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Writer, artist and performer Charles Devus is using DAO to blog about outsider and visual arts events in Brighton and beyond.

The Aesthetics of Justin Sane

24 February 2012

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pen and ink drawing of four characters from charles devus' graphic novel

Justin Sane is finally taking shape. It has been dream since I was very young to tackle a graphic novel and it is finally coming into being. I owe so much to my friends and most especially to Simon Powell of Creative Futures. There is an essential dynamic to this format especially if colour is an essential component. I am using a conventional storyboard format with some ten to twelve frames per page, an average of twenty to twenty four frames per double page spread. (1) The first task, after...

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Some further storyboarding for the graphic novel: Justin Sane

4 December 2011

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a cartoon-style piece with imagined people wearing bright, strange clothes walking holding hands

Justin Sane is a detective in the Human Bureau in Rowfontine. The Rowfontine is the magnificent capital of a mildly decadent empire of the same name. Justin Sane does not exist on the prosaic streets of the city, but only in the comic book named in his honour and set amongst its streets. He is an aesthete and a bon vivant and could be taken as a decadent except that like most people tagged with that label he has an awful lot of innate integrity. His wife, Justine Seine, is an insatiable force...

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Over Cream Grove - a play in the making...

14 November 2011

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Why must stories come to be? I am currently engaged in a number of projects. Justin Sane is paramount at the moment but there is plenty of writing. The Music of Division is one, and Mad Juffry and Racruarn Light is another. Last year on a train journey to Cardiff, all the people I had known in Wales and all their adventures coalesced into a play. I began to write it and continued writing whilst I was there and on the journey home I realised that I had known so many interesting people when I...

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A Child of Our Time

26 October 2011

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pen and ink drawing of admiral's park from the graphic novel justin sane

I suppose I owe a lot to fate. My parents were both artists. My mother was abusive and my father ran away in a cloud of vainglorious egomania. I learned a lot about Wagner, Nietzche and Platonic dialogue and how to fear childhood. It was easier to dream of growing up for then I could fulfill my father’s brief to be an artistic genius. Not too much of a genius mind you, but just enough of one to realise and appreciate my father’s godhead. In short I was raised to be the tortured...

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A forthcoming book with Gallery Cru...

2 October 2011

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digitised image of the artist Charles Devus

When I exhibited at the Impact Art Fair last May and was invited to Berlin I was also persuaded to appear in a book on artists and their work. The Berlin invite soon dissipated into nebulous muddle but the idea of the book prevailed. Unfortunately I had forgotten all about it. I was soon reminded and advised to make myself available to be photographed for the forthcoming volume. When my buzzer rang on 26 August, last. I initially thought it was Southern Electric with whom I was embroiled in a...

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The Ballad of Justin Sane

7 September 2011

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a cartoon-style piece with imagined people wearing bright, strange clothes walking holding hands

Back in May, I had a couple of pieces at the Creative Future stand at the Impact Art Fair and I was gratified that my work created a fair bit of interest. The story behind the series from which these pictures are drawn is an epic in its own right and would probably make a good novel, but that’s another tale. Simon Powell of Creative Future has been of invaluable help to me this year and was instrumental in getting a piece of mine published in The Big Issue's Outsider Art edition in May....

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No news from Berlin...

29 August 2011

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a digital image of a circular swirl of many colours

In my first blog entry, I said that one of the things I would do would be to track whatever came of the offer by the Galleri Cru in Berlin to host an exhibition of my work in Germany, and of the invitation I got to go there in July 2011. I did go to Germany, but that had already been arranged, and I spent a fraught week at Borgenhouzen in the middle of the Teutenburg forest in May. As I had not heard anything from Berlin I chased them up via every medium save semaphore. I emailed and phoned and...

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April is the Cruellest Month... Charles visits The Titanic exhibition at 02, London

6 August 2011

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photo of the titanic

When Colleen suggested visiting the Titanic exhibition in London I felt uneasy about the idea despite having an interest in the period and of ships and the sea. I don’t think I would have gone had it been for her. The exhibition is currently being staged at the O2 Centre in North Greenwich. The entrance price is in keeping with White Star Line pricing policy of the period at £15.00 a head. One ingenious touch was to present visitors with a facsimile boarding pass in the name of one...

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Arts & Antiques Fair, Olympia

15 July 2011

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statue of an angel

After the Impact Art Fair I took up an invitation to visit a friend in Germany and stayed there a week. My week in Germany back in May was not restful but I learned a lot in the Tuteburger Forest. I flew back from Osnabruck to Stanstead and got the train in to Liverpool Street. I met my friend Ed at St. Pancras on the way back to Brighton and he gave me a couple of tickets to the Arts and Antiques fair at Olympia on 19th June. I like to do a bit of incognito mingling occasionally. Breezing...

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Charles Devus becomes elevated...

7 July 2011

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Charles Devus stands facing the camera with a smile. He holds a rifle., Dungeness Lighthouse is in the background

I have been asked to provide an introduction, a few words or so about my self and what I intend to write about. When I am asked to encapsulate what I am supposed to be I always find it a bit problematic. I always get a bit self conscious and tend to play to the gallery, the jokey egoist, then there is the tendency to come across with false modesty. Firstly who am I? To my friends I am Charlie, To my enemies, who are legion, it is Sir! On the covers of leather bound tomes, engraved in gold...

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The Impact Arts Fair in Islington Thursday 19 May

1 July 2011

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Impact Arts Fair logo

To London for the Impact Art Fair - an exhibition produced by the Brighton-based organisation Creative Future who support disadvantaged artists. I caught the train to Victoria. Realised I didn't know where it was so popped into St. James' Library in Westminster and googled the event despite plenty of info supplied by Project Director, Simon Powell. Caught 38 bus to Islington. Went to pub where two sexy girls tried to find the address for me, but in the end I had to ask a cabby. I managed to get...

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