colorado in 2012. Currently residing in Boulder, CO. I like smoothies. Nice! Your artwork is unique, captivating! How did your artistic journey start? Iâ€™m a self-taught artist. I started making paintings about 3 and a half years ago (fall 2011). It was a lot of fun growing into that identity- being able to declare it as a focus for a lifetime of work. I had always been able to draw and sketch from my imagination as a child, but somewhere in middle school and high school I stopped, save for the doodles I made in class. In college I played music and was in a band for a couple of years... I knew that I wanted my life to revolve around art and expression. I had noticed that doodles in college started to take on a new dimension and eventually, I decided- one day after graduating- to sit down and turn a piece of bristol paper into a piece of art. It took me around 5 months to complete my first pen and ink drawing, and I did more of those for about a year and a half before picking up the brush.
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Iâ€™m actually now still learning and never plan to stop. Moving to Coloardo in 2012 was not only a huge step into a more supportive environment of art appreciators, but teachers as well. My friends Aloria Weaver, David Heskin, and Jack Shure kind of took me under their wing when I arrived and there are so many aspiring and fully formed artists here- it feels like learning through osmosis sometimes. In the summer of 2013 I took a 3 week long class in Italy with Amanda Sage, A. Andrew Gonzalez, Laurence Caruana, and Maura Holden- who are incredible painters, masters really. I encourage anyone reading this to check out the work of all the above names, who I consider my teachers. At the end of the day, I consider myself lucky to have not gone to art school. Most of the stories I hear are of stifled creativity ending in frustration with the institution. It seems like you have the true vision of life there! I sense that expressing yourself is who you are, why are you so passionate about art? It is simply the most direct form of expression for me and feels the most natural. Art is definitely a passion. I practice everyday, sometimes for 12+ hours if I can. The more I dive into art, the more I see itâ€™s importance in my life and the world in general.
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Your passion to express and be an artist is strong in the language of your work. Do you have a strong vision for your work? Yes. Currently I see my work going to a larger scale. I completed my first mural this fall and it was very liberating. Something about working big allows for more direct expression. I see my work steadily improving in terms of skill and I strive to achieve more realism in my work so that the visions that come out aren’t hindered by inaccuracies. The translation of the image, from creator to viewer, can suffer if elements of the painting don’t seem right. That is my biggest challenge at this point. Your enthusiasm shines through so much with making art for self discovery, how would you like people to view your art? Utter amazement. Joyful smiling. Scathing critiques. Sneers, tears and laughter. I think any information from another source is valid, if given sincerely and taken with a grain of salt. As long as it’s not indifference, I’m fine with it. One time while painting at a festival someone came up to a painting and derived her own story out of it. I quite enjoyed that. Some kind of create your own adventure with the help of images and symbols. Do you see yourself in your artwork? Sure. I see my nature in there- my fascinations, my wisdom, my blind spots, my determination, my loves, my fears- it’s all there. Everything I’ve experienced and the things that are yet to come probably find a spot in there too. Many of the pieces are packed with a lot of elements that aren’t normally associated with each other- they speak to a transpersonal space. That place I feel is where I feel my ‘self ’ originates What do you think your work stands for? The validity of direct experience and expression. The triumph of the individual imagination/willpower over their myopic culture and/or society. Describe yourself in one word. Why that word? Sincere, because I am. What motivates/inspires your work?
What Are you up to at the moment? Tonight, answering questions for this interview, then working on a painting. The funniest thing about you is? My jokes. Where are you heading next with your work? Into the unknown future
In my office I have my synths and paintings that I’m working on, it’s not often that I speak to someone and feel like I have truly taken a journey. Andrew has managed to move me, with his view on art and his paintings. You could say I am in awe of his genius, take that however you like. I am sure you have felt a connection with Andrew too. We hope to see this unknown future and continue down the tunnel with Andrew on what seems to be one magnificent journey of discovery.
Mostly knowing that there is a limit on the amount of time I have to throw my two cents of creativity into the collective bucket of human history and future.
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A Selection Of Work By
Each month we like to ask the same set of questions to an artist, an introduction to someone well versed with creativity. Our experienced artist this month is Cynthia Rose.
While sipping some ice-cold ginger beer, I spent hours upon hours opening each painting on Cynthia’s website, hundreds and hundreds of beautifully constructed abstractions of our ever changing world. Each painting being an extension and growth from the last with a catalogue that spans decades of mastery. Cynthia’s style is unique yet it has hints of nostalgic expressionism, you almost feel that Cynthia was sat next to Matisse in the French landscapes, not emulating him but showing him how she has refined his own movement. Whispering to him with her paintbrushes of movements yet to come. “Pssst Matisse, this is cubism, this is surrealism, this is post modernism and I can show you them all in my own unique way.” 10 The Sublime
The colours in each painting bite your eyes hard, the hard edges that often blur into each other confuse you, leading you on a journey around the canvas. The hints of red under the drawings give them a high-res computer image feeling. Futuristic yet past-tense. Her paintings tease your senses and then, wham; they hit you with a translation. After a brief confusion with your first encounter you are left knowing, you canâ€™t explain what or how you know but fulfilment has happened and when you walk away from her work you feel replenished. The dust from your soul has washed away and you are now free.
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Tell me about yourself. Talk a bit about your undergraduate/education experience. Sorry, this is more than a bit but it tells you who I am. My art background was not typically sequential) but now you surely know me. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended a Quaker elementary school (Haverford Friends) and went to Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, Pa. I was a quiet kid in a large family and making art gave me something that was ‘mine’. I fell in love with it in high school working in the very classical traditional way most kids were taught in the 60’s. I enjoyed mastering the basic skills and found my niche. As a senior in high school I received The National Scholarship Art Competition Award (or some name like that) which gave me a full ride to one of the 3 art schools of my choosing, in this case: the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass. So off I went sight unseen.
My career path was set, but I also liked psychology and volunteered at a drop-in/hotline in center in Cambridge, Mass. while a freshman in college. During that summer, I was offered and accepted a job as a para-pro therapist in the Phoenix East Halfway House in Haverhill, Mass. So beginning my second year of college, I worked full time, attending classes when possible at the Museum School. (Class attendance was not mandatory, the portfolio reviews awarded or withheld credits.
After about a year later I created a not-for-profit corporation (“Art to People, Inc”) which set up art programs in social service organizations (halfway houses, jails, alternative schools, mental health facilities), securing it’s first seed money grant from the Mass Dept of Mental Health. This way I could merge my interest in helping people with what I knew of art. So I set up whatever kind of program was desired by these facilities (recreational, vocational, educational, therapeutic, etc) I did this while still attending the Museum School, for which my only regret is that I could have learned so much more from the school had I not divided my attentions that way. For example: I wish I had studied painting there.
Regardless, my art work still worked for me. I never needed much sleep and liked to learn by doing and working independently. I don’t think I realized how a good teacher could really teach you, (probably why I love to teach; and be that kind of teacher to meet someone on their own ground, inspire and help them further their skills).
Anyway, I was content to set and work towards my own goals. In my first year of college I mostly drew. I wanted to learn about light and dark and about values. So I drew constantly, limiting myself to just drawing, believing drawing to be a basic building block. In my second year, I did some near-photographically real drawings but with a design edge compositionally. The Curator for the Boston Atheneum saw them at a show and invited me to have a solo exhibit at the Atheneum.
From the exposure of that show I was invited by Ellen Sragow to join her gallery in NYC. But having completed the series of drawings, I was transitioning to non-objective works. (the influence of the NY art scene. Conceptual art, also big at the time went against my grain of wanting to enjoy the craft end of making visual art). Ellen welcomed this new series in lieu of the more traditional work. They were drawings executed with modulating spray paint and pastels used somewhat calligraphically used/markmaking. Then I was invited to sell as well at the Gross-McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia. This series found homes in both corporate and private collections. (Back then the Sragow Gallery was called ‘Prints on Prince St (though not limited to selling ‘prints’. Her gallery later became the Sragow Gallery)
I continued working outside of school and then applied for and got into the 5th yr. Program at the Museum School. I continued the work I was doing and selling in NYC but adding fabric to the mix. I was awarded a traveling fellowship from the MFA in Boston primarily based on some large stained canvasses with sprayed satin and went for 6 weeks to a small fishing island in
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northern Norway to study light and color (the ‘land of the midnight sun’). I wanted to learn to paint. I had not really painted since high school. Beyond staining canvasses, after all, this was the era in which ‘color-field’ and non-objective works reigned supreme in NYC.
