Friday, 30 November 2012


I'm in a book! Strange I spent 10 seconds complaining in my head that ‘somebody’ had created a piece of work just like the one I had made with Laurence Edwards for the Louth Art Trail then only to read the copy! Nice twist to be in the index after Joseph Beuys. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


The end of unit 7 on the textile course at nuca sees sessions of hardcore assessment - interesting to see the exciting possibilities within the work and to project on them the potential outcomes for the final show and collections.
A day in London with Book Art students saw visits to two spaces. First the British Library where we connected the students research strands to objects in the permanent treasures collection - ending up with a tour of the show curated by the students - I had fantastic conversations around the work and came away with many notes and ideas to follow up myself. The afternoon was spent at the Poetry Library where we looked at the Printed in Norfolk exhibition by Coracle Wonderful to visit the work again but also to be given a talk about the Poetry Library by Chris who was really knowledgeable and made everybody feel that they had access to the space, the objects within it and the ideas behind it 
The guard announces on the train 'welcome to Later Anglia' most appropriate.
I managed to slip in a quick visit to the British Museum to see a 3D digital autopsy - effectively the 'bog man' had been CAT scanned and you were able to manipulate him on a huge touch screen 'ipad like' - taking away layers of skin, soft tissue, zooming in and rotating - quite marvellous - I managed to speak to the curator who happened to be standing behind me as I interacted - a must see.

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Finally got round to see skyfall - a good bond movie esp enjoyed the nod to the Bourne trilogy - only marred by the person next to me pointing out that he had been to all the locations and how he had enjoyed them - i did see it in the rather posh venue of Aldeburgh cinema.    
The Shechter Dance Company was at Snape - most excellent - Uprising was a full on assault from the first second - men emerge from the shadows and go through maleness in all its madness and glory - lighting and music never gave you a moment of rest p wonderful - although a little limited in its palette (maybe that was the point) if they are near you go see.
Teaching at nuca has been a mixture of deconstructing learning and teaching with cake on the BA! a workshop around the digital and one about the multiple on the MA – looking forward to seeing the results of a set project next week.
Managed two days of pleating and folding the sacks are from MEAL.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


I have been invited to be to be one of the selectors in this year’s juried annual artist’s book fair turn the page. I am in the wonderful company of Tanya Piexoto (Director of bookartbookshop), artist Nicola Dale and Jules Allen (TTP). Held in the forum in Norwich TTP 2013 is now supported by Arts Council England so I am looking forward to seeing how it grows. I'm already anticipating seeing a great body of work as book arts appears to be undergoing one of its periodic spurts of interests within the art world.
Meanwhile I'm really enjoying how the music works by David Byrne. I've been a huge fan of talking heads and Byrne, (well I was at art school in the 80s) both the music itself and the ideas behind it, the book is a wonderful insight into the mind of this free thinking intelligent man. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012


faster than sound focused on sounds created around the idea of game - curated by the wonderfully smiling brian duffy from the modified toy orchestra. From the initial electronic sounding noises emanating from the bass clarinet on here be monsters through to gaming, conducted by richard baker with prepared piano (mainly adding paper to the strings) the first half was full of ideas and collaboration. Finally game a piece where 4 speak and spell machines appeared to be generating the first language and teaching or copying the physical instruments. The second half - an excellent set by the modified toy orchestra with huge projections - starting with black star - possibly my favourite track - the projection of a distorted evolving threat by christopher plant was most excellent. All topped up by a lovely impromptu discussion about circuit bending with the band over their instruments when they were packing up. Got me thinking - who are the modified toy orchestra's audience - having seen them three times as part of faster than sound - one a gig (people dancing), one as part of an electronica session (chin stroking) and last night sort of a bit of both. 

Friday, 16 November 2012


A week of teaching at NUCA, archives – see and training – considering the National Student Survey (NSS) and our/my relationship to it. It’s important that students get the right information about a course when choosing where to study and increasingly, we are told, they along with their families are looking at sites such as which universities .com etc to make decisions, a sort of where to get the best deals on phones type site. I have been working with year 3 students on how to understand the rather elliptical questions in the survey along the implications of their tick boxes – it makes for interesting times and opportunities for us all. Meanwhile wading through some porn data with information graphics a tombstone of a book – wonderful. 
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Managed to get to the private view at Peter Pears Gallery in Aldeburgh – it’s a joint exhibition of Laurence Edwards Craig Hudson and Brian Taylor  It’s really good to see such an honest premise for a show – the passing on of ideas and support that artists have for each other. The work was excellent – Brian’s work appears to be case from the actual material souls are made from – you can see thinking in Laurence’s work and Craig’s men have a hulk-like twinkle of wit about them – go see -

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


A late train getting into London but a good day at Camberwell - the first crit with the new MA students was really positive - in some ways the crits are the core of the course - talking, presenting and debating the work that is made, often in isolation - the crit is a wonderful forum where, as the tutor I have to think on my feet, chairing many voices and interests so that everybody feels they have contributed to the degree they want and that fairness is evidenced. The student in reflective mood, often has revelatory moments about themselves and their work in the fierce light of a public experience.  With many cultures and languages represented language and words are often a problem, although again this can be a positive when specific experiences or concepts that are not universal have to be explained in detail, one really begins to get some idea of how small and yet connected the UK is. Translation often throws up a moment of poetic charm - i draw in colourful water - the whole day was worth it just to hear that. I often go away with a list of concepts, names and experiences from a wide range of cultures to research; another was a Chinese phrase about time and the end of the day - the last object, the left hand of darkness.
Managed to see the show at the South London Gallery - some interesting display possibilities within the work which I last saw in Venice at the Biennale.
The afternoon contained a seminar around several ideas - recognising the concept of active learning, practical issues around reflective thinking within a journal and mapping your practice through connections.

As ever the train home was late - but at least they held the connecting service - it really is the worst 'service'.

Thursday, 1 November 2012


A day in London at Camberwell – 30 years of making and thinking about books compressed into 4 hours – starting the day by work shopping  the generation of images, ideas of translation into text , construction of multiple narratives including nonlinear, exploration of sequence, introducing the idea of form as content through 3D structures, manipulation as narrative, 100 years of western book construction including experimental and combination bindings, a presentation that de-constructs the idea of the book and supports the students in rethinking their relationship to book (image above is from presentation). Students go away with lots to think about alongside a brief that directs them to a specific location chosen by themselves where they will have to make a piece of book art that is informed by that space.  looking forward to seeing the results next week.