Wednesday, 29 May 2013


I love the idea of - options are being investigated. sign found in Colchester - and another boarded up space from the Yarmouth visit.
A long weekend with a chance to catch up with some films – Star Trek into darkness in 3D was loud and fast but/and I found the 3D a distraction with hyper focused elements sandwiched between the blurred and the out of focus. I'm beginning to sound like the wonderful Mark Kermode. I spent most of the time looking at the representation of material within the film - some excellent fabrics and the protective suit Spock wears is marvellous, Sightseers was disturbing and wonderfully odd. The lack of empathy and random violence within places I have visited added to the general unsettling tone. Gojoe - a Samurai film which explores the idea of pacifism and Buddhism with a supernatural flavour, and finally managed to catch up with Woman in Black but felt it was dull, obvious and generally made up of horror/supernatural clichés.
A day at Camberwell - mid-year part-time - discussing work within a group whilst the maker observes the rest of the group - a sobering experience and not for the faint hearted as your work is discussed often within a context or framework that you had not considered. The afternoon was a 'finishedness' whole group workshop - attempting to create an equation/diagram for a finished piece of work - impossible yet the point is the conversations that lead you to a conclusion.
The exhibition at Smiths Row in Bury St Edmunds - the Suffolk Showcase has a range of interesting work - worth the time to drop in when you are in the area.
Working at Colchester Institute with post-grad Design and the Book students running a workshop around creating artist's texts. Being in the Minories was fabulous – an old school experience of art education – as a visiting lecturer I had no responsibility or paperwork just art, ideas, thinking and talking. The show downstairs in the exhibition space is most excellent – Keith Albarn – a dizzying experience of pattern, system and structure eventually leading to philosophy – inspirational.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


spent a day last week working at NUA on the PAL scheme. Peer Assisted Learning - a wonderful project that aims to enable the outgoing year one students the possibility to formally support the new year one students arriving in September and generally the scheme engages with the good in people. It was a room full really positive individuals who have volunteered to give of their time and share their experiences of being a first year. I was brought in to chair(ish) the day and run ice-breaker-type workshops between sessions and to generally deconstruct the idea of being a PAL, giving the students tools to own the idea. Fun and worthwhile - whats not to like?
Today has been a day in London with MA Book Arts students visiting two shows to look at the meaning of display and the context of the gallery as a site for work. The Whitechapel Gallery had several exhibitions within the venue and we explored a range of subjects including – Hanging and Display - how it informs and directs our understanding of the artworks. Everyday objects as visual metaphor – how the character and qualities of objects can be used to explore or represent ideas. Practice as Process as Outcome – when does one become the other? If and when Design becomes Art. The idea of the Design Classic. Collection and curation as art practice. Recognising book-like qualities within display.  Defining the role of the embalmer/educator as practice. After a swift walk and lunch it was Whitecube at Bermondsey - it really is a stunning building and I never cease to marvel at its excessiveness - we had some interesting discussions around the role of texts within a gallery and its relationship to the work. (Whether they have been written by the curator or artist). 
Meanwhile two new examples of smoking architecture.

Monday, 20 May 2013


a day in Great Yarmouth with year 1 Graphic Design students from NUA enabled my collection of blocked up spaces and smoking architecture to grow considerably - some examples here that document the very physical scaring experience of change.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


I engaged in the future and it was good! exciting even! The 'new' came to Sibton Green last night as I participated in a lecture for the OCA - the Open college of the Arts -
Giving a virtual lecture and then answering questions afterwards all through Google Hangout was most excellent - I kept thinking I may never need to leave the house again. I felt that the session was really successful and the participants were positive about the experience - thinking now about how to extend the experience either by myself - working out how to offer presentations to spaces in the world I can't get to or working with NUA to get individuals to present ideas to our students through the internet without them having to leave their studios - saving money, time and the planet.
The final shows are coming fast and the space at NUA is ready and waiting for the work to arrive and be installed. Meetings about exhibition layout, although teamshow2013, a group of volunteers on the textile course at NUA have been wonderful, organising and creatively thinking about the exhibition and the web presence - which will take the form of a blog, a portal to their own web presence. New Designers also looms with NUA textiles having a stand with a new look this year. 

meanwhile a boarded up space to think about.

Friday, 10 May 2013


An immense day of thinking – an hour in the V&A – looking at draping as part of the sculptures – esp in the medieval galleries – then onto the reason I was in London - Lidewij Edelkoort – Trend Union Plan B presentation for 2014-15 really inspiring and informative – some excellent issues to take back to the students at NUA. The presentation really stuck me as to the value of an art education – the world really is made of stuff that we (visual thinkers) have conceived. Finally onto the Whitechapel to see Gert and Uwe Tobias some interesting ways of displaying wonderfully odd exhibits.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


turn the page was a great success – I spent much of the time talking with Tanya Peixoto of the bookartbookshop and eventually gave her all my ‘stock’ to sell in the book shop – so if you are passing – pop in and see what she has.

Its that time again - reading the research reports for the MA Book Arts at Camberwell - the titles give an indication of the breadth of issues and research strands that the students are engaged in. As ever there are some wonderfully insightful moments that challenge or support notions held within your own practice.
Material in book arts: exploring the relation between material and the body of artist books
Repetition in Artists' Books
How have the foundations of Collage influenced the Assemblage of Book Art?
Variable readings: A throw of the dice will never abolish chance.
"How frame and time work as a tool to depict the landscape"
Diary as Art: exploring Dieter Roth’s diary works in relation to Fluxus
How are the formal and structural elements of the comic book utilised by creator and reader in the construction of time?
The interplay of movement and bookstructure: movements interplay with book structures in relation to readers by comparing Ed Rusha’s Every Building on the building on the Sunset Strip and Stephanie Ognar’s Flip Book Bath
The Physically of the Book, The Richness of Reading Experience
How the content of Keith Smith’s Snow Job and Susan King’s Lessons from the South are enriched by creating the text’s visual form on typography and book structure
Quality abstract in photography exploring the photos in Paris shot by William Eggleston regarding the notion of Geometric abstract painting
Memory and Memorial – an evaluation of their relationship with the textile object.
Paper Fanzines: Nostalgia for Golden Ages of Rock Music, or a Quest for Authenticity? What drives modern music fan to reach for increasingly obsolete tangible media forms?
How are the issues of ‘place, voice and subject’ more successfully communicated in Get Here (Imogen Stidworthy, 2006) through focusing on the participatory nature of the work?
How does the inclusion of text add to the narrative dimensions of photography? Looking at the work of Clarissa Sligh, Duane Michals and Shirin Neshat.
Marching Backwards into the future. Or why does McLuhan, Flore and Agels’s The medium is the massage feel so now?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


turn the page is opening on friday so today has been spent printing out labels and a banner for the wall behind the table – my first bookfair for a long, long, long time, the personal, professional and geographical connections have lured me back so it will be interesting to see how the work is received by the general public. Part of the reasoning behind showing work is to promote the unpicking and rebinding project that is coming to a space near you soon
other news - there is a mini-exhibition of The Library of Lost Books currently running at The Bessant Gallery in Wolverhampton – my bookwork - Hopkins Soc. Lectures is in case 2 if anybody’s passing.
the bicycle shop on St Benedict’s Street has Elbow Room on Thursday at 7.00 - Live Stories and Poetry from UEA students. Live music and general frivolity! - Free Entry - performing is Rosie Sherwood currently studying at Camberwell on the book arts course exploring the concept of time within the comic – most excellent..
Codex: between this and that – the launch was a crowded success – at the bookart bookshop last week I’m looking forward to receiving my copy of the publication in the post.