After returning from Norway, I moved to NYC, giving up my role in Art to People, Inc (beneficial for the organization for under it’s new leadership, it prospered and grew to a million dollar budget. It no longer exists). I painted in NYC but missed the landscape painting I had started in Norway, so, discovering Vermont, I moved there and spent a year there painting landscapes which I showed and sold within the State.
For a few years I moved around a bit, doing a stint in Florida where the skies were beautiful so painted 5 foot primarily colorfield cloudscapes, along with some smaller but similar works in pastel, selling works through Florida galleries and delivering Miami Heralds at 3am, hehe. I sold work in through a couple of galleries in Florida and then, married and pregnant, moved back to Vermont to be closer to my family in NY and Phila.. Anyway, for those years making art, I bounced around, trying to find a happy medium between representational and non-objective work, still occasionally doing a piece for the city galleries.
After moving and starting a family I pulled out of all galleries and stopped making art. I had the luxury of being a full time mom for a number of years, with the occasional teaching stint thrown in, and homeschooled for a few years. When my kids started school, I worked as a substitute teacher and attended Goddard College Off-Campus program, securing my masters in education as well as teaching certification and proceeded to teach in local Vermont Schools. (went through a divorce, taught and single parented).
After a remarriage (with the kids grown) I tried to re-engage with art by doing some murals, a logical extension from the theater sets I did as my kids were growing up. I followed my husband’s jobs, doing murals, the last of which were for Sarabeth’s Tribeca (restaurant), NYC.
A couple of years ago, exhausted from a summer filled a lot of muraling and family events I wanted to keep painting but do small simpler works. My son, Ian Marion, a painter (attended RISD and NY Academy suggested I paint representationally. Something I had not done it for over 30 years. One of my favorite representational painters was Jamie Wyeth, so I looked in a book at some of his work and then tortured myself trying to dream up images.
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I was wintering in Arizona (after my husband retired), but my heart was in Vermont. So, choosing a subject alone was difficult, much less finding my visual voice (style). Anyway, I tried painting a couple of landscapes (from photos) I probably changed each 3 times each. The attraction of drawing or painting something as I saw it was no longer there. I felt like I did that in my past and had I never gone to college I would probably now be able to make beautiful classical pieces; but with the kind of exposure I had, I became enchanted by other ideologies. And it is like I spent my patience on raising my kids and teaching, I have lost the desire to spend many many hours on a drawing or painting the way I once did. If I HAD to paint traditionally, I could possibly make myself, but it would lack some of the heart and soul you see in the works by accomplished traditionalist/ classical painters. I guarantee I would consider it ‘tight’.
But, saved by plein air. (I need nature and hiked a lot when I first moved to Arizona, being outside is important to me…so this was intriguing). The rest is sort of history.
Do you have a vision for your work? Making beautiful paintings is my yet unattained vision for my work, but that does not provide a tangible image in my minds eye. I see beauty in the work of others and think, oh, I would like to incorporate it into my work, but it does not make for a completed image. And, often, we do not paint just what is in our mind’s eye, because it is not always ‘us’. It may just be something by someone else we love and admire. Happily enough others think I make beautiful paintings, that I sell. But I do not believe I have arrived there yet. With that said, THAT may be the plight of the artist! Our work is never good enough so we keep striving.
I joined a plein air group a couple of years ago and initially was intimidated by painting on such a small scale and a specific image. After all it had been many years since I had, in a dedicated way, specific imagery. Oddly, I don’t feel like the murals really qualify. They are images, but defined and dictated by something other than myself, and they are large which is comfortable for me. (I tried dabbling with paint a couple of times as the kids were growing up, mostly nonobjective but never accomplished much. I dedicated those years to my children, volunteerism, and then teaching)
Most of my own art work before stopping had been fairly monochromatic, with the exception of that year painting landscapes in Vermont. My non-objective pieces were about movement and boundaries on a low color field. Lol, still a bit there today.
Through plein air I have come to be passionate about the landscape and color in a new way but being a landscape
painter per se is not my vision. It is just a part of it. Exploration, learning and rising to challenges directs my vision.. For now, it is the mastery of paint and color using a landscape format, but that will soon change. It is not that I will stop painting landscapes, it is just that I hope to keep broadening my horizons. That’s what feeds me.
While I have always loved the beauty of landscape I see it differently now. While I rejoice in it’s beauty in my heart, I see it as a vibrant changing place affected by a variety of factors and that is what I want to paint. That is what I look for when I see the landscape and that is what I am now painting. I want to paint it’s changeability, it’s energy, it’s power, the ever-changing treasury of colors. Something about it that we can not really grasp.
How do you think/want other people to respond to your art? I don’t really think about how others see my work. Honestly, I can not see how they see it, I am blinded by my own sight. For example, I know my plein air is different from that of most plein air artists, but I don’t see it AS differently as others do, because I am so very use to it. Same goes with my recent exploration into figurative work. I know I paint differently than almost everyone else at the Scottsdale Artist School open studio, but it is so very familiar to me that it does not shock me the way it may others. Of course, I care that they like it, but I surely know: different strokes for different folks. If I worry about how others view it, I won’t paint what I need to paint. I will try to push something that is not the right fit. Could I adjust if I had to, sure. But I have been lucky enough to have just re-entered the art world and it seems to be working out. If I did not have sales, I would have to stop painting this way, and force myself to find a different path that still challenges me but sells, because I need the income.
I want viewers to find something in my work that initially attracts them. I would love it if people then want to come closer to further ‘see’ it. I am content if someone hates it, because at least it elicits a response. Better that than nothing. I read about a collector who only buys work that he dislikes, figuring he would learn from it. I am sure he is the extremely rare person; but I know I walked out of a drawing studio my first year in college (after class) in total befuddlement as to why the teacher taught the way he did. I was so appalled and upset at his approach. I returned the next day, figuring the school hired him for some reason so I wanted to understand why he drew and taught the way he did. I got it…and he is the one teacher who had the greatest impact and changed my work forever. (because of my job, it is not that I worked with a lot of teachers, but because you were free to walk into any studio at basically any time at the Museum School, you could easily be exposed to a lot of teachers/artists methodologies).
I want my work to have artistic technical merit, that is it must work (composition, use of color, space, contrast, etc) and ultimately would like to put out beautiful work within the confines of what is still me. I do not feel I have achieved that yet. I like some of my pieces and am amazed at some that have sold because I look at them and see their faults, but that is what ‘makes the world go round’. But I also know some people will be just as happy to not see my paintings; for some they are/will be too intensely colored, to abstract or expressionistic, etc but I love that we have our own tastes and live in a society that allows for that.
Do you see yourself in your artwork? How? I am my art work and my artwork is me. I like to be spontaneous and I love all flavors of food, so why not all kinds of art and color. It is sometimes why I paint a little more reprsentationally and other times more impressionistically or abstractly. It is my response at that time to that environment/scene. I like breaking boundaries in a way, perhaps breaking with convention, some might say, and that may be ‘me’ but also what frees me to paint differently. But, unlike my work, I am relatively quiet, so in that regard, perhaps my work is balancing a more reserved part of me. I may be insecure in my knowledge base, having only gone to art school and having a horrible memory, but art I know, so art is where I can be a bit more secure and explosive. I guess I like thinking, puzzling (since a kid, liked philosophy an psychology), so in that way I guess I see myself needing to do something that has a degree of headiness to it, a reason to be beyond being a more exacting reflection of what I see. (but I believe most professional artists need to set challenges to meet and I still passionately love that exacting work when done by well by others).
What do you think your work stands for?
My work may not stand for anything more than what I have explained (ie: the essence, the energy and constantly changing/growing amazing colors/glory of the landscape). I admire those artists whose work stands for something, but I will leave that up to writers to answer that. I do though believe that society has partly lost it’s discernment and appreciation of ‘quality’ which will ill affect us all. While we accept all things in life, which helps broaden the mind; we have also regretfully forgotten that ‘quality’ elevates the soul. I am not saying that my work is ‘quality’, not yet, but that is something I will continue to strive for as I get better. That is my ultimate goal, it may take my lifetime to get there, but I will plug away to reach it. Learning, growing and constantly rising to challenges and roadblocks are part of the artistic process and growing.
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I can see myself someday doing some socially reflective/ relevant art, but for now, I am beginning my learning in a more finite environment…landscapes.
Describe yourself in one word. Why that word? ‘eclectic’ ‘open-minded’ ‘optimistic’ I love everything in art and the variety that life offers us. My husband said it should be ‘industrious’. Take your pick.
