Thursday, 24 May 2012


Thinking about the cycles in the work I am engaged in over the year - well it’s that time of year so I am deep in the middle of assessing final year work at nuca. there are some interesting starting points within the portfolios so I am looking forward to seeing what students make for the final show.
Meanwhile i am engaged with the part of my practice that is more focused around working with people.
I have been working with the Peer Assisted Learning (PALS) coordinator at nuca on the induction day for new volunteers. Lots of group bonding sessions and sharing skills workshops. 
I am also working with Artlink on a very special project called Creative Carers where I am developing workshops with /for the carers of elderly people in care homes. It will be an interesting and stretching project which will I am looking forward to – the first session was excellent – part of this was the training - thinking about my role and skills as a communicator and the other was that i was able to cycle to work! 

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Working on the library of lost books – the first stage – deconstruction!


As a freelance artist I spend time thinking, conceiving, developing and believing in projects that never come to fruition for one reason or another. I am asked to submit proposals for opportunities and I thought it would be interesting to post some of them -  
The proposal – talking city – longhouse
I am drawn to this projects immediacy. I have been making work within the public realm for some time. This work often involves extensive public consultation with user groups and stakeholders, negotiations with engineers and planners alongside acknowledging health and safety, maintenance and various design procedures and codes. This process alongside the timescale – usually taking up to a year to come to fruition steers the work to be of a certain kind. The work I leave behind has a certain degree of authority because of the process’s and structures that it evolves from. It would be interesting to make work without the support of these systems, to see if the work I create has integrity from both a conceptual and aesthetic position and if it can stand ‘alone’ without the joint crutches of consultation and bureaucracy. I work at Norwich University College of the Arts and enjoy my job there but I think the rest of Norwich asks itself - What’s an art college for? What is an art education? What do we do in that building? I would like to make an intervention where the private becomes public, both the college becoming public within the city and the individuals experience within the college. I think the root of students work at this moment in time can be monitored by their relation to the research they are engaged in.  I would like to spend the day making visible the books taken out by students from NUCA library to the general public of Norwich. This intervention would present the range of interests and activities undertaken by the students to the wider audience of the city and the different courses within the University. I would do this by taking the electronic output from both the self service and desk service and writing on chalk boards attached to the railings on the street the titles of these books. I believe this would develop a connection between the city and the university and a wider discussion about the role of the arts student.

The proposal - Maggs Bros Ltd

There is a sense of excited anticipation experienced whilst unwrapping books; this leads to revelation and pleasure.
I make artists books. My recent practice focuses on the idea and use of the fold, considering how to extend and explore notions of revelation and the ephemeral nature of the page; front becoming back along with the belief in the book as a series of spaces in time. The work also considers the specific meaning and creative use of materials in conveying ideas and exploring a sense of place. I propose to make a series of artworks that will extend beyond 50 Berkeley Sq, the bookshop intervention and exhibition, through the postal service and into the homes and lives of five Maggs Bros clients. I will respond to five books that have been bought and require postage. I will use my skills in bookmaking and experience in utilising the fold to wrap the books in ways that respond to the specific qualities inherent in the book, taking care not to undermine the very reason for the wrapping; security and care.
I would consider the history of the five books, including known owners, the content and form of the book, making poetic visual connections between these factors to serve as an intention or brief with which to respond to. I would do this over two days in the space where the books are prepared for postage. The wrapped books would be photographed by Maggs Bros; I would be delighted for Maggs Bros to document the whole process if they wish. I would provide an artist’s statement for each piece. I would use the materials that Maggs Bros Ltd uses to wrap books for postage. The choice of books would be discussed, but the decision of which books and customers would be with Maggs Bros Ltd.

