Sunday, 22 August 2010

Grandpas Garden (2007)

Wrote this in 2007 whilst working on building blocks for my MA but thought I'd put it back up on the blog. Will start doing some more up to date blogs soon promise!

Grandpas Garden

I Came home for a short visit to see dad and we went across to see Grandpa. I sat with Grandpa for a while in his bedroom looking out across the valley whilst he retold old army stories which I had heard many times before. After a short while dad came back into the room with 3 cups of tea we all continue chatting for a while whilst drinking our tea then dad asked me if I'd like to see what he's been doing in the garden “yes” I say “I'd love to.” Grandpa decides he's going to come as well so we all venture outside!

As we get to the back garden dad begins to point out which bits he's been working on and what he's done. There is a clear improvement, mainly due to the fact that he's cut down the hedge which separates the two sections of the garden this allows you to get a really good view of the valley. Whilst Dad is telling me this Grandpa is pocking his walking stick at the ground saying “I'll have to get out here and do some weeding.” This seems to be mildly irritating Dad as Grandpa seems to be more interested in the weeds than all the work he has done to the garden. At the side of grandpas house his new neighbours are re building there house, in its present state it seems quit an imposing structure with all its scaffolding up, as it drastically alters a space which I have known since my earliest childhood.

We walk down to the bottom garden along the way dad points out all the flowers in bloom. The delicate structure and colouring of some of the flowers is quite extraordinary. They are like jewels from another world. As I look at them I start to think how silly this thing called art is and how completely unable it is to compete with such natural structures which lie unknown in the corner of my Grandpas garden .




Once we are in the bottom garden we can see all the new housing estates which have been built over the last 7 years. They still sit oddly for me within the context of grandpa's garden, as this was all moorland when I used to come here as a child. It seems like we are looking down upon a different reality. I am glad to be stud at a distance from them, as they seem to suffocate me somehow. It is as if they are saying hey everything's normal everything's fine, don't worry, aren't we friendly everything is clean and shiny here, almost as if they are little mazes which people could loose there whole life within without even realising. They don't seem to work in relation to there surroundings, as if they could have been placed anywhere in the UK . Grandpa seems equally irritated by there presence. I think to my self if they seem so alien to me then how odd must they seem to him?


I decide to gather the three of us together at the bottom of the garden for a group photo the first attempt goes a little wrong as I stand in front of dads head which I realise at the last minute and try to move out of the way which makes grandpa laugh. On the second attempt I get it right but on reflection maybe the first was better! It is nice to see a picture of the three of us together (just missing Graham).


Monday, 19 July 2010

Belfast crossing 2008 (We are closed in we are trapped.)

Found this filed away from 2008 and felt it was worthy of a blog:

We are closed in we are trapped.

I’m sat at Liverpool docklands in front of me are rows of cars and to the right rows of lorries. I’m one of a dozen foot passengers all waiting to board the ship for an 8 hour crossing over to Belfast. I’ve decided to travel by ferry rather than plane to try and cut down on my carbon footprint.

I'm starting to wonder if I've made the right decision as I wait to board, I've paid almost double what I would have to fly and my back is now killing from carrying my rucksack across Liverpool as the train station is on the opposite side of the river.


But this isn’t just a matter of it being less convenient or more expensive for me to travel by ferry, unlike most people I love flying it is the one time when I am allowed to experience life from an entirely different perspective to see us in relation to the world we live and most importantly to be truly amazed by that world in which we live. I’m glued to the window from take off to landing. But it’s time to make a stand and as I get older I realise it is often in the smallest of deeds that we can make a change. So here I am wishing I was looking out of one of those little windows staring down at the clouds and the sea and the citys and lakes and boats and all those little things we call life but I’m also thinking that I’m proud of myself for trying.


As I bored the boat with this thought still heavily pressed upon my mind I take comfort in the fact that I will soon be able to stand at the front of the boat as we head out to sea. We enter at the very back of the boat so I begin to head through the many flights of stairs corridors, caf├ęs, bars, and restaurants until I come to an area crossed of with a rope. There is no obvious sign post directing me outside. So I stand confused in the strangely artificial surroundings in which music no lets just call it noise fills the space. I decide to ask the man behind the bar . 'hello could you tell me how to get outside?' 'yeah just go through those doors.' I see them they look like the sort of doors that might set off a fire alarm if you open them, black with fire exit stickers on. I exit outside, seeing a set of stairs to my right I head over to them . Two men are coming down they tell me briefly ‘nothing up there mate’ hmm I’m confused. As I’m sure it should lead to the front of the ship . I follow the same men to the back of the ship only to find the same. So I head across to the other side of the ship only to find the same there. Someone in uniform is walking past I ask ‘how do I get to the front of the ship’ and he informs me that there used to be access to the front so passengers could walk about but it was decided that the space would be best used as a restaurant. So I’m left with a bench made of two metal strips I sit and look out over Liverpool. I quickly become the only person sat out side and as the boat leaves the dock and heads out into the ocean I’m the only one watching as the skyline of Liverpool disappears and the wide blue ocean opens up in front of us.





