In the run up to Brian & Mark’s take over Patti and I had discussed how to accessorise the bar through beer mats and labelling etc… The labelling seemed like the perfect fit for Brian & Mark’s take over. We wanted to rebrand the cheapest alcohol we could our hands on and make turn it into bespoke art works with Brian’s fast paced water colour paintings. They were also offered out to the public to design too and the results were more than we could have hoped for.
Brian’s spontaneous portraits captured the evenings blur and used the language he’s developed throughout his; writing which I experienced for the first time a week prior at his book launch for ‘The Alterity And Identity Of Trans Imaginess’. His scrawling one liners are great, some appear to give a glimpse into his inner monologue as a server “Don’t Fuck With Me” and “Ha Baby, What’s Your Name?”. Others are like one liners plucked from a scene within his mind like “Cool Darling, You Made Me Come” and “Suck My Dick” which you don’t often see on rum bottles but utilise what you might hear in the bank corner of a down and out bar.
Initially we were intending on using the artwork made throughout the night as a standard book publication to document the evening and the work but once we complied everything together it surprisingly amounted to a publication that would have been too large and too expensive for us to produce. This challenged us to think of a way that we could organise the artworks, the writings and photographs into a new format. Continuing the accessories theme we thought it might be fun to produce a publication on a bottle and have the work rap around it. For this we looked at the Bayeux Tapestry as it holds a long narrative in a large scroll format with smaller supporting narratives on the top and bottom, which felt perfect for the bottles. Once we had scanned all the images and text produced form the evening and paired them with the images taken by my friend; Harry, we begun to arrange it using the tapestry format, the photographs float through the middle with the paintings hanging above and below. The bottles and the printing combined came to around £4 which played into the initial idea of how do you dress up cheap and inexpensive goods. Anyways, we wanted to continue to produce these when the work fitted the format, we planned on replicating this with Weichung’s ‘An elephant in the room’ piece but the morning after the exhibition all the posits were gone…c’est la vie. It’s our hope that with more exhibitions in the future we can continue this series and develop a ‘Bottle Bank.
Matthew Weir & Will Coups