Friday, 8 April 2011



I have been wanting to make some animations for some time, this was a really fun project and has inspired me to sit down and think about animation further. I created this video using printed cut outs of a photo of the cushion on the elephants foot and a scanner and then lots of time with photoshop supported by my very patient girlfriend Lainey.




Henry the hoover museum tour animation coming soon ........

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Kevin blenkinsop Interview



Kevin Blenkinsop interview

Luke-
I'd just like to start the interview by asking you about the materials that you currently use in your work, so I hoped you could begin by talking about your use of watering cans?

Kevin-
Right yeah well basically this all began at university on my Fine art course, the workshops at that time were being refurbished. I had begun experimenting with sculpture on my foundation course so I wanted to explore this further. I began looking to see what object I could find to use and that's where I stared using milk cartons and cable ties.

Luke-
That's interesting, you started using cable ties straight away and they still continue to be an important component in your work.

Kevin-
I felt it had mileage at that time and I liked that is was immediate, and I didn't need any help or back up from the workshop technicians, I could just get on with making. I started off making abstract stuff and the more I went along the more figurative things evolved then I started making strange animals, these were inspired by the fact I have always really liked electron microscope pictures.

Luke-
Like the images produced by Robert Hooke, absolutely amazing imagery.

Kevin-
Yes I really loved the imagery and I started translating it into my work with plastics, building up layers to form the animals. But then I got bogged down in trying to make these things posable, trying to make ball socket joints. This began to involve assistance from other people and it all got really laboured and really went away from what I was doing.

Luke-
To pick up on something we have spoken about before, could you talk about your interest in animation and how that has effected your work and its directions?

Kevin-
Yeah what can I say Ray Harryhausen........ all his films. I also love Puppets, things like Thunderbirds all of that stuff its all really exciting to me. I really love the idea that these pretend worlds and these still puppets could be brought to life by using them and filming them. I aspired to be just like Harryhausen and began animating.

Luke-
Was this using clay modeling or were you making puppets?

Kevin-
My friends and I started by putting wire skeletons into plasticine working outside using a super 8 camera it was good fun. But because of the lighting outside the results weren't right.

Luke-
A question from an embarrassed member of the digital generation how did you play these films back?

Kevin-
We had my aunties reel to reel projector and cine camera, but you'd have to send the film away to the processors and wait about 3 weeks to see the film. So it was really exciting to wait to see it the first time. We blaged an editing machine off a friend too so we could edit all our films, but that was difficult, so we tried our best to film things in sequence.

Luke-
Did you ever pick up again on this animation that you began in your teens?

Kevin-
Well I was in work for 20 odd years before starting at art school, so I had a big space and time where I just used to draw.

Luke-
What form did these drawing take?

Kevin-
They were animals and monsters in twisted corridors and multi-coloured, always I guess surreal. I felt like I was searching, I didn't know what I was wanting to do but I just kept going. So the animation kind of slipped to the back, but I still watch films and I have a keen interest in any advance in stop frame animation. I Would love to go back to it, in fact I made big sculptures at university and tried to animate them, but they didn't work.

The Below image is from a sketchbook drawing inspired by a fight involving the character Horst Buckholz in the 1960 film The magnificent Seven. The creature is inspired by the work of Frank Frazetta.


Image from sketchbook

Luke-
When you were working towards animating these sculptures did you create story boards for how these movies would look?

Kevin-
Yeah I had some ideas, mainly surreal stuff, like coming home and finding a creature in the corner thats just sat there and then it would begin to transform over a period of time. Simple things really. But I felt it difficult to translate the ideas I had into the sculptures.

Image from sketchbook

Luke-
Were these creatures created out of watering cans as well?

Kevin-
Different materials really, I quite liked using using shower matts. They have an almost skin quality. They have pink ones and of course they have suckers which I thought were great.

Luke-
How do you think your art practice has been informed by your current day job as a technician within museums and galleries, seeing and dealing with artworks from a different perspective.

Kevin-
I think its taught me a great deal, however I'v always been collecting images throughout my life. Cutting images from magazines, anything I find slightly different or interesting and that's definitely increased. It goes back to my childhood, images that I found striking. Old black and white movies.

Luke-
Can you remember any early memories of things that really struck you, how did they effect you?

Kevin-
I remember seeing the day the earth stood still for the first time. I remember imagining that happening near where I lived, and id do drawings. Each time I saw something for the first time id try and draw what I saw like Godzilla or characters from Harrhausen films and this left a massive impression and I'm still into that now.

Image from sketchbook

Image from sketchbook

Luke-
We've spoken a lot about how movies have informed your work, but I was interested if there were any artists or styles that you are interested in ?

