Wednesday, 26 March 2014


The show in Russia appears to be going well - this is a link to the pdf of the catalogue 
I’ve just packed up the work for the exhibition in Bristol – it consists of early unpicking and rebinding paper structural pieces and a body of new work in the form of unique pamphlets using digital images derived from photographing the paper structures and outputting them through a digital printer. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Working towards 3 exhibitions in different states - The upcoming show in Bristol is now on the Bristol book arts web site and the work is packaged up – apart from, as ever, the new books I am making specially for the space....
Now working on the proposed show in August/September for imprints in France - at the moment I think that it’s an opportunity to show some of the more appropriate pieces from the unpicking and rebinding body of work.
The proposal for cley14 is evolving – I have a meeting with Polly Binns in a couple of weeks as carrying out my initial idea is proving to be not so straight forward.
The latest faster than sound was quite sublime – an example of really solid high quality - what Aldeburgh music does well – Richard Skelton has an interesting hybrid practice which involves text, sound, image making and the book – all published from some intriguing web sites -  the first piece called EA was like listening to the sound of a painting of a river by an artist from the Norwich School – someone like Crome or Cotman.

Finally the true detective series is remarkable – from the thoughtfully disturbing opening credits to the final comforting conclusion via the brutal but elegant episode 4 raid and episode 8 set dressing -

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


two days supporting the hanging of work for an exhibition of year 3 textile design students at STEW gallery in Norwich – lots of learning. The work looks good – if you are in the area the show is on till tomorrow – 20 03 14 -Thursday – midpoint reviews at both NUA and Camberwell and they are run very differently – presenting work, explaining context and direction of research in one and the idea of a de-contextualising session, where the work ‘speaks for itself’ in the other – both have merits and both have revelatory moments of self reflection for the student (if they care) – whoever said the creative industries were an easy option should come and participate in one of these sessions – the rigour is intense. Some interesting shows – the ICA has recreations of two Richard Hamilton exhibitions which remind you of his collaborative, experimental spirit and far sightedness as the shows look so ‘now’ with their knowing post-modernist deconstruction... and pull out all the stops at the festival hall my interest is the display furniture designed by and then an exhibition coming up - Hidden by Joni Smith at the Undercroft, Below the War Memorial, City Hall, St Peters Street, Norwich - open 3rd - 6th April 12-6pm – it will be good.  The show in Russia has been on TV (Russian) - my book is on screen for a split second! Just re-written my statement for the show in Bristol and created some images for the publicity.
The book is viewed as a tool with which to communicate content directly, it is a form that has been understood in these terms for many years. Redirecting the books purpose challenges this notion and enables an audience the space to re-think book.
The bookworks I make focus on exploring the idea of form as content and by manipulating the work in the hand multiple narratives are formed. This creates the opportunity for a reflective experience, taking time to connection, look, listen, and consider.
The hybrid nature of my work positions itself conceptually and physically between and within the idea of sculpture and of book. The work has its roots in both forms; in turn the seemingly lack of an obvious purpose initiates in the reader/viewer an unsettling feeling; 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 explored and interrogated. This is where I position my practice. The sculptural book forms I make are derived from and examine the possibilities imitative from examining the book form. The work explores the essence of what a book is; sequence, order, time, revelation, intimacy, control, narrative and communication – bookness.
The works on-show are examples from a year long project unpicking and rebinding which sought to map and present the making of and thinking behind a body of new work that explored the fold.  Working with a number of archives and collections in the Eastern Region the project aimed to present the idea of an entry point for exploring and utilising the collections. I am worked in partnership with The Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL) Suffolk, Carrow House – Norwich, Norwich Castle Museum, Suffolk County Council Archives and Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). The pieces were the starting points for investigating the point where the concertina binding meets the pleat, further information on the project can be found at 

