1984 Works on paper (minor)

As mentioned, Arkley focussed largely on the production of works on paper during 1984, and this included many smaller doodles and lesser works (most of them still unpublished), besides the examples catalogued above. ‘Minor’ they may be, but many of these ‘casual works’ (as Arkley liked to call them) perfectly exemplify his artistry – and anyone who owns one of these doodles on a paper napkin or drink coaster (see e.g. Carnival Fig.3.3) should count themselves fortunate – if not necessarily particularly rich in financial terms.

Similar points apply to Arkley’s modified Mills & Boon books. Sketchbooks nos.19-20 both also date from 1984; for a reproduction of a sequence of sprayed cactoid heads from no.20, see Carnival Fig.4.42. The artist’s Visual Diaries also contain numerous sketches and ideas relating to works produced during this period: see in particular nos. D 15 and D 16 (both dated Jan.1984 by the artist). The latter includes notes for his planned ‘Portrait of the Artist and Five Friends’ project (1984 and later) [3/M], and a detailed set of planning notes and drawings for an unrealised ‘fashion show’ also planned for 1984.[1] There are also two further large-scale drawings in the artist’s archive apparently related to the latter project – a ‘shirt and tie’, and a template for a dress, reproduced here: the relevant page from D 16 is reproduced in Carnival Fig.4.47.

(photo: Untitled drawing of a dress, c.1984 [Arkley archive])


[1] For my own extended comments on this project (and further images), see Carnival 136-7, and Gregory 2008.