The proposal - Unravelling the National Trust: Nymans House and Gardens

I propose to make a large, limited edition bookwork to be seen as one of the lost books from the destroyed library. The work would be made from paper and card, be printed using both traditional and digital techniques and be in an edition of at least 10. Words and images would explore and communicate ideas around medical astrology. The bookwork would be made from hybrid structures (lots of folding) to enable multiple narratives to be formed. I would want to focus on Nicolas Culpeper who was involved in the advancement of medicine at a point in its development when it was connected with religion, politics, astrology and botany. His questioning of traditional practice and assumed knowledge, exploring new solutions for ill health would be a starting point in the creation of a bookwork which would explore notions of truth and the value of knowledge. The book would explore the essence of bookness - sequence, order, time, revelation, intimacy and control. The work would create a space for the reflective experience, taking time to connect, look, listen, consider and explore the idea of a medical astrologist The structure of the bookwork would enable multiple narratives to be constructed by opening, folding and revealing pages, creating many hybrid possibilities from the fields Culpeper was involved with, including the possible uses of herbs and the idea of ‘alternative medicine’. I would like the work to be physically accessible to the public, to be held, touched, pages turned to create the many juxtapositions. I envisage wear and tear on the book. For me this is not an issue as the many marks made by handling will become part of the narrative. But if it is felt that the experience has been diminished because of the state of the book another copy of the edition can be used.

The proposal – digital city - Manchester

A dialogue with the Radcliffe and Maconie Programme on BBC 6 Music. The interaction will take the form of responding to the programmes content physically. The presenters will observe this activity and broadcast it to a global audience. My proposal is to interact with the BBC. I have been listening to The Radcliffe and Maconie Radio Programme since April 2007 and find them to be open and intelligent individuals who provide a witty and knowledgeable commentary on the music news and cultural events in general. Since their move to BBC 6 Music in April 2011 and subsequently ‘broadcasting’ from a new studio at Media City in Salford they also comment on what they can see from a window when they are broadcasting. This opportunity for dialogue is my space. I propose to use this as a space to interact with the output from the Radcliffe and Maconie show and ultimately through their digital broadcast to engage with their audience. I have a history of working with the book form and all its associated processes, elements and concepts including printing, publishing, image and text, narrative, sequence, the control and dissemination of information. The book, a symbol of power and knowledge is a vehicle to communicate directly; it is a form that is understood in these terms. Repositioning its context and redirecting its purpose challenges these very notions. The work becomes a question rather than an answer, a collaboration in the mind and hand between maker and reader/viewer. The practical aspects of the book form, of disseminating information; of making things clearer are questioned. The bookworks explore the idea of form as content and their manipulation enables multiple narratives creating a space for the reflective experience of taking time to connection, look, listen, and consider. My proposal encompasses many of the issues I have been working with in the field of public works of art for community spaces. The choice of show is important as I am a person for whom music has always been an important element yet I am at that stage in life where other factors have taken priority and the tsunami of new music has overtaken me. But Radcliffe and Maconie play quality new music by up and coming artists as well as off-centre classics from established acts. It also features live sessions and interviews from a diverse collection of performers. This seemingly comfortable mission statement means that the demographic for the show including people a bit like me are getting educated as well as entertained. The proposals genesis is my recognition and interest in the pioneers of guerilla broadcasting interaction – the members of the public on news transmissions peering into my living room, individuals  who stood behind live presenters trying to get into the camera shot. At an age when access to a mass audience through broadcasting was very limited this was a way of ‘getting on the telly’ and so becoming famous. Reaching a mass audience in an age of innocence.   This early form of engagement with the media by the public could be seen as a precursor to our interest and subsequent obsession with fame, an activity whose trajectory eventually leads to Big Brother and twitter feeds. There are many elements to the proposal that reference different ways of working and relationships to communication. The main ones being around translation and interpretation between the physical and the digital, the notion of connectivity through mass media and the idea of collaboration and the relationships formed through participation. The idea of communicating to a mass audience through the possible observations of two people broadcasting on the radio is interesting in itself and references ideas of gossip and testimony. The proposal considers current hybrid modes of art practice including piggybacking and by its nature viral interaction but at the same time reinterprets these activities by grounding them in the physical world.  I envisage a continuous dialogue between the output from the radio show and myself. I will respond to the content of a program with a number of activities including text messaging - words written on a large pad of paper, picture messaging - drawing and painting images including symbols, tweeting – talking to random people in the square. The potential audience for this art piece is 1.3 million worldwide. There is also through the listen again facility the opportunity for repeat listening. The audience demographic for the show is evidenced by the interaction opportunities within the program.  Although self selecting by its very nature the individuals who listen appear to be interested in ideas and within the profile there is a rich potential for new audiences to the arts. I am unsure if there would/should be a dialogue between the Radcliffe and Maconie show before the proposed intervention. If there is I could try and become a larger part of the shows content through their ongoing features including the chain –a never-ending list of records, decided by the listeners with every new track somehow connected to the last and theme time tea time - three records that are connected by a theme. Alternatively turning up and interacting could be more in spirit with the proposal. The budget for the proposal is a return train ticket from Darsham in Suffolk to Salford in Manchester and at the moment the materials include an ‘easel’, large pad of paper and paint and pens. The infrastructure of the BBC and their broadcasting facility would be seen as the main ‘supporter’ of the project. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Its that time again – dissertation reading for the MA Book Arts course at Camberwell – again its interesting to read through their titles from the inception of the course in 1996 to today – a most excellent ‘found text’ that at the same time maps the interests of book art students and highlights the structural evolution of the course.  It also references the development of the academic staff who work on the course from simple statements to a more informative relationship to research and writing supporting ones practice. 

