A founding part of the Bad Art ethos is providing a platform where all artists from all mediums and genres can work together and organise themselves not only locally but internationally. The problems artists face are global, we all suffer the same cuts to funding, the same venue closures, the same gentrification, the same financial barriers to tuition, materials, tools and the time needed to develop our skills. We believe an international approach plays a key role in building a movement that can fight capitalism and its strangulation of the arts. The Bad Art World Tour was set up to facilitate this where ever possible, to connect us all together, to create a dialogue, to create a space where art has the freedom to be itself, whatever genre it falls into regardless of its profit value.
With 17 events in over 15 different countries there has been a mixture of stalls, meetings, theatre performances, live music, art exhibitions, sculpture & spoken word. Its been a huge success so far and a positive first step in uniting artists across the world.
Our Scottish event, held in Glasgow combined a night of live music and spoken word set to the back drop of an art exhibition. It was held at The Old Hairdressers, a quirky wee building with endless rooms and stairs, it had a great laid back vibe and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. The team work from the beginning set the tone of the evening, the artists, musicians, sound engineer, poet as well as the organisers and the audience all got stuck in and worked together pulling off a fantastic night.
The first thing everyone saw when they walked through the door was the extremely high calibre of art on display. It gave the room movement as people wandered from piece to piece settling into the space. The whole exhibition gave a really special touch to the evening adding a powerful visual to the live performances.(more reports on art and artist below)
Elaine our Bad Art Scotland organiser said a few words about Bad Art and what it’s all about. She talked about how the austerity and cuts that plague the arts in working class communities are global problems. She talked about the Bad Art magazine and the other countries involved in the World Tour inviting people to sign our petition against cuts to the arts and to support our movement.
“We couldn’t have asked for more, every one had a great time, everyone went away happy. The hard work and talent from the artists and musicians was incredible, I can’t thank everyone enough. We had a lot of interest in Bad Art & socialism and will be sending round emails to those who signed our petition with updates and the possibility of holding a meeting. People have already expressed interest in holding another event in West Lothian in the near future. It was a pleasure to work along side such great people, a complete success all round and I’m confident the movement will continue to grow.”
Elaine is a member of Socialist Party Scotland, a cartoonist for the national newspaper and also a musician with her band Culture Tramps.
Philip Stott( National Secretary Socialist Party Scotland): It was a great night, lots of interest in Bad Art and socialism, a fantastic array of talent and a real appetite for change. I’ve been very impressed with what Bad Art has achieved in such a short period of time, the organisation is proving to be an important part of the workers struggle. I’m sure the movement will go on to do great things both politically and artistically.
The Artists involved….
Once everyone had a chance to get a good look at the art and to check out our information stalls about Bad Art, socialism and the Russian revolution, we kicked off the music with an intimate acoustic performance from Scott Nisbet. Scott is a familiar face in the West Lothian music scene, a passionate supporter of Bad Art and we were delighted to hold an information stall at his recent successful EP launch in Bathgate. His EP is called Protest and Hallucinations featuring self penned acoustic songs like ‘You Are Who You Are’ and with an unmistakable deep raw tone to his voice he can create a real connection between himself and the audience. Please go check out his stuff online.
Next up we had the pleasure of hearing George Anderson. Well received, he gave an impressive confident performance of his original acoustic songs. He describes his music as free thinking truth seeking music for the soul and now we know why. George is also a passionate supporter of Bad Art, a cause close to his heart as his daughter works in West Lothian providing access to music and creative resources for disadvantaged kids, but, with the next round of cuts in the area set to be 73 million these types of services have never been under more threat. Through building Bad Art we can set out campaigns and strategies to fight against cuts exactly like these.
Next up we had the brilliantly bizarre Ewan Cruickshanks. From guitar instrumentals, drum machines, looper pedals and techno, to spoken word, comedy anthems and bursts of rap, finishing up perfectly with a love a song. It was beautifully odd and engaging. This is a very brave talented young artist based in Glasgow, find him on facebook, go see his shows, you won’t be disappointed.
Then we had our first debut act of the night. The amazing Hailey Madison Slate had the audience in her hands as she stood up and performed her own poem ‘My American Education’. You could have heard a pin drop and we are delighted to be able to put it in print below. What a talent!
My American Education
by Hailey Madison Slate
Why do you draw so much?
I remember my father asking me between the thresh hold
of my bedroom and the hallway like he didn’t already know the answer.
I come from visionaries I said
What he probably meant to ask was;
why don’t you devote the same amount of care to getting a B in maths as you do to your psychedelic cartoons of crying women with flowers blooming out of their skulls?
Why don’t you put your time to a use the world will better understand? And for gods sake if you’re gonna draw, do it bigger because no one is gonna pay you for the corners of your note book pages.
