By Our Selves

Toby Jones, Andrew Kötting (as a straw bear) and their merry men revive the wanderings and wonderings of Northamptonshire peasant poet John Clare, on a quest “for scenes where man hath never trod”.

Toby Jones, Iain Sinclair and Andrew Kötting (dressed as a Straw Bear), made a five-day walk from Epping Forest to Helpston in Northamptonshire, following in the footsteps of the poet John Clare. Clare’s delirious march is the spine of the project. A great English pilgrimage, a self-enacted novel in the tradition of Pilgrim’s Progress.

A film by Andrew Kötting, with Iain Sinclair, Freddie Jones, Toby Jones, David Aylward, Eden Kötting, Simon Kovesi, MacGillivray, Alan Moore and many more.

By Our Selves / Andrew Kötting

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Slim Gaillard Trio

Three top tunes from Slim Gaillard, Dunkin’ Bagel, Chile & Beans O’Voutee, and Spanish Melody & Swing, with Bam Brown on bass and Scatman Crothers on drums. Come on in and get happy. Continue reading “Slim Gaillard Trio”

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Wheathampstead & Back Again

The River Lea at Mill Bridge in Wheathampstead one day last September. Another walk from the between lockdown daze. It seemed we were always walking back then, but nowadaze it’s let your fingers do the walking, typing keyboard dreams of freedom, stuck indoors again. Continue reading “Wheathampstead & Back Again”

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Sowing Seeds

In January I went to live and work in a small tribal village called Badanga in Rajasthan, India, along with international and national artists for two weeks. We were all selected to participate in the annual Sowing Seeds residency program, which has been hosted in different towns of Rajasthan for the past seven years. This was the first to be run at the farmhouse of Chiman Dangi, artist and founder of Sowing Seeds.  The whole village, especially the children, were very excited. Continue reading “Sowing Seeds”

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What Is Paintable?

Through The Trees

My primary interest in painting for the last 40 years has been how to depict and respond to a range of landscapes. Before I can begin to think about painting a place, there has to be a specific reason to do so, and the place must have a particular resonance with me. My recent work can be divided up into three groups: paintings of Tuscany and Umbria, paintings of Andalucía and paintings of the Thames Estuary around the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marsh, not too far from my home. Continue reading “What Is Paintable?”

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Chasing Shadows

We’d been told to stay indoors and not go out, except for exercise and if so to stay two metres apart, breathe fresh air, think separate thoughts and cast our own shadows. Stay safe, take care and not go viral. It was the sunniest Sunday I’d seen in ages, the car parks of Epping Forest were overflowing, all of us fleeing the city to escape the epidemic. That’s how it felt, as if there was protection here. Continue reading “Chasing Shadows”

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Curious Customs

Look what I found down at the Post Office. It seems like Jonny Hannah got a call from the Royal Mail. I bought the full set of eight stamps in their delightfully designed presentation pack. The lady behind the counter must have taken me for a philatelist, and gave me a calendar of Special Stamps for 2019. She piqued my curiosity by saying the next stamps to be issued will be on Forests. Continue reading “Curious Customs”

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Delicious Solitude

This little booklet is no bigger than a postcard. It’s a pocket book. It was published in 1989 for a joint exhibition of drawings by John Hubbard and photographs by Paul Joyce at the Royal Festival Hall. The exhibition toured to other venues, including Warwick Arts Centre. I didn’t see the exhibition but fortunately I found this book, another discovery in the treasure house that was Notting Hill Books. For many years its tiny reproductions were my only knowledge of John Hubbard’s charcoal drawings, until I saw his exhibition at Kew Gardens in 2006, Spirit of Trees, which included some of the drawings reproduced here. I found this book again today and felt moved to share its pages. Continue reading “Delicious Solitude”

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