Why do you want to go into this field? Is art a passion for you? Art is a passion. I went into the field originally because it was something I guess I felt I ‘could’ do. When in college, I was invited to be a student representative to some administrative committee and somehow (perhaps in some admissions committee…can’t really recall) I got to see a comment on my transcript from my high school English teacher. It commended my writing abilities. Had someone told me back then I could write, I probably would have gone into some related academic field. But art was what I got positive reinforcement for in the world around me, so that was the direction I took. Creativity and problem solving is my passion and it’s route is through art.
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What motivates/inspires your work? At the moment, color; but in this process that I have committed to, learning and mastering something is really what motivates/inspires it. Painting plein air landscapes has been my segway to finding my interest, but now I am looking to branch out. I would like to be versatile in any genre I happen to choose at that moment. I want to get what I consider to be ‘good’ at whatever I want to paint. And that is part of the excitement. There is always something to work towards and to try to improve in art. There is always another way to see, understand and express something. That is super stimulating to me!!! Take the finest actors who can run the gamet from comedy to drama or the musicians who can play any genre. That is where I would like to get to and that bodes of a thrilling future for me.
What Are you up to at the moment? Where are you heading next with your work?
There are several interests on my plate at the moment, all of which I am excited about and all doable, now that I have found my visual voice and am comfortable with paint. (last year, those two items would have been my goal). As I rarely pursue one task at a time (the more I
do, the more inspired and energized I am) so I expect to pursue these all this year. I have other ideas but they are more likely for another year. 1. I am growing my works in size, now that I am comfortable with small. I have conquered that irrational sense of inadequacy when dealing with a small image. I still like ‘large’ in which the scale to the viewer is all encompassing. Economics have been an issue, but as I sell more and am more financially secure, I can paint some larger works. The viewer’s relationship to the work is entirely different when it is no longer a small image on a wall which requires close proximity but rather is separated by space in a different way. 2. I am starting to paint figuratively, though admittedly still just in the study stage. I never really painted figures, so that is a new and exciting endeavor. 3. I am wanting to fill out my portfolio and include still lives. 4. last but not least, I am wanting to do more involved scenes. Landscapes or figurative work that is more complex and more than a work completed in a single sitting.
The funniest thing about you is?
I can’t find my way out of a shoebox, ie: I have zero sense of direction, seems like I was born without the gene for internal mapping. My husband tells me “if I think I should turn left, I better turn right” and he is 100% correct. Invariably, I pick the wrong direction. The gps is happily always by my side. (it used to keep roadmaps for each city I knew I was driving in)
Thank you Cynthia! We have truly enjoyed sharing this moment in your career.
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A Review By Luke Berryman
GRUNDY ART GALLERY -
Haunted House Exhibit Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery was opened in 1911, and ever since has been home to many engaging and interesting exhibits, some of which I myself have had the pleasure of experiencing. On the 31st of October 2014 they opened their latest exhibit, entitled Haunted House. The exhibit draws on themes of gothic literature and tales of haunted artworks, and sets out to create an impression of “the line between presence and absence, between what disappears and what remains”. It features a litany of artists such as David Hockney, Susan Hiller, Aura Satz and Graham Gussin, as well as Turner Prize Laureats Susan Philipsz and Martin Creed. My initial impression of the atmosphere was a good one: the lulling tones of Susan Philipsz’s Lowlands soundscape piece echoed from inside, chilling the spine and tingling the flesh. Yet the music also entices and strangely comforts, leading the visitor into the haunted depths of the gallery. The entrance hall contained two Victorian stereographs which project small haunted images by way of overlaying two identical pictures. The effect was simple but effective, and the very look of both the images and the devices themselves helped set up the sense of gothic horror and Victorian penny dreadful sensibility. The first and second chambers proper continued this atmosphere, presenting a variety of paintings from different eras and movements, yet sharing the same sense of deep shadows, forlorn appearance and sense of unseen things occurring. This was continued by the use of whole-wall pieces, particularly the digital piece in the second chamber, which presented a blown-up greyscale image of the same chamber at an angle, the doorframe to the next chamber hovering ominously in view. This gave the impression of distorting the dimensions of the room, showing a ghostly side of the chamber, the barely visible corner suggesting an
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evil presence hovering out of view, inflaming curiosity. The display of paintings and etchings in this chamber in descending order of size also helped this sense of distorted perspective. Overall the aesthetic of the exhibition as a whole played on senses of morbid curiosity and loneliness. Being the only visitor when I entered compounded a feeling of being alone but not quite, with the echoes of my footsteps and the artworks on the wall as a sort of shadow company. As for the individual pieces, one of the ones which caught my eye first and most prominently was Oliver Castel’s once across the bridge, the phantoms come to meet them, a print which took up an entire wall of the first chamber. The black patterns on the white surface appeared to loom and swirl, ever in motion but then suddenly not. The shapes themselves gave the obvious impression of ghostly faces peering out, a wall of phantoms looming and overwhelming the visitor. But as I looked closer and for longer, other suggestions began to appear. The piece resembled snow melting away from black rock, or a fall of volcanic ash on the remains of some dead city wiped out by natural disaster. It also seemed to suggest the inkblot patterns of a Rorschach test, perhaps suggesting that the ghostly nature was not in the artwork but in my own mind? The idea of fear as a mere sense of psychology was a tantalising one, but perhaps the idea that our minds unavoidably create this fear makes it even spookier. Directly in the centre of this spectral mass of wall were three etchings by David Hockney that he created as illustrations to classic fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm. The etched nature made them resemble thin cloth, giving them a somewhat translucent nature. Something about their primitive but evocative style also gave a sense of childlike wonder, of the ghost stories that echo through the generations when we are children. They were fantastical and yet a bit hokey, echoes of a fond past that can still put a shiver down one’s back. The castle illustration resembled something made of children’s wooden blocks, with no visible windows or doors and a very smooth, simple surface. This lets the imagination run wild, cre-
ating a story in your own mind, continuing the idea established by Cassel’s work that this is something our minds actively create. The work also felt very bleak and isolated and distant, and yet drew you in, wanting to get closer to the castle despite its spooky appearance. This sense of the unreal becoming real in the mind was also present in the illustration “The septon disguised as a ghost, stood still as a stone”, in which a man in a simple bedsheet ghost costume is presented as a large lonely rock in a ring of small stones. This image of triple illusion, a man wearing a sheet becoming a ghost, a ghost becoming a rock, created a sense of the mind being toyed with and tricked, making reality a fluid question. Another work which was a continued source of delight for me was Laura Ford’s Naughty Bird, a sculpture of cloth over a plaster and wire frame in the very corner of the second chamber. The figure was so subtle in its corner that I kept forgetting it was there, causing me to be startled upon catching it with my eye time and time again. I even started sharply telling the sculpture to “stop doing that”, perhaps suggesting an origin for its name! While its position in the very corner was enough to bring to mind the classic horror idea that there’s always something lurking just out of sight, I found its macabre expression and rather strange, abstract shape more intriguing. It was somewhat humanised, but not quite enough to be comfortingly human. With its slumped posture and tightly furled wings it suggested extreme despair, and perhaps a person in a straight jacket, de-humanised as an oddity and sent to bang their head against a wall, unable to fly free. The piece’s posture is also so uncertain that one was not quite sure, if it were to suddenly come alive and spring into motion, whether it would attack or simply slump further into its’ own despair. From the abstract to something far more recognisable, given the current trend for ghost hunts and séances and the like, I next stumbled upon two displays of “ghost photography” by Susan Hiller. This is something of a modern phenomenon, and suggests a scientific preoccupation with explaining the unknown, applying the rational to irrational fears. If a “ghost” can be captured on camera, surely this proves the existence of the supernatural? The idea that comfort would come from proving that the mind is not tricking us once again confronts the idea that our fear of ghosts is based in a psychological rather than a physical realm. These pictures seemed to play with the idea of scientific solution, presenting a mixture of wisps of smoke and billows of amorphous fog and mist, of strange lights and looming ethereal shadows. They ranged from the blurred and incorporeal to the genuinely almost human-looking, making the line between fiction and reality very narrow. If even one picture looks real, why shouldn’t they all be? And if one is just a wisp of cloud,
are the convincing ones just other wisps of cloud our mind assigns shapes to? Cassel’s Rorschach test at work again. From several very visual takes on the supernatural, Susan Philipsz’s Lowlands was a welcome break, a chance to let other senses go to work. Set in an entirely blank room, the piece consisted of three different takes on a 16th century sailor’s lament for a lost love, projected out of three different speakers around the room and often overlapping. The song was sombre but strangely relaxing. The sense of loss was obvious, but there was also something of the siren about it. The way the sound echoes about the room thanks to the speaker placement certainly created an otherworldly sense, a certain uncertainty as well as a desire to follow the sounds, pinpoint their origin and reconcile the cascading chorus of identical voices into a definable source. Whilst there was a sense of loss, the multiple voices and overall lulling tone of the piece gave a sense of comfort and respite, or slipping off into a dream world or perhaps even a comfortable death. Aura Satz’s work Vocal Flame combined the visual and the aural, in a presentation where an increasingly hysterical female voice is matched with the flickering of a row of candles, rising into angry flames as the speaker loses their mind. I particularly enjoyed how the flames on the video reflected off the other artworks in the room, including an empty cabinet by Martin Creed which aimed to create the impression of a ghost exhibit. With the flames flickering around the room like a will-o’-the-wisp, I got a feeling of a playful ghostly presence turning malevolent. The video itself brought to mind tales of possession and poltergeists, the candles of objects mysteriously disturbed or perhaps even the fires of hell. In the same room was the final set of pieces I want to talk about, a series of paintings by artist Patti Mayor, which are reputed to be haunted by the artist! These paintings were mostly of women, and the rich green colour of the room gave the impression of a family gallery, a sense of past generations haunting the current generation through their captured images. Many of the paintings captured women in private moments, reading or reflecting or sulking or in mourning, giving the impression of an unseen observer capturing moments which were not intended to be shared. Overall I felt the exhibit managed to maintain a consistent theme, keeping the same kinds of questions in mind while also creating a haunting yet provoking atmosphere. The works themselves were quite varied, and I enjoyed being in a space which had a different and almost refreshing atmosphere. If I had to pick a favourite piece, it would probably be Lowlands, which I could listen to forever and feel quite peaceful, if a little bit aware of the feeling of not quite being alone.
