Tuesday, 20 June 2017


A great day at Camberwell - today on the Book Art Course has seen the delivery of a part of the sequence of sessions set up within the course that explore the process of hanging the final show - thinking about the role of the exhibition in a practice - the meaning of the screw v the nail - looking at past exhibitions - health and safety calamities and working without restrictions in an ideal world. here is a link to the presentation https://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/final-show-2017 It's going to be an excellent show - as diverse as ever, each student has been developing their own voice and the show will contain work that both celebrates and challenges notions of book - it will all make you think. come along - http://events.arts.ac.uk/event/2017/7/13/Camberwell-Postgraduate-Summer-Show-2017/?_ga=2.202896465.1912006096.1497984293-1873703396.1485343360 becoming obsessed with reply all https://gimletmedia.com/reply-all/ and their yes yes yes section - http://yesyesnos.tumblr.com/ hear the more esoteric areas of the internet explained.

Friday, 16 June 2017


back from an absolutely excellent 4 days in Barnsley working with the Open College of the Arts. It was the final year MA Fine Art Degree Show at the Civic,  
http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/ a culmination of all their work and a physical manifestation of the online experience. The title of the whole event was called we are connected (WEARECONNECTED) which was so apt. One of the things I love about helping to hang the final show and then assessing the unit is meeting these people physically for the first time. It's quite a wild feeling in that one feels that we know each other, often we have been in each other's bedrooms or at least living spaces but at the same time how tall are they, how do they exist in 3D? The private view was one of the nicest I have ever been to in all my years of teaching, with supportive speeches, great comments, conversations and presents and some great work by the artists; Rob Brisco, Tanya Ahmed, Monika Brueckner, Alison South, Ines Gonzalez Cordero, Maire Keogh, Mwamba Mulangala, Emma Delpech, Mathew Aldred and Susan Miller....how good is that. The MA Fine Art course leader is Caroline Wright http://www.carolinewright.com/ and whole thing is run so professionally. I managed to get out and about on my folding bike for a couple of hours as it was such good weather.....not bad.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


John Wick 2 was a little like John Wick 1; a blur of fast paced close combat choreographed  fighting with unflinching use of weaponry, all structured by ritualised codes of conduct underpinned by honour......it's a certain kind of excellent. And onto House of cards - what to say with its travel ban, the closing of borders, cyber attacks and conspiracy theories around voting......A full night of theatre tonight at Pulse Festival; Lucy Grace with Lucy, Lucy & Lucy Barfield, unlimited theatre with Am I dead yet? @ithinkiwilldie and Jack Rooke with Good Grief @jackrooke after an afternoon being trained on Wellbeing and Resilience in an attempt to gain some armour in the oncoming war of looking after myself!!!

Monday, 5 June 2017


well the Netflick's War Machine was a strange one - very little happened but when I realised that it was derived from a book by a journalist embedded within the American war machine it started to make sense, the exposé being the thing and the I Daniel Blake, maybe for some a revelation but if it is a truth known by many one has to ask why?...... a full weekend at Pulse Festival in Ipswich https://www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/pulse-festival/ . Suitcase day is a great concept, all stuff on stage has to come on public transport... but this year many groups opted for single voice storytelling rather than clever stage craft but it was a great day and highlights included James McDermott's rubber ring, http://velvettrumpet.co.uk/rubber-ring/ George Orange's First Lady https://georgeorange.com/work/first-lady/ and Robin Boon Dale's What Does Stuff Do http://befestival.org/events/what-does-stuff-do-robin-boon-dale-uk-30-min/.  Day 2 was scratch day where stuff is still being worked out. The whole day was excellent and difficult to pick out highlights but recommendations are  Fuel's The Dark https://fueltheatre.com/projects/the-dark , Nicola Werenowska's Invisible http://www.thereviewshub.com/pulse-points-nicola-werenowska-invisible/, Johny Cotsen's Louder is Not Always Clearer https://www.experimentica17.org/whats-on/2017/2/9/louder-is-not-always-clearer

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


The CSM final show part 1 was an interesting one - The BA was very full and had some really considered video work combined with lots of I must guess purposely badly made work - new punk? all about how individuals feel about personally about stuff. The MA Fine Art was good with a seemingly large focus on pornography and war. It is interesting to think of the final year shows as a form of litmus test as to what young people are interested in. The year 2 fine art show at Chelsea was full of vibrant exciting work. It felt broader and slightly more considered than the CSM show even though it was only year 2.

