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Computer Says Go For It

A couple of months back I put in a proposal for an exhibition in the up and coming Vault Gallery & Project Space exhibition program.
The exhibition was called A Portrait of the Artist as Unicode U+1F92A and was going to be a whole series of artworks (mainly screen prints and paintings) where everyone’s face was replaced with the face of the crazyface emoji.
I had a whole world of crazy faces living in my head and I’d already created a number of the art works and was at the point where I was about to send off the poster design and get flyers printed and the like.
The poster looked a little something like this.

The exhibition had a solid concept, a cast of characters and most of the preliminary work was done… and then I decided to scrap it.
I decided the scrap it, not because it was a crap idea, but because it was a little too over ambitious to pull off in the time frame allowed. Also, while I find the idea of a whole host of portraits with the same crazy face emoji features absurdly funny, I am not sure many other people will share the joke.
On the way to creating A Portrait of the Artist as Unicode U+1F92A I had started drawing again and I had started drawing because it seemed to be the only way to make any kind of sense of the increasingly senseless world around us.
There is something very therapeutic in putting pen to paper and letting your brain speak directly to the page via a series of janky lines that end up telling representative stories of your thoughts.
So, I am in the studio, drawing willies and paint brushes and monitor heads in a way of working that I haven’t touched in 20 years when I have a eureka moment.
Who needs concepts when you have paint pens and crayons?
I packed away all my pots of paints and half finished canvases, hastily went through a list of titles for the new exhibition and started drawing again. And I am happy.
With all that being said, you are all cordially invited to Computer Says No in Vault Artist Studios on the 6th of June in exotic Belfast City.
There will be drawings of willies and paint brushes and monitor heads and there will be wine!