Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Lower Cumber Ordnance Survey Memoir:

Once, there was a Doctor named McAdoo

in the habit of staying many days

at the Glebe House, Rectory, Killaloo.

Upon hearing of some treasures concealed;

he mustered all the Rector's sturdy men

labourers; together out in the fields

Provided with sledges, crowbars, and adzes;

went to McAvraghan's farm at Slaghmanus:

the Giant's grave, to the ground, to be razed.

Removing the topstone; they succeeded;

then commenced to the standing columns

obstructing their progress, as they proceeded.

Digging up where the money was concealed;

they made a great hole from the old Giant's grave.

Alas, when the cairn was destroyed, it revealed:

Chisels, compasses, and great mounds of dirts;

hammers, spurs, an old sword with no stave:

but nought a single brooch for their skirt's.

So, the Doctor and Mustered men went home.

Then McAvraghan filled up the empty pit,

he covered the grave, and left it a loam.

obeedude 22/Mar/07

This Poem is based on an actual account taken from the "Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland: Parishes of Co. Londonderry IX 1832-8, West Londonderry".

The incident in question here happened in the year 1816. The name of the Doctor was listed as [Blank] so I took out my 'ol "Poetic License" and gave him the name of "McAdoo" to work with the rhyme scheme, (The actual name may have been Spencer but when I used that I was very very tempted to slip into a Naughty Limerick and that is not the way I wanted to go...)

The literal translation for
"Slaghmanus" a townland in 19th Century Northern Ireland is: The Grave of "Manus".

My Ancestor, Alexander Gilmour was born born in or about 1800 or 1802. If by this time he was an Apprenticed Cooper, to as I suspect, Mr. McLaughlin or MGonikle (I am not sure yet which was the name of his "Master") at the Glebe House, he would have been 14 to 16 years of age. Just the right age and frame of mindset to go "Treasure Hunting". (O.K., maybe Grave Robbing is more correct here....)

So anyway, My Fathers, Mothers, Fathers, Uncle: James Gilmour of the Gilmour family letters, from the time period 1860-1862, that got me set out on this track in the first place, is always talking about gathering "Sacred Relics" from the "Sacred soil of Va" in his letters to his brother Robert Gilmour. Or, promising to send things like a "chip of the door where John Brown was imprisoned" or "ruins from the old Carpenters shop" (at Harpers Ferry) home to his friend "Mr Cummins" So, imagine my finding this little tidbit in the Lower Cumber Ordnance Survey Memoir.... A "Chip" off the 'ol Block perhaps? ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Pneumatic Thoughtforms & absent expletives. Episode I :with apocrypha.

The Following is a Post-Viewing of my recent show at the V.P.L. during the Month of January 2007. My friend Jordon True (Thanks Jordo!) took the pictures for me. Episode I and Episode II will contain the complete catalog minus the painting: "a White Night." I have always had trouble documenting my work, mostly because of its 3-D quality, but also because of the glass reflective element inherent in the windows themselves. Needless to say photographing "a White Night." was: "like trying to take a picture of a Polar Bear in a Snow storm..." ("You'll just have to see this one in person.")The complete text of this Painting will appear in its place in the order of the catalog as well as in Episode III :the Transcriptions and Confidential Text. Episode III :the Transcriptions and Confidential Text. will contain the transcriptions of the text or poems from the paintings where applicable. And... more than likely RandomRamblings and Storytimes from yours truly.


Episode I

:the first 7 Paintings and Sculpture,
with Invite and Complete list of works
with apocrypha.

The Invite
"You're Invited!"


The List of Works:

1.) i struggle with desire.

2.) Tragedy and his Children.

3.) Coma-sutra.

4.) about last night. (on Loan from the Dawn Hallenbeck Collection.)

5.) How I learned to let go and let God or :

6.) Any up which one goes. (on Loan from the saraH O'Brien Collection.)

7.) tey-buhl uhv kuhn-tents. (on Loan from my Living room Couch.)

8.) little creature of love.

9.) Ahh-Muse-sing.

10.) threw a rabbit hole.

11.) a White Night.

12.) "for a sedge hammer that has been thrown to the moon."

13.) Ramdum Axes Memry.

14.) what loves have come and gone.


1.) "i Struggle with desire."

: Liquid House Paint on Glass applied by forcing house paint through an Elmer's Glue Bottle. I can actually write in more than one type style as I was a Graphic Artist and a Typographer for 14 years during the 1980s when my children were young. This painting was originally designed to hang freely in the middle of the room so that it can be viewed from both sides as the text of the poem is applied to both sides of the glass to emphasize the text:

"to turn around
and look behind"


"yet still
i struggle".