Crawling through Netflick's 13 reasons - I know, I know but it is as most 'box sets' are slightly addictive - it appears to be a show about parents fear of their children and children's fear of themselves therefore each other.    

A day of interesting presentations at Camberwell - symposium 2 is always a fantastic occasion where the growth of individuals during their time on the course is made evident within their presentation. Then onto Chelsea to see and crit an exhibition in the library of work created around the fold. all good

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


finally got round to watching T2 Trainspotting -  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2763304/ just so sad, something about the loss of hope with the passage of time - their youth, even if hopeless did appear to have optimism but later it's all about despair. But it's quite mesmerising and Danny did not let us down because it was important that it was good. Venice Biennale gets closer I can hardly contain myself but getting tickets for Pulse https://www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/pulse-festival/ will keep me going - suitcase day is always a winner having the opportunity to see half formed thoughts tested out - looking forward to seeing how last year's winner, Tell me Anything by www.ontheruntheatre.co.uk has been developed, although everybody is talking about Golem but just I'm looking forward to seeing a mass of theatre and the Wolsey Theatre is such a great place to see work. On the podcast front I have to recommend reply all https://gimletmedia.com/reply-all/ it's all about the wonders of the web - there will be stuff in there you have no idea about but it is happening now and it is about to take over your world.

Friday, 19 May 2017


Back from a conference where I spoke about my role as artist in residence at NanoDTC - for more information check out my other blog which covers the project 
http://unfoldingthinking.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/talkingwithteachers.html before getting on a train I managed to see the latest show at the glorious Raven Row - 56 Artillery Lane http://www.ravenrow.org/current/ explores notions of home - the stand out work for me was a woman's place a film by liberation films made in 1974 http://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b6d544432 it's an extraordinary document in so many ways. The content is a fantastic slice of social history - strong women attempting to challenge societal norms - men depicted as helplessly fools failing to run the crèche whilst mansplaining but then you have the camera angles and interview techniques to contend with as well as the chronological indicators of fashion and social fabric - all in glorious black and white. There is also the rare treat is access to the top flat that is preserved in a time warp - it was like stepping back in time into my Great Aunts house in the 1970s. And then there was fast and furious 8 - oh dear, maybe not the best......

Thursday, 18 May 2017


got to see La ribot at The Place - wonderful - she is a force - all the frenzied, sexy, controlled, disturbing elements came together in a forceful show of negotiated shame - wow
a day in London - some of the shows -  At the Tate in the Art Now room Together (Forever) by Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson is a great performance film - something extraordinary is created from something seemingly insignificant. Odd that this is the 3rd performance in in a row I've seen that used acting skills around fighting - is there something in the air)? at Sadie Coles Jordan Wolfson has work in both spaces - you have to see both - the film in HQ is disturbingly transgressive but the VR in Davies street is truly disturbing in a shocking way. And what excellent sculptures. Tenderpixels has a cracking show with a range of artists responding to a book about a chess playing girl. Annette Messager is at Marian Goodman - highlight - the womb wallpaper room is excellent. 