Kevin-
Leaving school and going to work in a factory I wasn't always seeing artworks but I do remember being struck by Bosch and Rembrandt. Then at college I was able to discover more and I came across Panamarenko and his flying machines, he's a belgium artist. He started to invent machines to escape his studio. I liked the idea of escaping, running off somewhere different. I guess its escapism because I came from a small pit village, and I used to try and imagine myself in different places. I'm fascinated by this idea of the way places operate, like busy clothes shops that are alive during the day then at night the mannequins are dark and quiet, or are they. Also when you walk past houses with lights on you begin to imagine what's inside what's happening, what if I was there too, what could happen.

Image from sketchbook

Luke-
Like being outside of reality, but feeling like you can alter that reality.

Kevin-
I know it sounds like voyeaurism but I don't think it is, its more thinking what if I was in that space, nobody knows I'm there, nobody know's you exist. Its like when you look up at aeroplanes there's 500 people on this thing floating above your head and there all having there tea and watching the screens and all that's going off over your head.

Luke-
That's interesting I don't think iv ever thought that when I look at planes in the sky, I just see the object, I don't relate to the people in that way.

Kevin-
It's the same when your in a plane looking down, even odder when you think of an astronaut looking down at the earth. Outside of a few people we know, nobody knows we exist unless we become famous and I find that interesting.

Image from sketchbook of the construction of an astronaut suit from a single washing machine.

Image from sketchbook

Luke-
And is that how you prefer it, when you have had success with your artwork and you were in the paper, how did that make you feel?

Kevin-
Urm awkward, strange bit weird really, I didn't know if I liked it or not.

Luke-
There is a number of artists that choose to remain anonymous, what do you think about this?

Kevin-
Yeah I mean you could argue that the artwork does the talking, why do they need to be interviewed. What do you need to know, I don't know.

Luke-
Have you thought about how people read you work, knowing nothing about you. What do you feel your work says or evokes from the audience. Would people be aware of your interests, as in what we have been speaking about today and is that important for you?

Kevin-
Well, I think you have to be careful, you can tie yourself in knots thinking too much. I make what I like to make, a lot of the things I'v always thought I'd never put down on paper. I'm enjoying exploring with materials at the minute, I'm not exploring any big questions with my sculptures, I feel I do that more with my sketchbook. If I get an immediate thought I try to record that in my sketchbook. For example, There's a story about an old british wrestler called kendo Nagasaki, I found out that when he packed in wrestling he became a faith healer. I really liked this idea because he wore a mask and he was unknown, a mystical character that he named Kendo Nagasaki, but he's actually from Huddlesfield or somewhere like that. It was common that British wrestlers came from provincial towns at that time, and they used to wrestle in Leeds city hall and places like that. I really like the mystery that he created about him self, and it made me want to do drawings on him. So I'v made these drawings of him going on quests.

Image from sketchbook

Luke-
So like a comic, are they drawn in a comic format?

Kevin-
Yeah and using found images of places, and ideas about creating a fantasy that fits in with the modern world. Stuff that you wouldn't normally see on film with places like Leeds and Sheffield.

Luke-
Its a really interesting idea, one of creating a character or alias for yourself. Is that something you've ever though about playing with. The notion of your art or you as an artist becoming performative, like Grayson perry for example.

Kevin-
Yeah Cindy Sherman is another artist I like who is interesting in that sense. Yeah what I like about Grayson Perry is he wears these amazing 1930's dresses almost like in the film Baby Jane, but he talks with his deep mans voice and I just really like that. That hinting at becoming someone different.

Luke-
It's interesting in what we've mentioned before, in the sense of transporting your body into another sort of thing.

Image from sketchbook


Image from sketchbook

Kevin-
Yeah and I guess maybe the reasons for him wanting to do that are positioned in his history, but I like that as a mystery, I don't want to get to know that.

Luke-
Yeah that's interesting too isn't it, that sense that there need to be a reason for him to want to do that. There's this idea or assumption that he has had something horrible happen to him or something wrong in his life at some point.

Kevin-
Yeah a lot of modern american films are like that, like in Charlie and chocolate factory and the Grinch. In the modern Grinch there's an adaption that he was bullied at school, but that was never in the original. As well in Charlie and the chocolate factory the story in presented in such a way that you think that Willy is odd and eccentric because he dad was cruel to him as a kid.

Luke-
Yeah I guess its this notion that as long as there's a reason for somebody being mad then we as a society are safe.

Kevin-
I think it frightens us if things happen for no reason, we need to find that reason and to gain that as a relief from that person or an event they've caused.

