Home page story
Choice blogs archive 2009
December 2009/January 2010: Rosalind Davis selects Susan Francis
Susan Francis immediately struck me as a choice blog to celebrate. Dedicated, passionate and committed, there is poetry in her words and a witty fiery soul that is revealed here:
‘Art has consumed me from the word go.’
Susan writes of her concepts: her interest in humanity and the traces we leave behind, but also explores the wider context of her work, of art and the role of artists, the struggles we universally endure. There is insightfulness and intellectual enquiry.
It is thrilling to hear as she speaks of the innate joy she gets in creating and finishing a piece of work and the obsession of it that I and others shall identify very closely with.
There is as well the serious desire to engage with others and the fight we have to be seen as artists and to keep going in spite of the fragile nature of ourselves and our works.
An inspiring blog.
Rosalind Davis is an artist and director of Core Gallery in Deptford.
Go to Susan Francis' blog »
Go to Rosalind Davis' blog »
December 2009: artist and editor of Hit and Miss, Josie Faure Walker selects Richard Taylor’s 'Stating/Showing'.
Inspecting his work from a distance rather than ruminating over its personal significance (like many of the other blogs), Richard Taylor’s meticulous Stating/Showing raises the question of presentation as work in itself, unusual within the conventionally neat system of production and end product slotted into gallery spot.
The blog includes working manifestos for works as yet unmade as Richard discovers his intentions through writing, adding prompts back to himself, (“...another device will therefore have to be crafted in order to unwind the tape, to give the illusion that it is unwinding itself....”). Using an artist's blog as a public sketchbook to record, reorder and initiate ideas – that’s useful. Why haven’t I started mine?!
Josie Faure Walker is an artist and editor of Hit and Miss »
Go to Richard's blog »
November 2009: Sara Schnadt selects 'My Residency in Banff, Alberta, Canada' by Veronique Chance
What I like about Veronique’s blog is the candid description she gives of the challenges of developing a project that is both a creative and technical challenge for herself as an artist, and being produced in an entirely new context (another country). Having had this experience myself for my own work, I appreciate the ongoing log of her problem solving, how she adjusts her expectations, how she works with local staff, and ultimately how the project is a triumph.
Details of the residency’s organic and lovely community and valuable creative dialogue are much appreciated. As is her articulation of her desire to be an artist first, and a new media practitioner within this broader context.
Applications for the Banff residency close in November. Go to the Banff Centre website to apply.
October 2009: Sarah Rowles, Director Q-Art London, selects Jennifer Brooks and Emily Speed
Whilst many bloggers reflect on their own work, Emily writes about “…some of the issues facing all artists … trying to make a living out of this business.” When I began my degree I was struck by the hit and miss nature of 'succeeding' (if this means making a living, I am not sure). It seems that irrespective of merit, success in the art world is often about who you know. I interviewed commercial gallerists and set up an all-inclusive artists’ forum, Q-Art London, to try and combat this.
Jennifer Brooks asks in her blog Finding my Practice what 'true practice' is and if there is such a thing. She has even posted a survey online in an attempt to find out. I wonder if there is a link between this type of insecurity and the lack of time to 'find oneself' as an artist because of the constant pressure to define ones practice in order to gain grants, exhibitions and funding.
Does the increasing professionalisation of the art world and the necessity of getting funding for projects, as Emily points out throughout her blog, have an affect on the kind of work artists produce?
Go to Q-Art London »
Go to Jennifer Brooks' blog »
Go to Emily Speed's blog »
September 2009: Rosalind Davis selected by Matt Roberts
A relative novice to the Blogosphere Rosalind Davis' blog illustrates an artist tentatively using the medium as a tool for self-critique, laying out her feelings about her work as it develops. Beyond the life of this project her blog exists as a living portfolio, as we, the reader are offered a window into the ideas that lay behind each piece as she juggles the pressures of life, work, and artistic ambition.
Rosalind's posts become more frequent as the process becomes more natural to her, and we gain an insight into how her work has been shaped by the community around her, as well as learning of her 'aristocratic' legacy, and adept climbing skills. Overall we see a picture of a talented and committed artist, making difficult practice-based and career decisions, whilst trying to remain financially stable, and a functioning person.
A narrative I'm sure we can all empathise with.
