Saturday, 24 March 2018


So a day at Kings - working on synthetic anatomy - on the way using my time on the train to work on the software to construct a number of gifs and creating more 3D pieces that explore the weave and knit aspect of the process. I am sure 3D printing is a textile activity. It was the table displays, one of the culminations of the project. fascinating - in the arts we spend hours debating Learning Outcomes - agreeing on their meaning and talking about transparency. It is almost as if a fear has gripped arts education. The science world had none of that fear and was full of certainty. There was some extraordinary work on display - some of it worthy of gallery space and others would be interesting within a design context. But all were amazing in what they had taken of board in terms of visual communication and storytelling - excellent.
Stayed on to go to see sylvia palacios whitman at a late Tate event - I will not be going again. So controlling, so managed, so badly staged. This was the tragedy and then the work itself .......just dull, verging on pompus and self congratulatory  although its retrospective nature might of let it off these crimes if it wasn't for the new work, a travesty. And I paid £16.00 to sit on the floor behind a pillar! more fool me. Next day was a breath of fresh air - taking in a number of galleries that were more interested in art than controlling the audience - Arcadia Missa and Gossamer Fog had dynamic small scale pieces, The South London Gallery had free.yard curating a show upstairs and downstairs an extraordinary hyper produced exhibition by Magali Reus. The production values of the objects gave it a sheen of otherworldlyness. The overall experience was one of finding clues, it reminded me of the work of Mathew Barney. Finally the highlight was the curated exhibition by isthisit at arebyte on London City Island . It is an extraordinary show of highly considered work, I think Tate membership has to go when the more interesting work is somewhere else.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018


looking through Bilbao images whilst building my bio for OCA - trying to sound calm yet serious, established with experience but open to and excited by new ideas, evangelical about art and its value but not too straight faced.....#minefieldofdecisions
I am an artist. My practice has an extensive history of making, one strand of which explores the concept of bookness. The hybrid nature of the book form has led me to undertake an extensive range of commissions and exhibitions. The work can also be found in numerous public and private international collections.
A desire to collaborate underpins my work, evidenced in an extensive history of socially engaged residencies in a wide range of contexts. Teaching formally within Art College's informs one's own practice and continues to connect me with current creative thinking. I am interested in making work that communicates with people whilst leaving space for the viewer, enabling them to stop and reflect.
The work I am involved in with communities, pupils and students has its roots in attempting to make the world a better place through creativity. A belief in art as a tool for change, as a way of engaging with this world, of seeing its beauty and opportunities and supporting the individual to develop their own understanding. OCA is the future - I love the excellent systems that are in place to support students which in turn enable me to be a good at my job.
I document my practice here and to check out some outcomes go here
I hope it does the job - meanwhile the images explore' ill considered street design decisions' and 'site specific textile activity' the drying racks with umbrellas are my favourite, taking into account the climate. 
meanwhile I Tonya is relentlessly oppressive, but the acting is brilliant, especially the relationship between mother and daughter.

Saturday, 17 March 2018


the shadow and the void - continuing the work on the pieces for Goldlay in Chelmsford. The shadows and their relationship to the objects are really dynamic and have emerged even better than I had hoped.

Thursday, 15 March 2018


Work for Goldlay Square is progressing. The working environment at is a mixture of pre-industrial revelation, labour camp and alchemy. This time of year the cold infiltrates your bones but the mind is engaged with the mental gymnastics needed to cope with watching an idea become a thing. What was a drawing has evolved into very large physical objects. To do this collaboration has been essential, between people and between processes. The tools range from whatsapp to a pencil via illustrator software and a plasma cutter. The air is infused with possibilities and otherness when the hyperotherworldlynesshazyblue of the welding torch merges metals, meanwhile the plasma cutter is a little like magic transcribing and translating the digital to the very physical. We are on our way...

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


'A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world' - Edmond de Goncourt, art critic. The Orange Balloon Dog by Don Thompson uncovers the systems of money that support the art world and how the art world supports money making - a must read but be weary it's got nothing to do with actual art making. In 1899 economist Verlem defined luxury as 'a form of waste designed to confer status on an essentially useless class of people'. Russell Brand's podcast Under the skin 045 - What's the biggest threat to Freedom? islam or Consumerism?  Had an excellent conversation with Sam Harris taking in thoughts around learning which I extended to education. 'Real learning is hard because it's usually painful, you have to recognise that you are wrong in some way, you have to let that part of you that is wrong die' - acquiring a new way of thinking is never easy so, although never a truer word but maybe it could be more about building and developing rather being than such a binary experience. In the film The Shape of Water the sense of loneliness in all the characters lives is truly heart breaking. This extends to the sign language used by Sally Hawkins - it's just so mournful - truly excellent direction and great acting from the whole cast within spaces that are believable and add to the tone of the whole piece. It's been mid-point review time at Camberwell on the Book Art Course. It's where the students whose work is being discussed and critiqued by the group cannot respond and they have to listen and watch the group deconstruct their work without defending it. It can be a hard core challenge if the student holds onto their original intention. They have to become flexible, finding a way to engage with the groups thoughts and incorporate it into their own understanding of their work. It is one of the great learning sessions within the course. More images from Bilbao - to add to my collections of 'buildings covered in stuff' and 'doors blocked up'.

