KillerStrawberry Hell… Looking back.

I started a project 12 years ago (when I was in my 20’s *) called ‘killerstrawberry hell’. They were a series of drawings that all joined together, and the idea was at the end of one level of drawings I then ventured up to the next level, which would then go along the top of the previous series of drawings, and so on (are you still following me?). 😂

All the drawings were connected and would have eventually formed one giant artwork, existing of 5 levels.

I finished level 1.

Level 2 was only 2 pages from completion and remains unfinished in a dusty sketch book.

When I started my business (KillerStrawberry) in 2006 my goal was to create a unique and colourful, ethical fashion brand. The 1st few years were just that, however due to some very thoughtless and rash decisions, things took a turn.

I was quite a confused young man to say the least, and very rarely connected to life (as life actually was) and mainly focused on my dream, my vision and of course partying! I lived quite a sheltered life and a very comfortable one. As an old friend once put it “Alan you live everyday with your head in the clouds”, my response – “ I like clouds”.

I suffered a few “unfortunate events” whilst living in London and I became very unwell. I did not know how to process or deal with the real anger and pain I was left with. I had no tools and no knowledge on what to do. This utter confusion came out in my art and the ‘Hell series’ changed shape.

I have recently revisited these old artworks, and though I can see and understand why they took a certain “course” I never realised the danger in my works. Much like my behaviour at the time, my words became reckless, detached and bitter. I am now aware that some of my metaphorical ramblings may have been quite harmful and hurtful. I never meant for things to get messy, and it was never my intention to hurt anybody…. however it was too late.

It came to be that I never finished drawing the further levels, but I did instead live them.

Today on 15th Dec 2020 I am currently working on 2 abstract paintings; my crucifixion piece (apparently every artist is allowed to do this once!) 😂. These are a symbolic depiction, and an ending to my “literal” KillerStrawberry Hell, and a milestone to a new chapter.

I am seeing colour again, I am seeing life as life is, and this time around I have wisdom, knowledge and passion. I am not trying to achieve a life goal, I am just creating art works. That’s who I am and what I do.

I lay little Strawberry down for a much needed rest now. He guided me well, strong and true.

Much love to you little Strawberry, I’m forever in your debt!

*I am now 39 years old! How the hell did that happen 😂

Me at London Edge 2009, holding up a picture of Camden I was working on at the time.

HOME

You know those beautiful moments you have when your whole body gets goose bumps and for a short time you’re immersed in joy…

Just an hour ago I was on the way back from Canvey Island on the bus on a very familiar and scenic route home. I spent so much of my childhood on Canvey for the beach, or the old fair, boy Scouts (which is called Beavers when you’re young), the Yacht club and my dads boat. The new buses have giant windows, it’s like a fish-bowl on wheels. In the distance I could see Essex country park stretching along the Thames Estuary (which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Estuaries in the world, John Constable use to paint it), in the foreground there were the masts of boats, flowers and loads of birds on the RSPB grounds. BOOM the goose bumps hit me like a warm wave of water, I was in an oragasm of nostalgia. For the first time since leaving for university in the year 2000 I KNEW I was home. I pictured my feet in the soft grassy ground and I was so happy, I think this is what you call Grace.

I am home, and though I know I will be off travelling around the world one day this WILL ALWAYS be my home, with my family and my friends and I will always return here because it is where my heart is.

* A note to self –

I just this second finished a short run, whilst running I was able to define one of my biggest issues (this is why I love running!) and here it is:

When I feel bad, I feel really bad, completely useless and a waste of space. When I feel good, I feel really good, can do anything and nothing will stop me.  Both of these extremes have exactly the same result and blind me from my TRUE potential.

However I am feeling this time I will remind myself to stay grounded and appreciate and work with what I have. In short DON’T BE LAZY!

Need water!

The unknown

When nature shows me a physical doorway into darkness I do not need to think twice about whether or not to enter. My heart pounds, my face resembles the Cheshire cat and before I know it i’m lost in darkness, climbing over rocks and soaking up the sensations, smells, sounds and vibrations. The darkness absorbs me as I stand in the same place an ancient ancestor may of stood. All time is lost, all past and future is erased, I have no age but feel like a child with no fear. For that moment I belong right there, when the world began and when the universe ends, holding hands with my ancient ancestor listening to the incomprehensible silence. Tiny hairs stand on end, the cool air caresses my skin, I can taste the Earth in my mouth, moisture droplets run alive around me. “I cannot stay, I must return”. I turn around, and there in the distance is daylight, daylight I left millenia ago, the closer I get to the light the faster the connection fades, I notice the ticking of my watch, which I did not hear in the echo of the cave. Before I know it i’m back, back into the organised chaos and our obsession with time. Stood out in the day, with all the endless noises and people, I suddenly feel so grateful, because without the light of day I could never truly appreciate that cave for what it really is.