Tuesday, 28 November 2017


It's been a busy 6 days of student exhibitions and teaching. After assessing on the MA Book Art Course at Camberwell, lots of mapping of practice with post-it notes, I went to see the final Year Fine Art midterm exhibition at Chelsea which was full of ideas and on the moment thinking around critiquing all things social media. The NUA Textile Design final year midterm exhibition in St Margaret's church was a hugely eclectic success, the work looked good and lots of learning took place and with 6 months to go the tone felt about right.
I also managed to drop into Laurence Edwards studio to see the wonderful madness that is a 25ft man - it is going to be truly extraordinary - well it is already. http://www.laurenceedwardssculpture.com/

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Kill All Normies - online culture wars from 4chan and tumblr to Trump and the Alt-right by Angela Nagle is a full on deconstruction of what has actually been going on with society online behind the instagram sheen of the selfie. It is importantly disturbing and a must read to understand how we got here. Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue is a hilarious time travelling fractured romp that uses real tennis as a spine to talk about so many glorious things including using Anne Boleyn's hair in the stuffing of tennis balls. Managed to read these books on a recent trip to Marseille. There is an interesting video exhibition at the Friche - which is an old tobacco factory http://www.marseille-tourisme.com/en/discover-marseille/the-essentials/la-friche-belle-de-mai/ with a great vibe. I always gravitate to the MuCEM a truly extraordinary building down by the docks. Meanwhile in a visit to French Markets in the countryside it felt like I had found myself in a kind of meta-Frenchness.

Sunday, 12 November 2017


so a couple of things - at Snape Maltings we saw the results of a week's residency - three witches https://snapemaltings.co.uk/whats-on/open-session-witches-three/ - unsure what was added to the genre/issue of exploring how we as a society marginalise and oppress outsiders and those deemed different that shows like Black Mirror and the artist Rachael Maclean http://www.rachelmaclean.com/ have already brought to the table, although the voices were superb. Maybe we need more reminders of our history of violence towards women - so the idea of it becoming a huge community play where the audience get to boo and cheer as women are hung (maybe the crowd could be incentivised to do this, the more you cheer the less you pay) is something that we would pay to watch - maybe do this in areas where people voted to leave the EU - maybe not, the whole idea just got very dark. I can remember shouting with glee 'crucify him' at a community mummers play in Lincolnshire in the late 80s and feeling very odd!! http://www.visit-constablecountry.co.uk/articles/matthew-hopkins-the-witch-finder-general

Caught up with and watched two seasons of Stranger things http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334/ some great acting and an interesting spin on the value of early game playing - you never know when rethinking dungeons and dragons will help you out with dealing with dark evil things. Have safely got my ticket to flight of the conchords at the O2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDXcPgEZj6I - it will be odd to see them there but maybe it will feel warm to be in amongst people who love them 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


a great day in London with the Book Arts students at Camberwell - we were out and about
looking at work and making connections with the project proposals and ideas of
research and developing practice. The British Library treasures gallery had some interesting rethinking around the objects unearthed from this year's cohort. The value of getting out and seeing stuff should never be underestimated - I got to re-see the objects which was itself a treasure. There was also a really nice little show called Listen about 140 years of recorded history - lots of headphones - I got to hear the first (in theory) Dub Reggae track -
Pick a Dub by Keith Hudson 1974. Took me back to Big Youth and aggressive school
discos with skinheads and the generally tense time that was the 70s. The site 
http://sami.bl.uk/ has some extraordinary material. The afternoon was at White Cube which has 2 excellent exhibitions by Ann Veronica Jassens and Damien Ortega http://whitecube.com/exhibitions/damian_ortega_bermondsey_2017/
There are some interesting uses of materials and iterations of ideas through different mediums - a fantastically illuminating day of conversations. How does the materiality of an artwork inform and be informed by its content?

Wednesday, 1 November 2017


an excellent 2 days in London - yesterday at Camberwell was all about making and thinking with year 2 and work-shopping  an idea I have been working with 'science' people on - diagramming and visualising in 3D ones thinking. It was an interesting session and like the best teaching I learnt a lot about how a project can be re-imagined through the creation of new tools. The afternoon was the crit of the first project with the new year 1 - there was some great starting points and wonderfully creative thinking that will support the development of their practice.
today was all about creative thinking at Kings with excellent science (medical) people and artists working on developing the 3D synthetic teaching module. it really is such a fantastic pleasure to be in the room with thinking people surrounded by gloriously splendid stuff such as ape skeletons and octopus - if only I could document the vast shelves of body parts to show!
managed to see Everything at once - the Lisson show at 180 Strand - a mixed bag but there are some gems - we obviously love most if not all of the Lisson artists, the gallery has been a go-to space since I was a student. so we have Cory Arcangel, Lawrence Weiner and Dan Graham. Anish Kapoor pulls off a beautiful illusion of space, Rodney Grapham's film Vexation Island is just very oddly bizarrely darkly funny but highlights are Ryoji Ikeda - the room is just digitally alive, Susan Hiller's hypnotic room of TV's and then there is the tightly edited film by Arthur Jafa on the roof, the experience of which is itself a gem - the view is eclectic. 
I then found myself in the middle of the incident at Covent Garden - very strange - I turned around to see a black cab travelling around road works colliding with a white van which  hits a pedestrian and crosses the road and ploughs into more people on pavement, sort of within more road works. so it's all fairly calm and people are tending to those knocked over until a film unit with lights starts filming then people watch that and a lot of police arrive and shouting then more police then more arrive running now police cars and a lot of sirens then you appear to be surrounded by police as people sort of get on with getting home or going out the area around the crash is cordoned off and then the anti-terrorist police arrive then the helicopter then the cordon gets wider lots more shouting and which point I decide to cycle off. any other time it would of passed off as an accident and we would of gone on about our business  but I guess we live in 'other' times.