Chris Sutcliff

Artist Man I am

Archive for September, 2009

23rd Sep 2009

Dead Pigeon.

In town today there was a dead pigeon lying right in the middle of the precinct. More than merely dead – killed! Something had made a fair sized hole in its head and neck so it was lying in a pretty impressive pool of blood. I stood over it and surveyed the wreckage for a good minute or two. I’m not really sure what I was thinking, there was something absorbing about it, a morbid spectacle to polarise my otherwise routine day. I walked around the corner to buy an apple and when I re-crossed town I went back to it, willingly drawn in, fascinated. There was something gloriously unapologetic about it, lying there in the path of the masses, as though death had given it a hideous grace that life had been unable to dress it in. The living pigeons nearby, blissfully ignorant of their fallen comrade, continued bustling moronically in their repetitive and endless hunger. Each a testament to their own monotony and a vicious parody of ours. They eat. They shit. They eat. They shit. Repetitive. Routine. Tedium. In ceasing to be, the expired had transcended the mould of its existence and become so very much MORE.

I watched for as long as I could, while upwards of ten mid afternoon shoppers were momentarily shocked out of their passivity by the grizzly insertion of this little morality play into their field of vision. The look of horror on one woman’s face was mesmerising. She was visibly affronted by the bare fact of it’s lying in her stead, but could she take her eyes off it? No. She could not. And could I take my eyes off her? No. I could not. She craned her neck to keep it in her sight as she walked toward it, over it, away from it. We do that don’t we? Stare at the things that horrify us. Like the traffic slowing down to observe a car crash, hoping not to see something appalling and yet yearning to see it at the same time. The allure of the atrocity. The tonguing of the loose tooth.

In the end I realised what had satisfied me the most. It was the fantastically indelicate way it had deflowered the faux-sanitary pretence of our shopping centre with its choice of final resting spots. Burnley high street looks exactly the same as every UK high street with its stainless steel and glass walkways and same old stores and blah blah blah. Yet, despite their million pound logo’s and their designer window displays, the retail giants were today upstaged by the abrupt and splendid exit of a single verminous parasite. Their clinical, calculated stage fronts tarnished forever. Not just visibly, by the sort of stain that only sacrificial blood can leave, but also symbolically. For what are you to do when your beautifully packaged goods and your nice tidy shop are not even nearly as arresting as a dead pigeon lying right in the middle of the precinct.

by Chris
Posted in Words | 4 Comments »
15th Sep 2009

Tous Ce Que Nous Avons Vus Des Murs.

watching from the wall


8 x 5.5 inches


by Chris
Posted in Paint | 3 Comments »
10th Sep 2009

William S. Burroughs

bill burroughs darker


16 x 11 inches


Thanksgiving Prayer

By William S. Burroughs (1914 – 1997)

“Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shit out through wholesome
American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil
and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and

Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves
and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin’ lawmen,
feelin’ their notches.

For decent church-goin’ women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.

Thanks for “Kill a Queer for
Christ” stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the
war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where
nobody’s allowed to mind their
own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the
memories– all right let’s see
your arms!

You always were a headache and
you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams.”

by Chris
Posted in Paint | 3 Comments »