book Ive tried to tell a few. The layers of people and cultures are so thin, it takes almost nothing to peek though to another world, another age, as if wormholes are all around. This idea remains with me, lets try to lift the people in our art whatever the art form and however the people. After years of collecting these stories, in a dusty pile in the corner of my living room, I revisited them. Outline of argument, thesis statement, the Natural Kinship of Rats and Pumpkins 1, according to Paul Ratsmith, the tenuous, but nonetheless important, relationship between pumpkins and rats is little understood: "While I've always been fascinated by this natural kinship, the connection between pumpkins and rats. It seems strange now to think back to a time of sitting in the pub in Blandford, Dorset with my mate Fred and discussing our nights itinerary of catching the tube to Soho, going to the 100 club, seeing some bands and ending the night.
In the making of this work I began taking photographs on a large format camera, which produced 5 inch by 4-inch transparencies. This image shows a young girl whose journey home from one such rave was curtailed by falling into the canal and losing herself to the dark slippery, industrial motorway of a bygone era. But my connection with Hackney was born, as if I was one of the 123,909 live births recorded at the Mothers hospital, and a lifes journey started. In my series Life and Death in Hackney these strands of practice enabled me to paint a landscape, creating a melancholic beauty out of the post-industrial decay where the wild buddleia and sub-cultural inhabitants took root and bloomed. These transparencies changed my whole notion of photography. This could have been the end to this fleeting insight into another artists life and his practice. So instead of the meditative waters of Dublin Bay I immersed myself in the old and new Prayer Places. This depicts a quiet moment when a woman reads a letter at an open window bathed in soft northern European sunlight.
Fill IN order details, makayment, gET IN touch with your writer. On my return I again set out across the urban landscape on my bicycle on Sunday mornings, listening out for that haunting, repetitive bass bin hammering that used to drift across the canals and waterways of Hackney Wick. This connection with the urban and the rural has always played a big part in my work, bringing my village perspective to the city. As Thomas Hardy was derided to the point of persecution by his critics for his last novel Jude the Obscure, I also felt the strain of representing people when it was put under such a huge spotlight in the National Gallery show. The doctor was a family friend and the contradiction of societys problems being uncovered in the rural idyll of Dorset came as a shock after spending so much time in Hackney.
I have not been interested in trying to replicate the art from a historical context but rather reinvestigate, understand and reinterpret what has happened before. To order a piece of writing it takes only a few minutes. Critics of Ratsmith have cited poor science and questionable methodology when dismissing his results, going so far as to call pumpkinology "rubbish" (de Vil, 2009 "stupid" (Claw, 2010 and "quite possibly made up" (Igthorn, 2009). Focusing in on such small details and illuminating its subjects in such a devoted way, really lifts the status of the sitters. In this book I have set out many bodies of work that I have created over the last twenty-five years, whilst making my journey through the streets of Hackney, trying to make sense of this urban maze and find my way home. These guys are extremely important in our writing because they are the head of the writing process. This came as a complete surprise to me as a young upstart striving for social justice in a squat in Hackney.
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