Archive for category NewsART Highlights
Living in the UK for the past two years has brought to my attention the fact that no attention is given to Australia in the British news unless it is a story about a dangerous animal attack. There are no exceptions.
I have a feeling most other countries have the same attitude to news about Australia.
This weekend there is a very important and quite dramatic election going on in Australia so I feel it is my duty to find a way to inform those outside our country of what is going on.
Hence I have used my art to explain the battle of the two main parties in the federal election as… DANGEROUS ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS.
As I understand it, JULIA GILLARD, our current Prime Minister who stands for the Labor Party, can be represented metaphorically as a great white shark. She has recently had bad press for attacking a diver.
The diver in question was the Prime Minister before her, Kevin Rudd, who only defeated the previous longstanding Prime Minister, John Howard (a box jellyfish), three years ago. Rudd’s popularity had declined drastically over his first term due to several embarrassing mistakes and failures from the Labor Party.
This is why the party chose to overthrow him two months ago and his deputy, Julia Gillard, took the bait (she saw him paddling above her looking like a seal) and attacked. SHARK ATTACK!
This has given her serious image problems in Australia as the opposing conservative party (the Liberal Party) are using this act to portray her as a ruthless backstabber (ignoring the fact that sharks can’t hold knives… and that their leader similarly ousted his predecessor).
But was Julia acting out of malice and plotting or was she just acting on instinct, attacking where she saw necessary to achieve her ultimate aim, ie, victory for the Labor Party/eating a seal?
This is a bone of contention but one that can be solved when we realise that movies have perpetuated the MYTH that sharks enjoy attacking humans. In reality we know that sharks usually only attack humans by mistake or if they can tell the human has no way of winning an upcoming election.
The opposition leader is TONY ABBOTT.
I have depicted him here as a crocodile (in one of my most lifelike sculptures yet) because
a) he loves swimming and he loves grinning creepily
b) if you are swimming alone in a river he will often sneak up on you, drag you under the water in a death roll and then devour your lifeless corpse. Particularly if you are pro abortion. And not in a metaphorical way.
I must point out that I’m not an expert on the tiny details of his policies, having been away some time, but I am fairly sure that death rolls and lurking near swimmers are still high on his political agenda.
Also crocodiles are the closest living animal to dinosaurs and dinosaurs also thought climate change was ‘crap’, just like Abbott does.
Also part of Tony’s election campaign is to target refugees coming to Australia in boats. He wants to alert the Australian public to the horror of ‘boat people’ and promises to get rid of them. I believe he plans to do this by swimming up from below the boat and knocking it with his snout.
Julia has stated her belief in climate change but not acted effectively on it so far which is foolish of her, considering the immediate danger sharks face from global warming.
Click here to see Abbott’s refugee policy which begins at the 4:20 mark.
Also click here to see the prediction election analysts have made on the outcome of the vote on Saturday.
A final note on political bias
Whenever politics are discussed or reported, accusations of bias are flung around. So let me declare my bias straight away. It is true that I think sharks are way more awesome than crocodiles, particularly in terms of films about GIANT versions of these animals.
However I have tried to keep my analysis of shark and crocodile politics as objective as possible here.
If you feel that this has not been achieved than I urge you to seek out the advice of a marine biologist, especially one in a lab coat with glasses who likes to experiment in making GIANT sharks, and ask them about Julia Gillard’s failures to commit to Emmissions Trading Schemes or Tony Abbott’s lack of understanding about broadband technology.
NB: Crocodile photo taken by Heidi (from Michael Holley’s photo collection)
Celebrities are like Greek Gods… they live in a world of power and privilege that us mere mortals can only dream about. Also many of them are getting beards these days. And several were in that film Clash of the Titans.
But, just like the Greek Gods, they often abuse their power and fame.
Kanye West did this while I was away.
Kanye began using Twitter and decided to follow just one person, at random. He chose an anonymous 19 year old from Coventry, Steve Holmes. He knew that this would change the boy’s life immediately, giving him a taste of the life of a god.
But he did this without preparing the boy by first asking his permission, sending him a warning or letting some slutty goddess come and give him a horse with wings. Steve hated the sudden media attention he got.
Why did Kanye do this? To amuse himself.
I decided it was high time for some Revenge Art on behalf of this Steve Holmes. This time the target had to be celebrities and Twitter.
And there is no greater Twitter celebrity than British national treasure @StephenFry.
