’Blue Searching’ – The Suncebeat Dome, Southport Weekender at Minehead.
Pastel and Charcoal on paper, 75cm x 55cm. 2013 or 2014.
The Suncebeat Dome was a temporary structure erected specially for the Weekender inside the vast main hall at Minehead’s Butlins Complex. It was actually a kind of vast ‘inflatable’, – a cross between a Markee and a bouncy castle, – but also looking like a grounded UFO. This live drawing was made shortly before a live performance. Ben Brphy and Gavin Kendrick are dj’ing, and these two fellows managed to carve out quite a musical identity for this little venue over the 3 years that Southport took place at Minehead.
I was there on this occasion with two friends Manny Hameed and Steedy Small. During the drawing process, Steedy kindly and patiently stood still for me for about 15 minutes so I could create the central figure in the image from observation. It does not really matter that the figure doesn’t look much like Steedy,though the drawing does catch the sparkle in his eye. It is A person. Any person, and they are alone, and looking out onto the ’nightlife scenery’.
Clubs are about music, dancing and celebration. They can seem cultural, meaningful and ‘deep’ and there are often feelings of ’togetherness’, and people often feel united by a love of music and dance. There can be a feeling of belonging. But clubs can just as often feel like lonely, and vacuous places, where the social contact is only superficial. If you are feeling sad or lonely, the scenery can make you feel even more so. Even when you are feeling great, they are still places of longing, and unfulfilled desire.
When you go to a club you are always searching for something, – whether it is friends and social contact, the perfect tune to dance to, a one-night-stand, or a life-partner. That feeling of longing is what, for me, this drawing is all about. If you know the wonderful track entitled ‘Club Lonely’ by Lil’ Louis (1992) then you will know what I’m talking about:
“Excuse me, excuse me. My name is on the list!?”
“The DJ’s List”
“Miss Thing! There is No Guestlist Tonight!”
Lonely People, Lonely….