Thursday, 24 September 2009


So i'm quite excited, I've just been in touch with the local council and spoke to the community arts development officers. A friendly chap, willing to meet me and excited about what I'm doing. Such a relief, immediately I feel less isolated in my art making and am already looking forward to my converstation with him.

I've also spent much of this afternoon pursuing a vacant shop window in rickmansworth town centre to exhibit in. Whether it comes to frutition, it feels positive to be proactive. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I post off my email.

Today Tom (head of art) honoured me in front of his year 13 class, letting them know how many applicants I fought off for my position here. His intention was to keep their feet on the ground about being an artist, but I drew encouragement from it and felt really humbled as I was reminded how blessed I am to have been chosen. Seeing how things have opened up in art making so far gives me hope for the future....

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Starting afresh.

Sometimes I'm way too ambitious with myself. My blog has become my shame. I wanted to share the whole story, from start to finish, and when i set this blog up i also set myself the task of back dating my posts by about 4 months, until I managed to bring it up to date. I didn't want to introduce my work part way through, without sharing (perhaps justifying?) the places it had grown out of.

I'm starting afresh. No more back dating - there is enough to write about today, and that's far more interesting anyways.

The residency is busy at the moment - it's the start of term at RMS which means lots of techinician jobs for me. Still today I found some time to make and also began to re-engage with thinking about art and about what I'm doing.

People keep asking me 'what's next?'. I'm on borrowed time with a second year here (it was meant to be just one year) and the pressure is on to work out what i'll be doing next. I am uncertain about the future, but I'm also only half way through my time here.
The other day when an academic member of staff was asking about my job, Tom (head of art) playfully commented that it was a bit like a 'gap year'. I on the other hand see it as the high point of my pursuit of a career as an artist...possibly the highest point, but I hope not. That's just insecurity speaking.
I have lots of unfinished ideas from 'last year' (though years roll one into the other just like ideas do). I don't think I'm very good at finishing - it's quite a challenging discipline actually. Carrying something THROUGH to completion. For me the 'through' is hard, through the fear of over working it, or indeed the fear of under working something. There is always potential to manipulate or transform something further, the 'what ifs', which my creative process are born out of, are endless.

But with the start of term, I allowed myself up to start playing with some ideas that I have been fostering over the summer. I'm putting some of my ideas from last term aside, to come back to - but I'm also hoping they end up feeding into whatever I do next.

For years now I've been interested in the surfaces of walls. I keep meaning to get myself into a run down part of London to photograph the walls, evidence of degredation, homes which to many people may seem unslightly. I find something very endearing about surfaces like that and the history they make reference to. For the mean time, I continue to refer to images I have from Ambon from a return visit my family mad after we were evacuated to escape a war.

Here are just 2 of many images that I tirelessly return to, time after time:

Not only walls, but also 'the domestic' - walls, windows, doors -- components of home.

I'm increasing interested in fragmenting and isolating the shapes (and possibly textures) I find on the wall surfaces and reducing them into very basic shapes. Outlining the shape of a wall, the windows - changing the windows proportion in relation to the size of the wall, re situating the windows as shapes in different places on a page. I'm trying to say with words what pictures might demonstrate far more effectively.

The windows at RMS are beautiful and I've been watching the shadows they cast in my studio. I've begun to trace the marks the light leaves, as it moves across my studio:

I love the linedrawings and mark making but haven't been very sure how to develop them. I tried a few things quite unsucessfuly, but then I began to combine them with the ideas I started to develop in terms of extracting shapes from wall surfaces and re-situating them on a page.

The first image show the shapes of the windows and walls repeated, following the pattern of a moving shadow. The latter three combine collages of wall surfaces based on shapes, overlaid with the lines produced by shadows passing through the windows of my studio. The green background is because our house in Ambon had mosque-green coloured inside walls; as it turns out an incredibly difficult colour to try and replicate.

Anyway, that's today enough for today, except to say that I'm playing with a few further ideas. I've painted the background green onto a carboard box - next I'll try working ideas from these studies onto the surface of the box and see what it looks like to wrap the shadow around the box. Also, I've cut up a few studies and used them to build up the walls of a model of a house I've constructed:

Any comments, input, ideas etc... GREATLY welcomed. thanks for reading. x