vrijdag 24 augustus 2012

Where do you get your bones from?

Where do you get your bones from?

This is quite a common question people ask me when seeing my work at exhibitions or fairs. Well, I have several ways to collect bones. Sheep bones I find in remote uphill areas where farmers are allowed to leave dead sheep. Normally a farmer needs to call an agency for the pickup of dead animals. Over the last two years, I have learnt where good spots are where sheep might have died over the winter. I leave them there until all flesh is gone, takes about 6-10 months.

All the other bones, like rabbits and birds, I collect mainly beside the road. If I spot a dead animal, preferably not one that is hit full on, because lots of bones are break, then I either leave them there or move them to a better spot to let it rot. Also for collection later. A rabbit can be fleshless between 4-10 weeks, but you will have to get rid of some skin and fur yourself.

Sometimes I find something that is clean already. Once I found a ram skull completely clean while I was mountain biking.  I attached it to my Camelback and continued my ride...probably with people thinking I was mad. Well, I am!
Another time riding on my bike, I spotted a deer that was hit by a car. I took two plastic bottles to put over the rear legs and grabbed it there and lifted it over a dry stone wall. I had to hold it far away from my chest because it was dripping blood, which was quite heavy. It is still there and would mean a full set of deer bones!

Today I went out and there were lots of interesting roadkill, but unfortunately didn't have much time to secure them. But two quite rare finds I did secure, one was a female grouse and the other a Stout (Mustela Erminea). The Grouse I had spotted earlier, but didn't have any equipment with me to move it.  On the way back to it I found an almost complete hare skeleton 95% clean, that's home now. Then I found a fresh rabbit, collected the Grouse and found later the Stout. Very efficient bike ride!

The Rabbit:

The Grouse:

The Stout:

woensdag 22 augustus 2012

Fairness of high earners

So we have been angry about the bonuses and pay of bankers. Well mainly because something big has gone wrong, because if our economy still would have been strong, we wouldn't be complaining. That is how lazy we are when it comes to our principles!
So now we speak of unfairness of their millions and demand these bonuses to be slashed! Well, there are more cases where people clearly earn tot much for the added value to society they create. Let's have a look at football players. There a lot of players earning £10,000 or more a day! http://www.paywizard.co.uk/main/pay/vip-celebrity-salary/football-players-salary These are the wages that are starting to get comparable with those of bankers. These employees are just kicking a ball and provide Saturday afternoon entertainment...... You might think that as long as the clubs can pay it, it is fine, well it is not.
- Big part of their salary is paid by companies who use them to persuade you in buying their products. Eventually, you pay for it. Can you imagine what the price of these products would be without marketing and these ridiculous salaries?
- It sends the wrong message to people about your pay needing to be equivalent to what you have added to society. It stimulates the grabbing of money no matter what costs for others.


The reason for this, mainly the first bullet, is we people like to follow other popular people. We have a tendency to create pyramids of followers and in the process blowing the hype up. Money only translates the process into numbers. If clubs can pay for the salary, it doesn't make it worth it for society in the long run. We have a strong habit of assessing if something is good or not by looking at the economic viability, but we forget that the economy is based on people and big groups of people can make bad decisions. We made a decision to blow up our lending capacity....until we lost trust in that and now we have a major credit crunch.

Maybe there comes a point in time we start to see that marketing is similar. We eventually pay for it, because it is part of the normal costs to run a big company and these costs are part of the price you pay when buying a product. This means you are actually paying to be persuaded to buy the product you buy. This would be ok, if it means that the product can be manufactured in bigger amounts and reducing costs in the process, but a lot of products have long passed that point and a lot of products actually use their popularity achieved by their marketing to raise profits. So they do a lot of clever marketing, you pay for the marketing, but because the product is so popular because of it, they not only add the costs of marketing, but also raise profit margins. They have changed the price elasticity and create a hype or trend.

dinsdag 14 augustus 2012

Oxford Art Fair ...after talk

Sunday evening I got back from The Oxford Art Fair with a great feeling! This was the first time I have shown my sculptures for two days and me being there all the time. This is special, because that made sure I could see all the different responses to my work. Sunday was especially interesting, because I had a lot of nice conversations with people about my work.
One of my most recent works 'Incorporated' was received very well and definitely the effect I wanted to have. Something really cool to see, was the kids that were loving my stuff, especially the standing sculptures and the fridge magnets.

But, I also had a great time meeting all the other artists. Very divers work, but all very well done. This list isn't complete, but does show the diversity. For a complete list me sure to check  The Oxford Art Fair website:
- Time2Panic for urban art / street art / stencil art It is fun!
- Inmemoryphoto for great photos, seen what he did with one of my sculptures, great skills!
- Tony Broadbent for great abstract paintings with cool vivid colours!
- The secret art loft Tracey makes great artwork, I'll call them 2D sculptures from all kinds of random objects and balances them in one great piece!
- Dan March, illustrator gone Awol!
- Victoria Stanway, really love the humour in her work! Be sure to read what her work is about!
- Rebecca Hendin, Love zombies, but she has lots more of great artwork!
- Philip Jones, nature inspired illustrations, excellent detail!
- Made in Holmfirth Great photos, made me feel home in Oxford as a Northerner.
...Oh wait, There were two artists with photo's, well different photo's. And there was lots more, but haven't found their website so far, but check out the fair's website, they are all described over there!

vrijdag 3 augustus 2012

Oxford Art Fair

I will have my work at The Oxford Art Fair next weekend, 11th and 12th of August!
Looking forward to this event, because the setting provides a nice opportunity to interact with the viewer and see and hear what the think.
Also interesting to see how people respond to the materials I use. I can imagine it might be a bit alien seeing so many bones in an area where they are much less common than in the North West.