Notes and Fragments: The documentation of the development of an idea
Books: Public or Private objects?
written statement
Written Statement
An Unprecedented Event
Language as Art, Typography as Language
On Medieval Manuscripts
SEQUENTIAL ART or (The invention that is Art)
A Projection. A theory
Book arts, Architecture, Space, Place, Paper and me
Mid-century Disjunction: the Fate of Early Modern Typography and the Evolution of Artists’ Books As Traced In the Work of Johanna Drucker
books as visual form for communication
Memories of my food in the 1970’s, 1980’s
Low Culture, High Art
Not At Home: in search of green ornaments – a collected narrative
Halfway to Inevitability
The Booked Block
Judging A Book by it’s Cover: Questions of Legitimisation, Aesthetics, and Audience. A Catalogue Essay.
MA Book Arts
ROCK & ROLL an archive
- Found Words – The use of found words and objects in Book Art
Trivial Tales About Nothing At All
GIVER OF LIFE about rituals and metaphors, about domestic and the feminine in life and art.
Aspects of Exhibitions and Collections
Thinking about reading
The narrative of London
Silent Books
Towards Process as the work and Reading as the practice
Natural Mystic & Book
Personal Experience and the Book Outcome
(Space is everywhere open…We are in this place)
NARRATIVE AND CONCRETE SYSTEMS IN BOOK ARTS; through the book structure and content
The book: a psychosocial metaphor
CULTURE JAMMING; Its relation To My Work As A Book Artist
War, Art, and the artist as the recorder of History.
Are the contemporary pop-up books really that much better than the Victorian ones?
MA Dissertation Book Arts 2000
Approaches To Depicting Space
Books as Objects
A comment on repeat through artists books and multiples, form and process.
Time and the Artist
on coming to book arts
Knock! Knock! Bang! Bang!
Public Space: Room for Authority or Art?
The influence of psychological theories on changes in representations of childhood in art since the Romantic era
‘Focusing on Studio Practice’
Alice in Wonderland
Opening the Text: The Book as a Hypertextual Object
An investigation into the Context of My Studio Practice
Evaluating House and Home
The True Nature of Conservation: Are Conservation Ethics Commensurate with Contemporary Art Practice?
An Investigation into the “Disappearance of the Book”
The gap
The efficacy of the diary format in artists’ book.
Between Author and Reader exploring the notion of the writerly and readerly within the work of Susan King and Lygia Clark
Savouring the recipe book
The library of unpublished books: From fiction to reality
Visceral Passage: Reading the Book as Body
In/Outside Space: The shifting boundary between private and public…how it structures our homes
Un Coup de Des: Musique Meditation on a Musigram
Book as Box : Box as Book
ELUSIVE/ALLUSIVE: Book Arts and the Undermining of ‘Truth’ and ‘Reality’
A comparison of, and investigation into, Michael Landy’s break Down (2001) and Susan Hiller’s After the Freud Museum (1995), with reference to the role of research within artistic practice as compared to academic models.
The Precious and the Processed: What are the implications for the status of the art object and the integrity of the artistic vision within the medium of artist publishing?
Man, Earth and Presence: Self-awareness in Floor-like Piece of Work
The System of (Book) Art
Description of Life a Users Manual
The Visible Word Concrete Poetry and Book Arts
Art, Therapy and the Artist’s Book: Inspiration from Eva Hesse and Lygia Clark
How could language shape the future?
The Narratives of the Cabinet of Curiosities in 16th & 17th century Europe and Contemporary Book Artist Practice
To receive or not to receive: choice, the gift, and art.
The Surveillance of Everyday Life: Appropriating City Space/Book Space
The book as a space within contemporary curating
Cultural shift in relationship to the significance of objects, as seen in British collections from the sixteenth century to the present day, with particular reference to the Enlightenment Exhibition at the British Museum, the Soane Museum and the Saatchi Collection.
The Visual Power of Language Language Play/Word Play
The Erotic and the Innocent: The role of the child/adolescent as seen through the role of Hans Bellmer and Dorothea Tanning
What is the role of a visual style and media in the development of the content of a visual book?
Magic Lantern
How the Viennese painter Gustav Klimt appropriated motifs from the Archaic Greek Art period in his paintings and in what way this engagement might have affected his formation as a mature artist in his career?
RELATING TO DISEASE: The Narrative Origins of Medical Artists’ Books
How do the books of Susan Hiller and Joseph Cornell differ in their presentation and revelation of an inner, emotional journey?
In relation to my own explorations of an empty three dimensional book space, how effectively have Rachel Whiteread and Johnathan Callan articulated negative space and to what extent in terms of the book?
This is me, this is you: Ubiquity of self
How do Joseph Cornell and the collaborative artists cris cheek and Kirsten Lavers (T.N.W.K.) use systems of objects to give a sense of implied narrative?
