From Magnificent Murals To Favourite Five

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I have been fortunate to have some very talented musicians appear on the My 80s show, choosing their Favourite Five 80’s tracks. This week I can add an exceptionally talented artist to that list, because my special guest on this Thursday’s show is David ‘Gnasher’ Nash. Below are just a few examples of his work, more of which an be viewed on Gnasher’s website.

Illustrating how music and art can be mutually influential, Gnasher’s Favourite Five choices reflect not only his musical tastes but also the effect music has had upon him as an artist. Listen from 9pm this Thursday on Mad Wasp Radio.

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What Difference Does It Make?

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One legacy of growing up in the Eighties is believing that each and every one of us can make a difference. Whether it was going on protest marches, taking part in various sponsored events (the sponsored swim I did at school in the mid-Eighties is forever etched in my mind, as there was a thin layer of ice on the water surface of our outdoor pool, which had to be broken before we could get in to do our lengths!) or buying a charity record, we firmly believed that our efforts could, in some small way, change the world.

In today’s fast-paced climate, where technology seems to rule, and information overload can make a fundraising appeal seem like more white noise, how do you make yourself heard? The honest answer is, I don’t know. All I can tell you is what I know to be true. Firstly, there can be very few of our generation who has been unaffected by cancer, and the devastation it leaves on both the sufferer and their family. Secondly, no matter how small your contribution, it will still make a difference to changing the lives of others for the better. Which is why I want to bring your attention the fundraising efforts of David ‘Gnasher’ Nash.

Some of you may already be familiar with Norwich-based Gnasher’s murals and street art, such as this memorial piece of Robin Williams.

Robin Williams

More of his work can be viewed on Gnasher’s website, through which he can be contacted regarding prints he is selling to raise money for Colchester Cancer Centre. To further ensure that “Cancer Can Do One”, donations can also be made via his Just Giving page.

What difference does it make? You’ve only to look to your 80’s self for the answer.

Art For Art’s Sake

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From a very young age, I have loved Art in all its forms. Whether it was my own early creations, which relatives dutifully received on every occasion I could deem special (basically any day ending in a Y!), or my attempts to “improve” my environment, which included a full-length painting on my bedroom door of my then favourite group, Immaculate Fools, when I was 14 (my parents were very encouraging and tolerant), I have painted and created. However, in more recent years the creativity has been inched out in favour of appreciation, which is why I could not resist the opportunity of viewing a Banksy creation in situ.

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So, last Sunday I made my way to Payers Park in Folkestone to view Banksy’s “Art Buff”. The photo shows me beside the artwork, which less than 24 hours later would have an unwarranted addition to its empty plinth:

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/folkestone/news/vandals-make-obscene-addition-to-25142/

Banksy aside, there are a number of urban artists producing some fantastic pieces, but who do not receive the media hype of the elusive artist. One such artist is Terry Sue-Patt (TSP Hoodie). If the name sounds familiar, you were probably a Grange Hill fan when the programme first launched. Terry played the part of Benny Green, 58680_10201586065125056_37009664_nthe sidekick of Peter “Tucker” Jenkins, and the first Grange Hill pupil to ever appear on our TV screens. Some of Terry’s work is inspired by, and features, his Grange Hill character. Exhibiting alongside the talents of artists such as Norwich-based David “Gnasher” Nash, and Lisa Richer (LisArt) in Brick Lane’s “Monty’s Bar”, Terry’s work is both accessible and affordable. Last year, I bought one of Terry’s “Benny Green” pieces, during his Grange Hill Exhibition at the bar, and it has hung proudly in my hallway ever since. I never tire of looking at it – surely a sign of enduring art.

I love to discuss Art almost as much as viewing and having a go at creating it, and was in my element when I happened to encounter an Art lecturer, whilst working in a book shop. What began as a discussion about a local Eric Gill sculpture, ended almost as a confessional of our own artistic shortcomings. He admitted that he hates people looking over his shoulder at what he is sketching, when he works outdoors. I revealed that for about the last ten years, I have not finished any of the paintings I have started. Some may only have an square inch piece missing, but they rePunkmain unfinished. The lecturer’s theory was that in not finishing my paintings, I was preventing them from being judged. When a painting is finished, the artist is saying they are happy with the piece (or at least happy for it to be viewed), and therefore open to criticism. In keeping my work incomplete, it stopped it being criticized. Heavy stuff, but it made sense.

In an attempt to get me past this fear of criticism, and to actually finish a painting for once, I thought I would publish some of my teenage artwork, which I did during the 80s. The punk was a school project, with the right half being cut from a magazine, and the left half painted by me when I was about 14.  I painted the (lopsided) Marlon Brando shortly afterwards, during some time off school, when I had happened to watch “On The Waterfront”.

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I had injured my arm, and had to have it in a sling, which meant I painted Marlon right-handed (I’m a leftie). That’s my excuse why he’s wonky anyway, and I’m sticking to it!

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I hope that anyone who owned a copy of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Welcome To The Pleasuredome”  album will recognise my efforts on the right. Again, this would have been drawn during my mid-teens. It was one of the many, many music based pictures I drew or painted, and now it, and my other work, is out there for the world to see…Don’t judge me too harshly!