Visions from Albion


Peter Hugo McClure

    Born 19th August 1947 in Venice, Italy of Anglo/Yugoslav parents. Schooled in England with further studies in Art/ Architecture. Developed a sympathy for "De Styl", "The Bau-Haus" and "The Constructivists" movements; also "Dadaism".

   Picasso said "There's no such thing as an abstract painting". I say "all paintings are an abstraction of Truth"; the only universal Truths are mathematical. I have exhibited mainly geometric pictures and constructions/wall reliefs (created / transmuted from detritus and found objects) in various countries.

I have always written poetry and more recently in the Haiku form; reaffirming my belief that "Limitation of means engenders expression".



Artist Statement / Open letter

Can there be aesthetics without ethics?

This and many other questions pre-occupy me tonight while I sit cross legged in a tent with the rain for company not forgetting the:

Birdsong the wind and
The relentless pounding waves...
That are my days fare.

The questions / problems that come to mind include the delusion of certain so called democracies, the multi-nationals that prey on the naive and gullible, the press Barons that appear to know the news before it happens, the league of hyper-rich that finance wars as if some parlour game, the seeming reluctance of many western countries to tackle the problems of pollution, the anomalies that disfranchise citizens of human rights... ad-nauseam.

High on a mountain
In the depths of Oceans.. there
Is the Taniwha 

Back in the city a complex game is played by the ambitions and well healed in which the fate of countries can be thrown into turmoil, though the Taniwha eludes them.

In the precincts of "Walden - Pond" Thoreaux's spirit searches for like minded beings to create his utopia, unfortunately missed by the eco-tourist with cameras poised to capture the quaint primitivism of the past.  Pity he's not alive today to embrace "Nga Kaitiaka - o-te taonga" (guardians of the treasure), a group of well motivated artisan/eco warriors committed to preservation of old traditions and the natural environment. He would also be able to experience "Koha" (giving of gifts unconditionally).  His message and mantra of simplicity, simplicity, simplicity still nourishes the labourer and philosopher alike.

Forget the political evangelism live simply, grow organic food, build your own house, pray for rain, meditate all day, chase rainbows and be silly at least once a week.  By doing this the problems of the world will disappear.


Kiora, Peter McClure.


"Living-with-in-tent" - No.2 (a continuum)

A warning to all with a weak constitution, read no further... the truth can be very uncomfortable.

Further into the quagmire of intrigue of "Zen and the art of selling pictures"; an intricate game that can be mastered by anybody with lots and lots of money and a very high I.Q; as both of these are mutually exclusive (with rare exceptions) it is mastered by very few.  There for, the Art-Market is controlled by these few individuals; who by and sell at a whim creating the "flavour of the month".

As an artist you are either in the "Art Market" or you are not.  If you are in there is a surfeit of buyers all knowing prices will inevitably rise and if you are out you can not sell at any price.  Art has become just another commodity.  So to all you True Artists, forget this folly of becoming a Professional and get a proper job.  To quote T.H.Huxley: "Oh Devil! Truth is better then much profit.  I have searched the grounds of my beliefs; and if wife and child and name and fame were all to be lost to me as the penalty, still I will not lie." 

Again from a poem by William Cowper:

Let the restraint from public peace designed;
Chain up the wolves and tigers of mankind.
The foe of virtue has no chain to thee;
As insolvent innocence goes free. 

And the following poem by Phillip James Bailey (U.S.)

Virtue in deeds, not words.

We live in deeds, not years.
In thoughts not breaths.
In feelings not figures on a deal.
We should count time by heart-throbs.
He most lives, who thinks most;
Feels the noblest and acts the best.

So the commercial world is full of pit falls it's better to be uncompromising and free...

To reap in vain but
Not loose sight of the plan...
On the furrowed fields.


Back to serious business; Picasso created over 100,000 images.  Assuming that each image is valued at $100,000 (U.S.); how much is his life's work worth? A Melevich sold recently for 70 million in New York; The painting in question was "borrowed" by a local museum for 60 years and returned to it's rightful owners.  Van Gogh sold one painting in his life time for $50 which is valued today at 50 million dollars.  A Warhole print sold recently sold for $4 Million (U.S.); a product from his "factory".

It is obvious with such inflated prices for "Art" that prices will go down ( a law of gravity dictates that) and where is the morality when a picture by some hyped-up artist is valued more than the annual gross-national-product of a small country.

It would be interesting to "speculate" as to which the almighty would bestow favour in the "Art-World".  A painting by a child?  A primitive cave painting?  Possibly a gesture made by a creature other than human-kind?  And how would the "Names" (the blue chips of the Art-World) reckon?  There are many unknown Artists whose work has the potential of exponential appreciation.

