The Juant w/ David Shillinglaw

Our friend, English artist, David Shillinglaw recently returned from "The Jaunt" a travel/ print project by Netherland's based thejaunt.net that produces prints by artists after flying them to new destinations and letting them create an image inspired by their travels. Below are  Shillinglaw's words and photographs of his experiences in the Dutch countryside.

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“The Jaunt” is an amazing project. The idea is simple; send an artist from one place to another and ask them to make work that responds to that experience. Of course I jumped at the chance. I was given two options and initially chose Serbia, a completely random decision. The curator or as he prefers, travel planner, accepted my decision, but then explained that the 2nd door led to his family home in the Danish countryside. Five minutes from an empty beach, where he and his family would host me, barbecue fine meats and wash my brushes. It was a no brainer. It has been an incredibly full-on year so far and the prospect of spending time in the countryside and being cooked for seemed like the perfect remedy to my recent experiences in London and Amsterdam, which were far from peaceful. 

I am writing this now on the last night of the trip. Time seems to have slowed down, even stopped at points.  A complete contrast to the neon, never-ending buzz of cities I am accustomed to. Last night I recall sitting alone, slightly drunk on Danish beer, resting on the steps of the traditional Danish wooden house. I could hear so little and so much. The noise of traffic and beeps of electronics had been replaced by tree top breezes and the soft crashing of the ocean half a mile away. My busy city brain is not used to this and it moved me. The whole trip has moved me. The hospitality and love has been humbling, spending time with the couples 9month old baby and even celebrating the hosts 30th birthday. 

I can’t remember being so relaxed, especially while at work, a new experience for me indeed. A calmer force has guided the work I made. Watercolours and painted pebbles have replaced the recent explosions of spray paint and bright white spaces of contemporary art galleries. Mother nature has been making eyes at me, offering hints and traces of a much softer approach to rendering an experience. There have been many insights into nature and in a way I did not expect, both in my work and in myself. Even this evening presented the gift of a mother deer and her two fawns grazing on the path we took back from the beach. Maybe there is something in the Danish water, or the beer? But I have re-familiarised myself with the natural world. Only using my phone to play music, not that the area has any reception or Internet even if I wanted it. A true reminder of the basic things, an economy of tools and materials and a look into nature, to feel and see the richness in the plants, animals, weather and landscapes around. I hope this attitude continues, after all London has a lot of nature, but perhaps I needed to detach myself from the bright and shiny distractions to help me focus on it again.    

For more on David Shillinglaw, be sure to check his site: http://www.davidshillinglaw.co.uk

John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Carolyn LeBourgios

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.

Written by Rachel Ralph - rachel(at)fecalface.com

Our sign is looking rough these days. Time to reach out to a sign painter.

Our sign is looking rough these days. Time to reach out to a sign painter.

The first stop of the trip was of course to FFDG as he was part of our group show Salt the Skies before literally hitting the road out of our front door. He and Carolyn headed straight down south and went to Texas before heading to New Orleans, and then up the East Coast to NYC. At first glance, the 'Stand with Israel' sign just seemed like an odd, East Texas painted wall, but I have recently learned that some of the biggest supporters of the Israeli conflict are in the bible belt, as Christians in this area believe that in order to bring upon Armageddon, war must happen (between Israelis and Palestinians) in which Christians will be raptured and Jews will be forced to convert to Christianity to be saved. While I'm not going to jump into that argument, this wall is a little piece of that struggle, even in all of its oddly painted glory.

Terry from Old Crow with his dog Pope Dante in Austin

Terry from Old Crow with his dog Pope Dante in Austin

The rest of the south, through New Orleans and the Carolinas, brought Pope dogs, oil fields (straight out of a scene of True Detective), and delicious snacks along the way before getting into the grind that is New York. Once the duo arrived at Superchief in Manhattan, it was on. Installation on both floors of the gallery started immediately and the show was hung efficiently for the opening of Excorrigia – The Scourge. The works range from his Astroknot figures on larger wood panels to more abstract, smaller works and give the show a lot of diversity while still maintaining its consistency. As another portal into his world of Unstoppable Tomorrow, Excorrigia allows visitors to experience the post-apocalyptic feeling generated by the works while still maintaining themselves as impeccably-produced works of art.

John Felix Arnold outside his show at Super Chief, NYC

John Felix Arnold outside his show at Super Chief, NYC

John Lomanto looking at the work

John Lomanto looking at the work

The opening was a gathering of Felix's friends, both old and new, and was just another step in his career. He will be back showing in San Francisco this spring and fall with solo shows at both the Shooting Gallery in May and here at FFDG in October. Keep your eyes open for him, as I know he'll be up late at night painting, eating the most delicious food the bay has to offer, and giving us access to his world and his work. I can't wait.