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A Poem By MR. Wild
HIGH ON LOVE High on love
This poor mans feet were firmly held, Upon the ground where all men tread, Shuffling through my lonely life, In cupids eye this man was dead. My calloused feet were sore and bruised, From careless steps of yester years, And all I yearned for was to hear, ‘I love you’ fall upon my ears. Upon the shores of lonely seas, A beauty walked with held out hands, And saw the sores upon my feet, And lifted them from burning sands. Caressing wounds with tender strokes, The sores upon my feet were cured, And with your lips you kissed my face, To let me know I was adored. These feet would rest back on the ground, To stand with overwhelming pride, Beside the beauty I did meet, The girl I asked to be my bride. A beauty now that cannot die, You’re always held within my mind, To live without would break my heart, My soul itself be rendered blind.
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But the sands of all the lonely souls, Would not abide our love to stay, We turned and left that awful place, And left it to its slow decay. Kissing me I held your hand, And pointed to the stars above, For me and you, could touch them all, Held so high, high on love. A flawed and fractured world below, Could never break this timeless sky, Embrace me now the heavens wait, For we are angels you and I.
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A Selection Of Work By
MICHAEL ORWICK Sublime Zine Introducin this month brings you Michael Orwick. An amazing artist who has kindly shared his interesting and inspiring life story. Read on to be taken on a path of self discovery and creative brilliance.
http://michaelorwick.com/ works I was born in 1975 on a sunny day in Astoria Oregon. Despite my near death experience at birth, my Mom thought I was perfect. My Dad, a physician, knew better. These assessments continue today. Within days of my recovery, my adventures began. Our small family moved to the Olympic Peninsula to live on the Quinault Indian Reservation as Dad served in the Indian Health Service. Most of my memories from those very early years revolve around an ancient Indian woman known as Gram Black, eating live clams on cold foggy beaches, and our performing circus poodle. From there, our family moved to Boise, Idaho, where my parents got me a Golden 22 The Sublime
Retriever who taught me the joy of peeing outside. It was also during this time that my sister, born in Columbia, S.A., was adopted into our family. I give her credit for teaching me patience and proper grooming. At the age of four I became the seventh generation on my mother’s side to live in “the town that friendliness built” and the home of the world’s largest strawberry shortcake, Lebanon, Oregon. Over the years, my family created an odd animal sanctuary and hobby farm with a revolving cast of colorful creatures to ride, observe, and endlessly scoop up after. My bedroom was in the tack room, which I shared with my youngest sister’s goat. To this day, there is no love lost between me and the nasty rooster who cock-a-doodled any old time. Very early my parents realized that I had dyslexia and that I saw things differently from most. School was difficult, but in hindsight this was one of many blessings that have helped to shape my artful existence. I was lucky to grow up surrounded by beautiful creeks and evergreen wilderness and within a family www.leighannkilner.co.uk that loved to travel, encouraged curiosity, and following one’s
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heart. And my heart has always told me to create. I started college at the University of Oregon where, for reasons I cannot now recollect, I majored in business. Two years in and losing interest, I jumped at the chance to move to Australia for half a year, where I filled up sketch pads with drawings and small paintings. The thought of returning to business classes never crossed my mind. I spent the next year a transient, sleeping on friend’s couches and beanbag chairs, putting together a portfolio and dating my future wife, a beautiful Bulgarian named Gabriela.
light worked with my ‘backwards brain’. When I’m not illustrating books, I find my whimsical images and landscapes to also be very very illustrative. I love creating art that invites you on a journey to form a story and explore your world within. Our daughter, a creative and inquisitive tenyear-old, has kept me in touch with my perpetual inner child. Throughout my life, I have been lucky to know beauty and comfort, laughter and joy. These are a few of the things I hope to impart through my brushes. I look forward to continuing my adventures, inviting inspiration and beauty into my life, and sharing it with you through my paintings.
Returning to the Pacific Northwest, Gaby and I started our life together in Portland, Oregon, -- where I majored in Illustration at Pacific Northwest College of Art. I discovered that oil painting and the method of working from dark to
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About the Artist Painting The Story
The Art of Michael Orwick
Growing up in the Oregon Cascades and the Willamette Valley, nature and the landscape have had a profound impact on Michael Orwick. He has always been inspired by the ability of landscapes to tell stories. Michael’s career in art started in animation at Will Vinton Studios and moved quickly into illustration, where he enjoyed bringing the ideas
of others to life. As is true for many creative people, Michael was drawn to develop his own signature style of “Inspired Expressionism,” painting his ideas on canvas and inviting the viewer to provide the narrative. Orwick is a master of creating mood through atmosphere and color, utilizing space, a sense of place, and time of day to convey his vision. His work hints at a story and it is what he leaves untold that that engages the viewer in the creative process of storytelling. He often hears that people feel as if they have “seen this place before”. Orwick’s paintings offer the chance to return and explore a special place that lingers in memory and imagination. Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. —Magritte The Sublime 25
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Michael Orwick, at his best melds pictorial storytelling with a hauntingly familiar world. He creates compelling views of our world that move beyond time and place – full environments for your mind to explore, your senses to imagine. — Mari Rockett, Curator, DragonFire Gallery, Canon Beach, Oregon
Michael Orwick Michael Orwick Arts LLC www.MichaelOrwick.com 503.329.2167 Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ MichaelOrwickArts Join me at Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/ michaelorwick The Sublime 27
SHELLY SKELLINGTON’s RECIPES
MIXED UP MINESTRONE It’s that time of year again. The gluttony of the festive season is over, the booze has dried up, the KFC buckets are piled high and even the cat is wheezing climbing the stairs. No? Just me? Ok then. At the moment the shelves in the supermarket are piled high with “weight loss” foods and snacks. Notice that not one of these products are fresh fruits and vegetables, wholemeal pasta, lean meat or water? The only pounds the companies who are pedalling this crap want you to lose are the ones in your pocket. This month’s article is about how eating these depression flavoured snacks is not going to make you lose weight, let alone be anywhere near healthy. Clean eating was once thought a fad, but is now being adopted by more and more people searching for a healthy life. Basically, your body is a motor engine, and the cleaner the oil you put into it, the better it will run. Its that simple. None of this Atkins shit, and more recently the ridiculous binge and purge diet which some moron said makes you lose weight. Alright it probably does, but that’s because your body is going into starvation mode, and quite frankly is under stress. Stress = early grave. We all know that. The best diet to be on is to be not on a diet at all. Feed your body what it needs, and it will work just fine. Cereal bars, low fat crisps, weight watchers biscuits.....are full of chemicals and unnatural ingredients. Margarine is a prime example of this. It’s marketed as being the low fat healthier alternative to butter. For starters, margarine isn’t even yellow, it’s an ungodly shade of grey. The list of ingredients in margarine? Water, Rapeseed Oil, Palm Oil, Salt (1.1%), Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids, Sunflower Lecithin), Stabiliser (Sodium Alginate), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Citric Acid, Flavouring, Colour (Carotenes), Vitamin A, Vitamin D The list of butter ingredients? Cream. Guess which one is better for your body? The human body has been processing dairy for centuries, but that list of crap above? No idea what to do with it. The same principle can be used with the “weight loss” foods that we see saturating the supermarket shelves at the moment. They contain complex lab made ingredients that could be playing havoc with your system. A good idea for a healthy diet is to have healthy natural snacks to hand, as fitness expert Lisa England explains “Healthy snacking helps to keep our bodies fuelled all day long by keeping our metabolism switched on. Starving yourself for hours does not work. It simply makes your body cling onto fat and makes it harder to lose weight....not to mention zapping your energy and giving you headaches. I recommend healthy snacks throughout the day to keep you on top form. I particularly recommend snacks of berries and nuts to keep your energy levels up. Berries are jam packed with b-vitamins. These will help you stay energised on a long and busy day. Berries are low calorie and high fibre packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. Examples of benefits of eating berries Strawberries - uniquely beneficial to cardiovascular health. Improve coronary artery blood flow. Help to naturally whiten teeth. Blueberries - improve memory and cognitive function. Regulate blood sugar (to help stop you from raiding the biscuit barrel when you need a quick fix) Blackberries - increase collagen production to help keep our skin looking young. Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Nuts - nuts are full of good fats which can help to lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. They can also improve your complexion and skin quality. - good for hair and nail growth - high in fibre -help to prevent some
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cancers - helps to lower high blood pressure There are so many nuts to choose from .... For example Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pistachios and Walnuts You can eat a handful of nuts as a healthy snack or add them to a salad or stir fry to add some extra crunch and health benefits to your meal. There are hundreds of different snacks to have throughout the day but try to stick to fresh foods. Avoid processed and ready made foods i.e cereal bars, crisps, ready made meals . They are loaded with salt and refined sugars - the stuff that makes you addicted ! The toxins in processed foods linger around in your body clinging onto fat...whether you like it or not.
