Monday, 26 April 2010

Tim Stock - it's a pleasure to have met you

I met an artist/curator called Tim Stock ( - infact, his work is showing next to mine in the Worcester Open. I was attracted to it straight away, because it is a projection of the sort of building I am unusually interested in:

Anyhow, Tim seems a decent sort of chap (I took an instant liking to him when some drunk lads heckled after him 'ginger minger' and he quipped back totally unphased 'you know you love it!'). I've invited him to 'curate' my solo show in Watord. I have already been given the space and will produce the artwork but I think it's really really important to have someone (with some know how) from the outside to offer critical input. I'm really looking forward to working with him in the future. are some images of the Space2 gallery, Watford:

PV Worcester Open 2010

Here are some photos of my work from the opening for the City Musuem/Gallery venue of Worcester 2010 (Saturday 24th):

A really good day, although thoroughly exhausting. 5 hours driving coupled with a sunny day in Worcester city centre and two openings.

It was a pleasure to finally meet the organisor of Worcester Open 2010, a chap called Nathan Pitt. Despite managing countless artists and three openings in fewer days (one of which essentially was hosted in this incredible space he has built with high cielings in his back garden) Nathan found the time to offer me a cup of tea - which I gladly recieved.

I spent much of the day with curator Charlie Levine who is the director of Trove ( based in Birmingham. She is well aquaited with the struggles associated with curating (and indeed being a practioner) and is a refreshing conversationalist. I'm looking forward to attending the PV this friday of one of her curatorial initiatives: "SHOW OF SCIENCE".

making changes

To all who have flicked to this page in the last few days, I've been doing a lot of experimenting and editing with the visuals of my blog, so I'm really sorry for the choas that may have followed.

Finally worked out how to add an image which means I can connect my blog visually with my website.

Hopefully that's job done for now.

Lots too tell - it's been a busy weekend 'working' but a really good one...I'll try to write soon.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Studies from visit to Worcester

April 19th 2010

These are from Thursday last week went I went to visit gallery space in Worcester...

Drama with the windows...

April 19th 2010

Went to go and have a look at the windows coming out of the buildling... and they were no good at all! Then followed the hunt for windows and a significant dip in the rollercoaster journey ...

It would be boring to tell the whole story of the hunt for windows -suffice to say, upwards of 20 hours spent ringing around, driving around and savaging in search of windows. Ran out of petrol twice (!)

BUT... look what I ended up with, thanks to my friend Cluadette and her friend Barbara - a woman with a generous spirit willing to loan 3 of these most beautiful windows to a stranger. I'm so relieved.

Today - in fact just a matter of hours ago - I was also 2 windows which I can keep:

Also beautiful, but in a very different way! I may use them in watford... not sure yet.

Not 1, not 2...but 3 windows!

April 16th 2010

I've been making a few phone calls this morning trying to source windows before I go to work for a long long shift. And...i've found 3! hurrah indeed. Manji (at school) says they are knocking down the back wall of one of the buildings at school on Monday and it has three windows in it. He's going to help me get and save them. I'm so excited. Result. Come on come on!

Worcester Open 2010

April 16th 2010

So, I’ve got a piece of work going into the Worcester Open 2010 which opens in 1.5 weeks… but I don’t know what it’s going to exactly be yet. Crisis management time, I think.

I was meant to be installing this:

But…these are the windows in the venue:

They are actually HUGE! Really amazing windows, but actually huge!

It would look incredible…of course…if I were able to do the whole lot, but that is unlikely. I worked out that it would cost me at least a further £500.00 in wax to make the estimated required 32,000 miniature bricks. And all that would take a minimum of 540 hours to make… and it needs to be done by Wednesday (5 days time).

So for today, I thought I’d just copy in my email containing my thoughts on it all, to the show organiser. I’ve got lots of drawings with measurements from today…but no scanner to hand at the moment, so I’ll try to upload them sometime soon.

Here are my thoughts:

The door window as you enter the gallery probably isn't great. Like you said, the work would likely get damaged and fall away from the glass panels as the doors were opened and shut. Possibly more importantly (for me) though is that installing the work in the entrance doorways would mean that in the first hand the piece would be viewed from the outside rather than the from the inside. The work looks very different from the outside and I don't think it would be as effective. I suppose in an ideal world you'd also be looking for some coherence with the rest of the show and it may feel disjointed there. BUT... like you said, all possibilities are worth considering as we try to work out a solution. (by the way, I’ve attached an image of how the work looks viewing from the outside in, so that you can see what I’m talking about.

