27 October 2007

Winning The Battle For Hearts & Minds - alTURNERtive version

SO I was in Jackson's art supplies shop buying a pair of kolinksy sable brushes. I have this almost-fetishy need to purchase art supplies on a regular basis whether I need them/can afford them or not. As the uber-helpful assistant turned away to retrieve the box of paintbrushes, I browsed the confusion of leaflets and fliers strewn along the counter. One instantly stood out. A bit of Guernica, Merseyside Stop the War Coalition, The alTURNERtive Art Prize, a Brecht quote about mirrors and hammers.

The Turner Prize is in Liverpool this year, a curtain raiser to 2008 and the CoC malarkey. At the same time, Merseyside Stop the War Coalition is running its own visual arts competition on the theme of 'War, Peace and Occupation'. I folded the flier away into my pocket and decided to enter hearts n minds. Especially as the rules didn't mention the usual condition that all entries must be created in the year of the competition.

Hearts n minds was scribbled into life in early 2004. A year into the invasion of Iraq and with the regime pretty much changed but the resistance still resisting, the phrase "winning the battle for hearts and minds" entered the stream of soundbiting propaganda issuing forth from the Coalition of the Wiley. And the moment I first heard the phrase it sounded so crass and dumb. Like if you really want to win over hearts and minds, maybe the last thing to do was make it a battle. Lo this cartoon was born, pretty much intact, in my brain-box from where it did squirm onto a sheet of typing paper with the help of some ink.

By the time I got home and dug the original cartoon out from its filing place, it seemed somewhat shabby and old compared to more recent stuff. So I had a crack at doing it again. The deadline was a few days off and I had a fair bit of other stuff going on so it was a rush job, but I reworked the original idea with ink using brushes and drip pens, then painted it with gouache watercolour using my new (and some old) kolinsky sable brushes. I'm not too sure what I think of it but it's submitted now and I should find out in the next day or two whether I've been shortlisted and of course I'll announce it here if I have. And if I haven't, we shall never speak of this again...

winning the battle for hearts and minds

5 comments:

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dem, I'm so glad you entered this, it's one of your best, IMHO. The TurnerAlternative sounds a wonderful project and I hope it gets lots of attention and here's buckets of good luck. They MUST include this,they'd be mad not to! And I like how you've improved it.
xxxx

rr said...

Fingers crossed, toes crossed. Great toon!

Dem said...

Thank you Natalie and rr. Natalie, I too think they MUST and am not sure how they can fail to but I have yet to hear that I've been shortlisted and so with every passing second I fear that they have done what I cannot conceive of. Hey ho!

Inconsequential said...

Cool :)

Dem said...

Thanks Inc!

Good News! More to follow...