NUMBERSTREAM THE SLIDER - Julian Simmons 2017THE SLIDER is one of ten pieces of music chosen by Sarah Lucas for BBC Radio 3’s programme Private Passions, broadcast 5 February 2017.

01    BRITTEN – Fanfare for St. Edmondsbury
02    YES – Long Distance Runaround
03    BRITTEN – Sally in our Alley
04    GURNEY – Sleep
05    PURCELL – Tis I that have warm’d ye
06    PURCELL – To Woden thanks we render
07    CAN – Oh Yeah
09    BRITTEN – Big Chariot, Songs from the Chinese
10    BRITTEN – Dance Song, Songs from the Chinese



Availability : THE SLIDER in it’s extended form is to be released as part of a new NUMBERSTREAM album through Bandcamp [TBA, page updated upon release].

Listen BBC Radio 3, edited broadcast Private Passions – Sarah Lucas. Not available as the original 1 hour broadcast, THE SLIDER 44:40 – 51:50 [duration 7:10 minutes]; for copyright reasons unfortunately all the music in this stream has been shortened to 1 minute.



[above] The NUMBERSTREAM mixer-panner and the three ‘7-string’ slider instruments plucked and bowed in this broadcast.

“It’s like a bunch of grapes!”,  Sarah Lucas.

BLACK MILK | Atlas of Orbicular Drawings

sound of BLACK MILK  electroacoustic gong


Atlas and Catalogue – 11 Orbicular Drawings | Text – Cosmological Tone

Published to coincide with the exhibition NOW JULIAN SIMMONS

55 photographs, 5 diagrams, 12,000 words | Bespoke ultra-dark graphite silvered ink | 72 pages : 200gsm Fedrigoni paper | Matt-laminate softback : 290gsm Fedrigoni grey card | 30.6 x 23.7 cm
Privately Published : Julian Simmons 2015 | Limited Edition : 500 copies | Printing : The Five Castles Press UK
Artworks, Photographs, Text, Design, Layout : Julian Simmons
£20 excl. shipping


Short-run edition – limited copies still available from :

Lychee One, 38-50 Pritchards Road, London E2; Tues – Sat, 12 – 6pm

Lychee One, mail-order

ICA Bookshop, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH; Tues – Sun, 11am – 9pm

‘Black Milk really is something.  And something else.
As I read it I kept thinking of William Blake.  And then there he was.’  Angus Cook.

‘Looks great.  It covers life, the whole universe and everything.’  Mat Collishaw.

‘Are they drawn on a dome?’  Bill Jackson.

‘Terrific show – the technique alone is amazing, but the effects … I’ve just been reading up astro- and sub-atomic physics, so I was right at home there, and the eye as mediator between the two. Loved the paper-maker’s eyelash as well. It reminds me of the obscure story about Elizabeth the First and a comet over London.
ps. ‘the throb of the artery’! – I didn’t know that was Blake. Yeats pinched that line, what a rogue.’  Peter Walker.

…yes, the eyelash! – of an Italian paper-maker – must have been seriously stretching his or her brow after their partner revealed they were having an affair  …or some such.  Amazingly invisible before the drawing …the drawing revealing it, detective-like, a message blindly indented into a notepad.  So yes within Yeats is Blake, and knocking about probably a few other poets; always worth standing on the shoulders of the high-points of civilisation.


In this publication I hint at what may be seen from encouraging a sideways gaze.  While to an extent I appreciate the reasoning for photographically recording flat works flat on – as for many works this is the perpendicular in which they were made and intended to be subsequently viewed, but this isn’t how I approached considering or making these drawings.

These are drawings that positively seek and respond to being viewed from all acute and obtuse angles, and under changing angles of natural light; hence their curious nature from the side – they begin to protrude and sink.
Aesthetically they correspond to the not-flat not-3D undetermined dimensions of mental space – and it’s state of knowledge that fuels primitive imaginings.


Many moons ago I wrote a book entitled – NUMINOUS IMAGE AS COSMOLOGICAL MONOGRAPH; it exists in only three copies, and employed a printing method I would further develop for the limited edition large-format tome, PENETRALIA.

It recently struck me that many of it’s subjects on cosmological tone were feeding these current drawings.
With the request “I need 28 pages of text” I handed a copy over to Sarah Lucas …the bizarre but bang-on extracts in this publication are those that she selected.


NOW JULIAN SIMMONS | Orbicular Drawings

ORBICULAR DRAWINGS - NOW Julian Simmons - install10 ORBICULAR DRAWINGS - NOW Julian Simmons - install11

New Series of 11 Drawings
Sheet : 105 x 75cm 640gsm (x 5), 76 x 56cm 300gsm (x 6); graphite on 100% cotton Fabriano.
Frame : 113.5 x 83cm (x 5), 86.5 x 66.5cm (x 6); welded aluminium, powder-coated.

BLACK MILK, 30.6 x 23.7cm, 72 pages.

Lychee One, 38-50 Pritchards Road, London E2
Tues – Sat, 25 November – 22 December 2015, 12 – 6pm



JS: “In each between 75,000 and 150,000 feet of graphite line, 15 – 30 miles of tone and bare intention; in all 11 drawings probably over 200 miles …just off Hackney road.”

“How long does it take to make each drawing?”

