“Fuze”: Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke

“The idea of using a HB pencil is that there’s no dark, no light. It’s that middle ground where nothing happens.”

Maverick Concert Hall
Woodstock, 1952

House lights down, the greasy-haired pianist finds his place in Cage’s score. The black and white keys, with all of their defined, dramatic, poetic patterns and tones, gleam in the spotlight.

The young musician in the tortoiseshell spectacles pulls out a plastic stopwatch to measure three silent movements. He sits comfortably, arms folded.

Someone coughs in the stalls; the ceiling fan chugs; and the gentle “ssssh” of the wind in the dry leaves chances through the open hall, until a few moments ago filled with applause and melodies.

Adam Clarke’s Studio
Middlesbrough, 2011

He clocks his start time – 08:30 – and makes long, slow, curved lines with a sharp HB. The sun shifts to the left of his window, warming his back.

His coffee cup makes new rings on the floorboards when the 5A bus shakes past forty minutes later. He thinks about work; his trip to India; getting thirsty; Fred Sandback; the sixties.

Karaoke – Freddie Mercury, Adele – wafts in from the rowdy pub across the street. He works damn hard at that long, thin, middle ground, as hard as if it were maths homework.

This is the second in a series of experimental exhibition texts commissioned by Platform A Gallery for the group show Fuze, 2011. Opening quote from a conversation between Adam Clarke & Becky Hunter, published at Whitehot Magazine April 2011.



Annie O’Donnel

I see scale as being less about the size and more about the meaning.”
(Annie O’Donnell)

Back when I was five, I used to stick yellow Hula Hoops on my fingers and pretend to be engaged. Tiny hands all salty, our big maroon-grey rescue Mastiff – a girl, like me – licked them clean. Bundled in duffel coats and balaclavas we’d meet Dad at Seal Sands after work, watch the black-footed Little Stints wade in the froth by the pipeline.

Dad had a stroke in the year that Lady had her first litter. The nurse taught me to inject Lovenox (“if this is love,” we’d grimace) straight into his stomach. He was so angry, that’s what kept him with us so long.

But last year, we threw Dad’s ashes on the Estuary, and skimmed stones after him.

I love walking by water, talking to him.

In pink jeans, walking Lady’s daughter (all grey now) by the chilly inlet off Scotts Road, I catch a sapphire sparkle – steel hoops and a furled wire net – “Planet’s Biggest Public Art Project”, the Gazette said. Far across the water, in silhouette, one giant loop is a half-inch circlet. My ring finger fits right inside it.

Quote taken from a conversation between Annie O’Donnell & Becky Hunter, April 2011. Final text up next.


Richard Forster

“I’ve always considered the task of picture-making from both ends of that line where there is hard realism at one pole and pure abstraction at the other. Then there is all the nuances of representation and all the nuances of abstraction in between. I have drawings here and I have drawings there [indicating each end] and it’s a starting point. My starting point is both ends and I try to hold onto the meanings that abstraction can carry.”

Text from Becky Hunter’s interview with Richard Forster, published at Whitehot Magazine, 2008.