Matt Black's Five Things.

Written by Lazy Gramophone on Monday the 4th of March 2013

Five Things is a series of short journal posts introducing each of the writers and artists involved in our up-coming Time project.

Since the project's inception, the idea has been to create an environment where independent writers and artists could come together in order to share their work. The result of this endeavour is a collection of stories, images and poems based around the theme of time, its pages placing particular focus upon the relationship between words and pictures. By sharing in this way we hope to inspire each other as well as those around us, to draw a diverse audience and so help to illuminate the work of alternative artists and writers everywhere. 


When time is on my side I create images. Mostly it is words that are the inspiration. Aside from making pretty pictures my therapy is writing, reading, photography and music. I am currently training to be a Teacher of Art and live with my wife and children near Oxford. 

Five Things that have Inspired my Art.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972)
Director: William Sterling
Music: John Barry
It is the combination of elements here that, at the age of six or seven, managed to leave a significant mark on my soul. First and foremost there is the haunting score, composed by John Barry and then there is the vintage theatrical set design that effectively conjures up a dream-like quality that most CGI fails to do. Whenever I hear the soundtrack or catch the film it takes me back to a different place, a place of innocence and curiosity, of fear and wonder that to this day still has the power to inspire. The somehow manages to feel like it exists out of time or perhaps this is just an illusion bought about by nostalgia...I don't know. This version also stays pretty much true to the original story. Just for the record: I was hugely disappointed with Burton's film. Perhaps my expectations were too high, and so they should have been. Imagine a David Lynch version! 

OK A (1997-2000)

Now, this one might be a bit of a cheat because it doesn't actually exist in an obvious way - it's more of a transition period really. Anyway, it's the non-existent album between OK Computer and Kid A by Radiohead. I'm interested in the space between things, in process and change; it's as if OK Computer was the in-breath (a pretty much perfect one at that) and Kid A the near perfect out-breath. It's almost as if in those first few notes of Kid A everything becomes clear, a big and quite beautiful out-breath, a relief and a revelation. Of recent albums the only thing that comes close, that I can think of right now, is The Liars last album WIXIW. Actually, I'd probably go as far as to say, that on occasions it surpasses Kid A... Controversial? Also, as far as Radiohead goes, it is the whole package that works for me: I am a massive fan of Stanley Donwood's work too!

Mulholland Drive (2001)
Director: David Lynch
Music: Angelo Badalementi

This is probably an obvious one for those of you who know me. Again it's that creation of a world that exists on the outskirts of reality, a work of art on the screen. Lynch has the ability to transport us to a different place and time whilst toying with our fundamental instincts. It is the scene in the theatre that stands out the most for me - a kind of world within a world, a manifestation of the unconscious mind. Lynch seems to have an intuitive understanding of the underlying complexities of the universe and when you hear him speak it all seems to make perfect sense. The soundtrack is pure genius too! What is often overlooked is Lynch's sense of humour - Ever seen The Angriest Dog in the World? 'If everything is real...then nothing is real as well'. Brilliant. 

Imagine a world where Lynch had made Return of the Jedi... 

Francis Bacon
Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953)
It is difficult to remember precisely which of Bacon's paintings had the biggest impact on me during my adolescence, but this is one that seems to surface more than most. Of course, at such a vulnerable age these paintings had a huge affect on me. Naive of any particular meanings at the time they still had the power to intrigue and unsettle. I do remember thinking: 'if I could ever paint like that I'd be a happy man.' It's the energy, the lucidity, the honesty, the visceral colours and the disturbing void in which he places his subjects that intrigues me today. It's as if he has put these figures in a vacuum, a black hole where nothing can escape and all truth is revealed. Quite simply put: the world would be a different place if Francis Bacon had never existed. 

Hugie O'Donoghue
Descent - Series (1989)
Charcoal on paper

Sometime during my art foundation year in 1994 I came across this exhibition in London and it blew me away. Often it is the unique way in which an artist manipulates a particular material that gets me interested. The way in which this guy uses charcoal is phenomenal and I have (on and off) been trying to emulate it ever since. Unfortunately there is little of this work to be seen on the web, however, viewing his oil paintings might give you an idea of how he uses charcoal. His work deals with memory and myth and the colours he uses are sublime. 

The Time Project.

1. Time Book Launch Lazy Gramophone Events Page 

2. Time Book Launch Facebook Page

3. View our Clock page (counting down to the release of Time)

4. An introduction to Time

5. Contributors' Five Things Journal Posts:
Adam Green
Bryn Hall
Inua Ellams
Zoe Catherine Kendall
Andrew Walter
Laura Dockrill
Mat Lloyd
Sorana Santos
Will Conway
Hannah Stephenson
Matt Black
Claire Fletcher
Carl Laurence
- Zophiel Webb
Jude Melling
Stacie Withers
Tom Hirons
Megan Leonie Hall
Vincent J Prince
Kaitlin Beckett
Guy J Jackson
Eliza Gregory
Jeannie Paske
Jo Tedds
Maria Drummey
Tom Harris
Liz Adams
Lola Dupre
Kirsty Allison
Alexander Aspinall
Paul Bloom

6. Buy Time from the Lazy Gramophone Shop 

7. Press/Reviews
(Click the links below to read each article in full)

Huffington Post:
'An intriguing book project from one of the most innovative groups of creative people in the city.' ~ Huffington Post

Fabric Magazine:
'...we'll bet you've never seen time as it's portrayed in this stunning new publication.' ~ Fabric Magazine

Rooms Magazine:
'Time is a treasure box brimming with creativity and fresh talent.' ~ Rooms Magazine

Annexe Magazine:
'Lazy Gramophone's anthology, Time, lives up to the high bar it sets for itself.' ~ Annexe Magazine


For more on The Time Project tweet us @lazygramophone or #TheTimeProjectLGP or visit our Time Facebook page.
Tags for this post: Matt Black, Lazy Gramophone, Time, Five Things, Colours of Black.

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Title: The Time Project - Lazy Gramophone Press
By: LazyGramophone
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