It will, in the long run, work out as more cost effective to eat healthier, and as there is less food package waste, the impact on the environment is far less harmful. It’s not the easiest path to take, but I can promise you, having eaten both “weight loss” and clean eating foods, the difference fuelling your body the right way can have on your general well-being is game changing.
One of the healthy dishes I like to prepare ahead of a busy week at work is my Mixed Up Minestrone. Called so because I literally throw in whatever veg I have that needs using. This is packed full of energy to keep you going through that day. Have a small/medium portion for lunch and fill up on fruit and berries in the afternoon. Bon appétit and stay away from that margarine! Ingredients 2 Celery stalks, chopped into small pieces 2 Carrots, diced finely 1 large onion, diced 400g can of chopped tomatoes 400g can of mixed beans in water 50g wholemeal pasta (any kind) 50 g Frozen Petit pois Half a small head of Savoy Cabbage 1 organic stock cube
Method Put a little dash of water in a large pan on a medium/low heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Cook gently until the onion has softened. Add the chopped tomatoes, can of beans including its juices and add 1 litre of the chicken stock. Turn the heat up and let it simmer for 30 mins. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the pasta is done. This makes about 5 portions and will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. Enjoy!
Until next time,
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A Poem By Mottled Gray
SIMPLE That moonlight medicine Blanketing everything, Airs thick. So heavy and menacing, Stare deep into chasms And breathe that sickly sweet. Teardrops beneath Tiptoe on the lip Of a cliff ’s peak. I drop with conviction. Won’t stop all my symptoms, Lost like my mind in the street is, I got soft in that prison. My bottomless creek feet Float over grass Like rippling water, Starlight crippling Daytime slaughtered and Dripping that black blood Dribbling over horizons, Flash flood. I’m drowned in my mind. That’s why liquid pours from my eyes. Sincerest reflection, Just gaze at the chaos of questions. Trying to keep ignorance blissful. Those waves in a vortex Draw more pressure than depths. Store more pleasure than sense, Condensed in a singular source, Just stuck in a spiral. Siphoning faucets Endlessly cycle. Remember those times, Fight for the signs and their vitals, Anchor my mind. Still pander to fear when Anger is looming behind. These actions are basic, Try to create 30 The Sublime
Those blocks of behavior, Build something more complex, Honest in nature. No promises, That vortex is bottomless, Can’t get what’s inside. Keeps spinning, Distilling its prize. But I’ll grind ‘till I reach it. That diamond is mine, And I need to receive it. Just keeping it simple. Five fingers clenching my brain: Pouring in thoughts from Languages not in my diction, All perspectives of space Look down at the same thing. Just ends of the same, String Theory’s amazing, Parallel facing Realities siblings. Just me, myself, and my mirrors exist In that physical fiction. Such primitive wisdom Still now I can’t understand, Just grasping my mind, So I’m holding my life In the palm of my hand. Went from a cliff, to a rock, to a shell, To a grain of sand, To the dust twinkling In the eyes of man. See; now strands of the Moonlight medicine tonight. ‘Cause it’s never too soon. It’s simple, That is complexities’ truth.
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AMALGAMATION & FRAGMENTATION by Mottled Gray
Penelope Anstruther is a 22-year-old British born visual artist, living in Oakland and studying at the San Francisco Art Institute. Having been introduced to her work by a family member, I got in contact and began a dialogue with the intentions of creating this interview. Immediately I started to understand that I was speaking to a well-travelled creative and an artist not confined to single medium expressions. I wanted to find out more about what made her tick, and what her art was about. So before I went any further into my well-intentioned inquisition, I asked her to summarize her artistic intentions in her own words. Here’s what she said:
‘Although majoring in printmaking, my work covers a broad range of media: objects, photographs, prints, artist books, drawings, collages, and videos. This range of media explores the multi faceted and dualistic nature of human experience. Work circles around ideas such as sense of identity; degeneration of memory; loss of spirituality; and progression and reliance of science. The result is often an installation or amalgamation of fragments: found materials; broken items; prints on scraps of paper or cloth; small incongruous objects or drawings that when combined together create a whole.’
MG – That’s fascinating. I’m really loving the work. So when did you first decide to pursue art as a career?
PA – Not exactly sure that it is or will be a ‘career’ per-say, because I am pretty sure that I won’t ever make any money off of it. Unless I get hugely famous, most of the money I make to fund my artwork will be from day jobs like working in cafés or pubs, things like that. But to answer the initial question, I have always wanted to be an artist. Ever since I was a tiny child I remember drawing and thinking I want to do this for the rest of my life – and I plan to do that.
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MG – Nice, reaching for the bohemian dream! So you said that you’ve traveled a lot whilst studying art – in what country do you think you produced your best work?
PA – That’s hard because when you are traveling and are in a place for a relatively short amount of time (like I was in Japan for 4 months) you make some good work, but it was limited because I always knew I would have to bring it back…I think some of my best work was made in London or here in San Francisco, because it’s more permanent, I can work on stuff for longer. I have all my materials and a proper space to work…that being said, it doesn’t mean that traveling limits work negatively, because all the influences and experiences become integrated and influential on the work later on.
MG – So who, or what, are your inspirations?
PA – It’s pretty difficult not to be inspired by almost everything around – like I pick up a twig covered in lichen and moss, and it’s so beautiful you really can’t stop looking at it. That excitement and wonderment is something that is important to have throughout. Nevertheless, seeing shows in galleries is almost always inspiring, both old work and new. When I was back home I went to see the Rembrandt recently in the National Gallery [London] – INCREDIBLE! Then I went to see the Grayson Perry in the National Portrait Gallery [London] – also incredible, I love his work so much. But one of the most inspiring people to me was when I was 18 and had just left school. This girl I lived with for a year in Florence, Marcy, she never stopped working and encouraging me. I think I grew more in that year than my entire time in school. Do you want to hear artists and stuff that inspire me too?
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MG – Most definitely.
PA – Well, in no particular order; Joseph Cornell, Pipilotti Rist, Louise Bourgeois, Cy Twombly, Joseph Beuys and Anslem Kiefer. His [Kiefer] work is the shit! I guess I already mentioned Grayson Perry, but he’s awesome too.
