Sunday, 23 June 2013


A busy week at NUA putting together the finishing touches to our stand for New Designers which starts next week. There’s some exciting work being made by NUA students specifically for the show. NUA have their degree show at the same time as New Designers so new work has to be made – the students have made some of their best work, scaling up and pulling together ideas that they have been working/thinking about for a year. Chelsea and Central St Martin’s students don’t have this issue as their show closes before. I went to see their final years work on Saturday to see what the competition is doing. Chelsea Textiles was excellent as ever – inventive use of traditional techniques, especially knit and weave, some intense use of hand stitch, bold use of colour and strong design skills. Unsure about Fine Art – I am sure they have a policy about the quality of students work in relationship to where they are hung. There is a wide range of work in terms of quality and actual making and the general level of thought or care is mixed – maybe it’s great to be a student there, next to the Tate, but the final show always feels a little underwhelming, unlike Graphics which is scarily organised – tight and professional. Back at Kings Cross Menswear Fashion at Central was a highlight but I found the Women’s wear a little tacky and theatrical, although the Look Books were exciting and full of inventive ideas. Jewellery at Central was ingenious, new uses for traditional techniques, exciting use of established materials and some new materials. The same went for the Jewellery at the RCA but just that little bit more polished. The RCA show as a whole was just so dam good – a real pleasure to walk around – excellent, totally creative work alongside a professional attitude. The work in the Sculpture Space has to be the highlight of the work at Battersea although I did enjoy the Glass and Ceramics work in the Dyson Building.

I hope that year 2 students at NUA get to New Designers to see what’s out there - their competition is very good and they need to know. Or not!!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


A most excellent day in London - at Camberwell – Symposium 2 on the Book Art Course was full! It was made up of a range of student presentations that illustrated diverse individual relationships to the book. Ranging from the voice accompanied video performance, new work shown large for the first time, promos for books, chronological narratives and     The session is an outcome, evidence for a moment of reflection on the course – for me it was a great pleasure to see the development of the students practice and I left with a note book full of starting points to research. One student – Joanna Brinton back from a residency in Japan is in a show titled Down the Dori - The Cookhouse Gallery at Chelsea College of Art, London July 2 – 5, 9 – 8pm – to see more of her work ...
Amber Ablett also back from Bergen - had an interesting body of new work. another link to a personal presence on the web.
Then off to the BA show at Camberwell – two stand-out shows - Drawing was very eclectic and made one rethink the idea of drawing and Illustration, usually lost on me as a concept – it was very professional with some engaging work. Then off to Cork Street to see Laurence Edwards show at Messums –  Laurence’s work is very exciting (for Bronze casting!!) and thought provoking. I of course take all the credit for his ‘truth to materials’ aesthetic and engagement with the Bronze casting process that came out of conversations during our collaboration on the Louth Art Trail. But seriously see the work on his web site if you can’t get to see the work in the flesh. 


Tuesday, 11 June 2013


A busy day in London – the beginning of discussions about the final show for the Book Art students  - then off to see Cornelia Parker show at Frith Street Gallery.  A beautiful exhibition of exquisite pieces that really works in the space. On the way back to Liverpool Street I got caught up in the storming of the G8 protesters space. I have never seen so many police in such a small space – blocking off a street in central London supported by helicopters and numerous back up vans in surrounding streets and squares. 

Sunday, 9 June 2013


SNAP at Snape - where I saw 2 giant penis's and a man covered in milk - artists from previous SNAP exhibitions had been invited again - this time to contribute works related to or inspired by Britten and as ever the work was fantastically obscure and wonderfully impenetrable - To quote the web site - Exactly to whom or what Fuller’s and Lucas’ strange ritual is directed remains uncertain...........very old school in this 'new audiences, public funded, accessible landscape'.  My favourite moment was attending the opening of the exhibition and not being allowed to see some works as there was a rehearsal on in one of the rooms........ If you go make sure that you see the film by Benedict Drew – the best work in the show and check out Ryan Gander's witty twitter feed of Benjamin Britten’s baton - very Benny Hill/Frankie Howard Oooooooooh Mrs .

But the highlight of the weekend was untouchable – a glorious film about what it is to be alive -