Frame 21 - Something sticky this way comes….

We rarely recognise momentous events when they are happening. It can take weeks, months or even years for their affects to ripple through our lives. One day we wake up and say to ourselves "that was fantastic". However, sometimes you just know you are part of history in the making. So it is with Wrangler and their latest album - White Glue. 

If ever we needed a poignant reminder of where we are as a society, we need only look to track titles such as Dirty, Stupid and Stop, the latter being a prescient condemnation of rampant consumerism. Its a visceral wake up call or maybe even a call to arms.

Wrangler are not Eurovision Song Contest material however much of a spectacle the would be. Nor are they Top of the Pops material. They are three blokes just making some honest music and obviously enjoying the experience. Their self professed “Wrangling” of tunes by whatever means necessary and whatever equipment fits the bill is a testament to joyful experimentation harking back to a time beginning to cloud over in todays computer driven MIDI/Digital age at a time when mainstream music is processed until the last iota the fun has been wrung out of it in the name of merciless commercialisation. Their use of sumptuous sounding analogue equipment and a simple recording process is key to their success. Like many groups, the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts. Lazy parallels with Stephen Mallinders work with Cabaret Voltaire are far too easy to draw. Moments of Benge and his work with John Foxx are also apparent as are Phil Winters of Tunng. But its the fusion of personalities and musical influences that brings a whole new sound to the fore. Everyone has a part to play and everyone plays a part. 

Where this album departs from their previous LA Spark is in its infectiousness. There is a new found confidence here as Wrangler seem to find their stride and deliver outrageous thumping bleeping electropop with a twist on a grand scale. The tense rhythms are hypnotic while synth riffs dart in and out of the psyche. There is an insidious quality to this album, a darker, more dire message is being delivered here. The single Stupid with its accompanying video, is perhaps a warning on mans inability to not learn from his mistakes. Perhaps we are genetically predisposed to destruct. 

Overall it is a more relaxed and refined outing, less aggressive than its predecessor and in many ways easier on the ear. But don’t be fooled, its cleverly crafted and there is energy in abundance. With Wrangler, disappointment is not an option.

If the world is going to hell in a handcart, you can be sure it will be the artists left to sweep the floors and turn out the lights. For now, Wrangler are readying their brooms. 


Frame 20 - The space between the shadows.

Its been a while. How have you been? How have I been? On that, I'm not so sure.

A lot has happened, both in the larger world and in my own personal one. I now have a Fine Art degree. I now own a lot of synthesisers and other studio equipment and my vinyl/CD collection is now prestigious to say the least. I am now settled down with a lovely woman in a lovely home and its fair to say, much of the anger and angst of earlier years has dissipated like an early morning fog. So, in many respects I am in a better place. My trepidations on the state of the world and those inhabiting it are still present. I still worry about politics both here in the UK and in the world. I still allow the occasional conspiracy theory to draw me in and I still wear my inate cynicism like a protective cloak. Its often wrapped tightly around me nowadays.

But things are better, for me at least.

Back to that Art degree. It was an eye opener. I had no preconceptions on what it would entail let alone what I would gain from it.  So, it came as a great surprise when I realised part way through that I disliked the 'Art World'. All the pretentiousness and arty farty emperors new clothes abounded. Don't get me wrong. I love art but not the art machine that is the art world. Perhaps it was just the university I attended but I was underwhelmed by the teaching which was hard as there was next to none. The tutors trotted out the same old lines such as "which artists do you follow" and the words "identity, juxtaposition and contemporaneous" filled the air with non existent meaning, clogging up the arteries of creativity. Everyone was trying to be an artist rather than just being an artist. The distinction was subtle enough to elude the majority, even the tutors. But it wasn't all bad. There were some good artists with good ideas but they like me were on to a losing battle in that environment. I learnt a lot though. Not about art but about people. I graduated with a 2.1 and promptly downed my brushes, mainly from having been exposed to too much intellectual art wank over several years. I needed some time to reset my compass.

Almost a year later, I picked up the brushes again and here is the result:


As usual, one of my eternal interests - Star Wars provide the impetus and the subject matter. These three Shoretroopers are the latest addition to the Star Wars universe and will be seen in Rogue One. I should also mention that in the last year or so I have become a Stormtrooper of Star Wars fame. I troop in armour as part of the worldwide 501st costuming group with the UK Garrison. Its a charitable pursuit and a lot of fun.