Monday, 15 May 2017


witness at Dance East was a tender and moving dance piece exploring mental health http://www.companychameleon.com/ there were some truly extraordinary moments of dance moves - I wish they had trusted their dance and not spoken - their movements communicated everything....
a quick jaunt to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival to see Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. could it possibly be a new genre 'fly on the wall theatre'? editing choice control truth and theatre as a mirror were topics of conversation 'post show' - It must of been life changing to be part of the experience for the participants - Summer was great with audience participant conversations and in Autumn I had my first tarot reading - an 'interesting' experience.

With the discovery http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5155780/  afterlife - what happens there and where is it? is at the fore and can we get there and if we can should we? lots of meaningful questions about destiny...win it all http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3155328/?ref_=nv_sr_1 don't do it no no no just don't do it.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017


first saw the strange undoing of prudential hart by the National Theatre of Scotland at Latitude Festival a couple of years ago Eastern Angles did it above a pub in Ipswich - it's a cracking night out - they are in the middle of a tour - catch it while you can. https://easternangles.co.uk/whats-on  I've already excitedly got my ticket to see La Ribot at the place but she is also at Cambridge Junction - it has to be a must see. We have a chair by her in our house and think about the extraordinary performances she has developed with it. thinking about anticipation the new blade runner http://www.imdb.com/list/ls053181649/videoplayer/vi245020953?ref_=hm_vd_br49_i_1 has it in spades....

Tuesday, 9 May 2017


 First stop Halesworth Museum, housed in the train station -  http://halesworthmuseum.org.uk/wpress/  drop in to speak with the helpful and generally nice people who work there amongst the objects - it's new display this season focuses on schools and has some excellent objects that speak of the experience called education that is the brutalisation of socialising young children into society - next onto the wonderful Lowestoft museum http://lowestoftmaritimemuseum.co.uk/ an extraordinary space crammed with objects embedded with experience. There is so much information and the people working there were so friendly. I spent time looking at the half models used to create the full size boats and the intriguing marks on the floor of a boat builders created whist forming the vast hulls.

you need to see the latest Jon Rafmam video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-AUav-zLeo working with second life and the dangers of everything youth orientated! personal shopper http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4714782/ unsure what it is - psychological horror via texting maybe?  

Monday, 8 May 2017


After a short break in Ibiza getting back feels decidedly chilly. Spent some time wandering around abandoned developments in stunningly beautiful spaces in the North of the island. Off season Portinatx was extraordinarily easygoing, I always love the feel of an area as it wakes up after it's off season. Back - watching meanwhile Affleck in Manchester by the Sea http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4034228/ is crippling, carrying the weight of inconceivable pain. ghost in the shell http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/?ref_=nv_sr_1 has some extraordinary special effects and connects to many 'sci-fi' tropes and there is the large issue of gender, culture assignment and nipples!

Saturday, 29 April 2017


What is it to learn? 
In the nano project I had this idea that the articulated structures I have been creating in response to the choreography in the laboratory if miniaturised to a nano scale could in some way inform an understanding of the movement of electrons around atoms, thus bringing knowledge to ideas around dark matter and the gaps between things. The wonderful thing about the job is that I don't mind not knowing in fact I think I revel in it and when realising that things I have conceived of aren't even possible ideas or that my language is not just wrong but the hypothesis underpinning my idea/revelation isn't even a thing in the first place. The conversations that ensue are a joy. This was the experience on Friday.

I often expect a rigour of thought with the students I encounter and I have had that experience myself....I have had work and proposals I put forward shaped with a rigour I hope that I bring to my own students practice. Meaning has been brought into the thinking and a clarity of intention that was not there previously is now embedded within the work and the proposed exhibition. A busy week at NUA where I delivered and was part of a great peer review session with year 2 exploring what it is to assess and make sense of the work around us https://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/ba2-peer-assessment-learning and with year 3 a workshop on recognising and developing a USP a Unique Selling Point. https://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/pdp-what-makes-you-interesting-1-usp

