This morning I woke at a couple of minutes to six, again. Arms and legs like lead, side effects of the heart medication I have to take. By an hour later I was stumbling around my flat in my pyjama bottoms, wrestling my prints to sell for the show from their shelf in the hallway, being savaged by the pedals of my bike as I played twister with it and several hundred quids worth of giclee printing in my hands. As I took another lump out of my shin from my bike rather than risk damaging my merchandise, a much repeated mantra pops into my head “I bet Anthony Gormley doesn’t do this”. It doesn’t have to be Gormley, it could be anyone of that ilk, Tracey Emin, Ai Wei Wei, Damian Hirst… But what I desire is the ability to focus on actually making art rather than all the minutiae. Getting everything done by a team of minions.
Yesterday I sat in front of the telly wading through box sets on Netflix turning sheets of thick card into display stands for merchandise using a craft knife and a sharpie pen, before that I was hand drawing the backing to a3 prints before sticking them in cellophane bags, before that I was screwing d rings into picture frames and before that… Well, you get the picture. I am quite sure that Anthony Gormley hasn’t done any of those fiddly little jobs for a while. I quite sure Gormley would not be transporting the last six months of his life wrought on paper and canvas in laundry bags and his mates two door saloon car, I expect they each have individually made crates like the ones in the big government storage room at the end of Raiders of the lost ark.
Today’s last minute comedy disaster was this… The ink for my purple tea towels wouldn’t adhere to the surface properly. I had spent a long while designing hang tags based of chemical formulas for various poisons and now deadly nightshade was off the menu. After a panicked discussion with my screen printer we went for a foxglove pink, representing the heart drug dioxin, what used to be known as digitalis. A mad flurry followed, during which I found the chemical formula, wrote some blurb, printed a master copy which I then walked the best part of a mile downhill to the printers for the second time today and then back up the hill again and have since been cutting, folding, hole punching , ring reinforcing, stringing and bagging up my new colour altered labels. And nope, Gormley certainly doesn’t do that!
Now I do get some help, I’d be lying if I didn’t but it is all offered freely and I really don’t want to take the piss. To those lovely people I am eternally greatful but it is only in the areas I have no chance of getting it done myself. So hopefully, if you come along to the show at the love cafe from the first of September and, if you are kind, you buy something there. That bagged up card in the fish shaped stand, that tea towel held in place by a clothes peg painted to look like me with a label that tells the reasoning behind the colour I chose. Be it the print carefully wrapped or the drawing that took three days to do, just remember…. Chris Hoggins did that!