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harmacy and blakean – new work from sean

also included in the new works hung is a sequence of six vispo’s (visual poetry) called blakean. its from a book of william blake found in a charity shop complete with writing in the margins by a previous owner. phrases of his have been cut and pasted into new works, alongside the marginal comments, and also layered into this are copies of a doctors prescription. blake famously experienced visions / alternative states of mind – was he what we would now label as schizophrenic? it certainly gave him a way of seeing beyond and thru.

also in the corridor is a new wall writing on one of the panels. (see image below). why harmacy? i was walking with a group from the arboretum when i saw a closed pharmacy – the bars partly covered up the p and so i read harmacy. its a comment on the side effects of medication.

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new work from sean burn


just rehung the corridor gallery with some new work. with this post are seven from fourteen daze. up close photographs of antipsychotic medication blisterpacks, with the pills already popped. craters, jags and abstractions all feature. they’ll be up until the end of february

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dawn jones artworks

dawn jones was a talented young artist and writer who also lived with long-term mental distress. i have today put up a small exhibition of her work in the your corner section of walsall museum on lichfield street. below is the information that accompanied the show. do please go and view her work. sean burn

All these posters and accompanying writing come from Through the Shadows Into The Light : An Insight into Living with Depression by Dawn Jones. This work was produced by Dawn Jones when she was with Walsall Youth Arts. As her mother Maureen wrote in the introduction to the book ‘I think it really helped to take her problems outside herself and put them on paper for everyone to be able to see what was going on in her head.’

‘If her death can help other people it would make something positive out of the negative of it all. I hope the book will make people more aware of how these conditions (mental ill-health) can take over a person so suddenly. And that you should not try to cope on your own, but get help.’

I would also like people to see Dawn as more than a young woman who killed herself. She had talents, and with this book shows how good an artist she was and perhaps what she could have gone on to do, had she had the support from the health service to overcome her illness that she needed.

In memory of Dawn an annual art competition has been set up. It is a prize for people who live in Walsall and who have mental health problems. You can contact them as follows:

Dawn Jones Art Competition
c/o Walsall Sue (Service Users Empowerment)
Unit 1 Talisman House, 47 Bath Street, Walsall, WS1 3BX
01922 644983 / email : walsallsue@supanet.com

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all the languages of pillbox

all the languages of pillbox

here is the soundfile of all the languages of pillbox – the text has previously been posted

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the sounds of not losing yr marbles!

heres a sonic realisation of not losing yr marbles in two parts and finished today – these recorded marbles keep on going, not dropping off. enjoy!


and part 2 – http://audioboo.fm/boos/259180-not-losing-yr-marbles-part-two-by-sean-burn

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sean burn and outside in at walsall

sean burn completes his year long residency with the new art gallery walsall (www.thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk) in association with dash (disability arts shropshire) that ‘reclaimed the language of lunacy’ where he is again in residency between january 18th and 28th and then february 15th to 26th. to mark this there is an exhibition in the first floor corridor throughout february as well as his soundwork coming down off the mountain featured in the life of the mind exibition on the third floor. there will be an open studio between 12 and 2pm on saturday 26th february, followed by cracking up – a durational performance by sean burn in which sean will repeatedly crack open walnuts using only the flat of one hand and offer the nut flesh up to audiences. this is intended as a small but cumulative and defiant tribute to those not making it thru the mental health system.

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Photos from last November’s Salaam Arts Festival: Inspiring Women’s Talents

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Turning Point conference video

On Monday 8 November 2010, more than 70 visual arts professionals, artists and curators gathered at The New Art Gallery Walsall to celebrate the strengths of the visual arts in the West Midlands and debate the priorities and challenges for the future following the government’s recent budget cut announcements.

West Midlands enjoy a thriving, vibrant, highly active and promising visual arts scene with many galleries, public or private, showcasing the best of modern and contemporary art in the region and artists, artist-led organisations and collectives creating work of high standard that represent the region nationally and abroad and contribute towards its creative industries. The aim of the event was to find ways of strengthening the visual arts in the region, advocate for the significance of the sector in the cultural, social and economic life of the region by working in partnership in order to maximise resources and foster further creativity.

