Sunday, 30 November 2014


Another set of interesting texts to read from the MA Book Art Students – it really is a privilege to have access to such a range of interesting strands of research – this important opportunity enables me to feed this thinking back into the teaching I’m involved in both at Camberwell and Norwich. cross fertilization is the key. Titles to this year’s dissertations......
Eastern Art and Philosophies Influencing John Cage and Western art Influencing Huang Yongping Xu Bing: representing the characteristics of their time or acts of imitation
How book artists represent memory of a place and how these memories are translated to communicate with the readers
How do Kenneth Goldsmith and Simon Morris use compositional stratergies of copying to produce new works within the context of a digital age?
The Work of Seance: How materiality affects absence in translation in Anne Carson’s Nox and Christian Hawkeys’s Ventrakl.
Colour in the Book How colour contributes to the sequential flow, structure and meaning within in artist books.
Image: consciousness and bliss A play of Visual Perception and Meanings
How are different interpretations of place and memory reflected in the imagery, design and structure of two different artists’ books?

Meanwhile ... Godzilla – was most excellent – check out the sound track – the sounds are part electricity part pure fear and always ‘other’. The film is a great thrill seat of your pants experience with the action stopping not once in the entire film – something or someone is always moving or in jeopardy. On the work front – I’ve submitted some pieces for the proposed staff show at NUA titled in plain sight – should be interesting 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Managed to see the show at Raven Row - – most excellent – looking at the work of KP Brehmer who found new ways to visualise global capitalism which are of increasing relevance today – an agent of social and political change the show explores ways of communicating data in indirect ways rather than an ‘information is beautiful’ way. As ever the space is the star and the incredibly detailed and professionally produced printed matter. Rise of the planet of the apes – is just that with guns and apes on horseback – it all felt a little unnecessary.

Friday, 21 November 2014


Just watched Under the Skin - it’s what happens when a music video director gets to make a ‘science fiction’ feature film. There are some extra-ordinary moments - images and sequences that stay with you - specifically the walking backwards sinking sequence, the overlapping movements of people and the peeling skin in the forest but as a feature film it lacks .......something. The extras reveal an interesting sequence of images around the design of the poster.  2 days in the North working on hanging the show and assessment for the first cohort was a lot of serious fun. Sheffield was a shock - large significant buildings within the centre were boarded up, including a huge market space, although giant (slightly out of proportion) fountains/falling water construction outside the station was a bold attempt at a renewed civic pride thing.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Well – fame by association ish – I appear to be a (small) part of the winning team working on the MA Fine Art, Open College of the Arts (OCA). The team, nominated by students has won the best teaching team (arts and humanities) at the Prospects Postgraduate Awards beating well....everybody! Especially the shortlisted - School of Architecture/Landscape Architecture Team, Birmingham City University and the Fine Arts Team, University for the Creative Arts Canterbury. Working in the future is very exciting – the technology sometimes is a little fuzzy/cluttered but in general it brings order and discipline to the creative thinking. Looking forward to the show in Sheffield.

An image of my work with Naomi Mcintosh features on the blog for parallel practices at the crafts council - it looks good  

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Thinking about working within rules – as part of an excellent talk around the body as a tool - Dominic Johnson set out the MANIFESTO ON DANCE BY MEHMET SANDER – strenuous -