Thursday, 13 March 2014


i exist! - at a recent visit to Camden Arts Centre I came across the wall of names! – I had a residency in 1997 where I created a body of structural bookworks that explored the idea of how space can be created within books. The work had its starting point in the space itself- looking at how light moves through it and time can be captured within – hence my name on the wall – and then some double page spreads from the new NUA postgraduate prospectus.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


A most excellent two days teaching - Monday was all about presentation with year 1 textile students at NUA – some bold storytelling without notes but supported by dynamic PowerPoint’s.  Today was catalogue conversations with MA Book Art students at Camberwell. It is always a moment of reflection for me when all the previous year’s catalogues are presented and their stories told – the good the bad and the ugly! The group were very focused and had similar ideas around the role, purpose and audience for the proposed catalogue. The afternoon we looked at finish and the concept of finishedness (i love creating new words!) obviously with specific reference to the book. The session was alive with ideas and passion - fuelled and facilitated by translation – finding common ground across cultures and languages – a truly wonderful learning experience for all. Links to presentations -
I managed to get to Tate Britian to see the Richard Deacon – although I’m a fan there was a little too much bent wood.....even for me - the drawings in the first room talk of ideas, trial and error, process and thinking and are possibly the best things in the show Ruin Lust was full-on-broad-brush- eclectic-inclusion-mass-of-stuff...glorious – like a lesson but one where you could navigate your own way through – although there was some weak pieces , mainly the more contemporary work – do we really need to see Tacita Deans film so soon after it cluttered the turbine hall?  and what does Rachel Whitreads photos of the demolition of tower blocks tell us that Blaster Bates didn’t cover in the late 70s – now that would be a show!! The highlights have to be Joseph Gandy’s view of John Soane’s newly completed Bank of England presented as a future ruin. How must this of being received at the time of its painting? and what does it have to tell us about today? John Lathams  redesignation the appropriation of slag heaps as art and Sutherlands painterly documentation of burnt Paper in a Warehouse

