Sunday, 28 June 2015


okay – a day at new designers – as ever it’s a full-on experience that takes its toll on both the mind and sole (yes aching feet is a large part of the equation). But I had some interesting conversations and was able to steer some of them towards students. As ever on display there is the good, the bad and the indifferent but its a manageable experience size wise and you are able to take in ‘the best of textile graduates’ in what could be a long morning. Although the jewellery area is fascinating, and the jewellery that explores the idea of jewellery is always interesting. A day in London to see graduation shows - Chelsea and Royal College Shows is a long day, although it’s worth it to see such see so much extraordinary optimism. Chelsea Fine Art is chaotic and exciting and the constructed work within the textiles show makes one want to get back to the studio. Ideas are free flowing through some great making at the Royal College where the finish in the making is exceptional and its then executed within the final hang so that even work that one finds not interesting is trusted as having integrity.
This week when not looking at, hanging or facilitating the work of others I’ve been working on some new folds – looking at the grid and seeing what can happen with one sheet.

Next week is all about the hang at Camberwell and the Private views at Norwich The Book Art students have posted on the Camberwell blog about the catalogue they have created – check it out here.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


How do you manage to make dinosaurs boring? Well Jurassic World has managed just that – dull dull dull and oddly it has a number of misjudged moments of violence towards women which I found unnecessary. Meanwhile if you are in the area the barkcloth show at the British museum is quite gorgeous – tucked away in room 91 it shows a wide range of approaches to the making of cloth from bark along with some startling graphic designs - as a bonus you get to walk past the mummies on the way there and make exciting connections between the two displays. The image of how the chief of the Nadrau Tui Nadrau wrapped the cloth around him so that with one pull it could all be removed and presented to a visitor was wonderfully odd.
The Agnes Martin at The Tate is quite sublime – room 5 has a number of large grid paintings – they talk of duality – inside outside, freedom restraint, closed open, random order. The room of drawings on paper gives you an insight into the process of conceiving these pieces – its a must see show.

The Norwich Textile design course has a stand at New Designers again this year – spent most of Monday building it - I left it looking very clean and structured – it will be interesting to see it with the students work in/on/around it when I have a stint manning it on Thursday. The students on the MA Book Art Course are in their last week of developing  work before we hang it next week for their graduation show. It was good to be in the space with a tape measure and begin to see how the pieces made by individuals become a collective joint show.........hopefully!

Saturday, 20 June 2015


an evening that was both entertaining and educational – well actually more inspirational – the Boulez show at Snape was quite excellent - a great idea for a way of exploring a life – moving screens, translation of sound and image, music and words projected, voices, live footage, - it was all there – I’ve always thought that performances of music and words might benefit from visuals and there it was …….Boulez explained the idea of creating systems to explore and play music – I loved the phrase – random and obliged in terms of playing choice.

Returning to folding – looking at the idea of developing systems to create large sheets of folded material. This is using both a modular approach – many similar individual elements interconnected and also working within the purity of one sheet - starting with a very large sheet and ending with a substantial smaller piece.

Monday, 15 June 2015


Got to see multi-story orchestra in Ipswich at the weekend –  the one nice ‘extra’ moment was police sirens from the street adding into the mix – I would of liked more of the ambient sounds infiltrating what was great playing to make it worthwhile sitting in a drafty space on hard benches – otherwise I struggled to see the point of using a private car park – it would have been more interesting in a public car park so that when I next visited I could of re-invented the space in my mind – or a more random seating plan so that maybe we wandered around, or the kids could of danced - oh well a missed opportunity.

Meanwhile the final show at NUA of textiles BA students at Norwich is looking good – here’s their site

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


Well some imaginative house building is going on locally – maybe destined for the owners of such considerately parked cars. Meanwhile I’m surrounded by diagrams of room layouts with notes over it them. It’s planning exhibition time and for me that means an extended time of flexible negotiation. I try to enable the individual work to shine, finding the space that works for it within mass group show. Last night I was at a great event at Wensum Lodge in Norwich at the private view of the foundation Course. The show an eclectic mix of fantastic, intense work from young people at the beginning of their creative careers - it lasts until Friday - go see. Bob had a body of work exploring the idea of embedding emotions within objects, including 4 bookworks and around 30 sculptures for the hand, as well as 4 sited pieces over Norfolk and Suffolk.

Friday, 5 June 2015


Invited to participate in Focal point Gallery’s 25th Anniversary, to produce one or more animated GIFs for the multi-screen exhibition Graphics Interchange Format: 25 Years of Focal Point Gallery. Here’s the GIF.
Mad Max – I've got a great idea for a film – let’s chase each other......until we turn around and chase back.........oh yes and we we’ll get somebody with a guitar that shoots fire!
It’s been an intense week of assessing final work on the Textile Design Course at NUA. An interesting experience – the emotions range from weary sadness where you have projected wondrous possibilities onto a student and their work but they have just not attained their potential for a number of reasons; dullness, lack of engagement or just an innate inability. To that of warm excited surprise when a portfolio is opened and glorious intense work spills out from a student whom you have not really engaged with but they have gained in some way from the experience of the course.  I asked about the criteria to be used when judging the suitcase prize as part of the pulse festival and the response after the blank stare was that they would choose the best!
Meanwhile Lost Dog’s Paradise Lost at the dance house in Ipswich was a glorious shambolic romp through Paradise Lost blending God with parenthood – quite brilliant – I’m still thinking about it a week later.

The day at Camberwell led to another wonderful series of cross-cultural exchanges around the idea of finish and a workshop I run around finishedness!!!