A new #43Leaves piece for September, there can never be too many leaves left…

#43Leaves , Spetember 2019

An update, some news, some fresh leaf growth, a new art drop piece, some new paintings, some new shows coming together along with a thought or two on the why and such. A September crossroads maybe? It has been mostly about fruit and fruit shops and painting apples and lemons and pomegranates and such and just for the pure pleasure of doing so this year so far, painting fruit is enjoyable.  Most of the paintings I currently make are because I live right in the middle of one of the not so green and rather overcrowded areas of London, I live in a place where so many things just go to waste or are left on the street or thrown in skips, where so much “stuff” is about short-termism and about my fellow humans appearing to not really care that much about anything beyond which gentrified establishment they’re drinking coffee at this weekend, where clothes are worn once then thrown in a skip, where bits of wood are just left on the street, old canvases and paintings are thrown in bins, where unsold food is left in locked skips around the back of supermarkets while people sit out front begging for the price of a cup of tea

“A Leaf”, September 2019, the 2nd of 43, Shoreditch, East London. 

The paintings of leaves growing on these wasted things I pick up are a product of my current environment,, the leaves have always been about how we’re misusing things, how we waste things, about buildings that are just left to fall down, about the notions of the Captain’s table, ecology, consumerism. I’ve bleated on about these things for years, hopefully not in a too obvious way, not in a preachy way, my art has always been about a need to not only make art but also a need to make art that reacts to where I am and what’s happening around me while I’m making that art.  My art is about using those materials others leave on the street, about recycling, reusing, rethinking, I can just make nice art for people, I can’t make polite prints or decorations, it needs to be just a little bit,more.  Hopefully I don’t need to be so obvious as to need to stick an Extinction Rebellion logo on a painting?  Hopefully the painted leaves or recycled bits of wood plant the seeds of thought? There’s been well over 2000 paintings left hanging on walls for people to just take over the last ten years or so, I hope people are seeing it as some kind of question or statement or…

“A Leaf”, September 2019, the 5th of 43, Shoreditch, East London. 

The paintings I currently make are mostly because of where I live and what I see around me, about the textures on the walls as new layers of leaves grow, recently they’ve been about the fruit I pick up off the East London streets, I hope my paintings always feel like they’re from a particular place or time. At the moment my paintings come from Hackney, East London although I’m not sure how much more I have to offer London or how much London has to offer me.  While I am still here THE leaves will continue to be painted and left for people to take….


Right now there’s a new #43Leaves piece in progress, a new piece of work in 43 parts, the piece will go on throughout September, another 43 paintings on found recycled unwanted material, material picked up off the street, cleaned up, painted on and then once again hung back out there on walls for people to just take should they wish to. The first five paintings of the latest #43Leaves pieces were carefully “dropped” last Sunday September 1st,  all five were left hanging on East London walls, we know, via the magic of social media, that one of them now has a home in Birmingham and another seems to have found a new home with an art collector here in London already. I imagine there will be more paintings going out later today, all 43 of the latest #43Leaves pieces will be hung during September (and not just in London, I do sometimes get to escape the city).

“The Hackney Wick Pomegranate and the Well Street Lemon” (August 2019) – The ongoing matter of East London fruit, still-life studies just for the pleasure of it. Acrylic on found board, 35cm x 45cm

My paintings are rooted in East London right now, back when I lived by the sea (I grew up by the sea on an island right at the end of a bigger island off the coast of Wales), when I lived by the sea I painted what I saw there, I painted that beautiful line where sea met sky, I’ve been thinking about that line rather a lot recently. I live in London now, I don’t get to see the sea and that line very often, I did plan to go to Margate later this month and paint it but now I’m not sure the love is there in terms of Margate? The latest Art Car Boot Fair event is happening at Dreamlands in Margate at the end of the month, the published list of artists taking part looks interesting, not sure what my plans are now though, I seem to have fallen off that list for now? I might be there, I might not, I don’t know, these things can never be taken for granted…

“Looking Out From Trearddur Bay (No2)” – oil on board, 45cm x 55cm, a painting from the last century

I do know there will be one last #43Leaves piece coming up as part of the always rewarding Deptford X arts festival over in South London later in the year and that this time I shall be inviting other artists to join me for a number of collaborations, fellow artists like Emma Harvey, My Dog Sighs, MOB and I imagine quite a few more will be taking part. We’ll also be back (with our Cultivate hats on) in November for a third of those month-long Columbia Road takeovers here in East London in that beautiful old greengrocers shop that is currently Shipton Street Gallery, We have a number of shows planned.throughout the month of November as part of the latest Cultivate takeover, shows that I imagine will feature the work of around forty or so of our fellow artists. I;d like to think Cultivate has always been about artists coming together to make things happen in a slightly different way, about artists supporting each other and working together, or at least I kind of hoped that’s what it would be about when we first set it up, really not sure if any of the artists ever did quite get it or if they just saw it as a stepping stone? To quote Bob and Roberta Smith, “Artists Ruin It”.

“A Leaf”, September 2019, the 4th of 43, Shoreditch, East London. 

Right now and until September 8th there’s a number of this year’s fruit and leaf paintings hanging in the Purple Shop on Redchurch Street as part of the HoneyBee pop up here in East London alongside a lot of vintage clothing and such., There’s also a show coming up that involves a painted pizza box or two at Atom Gallery, London N16 on November 1st, a show called Can I Get A Slice?  I imagine there will be an art drop or two in the Midland this month…

And as always there’s new art being added to the Cultivate on-line shop, if there is something you’ve seen that isn’t available on line in the shop do please ask, there are always new pieces being painted, there are a few old pieces still about, badges seem to be the thing right now,

“A Leaf”, September 2019, the 3rd of 43, Shoreditch, East London.