Saturday, 30 June 2018


So after the private view at NUA, which I think went well. I thought the space was excellent but I had little feedback and you never know if you are pleasing everybody/anybody - students/parents/family/staff/academics/industry and past/present/future/prospective/proto students, it has been a week in London - Tuesday hanging work at the Business Design Centre for the BA Textile Design students at New Designers and then Friday was being in the space at the show talking with 'independent designers' rather than students, although the transition is awkward for both sides, watching individuals taking responsibility is always interesting to observe. The work and stand look ok and as ever New Designers is gloriously overwhelming and every second or first year student who is serious about being a designer should go to experience the awe and fear that is seeing the work of people who have worked harder, make more work and will try and are setting out to try and take your job. I'm always a little stunned when a persons first time at New Designers is when they exhibit.
Wednesday and Thursday was all about curating and supporting the students work for the MA Book Art Exhibition at Camberwell. The show is very specific and focused with each student developing a truly individual body of work that they own from initial research to the final pieces. Whilst supporting the hanging of the Book Art I noticed some interesting printmaking worth seeing. The shows will look great - the private view for the MA is on the 12th put it in your diaries, its always a roadblock so maybe come the following day to see the work, although that is the day of the Anti Trump march so you might be busy. 
Saw the textiles and sculpture degree shows at The Royal College - textiles had lots of interesting material exploration well displayed and sculpture was full of stuff. 
Went to the Barbican to see the truly fabulous Taylor Mac: a 24 decade History of Popular Music. It was chaotically beautiful, engaging, great fun with full-on gently serious politics - I loved Taylor's take on fear and disgust and the general desire of the audience to get on with each other, to support and share. A marvellous great night out - cant wait for the 24 hour version.
Read this at a friends house in a book about Pompeii - seems apt.
Now the crickets pierce the thickets with their repetitive cry, now even the speckled lizard takes shelter in the coolness. If you are wise, lie back and make a libation with summer-weight glassware, or, if you wish, we'll bring out the new goblets of crystal. Come, you are weary, rest in the grape and bind your heavy head with a chaplet of roses. Cull kisses from a tender maid. Forget about those who raise old-fashioned eyebrows! Why keep fragrant garlands for ungrateful ashes? Do you want your bones to lie under a garland-carved stone? Set out the wine and the dice. To hell with him who cares for the morrow. Death plucks your ear and says 'Live now, for I am on my way!'

Friday, 22 June 2018


the textile design degree show at Norwich is up and looks good - we created a pulley system that enabled us to work with the full height of the room. this has meant that some of the students full ambitions have been realised by taking up the opportunity to create work 5m in height. there is some stunning work within a system of walls and tables that have been designed and created in an attempt to be invisible, thus celebrating the work itself. come see - Tues 25 - Sunday 1. Next week is the continuation of the mountain - private view at NUA, building the space and hanging work for NUA at New Designers (stand  T43) and hanging work at Camberwell for the MA Book Art final show. The Berlin Biennale beckons - can't wait and have started the planning  . I'm speaking/running a workshop at Making Materials Matter Conference for teachers - looking at the role of art practice within a science context. I'm building the presentation today.  meanwhile Rampage is great when the rock and the gorilla are on screen, I could watch an hour of that but the rest is truly banal.  

Sunday, 17 June 2018


well a busy couple of weeks and we are still in it - assessments on the Textile Design at nua was smooth with some wonderful work -  the show at nua is almost up - we have built an extraordinary series of structures, creating an environment  to show off the work to its best - I've been north working on the assessment for OCA on the MA Fine Art Course and staying in the Premier Inn in Barnsley, there was some really excellent thinking underpinning great work. The next two years graduation shows could potentially be wondrous. The Degree Show Private View at Chelsea was gloriously old school - a packed space of randomly dressed individuals all enjoying being there - some excellent textiles and of course fine art - highlight was a #proundparent moment - Bob Bicknell-Knight. meanwhile A very English Scandal was tragically funny but I spent most of the time marvelling over Hugh Grants stunning performance. I got to see Solo - wonderfully geeky - with something for everyone - great back story infilling alongside swashbuckling set pieces. Christopher Brett Bailey  was the standout session at Pulse 18 last weekend - I cannot recommend him enough - I think this was my 5th outing and he just gets better. Meanwhile Snape Festival had a new opera - a kind of brutalist Jacques Tati set in a Kafkaesque modern space with a nod to the Truman show aesthetics. The Appalachian Spring session by the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Huw Watkins on the piano and conducted by Oliver Knussen was viseral. Playing Coplands Music for a Great City, The world premiere of The Book of Ingenious Devices by Philip Cashian, Feldman Structures and Coplands joyous Appalachian Spring one was swept away. On the way to see the Pavillion next to the Serpentine Gallery ..............I bumped into Christon next to the Christo in the Serpentine which was and which is fantastic and worth seeing offline.

Sunday, 3 June 2018


a fabulous 2 days and one night at Pulse Festival in Ipswich - the opening night and then Suitcase day and Testing Ground - my two favourite sessions where experimental work is experimented. It saw me watching 23 pieces of theatre. Highlights were Nikki's extraordinary strength in KNOT, the disco energy of Dan Watson in Venus, The storytelling in Sophie Woolley's Augmented and Not Now collective's Pepper and Honey. The deconstruction of Invisible Flash's The blind traveller, Fig's in wigs production values is always excellent and Brick Wall's Henry 5th was just storming good. Meanwhile I'm watching the pattern and chaos conversation that is happening in my garden as the work for Chelmsford is rusting nicely and been taken over by random growth.