Chris Sutcliff

Artist Man I am

Archive for January, 2010

29th Jan 2010

The Rules Of The Game (volume 1).

Fairly competitive animal, the Human. It’s a trait that’s helped us gain an (albeit unwieldy) evolutionary superiority over pretty much everything on the planet. We are gold medal survivors. But what to do with that burning desire to be a champion, now that we are living side by side in our billions in a non-threatening technological utopia? No bears in Leicester Square. No sharks in the duck pond. Outside of organised sport, where is this need to be a winner manifesting itself? The answer is EVERYWHERE, and I’m not talking about the Times crossword. This is the first of what I hope to be many observations based on the weird and unspoken terms of engagement with which we seek to rise above the bumbling masses on a daily basis.

Some people have a real issue with their bodily functions. Odd really when you consider they are replicated by our entire species, not to mention most other animals. No need to be embarrassed. The benign workings of our organism should bring us together not separate us. More than bring us together. They should be a platform to recognise HEROES.

The Premise.

Ever found yourself in that most awkward of moments? You’re in a restaurant / shopping centre / airport / office / motorway service station and you badly need the toilet. Thankfully you get there to find a row of empty cubicles and you get comfortable and prepare to perform. Suddenly you hear the door open and the footsteps walk unfalteringly to the cubicle next to yours, the door is locked, garments are unravelled and the toilet seat creaks and then there is silence. Without warning and woefully unprepared you have just inadvertently found yourself in a ‘Poo-Off’.

Don’t panic. The uninitiated may be about to slide down the social scale here, but not you, not today. It is important to fully understand the rules of the game. The “Defender” is the person who first went for a poo, in this case it’s you. The “Challenger” is the person who boldly strode into the adjacent cubicle knowing full well you were already there. It is the Challenger that throws down the gauntlet – therefore it is the Challenger who must be made to pay! You will not be usurped from the throne.

Stage 1 – The Cowardly Decline.

The first few seconds, sometimes minutes, are always spent sizing up your opponent. As you can’t see each other this is usually done in polite silence until one of you either begins or leaves. As the Challenger has only just entered the arena, then it is the Defender who usually gives in and makes their withdrawal, often in mid job, appallingly sometimes without having ever started. They fake a wipe, flush what isn’t there and get up and leave, often acting out a hand-wash as well for added realism. In this scenario the Defender has lost the game and respect for themselves and any hope of ever winning another ‘Poo-Off’ as long as they live. Pathetic. The Challenger wins by default. But you are not afraid; you are ready for WAR, so this is not an option. In fact, this is GAME ON.

Stage 2 – Open Combat.

If there is no Cowardly Decline then battle must commence. That said, this is your last chance to be polite if you are not out for blood. A draw may yet be called if you are quiet, quick and dignified. The golden rule here is that you both accomplish the task side by side and one of you leaves before the other so that you never see your rival. But frankly that’s just weird and smacks of denial. You’re not gonna settle for a draw are you? No. Never. You’re a Titan. A merciless wielder of last night’s curry. It’s time for glory.

Stage 3 – Smack Down.

Here’s how to take the Challenger to Chinatown. If you’ve opted for Open Combat you’re gonna have to poo like you never have before. Unleash your arsenal. You need noise, violence, grunting, farting. You have to absolutely destroy anything they throw back at you. Scream. Thrash. Pound your fists against the dividing wall. You’re shitting a double-decker bus, sideways. Satan himself is weeping in Hell and begging you to stop. They have to rue the fucking day they thought they could force you out of YOUR cubicle just by muscling into your territory. The idiots! You need to hope they’re crying and wheezing and praying in there. If you hear them call their Mum to say they love them you know you have them on the ropes, but don’t quit yet. You need to create an atmosphere that would disable a gas mask and make a skunk explode. You must break them. Shatter them. Bury them.

Stage 4 – Extra Points (for the judges).

Why settle for merely winning when you can ensure the Challenger never opposes another quiet, innocent crapper ever again. Extra points are gleaned as follows:

  1. Whilst you have been orchestrating your hurricane, at varying junctures after a particularly angry fart or a splash that sounds like you shat a kitchen table, openly ask the Challenger what they thought of it, or to provide you with a mark out of ten. Inviting criticism is a mark of your bravery and to let the Challenger know that they are being crushed.
  2. Now you’ve got this far and superiority is within your grasp you cannot just sneak out of the toilet and leave – you are about to face your challenger, who now won’t be able to look you in the eye. Wipe and wait, you leave the cubicle the exact same time they do, not a second before or after.
  3. Now you need the parting shot, the spit in the eye, and the slap on the cheek. Follow them to the sinks and wash right next to them. As you look up and face them in the mirror, look straight into their eyes and leave them with your winning one liner. May I suggest the following:-
  • Until next time.
  • You won’t fucking try that one again will you.
  • I am Ahab.
  • I’ve faced worthier Girl-Scouts.
  • I ate my own Dog last night cos I knew you’d be coming.
  • Simply make the “L” for “Loser” sign with your hands on your forehead.

You are a winner and a hero. Tell everyone. The podium of life is yours for the taking.

by Chris
Posted in Words | 1 Comment »
26th Jan 2010

Raw Silk.


16 x 11 inches


by Chris
Posted in Paint | 5 Comments »
21st Jan 2010

Hope Springs Eternal.

It’s normally around this time of year that ‘WE’ the fragile multitudes stare at the tattered, weeping remnants of our New Year’s resolutions and start feeling all shitty and normal again. Nothing is more personally deflating than the knowledge that owning a brand new shiny gym membership card is as close as you’re ever going to get to the actual gym. Now it’s costing you thirty five quid a month to feel fat and hate yourself. Well done. Smoking again as well? Great. How’s that guilt working out for you? Get the vodka out and we’ll just pretend it’s still last year then.

I say this normally happens because 2010 was a little different. Just as we were all poised to dive into our cesspits of despair and self-loathing Haiti went and had an earthquake, killing tens of thousands of people and creating a humanitarian disaster for thousands more. I often find it’s a bit difficult to grumble about lack of exercise when loads of people are dead. Locked to the News we watched aghast as their plight and misery proved so terrible and moving that it reverberated around the world and temporarily mobilised many powerful nations to actually work together and help people. Like we’re all part of one planet or something. I love it when they remember to do that.

Today, however, brought a snippet of joy and hope that I found so immediately heart warming I had to share it with anyone who gets lost on the internet and accidentally wanders onto my site.

A large search and rescue party, comprised of many of New York’s finest firemen, pull an eight year old boy and his ten year old sister out of their flattened home, SEVEN days after the quake. Alive and well after a week under tonnes of pulverised concrete, in the dark with no food and presumably only trickling rain water to drink. As they pull the boy out, he raises his hands in the air like he’s just won the Oscar for the ‘best reaction to being pulled out of the jaws of death’ category – to an enormous cheer from the crowd. What an absolute legend. He looks like he’s going “Ta-Daaaaaa!!! And for my next trick I’ll survive a volcanic eruption!”

I think in truth he spots his Mum in the rescue party and goes for a hug only to be pulled away to safety, but what a moment of outstanding elation in the midst of all that awful desperation. The indomitable human spirit wins through again.

So with that new perspective in mind throw away your gym card and make the only resolution you stick to the one about being alive and happy.

May it be so.

by Chris
Posted in Words | 2 Comments »
11th Jan 2010

Ombromanie (Shadowgraphy).

This is easily the most exciting thing to happen to me all year!

My bedroom light bulb died today (not the exciting bit). It was a misty bulb but I couldn’t find any of those in the shops so I bought clear bulbs instead (also not the exciting bit). When I got home I couldn’t work out how the toggle thing worked to keep the light shade on (Man Fail = minus 100 points) so I took the shade off altogether and left the clear bulb swinging naked from the ceiling (nearly the exciting bit). I just went to the window to draw the curtains for the night and I happened to look at the side of the building across the back street (drum-roll……). With the un-shaded, un-misted light bulb shining behind me like a thousand suns, the shadow of my head was projected twenty feet high onto the entire side of a house. Twenty feet high! Within seconds my left hand was a massive Antelope and my right hand was a giant Snake eating it. The endless possibilities. I could weep with happiness.

For thirty pence and a lack of toggle know-how I have just accidentally re-created the Caveman’s I-MAX. Only instead of re-enacting heroic sagas and tribal tales I am going to get fluffy toys and make their shadows fornicate to upset the neighbours.

Twenty foot tall teddy porn now available on the side of a house near you.

I’ll never be bored again.

by Chris
Posted in Words | 5 Comments »