An artists’ search for sense of self, time and place, reflected back through the Mother’s Gaze
Memory as a vehicle for self-exploration, or a gateway for others?
Revisiting the Sublime Through Mariele Neudecker and Alison Wilding
Exploration of inner and outer spaces in book: Through analyzing works of Richard Long and artist books of Telfer Stroke and Helen Douglas and Michael Snow’s, Cover to cover and Real Fiction, I will examine the ways of depicting spaces within book structure and spaces in nature.
When Craft Is Applied Into Book Art
Through the exhibition Body Worlds I will examine the relationship between art and science and the issue of consent in display of the human body within didactic institutions
Is the Use of Photography in Documentation of Ephemeral Art Inherently Contradictory?
What Role Does Freedom play in the work of Joseph Beuys?
Read me, Seymour! Considering Book Art worthy of analysis as ‘text’.
The influence of the “Duesseldorfer Schule” of Bernd and Hilla Becher ass seen in the works of their former students Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky.
Art imitating life, Life imitating art
The presence of mental anxiety in the artwork of the displaced
Portraying the Stories: Paula Rego and Illya Kabakov’s visual-storytelling practices in art context
Extended Artist’s Statement: Shaping the Gathered Parts
Visual Approaches of Reading sound and Listening image
Visual Sequences : speeds of reading
The Embodied experience of space: Michael Snow’s Cover to cover
The Container of Fixed Truths
Words of Comfort The Book As A Fashion Item
Alter-ed books. Alter-ed narrative? Two Famous Artists compared and an Emerged One takes her position.
The Journey in Book Arts
This paper is an examination of my own practise, compared and contrasted to “The Sleepers” by Sophie Calle and Martin Newth’s “8 Hours” I intend to explore the ideas of voyeurism in my work and where my practice stands in relation to book arts.
FUTURISTS The roots of the controversies
Where the Art Lies
Feeling the book: The book in the digital era
The promotion of the moral and social development of the child through fairy tales
A Study on presenting the words on paper structure
The assumption of casualness and the discovery of intensity
How Have Ideas Of Fiction, Theatre and Literature Influenced Ilya Kabakov’s Installations; ’10 Characters’, and ‘The Artist’s Despair, of the Conspiracy Of The Untalented’? How Do These Ideas Relate To His Thoughts On ‘TotalInstallation’ and What Effect Do His Concepts and Techniques Have On My Own Artistic Practice?
Touching as reading – When does touch make a reader become the content of a book?-
The book as a Document – Personal Statement and the audience Exploring the notion of documenting in Artists’ books and locating their audience by portraying and critically analyzing ‘Autobiography’ and ‘Break Down Inventory’, works by Sol Lewitt and Michael Landy respectively.
History and foresight of public libraries in UK
Shaping issues of personal verus global feminist issues through evocative memories within the context of book arts and particularly in consideration of book structure.
Existence of Book and Book Art
Semiotic Guerrilla War
Hunting Rabbit
What is the difference between a book and an artist’s book? What I pay special regards in creating my project?
The Aspects of Narration-Narrative relationships with the object.
Through comparing and contrasting three artists’ books: String Book, Mirror Book and Killing Book; this essay examins the physical structure and materiality of books in order to articulate a non-verbal sensational language, which is highly concerned in my book art practice.
Does Unconventionality aid or constrict book art, or any form of artwork?
The transitions of daily life in living spaces andpublic spaces.
A comparative evaluation and analysis on the works of Sophie Calle, Paul Auster and Michel DeCerteau in the context of the pedestrian self belonging to the urban life journey.
How everyday objects infused with personal/sentimental value are translated into artworks of public significance.
Future tense: Steampunk in Contemporary Art and Artists’ Books.
Using Heidegger’s ideas on the nature of time and relating them to Keith Smith’s book 91, this paper will investigate book as a form of living art/live experience.
What would be the aim as an art practitioner by giving value to the collection of the disposal, the clutter, or the remnants of the ordinary, within the context of the scarce and the abundant in both Ilya Kabakov’s work The Boat of My Life and Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules.
By using both visual and haptic methods I intend to investigate ‘Cover to Cover’ by Michael Snow and ‘In Between’ by Kate Farley. This paper will compare and look critically at the ways these artists create visual spatial experiences in their work.
HOUSE AS ART Monuments for memory – Vessels for living.
Chance as an agent in art
To what extent does Marinetti resolve the apparent paradox in his work of achieving a spatial and temporal extension which allowed simultaneous communication and sensation?