This banter may sound a bit like a build up to a sales pitch which I guess it is; it is possible to buy an original McClure for less than the price of a print by most "established" Artists.  A forth-coming exhibition entitled "Gathering water in a straw hat" allows you to view/ purchase recent work by myself.

The Venue:

The Small Gallery, 
Waiheke Community Art Centre, 
Waiheke Island, 
New Zealand.
Phone. 09-372-9907
Fax.      09-372-9917
Time/Date: 10am-4pm (7 days/wk) 2nd-15th March 2001

Kiora, Peter Hugo McClure.


Living with in-tent: No:36…a continuum.

   Not withstanding the campaign for electoral reform in countries with anomalous systems eg. “the up-hill Landslide” of Tony Blair’s last election; a 60% poll; 40% of the vote; 23% of the electorate; and with a whopping 160+seat majority in the House of Commons.
With a minority of the vote and a huge majority of seats Blair does not have to compromise and enjoys as much power as Margaret Thatcher did and has adopted a similar dictatorial demeanour.

   If the “abstainers” in the last election were a political entity they would represent 40% of the electorate compared to Blairs 23%...That I suppose is a big IF…So back to No.36…”many bridges have flowed beneath the water” since the last open letter…

    ....So let’s escape and go back in time; to Japan 1000 years ago (approx.) a Japanese poet named Fujiwara Nokinto (966 -1041) organised a poetry competition of living and deceased poets; the winners being published in a book entitled “A Selection of 36 Poets” that later became known as “The 36 Immortal Poets”.
  200 years later a book was published entitled “The 36 Immortal Women Poets” and was illustrated by Chobun Sai Eishi.

The following is a waka by Hachijo in Takakura that appeared in the book (yr 1237):

Cover it with clouds!
As soon as I gaze at it
I feel such sadness,
I imagine in the moon
The face of the one I love.

Here is another Waka written over 500 years earlier:

You are the one
Who is likely to forget
I, the graceful one,
With gentle soul, am
The pearl of Eternity.

   This was composed by the Japanese emperor (Kammu 737 - 806) in the Heian period (790 - 1185) and written to a suitor who declined to write a poem at the emperor’s request. Presumably she felt unable to impress one so eminent.

   Back to “thirty-six”; Hoku Sai out of respect to the thirty six immortal poets published “The thirty six views of Mount Fuji”, which were coloured woodcuts. The Japanese name is Nisiki-e which literally means “Brocade Pictures”. The book actually consisted of 46 pictures. Hoku Sai indulged in poetic licence. The number 36 has since provided inspiration to many artists.

200=200: Is the title of a collection of Haikus that
I am putting together (200 poems from 200 poets)
The following is a sample

Lonely waterfowl
Lilac branch bare of blossom…
Together again
(Anon. Japanese poet)

Leak in porch fixed
Wind whipping sun into sky….
Dogs next door moaning
(Carolyne Edwards U.S.A.)

Unable to see his
Own eyebrows but knows fire-flies…
Laugh at the moon
(Netsuke - carver U.K.)

On a calm still pool
Of unfathomed depth floats
A small green leaf… . her soul
(Gary Smith U.S.A.)

Haikus cross the world
Tying one end of the string…
To an open space
(Andrew Brown U.K.)

Brushed by a bird’s wing
A woman serenely sits…
Beauty steals the Hour
(Pete McClure U.K.)

Rain, tin roof clatter
Inside words tumble from mouths…
Soaking wet in here
(Jaki Windmill U.K.)

A verse new minted -
Glows along a single line…
It folds perfected
(Godfrey Newham U.K.)

In the evening
The cows lowed, the hills answered…
As the planet turned
(John Tucker U.K.)

You can’t use the poem
You must let the poem use you
Not I.Q. ...Haiku
(Max Barret U.K.)

Pink Rhododendron
Lends its glory to a jar..
Welcome to my place
(Bob Reeves U.K.)

Proud, elegant and
Intelligent not me…
The Carrion Crow
(Tel, Motler U.K.)

In Yamato stands
A single pine on hill’s top…
Blind to the coming storm
(Anon. Japanese poet)

The following are a few poems / writings from China going back up to 1000 yrs.

“Enlightened” by Xu Yun (1839 - 1959)

This cock of fighting nature
Wounded fowl and shed their blood
When its mind came to a stop, by precepts sacred
It fed on grain and stood alone to insects harmless.
Gazing at the golden yellow statues
How easily it crowed the Buddha’s name!
After turning thrice, suddenly it passed away.
Where did this being differ from the Buddha.