Sunday, 23 April 2017


Some excellent exhibitions on Saturday - starting off at the Imperial War Museum with War of Terror by Edmund Clark an examination of how we spend our tax controlling those who would do us evil. The banality of it all is quite astounding. Matt Collinshaw at Blain Southern is very clever. http://www.blainsouthern.com/exhibitions/2017/the-centrifugal-soul The highlight of the day was Ryoli Ikeda at Almia Rech.  data as art as sound as data - mesmerising and truly mystical, a kind of electronic folk art for the present. http://www.alminerech.com/exhibitions/4014-ryoji-ikeda The other shows were less interesting and number around 4 or 5 but what I love about the art world is that as a consumer one gains access to the most wonderful spaces, a kind of parallel universe that only those in the know get access to. If you are in the area around Carlos Place, Massimo de Carlo and The Timothy Taylor are stunning spaces and near a really nice water feature which is outside The Connaught Hotel.
Watched Logan - the 'X men film for people who don't like X men' - a road movie of sorts and with some really brutal violence specialising in the sound effects of blade into flesh....but if that's your thing Get Out the horror comedy thriller that comments on where we are in this 'so called gliberal post-race world' ....I spent most of the film either cringing or in fear, sometimes weirdly simultaneously and just how disturbing was that bingo...
New to me but found through listening to Adam Buxton talking with Brian Eno (episode 1) on the Adam Buxton podcast which led me to a TED talk featuring the extraordinary drummer Jojo Mayer who plays like a computer outputting drum and bass https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KExLCJAuTXA

Friday, 21 April 2017


looking forward to a day of peer assessment at NUA on Monday https://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/ba2-peer-assessment-learning - should be a good one, although best not to project too much as we are designing for Christmas in April. This week I've been making new editioned work - they are the result of a strand of investigation from the residency in Cambridge - I've been looking at close packed structures within atoms, considering 'empty' space and thinking about reflection and its role within the process. It has resulted in the work drop shadow in an edition of 5 and costs £21:00 meanwhile prevenge  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5154288/ is a tricky 'horror' story - or is it just disturbing.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


how have I not come across the wonderful recycle radio on radio 4? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04f23qy just chilling - I started off with magic and have been working my way through the series, class, blood, money - it's all there..... if you enjoy this but maybe want something with beats try cassette boy https://www.youtube.com/user/cassetteboy for the project in Cambridge I've been working on a collection of double page spreads that have become a form of visual note book. The spreads are full of ideas, possible starting points and contain many elements of the finished works, in effect a sort 'look book' or 'mood board' of the project so far. https://unfoldingthinking.blogspot.co.uk/

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


a day of paper folding - going through the folders of structures initially created in the unpicking and rebinding project connecting ideas - exploring how the patterns are affected by being printed and then folded within the 3D structures. some films - The Great Wall http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2034800/?ref_=nv_sr_1 oh that's what the wall is for! madness but I loved the styling of the whole thing, especially the manga references of the Female Commander. Elvis and Anabelle http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0787462/?ref_=nv_sr_1 a beautiful love story 'against all odds', even death.  Krisha http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4266638/?ref_=nv_sr_1 billed as a comedy - it is so not - but it is an interesting take on portraying dysfunction and confusion. Toni Erdmann http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4048272/?ref_=nv_sr_7 it's important to stay with it as the glacial pace is a key element of exploring the spaces between us.

Friday, 7 April 2017


Spent the last 2 days working on a body of work that brings together the past 6 months of thinking. Over the past 5 days Radio 4 Book of the week has provided a series of profound moments throughout the week - John Berger - And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08l78gf#play Whilst listening I've been mainly in a heightened emotional state but today it was tears throughout the last episode and from 9:03 onwards it was so truly heart wrenching that I felt turned inside out - with you I can imagine a place where phosphate of calcium is enough....................  I have now started what will be my Berger obsession - starting points were https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLwmv-1AZDg Berger will help you rethink your thinking 20:00 onwards provides answers to a key question...and moved onto the very delicate and thoughtful conversation - what books can teach us is a wonderfully intense passage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLivFgw_i-8 and there is the ever important ways of seeing -   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pDE4VX_9Kk 
quite apt that spellcheck offers up and points out our failure to conform by attempting to change Berger to Burger...onto films - catfight -http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5294198/?ref_=nv_sr_2 a kind of sliding doors madness, but interspersed with violent obsessive insanity. upside down http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1374992/?ref_=nv_sr_1 an interesting idea but the 'CGIness' gets in the way.