So this brings me to my main point. A sort of epiphany if you will and I have my good friend Robert to thank for this. His insight is often brilliant (I hope he is not listening). He was mightily impressed by this particular painting and pointed out that my work often reflects the authoritarian or even totalitarian aspects of society. True - the historical connotations of Stormtroopers coupled with the Imperial and Empire dominating aspects of Star Wars are undeniable. After mulling this over, I realised it should not come as a great surprise as I have rebelled against authority since I was a child. I rebelled against my teachers, the teaching system, my mother and my work. I am sure a psychologist would have a lot to say on the matter. However, coupled with that streak of rebellion and perhaps even due to it, was a yearning for freedom. I now realise that the idea of freedom balances my anarchic anti-establishment tendencies. In response, I have produced works based on travel and the open road. Perhaps I have found a balance: the Ying and the Yang. If I have, I find that truly bizarre and breathtakingly ironic.

But then I have always thought the universe was founded on irony...


Frame 19 - Life after Facebook

Its a strange feeling... or perhaps an absence of feeling.

I quit Facebook 2 weeks ago. It all happened so quickly, there was no big bang, just a slow, creeping dissatisfaction with the whole thing.

I am approaching 50 and in the last several years have become a political animal. My beliefs are not always popular but they are fervent and wherever possible based on fact...whatever that is nowadays. In the void that is the popular media, I try to apply a mixture of common sense and putting myself in other shoes...sometimes those feet smell.

And I posted my views...hoping to engender agreement, find maybe some kindred spirits. Wrong. Its not Facebooks fault, its mine. Facebook is increasingly catering for the lowest denominator. Its a race to the bottom - a phrase I am hearing increasingly these days.

So, not content to post a photo of my lunch, unleash another YouTube video on the world or "check-in" at "Poo St", I left.....

I don't miss it, I feel great. maybe this blog will fill the void.


Frame 18 - Burst before bed

Burst before bed
Originally uploaded by No end insight

Its such a perfect day. Spent with my daughter - rounded off by a terrific sunset


Frame 17 - Letter to Obama

Dear Sir,

I never thought I would find myself driven to write to the President of the USA. However, as a British subject and hopefully a right minded individual, I feel it my duty as part of mankind to do so.

I do hope you take the time to read what I have to say, if indeed it makes it as far as yourself and that you will indulge me in what, at times may seem like the ramblings of a fanatic. For, I am not a fanatic - just a normal person of reasonable intelligence who is proud of the fact that he can use the brain he was born with, can listen impartially to both sides of a story, weigh up the evidence and then decide on the truth. That's something I would like to think someone such as yourself, coming from a legal background, would appreciate.

I want to talk about 2 things:

The 9/11 attacks and the world oil situation.

Please don't switch off just yet - you just may not have heard it all before.

I am not a conspiracy theorist. Rather I prefer to examine the facts regarding 9/11. I won't go into all the "what's, how's and why's" but would rather direct you to the excellent site http://www.ae911truth.org. If, like me, you place your faith in a large body of Engineers and Architects with no axe to grind and no motivation for any gain, watch their video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b74naeawdCs) parts 1-13. In a scientific and methodical manner they illustrate the inaccuracies in the official report on the New York incident without pointing the finger elsewhere. They simply want a proper reinvestigation of the events that actually addresses the collapse of the buildings, something the NIST report actually falls short of. As I said. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not know who brought down those buildings. However I do not think the question of how the buildings were brought down has been properly answered and until it is, we will not be able to look for those responsible. I believe there should be a proper, full and impartial investigation immediately. Why do I, a British subject make this request? Because, the collapse of those buildings led directly to the Gulf War and that is something which affects every person on this planet.

Now, I am not going to get drawn into arguments over oil. What I would like to draw your attention to is the Logarithmic scale, an often misunderstood piece of arithmetic. Please watch the video (http://www.new.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=111065684833&h=V_9UE&u=ck61N&ref=nf) parts 1-8. Oil production passed its peak in the USA - in 1970. Oil production is reaching its peak worldwide, now There is less oil to be found now than has been used since the industrialised world began. That that there is to find will be harder and more expensive to retrieve. These are all undisputed facts from what I can see. What is more interesting are the forecasts for the time this resource will last. Many reports cite expected time based on current usage. But there is a growth in usage and a growth in population who are reliant on that resource. Growth, in most instances is a good thing. But beware, as the video illustrates, even a modest growth rate of 7% per annum can mean a doubling rate of only 10 years. Put simply, if the world is predicting a growth rate of energy usage of 7% per annum then in 10 years time we will be expecting to use twice as much energy as today. And that is at a time when oil stock are dwindling and getting harder and more expensive to find. Add to this the population increase over the same period and you see the problem is magnified. Its simple mathematics. Growth in this instance is a bad thing.