In His Last Year (120th)

I urge my dharma friends to think
Deeply and with great care about
The Karma of birth and death
As silk worms spin their cocoons.
Endless desires and thoughts
Increase all trouble and suffering.
If you would escape from this,
First practise alms giving and the threefold study
Of wisdom, meditation and discipline,
Then hold firm the four correct thoughts.
Suddenly you awaken and perceive
Clearly that all is like dew and lightening,
You realise that in the absolute
Myriads of things have the same substance.
The created and the uncreated
Are like water and its waves.

Xu Yun

Meditation : by Wang Wei (701-759) Chinese

Where does it lie
Shrine of stored incense
How many miles
Into cloudy peaks.

Where ancient woods
Have no tracks of man.
Deep in mountains
Sounds somewhere… a Bell.

Waterfall’s voice
Coming from deep crags
And sun’s colour
Cold on the larches.

A pale stillness
Erasing lake’s rim …
Tames deadly Dragon!

Poem by Danky Myorin (13C) Chinese

Coming, I clench my hands
Going, open them wide
Once through the barrier
A lotus stem will
Pull an Elephant

Poem by Li Po (701-762) Chinese

With wine I sit
Absent tonight, till
Petals fall
Into folds of my gown

I stagger up
To stalk the brook’s moon
The birds are gone
And the people few

“Facing the Snow” by Tu-Fu (712-770) Chinese

New ghosts weep over lost battles
Alone and cold, I recite a litany of woes.

Heavy clouds rumble into the sunset,
Quick snow dancing in the winds.

Imperfect, the smith’s new ladle lies discarded,
But his fire still throbs red.

No news. Are all the provinces still there?
I write out my sorrows in the air.

Artists should never compromise their idealism and retain freedom of expression.
Hoku Sai (known as The Peasant) died in Penury for following his own feelings and his final project; “The hundred views of Mt. Fuji” left him penniless, but what a legacy he left…

With bleeding hands we
Reap flowers of rank odour…
Upon thorny lands

Kiaora, Pete McClure Jan.05

P.S. One of the hundred views of Mt.Fuji:


Living-with-in-tent: No. 37...a continuum.

Let us start with the "The First Gatha" (enlightened song) by Nui Neng...the 6th. Chan Buddhist Patriarch:

In essence the Bodhi has no tree
And the bright mirror has no chest
In essence...there is no-thing
On what then can dust gather.

Followed by the famous poem (Haiku) by Matsua Basho:

Furuike ya
Kawaza tobikomu
Misu no oto

Then we come the the serious matter of art...Life and Every-Thing

Art , Life and Everything

There are 64 codons in life's genetic code which is the maximum number of 3 'letter' words that can be made from the 4 bases or letters (A, C, T, G) i.e. adenine, cystosine, thymine and guamine. A long string of these codons (eg AAG, ACT, CTG, CTT, GTA ...) make up genes…the basis of the D.N.A. double helix…the blueprint for all living things. R.N.A. (the messenger from the blueprint) is transcribed from D.N.A. and is made up of anticodons. A becomes U (uracil), C becomes G, G becomes C and T becomes A. Thousands of codons make a gene and hundreds of thousands of genes make a chromosome. Between a few and just under one hundred chromosomes are needed for every species of life. This mathematical coding system is the basis of all living things and, with the advance of genetic mapping, it is possible to see how closely related we are to all living things ... which gives us more reason to have empathy with all the creatures and plants that inhabit the earth ... and possibly places beyond.

By using a binary system based on the hydrogen bonds of the 64 codon/anticodon pairs, it is possible to create a 8 x 8 magic square.

The game of chess is played on an 8 x 8 board, which many mathematicians have used as a starting point into arithmetical/geometrical enquiry. It is possible to traverse the 64 squares of a chessboard once only by making a series of knight moves…There are thousands of ways to do it and a small number of these 'tours' are closed i.e. the last move is a knight's move from the first. Additionally there are hundreds of million magic squares that can be created from a 8 x 8 square. A magic square is made up of a grid of smaller squares i.e. 3 x 3, 4 x 4,5 x 5,6 x 6... with the numbers starting from 1 to the squared number e.g. 9,16,25,36... arranged in such a way that the sum of numbers in any row, column or diagonal all add up to the same number (the magic number). The following 4 x 4 square with the magic number: 34 is one of an infinite number of magic squares.

16 3 2 13
5 10 11 8
9 6 7 12
4 15 4 1

The 3 x 3 has just one solution (discovered by the Chinese about 3,000 years ago), the 4 x 4 has 880 solutions, the 5 x 5 has over 20 million…The numbers start shooting up-astronomically ... Then there are magic cubes, hypercubes and multi-dimensional cubes that need thousands of computer days to find solutions.