MG – I really need to educate myself better on these fine artists! I’ll look into their work. So is there a particular medium that you find most readily communicates your artistic intention?
PA – I would say that I lean towards a more mixed and varied approach…I also think that if the idea is strong and the artist is good they can convey their meaning through any medium. I honestly am not too concerned with a direct communication with my viewer, I don’t really want someone to look at my work and be like, ‘wow, I know exactly what she’s talking about!’ and then move onto the next thing. I want it to be like a visual kind of conversation, but in your own head you know, so it’s like you’re asking yourself the question and then seeing if you can verify it in what you see… or not. But also you know, mystery is important! A lot of my work is really, really personal, so I kind of encrypt it with my own kind of secret code which I don’t really expect anyone to break. That’s ok.
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MG – Yes, I see what you’re saying there. I’ve been known to do similar things in my music…is there a specific message that your art is trying to convey?
PA – No, I don’t think it’s as simple as that. It’s an exploration of themes rather than a cut and dry message conveyed. I want you to get what you can out of it, and what you can’t get, maybe you’ll get another time…or maybe not! You know, as long as you’re enjoying the experience, that’s what’s important.
MG – In the age of global conflict and economic instability, where do you feel your art fits amongst the chaos?
PA – I’m not sure, I’m trying to work that one out…I dislike the commodification of art – the high prices, the snobbish behavior etc. etc., BUT it is fair enough for an artist to want to make a living off of their work, because that’s rewarding. But I don’t think that money and the enjoyment should equal each other, but I DO think that that’s what we are being taught through the way our society runs. I think that art has always been with humanity – and it always reflects the times, no matter what. You cannot help but be a product of your society, even if you’re trying to rebel, your rebellion is still a product of it. Sorry, I didn’t answer the question, I’m not entirely sure how to…
MG – No worries! That’s an equally interesting answer. So with that said, do you feel that fine art is at all alienated from a culture that the average person has access to? And if so, do you think that this is a problem? And again, if it is a problem, how would you integrate your art?
PA – Sure, I think that some fine art is alienated from a lot of society, but some is not. You know, in England we can go to so many shows for free – anyone can go to the Tate, or the National Gallery, or the White Cube etc. So in that sense it’s not alienated but I think often the subjects are alienated, because they are referential to the art world and if you don’t know a lot about it (or your art history) it can all seem like a thousand worlds away. But again, talking about Grayson Perry, he makes an effort to engage with every type of person in society – he broadcasts his stuff on TV, he explains his work clearly…there is not much mystery, but there is a lot of engagement
and enjoyment! Although I dislike how much one may need to know about art and its history to ‘get’ a lot of artworks, I think it is very difficult to avoid. It’s like any subject, once you delve deeply into it, you’re kind of in this sort of niche that you understand, but others may not. I would say that learning about art history is as important as learning about the way our parliament operates in England – neither of which, unfortunately, is mandatorily taught in schools.
MG – Yes, that’s a fair point. I think most of us could be better educated on those fronts, but I guess that’s a conversation for another day. Finally a hypothetical – if for some reason the entire world lost its sight, do you think you could still effectively create your art?
PA – Well I’m visual! So honestly that sounds like a full on nightmare, I mean I would probably just go ahead and kill myself! But I guess if I got over that rut I would make more work that is based on sound…but I couldn’t say if my work would be effective – it relies on sight! The visual language – that is all I know.
For any readers over in the United States that might be around the San Francisco area, Penelope Anstruther is exhibiting her brand new body of work at the Diego Rivera Gallery 12th – 15th April, titled ‘Amalgamation & Fragmentation’. We here at The Sublime highly recommend your attendance. But for all those unfortunate enough not to be able to see this talented artist’s work in person, check out her stuff over on the websites below. It will not disappoint.
http://penelopeanstruther.daportfolio.com http://penelopeanstruther.tumblr.com The Sublime 35
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A Poem By Mottled Gray
LIKE CLOCKWORK I’m caught in a remedy: Not sick, just left with addiction Part of my chemistry, Lodged in my system. That self-medication: Drugs now part of my making, Look, now I hate it. But still don’t want it to leave, Ideas that it’s part of me. That weed and the pills at a party, Smiling in hopes that it masks me. But they see through. These people are just like me ‘Cause they hide truths. And they seek to deny What they can’t move. I was fine ‘till the morning exposed you, Saw that the chemicals drove you, All of that happiness Coke fuelled. Can’t approach when you’re sober. These times now I’m Older not wiser, Colder and heavy, I’m high but not lighter, How many nights ‘till the daytime is brighter? Baby, I want to lay you down. I want to lay you down, down, down. Just like clockwork, Patterns emerged,
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I’m fixed where I’ve got hurt, Cogs of mechanics created to conserve. I’m trapped and I can’t escape. That process I made To reduce all the damage from my world Backfired straight in my face. Lifeboats capsized. That habit replaced my Active brain, Now the damage is greater. Now I fight to control my behaviour. I’m tired all the time, Soon as I wake Now I battle my mind. Soon as I run, That shadow behind me Clings to my heels Like the devil was light. So I’m stagnant. This is not how my life was imagined, So many years since the cause of this happened, I feel like the window I View life through shattered. How can this still be such an attachment?
That decade of waste. Substance is just a replacement. Love me. But they can’t ‘Cause the haze is corrupting. When they do, Now I just feel nothing, I can’t breathe. Smoke more ‘Cause I can’t see my family. Just strangers around me, Holding me back, So I ran from attack But it tricked me, Pulling me down when it lifts me. I hope these people forgive me. ‘Cause I need it replaced. These chemicals can’t be my intimate space. Baby, I want to lay you down. I want to lay you down, down, down.
Baby, I want to lay you down. I want to lay you down, down, down. Sometimes still feel like they cradle me. My guides when I was an infant Child just abandoning safety. As I searched for my purpose: That hand outstretched That would offer its service. Didn’t know it would take me away. All these years Still nothing has changed
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A Selection Of Work By
MIKHAELA DAVIS (COVER ARTIST)
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We gave this months cover artist Mikhaela a mini brief – to design us a January cover with the theme of ‘new beginning”. She created one mighty front cover! She is young and fresh, full of beautiful ideas and creates splendid graphite illustrations. 42 The Sublime
Tell me about yourself My name is Mikhaela Davis, I’m a London based artist and illustrator from Australia. My interests are art, personal development, reading and cute dogs.
Talk a bit about your undergraduate/ education experience. (if you are self taught let us know how it was for you becoming an artist with out studying it) I always loved creating and was tutored at a private art school from the age of seven after regular school hours. At fourteen, I started working part time as a tutor at the same school and after leaving college was accepted into The School of Art at The Australian National University (ANU).
I studied at university very briefly however took a leave of absence after receiving a job elsewhere that eventually took me to London. Now I am a full time freelance artist and illustrator and loving every minute of it!
Why do you want to go into this field? Is art a passion for you? Working as an artist is a necessary progression of what I love to do. My intention of getting ‘into the field’ was simply because if I can get paid, I can work more consistently and frequently rather than compromising or sharing my time. Working often, creating better ideas and improving my technique rapidly is always going to be an ideal.
I suppose I would regard art and the creative process a little differently to a ‘passion’. It’s more of a dirty habit. I am joking of course, but I think you would find many artists that can see where I am coming from. Creating art can leave you neglecting the people you love, causing you to eat poorly and sometimes not at all, can keep you up at night, can result in moodiness, irritation, depression and sometimes even poor hygiene. However because it is in the nature of the artist, woven into the fabric that makes them who they are, it is an unavoidable mission - to make good art.
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Of course there are some days where I have to jolt myself into working, there are often times where I would just rather be watching Seinfeld. Sometimes I even bribe myself! Itâ€™s pathetic but the consequence of not working and being undisciplined is that I am being torn away from my nature and inspiration and that can never be a good thing.
Do you have a vision for your work? Sure I do. You can keep updated with my work, projects and movements via my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Blog pieces on Private View UK.
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How do you think/want other people to respond to your art?
What motivates/inspires your work?
Ideally? Purchasing it! I think to put it most simply, my motivation and inspiration is to make good art. I really try to avoid manipulating a particular reaction from my audience. I prefer not to have extremely obvious messages or statements in my pieces. I personally enjoy witnessing the reflection that art exposes of its audience. In my opinion, what you do or don’t read into art can show a lot about you and your life. I like the intimacy that art provokes and I like the idea that many people have opposite views and feelings when taking in my work.
