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.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018


looking through more images from Lisbon - love these -
meanwhile just read the latest book by/from Goldie - a totally mad (wonderfully box of frogs mad) with each sentence on every page spinning off into numerous fractured multiple looping tales, evening scores and developing the myth - a boisterous take no prisoners read. Latest podcast’s the dollop with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds- two guys chatting - the premise being that one person doesn’t know the subject- they have a great 'bloke' rapport and are very funny. Start with episodes 310a and 301b and also get to be horrified (even more so) by Trumps history. Whatever you think of him Russell Brand's Under the skin is a very intelligent listen, start with Billy Brag. The Boring Talks takes off-beat subjects and drills down to explore it. some films - if you like your family saga  films messed up watch The Meyerowitz Stories if you like your coming of age, sexual awakening films all lingering in European heat Call me by your name is for you​ and if you desire your relationships fractured and lost but trying Lady Bird is for you

and finally the debut EP from Clerk 37 has some deeply haunting intelligent sounds check it out now.