Tommy at The Wolsey https://www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/shows/tommy/ in Ipswich provided a jaunting rethink of what you thought you knew of the jaunty 'sing along' musical. It really was a wonderfully demanding, eye opening, dazzling evening at the theatre - 'he's a deaf, dumb and blind kid!' - think about it, what more could it be than challenging and then there is the addition of the fiddler!

Friday, 31 March 2017


yesterday had a couple of teaching sessions at NUA which went well - here are the links https://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/to-quit-or-not-to-quit - mainly trying to talk about giving in - it's that time of year within the academic world - so support is much needed - it's all about planning. https://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/label-work-why talking about the why, how and what of labelling - it's all about storytelling. and then some films - Wiener-Dog http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4144190/?ref_=nv_sr_5
oddball is a term created for this film - any starting point that has a 'sausage dog' at its point has to be a good thing. 3 idiots http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1187043/ a fun yet politically conscious film that has so many knowing moments. The underlying themes are wholesome. and then there have been the 2 series of lovesick http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4051832/ - it's worth getting to season two to start to love Luke! the back story is always the key - just very sad but glorious writing. meanwhile a great sign to be found near me on the coast that helpfully explains how wonderful nature is in pictures whilst simultaneously messing it up - because you need a photograph of the space where you are standing in the actual space to help you really enjoy the space.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


over at https://unfoldingthinking.blogspot.co.uk/ there are endless starting points for lines of enquiry, almost to the point of being overwhelming. Using the lab based experimental science practice I've been exposed to as starting points I have created a number of experiments which have manifest themselves within an array of outcomes - films, objects and prints. The flow diagram explains some of the thinking and lays out the order of activity.
From observing the hand movements within the lab when explaining scientific processes I had developed a number of articulated structures that were to be manipulated in the hand.
Electron microscopy sets out to map surfaces by 'firing' matter at the material they are investigating, the evidence of this activity is mapped. Extrapolating the space between surface and probe provides data to make sense of the surface.
I am currently following a line of enquiry that looks at this space between, making physical something that cannot be seen by casting the negative space of the folding structures that explored the hand gestures, fixing a moment in time.

I then developed the articulated structures into static 3D forms by fixing the shapes, transforming the nets into boxes and casting their internal spaces. I am going to develop this work by looking to cast the space around the negative forms so that the 'empty space' is revealed.

Thursday, 23 March 2017


This week has seen me be a small part of the organisation that is Open College of the Arts - tutorials with students from around the world. The experience of connecting around the globe is fairly awesome/humbling and at the same time very efficient. I'm in a book! - there's an image and mention in the latest publication that covers The International Contemporary Book Fair - Pages - Future Potentials / Future Legacies. http://www.leedsartbookfair.com/pages-reviewed-collections-revisited/  it's a great photo by Chris Taylor and an interesting overview of the paperscissorsbook exhibition by Karen Babayan. I've been selling a few items of work recently so have been updating my site http://les-recent-work.blogspot.co.uk/ I've also delivered some work to the wonderful bookartbookshop http://www.bookartbookshop.com/ if you are in Hoxton I recommend dropping in - you never know what you might find. Today culminated in a glorious visit to D2W (I don't know if you know but 3D printing is the future)! Jonathan has a great take on this technology. I also got to see a number of exhibitions which were all inspirational - White Cube at Mason's Yard - Fred Tomaselli is stunning - the psychotic doodling is a futuristic version of Tom Philips at work, makes you think!!! The supreme rifts…a measured propinquity with work by Sol Lewitt, Gabriel Orozco, Gerhard Richter, Ettore Spalletti and Niele Toroni at Marian Goodman Gallery is stunning. The Richter structure is very special and his line piece feels like it is physically changing you. At Carroll / Fletcher the film piece by Wood and Harrison Semi Automatic Painting Machine in the basement is excellent - serious fun... obviously Eva and Franco Mattes are awesome but Michael Joaquin Grey's Citroid System Play Room  has some exciting elements. The whole show is a winner -  Looking at one thing and thinking of something else. An Exhibition in Four Parts - Part Four: Disrupt / Disorder / Display

