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The Creation & De-creation Of A Cover

I have been working on the cover design for the forthcoming album 'Immortals'.

I took five of my pastel works all dating from 1992 and decided to de-create them. They were a mix of male and female nude studies in pastel and watercolour pencil.

Time to destroy!

I laid the pieces out on the grasslands at the edge of Greenfield Acres and held them in place with pebbles and stones from the garden. I then sprinkled each one with either coffee grounds or green tea leaves, covering the entire surface, then adding bark from a silver birch and fine grained compost.

The pieces were then left the tender mercies of the sun and the rain and the day and the night and the creatures of the grasslands.

I then photographed and videoed the pieces in the early dawn and late evening of the subsequent days.

I added a layer of red cabbage vinegar and bleach, rotting plums and lemon slices on the second day, down turning the pieces on the third so that the pastel surface was in direct contact with the grass and soil.

Slugs, snails and spiders seemed impervious to the acidic additives and added their little trails across the surfaces.

On the seventh day a couple of the pieces had taken on quite beautiful crystalline qualities. Not all of the pieces - I had used two different papers, one dense and creamy, the other more porous and white. The dense paper pieces almost reverted to their original form after ten days, whilst the two others (already my favourites) had begun a process of disintegration above and beyond my hopes.

One in particular had become just what I had wished for, and on both sides too.

This is the one I have subsequently photographed and digitally treated.

This piece will form the basis of a triptich for the cover art of 'Immortals', while the video (or part thereof) has been used for an experimental remix of The Bridge, a track from my 2012 album 'A Twist Of Time'

You can see the video by clicking the link.

The piece will be framed so that both sides can be viewed. I am secretly hoping that the disintegration process will continue behind glass...

The subsequent exhibition of this and twelve other works will be part of the launch party.

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