Back to 8 x 8 magic squares... Just a few of these can be generated from a knight's tour but none are perfect magic squares (the diagonals do not have the magic number). The following are 2 examples:

A closed semi-magic knight's tour by Wenzelides

magic sum 260

Magic sum 260

Magic square with semi-knight's tour by Feisthamel

5 14 53 62   3 12 51 60
54 63 4 13 52 61 2 11
15 6 55 24 41 10 59 50
64 25 16 7 58 49 40 1
17 56 33 42 23 32 9 48
34 43 26 57 8 39 22 31
27 18 45 36 29 20 47 38
44 35 28 19 46 37 30 21

Magic sum 260

Note 32 to 33 is not a knight's move but slides 3 squares but the square has amazing - properties. Opposite sides of a vertical mirror plane the numbers always add up to 65, e.g. 5 + 60, 55 + 10, 27 + 38 ...

Now we come to the I-Ching, the ancient Chinese method of divining... Using 64 hexagrams ... A binary system consisting of 6 broken or continuous lines. The following are a few examples:


Again it is possible to transpose the 64 codons from D.N.A. to the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching ... Is this all by chance or design?

The most profound ratio in the universe can be expressed with just the number one ... Take one away from it and it equals itself divided into one, i.e. x-1 = 1/x, a very simple formula and it follows: x2-x-1 =0 a quadratic equation where x = (v5+1)/2=1.61803398 ... This is the 'Golden Ratio' and the 'Golden Rectangle' has sides of (v5+1) and 2. This ratio can also be expressed using the fibonacci series of numbers 1/1,2/1,3/2,5/3,8/5, 13/8,21/13 - As the numbers of the ratios get bigger, the closer they get to expressing the golden ratio but this series of numbers can go on to infinity. The ratio can only be expressed accurately using geometry.

What follows is truly profound but can be understood by a 5 year old: Draw an equilateral triangle and on its base a square and circumscribe the square with a circle ... Draw a vertical line through the center and, using this line as an axis, rotate the 3 shapes through 180 degrees. The following forms are created: cone, cylinder and sphere and their volumes are in the ratio of 1, 2, 3. That is absolutely amazing but simple.

I must just add the following:

33+43+53=63, 113+ 123+133+143=203
and 112.393.173 + 201.891.4353 = 159.363.4503 + 161.127.9423

Is that cubism?

A myriad of mathematical/geometric concepts are awaiting to be discovered ... Further enriching our present knowledge of "sacred geometry".

Kiora, Peter Hugo McClure.


Living with-in-tent: No. 144 ... a continuum

   Why No. 144? Because it's the first Fibonacci No. that's also a square (pure self indulgence on my part).

   As an Independent and Itinerant Artist I have for many years traveled the globe often living in a tent or staying in back-packers, with friends and relatives and occasionally staying in 3&4 star hotels (by bartering with my Art-Work).

   I own 2 acres of Land in Cornwall, U.K. & stay there from time to time in the summer while working there and for the past 6 yrs. have cultivated the Land for the growing of fruit, vegetables and herbs (organically) ... this has been a labour of love and hundreds of tons of granite have been moved to create terraces steps and footpaths ... in addition, various in-site Art-Work has been created...including a Shrine to Hiroshima/Nagasaki which I started on the 60th anniversary of the use of the Atomic Bombs against civilians .. it has been created from dedritus found on the 2 acres.

   Like H.D. Thoreau of Walden Pond fame: I have a stream which is like a dream... He had a pond which he was fond... Four years ago I erected a small garden shed (10 x 8 ft.) on this land in this quiet leafy coastal village in Cornwall which has become the heart & soul of the land from which spiritual energy emanates and has now become a Mandala.

   The local council in their wisdom have recently given me notice to remove this Mandala Shed which they regard as an affront to middle class bucolic respectability... though they give carte-blanche to mega-developments in the area and positively swoon at the sight of troughs full of money... so to all reasonable minded people in cyber-space I ask: "Is this a violation of Basic Human Rights"... I made an Appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for the right to retain the Mandala Shed and await the saber-rattling of the "buro-bunnies".

   This plot of land is my only asset on this planet apart from my Art-Work.

   Like a migrating bird I have for many years enjoyed 2 summers per year ("watari dori") In Japanese and in quieter moments reflect on "mono no aware" of this "Floating World" from which words and images are propagated...

