Years ago I read a biography of Syd Barrett that was apparently given to my dad by his friend, who in turn had been best mates with Syd at school. Syd was of course the founder member of Pink Floyd. In the biography he is quoted as saying something along the lines of ‘In bed the possibilities are limitless; why get up when all that does is limit you?’ This is just vaguely how I remember the sentiment and isn’t really a quote. A quick google search of some of these words turns up a Guardian article with a quote from Syd’s old flatmate artist Duggie Fields.
"While he lay there he had the possibility of doing anything in the world that he chose, so he lay there as long as he could, with an unlimited future but a very limited present."
And with that sentiment in my mind I’ve decided to write today’s blog in bed, first thing in the morning. Just like I intended when I started nearly two months ago; full bladder and morning breath included. So now I can lie in bed, putting off the job search but aware of all the emails I’ve got; from agencies, automated replies thanking me for my application, the daily pester from vistaprint. And instead I look at the weird art of Duggie Fields. Truely bizarre; all of his paintings have seemingly been recreated using MS Paint especially for the website. As a result it’s quite hard to see any actual photos of his work.
Thinking about it, perhaps Syd’s odd thoughts about how to keep your potential open wide are not the best way to live a productive life. It didn’t do him much good; disappearing into a constant acid fog and withdrawing to a little life with his mum, before dying a flat lonely old recluse, while the band he started went on to be amongst the richest and most famous in history. If ever there was evidence that getting up was a good thing, here it is. I could learn to fly a plane like Floyd drummer Nick Mason, be a grumpy old genius like Roger Waters, or an amazing guitarist/crap songwriter like David ‘don’t call me Dave’ Gilmore.
As well as the job stuff, I have a load of paintings to finish, including entries for a couple of interesting and exciting competitions. One on the theme of map-making for the Manchester Modernist Society, and one on the theme of ‘urban’ for CUBE which has the dubious distinction of having a £10 entrance fee. The first prize is £1000 and a residency. I won’t win, so I’m not sure how seriously to take it. My immediate thought is to subvert the intended meaning of the word urban, and work in portraits of one or more of the seven popes who took the name Urban. Urban VIII was the last pope to take land for the Catholic Church by military force, and Urban VII is credited with enacting the world’s first smoking ban. I’m sure there are ways of cleverly working in these dubious characters and weird historical themes in to the “urban landscape”. Blah.