The huge windows (in the stairway, cafe, activities room) are really amazing - I love them. BUT... apart from the ladder issue, I don’t think there is any way that i could produce enough bricks to fill them - i worked out it would take about 32,000 miniature bricks to do the windows in the activities room and it would cost probably an extra £500.00 in wax, which in less than a week i doubt is possible. I really wish it was possible, because it would be quite powerful and totally uncompromising i think. But... we don't get far on wishes, eh?

I had a look at the display cabinets etc too - there is a medium sized one that is lit from the inside i took the measurements of that and have had a think about the possibility of utilising that as an installation space. BUT, i think with work that is quite minimalistic and conceptual, each and every decision in the creation process is quite crucial. I think to take the bricks and apply them to an entirely new context (cabinets not windows) wouldn't make sense...without a lot of critical thinking (and time is short).

So a few possible solutions I've come up with...

Since the large windows are made of tons of panels and are might work to 'brick out' sections of the window. As if the bricking up had just begun and was slowly 'sprawling' across the whole surface. I could draw up some diagrams of how that may look and scan them and email them through to see what you think? I reckon it would make most sense to use the windows in the activities room because they can be seen from the main gallery space and it might help to connect it into the rest of the show. The only worry is that it may be hard to make it look DELIBERATE...which would be crucial to it being successful.

The other idea that could be really very interesting... is if I source my own old window. I could install the bricks into a 'found' window and bring it into the gallery as a sort of 'sculpture' piece rather than installing them into the gallery windows. This would solve the problem of ladders and of the size of the windows. I'm really quite excited about trying this possibility out...

but naturally nothing is every straightforward. The success of it would depend on a couple of things. Firstly on me sourcing an old window in the next few days, but with some determination I'm not too worried about that. Secondly is that it may be hard to place the piece in the show from a curatorial point of view as up to now you (the curators) won't have been expecting it, and won't have already placed it with other artworks. Furthermore, it would require some creativity (which luckily we all have in abundance) and technical expertise to work out how to present it. Say for example we could have it leaning against a wall with a light source tucked behind it...or hanging at an angle with a spot light behind it... or if there was one room that was darker, have it in there.

There could be a lot of potential in that idea, really hard to know.

What are your thoughts? I'll keep having a think about possible solutions, and starting sniffing out for an old window in case...




April 14th 2010

What a week! It is school holidays at the moment so my routine has been thrown of kilter and I think my productivity is suffering because of it. You might argue that the holidays aren’t meant for productivity, but my artist’s goals and ambitions don’t go to sleep because term time is over…and without a bit of imposed routine it’s hard to keep on top of everything.

In a few months my residency runs out (help!) so I’m looking for a new job and home. I found a really amazing job that I spent many (many, many) hours last week preparing and writing. I had myself 4 references lined up, updated a bunch of my training, spoke with numerous people about it and had edited and re-edited the application many times over. The opportunity seemed so in line with what I anticipated the next step of my journey might look like and seemed like a really good opportunity to bring together a handful of my different skills and experiences etc. I thought it was ‘too good to be true’ and probably God’s provision.

When I went to submit the application I found that the vacancy had been closed early due to sufficient applications. Truly gutted! I definitely cried…

I still feel so frustrated to have spent so much time writing the application when on one is even going to read it. It’s easy to say it’s not a waste of time, but it’s hard to feel like that when there are tons of other things I could have spent my time on – e.g. application for another job, preparation for an upcoming exhibition, application for an exhibition opportunity I’ve had my eye on for ages etc. Believing in an all knowing God it’s difficult to work out what value He found in all that time spent last week.

The good and encouraging news… is that I was contacted by Sophie Ronson from the local council in Watford offering me a gallery space for June, I think. I’m waiting to find out some details about it (e.g. dates, conditions of using the space etc) but if the offer remains open and I go ahead with it, it would be a really exciting opportunity for a community specific project. I feel one hundred times out of my depth most of the time, particularly within the time limitations of something like this, but excited for a challenge.

I read a thought for the day most days from a book called ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ by Oswald Chambers. I read this just the other day and it resonated with me spirit…

‘Cast Thy Burden upon the Lord’ Ps. 55:22

“We must distinguish between the burden-bearing that is right and the burden-bearing that is wrong. We ought never to bear the burden of sin or doubt but there are burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off. He wants us to roll them back onto him. …If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back onto God that which He has put upon us, He takes away the sense of responsibility by bringing in the realisation of himself.”

…it made me think, because the weight of responsibility, working on my own, investing money in my own artwork, taking responsibility for the choices about what my life will look like etc certainly feels overwhelming to me, if not at times overwhelmingly crushing.