This is actually Two Pieces in one Photo:

2.) "Tragedy and his Children."
: Raku Ceramic
Three Ceramic Masks from my Adolescent-Pubesent-DeathMask- College days... What can I say, "Blame it of the Seventies!"


3.) "Coma-Sutra."
: a Sculptural Painting made from a Cardboard Contact Film Box, painted flat black, and a Styrofoam Coma GLOMMED from a disguarded Sign from "Super-Valu Market.


4.) "...about last night:"
: Liquid house paint on Mirror glazed into a found storm window. This piece was created for my Love, Dawn. It is in her personal collection of one. The window has been shellacked with a clear glaze to maintain the original texture and patina that the window had when I harvested it from the side of the road. Again, because it is a mirror, it was difficult for Jordon to photograph cleanly and reflects other paintings hanging on the opposite wall. It was a Gift to Dawn, intended to be used by her as a Bedroom mirror and would actually be more appropriately documented with her reflection in it but she is shy... ;)


5.) "How I learned to let go and let God or:"
: Liquid House Paint, on a French style window, The Image and text of the story is a P.M.T. (Photo Mechanical Transfer) Contact made by shooting a negative of the artwork on a Stat Camera, Stripping the Negatives together on a Masking sheet, and Registering the overlapping separate parts to one another, then, burning them by several separate exposures together to make one complete finished image. This sort of thing is now done on computer, but obviously not with the same skill or craftsmanship.
The Story is a "para-phase" of the Bible story of Jonah used as a vehicle to put my divorce into perspective and salve the wounds inflicted by its journey. It came from the heart and is universal enough to have effected honest response from most viewers. I was very much concerned about showing this piece to a wider audience at first because of its venomous subject matter. Because of its lanced wide open honesty my children are not fond of it in the least. For this reason it has remained hanging some 15 feet from the base of my stairwell in my front entranceway, far up, out of reach, and away from detailed inspection. I can't even begin to think of what my "Ex" must think of it, but the wider exposure has shown that the observation is valid. It will as such, no longer be kept in the hall away from prying eye's.


6.) "any up which one goes."
This was my very first "window painting". It was formally a bathroom window that my Ex found and we carried around from apartment to apartment. One day the urge to do something with it seized me and before I knew it I was sanding and stripping it down. The image was created in much the same way as the previous piece. However, when I had completed the P.M.T. I then Xeroxed it on parchment paper and painted it with water color and gauche. Still not satisfied I began to attach found objects to it and eventually wedged a coil spring in between the image and the glass. I also added an old camera filter, a muffler gasket, some rusty old washers and finally pierced it with a safety pin. The base images for the collage were gleaned from my 1916 "Funky" Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary (commonly refered to around the house as "THA BIG DICk") that I bought at a garage sale for .25 cents. This painting belongs to my daughter saraH and as she is fond of saying "I Get that one when he dies...." (it reminds her of happier childhood days.) The title was in fact also a found and subconsciously assembled block of text which eventually became a nursery like poem and then the title of one my first chapbooks. Text for this poem will also be found at the end of this blog. The random text inserted throughout the painting does not however reflect the poem. It came later and is more structured as the text in the painting was meant to have a "Hide and Seek" quality much like the old puzzles in "Highlights" magazine for kids.


7.) "tey-buhl uhv kuhn-tents."
Look like this came from a definition in a "THA BIG DICk" ? SURPRISE! Thats just what it is. Translation :
Table of Contents. However if you actually sound it out the last word is content, as in being content, as apposed to having content. I was going for duality here. making this painting and finishing it were two entirely different things. Years ago, back in the day as they say, I found the porcelain bathroom feet by the side of the road. Soon afterwards I married them to this Cellar window and used a router on the outside edge. I always intended to add a piece of plexiglass to the top but never got around to it. It served as our living room table for years in a constant state of almost-finished-ness. I guess I was just Kuhn-tent with it the way things were. Then one day when I realized I needed additional works to fill out this up coming show. So, in saraHs words: "...for years it was just our weird looking living room table, now you tell me its "ART" and I can't put my feet up on it anymore?" ..."Yep. you betchya!"


Stay tuned for more!

Still to come:
  • Episode II :Paintings and Sculptures numbers 8.) through 14.)
  • Episode III :the Transcriptions and Confidential Texts.