How would Stephen FRY feel if he was treated/tweeted as carelessly as Steven HOLMES was? How would this Greek God like being randomly chosen by the slings and mouse arrows (WORDPLAY ALERT!!) of fortune to have their life turned around?
I, @heidi_regan, a small time and beginner tweeter (representing small time tweeter Steve Holmes), began following @StephenFry the giant celebrity (representing Kanye West). I did this completely out of the blue and WITHOUT WARNING.
The results were almost immediate! Within only 20 minutes of my choosing to follow him Stephen Fry was SWAMPED with 1,653,675 followers! A week later and he had 20,000 more! Another week and it was almost 40,000 more!
I hadn’t thought to check his follower numbers before I added him but I would assume it was no more than 400 or so because no one has many more friends than that. Not to mention the fact that lots of people don’t like the internet (I find it condescending).
I can only imagine the anguish Stephen is now going through as he tries to understand and cope with this sudden explosion of attention and fame. So I will imagine it.
I have also represented it in art.
To portray my attack on the destructive Greek Gods I have created this sculpture of a triumphant Perseus killing the Medusa. Perseus was, like me, a mortal who slew a powerful god/followed them on Twitter.
Also Medusa was a goddess who was both beautiful and ugly, like fame, and she had hair that would have been very difficult to manage, like celebrities.
Actually I just remembered that Perseus was meant to be part God. This could be said to imply that I also am part god/the chosen one, which is very flattering, thank you.
While I have only just recently made an artwork about Apple, I felt it was necessary to revisit after hearing today that Nokia’s profits slumped 40%.
The company, which until recent years had had a very loyal customer base, continues to struggle against competitors such as the iPhone and Blackberry.
This reminded me, in a loose, metaphorical, tangential way, of how I was a loyal Nokia customer for many years but then switched to an iPhone.
I still feel guilty, not only to Nokia but also to the simple life I once had. When did I become so pretentious as to think this kind of trend-following gadget was a necessity in life? What is wrong with ol Bricky who served me so well?!
I decided to make an artwork about how we can learn to see through the trappings of wealth and prestige and lead a clutter-free life that only indulges in the beauty of art .
I put my iPhone next to my Nokia to begin the artwork. However as soon as I looked at it I immediately became lost in its ‘i’. Before I knew it 2 hours had passed!… Hence this meant its battery had completely died (1.5 hours before that).
Obviously all I could do then was shriek in anguish, lie in the foetal position cradling it (the only way I can get to sleep these days) and try to breast feed it. I was hoping there might have been a recent upgrade that allows it to recharge from its owner’s life force.
So I regret to say that for the first time ever I failed to make the artwork.
NB: If anyone is inspired by this to develop an iPhone Breastfeeding app I expect a) commission and b) a copy sent to me immediately. By post.
NBB: This website is not for profit (not by choice) so this was in no way sponsored by Steve Jobs, though he would probably pay big bucks for a photo of me breastfeeding my iPhone. Big bucks indeed.
Today I have made some important business news into an artwork to make it easier to understand for people without my natural comprehension of self-certified mortgages and credit rating talk.
FSA CHAIR WANTS SELF-CERTIFIED MORTGAGES BANNED
Lord Turner, Chair of the Financial Services Authority, “prepared to clamp down on the mortgage market by banning “self-certified loans” used by the self-employed…The FSA’s consultation proposes imposing affordability tests for all mortgages… analysed lending decisions, looking at the causes of arrears and repossession since 2005…The FSA has stepped back from an idea raised in the mortgage market review discussion paper last year… set a maximum loan-to-value ratio on mortgages…questions about the consumer protection and markets agency that the government plans to replace some of the functions of the FSA, others of which will go to a new subsidiary of the Bank of England… Turner asked whether the new body should be able to ban specific products as “inherently undesirable”… “We are signalling a significant change away from that approach, but the shift is not a purely technical issue which can be left to technicians; it is a social and political choice which should merit extensive debate.” – The
Or, in other words…
I apologise if the FSA finds their depiction in this shocking but I think when combined with the other elements of the sculpture they will agree it is a fair portrayal and really puts credit supply instability into perspective!