Monday, 12 March 2018


3 days in Bilbao - I've wanted to go to the Guggenheim since they built it but the experience has eluded me until now. Bilbao is a stunning city, surrounded by hills and cut in half by a river. the old quarter takes you back in time with its tall narrow streets and great bars and the new areas are full of elegant brutal and robust architecture. And food - grazing on pintxos is the answer to breakfast lunch dinner and in fact whenever you fancy a snack. There is sculpture everywhere and most of it good. Anyway on the first day the 6 hours in the Guggenheim was just sublime, wondrous. There is the building where at every turn new shapes and spaces emerge. The Chillida and Heidegger inspired show was stunning. A joy of creativity with many of my favourite artists in play - Jorge Oteiza, Lawrence Weiner, Pierre Huygehe, Norbert Kricke, Gordon Matta Clark and Eva Hesse. Chillida talks about the notion: of the rumour of limits. Standing in front and around his work it unfurls - the mind seems to want to unfold and attempts to flatten out - the revelation of shapes - remaking the pieces. But the physical art and their presence is all about power and often takes one to violence. There was a retrospective of the work of Henry Michaux - thoughtful abstract ideograms, a made up language of reading, music notation, body and drugs which explore the cartography of the imagination. And then there was the Serra. Moving through the permanent piece A Matter of Time, one is struck by being very conscious of self of both ones own body and the shape and space it inhabits within the space. The visual play of mind and body, voids becoming material and negative space continually evolves. The act of controlled viewing a confident, constant, conscious, clarity. Not being able to take photographs was incredibly liberating and intense looking, note taking and sketching has embedded the day into my conscious. So many spaces to see - amongst the daily extended txikiteo I managed The Museo de Aarte Sacro is a real must see. Stunning religious objects and paintings. Museo Bilbao archeological is just dull, Museo Pasos de Semana Santa explains the history of the city and has a model of Bilbao and surrounding area that is to die for, Museo of reproductions is just plain unnecessary, although access to the building is intriguing. The Museo de Bellas Artes has an excellent collection of Spanish artists work. There was a great Goya show, in the later paintings he somehow captured the spirit of the individuals. I have so many notes to follow up.... artists, pieces of work and ideas, it'll keep me going until Glasgow International in April. 

Monday, 5 March 2018


working on developing the 3D printing knowledge - its interesting to focus on the structures that support the 'real' work it has a similar quality to knitting. as ever the work created when making the actual work within the software is drawing me in. I am also interested in all the support material within the actual 3D printing.
The Post - it's a joy to see Streep and Hanks riffing off each other whilst an extraordinary cast of exceptional actors act exceptionally all around them. Obvious to say that it is somehow prescient but maybe politics is just always rotten

Sunday, 4 March 2018


the snow has given the opportunity to work on the digital files for the Goldlay Sq commission, checking how they interface with the plasma cutter. 

2 days in London after synthetic anatomy session I went to a few exhibitions - The Gursky at the Hayward was impressive, the images are quietly heroic but I spent a lot of time working out how much the organisation was making on ticket sales as it was very busy and at £15:00 a little steep. Which gets me to The Whitechapel - unsure why I actually went as 1, it was Mark Dion, an artist who is now making work about the work he was making - see the array of costumes, 2, it's just better to go and see actual work by ornithologists, archaeologists etc  3 I had seen all the work in other places and 4 it was also £15:00 which seemed very expensive. But at least we have the bookshop which is a London treat. I had seen some extraordinary work almost on my own for free in a number of galleries the day before which didn't help.  Lorna Simpson and Matthew Day Jackson at Hauser and Wirth were good shows - instructive and powerful. Marvin Gaye Chetwynd at Sadie Coles was messy and fun. John Riddy at Frith St Gallery has some darkly narrative photographs of brick walls that were really moving. The mixed show at Marian Goodman was so tasteful with well thought out and has some technically excellent pieces. Worth the journey to see a work by Giuseppe Penone Indistinti-confini - Talaventum a tree study which was just so moving.  meanwhile Detroit is a brutal film of brutality that brutally brutalises your mind while brutalising a cast of people from the beginning to the end 143 mins later actually on real TV I've been working through Collateral, enjoying it until episode 3 where it appears to laid out all the connections and the plot in general, but we will see - maybe.