Investigating connections between the objective and subjective systems of classifying found material, I will be comparing Mark Dion’s ‘Tate Thames Dig’ with Joseph Cornell’s ‘Planet Sex’ Tete Etoilee, Giuditta Pasta (dedicace), in order to establish how the ephemeral can become precious.
Does a comparison of Walking and Sleeping by Richard Long and Seven Walks London 2004-5 by Francis Alys reveal the differences between urban and rural walking or merely the difference or similarities between two artists who walk?
Materials can speak for themselves without words in Book Arts
Is the future of comic Books related with that of the book?
“The availability of touch in art galleries and museums” A study of today’s defined values and a personal experience from two tactile exhibitions.
Typographic Expression in Visual and Concrete Poetry How can typography successfully convey ideas of the text and add expression to printed word in visual/concrete poetry.
Imposed Passive Participation. By contrasting specific artworks by Susan Hiller and Sophie Calle I will discuss how personal artefacts are made public in order to create and develop an intimate relationship between the artwork and the viewer elicit a personal response and place the viewer into an integral part of the work as a passive rather than a passive observer. 
The Art of Book Structure – Deconstruction Book Body
What else besides the body, could physical thinking look like? A discussion of the intersection between art and dance in response to Catherine Wood’s article The art of writing with people.
The book, socially collaborative art.
Reading in space – at what extent does language control the space that it is placed in or is that control dictated by the space in which the language sits?
Interpretation and Categorisation of Fired Books in Book Arts: Three Books by Yohei Nishimura.
Can and should all art be considered therapeutic to the artist and viewer, and in what ways can any therapeutic benefits be further exploited?
Destructive art and auto-destructive in contemporary art is based on the dismantling of forms to create new forms, Where, then does the value in such art lie?
Five senses of book
Journey to the centre. How do contemporary artists use the device of spots and circles as strategies to individualise elements of graphic culture within their practice?
In what ways has the use of language in art changed since the 20th century movements of Dada and Surrealism, and what is its role in contemporary art?
Silhouette Art: the aesthetics of concealedness
In what ways have time and space been expressed by artists in relation to artists books?
Does fashion blur the boundary of gender or not? – from French fashion to Leigh Bowery’s Art
In what ways does the writer Vladimir Nabakov and artist Joseph Cornell approach the challenge of rendering desire in their works?
Might consideration of the artists’ book prove fruitful when considering the evolution of other topics, for example happiness?
Is the repetition of daily life really boring and meaningless? Which artists convince us the repetition is both enjoyable and therapeutic?
Blank But Not Empty: The hidden information of the Blank
Difficulty of dealing with personal Memories; The gap between Hiding and Sharing
The page transition in inkless books of two artists (Ronald King & Keith A. Smith)
Cultural transmission & importance of ancient books study case sutra of Mountain and Sea case
What is the use of repetition communication in the works of Kusama and Warhol, and What’s the difference between communication of their works?
How does the photography worth of Helen Douglas and Michael Snow build narrative without text?
How do some artists’ books of Ken Leslie, Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck and Ronald King express thinking of Samsara
The Imagined Reading Machine: In Bob Brown’s printed experiments in optical reading, does the reader become the Reading Machine?
Representation of weeds in the works of the artists, Kim Beck I Tracey Bush I Beverly Penn I John Dilnot.
The relationship between the structure and content in three artists’ books (A Maze in Book, Out of Sight, Daily Mirror)
ARTISTS’ TRAVEL BOOKS AND THE READERS AS TRAVELLERS How do artists manage to create journalistic travel book artworks with elements for reflecting both personal impression and objective awareness of the destination?
Interactive Aesthetic Experiences in Food-related Arts
Search for a reform consumer society
Can Tom Phillips’ ongoing art work A Humument provide us with clues as to the conceptual form of books in the future?
The Renaissance of Writing
Between mark and script: ambiguity
Healing the fabric of the universe : an imaginal approach to arts practice through the works of Atsushi Takenouchi and Louise Kenward.
How might the book function as a transformational object? Can the theories of D. W. Winnicott and Christopher Bollas help to determine the use of the book as a transformational object in works by Graham Rawle and Henry Darger.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