The subjects of each dance are the movements themselves. Dance is to be performed and perceived primarily on a physical level. Accordingly, risk taking is an essential factor when performing a task in order to defy the audience’s analyzing process. The task should be used to create a sense of urgency. A risk-taking technique enables the dancers to be both observed and experienced physically first. Furthermore, creating dance on an emotional basis is self-indulgent, since as human beings we are already emotional. It is senseless to incorporate an additional layer of emotion to movement. This non-emotional approach also enables the execution of a task to be clearly manifested; rejecting a ‘performance’ element on the dancers’ part. From the commencement of the dance piece to its conclusion, the dancers never cease movement unless their range of motion is impeded by physical forces such as the confinement of space or the impact against a wall or other dancers. Consequently, the confinement of space increases new movement possibilities. Another physical element in dance is the utilization of gravity as an enchancement rather than an obstruction. Gravity should be demonstrated as the initiator of movement rather than be camouflaged as it is done in ballet. There are no transitions between tasks. The dancers proceed to the next task as quickly as possible. Music is deleted. The timing of the work stems from whatever patterns are natural to the execution of the task. The concepts of the soloist and of unison movement are also omitted. The choreography should create the space that exists between the dancers instead of emphasizing on how the dancers move within the space. Rather than being conditioned to accept the proscenium stage as standard space, the performance space should be questioned with every dance piece. Evidently. The use of the stage wings is also omitted. Horizontal and vertical orthogonals are applied to the occupancy of space. Thus, geometric shapes such as the triangle, the circle and the square are used as the performance space. Movement is approached scientifically; like a scientist working in a lab. Physics is used to create locomotion through invisible forces such as impact, rebound, inertia, velocity and ricochet. Correspondingly, movement systems are developed without the use of the bottom of the feet, i.e. popping, splatting, thumping.


Reflecting on Spill – considering the position of creativity in society.
The edge is recognised, acknowledged, subsumed, mopped up and assimilated by a kind of Borg-like-conventionalism within a capitalist paradigm that atomises individuality then reconstructs and regurgitates it as a commodity for the individual.  The main-stream is veracious in its overwhelming consumption of the ‘other’. Initially spurning what it does not understand, then consuming but never acknowledging or validating the deep roots that initiated the creative thinking that underpinned its watered-down presence in our everyday. This is repeatedly the case – be it the role of the arts in the gentrification of derelict and disregarded areas of the city or the alternative death celebrations that have arisen, initially created by a generation questioning coming to terms with early death. This lack of recognition and respect is on-going thanks to ignorance and fear. Thoughts collated from the last 35 years whilst sitting within a like-minded group of people waiting.
The MA Book Art students have an exhibition for three weeks in the library at Camberwell of altered books – the results of a short set project. The crit yesterday focused on discussing the creative strategies the students had employed to develop work from the books they had been given, finding and developing texts or alternative narratives embedded within the initial books. How much to leave, remove, alter, add or possibly use the book as a starting point to other work. Onto the Polar Institute in Cambridge where I gave a paper for SHARE on the work I have undertaken with The Costume and Textile Study Centre at Norwich Castle.  All went well – myself and Ruth were a wonderfully unscripted double act – it’s all about trust - in the other parties involved, knowing what you do and finally believing in and understanding your role.
Managed to see The Polar Muse at the Polar Institute Museum. It’s a number of texts specially commissioned as responses to objects from the collection. The textual interventions were vinyl cut onto the glass of the cases that hold the collection – it was an interesting experience to see the objects through a veil of words. They also have the wonderful Caroline Wright working in residence there de-constructing de-accessioned objects – powerful stuff.

The current show at the Whitechapel is most excellent – the work by Richard Tuttle explores his use of textiles; everything from single threads that protrude from the wall and play with the real and imagined, cut canvas sheets through to complicated constructed pieces. The current children’s commission by Fraser Muggeridge: Mimeographica Alphabetica - work using stencils and old technology of the rotastat machine – the Proustian rush! (I can still smell the chemicals) is very playful and explores an interesting intersecting place between Graphics, Typography and Fine Art practice.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Four days immersed in the world of live art.... Spill Festival Ipswich. Starting with the sounds of fleeing souls of Siren at the opening party – and ending with INCORRUPTIBLE FLESH: MESSIANIC REMAINS with Ron Athey - with 42 events in between. I could just list everything on the programme that I saw – it’s crept into my though process, providing images to stimulate and contemplate. Some people to look out for in future - standout moments - which in turn become recommendations have to be - the graphic simplicity of Jamie Lewis Hadley, Kris Canavan’s procession through Ipswich, the full on frontal assault by Swagga with Project O, Keijaun Thomas’s seductive complicity, the joyous deconstruction of Peter McMaste’s all male Withering Heights and Get in the back of the van’s The best little whorehouse in Texas, the intensity of Jon John and Adam Electric’s endurance. Then there was the experience of an almost continual dialogue throughout the 4 days, these were focused by the more formal Spill Salon conversations -the idea of the/a safe world with Ron Athey, John Bowers and Domenic Johnson was inspirational.