Now, could I put 2 and 2 together and get 4?

If someone wanted to serve what they believed to be the best interests of their country and its people by securing a valuable resource needed to drive its economy for as long as possible, then they would need a pretty good reason to have a presence in the Middle East where the reaming stocks of that resource are, to stay close at hand and perhaps guard it. But you can't just march into another country and brazenly make camp. You need a reason. A reason that was not only justified but accepted by the masses. The masses would need to be in fear of something, a loss of liberty, a loss of life. As, when the masses are in fear, they are easier to control. Fear is a great motivator.

It would take one hell of a great big reason to produce all those reactions and the desired result - don't you think?

I hope you do read this. I shall be posting it wherever I can on the internet. I hope you do take the time to watch those videos. I hope you do make up you own mind. But most of all, i hope you do the right thing, for the right reasons, not only for the people you serve but for all humanity. Because, I believe, like many others, that you are an honest man of integrity.

Yours Faithfully

Larry Poulton


Frame 16 - I surrender.

Last night I went to see a conversation between Brian Eno and Jon Hassel at the Southbank - London. It was part of the Ether festival. I am a great admirer of Eno and this was the first time I had seen Eno in the flesh. The show was a continuation of a dialogue that both had had over the pat years. The content was varied mainly unscripted. Now to the point of this blog. Surrender. Eno postulated that surrender in its non passive form was experienced in four aspects of life; Sex, Drugs, Religion and Art. It is here that we feel able to let go, drop pretence and wander emotionally and spiritually and perhaps even intellectually. This in the context of art resonated with me deeply. More so as it is something that I have been battling with over the past few months as I try to establish my painting style. This, coupled with a similar discourse on "Understanding what it is that I like", an attempt to identify what we like and hence may be best at, led to a mini epiphany. I have been toying with ideas for paintings and books. Its been a constructive time. Many ideas have been dead ends. But as Eno states, its the dead ends, the failures which steer you inexorably towards the good stuff. We should not be afraid of failure, we should welcome it and use its lessons wisely. And so it was that all I had been struggling with, all that I had failed at, all that I surrendered to, became clear. I was/am on the right track. I awoke this morning and decided to restart a painting I was some way into. It was not right. It was a failure. I have repainted it now and I feel confident it has a better chance of turning out the way I envisaged it.

Above is a chance shot one evening under Waterloo Bridge in London. I think she was waiting for someone - a lover perhaps. Anyway, the way the light outlined her form captivated me.


Frame 15. Mr Statter - my art teacher

Mr Statter - Art teacher
Originally uploaded by No end insight

As we wend our way thru life we glance against other people. Occasionally we join their orbit for a while and their direction affects ours - sometimes many years later. Mr Statter is such a man. He was my art teacher at secondary school. This photo was taken somewhere between 1979 and 1981 when I was 17 or 18. As a child I was troubled - tho I didn't really know it and certainly didn't understand it. I mucked about a lot. It was all a mask.....tho I did do and say plenty of rather funny things. My home and family life wasn't great - not as bad as some, but not ideal either. So, maybe I sought refuge at school, to get away from home. Art was an oasis of calm, creativity and understanding. That was my home. Mr Statter taught me for 7 years and encouraged me throughout. Although I did well enough to get an A Level grade C, I could have got a grade A if I had tried harder. I could and indeed should have gone to art college - something Mr Statter and I regretted for many many years. For, after 28 years I found and dropped in on Mr Statter or David as I can now call him, only yesterday. I found him via the internet. For some time I had wondered if he had ever wondered about what happened to all those children he taught. For some reason I thought I owed him the debt of knowing that I had, eventually after 28 years, decided to be an artist.

Would he remember or even care about me?

Yes and yes. He remembered me as he opened the door and invited me in immediately. We chatted for 2hrs, caught up on 28 years, looked at each others work and drank tea - well this is England you know! But what really struck me was him saying that I was one of the most gifted students he had ever taught in his 18 years of teaching art. I was flabbergasted. I had never expected to hear that and wasn't prepared for it. I felt awkward and honoured all at the same time. Over the last 24hrs it has sunk in and now I feel more determined than ever to make it as an artist.

He was so happy that I was creating again and urged me not to stop.

My debt was paid but as is sometimes the way, I had got a greater gift than that I had intended to give: the knowledge that someone did care and still does.......