Thursday, 28 April 2011


here are a couple of late starters on my part -
spotify – i’ve finally got round to getting to grips with it just as its owners attempt to make it less free – but – wonderful – a great way to easily check out new music – i’ve been playing the soundtrack to Tron since watching it last week but its beauty is that it enables you to easily come across such a wonderful excess of sounds - today included The Look by Metronomy, The Monkees album Head, swimming by O’Death which led me to O Death rock me to sleep by Norman Notley from an album of Elizabethan songs – wondrous madness!
All Known Metal Bands - my favourite book of the moment – published a while ago but just found- its basically a list of all known metal bands - who knew there was a band called Aaaarrghh...? but after looking around i also found an online version where through the wonders of new media you can find out more
meanwhile I have started to sew various folded structures together -

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


with all this good weather I’ve been working in the garden on some new ways of folding that explores the very idea of the fold – informed by reading about the fold – obviously starting with Deleuze and moving onto various people who have commented on his writing. this work will form the basis of the contracted research hours part of my teaching at NUCA. I have some work in a show titled PROSPERO'S LIBRARY an exhibition of book art - it runs from April 29 - May 01 2011 set up by Gillian McIver as part of an artist’s run space called studio 75 it’s an interesting idea to be connected with.
I’ve also been asked by Angela O'Kelly a jeweller and curator of contemporary applied art to do some work for the Kilkenny Arts Festival - a festival in Southern Ireland – the idea is to ask makers who manipulate books and explore ideas of books and text in different forms and materials to read some of the books in the literature strand and to respond to them. The exhibition 'Modified Expression' will be an exhibition of transformed books or ideas from the books. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Patrick McCabe; The Stray Sod Country and Greard Smyth; The Fullness of Time; New and Selected Poems.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


i am working on the text/textile/words lecture for nuca and getting very excited about the root of words or expressions we use everyday – fair to middling – a phrase my parents use often - fair and middling were terms in the cotton business for specific grades - the sequence ran from the best quality (fine), through good, fair, middling and ordinary to the least good (inferior), with a number of intermediates, one being middling fair – wondrous thing language. at the first meeting for journey to the podium yesterday it was interesting to meet all the artists and see the range of practices that the Essex CC team have chosen. it’s now time to get on with meeting the athletes and making work. meanwhile i have a book - chasing lines, in the Prospero's Library show at Studio 75 and my words are in a number of the publications in 'Please do not place drinks on vitrines or books' at focal point gallery in southend the book art blog coming out of Camberwell is showing some excellent work – i recommend looking and following some of the links

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


i have been commissioned to create a piece of work for journey to the podium. its a really exciting project that has teamed me up with Daniel Bentley a world class medal holder. the idea is to make a piece of work about him, the sport of Boccia and the idea of being a sports person in general. i am looking forward to the first meeting with the other artists and athletes next week. as an artist much of the process of making work is invisible – Journey to the Podium is an opportunity to explore the process of thinking and making within a wider community whilst sharing ideas and skills. i see the commission as an opportunity to examine the parallels between art and sport but specifically to look at the reality of the hard work behind the image of sport alongside the idea and value of repetition. I am going to make a limited edition artist’s book that celebrates the individual as well as the idea of training and competing. the book communicates with people but through good design space can be left for the viewer, enabling them to stop and reflect. this is something that i have focused on with the books i have made in the past. the book enables ideas to be disseminated to many but at the same time as an individual you hold the book and feel a personal connection. there are many connections between the athlete and the artist. it would be interested to explore the parallels between the art exhibition and the individual public sporting performance, attempting to make the hidden process public. the idea of self motivation and dedication to getting better at something is something that i am drawn to with this commission. i am interested in both the image of their experience but also what motivates a sports person. i would want to discuss the qualities of concentration, control and commitment and how this leads to building their confidence which in turn leads to physical achievements. i work with people often exploring how and why they do what they do – discovering the systems people work within. the projects i have undertaken with teachers, dancers, musicians, engineers and planners have informed my practice and made me the artist that i am. There is a reflective experience when working within the world of others. i have never worked with athletes but they are goal orientated, dynamic and focused people - a lot like artists. i am interested to explore their discipline and desires around focused repetition, to be a part of their world.

Monday, 11 April 2011


building some new presentations for NUCA - at the moment they are titled - weird uses for textiles stuff, text and textiles, understanding practice through classification and textiles as a mediator.

my application to an exhibition at the point in Eastleigh titled without borders has been accepted – the proposal was to show artists books - the statement - I make books and believe them to be a tool to enable the smooth crossing of borders. The book, a symbol of power and knowledge can be a vehicle to communicate directly; it is a form that is understood in these terms. But repositioning its context and redirecting its purpose challenges these very notions. The work becomes a question rather than an answer, a collaboration in the mind and hand between maker and reader/viewer. The practical aspects of the book form, of disseminating information; of making things clearer are questioned. Within the work ideas around a sense of place come from stillness and silence, a reflective experience of taking time to connection, look, listen, and consider the spaces i find myself in.

the FRAC Haute-Normandie in Rouen have contacted me for permission to digitize and display on their web site the work of mine they have in their collection which is a good thing - making the work and the idea of the book as an art form more accessible. I am looking forward to a workshop on podcasting at NUCA on Thursday – should be interesting to see how it’s done and to consider how the podcast could be utilized both in my teaching and my practice.

Thursday, 7 April 2011


wanted to share some blogs that i have been following - a wonderful collection of fashion and photos and style - a great eye for good design - organised and disorganised bookshelves - it is what it is amazing maps of all kinds - mapping and maps of all and everything - general and specific graphic illustrations. meanwhile at NUCA – working on the MA textile design and the fda surface design course

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


getting down to editioning the book for The Sunderland Book Project - the starting point for the book is an extract of a text from St Bede, it’s become an edition of 10 with folding and digital printing alongside handwriting that combines the idea of the scribe, the next stage after life and the labyrinth of thinking involved in understanding. meanwhile NUCA has seen me working on the MA design course running a session on PechaKucha – a wonderful, yet intense presentation tool where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. the images forward automatically and you talk along to the images - something that gets rid of waffle and down to the facts – a format that might be good to adopt for the BA students, the rest of the teaching has been a mixture of individual tutorials, briefings and support for both the wallpaper society and the final show. its rare that i get disturbed by images but i came across a book titled the perfect medium – photography and the occult, the chapter on ectoplasm – where cloth is used to illustrate the spirit is obviously not true but the photographs very existence, the paucity of the imagery and the belief in them combines to make an oddness.