We asked Jon Vogler to tell us a little more about the inspiration and the thinking behind the piece - 'Arrows of Desire' - that he made for the exhibition...
"I see Blake as a perpetual protester - protesting against poverty, against rationalism, against industrialisation that destroys creativity, against the exploitation of women and children and animals, against the establishment and, particularly, the established church.
So I wanted to do a protest piece and there is SO MUCH to protest about in our contemporary society. Yet there is also so much that is clean and beautiful and peaceful and that is what I see from my window, whereas the bad things are not visible unless you go and seek them out or read (or view) about them in the papers and on the tele. So I wanted to say - 'yes there are horrible things going on out there but we have a human obligation to know, especially when they are done by our government or police or army in our name, and to make our protest loud and clear.' Blake would he been delighted to have been able to sign up to petitions on 38 degrees!
It was quite fortuitous that someone pointed out that the logo of St Edmund contained a pair of arrows, so I was pleased to link my piece with the church and to see the link between that old evil act - a violent martyrdom - with the contemporary violence which is so pervasive in the Middle East. The martyr’s crown is more problematic - I hate the idea of anyone losing their life because of what they believe, because there is such widespread evidence that most of the things that most of us believe are plain wrong and, often, extremely stupid. Socrates said 'The only thing we know is that we know nothing' and this is as true of religious belief - and I mean ANY religion - as it is true of Newton’s laws of motion. Blake hated Newton’s idea of a predictable, calculable universe and wouldn’t he have been delighted when Einstein showed that Newton’s laws only appeared to be right because our senses are insufficiently developed to perceive where they go wrong?..."
Si: Hi Micah, and welcome to the exhibition blog. Can I start by asking you to tell us a bit about your work and the motivations behind it?
Micah: Hmm, what's to say... I'm a city dwelling, real ale drinking, husband and father of four, graphic designer, artist, family-centric, brought up Christian but tend to keep that quite due to peoples pre-conceived media spun ideas of what that means. These are the things that motivate me and my work. A desire to get in and through the dominant, corporate, commercial self interested voices and put something alternative in it's place...
Si: That's interesting, because when we first got the go-ahead for this exhibition, I knew that I wanted you to be part of it - there's something very Blake-ian about the work that you make and where you put it - something subversive and which looks to confront those dominant cultural narratives that we're surrounded by, something that's restlessly seeking a better way to be... I wonder if you recognise that connection to Blake? (or whether it's just me getting carried away!)
Micah: Ha, yeah I guess so, though I am shamefully unaware of the majority of his work. Having delved into Jerusalem a little via conversations with your good self and simply wikipedia I now see a much bigger picture, and might even sing it next time.
Si: Heh heh! Maybe we should've had some karaoke for the opening night. Then again... maybe not :0) I'm wondering if there are other artists or designers or creatives who have influenced your practice and your thinking...? who do you recommend that we should seek out...?
Si: Have you got any other projects on the go, or exhibitions coming up that you'd like us to know about?
Micah: I'm currently working on www.intervalprojects.tumblr.com. https://twitter.com/IntervalProjcts It's an curated outdoor art space in the public realm which offers an interval between the ads, a gap between the consumer tone of visuals we're used to seeing, to offer something back for free. A similar previous project I initiated was http://print-and-paste.tumblr.com/. Print & Paste exhibited artists from the UK, New York, Japan, Sweden and others and made it into Creative Review and other international online creative magazines. This year I want bus shelter size back lit ad spaces in 10 cities across England (to start with) I just need £10K and people with prominent sites in cities to make it happen. If you're one of those people please shout.
Si: That sounds brilliant (literally!) - we'll look forward to seeing what comes of that... Lastly, thanks again for designing our exhibition publicity material. We really love it, and it's been great taking it round places and seeing folks reaction to it. People really like those cards...
Micah: Thanks, I've really enjoyed learning about the project and getting involved.