Lighten'd from fasting
And walking the Dharma path...
With no end in sight

   Socrates said there is no knowledge in books and committed suicide rather than compromise his quest for truth and Independent Thought... he inspired Plato who inspired Aristotle... who inspired Alexander The Great... and now to the modern world and this summer/autumn to be precise... I had an exhibition entitled: "Blast from the Past" but because of events beyond my control was unable to promote/advertise... so the info regarding the show is given in retrospect and is now History...

N.B. The last twelve images in the Art-Work section were on show.
Numbered from 128-139

   The title of the exhibition was inspired by BLAST the magazine/Voice of the Vorticist Movement the most avant-garde art movement ever in Britain... founded in 1913 it included such luminaries as: Wyndham Lewis, Edward Wadsworth, Henri Gandier-Brzeska and Ezra Pound. At the outset of WWI the movement was in abeyance held though it's ideas and spirit lives on and has inspired many artists since.

Back to Basics...


A triangle thinking
That it was a square goes...
Around in Circles

We live in a very pluralistic world and it is a great joy finding the threads that link all of humanity.


Here is a mathematical diversion:


ad nauseum... = 1/81

To see a World in a grain of sand
And Heaven in a wild flower,
To hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And see Eternity in an Hour.

As William Blake so succinctly put it, so lets end with a question:

"What is special about the number...

The answer can be found at:

Have a nice day... Pete McClure, Cornwall, Autumn 2007


After planning permission was rejected the Council infortunatley advised me that the Mandala Shed would have to be demolished. Under duress, I decided to sell the land to someone in Penzance with a sympathetic ear and placed a number of personal items in storage, packed my essentials and headed for London and then to parts unknown. Currently I am traveling through the United States looking for another place to continue my painting and photographic works.... and a place to once again hang my hat.

“ Living-with-in-tent: No.145…a continuum.”

Having just returned from a visit to China one cannot ignore such an important and ancient culture and the enormous changes that have taken place in the last 50 yrs and that are still taking place there…and yet with all the hussle and bussle taking place it is still possible to find a quiet place to repose amongst…

The grand and modest
A medley of contrasts in…
China’s march forward

In The People’s Parks where the traditional arts still flourish and becoming enamoured by the Tai Chi, the traditional music/singing and the pure joy of socialising in a public place…

Standing out a mile
A black butterfly against the…
White sands of San Ya

On the Island of Hainan there are few Europeans which makes a pleasant change…the Chinese are proud of their “culture” and rightfully so…there is very little contemporary art out-side the Major Cities but with such a rich history do they need it? It would be a great pity if if they started to emulate the very worst of Western Culture.

A scrawny cat peers
Into stagnant waters…much
Too expectantly

I am now back in Cornwall living-with-in-tent and for the past week have watched the sun set on the Atlantic every evening…God is merciful…


I have just moved into a small former miner's cottage that will become my studio/home and for the duration of the summer I will have an Open Studio every wedensday from mid-day till is situated on the north Penwith coast between Lands End and St. Ives and not very far from where D.H. Lawrence wrote "Women in Love" in a cottage similar to mine.

The address is: 2 Trewellard Road, Pendeen, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 7ST and it is opposite The Trewellard Arms (a pub)...Welcome.

Best wishes to all…Pete McClure, Cornwall, July 2008

Lelant Mine, Cornwall. Spring 2008



The latest ground-breaking news (for those into number theory): The largest sequence (in this case 23) of prime numbers that are in Arithmetical Progression was recently found by the trio: Marcus Frind, Paul Jobling & Paul Underwood....
56,211,383,760,397 + 44,546,738,095,860 (22 times)...each addition produces a Prime...
This is a new world record that is not in the Guinness book of what you may is just another example of a few people doing research in a very abtruse branch of Maths for the pure joy of it with no thought of financial gain...and like True Fine Art is True Knowledge that brings us closer to our maker...that great mathematician in the skies...

64³ + 94³ = 103³ ...almost
Fermat's last Theorem almost disproved...when dealing with very large numbers we do not know what happens...much like with sub-atomic particles and quantum physics the Known Laws do not when dealing with billion/trillion and infinitly larger numbers to the powers of equaly large numbers we do not know what happens...consequently i do not accept any so called proofs of Fermat's last Theorem and in the inner-most fibre of my being i know that i will be proved right & think that Fermat is laughing in his grave...
With wings clipped
This Itinerant is still...

Psychosis is long as you do some-thing Constructive with that booste of Energy...may the Laws of Entropy flourish...

I will end this little divertion with another quote from William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence"...

Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this...we rightly know...
Thro' the World we safely go...


Peter Hugo McClure's Open Studio

download a printable PDF version of the invitation