Saturday, 16 December 2017


3 hours in London so what to do? - popped into The British Museum - always a treat - after the obvious visit to the mummies - I checked out a truly stunning  exhibition of prints about printmaking. There are some truly stunning examples. On the way I found myself drawn to an extraordinary uniform made for the Qing army which 'performed' at the Forbidden City - rich in pattern and use of materials - one on its own is extraordinary and to think that these were worn by thousands moving in unison. There is also a great piece in a show that looks at war. Fariden Lashai has recreated Goya's disasters of war without the figures - the stark spaces are disturbing without a focus in themselves but the then the figures are projected back into the images. Blaine Southern has Sophie Jung downstairs which seems wildly out of place but good to see her work there.

Edel Assanti has an excellent show by Yoshinori Niwa which explores quietly yet forcefully the spaces between cultures. my first time in the space but I will be back.  Rosenfeld Porcini has a beautiful show full of beautiful objects titled combining materials. 

Friday, 8 December 2017


a mixed bag of films - looking for narratives where women's stories are told, or at least they are close to the centre (ish) - Marjory Prime asked questions about memory, its value and explored why and how we tell stories
Holiday joy another film to add to the what if - playing with the timeline can ruin your life but lessons are learnt genre. Queen of the desert a strangely stilted film, but maybe that's the point, different times etc  with Nicole Kidman strutting endlessly even when on a camel
isthisitisthisit held the launch for the third edition of the magazine the platform runs. It doesn't take long to find new targets focuses on violence in video games the magazine is suitably unpleasant, in a good way. Managed to get the last copy in the edition The work in the exhibition was really interesting - highlights include Eva and Franco Mattes Freedom and the wonderfully thoughtful and disturbing Fair Game (Run like a girl) by Georgie Roxby Smith . The work is really important and the concerns within the practice is something that the gaming industry has to fully engage in.
A great afternoon running a heat press, bonding workshop at NUA - no PowerPoint, no testing, no Learning Outcomes - a session exploring the potential of materials with students who have enquiring minds. Excellent learning and innovation all round.

Sunday, 3 December 2017


How small is nano? Was a question I was constantly asked when working at The Maxwell Centre in Cambridge. The answer was always contextualised with something from the real world as nano scale is almost beyond comprehension. This was usually human hair which is approximately 100,000 nanometers wide. As a reminder of this fact I grew my hair for the duration of the project. It is now over and I am left with a giant hair ball which in some ways explores the idea of scale. There were many outcomes from the project including a number of artists books. It was really great that Sarah Bodman chose using a known to make an unknown to be in her top ten artist books of the year - thank you.
The Synthetic anatomy project at Kings is moving along - lots of thoughts around reflective thinking and how to support individuals who don't supposedly engage in the process. The aim is to develop the skills needed to create a reflective journal as part of a 'changing classrooms' initiative. But most individuals engage in the act of reflection when making choices based on experience so the challenge shouldn't be too great.

Finally looking at the range of upcoming booked leisure activities in the diary - The Berlin Art Biennale, tickets to flight of the conchords at the O2 and Titus Andronicus at The Barbican and then the glorious pantomime at The Wolsey in Ipswich, this year Red riding hood....nothing but eclectic.


A couple of days in London - some 'just not interesting shows' but interspersed by some truly marvellous ones. Monika Sosnowska at Hauser and Wirth is truly sublime. It really is a beautiful display of work in its steady use of materials. T, Rebar 12 and Pipe are stunning.
Zach Blas at Gasworks has some interesting video work which seeks to enable us to critique the internet which is never a bad thing. 
Just a thought - if you think Rachel Whiteread is interesting look at two pieces of work by other artists - both predating this exploration of this negative space malarky - Bruce Nauman - a cast of the space under my chair 1965-8 and Joseph Beuys piece Unschlitt - 1977, 20 tonnes of beef fat which casts the underneath of a pedestrian walkway. Both fundamentally more interesting than the room full of stuff at Tate Britain and both artists have many approaches to making within their practice. 
The work to see at the Tate is Marguerite Humeau where paint is infused with artificial breast milk and snake venom is pumped around the room.
The Jerwood Space has 3-phase an exhibition which has a new piece by Mark Essen supported by an excellent gallery text by Angels Miralda. The display includes a cabinet of alternative currencies and defaced coins which are fascinating. Ilya and Emilia Kabakov at the Tate was a tour de force. Highlights include the obvious (The Man Who Flew Into Space from His Apartment) and the not so - model for healing with paintings and my highlight of the show - model for where is the place. Both simultaneously dark and humorous while commenting on hierarchy, value and access. A wonderful piece.

At the ICA their new front of house set up means that there is more space for what is one of the most exciting and relevant to the current economic and social climate book shops in London but also they have kiosk. I last saw its iteration in New York at the Cooper Hewitt museum but couldn't bring anything back due to bag size but that's not a problem now so purchases from their curated shop included pegs from Japan and lottery tickets from America.