I Dream Guillotine

Chris Nicholls


Chris Nicholls

I met Joe in 2013, while he was working at The Louisiana - a beautiful venue in Bristol. 

After my band at the time played our set we got chatting and it came up that he was interested in making music videos. So we got together and did just that.

The shoot was a health and safety nightmare and I’m pretty sure it’s the only video I’ve seen to feature underwater cigar smoking. But it’s a thing of true beauty.

After the shoot Joe said something that truly stuck with me and is always in the back of my mind when I’m making music or art.

“If you’ve been a band for four years, how come I’ve never heard of you until now?”

I realised at that point that I’d been far too insular in my approach to creativity. Not in terms of fame or success, but just in realising the importance of community and being surrounded by people all striving for the same things. So thanks Joe!

My piece for the exhibition already existed when Joe approached me about the show. It formed part of a solo show called ‘KINDNESS’ in May 2017 (although the painting was never actually hung because Joe had already expressed an interest in it). I kept it back and in February Joe text me to ask if I still had it, explaining that it had helped him to write a song on the new album. The song in question hasn’t made the record unfortunately, but knowing that Joe took inspiration from something I’d created is a beautiful thing.

The work is an abstract portrait in oils, inspired by the fashion designer Ashley Rose, who makes pieces from bark and other natural materials. I chose oils because at the time I absolutely hated using them, was still convinced that I couldn’t use them and thought that I definitely had no business attempting to put a show together which was comprised completely of works in them.