Luke-
Yeah but there's positives about this idea, you know with films like kick Ass and Destructor and that average person that dresses up as a super hero, that idea of trying to be somebody better than yourself. Maybe that's fake or there's another agenda to that, but its really interesting. I almost want to suggest that you should think about this notion and create a character for yourself.

Image from sketchbook

Kevin-
Yeah I'v had a chance to do that when I went to university, nobody knew me, so I could have been a totally different person. But basically I think I'm a bit shy underneath I want people to like me. So I was just the same person.

Luke-
Well yeah I guess its a lot of work, its like becoming an actor and taking on a role, and it being something that develops and you having to remember those developments to maintain the act.

Kevin-
You would almost have to be convinced that was who you were, to believe in that character fully. But yeah I guess me being a bit older, I had already formed a sense of who I am. Whereas if your younger your still forming your personality, but actually yeah maybe your always doing that your whole life I don't know. Like when you look back at old photo's of yourself your almost looking at different people.

Luke-
But yeah its dangerous I guess you can loose a sense of who you are, but then who says that you have to be one person or maintain that sense or one personality the whole of your life or to be completely truthful all the time. I think everybody is always too aware of maintaining a sense of honesty. I'm aware this is seen as good and necessary but sometimes that's not investigative or expansive and I like the idea of trying to traverse that line of fact and fiction. Pushing yourself and your relationship to others forward and sideways.

Kevin-
Its hard to know what you want or who you are sometimes, its like movie stars and politicians, who are they really. Soap stars are interesting, they become really well known for their on screen persona and at times that spills into reality and they might get hassle from the public for something the actor has done in the soap. What really sets my mind thinking is movie stars like john Wayne who are dead but are still moving and breathing in movies.

Image from sketchbook

Luke-
What I find interesting about that, is that yeah he will continue to be seen by new people through his movies, new relationships will be formed. These ideas of fandom and feelings towards him or his characters. Yeah the really scary thing is once your on film that's it forever you can always be played back and seen, as long as the technology still exists to do so.

Kevin-
Yeah its like somebody watching a John Wayne movie in 500 years time, he's still alive through the movie, but countless millions of people have come and gone. But these people are no less important. Its like the movie stars that die young, you never get to see them get old, like James Dean so there forever preserved in their iconic status.

Luke-
What I find really weird it that now with the rise of CCTV everybody is on film, so almost in a sense from this point on, everybody will always exist in a visual form in that method or recording.

Kevin-
Yeah that is really strange, and if you could use technology to somehow recreate that person from that image into a 3D holographic image that person would maybe exist again in the future. But yeah then there's all these people that have come and gone but there's no record of them being here. I really like thinking about this sort of thing.

Luke-
Yeah I guess that's the problem is finding time to sit down and think and talk about this kind of thing. I think that's what has changed, that notion of spending time observing and thinking in today's rushed society.

Kevin-
Yeah its like with the internet, you can find things instantly and talk to people on the other side of the planet.

Luke-
Yeah but I know myself as an obsessive consumer of the internet you form a really shallow knowledge of a number of topics but that's it, and I try to read and seek out more information but it is easy to become lazy and reliant on the quick bite size information the internet provides.

Kevin-
Not like the old bloke working somewhere for the whole of his life learning a skill or a subject inside and out.

Luke-
Yeah so that raises an interesting question for you, if the internet was around when you were growing up, do you think that would have effected your interests?

Kevin-
Yeah well things were different I had to wait to see things or get things, so that made things more special more memorable I guess, and I liked that. But it is an interesting thought would I be who I am today with the same interests if I grew up in this generation.

Luke-
So shall we try to conclude by me asking you whats next? So you've mentioned to me about your Japanese monsters and your desire to make a bust of the cardinal that you have studied at Temple Newsam House.

Kevin-
Im still exploring what I can achieve with the materials, the idea of doing something like old style marble sculptures is currently appealing. I guess inspired by things I see at work that I want to try to bring back to life by remaking them. I have a lot of fun just finding out and learning how to make things, I like the idea of just creating a large body of work of just stuff I've made.

Luke-
I'm interested in how you have spoken about using banal materials like the milk cartons and the watering cans and how by your altering of these objects there then transported into an arena where they demand more attention. That idea about the object shifting into another like creating a new character or alias for that object.

Kevin-
I think at first I was enjoying that I could get some material, some people liked that it was clever that I'd made something out of watering cans. But that's not really what its about, I just like the fact its ordinary throw away material that are accessible and cheap. I like the idea of making your own objects from stuff you've found, making involved decisions about their new form. I Like the idea of creating my own collection of things, I'd really like a collection of marble sculptures but I cant afford them, so instead I will make them myself.

