Big man and the bonfire parade.

Just when I thought that maybe I was becoming a bit disenchanted with Hastings, along comes the amazing Hastings Bonfire Night. I went to this last year, before I had moved to Hastings and it was the first glimpse for me of what an extraordinary place Hastings is. This bonfire night is no ordinary bonfire night. It is an extraordinary pagan ritual, where the WHOLE town, are either out watching, or dressed up for sinister parade with costumes and fire, which ends up at the most enormous bonfire on the beach.

I went out with Claire, David, Mae and Harper about 8 on Saturday night. The town was already in the throngs of parades and people. I took my sketchbook as I just wanted to scribble as much of what I saw down as possible, even though it was dark, cold and busy. I got enough down to help me create a drawing on Sunday which you can see above. I quite like it, and it actually was inspired by two earlier drawings I had done on Saturday. I had taken a break from the yellow garden painting (a forced one as I have no more white paint – and i’m skint – donations of white oi paint gratefully received) so I decided to make a couple of more involved drawings using conte and pencils. I had been avoiding soing any finished drawings for some reason. So I took a couple of ideas from my sketchbook and produced these two:


It was nice to make these drawings as I find I can do things in these sorts of works that so far I can’t get away with in my paintings, which tend to be more social real or expressive.

Incidently, we were also out with a couple of actors and their partners from Channel 4’s No Angels. David has been directing this in Leeds for the past 16 weeks or so and only returns at the weekends. The actors were Derek Ridell (you may know fron The Book Group and Francis Magee. Francis lives in Hastings as it turned out and Derek was down with his partner checking out whether Hastings would be a good place to move to. I think he was impressed. And what with Jake and Dinos Chapman moving back, and Hastings being listed as the fasted growing middle class area, the place is fast becoming the new ‘East End of London’. Maybe my studio wont be £5 per week for too much longer.

And on now at Hastings museum and art gallery is a Gary Hume curated show called Painting is Dead, Long Live Painting. WHich I have not seen yet but will tomorrow…