Thursday, 31 May 2018


it's been a busy few days but full of really interesting moments - Book Art Symposium 2 at Camberwell was so extraordinarily profession, the students truly owned their practice and presented a fully engaging morning of ideas and work, so much so that my timing was almost a full 45 minutes off and as students had only 7 mins to present and 3 minutes for questions you can see how interesting it was. In the afternoon we went to Kingsland Projects to see the work of and talk with Fox Irving & Katarina Kelsey. They have been collaborating and evidence of this can be seen in the thoughtful billboard that can be viewed from the surrounding street and park.
Turn the page -  the wonderful Book Art Fair organised by equally wonderful Rosie Sherwood, Alumni of The Book Art MA at Camberwell at The Form Norwich was really interesting, full of excellent work and committed makers. I missed the symposium, assessments and marking had overtaken my life. But the work at NUA is some of the most professional I have seen in my years of teaching. The students practice submitted for assessment leads me to believe that this year could be one of the most exciting final shows I have been involved in.

Thursday, 24 May 2018


our blue heaven - the story of Ipswich Towns FA Cup Victory at the New Wolsey is a triumph - it's a complete sell out so you will have to wait for its revival in 60 years time!! will the whole squad turn up on Saturday? still deep into assessments - by the end of the whole thing I will of written over 7,000 words and checked numerous boxes - every word from my team is carefully considered, I hope the students manage to read the comments.
The CSM final year show felt like you were at the epicentre of people engaging with what it is to be cool alongside slightly confused parents - it was full of the most excellently beautiful looking individuals - the work was also interesting - full of collaborative groups working together - the future is bright. You still have till Saturday to go see it - make sure you check out the basement and The Sculpture Garden  Turn the Page - the fantastic Book Art Fair is on in Norwich on Friday and Saturday - it's a must see Looking forward to PhotoEast at the weekend. Meanwhile its back to assessments and then building a presentation for PALs for Wednesday. Undergraduate courses have a system of peer support known as Peer Assisted Learning or PAL. This means that Year One students have ready access to trained Year Two students from their course, from before they arrive through to the end of the first year. The advice and support given by the PALs is directly relevant to first year students and is delivered by Year Two or Three students who have had similar experiences themselves. This extra layer of support for first year students has been found to be very effective in helping to smooth the transition to higher education. Looking forward to the symposium on Tuesday at Camberwell. Its a point where the students journey is really captured as one is able to reflect on their first symposium in year 1.

Sunday, 20 May 2018


assessment, assessment, assessment - yes it's still that time of year - but meanwhile I have managed to be enthralled by Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. It is quite beautiful with a great set of drawings which detail our relationship to where we are - wonderful. late to the party but I am deep into Westworld season 1 - it really is brilliant and asks some excellent questions about existence. Who are we, are we real, what is it to exist???? Game night was almost good - some interesting moments almost is harsh but.....

Sunday, 13 May 2018


The work for Chelmsford is rusting nicely in the back garden - the colour is quite beautiful. Meanwhile ....I had to go back to see Ed Atkins at Cabinet - and on second viewing it just gets better - it's still head swivellingly odd but then when spending more time you see the interlinked nature of the films - the baby from one frame wandering into another the boy in the field moving across to play the piano etc etc . The Tate has the extraordinarily bleak coloured sculpture by Jordan Wolfson - this is also starkly eye wateringly cruel and a truly must see - after the last Tate mess having this in the tanks has resurrected my faith in them a little. Age of Terror at the War Museum was okay - but most of the work was not about terror but war and most of it seen elsewhere so £15.00 seemed a little steep (maybe that was the terror?) - the two stand out pieces were Francis Alys video work of soldiers from both 'sides' stripping and rebuilding weapons and the very raw footage by Tony Oursler at the 'ground zero' site days afterwards as he prowled around the site videoing the carnage and the human fair that arrived - so many stalls selling prayer as the answer. The real terror is laid out in the Holocaust exhibit on the 4th floor - it is very clever, starting off with a little bit of nationalistic pride and snappy sloganeering and ending with war trials World just after harrowing images of concentration camps and testimony from survivors. World without us at Battersea Arts Centre was just that a one person show that explored the before and after of our existence on earth. Some nice ideas and the narrative visualised what it would look like when we are gone. quieter with a lot of plastic.

Friday, 11 May 2018


5 days away 3 books - Commonwealth by Ann Patchett deconstructs the idea of family, the details of everyday change bringing fresh hierarchy's and alliances is painfully picked over. A single defining moment revealing what was already there. The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead is relentless cruelty, the truly and mostly matter of fact unfathomable depths of cruelty - a challenging and difficult but essential read if you want to begin to understand America. and onto the question I have often asked myself - when do you leave? with All For Nothing by Walter Kempowski the slow process of attrition is laid out. How do you judge that it's time to go? Why do you stay? Is it that it's impossible to conceive the levels of human wickedness that is about to engulf you? All 3 books are wonderful. Black Panther - what to say - I loved it - some of the best costumes ever deployed in conjunction with astute comments in the exploration of voices we don't often hear - it's also very funny .
The Cork Museum in Palafrugell was a highlight - Packed with cork facts you never knew alongside glorious images of smoking beret wearing workers, its next to the rather poorly curated, but with some interesting work The Museu Can Mario.
A day in London - great to pop into Chelsea and feel the atmosphere building as final shows are being constructed. Some interesting and some excellent shows to see - The Highlight is Ed Atkins at Cabinet - head stingingly mesmerising . Jerwood Space has a great video by Maeve Brenna about bats! All Too Human at the Tate Britain has work by the gloriously fastidious Euan Uglow. There is some work by 3 students from the MA Book Arts Course at Camberwell in xhibit 2018. White Cube at Masons Yard has a Brazilian decorative comment on Capitalism by Beatriz Milhazez Covering the Main Gallery at Tate Britian with tiles is the best element of the piece by Anthea Hamilton

Tuesday, 1 May 2018


working life continues to be consumed by organising and setting up exhibitions within the educational contexts I work in, although I have been looking through the images that I have from Glasgow other than the art and thinking about possibilities.
late to the game but have just moved through the first 3 series of the complex and beautiful Grace and Frankie two films - the unsure if it was 'well meaning' but it is warm Please stand by and the crash bang wallop, although the monsters are very big that is Pacific Rim Uprising