Tag Archive | new drawing

21st Century Limbo-id Men

21st Century Limbo-id Men (2017, mixed media on paper)

21ST Century Limbo-id Men

 

Strange Ask…

I’ve lost an important (to me) drawing I was working on whilst was documenting the growth of a tree I planted almost 10 year ago, on the South/West Yorks border, as part of an art project. Sometimes it seems impossible to grasp at genuine optimism in the world we have molded (and sometimes it seems to off the mark to discuss such small things then such big things have happened just up the road!), but all the same the tree does as least serve as an totem for optimism in my life, whether empty, half empty, half full.

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But my scatterbrain approach to task management meant that whilst I was taking this photo I almost certainly placed a creamed-coloured carrier bag on the ground with an A3 drawing in it that was very important to me. A drawing, which although dark, was darkly optimistic about how, as a species, we are ready for another stage, another type of society now – but ATM it’s blocked from us. It’s taken up much of my days already.

It may only seem minor in light of things, but I’d be unbelievably thankful to anyone who could end up finding it for me. Cheers

A Deep Paralysis

A Deep Paralysis (2016, A4, mixed media on paper)

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This is probably the last piece of work to be finished that will feature in a joint exhibition with artist Alexandra Gallagher @ The Bowery, Headingley, Leeds, next week. Alexandra Gallagher’s section will be titled ‘Humanity’s Intellectual World’. My side of the exhibition is titled ‘Under Digital Rain’ and is curated by John Wright – as part of an ongoing project we are engaged in called The Retro Bar at The End of The Universe

 

21st May – 29 July 20-6pm each day

PERFORMANCE & PREVIEW
20th May 6-8pm
John Ledger and curator John Write presents an interactive performance to engage and enhance Ledger’s wall drawings.

‘Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle’

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a no holds barred, explosive feature length documentary exploring the decline and deception behind the social housing crisis in Britain. It will be directed by Paul Sng, maker of the acclaimed cinema release Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain (2015) and the award winning film & television director Lee Skelly (BBC, Channel Four).

I have donated an original print of a new work I have made after filmmaker Paul Sng asked me if I’d like to be involved in helping support the crowdfunder for this project.  This will be an A3 print of my latest work Rot_in_Silence_2016.

https://www.indiegogo.com/project/dispossession-the-great-social-housing-swindle–3/embedded/13528122

Rot_in_Silence_2016

I am also donating a print of a drawing I did almost one year ago, in the wake of the Tory general election victory, as part of a perk for the crowdfunder that includes a selection of postcards featuring different artists supporting the project. The drawing in question is possibly one of my most pivotal to what I’ve been working on during the past year.

As part of a collective, I have embarked on a Crowdfunder project myself, in order to raise funds for an art show and documentary called ‘Fighting For Crumbs (Art in The Shadow of Neoliberal Britain) (Please read more about it here). Very much inspired and informed by Paul Sng’s last film ‘Invisible Britain’, Paul has been very supportive in helping our project get off the ground.

Thanks: John

 

Drainage System

Drainage System (2016, A4, mixed media on paper)

Drainage System

Artwork for Wear Your Band T-shirt to Work Day

This is a rarity when it comes to my way of making work, but T-shirts are up for grabs featuring a piece of work Ive made for this Friday’s (27th November) gig at The Underground, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, as part of Wear Your Band T-shirt to Work Day.

Gig info below…

“This Friday live @ The Underground we have The Kitson Trio, a rock & blues band who recently reformed after a six year hiatus. Fronted by popular local singer-songwriter Richard Kitson, the trio will play their last live date of 2015 at The Underground with support from The Rolling Down Hills &New Road Kings, SPLND BSTRDS an acoustic duo that usually make up half of The Black VinesIndiemand Barnsley

Rubber Ring. Gimme Shelter - Copy

Making art about bands isn’t something I have done since college, so I thought it was due time to take this challenge in a town where music has a bigger place in peoples’ hearts than visual arts. I tried to make a work that looked at how music has been a back bone to my art making life, whilst also looking at music in relation to the experiences of contemporary life that my art deals with. Hence the usage of The Stones’ song title Gimme Shelter (although I am not a huge Stones fan) and the Smiths’ song title Rubber Ring (i.e “The songs that saved your life”). The drawing features a patchwork of both recognisable albums, and albums that have meant a lot to me.

 

Everybody’s Fracking (2015)

Massively relieved to get this bxstxrd of a piece finished. Sums up just about everything I have ended up agreeing about with just about everybody I am able reach agreements with for just about every day during the past 2 years. I have found the process of fracking to be such an apt metaphor for  the broader predicament of a culture saturated to breaking point by a hyper-capitalism.