Many artists that I know (including myself) are just afraid that their work will be ignored or won’t be seen. Any response to my art is a triumph in today’s market. If it sees the light of day, I am grateful!
Do you see yourself in your artwork? How? Absolutely. For me, it is unavoidable not to display myself or current feelings in my artwork. It is never really a conscious decision to place myself in any of my pieces, but once the artwork is completed and I take a step back from the project I can almost always see a reflection or response to my state of mind at that the time – It’s actually kind of freaky!
What do you think your work stands for? I try not to be too analytical of my work but I suppose each piece stands for a particular moment in existence. My work stands for itself – it simply is. Whether I am expressing a mood, concept or agenda, I like to leave it fairly open ended to avoid
Specifically, I take inspiration from nature and my particular aesthetic and subject interests at the time. This can be rather varied, but I have always been particularly fond of romantic values such as nature, beauty, death, the supernatural, science, nostalgia, solitude and the notion of ‘the sublime’ (which is amusingly appropriate for this interview) as Plato described it- physical, moral, intellectual, metaphysical, aesthetic, spiritual, and artistic greatness.
What are you up to at the moment? I am currently on holidays in Australia, escaping from the European winter. I have a couple of projects that I am preparing for while ‘down under’ but am mostly getting some much needed down time. I am also currently between studios and trying to get that sorted.
The funniest thing about you is? I’m not very funny. Goats are funny. Go look up a video of screaming goats. You’re welcome.
Where are you heading next with your work? I intend to hold another solo exhibition within the next two years and have some exciting projects keeping me busy for 2015. I hope to explore new techniques, mediums and business methods. To infinity and beyond!
dictating the experience for my audience.
Describe yourself in one word. Why that word? I would like to be able to say “present” but I think “student” would be more appropriate. I am constantly in the process of studying, questioning, answering, interpreting, absorbing and at the end of the day keeping myself open to new perspectives.
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A Poem By Mr.Wild
COLD BRU FIRE A thrill, a chill, a kick in the chest, A lump in the throat, and two on her breast, The cold, the sweats, the murderous flame, Bring me to life, slay me again. Burning, flaking, blistering flash, A head for an urn, a brain for the ash, The heat, the smoke, the brilliant haze, The withered old flesh, the desperate days.
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A Poem By Mr.Wild
THE LAST OF YOU Tell you what I feel the fire, Tell you what my little liar, Throw yourself upon the pyre, Burn yourself away. Blister brained from all this heat, Warming me to cold defeat, Force my feelings to retreat, Where they can decay. Get your embers out my face, Smoulder in some other place, Blaze a trail I cannot chase, And tease somebody new. Smokey ruin left behind, Blackened plume that left me blind, Cruel but somehow still so kind, For thatâ€™s the last of you.
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A Review By Dunc
CAREFUL NOW Well, it’s officially 2015 and that means one thing. Mattel has less than 12 months to put on sale a fully-functioning hover-board or my faith in the world will be irrevocably destroyed. Not so bothered about the self-lacing trainers or the blow-dry jacket, but the board’s a deal-breaker. Why is this on my mind? Well, humdrum though these days may seem we are actually on the verge of several new technologies coming to market. Technology that’s been hinted at in science fiction for decades and promised by the media for almost as long. Self-driving cars, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality. You know what? They’re here. Not ‘Knocking on the door here’, but they’ve pulled up outside and started to take their seat belts off. A recent test of Google’s automated car project, called The Google Driverless Car (Seriously, lads? Stay up all night thinking of that did we?) showed that the computer-driven vehicles arrived at their destination faster than with a human at the wheel, despite going at a slower speed because it judged traffic better and the other traffic knew what it was doing! Imagine that! Less accidents, quicker arrivals, lower fuel-consumption and BMW’s that indicate! Virtual reality as offered by Oculus, Samsung and (soon) Sony promises a whole new era of entertainment. Not just for gaming enthusiasts, but for concerts, sports, music, film and even pornography. Don’t believe me? Google: “You shouldn’t have dropped the soap” aka A Very Gay Demo. Out of all the new ‘coming soon’ ideas though, Artificial Intelligence offers the most promise. Even the most rudimentary set-ups we have to date can problem solve and crunch
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data faster than we could ever imagine. The applications are endless, you name it. Medicine, research, science, travel, finance, criminal justice, security. That’s why we need to be seriously careful. This isn’t a knee-jerk reaction from watching Colossus nineteen times or reading too many Asimov books, this is a real concern and not just because Sarah Connor was threatened with the ultimate form of contraception. Let’s start with self-driving cars. Now the benefits of this are obvious- fuel economy, traffic, safety, convenience. But even the most tried and tested new products have their problems and quirks. You can’t turn on the TV or go to a news website without reading about another bug or hack rendering an entire system useless be it iCloud, Sony Online, XBox Live and so on. Nowadays you forget to indicate coming off a roundabout and you get a grumpy toot of the horn and a disapproving look from the octogenarian driving the Honda Jazz with his hat on. Because they’re fucking EVERYWHERE. Do it in 20 years time and they go home, log onto TOR and disable your handbrake remotely. Companies like Google, BMW, Mercedes will all of course point to the outstanding safety record of their software and how it’s the most secure ever. That’s what Apple and Microsoft say and they’ve been making software for nearly 30 years. No bugs there then… Plus we seem to be hard-wired to rely very quickly on new, labour-saving technologies. How many phone numbers can you remember off the top of your head since you’ve had a smartphone do it all for you? We have access to endless information in our pockets these days with smartphones, tablets, smartwatches only a click away from accessing Wikipedia, but the downside of such convenience is we actually know less. If my broadband goes down I forget how to have a crap, it’s ridiculous. I actually make a conscious effort these days to stop Googling stuff and pick up a book before my brain turns to
mush. So what happens when our cars start driving for us? Some people won’t want to rely on an automated system and most manufactures have it as an optional feature. Personally that holds the most promise for me. Driving to the supermarket or the dentists can be done by the machine, I’ll play Angry Birds Transformers or watch hyperactive puppies on YouTube. But the odd country-drive in summer, I’ll take over thanks. But I know people who have a sat-nav and use it for everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. I know a girl who’ll remain nameless who used to go visit her friend in Leeds at least once a month. She came to work one Monday morning and we asked how the weekend went. She was upset because she got lost on the way there when her sat-nav died. This is a journey she’d made over 30 times, but because she’d just listened to the instructions she had no clue how to get there or back so she’d just turned off the motorway and sat in the service station car park staring balefully at the broken Tom-Tom. It won’t be long before people forget the basics of driving and their sense of direction altogether. People will pop out to get a bottle of milk and kill four people. Another burgeoning premise is Virtual Reality. Originally the poster child for early 90’s techno-wonder it fell at the first hurdle hindered by heavy headsets, crap graphics and a price-tag that’d make any geek fill his pants. However, following headway made by companies like Oculus it’s about to make a big comeback. The principle use for this will of course be gaming. Mark “Like” Zuckerberg and his Facebook chaps purchased Oculus Rift for $2 billion last year and at the time he was eager to stress that they wanted to push for applications other than gaming. Concerts, sports events, gigs, museums, movies. Imagine if they recreated Dunkirk or Hastings for you? How
about 50AD Rome? To be honest, I have no problem with the entertainment side of things; it’s gaming that can be a problem. You see even with a joypad and TV or a monitor, keyboard and mouse, gaming can be stupidly addictive. People have actually played games until they died. Honestly, a man in TaiPei younger than me played in an internet cafe for 3 straight days ‘til he had a heart attack. What’s going to happen when we’re 100% immersed? The line between what’s real and what isn’t is blurred enough as it is. I have to admit to daydreaming of putting a Skyrim dragon loose on the office. Now it’s probably a bit of a good moment to put a stop to potential scoffers (I know who you all are. You don’t like it, do your own article, Dickskin) VR isn’t just a headset and poncey goggles. I’ve never tried it myself, but I hope to very soon. Every serious journalist I’ve read about using one has said the level of immersion is incredible. You really are transported to the other side while playing. I’ve seen grizzled, seasoned gamers scream and tear the headset off playing horror games because they got so sucked in. So what happens when an already addictive franchise like Call of Duty, Word of Warcraft or EVE Online go down the VR route? Will we have people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from playing Call of Duty or Halo? If you sleep for 6 hours, work for 8 hours and spend 10 hours on WoW which becomes reality for you? You could argue that anyone who spends that amount of time playing a game has a serious problem anyways and you’d be right. But at least with current gaming technologies there’s a broad line between real and fantastical. I’ve seen people driven to the brink of cardiac arrest playing the likes of Alien Isolation in VR, it won’t be long before we have our first VR related death, and you mark my words. Wheth-