Go to Matt Roberts Arts »
Go to Rosalind Davis' blog »
August 2009: Holly Darton selected by Manick Govinda, director of ArtsAdmin and a-n Board Member
Holly Darton’s blog is a great example of an artist reflecting on her practice and the state of transition she finds herself in; having worked collaboratively with Ben Connors for many years, parting ways, developing a new collaborative relationship with Jenny Hunt, re-locating to a studio in the village where she grew up, getting funding. It also shows an artist articulating her ambitions, struggles, and goals and putting to bed her past work. Holly is not a regular blogger and resists the pressure to update for the sake of updating. One really senses the struggle and the challenges of being a visual and performance artist and her endeavours to straddle both camps and finding a unifying aesthetic.
July 2009: Miss B's Salons selected by Emilia Telese, practicing artist and Artists Networks Coordinator.
Funny, relevant and responsive, NAN award winning Miss B's Salons is a great blog to keep your finger on the pulse of current debates amongst artists, from censorship to totalitarianism, and is always done with a refreshing sense of humour - check out the hilarious Fascist architecture headgear!
Go to Miss B's Salons »
Miss B's Salons was awarded a NAN Go and See bursary in March 2009. To read more about NAN including other NAN blogs go here »
June 2009: Rosemary Shirley, Online Editor for Interface, selects Alison Kershaw.
One of the things I love about this blog is its name: I don't know about community but I know what I like. I can certainly relate to its sentiment, and recognise its relation to the messy, complicated, exhausting, exciting, fascinating place where “art” meets “community”. Working in and with “communities” is all about the process and Alison Kershaw’s interest in and openness to this process makes inspiring reading.
Read Alison Kershaw's blog here »
May 2009: Kirstie Beaven, Exhibitions Editor at Tate Online, selects two blogs.
‘Swimming Home’ by Paul Clark because, says Kirstie, "This project stuck in my mind long after the work and the blog finished - both the landscape and the interventions. Though I was a little bit disappointed to find out they were wearing wetsuits," and ‘Alex Pearl is not in the Antarctic’ as, "Apart from the pleasure of the images accompanying each post, this plugs in to the anxiety of the social side of art. And makes you laugh too."
Go to Swimming home »
April 2009: Rob Turner selects Rachel Howfield (Massey).
I have not seen her work, but a ‘Jacob Marley/ Scrooge’ feel of looking at, or being shown someone from an external position is evoked by her descriptions and visuals.
On another level this blog is a reflection of all our own domestic lives, I am forced to look at my own role as a husband and how I support my wife’s career (who is not an artist) but the issues are the same.
Serious, but the blog is light and very entertaining.
Go to Rachel's blog »
Rob Turner has four blogs:
Go to Anaver job in 'Staffy-cher' but arm from saaaaf london »
Go to What is the importance of history? »
Go to 'Wise Medicine Men' and the role of the artist? »
Go to Zen and the Art of Mosaic Madness »
March 2009: Inez Schrader selects Caroline Wright's Inishlacken Project.
Despite her concerns on retrospective blogging The Inishlacken Project by Caroline Wright is my current blog choice. Reading it I felt the rythmn of the piece changing as she relaxed into the island, her direction and inspiration. Having spent a freezing, winter weekend exploring the desolate expanse of Rannoch Moors and Loch Rannoch in Scotland, I can understand the many layers of inspiration which present themselves when all ones senses are engaged.
Unfortunately the results of her inspiration I gather, will only be seen next year as I see from her website that she plans to show at the Redhouse Arts Centre in USA. Too far for me I’m afraid.
Caroline, for what it’s worth, in my experience, blogs such as these, refresh and strengthen memories, not the reverse.
Many of the projects which appear on the Artists Talking pages (my own included) deal with life very obliquely and so it is good to read Susan Diab discussing her role at Fabrica, engaging with Hirschhorn's work 'The Incommensurable Banner', artwork not just concerned with issues but as she puts it, filled with 'justified outrage'.
Susan's work is on show at Fabrica in Brighton until 16 November.
This is what he had to say about it: "Perversely I've chosen a blog which is the opposite of the usual self-serving navel-gazing that most of us produce. Airspace Gallery is the story of two young artists trying (and succeeding) to do something worthwhile in Stoke-on-Trent. I have a tear in my eye.
First published: a-n.co.uk December 2010
Post your comment
No one has commented on this article yet, why not be the first?
To post a comment you need to login
© the artist(s), writer(s), photographer(s) and a-n The Artists Information Company
All rights reserved.
Artists who are current subscribers to a-n may download or print this text for the limited purpose of use in their business or professional practice as artists.
Parts of this text may be reproduced either in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (updated) or with written permission of the publishers.