Monday, 20 March 2017


work for https://unfoldingthinking.blogspot.co.uk/ continues. Looking forward to a visit to D2W this week with students from Textile Design at NUA. I've been working with 3D printing myself so it will be great to show the students the potential of 3D printing. I intend to get to White Cube http://whitecube.com/exhibitions/fred_tomaselli_masons_yard_2017/ Marian Goodman WWW.MARIANGOODMAN.COM and Carroll / Fletcher http://www.carrollfletcher.com/exhibitions/62/overview/ recently I've been moving through Netflix sets.....the oa is truly traumatic and the last episode takes the viewer to a very dark place when the realisation of what you have been watching is made plain....or is it? https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/dec/17/the-oa-review-netflix
my crazy ex girlfriend https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_Ex-Girlfriend_(TV_series)  is bonkers - I love it when the narrative is broken up by the singing and dancing which is itself subverting the very idea of the musical - the lyrics are sharp and acerbic there are so many good ones - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFUk79fBOiQ  or try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky-BYK-f154 onto films - Patriots Day, the second in the series by director Peter Berg of films driven by actual events - this one makes you proud to be a Bostonian, hang on I'm not!! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4572514/?ref_=nv_sr_1 the edge of 17 is a screwball-sweet coming of age moment - very nice http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1878870/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Thursday, 16 March 2017


interchange at Norwich University of the Arts is two days of inter-course-experience for year 2 students across all courses. I ran an experimental book making workshop for 8 students - some interesting conversations and work ensued, it would be interesting to see what would emerge if art schools and universities adopted this model every day.
the fantasy portfolio session at NUA was interesting, getting them to think about whats next https://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/fantasy-portfolio
looking forward to seeing snap an exhibition and night of performances by year 2 Fine Art Chelsea at Longfield Hall in Knatchbull Road, London, this Friday. https://www.facebook.com/events/1895324857378988/  unsure why I watched XXX - don't, add Taken3 to the list but Hologram for the King is a wonderful jaunt http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2980210/?ref_=rvi_tt with Tom taking us on an emotional yet fun trip.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017


Another fantastic day of teaching on the Book Art Course at Camberwell - The Review - basically it's a 4 hour conversation about art that focuses around new pieces made by the students on the course - a mid-term session to support and direct practice. went to see the extraordinary dance piece Stepmother / Stepfather by Arthur Pita & Headspacedance at The Place - highly recommend it if you like your dance big on narrative with a large dose of the macabre. And we need defiantly need more live rewinding of time on stages! http://www.theplace.org.uk/performances The Tillmans at Tate Modern is stunning in its curatorial display - the idea of generating an archive by looking out and then mining it to enable looking inward - the work about process which then become about ideas are beautiful and then disturbing. http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/wolfgang-tillmans-2017  Gavin Turk at Newport St Gallery is full of 'yes I get it ' and the space is wonderfully showy - all good. Hockney at the Tate...... was Hockney at the Tate and finally went into Chelsea College to see the A217 gallery - organised partly by  http://www.isthisitisthisit.com/ it has a show confronting the internet at the moment - worth a visit to see new stuff before anywhere else. https://www.a217gallery.com/i-miss-you-blockbuster