Voice Your Vision is a Turning Point West Midlands event. Turning Point is a national network set up to deliver a shared vision for growth in the visual arts and is supported by Arts Council England. This event was part of developing a strategy for the visual arts in the West Midlands.

For the feedback notes from the day go to http://www.tpwestmidlands.org.uk

The TPWM network will be developing some of the priorities identified.

TPWM is putting in place an Artists Opportunities Bulletin on its website – at http://www.tpwestmidlands.org.uk/opportunities.

It will list Funding, Commissions, Calls for Work, Courses & Workshops, Job, Residency and Internship opportunities that people tell us about.

To subscribe to the Bulletin or submit details of an opportunity, please email: artistsnews&opportunitiestpwm@bcu.ac.uk

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talking ov blood and other live art

resting after performing for the first time a new live art work – talking ov blood – at platform 10, newcastle. the text of the piece sis poken from behind the audience who are in darkness and looking at a projection of the image that accompanies this text. it drew a strong, positive reaction – and also a focused silence post-performance before applause. i like those moments of silence that occur in collective darkness with people each thinking their way out

the text and projected image can be all found at http://gobscure.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/talking-ov-blood/

i am thinking more love art – what a typo that love art – i actually meant to type live art for my return to the new art gallery walsall in january and february. i have a new idea i want to try out. its called cracking up and is a small, yet cumulative (durational) performance involving cracking walnuts by hand and doing so in memory of those who havent made it thru the mental health system. it would be a poignant performance. i will film it but hope to pursuade the gallery to let me perform it live in the gallery at some time during the final stages of my residency. i’ll keep yu posted!

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a.a.s featuring AuntyNazi and Calum F.Kerr
4 – 16th January 2011
The New Art Gallery Walsall
Free – all welcome.

Do you dream?  Do you have a vision for the future?  Xe54 will enable you to discover your true path as an explorer of The Other Place

Even opening yourself for a short time to these experiences will be beneficial, and you can take part for as much time as you wish. This is a time of drawing together, this is a time of focus.  Many have been called by the lure of The Other Place, and although there are differing interpretations, all agree that something is shifting. The signs say that events in Walsall during the first two weeks of January will be instrumental in bringing about a transformation, that this world will be overlaid with the other, and that we will be able to move freely into a place of new potential.

Over the last two months, we have been using ‘The Cage’ as a base for our experiments.  These have included Remote Viewing and Lucid Dream Training, as ways of creating portals to The Other Place – a space of dreams and ideas, a space of the future, a space of potential.

We have previously been exploring this zone by establishing temporary groups with participants, re-interpreting and re-imagining sites and experiencing our environment with ‘new eyes’.  Now the moment has come for these various groups to meet together in The Other Place and you are invited to join us.

Xe54 is a performative project that will develop and change over a two week period.  Participants in the project will help to explore this parallel universe and inform how the narratives and discoveries unfold. Participants can take part in taster sessions, join for a few hours or multiple days depending on availability.  Drop into the Artists’ Studio located on Floor 1 or contact a.a.s prior to your visit to the gallery.

The first week of the project (4-7 January) will train participants to be able to encounter The Other Place, make use of new skills with the help of more experienced guides, and play around with their perceptions of Walsall.

Dedicated participants will be ‘inducted’ by a.a.s and grouped into various teams on Saturday 8 January and Sunday 9 January.  Each induction session will last approximately 40 minutes and will involve a series of encounters that will guide you to The Other Place.  Places are limited and pre-booking is recommended (see contact details below).

In the second week of the project, participants will be working together, finding coincidences and repetitions in everyday occurrences, interpreting signs and splicing them together, to build a collective ‘making strange’ of Walsall.

On Saturday 15 January, participants will develop a series of ritualised actions to create a quantum sacred event. Reality is fractured and during a ceremony on Sunday 16 January the dream universe that is Walsall will be restored.

Follow the Other Place blog to witness the events unfolding:

To sign up or for more information please contact:
07806 50 27 26