JS: “I’m often asked that. It’s near to hypnotic limits, …a couple of weeks, though ultimately that’s not of any import. The show is titled ‘NOW’: my experiment is to take time out of the equation, amplitude is key. So I’m referring to X and Y; amplitude – the Y [axis] – brightness, intensity, and when adding another dimension ‘the X’ – which we generally ascribe to time, provides the possibility of fluctuations in intensity – to be recorded and appear as a frequency. We experience this as colour. Basically, colour is built upon rapid variations in brightness caught in another dimension. It’s mysterious, but removing colour in some way decouples our correspondence – or adherence, with time. This could be handy later on.
I recall the Tibetan concept of the cosmos – especially the entirely circular Kalachakra, with it’s various diameters measured precisely in variable units; I’ve always been curious that a philosophy of consciousness can be measured so specifically and elastically! I’m not a whole-sale advocate of any philosophy, except the mind behind.”

“I notice you always write your titles in uppercase.”

JS: “Yes, of course words are primarily visual, their abstract shapes are stronger in uppercase – in the original full-height form of their characters.  NOW has a circle at it’s centre – ‘the target of now’ and is surrounded by the saw-tooth-waves of N and W. I’m amazed how this passes people by, so often my titles are quoted in so-called ‘title-case’ – which is not only messy, but loses the abstract presence of the word.”  [Addendum: ‘now’ crops-up in titles… ‘Choices Up Now’, ‘Art Now’, ‘Drawing Now’, etc, though as far as I’m aware, NOW hasn’t before been used as the sole title of an exhibition. Six months on from NOW, and a second instance has emerged: Jeff Koons’ exhibition ‘Now’, at Newport Street Gallery.]

“You’ve referred to yourself as a ‘Milkmaster’?”

JS: “I’m Milking the Mystical.”

“Cosmic Eye?”

JS: “…yes – and Celestial Breast!
…and it goes without saying – Self-portrait; they are microcosmic. Nothing has ever looked at you like this.

I can’t recall seeing a two-dimensional work – drawing or painting – that so acknowledged it’s existence by being viewed at an acute angle.

They exist for the not-flat – for not being themself – while being the only agent of themself; when drawing I focus upon the image that hovers above the paper – the undrawable part. Perceptual mirrors? mirrors of consciousness? …I’m not sure how to place them, but they are something strange, powerful, positive, and addictive to the self – operating on similar terms to a chemical device.  

“In their recording they seem to have transposed your mind onto a sheet of paper, which plays itself back when observed – such that you wonder if there is someone else in the room.”

JS: …quite, or some mind else …the mind behind.  



‘The frame of mind one might need to inhabit in order to cover 200 miles in pencil is suggested in the vague, trippy tone of Simmons’ explanation for the works, in which the “Tibetan concept of the cosmos” is briefly mentioned, alongside the “Celestial Breast”, and the “Cosmic Eye”. These terms allude to a state of consciousness that isn’t founded on logic or reason, but on another kind of cognition which is rooted in the spiritual, or the meditative, or the hypnotic. 
Many years ago, Henri Michaux made a name for himself by ingesting mescaline and drawing the results. Through his hysterical scribbles we can observe his obsessive commitment to following the impulses of his mind and to produce, again and again, the same line. Where Michaux’s drawings were wild and deranged, and Simmons’ are obsessively well ordered, we see in both artists’ work the mysterious attraction of automated drawing. Whether or not he is “Milking the Mystical” (as Simmons suggests), this show speaks to the enduring practice of taking a fine-tipped pencil to paper in an attempt to diagram the workings of a mind’,  Emma Capps, 200 Miles of Graphite, Art Collector Magazine.


FINANCIAL TIMES | Weekend Magazine Q&A | Getting Plastered


‘Hi James, two of the images are of Sarah doing the plastering, the other two are of Sarah getting plastered! …not suggesting final titles but ‘Getting Plastered’ would be a rather nice inclusion. Very best, Julian!’



‘The artist Julian Simmons, talks about photographing Sarah Lucas as she works on a new piece for the Venice Biennale, casting 10 human figures – including herself’, Financial Times, 25 April 2015, FT Weekend Magazine; pages 22-23 & 24-25 centrefold.

Photographs from the book I SCREAM DADDIO.



Questions for Julian Simmons from Liz Jobey at the FT.
Liz edited my slightly unpredictable answers into a more lucid read, but here are the unedited Q&A’s!…




A month in Mexico with British artist Sarah Lucas | contains nudity – actual and suggestive
Feature, 71:30 | Trailer, 1:11

Camera / Editor / Colour / Music / Producer : Julian Simmons

SCREENINGS – FORTHCOMING : [ full details will be announced here + Twitter ]

BERLIN | 13 June – 31 July 2014 | CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS GALERIE GMBH, Am Kupfergraben 10, 10117 Berlin Mitte
NEW YORK | 5 – 29 March 2014 | KARMA, 39 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012
LONDON | 15 – 20 October 2013 | Sadie Coles HQ, 62 Kingly Street, London

“SUPER GRRRREEAAATTTTT TIT TEDDY.  Love the look of it, and sound of it!  Always good to shake a stick at ‘limitations’!”, Gregor Muir, Executive Director of the ICA.

“So sexy – the fleshy close-ups at that party, the cigarettes and glue, the brick-making guys massaging wet mud with their hands, and that guy working a pestle and mortar – so sensual!!”

“For anyone who doesn’t know you Sarah, this is really what you’re like! …and some of that footage – it looked like a painting, so vibrant”, Michael Clark, CBE.

‘I watched Realidad earlier this week and loved it. I really dig all the subtle audio and video manipulations throughout, and those guys making the bricks by hand was amazing’, Sam Dunn, British Film Institute.

“Tit-Teddy is essential – he makes you feel so good, after this everyone will want Tit-Teddy!”, Sarah Lucas.

“If this is art, what was happening before?”

“…Nobody knows.  Forget that”

“Forget before.  Exercise”

“Getting fit.”