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Joe is a disabled Irish writer and emerging-better-late-than-never visual artist living in the UK since the 1970s. While increasingly alienated and terrified by the toxic la-di-da of the capitalist mainstream, he finds that being reborn as an artist makes life worth living again.

Joe Mc remembers Naji Al-Ali

30 August 2010


I have really enjoyed the past few weeks blogging on DAO. One of the pleasures has been sharing this space with the sparkling insights of Caroline Cardus, Sophie Partridge, Rockinpaddy (move over Jojolito), Dolly Sen, Vince Laws et al. And the polemical cartooning of Dave Lupton aka Crippen. Or is that the other way around? Dave's work reminds me of the intensely political cartoons of Naji Al-Ali. Although he was mysteriously assassinated in London in 1987 at the age of 50, Al-Ali's work is...

Comments: 5

Joe Mc on a journey through the underworld ...

21 August 2010


A few weeks ago i was overjoyed on reading a blog post from Colin Hambrook, where he told us that one of his favourite movies is Orphée (Jean Cocteau, France, 1949). It is one of mine as well. After a couple of decades of boring, sterile computer-generated effects on modern mainstream movies, the scene where Heurtebise (the chauffeur of Death played by the amazing Maria Casares) leads Jean Marais' Orpheus through the looking glass - impeccably cut with a rippling surface of water - still...

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Joe McConnell is not feeling very normal today

15 August 2010


oil painting depicting violence and destruction

'Nice to see you using art to get back to being normal again.' A recent comment from a well-meaning friend who had just grabbed my DAO blog and was feeding back. This stopped me in my tracks. When have I ever talked about wanting to be 'normal'? So, after some (but not too much) reflection, I feel the need to explain my position on 'normailty'. In my first few posts, I refer to the remit of this blog as being notes from a non-artist who started to make art. The making of this art seems to be...

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Joe Mc on feeling like Mattia Pascal

4 August 2010


'Il Fu Mattia Pascal' (The Late Mattia Pascal), by Luigi Pirandello [1], tells the story of a man who, afer a lifetime spent in a quiet provincial town, vanishes and is believed dead. Elswehere, he begins another life which totally transforms his character. When he eventually returns to his old home, his family and friends can't process the new Mattia and find it easier to believe him dead. I sometimes remember this story when i visit psychiatrists. Don't get me wrong. In recent years, I have...

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Joe Mc in search of '5 Rhythms'

2 August 2010


Watercolour image of a man playing an accordion

In the last post, I mentioned the power of music in lifting the vibe and helping you get through when it's difficult to do anything much at all. Listening to music seems key to what unlocked a lifetime's reticence when it came to making art. But the door had many locks and needed other keys as well: dance and movement. At the Jules Thorn Recovery Centre, mentioned in my first post of this blog, there was a wonderful session devoted to moving mindfully to music. Some of my mates sniggered...

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