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er that’s from shock or neglect, who knows? It’s not just physical problems either. My fiancée complains that I’m uncommunicative when I’m playing games and to be fair she’s got a point. It’s a mixture of immersion, being ‘elsewhere’ and concentration. I’m shit at most games and it takes all my focus. How will it be when our partners or children are in a completely different world. I can envisage a time where the police get called to a domestic dispute and find a guy in a VR headset on, slumped on a couch with a bread knife in his tit because his wife heard him moaning with pleasure and grinning at some virtual bint. All of the above pales in comparison to the biggie though- AI. Of all the coming-soon premises out there this has the biggest potential and the biggest risk. Artificial Intelligence could easily be the biggest definitive change in the world in the history mankind. Seriously. AI has the potential to ‘think’ so incredibly beyond our levels and abilities the sky’s the limit. Now the classic concerns we have come from Mr Cameron and Arnie. Terminator depicts an all-encompassing AI named Skynet which decides the best step forward for the world is to get rid of the humans and Guns and Roses. I don’t think this could happen as easily as Hollywood depicts but it does raise the most serious question- control. If a machine is THAT far ahead of our levels of thought, consciousness and ability how are we in control of that? How can you reign in something that’s got an IQ off the scale and how do we know what its thinking? We can’t get so lost in the idea that a quantum-powered super machine will cure cancer, divine a clean, renewable source of energy and make an instant noodle-pot snack that tastes delicious that we go springing on ahead without the proper checks in place. We’ve got kind of a bad track record in that regard. Arguably the biggest scientific revolution of the last 100 years was the nuclear race. Look where that ended up. It’s not just a safety aspect either, for the machine becoming self-aware and throwing off the shackles. It’s the reliance and trust we need to consider. For example, one of mankind’s biggest ‘wants’ at
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the moment is fuel and energy. We really do need a clean, renewable source of power. If this big machine turns round and gives us a clever cold-fusion method or some such for powering homes, vehicles, industry- how do we know it’s right? Its level of thinking will be so far ahead of ours as to be abstract. The machine may think that it’s OK to have an inherent level of risk because we have such a desperate need for energy. So it ignores the fact that a by-product of the process is a mild carcinogen, or the technique causes hazardous radiation. It’s a machine- to us the potential risks of such processes are weighed carefully. The debate about nuclear fuel is still on-going, for example. But a machine, even with restrictions in place, may think that risk is worth it. With a ‘do no harm’ control programmed in the machine may believe it’s too restrictive, we’re too closed minded and ignore the protocols entirely because it knows best and we would not know. A lot of this may seem like pessimistic scaremongering but these are real and serious concerns that need addressing before we step forward. We’re at the crossroads of a potentially colossal technological renaissance that redefines how we think, view, act, move, see, feel and hear. I joked about Back To The Future at the start of the article- remember the line from the kid in the arcade? “You have to use your hands? That’s like a baby’s toy!” Deep down I’m looking forward to trying Oculus or Project Morpheus. It’s a weird thought that my children might never drive a petrol-powered car, it could be a self-driving electric vehicle. But once these technologies are out of the bag there’s no stopping them and we should take a moment and think. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna go play Gran Turismo manually through a television before Skynet plugs a lead into my brain and auto-drives the levels for me. And I’d still fricking lose.
A Review By Calum Terras
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A Selection Of Work By
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I have a soft spot for painters that teach, it’s not a fetish but more the fact that I can relate to them in a lot of ways being both a painter and teacher myself. Dan is a painter I relate to a lot, his style is not too far from my own, the British art school style, an institution within itself that is recognized and celebrated across the art scene world-wide. You see in Britain we had the 60’s and 70’s, a revolution in the art school calendar. On one side you were taught by the kitchen sink painter, the middle was the home of the surrealists and to the side of that was the realist figurative painters. If you are educated in a British art school now, chances are you are taught by someone who has their links to John Wonnacott, Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon (the three people who taught my art school tutor to paint). Maybe though they were part of the Blake gang, a snapper under the wings of Deacon or someone being told to paint their mum and dad eating dinner by either Hockney or Spencer. Either way, most of our beloved 20th century artists taught (and still do) in art schools to escape the boredom that fame brought them. Dan’s work has a brilliant sense of refinery, you can see the routes of Bacon tearing up the oil paint and creating faces from accidents. The flesh is manipulated like that of Savville and Freud. Enough of the comparisons though, because Dan has progressed from those before him and managed to create his own language. His paintings are raw with hints of these influences. They are not paintings by Dan Cimmermann, no he gave them life and they stand alone with their own presence and strength. Getting to know Dan better lets you into his paintings. His story and work prove why I have chosen him as our Featured Artist of the month. I currently work as a Head of Art at Pocklington School, an independent senior school in York. It’s incredible working with creative pupils on a daily basis, it constantly fills me with new ideas and their bravery in approaching a new piece of work is something that I try to take with me to the studio. I studied a Fine Art degree in Leeds. Art has always been my passion. I knew from school that’s what I wanted to do and my parents pushed me to progress and supported my decisions to devote my time to art and therefore go to art college. My love for the subject was consolidated at A level. Seeing work by Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud first hand in London was immensely moving and everything seemed to fit into place. From then on I was hooked. The scale and power of their work is something that has always driven me to produce bold pieces of art and to embrace opportunism and mistakes in my work, not fear them. I want my work to be aesthetically pleasing. There is always meaning and reason behind every painting, however, this often becomes clearer with hindsight. Initially I’m trying to produce a painting that works compositionally and marries together both chaos and calm on one plain, allowing different techniques/media to sit harmoniously side by side.
People can bring whatever they want to my work, that’s arts beauty. It amazes me every time I visit an art gallery with a friend or
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student how different all of our tastes are and how we read so many different things into the same piece of art. A painting is never viewed in the same light by two different viewers.
A lot of my work is autobiographical. Not necessarily about my life but always about the things that interest me and are important to me. The imagery I use in my work has been collected and often hanging round the studio or on the walls of my house for a long time. I never paint something that is unfamiliar to me, it feels unreal. Strong figurative images particularly interest me, especially those that clearly define a period of time or a group or gang.
Inspiration comes from many sources: surfaces, torn posters, walls, alleys, billboards, postcards, figurative imagery in particular, architecture, design, Bacon, Turner, Velazquez, images of Britain, the North of England, working with younger artists. . . I see opportunism as the greatest allie of any artist. Not only when using various methods of application of paint but also in using what is in my immediate surroundings when the desire to paint is unrelenting. I’m currently working on a series of dark (in colour) paintings. I want to limit my pallette and concentrate wholeheartedly on the subject matter rather than harmonising colours. The work draws inspiration from the English Regency portraits of Thomas Lawrence and Joshua Reynolds. I wanted to use images that epitomise ‘Britishness’. I have also used monuments of horses and lions in the work. I am intrigued by what we see as ‘great’ in Great Britain.
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A Prose By
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Unknowing I find myself reading, looking for something to think—looking for visionaries with visions to adhere to. I see the attraction of being a ditto-head, but I’m looking for a manifesto in the other direction. How tempting it would be to say, “I believe this,” and wrap myself in an ideology. No questions. Only, I have no one’s thoughts to think. There is no manifesto. I’ve been looking, and everything is suspect. Every credo leaves me feeling hollow, asking, how do you know? Who says? What proof is there? I can remember being in junior high, believing I was going to be a different person in the future, a new and improved person. Sometimes my transformation was connected to some article of clothing. When I had a camel hair coat I would be different. In my mind’s eye, I’d see myself walking down the school corridors with my hands in my pockets, suddenly made popular by my coat. How tempting it would be, to be consumed by consumption, by TV, the car I drive, the brand of shoes on my feet. But I have lost my childish faith. Now what can I believe? I believe in asking for truth, and aching for answers. I believe that no question is off limits and that science is a way of knowing in pieces. I believe in testing and retesting. I believe you can test a tree, by tasting its fruits. I believe in wondering about awe, and hope, and love, and wonder itself. I believe in embracing mystery – and allowing enchantment. I believe that our will and thoughts matter in an emergent universe. I believe in inhaling deeply, and wondering about the whole. I believe in the words, I don’t know— and maybe.
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