“Simon Strange handles all this material highly skilfully and it’s a testament to both his writing and his meticulous research that he manages to cover such a far reaching subject with hardly a false step”

Blank Canvas: Art School Creativity From Punk To New Wave is a superb relook at the importance of the avant-garde and radical arts pedagogy in an important period in UK arts, art education and music. A fascinating book for anyone interested in the arts and music of the 1970s particularly but more widely for anyone interested in the interconnections and influences that effect, encourage and shape culture” (Tim Forster – Echoes and Dust)

Blank Canvas: Art School Creativity From Punk To New Wave is available at https://www.intellectbooks.com/blank-canvas and lots of other places!

Blank Canvas

Welcome to Blank Canvas, the website for Dr. Simon Strange: academic author and socio-cultural researcher, musician, composer, producer and minimalist landscape photographer.

The aim of this site is as a central point for all my work and I look forward to connecting with you all in my ever expanding network – creativity within audio – visual – written worlds.

Please explore the site, either to connect through my #music, #photographs or creative #academic interest.


        "With a Blank Canvas anything is possible"

Some thoughts connecting to the ethos of blank canvas, which connects to concepts of minimalism, starting from a fresh page, and redefining art forms which conceptual art and punk delivered in the twentieth century.


A picture before it is started, a track before it is made or an empty file, previously a piece of paper.

The imposing future of the unknown that has no definition because nothing is yet formed.

The anticipation of the future created by selves that already exist. The start of the day when anything can unfold, the weather changes organically and mesmerisingly sweeping across the fields. Man reading poetry to his wife, 80’s classics wafting over the scenic beauty. Warm sunset, the day is starting to ebb and its structure is known. Tomorrow it starts again.

The first note on a piano rings out and is unique in its place, defining the rest that follow, if they do. It sets the tone, the weight it is pressed, how quickly, which one, followed or alone. The space is filled and no longer empty, although it was never wholly quiet in the first place, hence there is never a true tabula rasa.

Taking pictures, waking first, sunlight. Sunrise pre alarm feeling the need to arise and partake. Writing before the world is awake, where a Blank Canvas exists before the new day dawns. Anything is possible.

Glowing on a window pane, abstract but knowing. The concept is of sunlight seen through a filter, partially obscured but apparent.

Starting is the most difficult thing, without the kinetic energy that comes from being in motion. It is a jump into an unknown which has no defined figures. Things can be surmised but only in the same way that systems are presumed. Sliding doors moments when different routes, carriages, directions, instructions change the impulses of our lives. The world is created and remains so within these boundaries.

Blank Canvas relates to a zero entity or a new arrival from a fresh standpoint, unfettered by previous learning or experiences.

Quotes relating to a blank canvas

“the first goal of all teaching should be to develop genuine seeing, genuine feeling, and genuine thinking”

(Johannes Itten)

“I explore processes which are technically simple, conceptually very clean” (Gavin Bryars)

“intuitive power, is absolutely essential to the well-being of our society” (Tom Hudson)


Nature and artistic development interact, where an art is life: life is art attitude is actually experienced within the processes of growth and development. The creative practice connecting to the processes of nature. A beach where you sit on a lonesome rock as the first venturer of the day. Tides wash away the past, remake sand, wash away and recover debris! Sunrise is always unique, never repeated. It’s inevitable (probably) but possibilities are endless from a new beginning.