Wednesday, 18 December 2013


I’ve been invited by Sarah Bodman from the Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE Bristol, on behalf of the International Association, Moscow Book Arts to be part of an exhibition in Russia. It’s from the 13th March – 18th May 2014 at the State Historical, Architectural, Art and Landscape Museum-Reserve, Moscow.  It’s an interesting group –
Angie Butler, X =, 2012
Anwyl Cooper-Willis, The Elsewhere Necktie Archive, 2011
Barrie Tullett, A Poem To Philip Glass, 2011
Charlotte Hall, Insectapolis, 2013
Christopher Robinson, La Chamade, 2009
Craig Atkinson, Preston Bus Station: Lost and Found, Craig Atkinson, 2013
Elizabeth Willow and David Armes, Hanging Valley, 2013
Guy Begbie, Black Cross Channel, 1998
Hazel Grainger, Digital Doesn’t Make Me Happy, 2013
Helen Douglas / Thomas Evans, Pivot, 2003
Jackie Batey, Future Fantasteek!, 12, 14 and 15, 2012-2013
Jeremy Dixon, Some Like Awesome American Soldiers, 2011
John Bently Liver & Lights No 40 My Ancestors, 2008
John McDowall, Atramentum, 2012
Julie Johnstone, ten skies, 2007
Les Bicknell, blackfold, 2013
Nancy Campbell, Doverodde, 2012
Otto, Dance, 2013
Pauline Lamont-Fisher, teastains, 2013
Philippa Wood and Tamar MacLellan, Mr Craggs’ left-over type, 2013
Sarah Bodman, GM Future, 1999
seekers of lice, quot, 2008
Simon Goode, Various Small Cookies, 2011
Simon le Ruez, Elsewhere, 2013
Sophie Loss, Swinging Susan, 2010
Stephen Fowler, White Heat, 2010
Susan Johanknecht, moments of forces, 1997
Theresa Easton, Thrifty Tips, 2013
Tom Sowden, Fortynine Coach Seats Travelling Along The M4, 2003

I’ve also got a small show at the Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE Bristol from Mon 7th April - Sat 31st May 2014. It will be nice to show the folded 'smocking is evil' sculptural paper pieces to a wider world
Meanwhile my proposal for Cley14 has been accepted so I need to focus on that to firm up some logistics – the statement – proposal for Cley14
the book - a space of debate – a place for the storage and dissemination of information – an exchange – a position – a settlement.
The work takes the form of structures that are created from joining (binding) two or more book structures together. The arrangement of book forms joined together enables reflection on the notion of conversation. It is a comment on the books that are in all of us, a response to the idea that when a person dies it is as if a library is burnt. It is a reflection on our negotiation with ageing and death.
I would like to make an intervention into the graveyard. I would attach at least 2 and possibly more books to every grave. At the moment I am considering working with rope/heavy twine to ‘fix’ the work, although I also like the idea of holding the books down with a large stone collected from the beach, referencing the Jewish tradition of placing stones on graves as a sign of remembrance and a symbol of the permanence of memory.
The books would be very simple handmade and blank. They would act as a symbol of narrative, of story, of conversation. The audience filling in the blanks. The piece would actually be the connection of the books with the stone of the grave, highlighting the text cut into the stone.
The work would change over the time of the exhibition, deteriorating with the weather, but they would be secured so as not to litter the space.

I would also like to display a limited editioned bookwork within the church; it would support the thinking and engage with the ideas behind the intervention outside. 


At the moment I have become fascinated by the Klan photography of Andre Serrano. It may seem trivial but the Klan ‘costume’ photographs illustrate the poverty of the owner’s sewing skills which appears to reveal their poverty of imagination. I have started to revisit some of the images from the unpicking and rebinding project and have been struck by the similarity that occurs between the smock and the so called "glory suit". There is a project in here somewhere which conflates the two ideas and possibly examines the position of control, power, ownership, sense of place and entitlement in rural areas.