‘Two Russian museum curators have been fined for showing a painting of Jesus Christ with Mickey Mouse’s head. Critics said the case harked back to Soviet censorship and underlined the Russian Orthodox Church’s growing power’ – The Telegraph
This news made me feel so appreciative to live in a democratic society that values free speech and allows my art to express any ideas I’ve had so far, be they offensive or shocking or inane or stupid. But after pondering further it soon made me sad. It is so much harder for artists like myself to push boundaries and shock the world when we aren’t blessed with governments more heavily influenced by extreme factions of religion or politics. I decided to test how far I could take things in our depressingly permissive society. It was going to require some pretty shocking and offensive attacks of icons and ideals we have always held dear.
Here I have chosen to sculpt imagery of one of the most revered and worshipped historical figures in our society. The piece is called ‘Madonna and child’ and as you can see it is Madonna (or Madge as she may now still be calling herself) with one of her recently, controversially adopted children.
So far no boundary smashing, though I can feel you’re nervous. And wait, look closer and you see that, just like those Russian artists did with Jesus and Mickey, I have depicted her quite differently to the usual way we know and love… I have actually used absolutely no photo touch up, flattering lighting or make up whatsoever! Also she is in baggy clothing and isn’t even doing pilates in this picture!
Continuing with the theme of religious censorship, I have depicted Madonna about to go on stage and perform her famous and controversial song ‘Like a Prayer’ and these three men are wisely begging with her, saying, ‘please, please, Madonna, please stop wearing leotards on stage’. Madonna is about to ignore them and strip down to her leotard because she is also an artist who likes to shock our senses (and stomachs if we’ve just eaten), just like me and the Russians.
This might surprise/upset some of you but I am not a psychic octopus. Hence I do not know who will win the World Cup and had to work around this as I began constructing my artworks BEFORE the final results…
News Art – PAUL EXPOSED AS FALSE PROPHET!
Paul the Octopus was wrong. Spain has lost. All talk of his psychic, almost god-like abilities has been proven meaningless.
But it is far worse than that, it has embarrassed a world who embraced the possibility that this Octopus had other worldly powers. It has shown how incredibly desperate we remain to have some kind of order to this chaos that is life. Despite all our advances in science and evolution and iPhone apps over the years, the moment we see some evidence of possible magical or religious powers we jump at it. And so we put our faith in a sea creature that was too stupid to not be charging huge amounts of cash for his ‘psychic’ predictions.
Is this the behaviour of rational adults? To worship these false idols?!
To MOCK this behaviour I made this golden statue of a random animal. I then put it up on a street in London and asked people if they wanted to worship this elephant and trust its opinion on great sporting events. They all said no. Some even laughed.
However I then surprised them and challenged their perception of the world by asking how this elephant was in any way different to an octopus. I was told that instead of four legs octopuses have eight arms (or tentacles) and can swim very fast. This was most interesting! I researched more about octopuses and found out that they have no internal shell or bones and have a hard beak!?! I began devouring books on octopuses and found, to my surprise, that this is a very poor way to learn anything so I soon switched back to reading.
After several hours of this ‘reading’ I concluded that octopuses/octopussi are awesome, elephants are average and man is a foolish creature who will not only seek evidence of the divine at every opportunity merely to comfort him from his fear of death and the unknown, but also only has two arms and can’t even squirt black ink as a defence mechanism. LAME!
ARTWORK OPTION B- PAUL IS OUR NEW GOD!!!
Paul was right! Spain has won! All hail Paul!!
I have made this sculpture of the child I would be willing to have with Paul to honour his extraordinary powers. It’s half human (me) half octopus (Paul). I apologise for the slight lack of focus, I was so excited at the prospect of becoming Paul’s first earthly concubine and giving birth to a demi-god with tentacle legs that my hands would not stop shaking. Wouldn’t be a problem with tentacles!!
With the eyes of a nation on him, Andy Murray plays in the Wimbledon semi final tomorrow. Commentators say he looks more comfortable then ever. Will this be the year he maintains his confidence and focus to finally make the final?
Andy Murray is a modern day warrior and he can win this easily. All he needs to do is follow the philosophy of the greatest warriors in history; the Samurai. They followed the rules of Bushido and incorporated Zen meditation into their beliefs in order to calm the mind. They also valued honour above all else.
Murray is already far along this path and I like to think it is thanks to my art teaching.
I constructed this Samurai costume and for the last two years I have attended all his most important matches to send him an important message through art metaphor. I wear the outfit and sit silently in the crowd, just in the corner of his eye, as an ever present reminder of the calm and focus he should be aiming for.
During his quarter final match to Nadal two years ago, when I sensed him flailing during the match, I stood up suddenly and violently to show Murray he was not alone. Sadly, he faltered soon after. He must not have seen me.
