Tuesday, 30 September 2014


a good day working with Book Art students from Camberwell – out and about using London as a resource. First stop the Treasures of the British Library in the Sir John Ritblat Gallery. After setting a research task we moved around the gallery listening to each person’s new found relationship to specific individual pieces. They were asked to construct connections between the work on display and their interests, starting to form the beginning of their research practice. The books and manuscripts on display are truly magnificent each time I go I find something else that informs me of my own work, often with the support of the student’s insights.
Then onto the Photographers Gallery to see  Dalston Anatomy by Lorenzo Vitturi- the work is totally of place - the market on Ridley Road and was a great example of how to use London as a resource as well as bringing up conversations around display, referencing work within work and reading images – all in all a great day. As ever a pity about the train service – again....
There are clutch of great shows coming up which I intend to visit – here’s a list - check them out.
Matthew Barney – Sadie Coles HQ 10 oct – 13 dec http://www.sadiecoles.com/ecards/press/119.html
Lawrence Weiner – south london gallery  26 oct – 23 nov http://www.southlondongallery.org/page/all-in-due-course
What Marcel Duchamp taught me – the fine art society contemporary 10 oct – 5 nov http://www.fadwebsite.com/2014/09/25/preview-what-marcel-duchamp-taught-me-faslondon/
Lizze fitch / ryan trecartin – zabludowcz collection 2 oct – 21 dec http://www.zabludowiczcollection.com/london/events/exhibition-preview-lizzie-fitch-ryan-trecartin

Plot – Jose Damasceno an Artangel project at Holborn library 3 oct – 23 nov http://www.artangel.org.uk//projects/2014/plot/about_the_project/plot

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


A great day at Camberwell - the first crit with the Book Art students work had a range of exciting starting points that I am sure will inform their personal projects. The week-long brief is a site specific structural book one where students engage with a particular space and make bookworks in response.

Rosie Sherwood http://rosiesherwood.tumblr.com/ , ex Book Art student from Camberwell  has a show at www.bookartbookshop.com titled In the Gutter - Private View  2nd Oct 6.00-8.30pm shows on 3rd Oct- 16th Oct bookartbookshop 17 Pitfield St London N1 6HB Wed-Fri:1-7pm Sat: 12-6pm.

Sunday, 21 September 2014


a totally bonkers film entwining moments of madness,
a lecture, special effects, car chases, and theories around time and space!!
Lucy is Luc Besson squared; it’s so drenched in ‘Bessoness’ that its laugh out
loud preposterous but it comes at you so thick and fast that you stop thinking
about notions of reality...... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2872732/  Desert Islands Discs is back and it starts with the wonderful Steve McQueen – it’s a beautifully straight and honest
session especially his answers to his supposedly prickly reputation – all surrounded
by some excellent tracks http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/desert-island-discs/castaway/35a73c40#b04hml41 meanwhile working on presentations for next year at NUA feels good – considering the developing needs presented to lecturers by new cohorts of students and finally creating work for  squeeze fold bend and expand http://de-reform.blogspot.co.uk/ coming to Nicholas Jarr late but enjoying his remixes of familiar tracks esp Mulatu Astatke - Yegelle Tezeta http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0Y3g8ccMgA Nina Simone - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G24es4IS8E
Marvin Gaye - Inner City Blues http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KavN_f0-lnU and also his solo work and Darkside http://www.nicolasjaar.net/

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


A most excellent and full day at Camberwell working on the book art course. In the morning– a demonstration/workshop that explored holistic bookmaking including idea initiation, image and text generation in relation to each other, sequence as spaces in time, the concept of structure in relationship to the core of an idea and form as content. In the afternoon two presentations; 1 – http://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/001-reflective-practice-38892095 looking the value of the reflective journal included building diagrammatic explanations of practice and its relationship to the connections in our lives. 2 http://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/what-is-book-bookness exploring the idea of the book and our relationship to it. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014


finally managed to get round to watching Frank – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605717/
Fassbinder yet again manages another intense performance - presenting a range
of powerful emotions – this time from behind a giant papier-mâché head! – a glorious
film about illness, hope, dreams and the purity of the creative act – a must
It was great to see the skip sisters - http://www.skipsisters.co.uk/diary.html
featured in the Saturday guardian over the weekend – they made some great stuff
out of what is left behind – wonderfully creative. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/13/how-to-create-treasures-out-of-rubbish-easy-skip-projects
and even though Frank isn’t about Frank Sidebottom it made me
reach for my Frank Sidebottom vinyl - enjoy

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


Giulio Paolini’s show at The Whitechapel Gallery To Be or Not to Be is a body of quizzical, clever work that repeatedly refers to itself within each artwork as well as outside to the 'tradition' of looking and referencing. Clever in that the viewer is constantly deconstructing and decoding visual game play (artist as master thief or serial killer leaving clues to be unpicked and solved by downtrodden detectives) one feels as if a spectator in a temporal game whose rules are in flux.
I last saw the work of Kader Attia at Tate Modern - it was a powerful dual slide show juxtaposing images of WW1 soldiers facial reconstruction with images from an archive of everyday items that had also had their lives extended by ingenious fixing(s). The show at the Whitechapel continues this theme with disfigured marble busts of soldiers next to repaired Arabic leaning boards. Within the building there is a lot to see if you throw in a series of films shown in the Zilkha Auditorium, the socially engaging work by Stephen Willats, Francis Upritchard's Zabludowicz collection Project where he has worked with Brazilian rubber to create a series of intriguing animals and the selection of sculptural pieces by Mike Nelson from the V-A-C collection. But I'm waiting for the Richard Tuttle show which coincides with the Tate Turbine Hall Commission that I saw being built the other day - it is very large and I think could be a winner.

Its the Chinese moon festival – yes the moon has been quite incredible over the past week – so a trip to China Town to buy moon cake in celebration.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


Well a full-on two days so far this week – finalising timetables at NUA for the textiles design course – building on our previous experience and introducing current themes as ever - its going to be a full year! Then delivering on-line a briefing session for a module that I’m running for the OCA. It has its focus in testing boundaries by considering audiences and the spaces where the work that we make is made public. Off to London and symposium 1 at Camberwell, the new cohort of Book Art students is eclectic and wonderful – my notes of the session include – looking at things I didn't understand – failure is wonderful – unconscious recollection – the invisible in books – the choice we made to know something – ritual as transformative – codes for communication – house as a container – book as opera – information is beautiful – visible and invisible graphics – what does reading look like? – thinking smoothly – recognising the whole life of an object – using photographs rather than taking them – there is something there but I'm not sure what it is.

Then off to Tate Modern – the Malevich show is quite breathtaking in a cerebral thinking way – the room of works on paper mapping his developments over a number of crucial years is incisive, outlining the importance of drawing as a tool for thinking – the recreation of the seminal supremacist exhibition is marvellous, to be in the presence of work after being enamoured by the images for so long was quite moving but the real gem was the ‘education’ room where Malevich’s theories on painting and the relationship between colour and music is laid out on huge charts. If you are interested in art and education you have to see this work. http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern

Thursday, 4 September 2014


The program for the wondrous SPILL festival is out http://spillfestival.com/all-events/ with the theme ON SURRENDER it’s going to be a storming few days in Ipswich between 29 Oct – 2 Nov 2014. Already looking forward to it especially Incorruptible Flesh by the iconic Ron Athey. http://ronatheynews.blogspot.co.uk/

Meanwhile work continues on researching new ways of thinking about folding, collapsing, bending and expanding – maybe platonic solids are the answer...