Everybody’s Fracking (2015, mixed media on paper, 95X130cm)

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Pain is Barred an Outlet

Pain is Barred an Outlet (2015, ink on paper, A4)

This drawing is closely related to my blog ‘Share The Pain’ posted last year

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A Cognitive Austerity

A Cognitive Austerity, ink on paper, A4

A Cognitive Austerity

The Planet’s Mental Illness (2012, biro on paper, 105X145cm)

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The first thing I need to explain about this piece is why I chose the word planet instead of world; the latter being specific to humanity and all of its concerns, whilst the former describes everything that makes up the ball of rock, gas and liquid that constitutes the earth. I need to do this as it is evident that what I am trying to depict here is life in the grips of the dynamics of the human-made system. The word planet seemed more specific to dealing with an infliction on the earth of this all-consuming human system. I wanted to look at this culture (or civilisation) as something that, despite its initial intentions, has coated everything, making its logic inescapable, a logic that deals with maximizing all resource extraction, destroying the body upon which this civilisation needs to survive. This is why the word world simply did not suffice in representing the extent of the saturation of the issue we have here.
JOHN 042
In a completely unreligious way, I see humanity as being life’s brain: its ability to think about everything that is and has been; the ability to look back at what came before it. I don’t mean it in a sense that it is our destiny, more that the evolutionary process has placed the human being in this position. Yes, this way of seeing has been inspired by the Gaia hypothesis (a scientific hypothesis), which argues that all of the ecosystems on earth, and each living thing within it are interdependent to the extent that life has adapted this ball of rock, gas and liquid into a super-organism, self-regulating the earth to maintain conditions the best it can for life, in the way that a smaller system regulates itself in order that its stability is maintained. And I am in no way a new-age hippy: I’m too saturated in this wasteful and exploitative cultural logic/too infected with this globally-spread mental illness to be anything that comes near to genuinely fitting such a persona.
JOHN 015
The term mental illness applies at every level here, right down to the individual. As we now clearly see, this life-sapping system is now creating a mental-illness epidemic, where the use of anti-depressants has become on commonality, and it being rare to walk around a shopping street without noticing a victim of eating disorders. Earlier this year, my friend spoke of how such a high number of his friends were complaining from migraines due to the stress of being unable to fathom out what the hell is going on, from the local to the global, that it couldn’t be dismissed as mere coincidence. I situated such heads, fit to burst, in isolated computer screens within this piece of work, as more and more of communication between one another is mediated through mechanisms. The spaces between us, in cyberspace, are full of arguments and attempts to explain what just is going off all around us. However, rarely does the action transcend the screens and have effect.
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Computer screens seemed like the best place to position individuals separated from each other to suffer from the exact same causation, alone. It may be worth adding here that the scientific methodology that dominates our culture, has always sought to reduce everything to its individual components, to see everything as atoms per se, rather than as interdependent/connected atoms. And although this is certainly very useful, it seems to be a methodology with penetrating perception in one eye, but utter blindness in the other. The philosopher Martin Heidegger uses the term ‘modern technology’, where I would always use capitalism, to show how it is not a coincidence how a system based on reducing everything to “standing reserve” for future exploitation appeared historically not long after the beginnings of modern physics. This one-sided view of the world saturates our culture to an extent that it’s hard to imagine anything else, even whilst it slowly makes us more and more ill.
The tube-like tunnel this landscape is situated in is just this: the hegemony/the logic that has spread so intensively and extensively that one cannot imagine a world outside of this tunnel, even as it leads us into a darker and darker place. Towards the end of the last century, as systems that tried to challenge capitalism began to fall apart, the theorist Fredric Jameson claimed that in this time of late capitalism (or what he called ‘a time of no time’) “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world that an end to capitalism”; and as humanity stumbles into the second decade of the 21st century, this diagnosis is becoming terrifyingly tangible.
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As the heads inside the computer screens veer closer to the dark ends, they burst, re-releasing the cultural logic, in a chronological waterfall of the destructive cycle in motion since early European colonialism and the beginnings of the industrial revolution pours out, recreating the only world they know, as they self-destruct. It is almost the genealogy of the system being revealed, like DNA within we who know no other way even as it causes us to break down.

The landscape being constructed from the genealogy of our culture is of course intended to be the world we have now. As much as we see the brutality of the social gradient, from the private houses, and finance skyscrapers to the corpses of the global poor as they are the first to reap the harvest of climate breakdown, and those who are cultivated to sell their bodies in whatever means as the only means to earn a living, it is still clear that nobody is safe from these destructive dynamics. The lyrics of the late Richie Edwards in the Manic Street Preachers song Motorcycle Emptiness claim that “every where’s death row, everyone’s a victim”; this is the case under a truly global capitalism. Whilst this doesn’t excuse the vast injustices, where more and more millions are being dumped on the waste pile, whilst a minority enjoy the luxuries of kings, it certainly makes the case that we all have an investment in a different the future to the bleak one the logic of capitalism has in store for us and the planet