Last year, as he battled Andy Roddick, I stood in his line of sight and performed several manoeuvres from ‘the way of the sword’, inspiring him to draw on their ancient strength. Disappointingly something seemed to distract him in the crowd and he was defeated soon after.
This year I have decided to prepare for longer and more subliminially, appearing and then disappearing suddenly at Murray’s training sessions, restaurants, bathroom window etc, in the hope that he will be in a constant state of alertness and this will have him prepared and calm come match day.
We can only wait to see if he is as composed as my art should have inspired him to be. Oh and also, during the match, I think I might perform fake Hara-kiri, the Samurai practice of ritual suicide, if he is looking too unfocussed and to also serve as a nice reminder that death is preferable to a dishonourable defeat.
The Glastonbury Festival was an amazing, sun soaked extravaganza of fun, friendship and f… f… festival attributes. This is my ART review of it.
I have sculpted this figure of a carefree and youthful man, dancing as though he has no care in the world, despite the fact that his penis has been snapped off. I have also adapted a popular poem to go with it.
“Dance as though no one is watching you,
Love as though you can’t smell the five days of sweat and other people’s pee on your partner’s clothes,
Sing as though the people around you came to hear you and not the professional band on stage,
Live as though you haven’t spent five days leaving toilets shouting ‘Oh God, I looked down again! Why do I keep looking down in there?!! What do I expect to see?! How did that come out of a human?!!!’
For the first time I am featuring an amazing intallation by someone other than me! This is a very thought provoking piece by an anonymous artist. I apologise for the slight delay in the story as I only deciphered its meaning today.
Recently our work fridge developed a foul, awful odour. The culprit was discovered to be some off soy milk whose smell had become imbedded in the fridge. For the next five days we had to hold our breath whenever we approached the area and the entire kitchen had to be cleaned thoroughly.
At first I thought it was merely some careless act by a random idiot who hates cows. That was until I checked the expiry date and realised that the artist must have timed it for the stench to reach its peak the day before Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama resigned in early June!
CLEARLY the soy milk represents Japan, a country synonomous with this product. It had been left to rot, pointing to the decay in the Japanese public’s faith in politics after the new Prime Minister failed to honour his promise regarding forcing an American army base to leave Okinawa.
This eventuated in a complete clean out of the fridge and the soy milk/figurehead/Prime Minister was forced to leave. The original food items/Hatoyama cabinet were then put back in the fridge/parliament.
Shannon, Rahul and Hannah, the three employees seated closest to the fridge, represent the Japanese public made to endure the stench of failure emanating from the financial-scandal-dogged government. Rahul was forced to move seats but has returned in the last two days, signalling a warming in opinion from the scandal-weary Japanese voters for new Prime Minister Naota Kan. Interesting times.
NB: Since interpreting this artwork it has been discovered that the milk had also been spilled on the carpet, explaining the length of time the stench has remained. This may mean Kan’s small changes to the cabinet will not be enough and an entirely new government will need to be elected. Only time and some intensive carpet cleaning products will tell.
SPOILER ALERT!!!! If you have not seen Sex and the City 2 do not look at the below ART-icle
I apologise if you ignored my warning and now know the entire plot after seeing and correctly interpreting the artwork/review
At my old house the drain pipe outside my window developed an incredibly loud, annoying and constant drip. Each night as its incessant noise began I would contemplate stabbing my ears with a pair of compasses to end the torture. I thought I would never be able to fall asleep within earshot of it but after what felt like hours and hours of pain I would finally drift off into a disturbed and exhausted sleep.
Despite days of tired ranting and weeping I could not convey to my friends the levels of pain, boredom, frustration and insanity that the drain was causing. It could only be expressed through art and that is why I have made this film, Sex And The City 2, to recreate every emotion that drain caused.
This is a photo, not of the artwork, which is the film, but of the old, rotting and broken drain which inspired it.
NB: The drainpipe’s dripping also had an unnecessary and annoying voice over, was filled with offensive opulence and sweeping generalisations of Middle Eastern culture and would sing amazingly cringeworthy renditions of ‘I Am Woman’ as its attempt to empower women. It also tried to prepare against the guaranteed criticisms of its lazy, lazy script by announcing that anyone who criticised it was just ’scared of women with a voice’… The drainpipe did this. In retrospect it was quite a unique drainpipe.