Here is a Love (and Brexit resistance)

Contemporary Art has engaged increasingly with text. Words on their own appear on gallery walls. My own work has become preoccupied with handwritten texts, but they come from a different background to the conceptual work of most contemporary practitioners. I see relationships with artists such as David Jones (also a poet) and Ceri Richards (enthused by Dylan Thomas’ words) and the art of political and cultural sloganeering.
In these works of the past five years, my interest lies not in ornamental cartography, in skillful and pleasing formations of letters but in attempting to express the spontaneity of the moment of writing, the rapid often scumbled, crossed out, corrected, blotted, re-adjusted rush to put thoughts on paper (or beer mat or envelope). The attempt of a poet to capture a line before it ebbs in the memory. My desire, in a sense, is to return to the origin of the words, the point before the poem becomes a perfectly typed copy, or is reproduced in the pages of a machine made book, replicated exactly in hundreds or thousands of exact duplicates. Because the poem is only ONE, it is a unique creation, and I want to return it to that one, unique object.
Recently the Brexit vote has so vexed me that I began to make (alongside politicized ‘maps’) satirical caricatures of the principle players in this grand fiasco, this ‘Eton mess’. These drawings need no explanation, but have led my work in a new direction, one I have thoroughly enjoyed. I am not sure whether I will continue in this vein, but they suggest new possibilities, and certainly have been mildly therapeutic (and popular on Facebook). I also believe that an artist has a duty to comment, protest and become an ‘agent provocateur’ through the medium of visual communication. Cartoons have a long and illustrious history, and have always lurked somewhere in the background environs of my artwork.
Limited edition giclee prints of ‘Dis-united Kingdom (Eton Mess)’ are available.
Iwan Bala 19/09/16