The Wednesday Meeting Philosophy Group, Article in Weekly online Magazine Published
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE, IS THE LINK TO A NEWSPAPER INTERVIEW IN SPAINISH.
BELOW IS THE TRANSLATION INTO ENGLISH
Arcos Information. 15th January 2016. local paper
for the town of Arcos de la Frontera, cadiz
Mike England... Painter.
Article by Pedro Sevilla.
translation by Jazmin Cuenya.
“One thing is Art, another is the World of Art”
As he doesn't speak Spanish and i don't speak English, there was a misunderstanding about our meeting.
I waited for him at Jose Duran's studio(at the edge of the cliff in Arcos). we had apparently arranged to meet at Mayorazgo(a bar in the old Palace), but because it wasn't understood, I spent a nice time waiting, watching Jose working on some prints.
I enjoy witnessing the creative process, while it's happening.
I felt very comfortable among half finished paintings, prints and objects of all sorts, I was happy to wait, there was a smell of paint and turpentine that took me back to fond memories in childhood.
But well.... the interview had to be made, so I went to Mayorazgo.
Mike England, The Painter Mike England came accompanied with Jazmin Cuenya, a young, dreamy eyed Argentinian woman, whos eyes were gently attentive during the interview.
Jazmin was going to be our translator, she was to be a bridge between our two languages.
Here is what was said..
P.S. (Pedro Seville). can you give me your opinion about Painting in England today?
M.E. (Mike England). In painting there are no Frontiers/Boundries, Painting is global. I distinguish between two different things, one thing is Art and the Other is the Art World.
P.S. What is the difference?
M.E. The Art world is motivated by money, Art is not, that is the difference.
Art is motivated by Life, and the pursuit of trying to understand the sense of life,
P.S. would you recognise there are different schools of painting, i.e. Venetian, spanish, etc.... is there an English School of painting?
M.E. Of course. There is a way to be English, and therefore a way to Paint.All cultures have an influence on the people within them.'Environment' to 'history' has an infulence, and therefore an influence on different styles, different schools of painting.
P.S. How do you define your paintings?Have you been painting for a long time?
M.E. Since I was 16 I knew clearly that poetry(he was meant to write painting, I'm sure) was to be my life. Before that age i already had a feeling but i wasn't conscious of it, i was only a child, but from the age of 16 i knew painting would be my way.
P.S. Alright.. But how would you describe your painting?
M.E. At first sight/ impression, from the outside, it could be catalogued as Abstract, but seen from the inside, from my perspective, I think it is very clear and literal.But if it needs to be catogorised , then we can say it is Abstract.The more i paint, the more I find it is difficult to categorise...Anyway, i guess it's like trying to define what love is.... “what is love”?
P.S. But before painting Abstract, Did you paint a lot?.. Is there a long path before reaching Abstraction?
M.E. Yes,.... There is a long way before reaching Abstraction...(Here Mike laughs openly... jazmin explains to Pedro that Mike is not used to such straight forward/direct questions... then Mike continues speaking)… My work is about duality, between the mind and spirit,
P.S. But painting is flesh/texture....No?
M.E. Painting is an Expression, If I was a musician, I would express with music, probably the same ideas as i try to express with painting.I paint to find A truth, like you Pedro when you write(apart from being a writer for a newspaper, he is also a writer/poet of his own ideas, he is a published writer), I try to express A Truth, not The Truth...
P.S. On the 8th - 23rd April this year, you have an exhibition in Arcos, in Misiricordia..... what do you expect?
M.E. Nothing... “No Expectations...No Disapointments”(now it's Pedro that Laughs openly, he is shocked by such a clear but profound answer as he explains)
P.S. But i supose every Artist would like to know what people think of their work?
M.E. I have a website, mikeengland.co.uk where people, if they are interested can get an idea about the nature of my work.It is not my buisness to know what other people think”.The Art of painting is ancient, and every generation recreates Art, reflecting themselves in the time they are living.... Basically... every generation re-invents the wheel.
P.S. Does painting have a Magic/ Tribal/ Religious componant?
M.E. Yes. Eveything has an influence, everything has an effect on who we are, how we understand and perseive.The knowledge of history has an influence and effect.Our work/life is a constant descision about what to absorb and what to reject, but in order to know what to reject, you have to know how to absorb. You have to learn the rule book before you can throw it away.
P.S. Are you a painter of the surface or of the inside?, do you paint what you see or do you paint from an idea?
M.E. Both, even the superficial has a depth, you can't seperate these two things, they both have an influence.This global reality can't be seperated. You can't seperate the Body and the mind.Reality is both surface and depth.A coin has two sides, it needs two sides to be a coin.But human beings love to categorise, and will choose one over the other, and will usually only see one side.That is the real War.
P.S. What do you think of the painting in Arcos?
M.E. I don't know many painters here, but i think Jose Duran is unique, his work is special because his spirit is curious.Arcos is a traditional place, a beautiful place, it has attracted and attracts many painters.But Jose Duran is something different than the traditional.Of course, I don't mean to critizise.In painting there is nothing correct or incorrect, everything has its place.
P.S. Is there good painting and Bad painting?
M.E. Yes, of course... as with everything.mmmm?.. that question is a huge subject, i don't think it can be summed up with a few words.
P.S. I understand you are going to make a series of prints for the exhibition, Is this right?
M.E. Yes, I am having this exhibition in Misiricordia, a beautiful old chapel.It's pillars made me think of the 'stations of the cross' in churches.This in turn made me the think of making a series of prints.I am going to make 7 Prints as i think 7 is a magic number.The stations of the cross were a way to teach people.Imagry has always been a way to teach people.
P.S. Is there anything else you would like to say that i haven't asked?
M.E. Well... in Painting there has to be a few ingredients... Beauty, Authenticity, Aesthetics, Harmony, Balance... just to mention a few... there are infinte other things as well to consider when composing a painting ....It should be universal and all inclusive.Painting should also challenge people to confront themselves(and their opinions), to question themselves.I hope to transmit with my exhibition love and refection... because that is what the world probably needs.