Luke-
Well Id just like to finish by saying a big thank you to Kevin for sharing his thoughts and experience today and I hope those who have read this have found it interesting.

Thank you, and watch this space for future works and an exhibition of Kevin's sculptures and drawings.

For further information on the artwork please contact the artist

kevinblenkinsopfreakyfoes@live.co.uk


Related links
http://www.panamarenko.org/home.php

http://www.rayharryhausen.com/index.php


http://www.hieronymus-bosch.org/

http://frankfrazetta.org/all0001.php





Thursday, 23 September 2010

Thursday, 16 September 2010

I want to be a ufo

Artists and information will be added over time.














The monster is fantastic, my plan for the future is to start a comic based on monsters from such book covers. I would also like to investigate the idea of making monster puppets and to create a story.



René Laloux, from the amazing film 'Fantastic Planet, 1973'. I want to try and research further to find similar works of animation.






I think this costume is great, especially the goggles and i will construct one myself soon.


http://hedonia.net/art/powers.htm

One of my favourite science fiction artists, Richard Powers.

Ian Ballantine was the first publisher to recognize [Richard] Powers' genius. Ballantine engaged him in 1953 to do the now famous paperback edition of Arthur C. Clark's Childhood's End. While never a great fan of science fiction, Powers nonetheless found endless inspiration in this genre, and single-handedly revolutionized science fiction illustration. Until then, science fiction illustration had consisted mostly of conceivably realistic representations of alien worlds, but Powers unleashed subconscious imagery that explored the endless possibilities of speculative fiction. Over the course of his almost 50-year career as a science fiction illustrator, he produced an estimated 1,400 illustrations.

Contrary to what one would expect from such a seemingly visionary artist, Powers was also a writer of children's books and a keen sportsman, playing semi-pro baseball until a potentially career threatening hand injury forced him to change to become a highly competitive tennis player. His quick temper was evidenced in his poor sportsmanlike behavior on the court when he would lose -- presaging such tennis bad-boys as John McEnroe." (Hedonia)

I would like to do a powers inspired illustration of him playing tennis against John McEnroe, watch this space.


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

a piece of paper i've been placing my pen on






Investigating the possibilities of pyrogarphy, I think i need to invest in better equipment but this is certainly something i wish to persue.







A charactor called 'Wavey Davey' inspired by my brother for his birthday, my first look at how i can manipulate my work through the use of the evil computers.



I have a huge interest in 13/14th century illustrations and always strive to try to move my work within the aesthetics of this age but i am still a long way off understanding the motifs and use of imagery, but this was another learning process. I don't like this drawing.



This was an idea i had while reading one of my many dog eared books, probably the only drawing that i have completed that i can still look at and feel a certain success in achieving what i saw in my minds eye.



This drawing was inspired by the work of the mighty Utagawa Kuniyoshi. I have a huge interest in Japanese artists, another artist i have a great appreciation for is Hokusia especially his drawings illustrating the odd spirits and folk lore in Japan.



This work is one of many drawings i like to do involving robots and centered in my huge and growing interest in science fiction.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

art school wanks

First year, Leeds Fine art course













These photographs are from an exhibition I curated at the end of the year, collaborating with artists from all three years on the fine art course. It was named Jiggery Pockery.


Second year



This wasn't a productive year for me so this was a fitting piece i made at the end of the year.


Final year


video

Recorded performance of myself naked completely covered in shaving foam apart from where you normally put shaving foam.

video

Recorded performance, Arm and Hammer was part of the ADHDvideo Exhibiton theartmarket Merion Market Leeds, May 2007.



This work is an example taken from a series of works investigating object function and meaning, these works included sculpture, drawing, performance and video.








video





video




Profiling a development in my working practice. A movement towards investigating meaning and function within a space and the possibilities of such to shift and alter.




Video Piece 'Let' made from the exhibition/performance/event by the same name. The subtitles that accompany the video are a transcription from a sound work relating to the piece, this was made from the communication exchanges, made in order for me to gain authorisation to put this event on within the university buildings.




This piece named Stimulant, was an attempt to animate a mug tree and also create a sound through the colliding of cups. This was an additional work that was part of creating a space for displaying the video work 'Let' for my degree show. The other work as part of degree show i made the decision to not document and the performance will only be known to those that witnessed it.




Leeds Met Gallery 'moving on' exhibition 2008
This was my first paid exhibition, fantastic! but i didn't that i wasn't involved in any of the making of the structures for presenting the work.



I was in the Yorkshire evening post, I was most upset that I hadn't taken into consideration that perhaps it would have been more interesting for me to wear something more exciting than a suit. If I ever make it into a paper again I will put this error right.