After spending so long working away in my little room at home it is a complete rush to be looking out at such an expanse of blue. But I’m angered at the layout of the ship preventing us from getting to the front, and disappointed that I am the only one sat outside. Whilst the rest of the passengers try desperately to ignore that they are sat on this tiny ship bobbing up and down on the vast ocean, just as passengers on a plane try to ignore the fact that they are moving at hundreds of miles an hour, thousands of feet in the sky.

It seems to say so much about how we are going wrong hiding in our own little worlds. I want to drag all the passengers out and make them look at the view. We must have a relationship with nature to understand our place in it. But it seems to me that everything is set against this. We need to to be shaken to be amazed! But how does one 'shake' what is required to create that change.....



Saturday, 29 May 2010

Release the bees

Well Folks here it is the second video to come out of Bright Stem as well as being the second music video I've made for Not Squares. Its a bit of a departure from 'Asylum' and at 7.59 mins long its a bit of a beast but don't fret there's still dancing in it albeit a little more abstract! So sit back relax and enjoy!

Not Squares - Release the Bees from Bright Stem on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Don't put a spanner in the works!

I'm hearing lots about the Welsh and Scottish nationalists getting too much out of an alliance deal but lets reverse this:

In Wales conservatives got 8 seats
In Scotland only 1 seat
Whilst in Northern Ireland the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists 0 seats ( I might add add this point that due to the political history in Northern Ireland such a coalition was a very silly idea. )

So if Conservatives where to take power It would quite clearly look like England was trying to rule over Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Which in turn would give huge amounts of fuel to the furnace for the Welsh, Scotish Nationalists increase tensions in Northern Ireland and in turn tare the UK apart. England and more specificity the Conservatives I'm afraid are going to have to take this one on the chin for the good of the UK whether they like it or not.

So please Labour back bencher's don't put a spanner in the works!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Dear, Mr Cleg

Dear, Mr Clegg

Please can you not do any thing silly over the next few days. Please can you ignore the silly press and media (yes I mean you too BBC) there is no 1st, 2nd and 3rd place this isn't a race you silly people! Please can you make sure your party does what it's been wanting to do for so long. Please don't let Gordy get in the way he's just a bit prickly, I'm sure he'll let you work with some one else if you ask nicely. Please make electoral reform a reality. Lets keep everyone talking lets all work together! If you do a deal with the torys not only will electoral reform be impossible but you'll also loose all your votes next time and then we'll go ten years backwards na twenty years backwards and be left with a silly 2 party system. the reds in one corner the blues in the other back and forth we'll go for ever more until no one even can be bothered voting due to the pure farcical nature of it all.

Also wouldn't it be nice to have the Green party and northern Ireland's Alliance party as part of a coalition there nice you'll get on with them!

We'll I'll leave it there hope your well and getting lots of sleep.

Best,
Andrew

Monday, 19 April 2010

What Is Change?

I'm so annoyed, bored and tired of hearing Cameron speak!

I don't want change not any sort of change you have to offer you giant numpty! Because you don't bloody understand the concept of change!

Look here this is what change looks like:

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Wonders of the Solar System

I've been watching the BBC's new documentary Wonders of the Solar System presented by Brian Cox. They have been truely amazing. Reminding me of those feelings of pure wonder when looking out to the night sky which where so prevalent on my daily thoughts when I was younger. Bellow are some images found which relate to the documentary. The white one is Europa a moon orbiting Jupiter. Its surface is made of ice which floats on a underground sea many time deeper than our own.. Truly beautiful I suggest you do the same as me and make one of these your desktop back ground just to remind you how amazing life is!






Monday, 22 March 2010

Yeah! becomes Release the Bees!












So there's been a development. I'm now working on release the bees continuing on along same ideas as yeah! but we decided that the visuals I was creating fited release the bees much better plus that will be Not Squares next single. Won't be putting the video up until its done but will keep putting up development work so you can follow that.








Hello everyone.

So work is under way for Not Square's second music vid, this time it's their song Yeah!

I know how much people enjoyed being part of Asylum so wanting to make this video as inclusive as possible.

So, I've suggested to the lads that the development work should be posted online. This way if anyone has any suggestions/ideas, whether it's links to images/videos on the web or drawings you've done or whatever, they can all be shared in a collaborative project.

The work will be posted on the bright stem
facebook page and blog so put your links there or email them across to andrew@brightstem.com No doubt the lads will post some stuff on their page as well.


Also hopefully I'll be organizing a day so that people can get together and get artistic with crayons and paints and shoot some footage for the vid. Should be a fun day if I get my arse in gear and get it organized!

Andrew x




















Some ideas from Keith