A note on : South of the River conference at Greenwich University

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Thanks to Emily Critchley I got to premiere one of my new films made with Joshua Alexander (the animal series about london and menace - this one was Canalimal about the grand union canal around willesden junction and its soon disappearance at the hands of an ugly development) at the Uni of Greenwich for a conference entitled South of the River.

It was a lovely long afternoon with peers i respect in a little troupe - amy cutler, tom chivers, edmund hardy - speaking to each other and academics about south london. I admitted i had something against south london, half joking, and its a place that hasnt featured too much in my 11 years of walking miles upon miles of london streets. I learned a lot from everyone else through the day, it was communal and generous.

A note on : Animal Bones

Animal Bones : The first of a new set of five cinema-poetic collaborations with the artist-filmmaker Joshua Alexander. / The animal films explore the particular, baffled and morbid character of English attitudes to mortality, along with the specific influence of place and conformity on the quintessentially English deferral of emotion and melodrama. The films aim to capture the ambiguous menace of an often accidentally humorous resolve, manner, apology and understatement so prevalent in the English character. / The first of these five filmpoems, Animal Bones, was shot on location at Hythe Ossuary, one of only two open-to-the-public human bone crypts in the UK. / Supported by the Eurimages TEM grant and Arts Council England via The Enemies Project.

A note on: Launching The Guide to Being Bear Aware at Swedenborg House

A beautiful room to launch my latest collection within, and in generous company, I turned out a performance with increasing levels of bear awareness, from a bear poster, to collaborating with my friend Emanuel the Bear, to bringing the room's bear to human ratio into line, to transforming myself into a bear. Very grateful to see so many friends there, to have Tony Frazer do such a fine job on my book and to read alongside the great John Hall. www.stevenjfowler.com/bearaware

Animal Drum : a cinepoem collaboration with Joshua Alexander

ANIMAL DRUM from Josh Alexander on Vimeo.
JOSHUA ALEXANDER & SJ FOWLER

ANIMAL DRUM is a short, conceptual poetic film about disease, menial work and the remnants of the British Empire. It was born out of a collaboration between two fellow and former employees of a major British Museum institution, and draws on shared experiences of the potential, and actual, vapidity of assumptions of improvement and beneficial pedagogy in such institutions, as well as shared negative experiences of a vast, global tourist deluge. In that sense, the film was born mutually, conceived by the two artists at the same time, and created without much dialogue yet with a certain sense of synchronicity.
Animal Drum calls on the miserabalist, absurdist traditions of post-war European avant garde theatre and poetry. By employing the red herring of the Comedia Dell Arte ‘plague doctor’ mask, as a juxtaposition to the glossed over friendliness of a contemporary ‘happy’ urban landscape it invokes deliberate absurdity in its visuals as well as its text. It is London shot, environment specific and includes performance footage from the Science Museum late where SJ Fowler was invited to create a new work in response to the Exponential Horn installation.
Animal Drum is the first in a series of films that explore the sad, macabre, abstract threat of contemporary London culture and psychological geography.

5x7 group show at the Hardy tree in December! my animal calligrams for sale


Very excited to be in the latest group show taking place at the Hardy Tree gallery, running for three weeks across December. The concept is that around 15 artists provide 15 artworks around postcard size, which are hung in the gallery and sold for 25 quid each.http://hardytreegallery.com/

My 15 artworks are all original calligrammatic representations of animals. Each one is essentially a drawing of an animal in handwriting. Ive played with Calligrams for awhile, pretty much directly following Apollinaire. I've deliberately made them somewhat illegibile, so the handwriting, in places, allows for multiple, interpretative readings of the poems. They are all poems, pre-existing poems, written for the calligram, which will never see the light of day in their non-calligrammatic form, but I want the search for the meaning to be primary in the readers experience. The reader can make their own poems as they have to fill in the gaps between what is legible to them and what is not. Each time the poems are read, they are anew.

& Erkembode is also in the group show, my frequent collaborator and continuous inspirator. His work includes originals from our collaboration, Jurassic Strip, about Jurassic Park in the middle east. All the poems and paintings in this collaboration have been published as an ebook to be viewed for free belooow.