There are times when a friend's death can be such a surprise, as to justify it being shocking. With Phil Barnes, otherwise known as 'Acker' was just such a moment.
Though never the centre of the action but passing his fine arts degree all too easily, he always lay to the side, carefully rolling his 'baccy' to smoke, dressed in his 'ironic' suit and tie: he never held down any obvious 'career' jobs, like being a lawyer or banker; rather he was an outsider, like many of the artistic community; indeed like many of the pub characters who 'got by' making a living as best they could.
Working with such key figures in Hull as Espen Jensen (involved with video and film) and Paul Bearwell (an internationally known jazz-rock drummer), he devised various plays and performances, culminating with plays for the Humber Mouth.
He was also capable of showing the utmost loyalty: when two good friends were ignominiously turfed out of the pub on two separate occasions, for the most spurious of reasons, he all too naturally sided with his friends and promptly banned himself from the establishment!
There are those who make their mark in life by grandiose events, but then, there are those who, all too quietly, go about their business oiling the wheels on behalf of not only the cultural firmament, but indeed the populace; where the so called 'great' upper echelons who are supposed to understand art, do not.
Phil never vociferously went about his work, rather he introduced others, like for like, to enable the city of Hull's people to see what could be achieved in literature, fine art and indeed anti-art. Above all he had the impeccable taste to know what was relevant and who was capable of providing the ingredients to provide such things.
Phillip 'Wincolmlee' Barnes, otherwise known as 'Acker', died at the age of thirty six. His accomplishments not only lie in the past, but still lie in the future, courtesy of various writers and directors' art/video and literature projects.
Tuesday 14th September - Long Live Philip Wincolmlee Barnes
An event to celebrate Philips life and art at the Adelphi club, Hull. Today 8:00pm to 11:30pm
Reviews, Arts - Adrian Johnson: All Wound Up - Red Gallery exhibition, March-April 2009 By Philip Wincolmlee-Barnes
I am currently re-reading John Carey's The Intellectuals and The Masses, a fascinating (and sometimes troubling) survey of how the former regarded the latter from the late 19th Century until the 1930's.
He charts a course via Nietzsche's theories of 'the Superman vs. the common people' (guess his preference
Reviews, Films - The Wave (Germany, 2008) and Hunger (UK/Ireland, 2008): Fascism & Faeces By Philip Wincolmlee Barnes
European cinema has a substantial post-war tradition of coming to terms with, exploring or challenging 20th Century fascism and, in particular, Germany's uneasy goose-stepping heritage, its subsequent national 'identity crisis', and its more recent spasms of political unrest.
For example, the flirtatious - and some might say notorious - excesses
of Night Porter (Dirk BogardeRead more...
Reviews, Arts - November 08 - All Systems Go: Red Gallery Group Show By Philip Wincolmlee-Barnes
According to their publicity (and not counting numerous one-off live events and screenings) this
is the gallery's 108th exhibition. This certainly shows my age, as I've been involved with the
space in one capacity or another for over ten years now.
Not that there appears to be much in the way of personal wear and tear over this time: I still
get asked for ID in public houses and in off licences.
Reviews, Arts - From The Postmodern To The Pastoral: Two Recent Exhibitions in Hull By Philip Wincolmlee-Barnes PortEst Exhibition Photographs by Andrew Quinn
PortEst (Red Gallery, Sept/Oct) was an exhibition by three Estonian artists -
Jane Remm, Piret Peil and Minna Hint - in which the theme of portraiture was subjected to a variety of treatments in different media, making for a diverse and captivating presentation.
Francis Bacon used to say (usually whilst somewhat addled) that he was trying to
Reviews, Arts - A Walk Through H: Some recent cultural musings around Kingston Upon Hull By Philip Wincolmlee-Barnes
Contemporary Art: either you're 'out' or you're 'in'. Either you 'get' the somewhat jaundiced,
laconically ironic stance of much of this work - you know, of how we're living in a post
modern world bereft of a single 'grand narrative' - or you remain nonplussed at the
often obtuse outpourings of these 'so-called artists'. And many of them don't even
have proper jobs (whatever one of those might be...).
Music Reviews - Wednesday 24th October 07 - Shoot the Moon, The James Dean Syndrome & Santa's Buggerboyz at Lamp By Philip Wincolmlee Barnes
What's in a name? I do think about names a lot, not so much as a profound
philosophical inquiry, but probably because I simply have too much time on my hands.
So, what's with Shoot the Moon?
I might have been being dense (and it wouldn't be the first time), but it
wasn't a moniker that conjured up a specific sound or musical ethos -
unless it's some sort
Articles - Pitch Imperfect By Philip Wincolmlee Barnes
Tap, tap, tap.
That could have been the sound of my quasi-mystical Peruvian neighbour from down the corridor, wishing to speak to me about his recent dope-fuelled nightmares about witch doctors and wild, shape-shifting beasts. These hallucinations often disturbed him, and he sought comfort in my fancy Western logic or, more accurately,