Sunday, 9 March 2014


a full day on Saturday at The Think Tank in Ipswich at Pacitti Company HQ to spend time thinking and talking about working with and within collections – my notes... engaging with collections  - meaningful - voices - creating new ways of seeing  - visions - creating a vision - prisms to create contemporary thoughts - is a prism a fracturing experience - truth / truths - openings and roots (routes) - the web as a methodology - celebrating process - possibility as a starting point - rethinking / re imagining a particular document - activist purposes - activists - for what? - radical re imagining - whose story? - accessing collections - Performing collections - rolling research - past - future – unlocked - digital principles - what are they? - objects providing entry points - how museums speak to audiences - how communities talk back - a parliament of things - politics - complex layers of stuff - the objects meaning changes with each viewing - the issue might be about - giving voice as much as talking for...  - the burden of history - possible starting points?..... unlocked unlocking - the politics of the word - practicalities of the objects - inaccessible - temporary coalition as a way forward - an expert in your own experience - where does the swallow belong? - reading the politics of now through the landscape of time – what is the difference between the object and the thing? - does a thing have a story? - are things connected? - things as objects - objects as things - potentiality of objects - categorisation as a closing down mechanism - object - (latin) something that is thrown in the way - an object as an obstruction - thing - (norse) a place for discussion (thing-stead) gathering – thring - the move from a consumer of an object to that of a witness to/in a gathering - digital - as a way forward - iterations of stories - of visions - the wiki could be the way to tell many stories - MY story.... Rather than printing which is limited to the number with access to the physical - control - culturally unlocking - the knowledge within me - awe and wonder - emotional response - education as key - power unlocked - adult children of hoarders.. - filtering as a way of moving forward - criteria? - fragmentation as an opportunity - the current atomisation of society could enable us to reconfigure and rebuild - managing democracy - shining light on things - burial practices - repeated exhumed - bones intermingled....spread around - a logic of construction - bringing together - mixing up - just a bunch of stuff... without stories.... - facebook as a navigating tool - as a mirror - thinking about forms and meanings of words......- navigating within a communal way - look at the word and the meaning of navigation - cartographic (imperialism) (mapping and inclusion) - way-finding (local purpose - perceptual range) - letting things die and moving on....its ok for things to be lost? - responsibility - to bring things out - to continue to tell stories - object and things - simplicity and complexity - abundance and absence - stamped across narratives of mobility - are we asking the right questions? - we haven't had to ask questions about politics - authorised heritage discourse - fetishisation of archaeology - museology - mediated and medicated.....context is all - what doesn't come up through discussion - revelation - as a vehicle - responsibility and privilege - respect - knowing about heritage - mono narratives - rhythm of time forgot - implication by words - maybe museums just have to be let go - its okay for things to be lost.... - shadow by implication relates to a darkness or dark-side or positively it could concern itself with shedding light on a thing/object - a broken typewriter exposes the process of narrative making - analogue and unique - authorised museum objects that had gone through the accession process – canonised – a simplification of culture - migration - how does it feel to know nothing? - archaeology as a tool to explore ....... something of the now - specialists - by definition are 'other'. - identity - through objects - what objects do you take/bring with you - the idea of home - migration is the human story - investment of engagement - the trajectories of things - artefacts in collections - close the trajectory - can new technologies offer new life to a thing.... - objects in collections can be treated as material - returning it to rawness - the possibility of being transformed as all material can - sensory fashion - times, space – scales - technology as raw materials - a sensorium - a place of sensations - responses....a purpose - curiosity - creating occasions for discussion - juxtapositions between things - exploring relationships- the journey from public to private to public etc etc.... - connection to the collection....roads less well explored...- the idea of the durational residency or Research process - what is under test in the test department? - testing - nobody can test anything without somebody on the team already being part of the testing... Is this true? - liminal state - not black boxed - iconoclast becoming the icon - a work that shows the carving away .... The editing process as a large part of the final piece - un-inventing - rather than unlocking - level of important to us all..... looking forward to their next session - sound lounge on Friday 21 march 7 – 11

Meanwhile there have been a lot of films but recommendations only include the Dallas Buyers Club – how did Matthew McConaughey do that? An extraordinary performance... and Philomena – a moving and beautifully constructed film – weaving the past and present, imagination and truth with one slowly revealed to become the other and the extension has disappeared under a shroud of scaffold.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


I've been thinking about the virtual and the real – New York always feels so hyper real and yet simultaneously unreal. Its familiarity through film gives the impression as if one has always been there, its layout seen through a roving camera lenses, so it was interesting to find locations that were in Grand Theft Auto (GTA) and then juxtapose these locations with screen shots from the game.


We restore order with imagination..............................
two great days of teaching - Norwich was a full day with year one work-shopping ideas around storytelling and working towards creating PowerPoints. some real learning happened and I'm looking forward to seeing the results next week. Tuesday was all about assessment at Camberwell on the book art course. It really is interesting how inventive our students are around ideas associated with the book and I marvel at their skills.
The research essays are in and the list of titles will be added to the collection....I have copies of every final dissertation written on the Book Arts Course since its conception – How the places could change artworks display? - ‘Faceless self-portraiture’ - The Possibility of book to represent place. - The relationship between artworks and environmental protection – How artwork as a tool to remind people of the environmental issues. - The implication of Conceptual Art in books – is a book could be a tool to convey the concepts as an art form to bridge artists and viewers.

The Richard Hamilton show at the Tate is so full of invention and ideas that one needs time to absorb it all. The work constantly references its own history in a knowing way. I recently saw a set of the 'toaster' prints at Hauser & Wirth in the Onnasch collection exhibition in New York and thought that i knew the work but the set in the Tate are totally different and explore another layer of ideas. Room 12 is an important space to consider - 'Is the vision of Mrs Thatcher patronising a victim of the health service part of that future that we once thought so bright' - how far we have fallen...........