New year new us. We’ve had some updates on the Brighton show, the first being that it’s most likely going to be pushed back about a month. For us, this doesn’t really change anything as we’re not that busy due to the big c. It might mean that Scott is able to attend the show which would be nice since we haven’t actually met in person. In terms of the actual work, the foam for the yellow piece has arrived and looks great. We ordered 5 again as it’s cheaper than ordering them one at a time but we didn’t realise how large they actually are. With the smaller ones they make good gifts but giving one of these away would be quite imposing. We’ll find somewhere for them I’m sure!
The two new paintings have been put into production and once they’re completed all the works will be done. We were going to have 2 which are landscape orientated but realised that all the other work is landscape too, so went with some more recently portrait one’s we had made. One is for Ronnie Rocket, an unrealised film by David Lynch which has a great story. After finishing Eraserhead, David Lynch spent two years writing a script for a new project entitled, Ronnie Rocket. He met with one film studio, describing the film to them as being "about electricity and a three-foot guy with red hair"; the studio never got in touch again.
Lynch then met Stuart Cornfeld during this time. Cornfeld had enjoyed Eraserhead and was interested in producing Ronnie Rocket; Cornfeld was working for Mel Brooks and Brooksfilms at the time, and when the two realized that Ronnie Rocket was unlikely to find sufficient financing to be produced, Lynch decided his next project would instead be The Elephant Man.
Lynch would return to Ronnie Rocket after each of his films, intending it at different stages as the follow-up not only to Eraserhead or The Elephant Man, but also Dune, Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
In 1987, after having released Blue Velvet, Lynch once again attempted to pursue Ronnie Rocket. He visited northern England to scout a possible filming location; however, he found that the industrial cities he had hoped to use had become too modernized to fit his intended vision.
The project also suffered setbacks due to the bankruptcy of several potential backers; both Dino De Laurentiis's De Laurentiis Entertainment Group and Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope were attached to the project at different times; both production companies went bankrupt before work could begin.
Due to De Laurentiis owning the rights it ended up in legal limbo for a while following their bankruptcy. Lynch stopped actively pursuing Ronnie Rocket as a viability in the early 1990s. However, he has never officially abandoned the project; frequently referring to it in interviews as "hibernating".
The other matte painting is for Werner Herzog’s unmade film The Conquest of Mexico. Herzog wanted to make a movie about the European colonization of Mexico but from the perspective of the Aztecs.
Francis Ford Coppola tried to produce the movie in the late 1970s but his production company crashed after Coppola's "One From the Heart" flopped in 1982, and he failed to get the $20 million in funding for Herzog. Herzog tried to shop the script around studios in 1996, but without luck. John Milius (screenwriter of Apocalypse Now) was even rumoured to be rewriting the script but this also never came to fruition.
Herzog has been playing with themes of colonialism and conquest throughout his career, and his ideas for this film were eventually disseminated into others. The film lives on through these other works and perhaps the fragments could be pieced together from watching his subsequent movies.
The final update is that we decided on the title, Never seen and yet believed in. It’s slightly inspired by the bible quote 'blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed', referring to being blessed if you believe without evidence. We enjoy the similarities between ideas at large and religion. Both are things which aren't tangible in their own right but their effect is how they're quantified. It relates to the gaps in our paintings and foam work, plus Scott’s blinking neon. Also, has a good link to Scott’s booklet - artists text trying to convince the world that what they are being is brilliant with words but no physical evidence.
The Paper Festival in Manchester was unfortunately cancelled because of you know what. A real shame but is what it is.
Scott’s invited us to submit a design/artwork that’s going to be screen printed onto a bookmark and sold as an edition. We had a good time thinking up loads of fun ideas and they mostly fell into two groups; recreating things that are used as bookmarks e.g. old shopping lists, and ideas that reference what a bookmark is for – pausing or saving your place in a book. An initial design that we liked was a small corner of the page that looked like it was folded down. It’s a little more design-like than a conceptually driven artwork but it does look satisfying.
We’re going to be partaking in an Instagram Residency at the end of this month with an organisation called Orbit. It’s a great online platform to promote, support, and engage with emerging artists & creatives run by Elizabeth Challinor. We’ve followed previous participants of the residency and have really enjoyed learning more about artists we’re only slightly familiar with. We wanted to do our own version of this and decided that it would be best to focus on us being a collaboration. We’re often asked questions about our collaboration; how does it work? Or who does what? There aren’t set answers to these questions because it differs from project to project but since we’ve been working together for a while now, we’ve refined a system that works for us. The way we work is very beneficial to our practice and we believe it could assist others (especially during this next lock-down) in finding new ways of sharing their initial ideas with fellow artists in an informal setting.
We’re going to open up our collaborative process and show people how we operate. The residency will begin with us sharing our numerous methods of communication ranging from emails, to Facebook messenger, to shared Google Docs. Included in this would be some early works we made together. Following that, we’re going to share a range of current works that are in production, what stage they’re at (some further along than others), and what the next steps are to advance them. Next, a selection of recently completed pieces and finally any upcoming projects. And on the Instagram stories we’re going to share promotional memes that include our website in funny ways.