Thursday, 31 March 2016


just looking through some of the 100s of photographs I took in New York last week - these are from the Brooklyn neighbourhood we stayed in and focus on some of the religious spaces on the corners.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016


A throw of the dice will never abolish chance - 
Well - back from 10 days in New York - so much art - where to start - the big shows at the main spaces - Fischli and Weiss at The Guggenheim, Marcel Broodthaers at MOMA, Taryn Simon at the Gagosian, Laura Poitras at The Whitney, The Design Triennial on Beauty at Cooper Hewitt and In Time - rhythm of the workshop at MAD were good but real art highlights were found at more obscure gallery spaces down in the Bowery, often in between Chinese restaurants or above lumber yards, finding them and then entering is an experience in itself. An example was Marina Zurkow at bitforms gallery who showed MORE&MORE - exploring our deconstruction and disregard of the oceans with work using firewalls and code. Other excellent spaces off the beaten track were in industrial estates in Long Island include Fisher Landau Centre for Art, the museum of the moving image, The Centre for sculpture and the Noguchi museum which had a great show by Tom Sachs all spaces seemingly trying hard not to be found.
Total Top highlights were Berlinde De Bruyckere at Hauser & Wirth, I last saw her work in the Belgium Pavillion in Venice and was blown away there but the new pieces in No Life Lost were just stunning. Anri Sala at the New Museum had the mesmerising Ravel Ravel Unravel which again I had seen at a biennale but here it was shown alongside pieces with haunting self playing drums and the video piece Air cushion ride which is a moment  of serendipity captured in a truck stop. Agitprop! At the Brooklyn Museum had Desert Bloom which included a stunning set of documents by Fazal Sheikh, then theres some old favourites - it's always important to experience the power of Alfredo Jarr's Lament of the images and The Beginning of the Universe “Grosse Fatigue” by Camille Henrot is becoming a go-to piece at MOMA. The Masonic signs and symbols at The American Museum of Folk was disturbing in a ghoulish way. Walid Raad's musing on the new art museums being built in the Middle East at Paula Cooper was hauntingly beautiful. Jane Lombard was showing a fantastically intriguing body of work by James Clar, False Awakenings had some very clever work exploring the world from a place just off-kilter.

Often walking through Brooklyn's fantastically diverse communities on my way to Manhattan I used the East River ferries to get uptown - who knew travelling could be so cool - a real recommendation. Evenings were all about food - staying in Williamsbergh means everything is possible - but I also got to see De Materie, an evening of juxtaposed Dutch history at the Armory on Park Avenue an extraordinary opera by Louis Andriessen for which the term 'avant garde' was created - shipbuilding instructions, Madam Curie, Zeppelins, luminated tents, Mondrian, Boogie Woogie and a 100 sheep - whats not to like. Repercussion a world premier by Boomerang an abstractfreejazzdancedrumming evening at Dixon Place was mesmerising. Finally - I took a trip to the pencil shop featured on an episode of Freakonomics which was a real buzz and came away with some beautiful American vintage pencils! 

Thursday, 10 March 2016


lots of teaching this week from briefings about the final show with year 3 textile students at NUA (yes its already that time of year) to a wonderfully intense midterm collaborative session looking at finished work at Camberwell on the Book Art course. As ever it was full of exciting, thoughtful and insightful comments - it's a session where the maker takes notes but does not speak, the work standing on its own without contextual background to support it - a positive experience for the students and one that supports and informs my own practice. Then a session on lateral thinking with year 1 students at NUA it's an attempt to induce a recognition within students that they are creative powerful people.......creative thinking within the visual - we control the world - or at least how it looks.
some films - kill or be killed - a psychological cowbody thriller - odd, dark and gritty. midnight man - is there a twist there somewhere? just bad on so many levels. The Reunion - Atertraffen is worth a watch - an 'art film' in the guise of a 'mainstream' one maybe. After all this okayishness decided to re-watched the game - still good even after repeated viewing and even knowing where it will take you - a taught thriller twisting and turning till the end (almost).
still moving through girls - it gets darker as it moves on - just as everything seems to be resolved and working and generally okay for the case of characters the situation is destroyed by the need for a well chosen chunk of 'truth'! - a break from the 'reality' of New York life is the night manager a 6 part twisting thriller from John le Carré via the BBC with all its values intact.

finally - working on which pieces will be on display as part of the Maxwell Building Inaugural Event, which will take place on the 7-9 of April. I'm showing the film nanocapesarego which demonstrates some of the capes and the materials filmed that were used to make the them. Hopefully alongside this I'll show a couple of the experimental bookwork hand sculptures - I have so many to choose from, as ever I got excited and just kept making.

Sunday, 6 March 2016


a day of building projects and making connections - then onto 2 sessions of Shakespeare with Forced Entertainment - I managed to see 8 plays with everyday objects standing in for the characters, all on a table top - storytelling of the first degree - it really was brilliant. If you ever get the opportunity to see Forced Entertainment grab it and if they are doing table-top Shakespeare start lining up.....Although badly hung Electronic Superhighway at the Whitechapel has some gems - Allan Kaprow's Hello was very funny and of the moment (in both 1969 and 2016!) another odd historical piece was the very creepy surveillance shoe by Jill Magi. Of the new work on show JODI's Geogoo and Jan Robert Leegte's Scrollbar Composition were highlights. The Wellcome Trust has States of Mind -Tracing the Edges of Consciousness a mixed show of work created by artists and historical documents from their collection. it's worth it to see Mary Kelly's Post-Partum Document.