Saturday, April 23, 2016


I still love you completely.
I still miss you each day.
My heart is still broken and fallen away.

I still see your face
in my dreams as I strive
to forget every memory,
and crush every hope.

In my soul you're alive,
in my life you live on,
while I'm dead inside,
as I cope,
with you gone.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ArtsLab S1 Ep.29

ArtsLab with Mark Sheeky
Series 1 Episode 29
Broadcast Wednesday 20 April 2016, 4pm to 5pm GMT.
Special guest Deborah Edgeley.

Sparks, Good Morning (2008)
Nightwish, Endless Forms Most Beautiful (2015)
Christopher Casson, My Mother Said (1967)
Scott Walker, Light (1999), (with The Shaggs, My Little Sports Car)
Rick Wakeman, Mastodons (2015)
Rick Wakeman, The Forest (2015)
Scott Walker, The Darkest Forest (1999)
Orbital, The Box (1996)
Ken Dodd, Happiness (1964)
The Animals, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1965)

All past ArtsLab programmes can be listened to here:

You can listen live during the broadcast on:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

ArtsLab S1 Ep.28

ArtsLab with Mark Sheeky
Series 1 Episode 28
Broadcast Wednesday 13 April 2016, 4pm to 5pm GMT.
Special guests Heather Lannin.

Mark Sheeky, Jellyfish (2013)
Scott Walker, Jackie (1967)
Scott Walker, Angelica (1968)
Modest Mussorgsky, The Hut on Fowl's Legs (1874)
Rick Wakeman, 20 The Cemetery (2015)
Rick Wakeman, 21 Quaternary Man (2015)
Scott Walker, Track Five (1981)
Jai Ho, The Pussycat Dolls (2008)
Moke, Stand My Ground (2016)

All past ArtsLab programmes can be listened to here:

You can listen live during the broadcast on:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Structural Forms in Visual Art

For some time I've made paintings that reflect a common theme throughout the work, an image or shape in the painting like a visual motif that appears in different forms throughout it. I called these symphonic paintings, but in the past year or two I've been focusing more consciously on the idea of visual art that uses musical symphonic forms (such as the sonata-rondo form used in classical music). I compose music too, and much of my work in other media (eg. writing, and computer programming) is emotionally and structurally related on a deeper level. The concept of an defined structure in visual art seems to be lacking.

I think this is an essential progression. Most artworks use structured forms, from small scale works like poems, to music symphonies or films. Some classical paintings have degrees of form, such as using the golden section, or a triptych arrangement (these were initially altar pieces, and so partly defined by function, but some modern artists like Francis Bacon developed this form in a secular way) but these are for the most part exceptions, and structural forms are largely absent from visual art.

Structure exists in artforms because it aids communication between artist and viewer. In writing, we use punctuation, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters for this reason. This is structure. Classical music is an essentially abstract form, and the structure helps unify what could be random or nonsensical arrangement of notes into something meaningful, creating comprehensible narrative.

Much of visual art lacks these structures, or relies on third party curation to develop them. A painting exhibition might be arranged so that it is viewed in one particular order, with a theme or grouping. This is structure, but it can be imposed by a curator at whim. For many exhibitions the artist arranges the work, but this can be seen as a separate process. The arrangement isn't always seen as the artwork itself, when this is vital; and of course the paintings on display should reflect the structure and the structure reflect the painting content.

The rules of form

1. An art installation should be structured and feature several movements, to be experienced in order, that grant it a temporal quality. Life exists in time, and visual art needs a temporal quality to represent feelings accurately. Reliance on chance or psychology or opinion for order is not sufficient. This is necessary because a complex narrative requires a complex mix of emotions and ideas, and the artist must be able to guide the viewer in the intended way to communicate accurately.

2. A structure must be unified with a theme. A theme forms common thread that pulls each separate part towards the whole, to create one singular work. An artwork on this scale is not an arbitrary segment on the line of infinite time, but a unified entity with start, middle and end, all of which together form one concept. A theme is needed to hold together the disparate parts of the structure. Variety occurs as variation of a single fundamental idea.

These are the essential rules and can apply to any art from, from poetry and music to visual art, but temporality is usually lacking in visual art. Feelings of structure, order, grace, and beauty are essential components of any artform too, but sometimes for emotional effect these can be broken. Breaking the temporal or global thematic aspects however will only ever destroy an idea and hamper communication between artist and viewer and always dilute an idea, reduce its contrast and intensity.

Thursday, April 07, 2016


Really positive dream last night.

I was wondering around a busy supermarket with prime minister David Cameron, we'd both been given new Nokia mobile phones, but really cheap and rubbish, made from white velcro, with soft, brightly coloured buttons. We decided to ask for replacements and were sent to a distant part of the shop, high up, remote and dark with angular passageways, draped in shadows like the back of a theatre or the inside of a mechanism. The floor sloped down like a funnel, and a hole at the bottom led to a passageway, like the tunnel in Running Man that was the entrance to place we needed to go to. I was now blind, but only blind people could go there, so had to go alone.

I went through the tunnel and emerged from a lake in a dark land and a crowd of dark people. My phone was now a magical white stone, casting bright light in all directions and the people were in awe of it, but warned me that light was banned here. A guard on horseback appeared and I was arrested and tied up, then presented before the king in a courtyard. The king was dressed a bit like a Klingon warrior, with orange/brown colours. I was to be executed by him and his batleth, but then I produced a glowing white sword from a scabbard on my back. The blade was slightly jagged and so bright. I sliced the king in two, freeing the land from darkness.

For me this is about the power of communication, but it was interesting to note the crowds of dark people, the oppressed, who wanted to be freed by the light. The dream was very visual and chromanant, elements, I could paint.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

ArtsLab S1 Ep.27

ArtsLab with Mark Sheeky
Series 1 Episode 27
Broadcast Wednesday 6 April 2016, 4pm to 5pm GMT.
Special guests Barbara Barlow, and Beckie Morley.

The Beatles, Fool On The Hill (1967)
Jean-Michel Jarre, Deserted Palace (1970)
Renaissance, Cold Is Being (1974)
Kate Bush, All The Love (1982)
Rick Wakeman, Cumulus Clouds (2015)
Rick Wakeman, The Storm (2015)
Pink Floyd, Airplane (Goodbye Blue Sky) (1979)
Europe, The Final Countdown (1986)
Nomizu Iori, Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka (Is This A Zombie) (2012)

All past ArtsLab programmes can be listened to here:

You can listen live during the broadcast on: