MASS in the Tin Drum

Sam and I have installed some of the paintings from MASS into the Tin Drum, in Kemptown, Brighton. It’s interesting to see how well [or not] they work in a different space, and hopefully a few more Brightonians will get to enjoy them.


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Aleister Crowley (2008)

After the intensive period of painting activity leading up to MASS I took a break away from the canvas for a few days. However, I couldn’t keep away for long, and ended up painting ‘the beast’ himself, the occultist Aleister Crowley. I’ve never had much personal interest in magick, however I find the life of Crowley fascinating. Imagine becoming a tabloid hate figure in the early part of the 20th Century, when he was declared “The Wickedest Man in the World”. His behaviour was completely at odds with the reserve of post-Victorian Britain, and he evidently relished the fear and scandal that he was able to inspire, purely through his writings and the mysteries of his philosophy.

The painting features his most famous aphorism: “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”. Update My friend centrifuge tells me that Crowley ‘lifted’ the phrase from French Renaissance writer Rabelais.




I’ve given him some twinkling red eyes which looked positively delightful when set amongst the rest of the MASS congregation. You can see them in action at the end of the timelapse recording below.

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Final MASS

It was with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to our congregation of paintings after the last MASS. However Mike was on hand to entertain and illuminate us with his words.

First, a somewhat shambolic rendition of ‘All you need is Love’ by the Beatles:

Then, the sermon itself:

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Iain (2008)

Painted for MASS – this is a portrait of my good friend, film-maker and photographer, Iain Gaffney. As usual, acrylic on canvas, but with added ‘found objects’ embellishing the super-8 camera on his lap.



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‘Things can only get better’ – Michael James Parker at MASS 17.05.08

Of course we sang. How can you have access to a pipe organ and not have a sing-a-long? Last weekend we enjoyed the anthem to ‘New Labour’ – ‘Things can only get better’ by D:Ream. Michael James Parker performs with the congregation.

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