Friday, 22 June 2018


the textile design degree show at Norwich is up and looks good - we created a pulley system that enabled us to work with the full height of the room. this has meant that some of the students full ambitions have been realised by taking up the opportunity to create work 5m in height. there is some stunning work within a system of walls and tables that have been designed and created in an attempt to be invisible, thus celebrating the work itself. come see - Tues 25 - Sunday 1. Next week is the continuation of the mountain - private view at NUA, building the space and hanging work for NUA at New Designers (stand  T43) and hanging work at Camberwell for the MA Book Art final show. The Berlin Biennale beckons - can't wait and have started the planning  . I'm speaking/running a workshop at Making Materials Matter Conference for teachers - looking at the role of art practice within a science context. I'm building the presentation today.  meanwhile Rampage is great when the rock and the gorilla are on screen, I could watch an hour of that but the rest is truly banal.  

Sunday, 17 June 2018


well a busy couple of weeks and we are still in it - assessments on the Textile Design at nua was smooth with some wonderful work -  the show at nua is almost up - we have built an extraordinary series of structures, creating an environment  to show off the work to its best - I've been north working on the assessment for OCA on the MA Fine Art Course and staying in the Premier Inn in Barnsley, there was some really excellent thinking underpinning great work. The next two years graduation shows could potentially be wondrous. The Degree Show Private View at Chelsea was gloriously old school - a packed space of randomly dressed individuals all enjoying being there - some excellent textiles and of course fine art - highlight was a #proundparent moment - Bob Bicknell-Knight. meanwhile A very English Scandal was tragically funny but I spent most of the time marvelling over Hugh Grants stunning performance. I got to see Solo - wonderfully geeky - with something for everyone - great back story infilling alongside swashbuckling set pieces. Christopher Brett Bailey  was the standout session at Pulse 18 last weekend - I cannot recommend him enough - I think this was my 5th outing and he just gets better. Meanwhile Snape Festival had a new opera - a kind of brutalist Jacques Tati set in a Kafkaesque modern space with a nod to the Truman show aesthetics. The Appalachian Spring session by the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Huw Watkins on the piano and conducted by Oliver Knussen was viseral. Playing Coplands Music for a Great City, The world premiere of The Book of Ingenious Devices by Philip Cashian, Feldman Structures and Coplands joyous Appalachian Spring one was swept away. On the way to see the Pavillion next to the Serpentine Gallery ..............I bumped into Christon next to the Christo in the Serpentine which was and which is fantastic and worth seeing offline.

Sunday, 3 June 2018


a fabulous 2 days and one night at Pulse Festival in Ipswich - the opening night and then Suitcase day and Testing Ground - my two favourite sessions where experimental work is experimented. It saw me watching 23 pieces of theatre. Highlights were Nikki's extraordinary strength in KNOT, the disco energy of Dan Watson in Venus, The storytelling in Sophie Woolley's Augmented and Not Now collective's Pepper and Honey. The deconstruction of Invisible Flash's The blind traveller, Fig's in wigs production values is always excellent and Brick Wall's Henry 5th was just storming good. Meanwhile I'm watching the pattern and chaos conversation that is happening in my garden as the work for Chelmsford is rusting nicely and been taken over by random growth.

Thursday, 31 May 2018


it's been a busy few days but full of really interesting moments - Book Art Symposium 2 at Camberwell was so extraordinarily profession, the students truly owned their practice and presented a fully engaging morning of ideas and work, so much so that my timing was almost a full 45 minutes off and as students had only 7 mins to present and 3 minutes for questions you can see how interesting it was. In the afternoon we went to Kingsland Projects to see the work of and talk with Fox Irving & Katarina Kelsey. They have been collaborating and evidence of this can be seen in the thoughtful billboard that can be viewed from the surrounding street and park.
Turn the page -  the wonderful Book Art Fair organised by equally wonderful Rosie Sherwood, Alumni of The Book Art MA at Camberwell at The Form Norwich was really interesting, full of excellent work and committed makers. I missed the symposium, assessments and marking had overtaken my life. But the work at NUA is some of the most professional I have seen in my years of teaching. The students practice submitted for assessment leads me to believe that this year could be one of the most exciting final shows I have been involved in.

Thursday, 24 May 2018


our blue heaven - the story of Ipswich Towns FA Cup Victory at the New Wolsey is a triumph - it's a complete sell out so you will have to wait for its revival in 60 years time!! will the whole squad turn up on Saturday? still deep into assessments - by the end of the whole thing I will of written over 7,000 words and checked numerous boxes - every word from my team is carefully considered, I hope the students manage to read the comments.
The CSM final year show felt like you were at the epicentre of people engaging with what it is to be cool alongside slightly confused parents - it was full of the most excellently beautiful looking individuals - the work was also interesting - full of collaborative groups working together - the future is bright. You still have till Saturday to go see it - make sure you check out the basement and The Sculpture Garden  Turn the Page - the fantastic Book Art Fair is on in Norwich on Friday and Saturday - it's a must see Looking forward to PhotoEast at the weekend. Meanwhile its back to assessments and then building a presentation for PALs for Wednesday. Undergraduate courses have a system of peer support known as Peer Assisted Learning or PAL. This means that Year One students have ready access to trained Year Two students from their course, from before they arrive through to the end of the first year. The advice and support given by the PALs is directly relevant to first year students and is delivered by Year Two or Three students who have had similar experiences themselves. This extra layer of support for first year students has been found to be very effective in helping to smooth the transition to higher education. Looking forward to the symposium on Tuesday at Camberwell. Its a point where the students journey is really captured as one is able to reflect on their first symposium in year 1.

Sunday, 20 May 2018


assessment, assessment, assessment - yes it's still that time of year - but meanwhile I have managed to be enthralled by Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. It is quite beautiful with a great set of drawings which detail our relationship to where we are - wonderful. late to the party but I am deep into Westworld season 1 - it really is brilliant and asks some excellent questions about existence. Who are we, are we real, what is it to exist???? Game night was almost good - some interesting moments almost is harsh but.....

Sunday, 13 May 2018


The work for Chelmsford is rusting nicely in the back garden - the colour is quite beautiful. Meanwhile ....I had to go back to see Ed Atkins at Cabinet - and on second viewing it just gets better - it's still head swivellingly odd but then when spending more time you see the interlinked nature of the films - the baby from one frame wandering into another the boy in the field moving across to play the piano etc etc . The Tate has the extraordinarily bleak coloured sculpture by Jordan Wolfson - this is also starkly eye wateringly cruel and a truly must see - after the last Tate mess having this in the tanks has resurrected my faith in them a little. Age of Terror at the War Museum was okay - but most of the work was not about terror but war and most of it seen elsewhere so £15.00 seemed a little steep (maybe that was the terror?) - the two stand out pieces were Francis Alys video work of soldiers from both 'sides' stripping and rebuilding weapons and the very raw footage by Tony Oursler at the 'ground zero' site days afterwards as he prowled around the site videoing the carnage and the human fair that arrived - so many stalls selling prayer as the answer. The real terror is laid out in the Holocaust exhibit on the 4th floor - it is very clever, starting off with a little bit of nationalistic pride and snappy sloganeering and ending with war trials World just after harrowing images of concentration camps and testimony from survivors. World without us at Battersea Arts Centre was just that a one person show that explored the before and after of our existence on earth. Some nice ideas and the narrative visualised what it would look like when we are gone. quieter with a lot of plastic.