7. Povera



Process Sheffield 15.29 St Pancras 17.39 St Pancras 22.20 Sheffield 01.09 St Pancras 06.23 Sheffield 08.45 Sheffield 13.59 St Pancras 16.25 St Pancras 22.20 Sheffield 00.58 Sheffield 07.56 Euston 10.50 Kings Cross 19.30 Sheffield 21.48            
Embrace the mistake. Nothing is solid… The only thing it has been possible to do since dismantling POVERA has been to clear my studio of everything, repaint the walls and floor. I need to see clearly again.

I’m trying not to write about the ‘art’. To be honest I’m finding that difficult anyway. There is a cold nip in the air at the moment, a nasty taste in the collective mouth. We named our show POVERA in full knowledge of its literal and symbolic meaning. Every time I travelled down to The Cello Factory during POVERA I passed a homeless guy in that dreadful underpass between Waterloo Station and the BFI. He had a mattress, a cardboard box with food in it, a dog and a clear plastic bag for spare clothes. The last time I went past, his stuff was all over the place. It had been pissed on as well by the look of it. No homeless guy and no dog. I keep thinking FFS 2018. Is any of this stuff we make helping? I remember reading about Phillip Guston turning his back on Abstract Expressionism and producing those ‘awful’ drawings of Richard Nixon, ‘Poor Richard’. He couldn’t look himself in the mirror anymore and debate about the right blue or the most masculine gesture… I don’t know though – sometimes we can state the bleeding obvious… I took a photograph of the underpass carnage and shared it on Twitter but then realised I was just adding even more noise to the din of social media.

Arte Povera: ‘Throwaway materials aimed to challenge and disrupt the values of the commercialised contemporary gallery system’.

In a sense, the tiny, Haiku like statement badges sum up POVERA for me. The most inconspicuous and giveaway element… almost worthless, but consciously pinned to lapels as the gallery goer exits the gift shop…

The work seems abstract. Non representational…

It isn’t. It has totally absorbed the past year.

Absolutely everything.


“Faced with the choice. What would you say?
The path of least resistance. It seems the only way.”

From Human League – Path of Least Resistance.
















66cm X 66cm X 4 = 264cm | 10cm gap X 3 = 30cm | total width = 294cm centre point 147cm | width of wall 345cm height 66cm X 66cm X 3 = 178cm | 10cm gap X 2 = 20cm total height 198cm.
Mark