Wednesday, 18 October 2017


another great day at Camberwell - it's that time of year within the College calendar when all is possible. A folding workshop focusing on exploring the structure of book - what more could one ask for - folding paper with thoughtful people all morning! Then a presentation exploring the possibility of book through the lenses of bookness, a concept I first came across whilst in dialogue with the wonderful Ivor Robinson.
I was helping to write the document that was to become the MA Book Art Course at Camberwell with Alex Lumley and I came across a book art module that Ivor had been running in Oxford Poly which allowed students to explore the possibility of book. He was wonderfully generous and incredibly supportive in helping to develop my thinking around the building of a course and it goes without saying sowing the seeds of my understanding of what was possible with the book. The concept of bookness was just my thing, I enjoyed the slippage of language - the space between things - not quite book but maybe more so - the essence of book..... and I have talked about it and built a career around it since then, 1990 seems a long time ago. I really enjoy coming across its use, that it is now a thing and has becoming its own idea for people to make of it what it is for them. Even though Ivor was a binder of the highest quality I am sure he would love this spreading of the word where the book is only limited by the imagination. 

Saturday, 14 October 2017


a busy week of teaching with the deadline for planning on the Goldlay Sq commission mixed in. family history- book as performance- documentation as document - importance of text - private public spaces- representing the everyday - artist as detective - distorting language - learning from failure - concepts of collection - collection as material - using book to frame the world - slow reading - ciphers and codes - text/textile - making landscapes - landscape of identity - repurpose wellbeing - graphic inclusivity - notions of truths - book as architecture - material matters - systems to cope - knowing not knowing. these are my notes from the first symposium on the Book Art Course at Camberwell - it's always a great day of sharing where the room swirls with possibilities and the past is used as a starting point for new possibilities. This year at the symposium  it was particularly beautiful to see that the course had been so beneficial to the first years who also present their practice, their presentations were full of examples where they had taken opportunities and made the best of them - excellent the course is only as good as its students and this course is excellent. some talk of reflective thinking and lots of individual tutorials at NUA. managed to get year 1 out on a day trip which took in the broads and the excellent museum that is Time and Tide in Great Yarmouth. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017


so a full weekend!
private view of pre-cutslicedoranges at Light Eye Mind, London  a show curated by Sid and Jim - which was full of serious, enthusiastic and highly professional young people's work, it was also fun and thought provoking then onto Leeds to see Bish Bash Bosh an evening of scratch dance at Yorkshire Dance - which was totally ace - some really interesting work that explored new possibilities offered if you think about dance and......... hybrid and interdisciplinary are the keys to new ideas. Marguerite Galizia – Fold  -  and Lewys Holt defiantly stretching this with some solid collaboration between Aidan/Clerk37 and Maria Popova with Interlocution thrown into the mix - Leeds Light Night saw Leeds lit up - sometimes challenging and sometimes dull and worthy, sometimes fun - a DJ in a portaloo is a winner. The Tetley had a really respectful and thoughtful show about the history of the Leeds West Indian Carnival - some excellent objects telling the story, Leeds Royal Armouries was very odd - a disturbingly, gloriously strange way - basically the whole building is a celebration of the ingenuity of the human spirit to create wonderfully designed objects whose main purpose is killing. This politically challenging aspect is barely mentioned - but there is a free boat ride from the train station/city centre which is great fun and you get to see a 'post industrial landscape' from the past! Henry Moore has a stunning show combining an investigation of process and use of everyday materials. jiro takamatsu - the temperature of sculpture was very good with lots to talk about with students - especially the role of the sketchbook/journal - Then onto Ipswich to Dance East to see the fabulous Joss Arnold - it really is a must see, catch it on tour if you can, the evening has 3 pieces: all containing the signature strenuous power of the choreographers interest but V has some great specific moves with total control of lighting and the final dance, RUSH was so explosive with a tremendous soundtrack. Finally it was flipside at Snape to listen to Ali Smith, Alvaro Enrigue and Maureen Freely which was just wonderful - talking about the space between translation, interpretation and exploring what is original. So thoughtful again if you get the chance go listen to these people - Smith was so 'telling it like it is' but backed up with intelligent thought, Freely was a wall of rigorous wall and Enrigue was so funny that I went out of the hall and bought his book!
I just need a weekend now to get reflect on all this!

Friday, 6 October 2017


a good week of teaching at NUA with year 3 tutorials underway I'm getting an understanding of what is a great bunch of people. Don't you just love the Pecha Kucha format - you can communicate a lot of stuff in a short amount of time - we did 40 peoples 5 slides with 20 seconds each with written feedback from everybody about everybody's presentations in a morning! Presentations from me this week include talking about storytelling for beginning, communication, the subconscious use of symbols, the power of design to change the world for good ......or evil.

The lecture by Mark Mann was excellent - talking about the value of research, the importance of passion and gender politics in textile design. On train to Leeds to see Clerk 37 who has been doing some sounds for videos I've made as part of unfoldingthinking is performing and Light night

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


last night it was fascinating to consider the current state of play in American politics whilst watching Frost Nixon Michael Sheen and Frank Langella play the leading characters gloriously but the real action is in some way what goes on behind the scenes with the supporting players both in the film and at the time, researching the subjects and developing the questions. The role of TV in choosing our leader was introduced or at least how we evaluate them and as with all tools used it was assimilated by those in control and employed to their own ends. Tools are just tools but it's how you use them...

Friday, 29 September 2017


two nights and two theatre experiences - the wonderful space that is the Seagull theatre in Lowestoft had Finding joy which was deeply moving with a thoughtful script exploring the issue of dementia. There was a beautiful moment when the time-travelling aspect of dementia was presented through mine and masks. The Wolsey in Ipswich had Bin laden one man show - which was very clever as I watched a very calm man who had given me a cup of tea going onto become an angry man who we call a terrorist.  I recommend both.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


work on the structures for Goldlay Square progresses - the choices are now finding locations within the plan - I love the action of positioning - working within the digital space - moving something not yet made within a space that does not exist which will impact on people's lives - notions of responsibility and respect are running high today.