Why do you draw so much if not to sell out galleries?
Why do you write so much if not to conjure up the next major franchise?
Why do you sing so much if not to drop the next platinum album?
Why do you bother learning languages no one speaks anymore if not to figure out some way to communicate their worth in profit?
Like he meant to say;
The only medium through which to construct any kind of life is through profit. Little girl- why have you forgotten your American Education.
My American Education was red polos and dog-tooth knee length skirts and a big glass building in the middle of campus funded by the patrons who agreed that our access to new Nikons and off Broadway scripts was essential.
My American Education has taught me that the arts were to be built up and protected when I knew the very same thing in someone elses was being hacked apart by the blade of austerity.
My American Education said create! As long as your brush strokes don’t ask too many questions, colour inside the lines so as not to draw attention to the fact that they are fixed unfairly. And if you’re writing, mind you choose your words carefully so you never reflect your frustration at this constant desire for beauty over message.
So to answer your question, I am not forgetful – I am defiant.
My American Education never taught me my history, that my decision to rebel , that the fury and hope of revolution bursts and burns like the flame of a hundred years in everyone who dares to crystalise their questioning in the work of their hands and attempts at reimagining society.
And we will!
Its why we draw so much.
With the show rolling along nicely we moved on to our second debut act of the night. Brand new band Culture Tramps a 3 piece from Edinburgh and West Lothian packed quite a punch playing a powerful 5 song set. Twisted piano and loud guitar with political undertones they instantly captured the crowds attention. For a first gig it was a belter, we look forward to hearing their studio efforts in the near future, check out their facebook page for updates.
Last but by no means least the incredible Luke La Volpe and his fantastic band played a blinding headline show. From the first song they had everyone behind them, playing a modern twist on 50’s and 60’s blues with songs like ‘Your apology burns’ already known to the audience. Luke has a tremendous tone to his voice and a real gift for song writing. Having recently played a sold out EP launch in Edinburgh the only way is up for this new band, 4 thoroughly decent guys, it was an absolute pleasure to have them involved.
Here we have the fantastic Roisin Rourke with her acrylics on canvass.
Next we see Angelene Perry with her fabulous pencil drawings
“When attempting commissions the artist is drawn to the character and individuality of the subject. The works on show celebrate the intricacy and focus. The lines of a face or the decay of a fading flower offer a glimpse of the worlds from which they have emerged. It is in the details of the work that the viewer will be able to speculate on the experience of the subject. The fading sunflower is a continuation of the expressionism of influences like Vincent Van Gogh. The raw humanity of Dorothy Lang’s ‘Migrant Mother’ is also seen in the face of Margaret, a dementia sufferer. The artist (Angelene) has also made the choice to feature and find beauty in the realism of the human condition previously highlighted by such artists such as Lucian Freud and the unforgiving relentlessness of the natural world. In the piece ‘Harvey’ the artist looks at power and patriarchy. This will be developed further in a coming series of work. “
Rebecca Gibson with another brilliant selection of work!
Bad Arts own Lynda Hannah McEwan with her exceptional collection of pencil drawings. Lynda donated a £75 commission voucher to the Bad Art raffle and continues to play an important role both in Bad Art and in Socialist Party Scotland
“I am a self taught revolutionary artist based in Balloch, I believe art should be accessible to everyone as some of the best work comes from the working classes. I mostly do portraits, a mixture of commissions, fan art, political portraits, pets and landscapes.”
Then we have Penny Sharp displaying a fantastic selection of prints
And welcome to the weird world of Innes Smith
Innes Smith is a Paranormal Investigator with the Scottish Society for Psychical Research and gives presentations on paranormal, fortean and esoteric subjects. He draws his own slides for power point presentations. It gives him time to think about what he is going to say while he’s sketching away on his Wacom tablet.
THE EVIDENCE: Self portrait to accompany introductory waffle
DANIEL: The Messiahs death was calculated as 30AD due to Daniels prophecy (not because Jesus really existed) From a cheery festive talk ‘Christmas Investigated’
MR ROACH LIVES NEXT DOOR: From an SSPR case – A neighbour was accused of astrally projecting into a clients house. (He Wasn’t)
THE PSI FAIRY: The Experimenter effect and the sheeps/goats effect; the curious fact that psi seems to need to be believed to exist.
THE STORM WITCH: An illustration of the storm raising described during the North Berwick Witch trials of 1590. Sailing on sieves and drowning baptised cats is how you do it apparently.
911: An illustration to accompany the distasteful game show challenge during my last talk: whether multiple and startling coincidences during terrorist attacks should be interpreted as ‘conspiracy theory’ or evidence of ‘mass unconscious precognition’. Contestants could bail out by shouting ‘Oh, just a really, really big coincidence’. Nobody wanted to play.