The smelling of a brown paper package - old spaces – discarded.
Received my book from Susan Kruse Curator and Chief Librarian from The Library of Lost Books?  who has organised the library of lost books project – this is a salvaged collection of discarded books that are sent to artists to work with. My book is an intriguing one - both in its content and structure in that it is not really a book but a collection of pamphlets that have been bound together within a hard purple cover.
The pamphlets are from the reference library and are annual lectures and sermons published by the Hopkins society 1969 – 75. The pamphlets are printed letterpress and bound within a range of different coloured card covers. The sermons were printed in a smaller format so when brought together have an intriguing spacer bound into the hard cover.
The lectures were given at University College and sermons in a range of churches around London.
What was interesting was that after the initial thoughts from unwrapping - odd what? - I turned on my laptop and started to research the poet – had I betrayed the book and the project by this very act? I started to read and think about this poet – Gerald Manley Hopkins, catholic, jesuit, homosexual? A man seemingly torn - living and creating work within a framework of duality.
So now I know about the man by reading through the portal of Google – and my notes include – an act recorded – biscoiations – thingness of things – in the moment – physicality of now – poems read with the ears – creating new words – new rhythms  - tension – language – embedding – words on words – inscape and instress.
But what to do? where is the work? Should the work be about the physical object on my table or these ripples in the water created by the book that has dropped into it?
Initial starting points - physical - rethinking the structure of the piece - responding to the ideas behind the poets work making an experience using the book and documenting it (explosion),
Words - latin motto - esse quam videri translation - to be rather than to seem - creating new words – putting words and phrases into the book – the titles of the lectures - the marks or  in the book, stamps, hand written numbers etc –
General ideas - being in the moment - going to stand where lectures were given - contacting the society which is now based in Ireland – following obscure references such as – what, if any is the connection between the injustices Trevor Huddleston saw in South Africa and his love of Gerald Manley Hopkins poetry? (Trevor Huddleston gave the first sermon).   
I am interested to know if the book sent to me to work on was chosen specifically for me – it seems as if it was as it has much within it that intrigues and delights me from the challenging structure to the ideas that inform the content.

Friday, 4 May 2012


this time of year the teaching at nuca is all about completing portfolios, photographing work, the final show, and plans for the future – all elements of which have been part of my week. Meanwhile I’ve been working on developing a range of pieces that celebrate the centenary of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin for the Historic Wallpaper Society Competition exhibition and updating my axis profile! -