Mass production of miniature bricks

Wednesday, 7th April 2010

Shame on me - as usual a prolonged period of silence. Ironically, the silent weeks tend also to be productive ones, with much to tell. Since I last wrote I've heard that my application to exhibit as part of a group should with FAB (Fringe Arts Bath) was successful. The theme of the show is: Here Today Gone Tomorrow. My work suits it well and I'll be showing a piece I haven't shown before... so it's an exciting opportunity for me in a new city. I've also been selected to show an artwork in the Worcester Open 2010 ( Very exciting ...and also fairly busy.

In Worcester I'm showing an installation piece involving thousands of hand made miniature wax bricks. Unfortunately, when I last installed them, the majority were taken/disappeared from site without explanation. Consequently, the last few weeks my living room has taken form as a brick making factory. Slabs of wax warm slowly on all my radiators and the room is full of bricks at their various stages of production. The process is slow (and boring!). At a rate of about a minute per bricks I've spent many hours sat in front of the TV mass producing miniature bricks.

Production can be boring, though, and it feels like a long time since I've created. I miss creating - by that I mean not just making/executing an idea, but 'birthing' and nurturing ideas into form. I have so many little seedlings of ideas but feel like I have no time to get my teeth stuck into them and struggling with 'time allocation' at the moment.

This post will probably becoming long if I don't make myself stop writing for now...

Always so much to say... but more to Do!

Ideas on the go:

Friday, 26th February 2010

Slowly getting back into the swing of creating. Scanned in some of the scraps of paper that are probably more valuable to my practice, that lie around my studio and flat documenting my ideas as and when they 'come to me'...

Dead Time and Negative Space

Tuesday, 22nd February 2010

A few photos to update you on Dead Time and Negative Space exhibition at Goodenough College, London.

For more photos see:

The work in situ for the private view and the following day. For more photos see Photo Album.

On the whole, I really enjoyed the experience. Lots of problem solving, particularly regarding how to suspend the boxes (as we were unable to stick anything to the ceiling in the venue), but one helpful health and safety man and a handful of problem solving artists determined to 'make it happen' later we found a way to hang the whole lot from a cat's cradle of white cotton thread.

If I am honest, I wasn't entirely pleased with the piece as it was in the space. I can't pin point exactly what I would have changed, otherwise I'd have done something about it, but I felt like the work came across as slightly amateur. I think because the work itself is so simple, the installation has to really deliberate and exact and I struggle to give it a finished and deliberate appearance. I learnt a lot from the whole process though.

... and the private view was a hoot!

February half term

Monday, 15 February 2010

Ran two 2.5 hour workshops today in plaster techniques. It's surprisingly exhausting and kept me on the go from 8:00 a.m. straight through until 6:00 this evening. Barely realised I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since 8:00 a.m. until I finally stopped. Well worth doing though.

For me, often time spent 'creating' in the studio is much less intensive ...or at least intensive in a very different way. It's much less absolute, so there is something refreshing about having a task that has a start and a finish. The creative process never really has that for me; it's an on going cycle of possibilities and tangents.

I've been meaning to scan some scraps of papers that document what I'd love to be doing as soon as I have time to get back into creating. I'm glad to have lots of ideas on the go and waiting to happen, I'm hoping it will make it easier to get back in the swing of making.

Tomorrow I'll be sorting out work and practicalities for upcoming exhibition with Tra'La in London. Then, on Wednesday, I have the daunting task of navigating the streets of London in my old volvo in order to transport my fragile boxes and possibly a step ladder!

Nearly there...

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

I've been working on getting this website up and running for a while now - it's long, long work! Nearly there now, which is a good thing as my self imposed deadline is fast approaching. I'm tired of making apologies for it, or more to the point the lack of it.

Also, I'm trying to delete my Saatchi page that went up on a whim while i was a student. I think it does more harm than good now, but i've forgotten the password and the email address they have sent the reminder to is an old one I can no longer access. What a pain!

Got lots of ideas for work to get on with in the studio. Deffo want to make the most of the studio while I have it, but the last month and a half I've been really preoccupied with getting my work 'out there'.

I feel like I'm in a good place though. After half term it's back to grafting, grafting, grafting on making new work... and taking a break from website building, networking, applications, getting business cards, writing about my work etc etc.


I've been blogging on my website lately - wanted to find a way of exporting that all to here as I've decided it'd better to have a blog on a blogging website, but all the technicalities are a bit confusing for me...

so i'm going to use some old school copy and pasting (and back dating)...