Sunday, 15 December 2013


frequently asked questions about time travel is a film which starts out as a pub conversation and ends well with multiple narratives and a lot of apocalyptic thinking in the middle – not bad. The damage from the storm led to several thousand pounds of beach hut devastation but one person was organised and boarded up early.
I ran an experimental book folding session in Colchester for year 1 Design and The Book MA. some of the thinking was led by the recent unpicking and rebinding project. meanwhile I await the editors comments on my text for The Bright Lights journal. see an extract below.
When does a bend become a fold?
Within the project a consideration of a practical aspect of categorization that of the description on the paperwork attached to the object led to thoughts around the use of labels. Each object would have to have a unique set of these labels or tags to be able to distinguish it from any other object and then of course to search for it within a collection. Eventually you would have to have so many categories and sub-divisions of categories that you would have a direct copy of the object and then you would in effect have the object mirroring a pre-linnaeu world of polynomical phrases, the long descriptions that attempt to identify individual species. Thinking about ordering within archives and collections and rethinking how to access them sometimes delivers a lack of trust in the objects themselves. This reminded me of the Borges short story On Exactitude in Science. 

Monday, 9 December 2013


A couple of interesting ‘odd ball’ films this weekend – a wonderful rites of passage film - The way way back  you will cry, you will cheer! And from Chan-wook Park, the director of OldBoy, which is also recommended if only for the eating of a live octopus scene comes Stoker twisting and turning all the way to its warped conclusion.

Meanwhile some flooding damage.

Friday, 6 December 2013


Well Gravity all that you would want from a film - it really is most excellent and I recommend everybody to see it. From the extraordinary ‘special effects’ (so special that the film could be a documentary)! - to the range of emotions that Sarah Bullock conveys – all wrapped up in 90 minutes of suspended belief. Meanwhile Alpha Papa mines a particular version of embarrassed bitter humour that had me cringing with knowing laughter – in a good way. Elizabeth 1st and Her people - the show at the National Portrait Gallery is stunning. A spectacular show with some real gems from the dynamic portraits (the representation of cloth and costumes is all subsuming) to the actual artefacts – one cannot help being moved by the tiny knitted glove.
We held the group MA Book Art Camberwell dissertation tutorials on the 4th floor of the Festival Hall. Teaching doesn’t get much better with the added spectacle of the view of north side of the Thames. Afterwards we visited Annely Juda who have a show by Suzanne Treister - In The Name Of Art a dense and layered show which requires a nuanced knowledge of 20th century art history, a working understanding of recent cultural cold war history and a newspaper to fully understand the work (it is supplied). Moving on to the beautiful Frith Street Gallery which has a body of work by Anna Barriball. The pieces work with the space as they both have a sense of being in the process of becoming.  
While working on the MA Design and the Book at the Minories I popped into the show at Firstsite which has a retrospective of Agnes Denes There are some very delicate drawings which are underpinned by smart thinking around philosophical, environmental and sexual politics. The show at the Minories, Mr Eighty has an intriguing range of works, my favourite is the piece created from 4 pins and sellotape – the catalogue description – ‘The edges of the works are reduced to such an extreme that they seem to question their own existence.’ Is a great starting point to thinking about the work.

An image of porta-cabins covered in the image of a building and a collection of velvet ropes behind the scenes at the National Portrait Gallery.

Sunday, 1 December 2013


Well movember is over– pleased with the result but am now smooth faced. Assisted on a photo shoot this afternoon – mirror suit and landscape. The lecture for the Open College of the Arts went well – it really is the future. the presentation looked at the role of research within an art practice – its pivotal position in supporting creative thinking and enabling the making of work. Pecha Kucha’s with year 2 textile students at NUA went very smoothly – their introduction delivers another strand of professionalism which is now embedded in the course. The Thursday lecture by Lee Lapthorne was quite beautiful – mirroring what we talk about in terms of seeking out collaboration, the need to enjoy working on things you are unsure about, failing wonderfully and learning and multi-tasking as a glorious necessary - we really are good at delivering a positive learning and teaching experience to the students.

It’s a busy week coming up with teaching in Norwich for 2 days (mainly assessing) and then London and Colchester. Managed to see a bunch of quite poor films this week......Wild Target - a nice enough jaunt with raft of English luvies doing their thing, The Worlds End - ok – but the funniest moment was the list of pub names which was Very funny, Real Steel - well what to say – boxing robots – it was my own fault that I chose and then watched it and finally Fearless - – relentless but impeccable fighting from Jet Li.