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By: Steffan Jones-Hughes
The blog started with the run up to my exhibition at Oriel Wrecsam in August - October 2008, and is now following on to the next one in November 2008 at Galeri and then onto a group show at Theatr Clwyd in 2009.
# 1 [6 February 2008]
I've got a solo exhibition coming up in August at Wrexham Arts Centre. I have been working on stuff for the show for the past three years. I'm really interested in exploring themes that have been relevant to me for the past decade. At the same time I'm working on projects at the print centre including our programme of workshops, we have two next week, and an exhibition in Liverpool and two Chinese artists coming over to stay for six weeks as part of a larger cross Wales project, and I want to apply for some funding towards a small project alongside the Wrexham show, and then there's another show in Caernarfon at the end of the year and to say nothing of the print centre touring shows and the postcard and place projects... all this and still it feels as though nobody is interested in an artist from the sticks!
# 2 [24 April 2008]
# 3 [24 April 2008]
Been really busy lately... these are a selection of new things I have in the pipeline. I'm really interested in developing some photographic work but as yet it will need to do just that...develop.
I'm working on a number of things in tandem that evolve around this idea of protection, memory, home, safety. The work is semi biographical and I intend there to be an element of duality. I'm as interested in people's response as to my intention. There are a lot of ideas relating to Fairy Tales and the telling of stories. This is something I have been developing for some time now and I'm hoping that this exhibition in Wrexham will have someting of that magical quality about it. The title of the exhibition hopefully has that feel about it. I do sometimes lie awake listening to my i-pod which has birdsong on it. I do sometimes wake early in the morning and hear a lone blackbird searching for the day to come. It's not normal to hear birds at night unless it is an owl, or a night jar, these don't ordinarily sing happily, they are more associated with an eeriness.
I'm waiting to hear about a funding application to develop a book...should hear any day. I want there to be an element of narrative and past times, mementos.
# 4 [30 April 2008]
Well, I didn't get my arts council funding. The funding levels have been cut by 40% since last year. I HATE THE OLYMPICS!!!
Anyway... spent an hour today working on the photographic ideas. I'm looking at ways of making photographic prints onto different surfaces. I've found this process I really like and today, finally i got some really promising results. I am really grateful for the help from my scientist friend Ken and photographer Paddy. I think there is a possibility that these could really work. I must also get a move on with my drawings. I'm trying to get some books together for the exhibition. It's a real shame about the funding. I had it all lined up with the old printer guy in Abergele and now I don't have time to do another application so I'm fed up!! Especially since so much time was spent putting the application together, meeting to discuss the arts council, putting all the contacts in place. Also it would have been perfect for the exhibitions.
Been getting the work together for the printcentre stand at printfest 08. It's this weekend in Ulverston go up and meet Karen and Jane who are doing the stand, say hello. I think it should be really good, we're showing work by 24 or more printmakers who use the centre. got some good unframed prints for sale and also made some prototype badges for the exhibition. http://www.printfest.org.uk/
# 5 [4 May 2008]
I had a good day in the studio space today. I worked on my drawings and also went for a walk. The idea for this project is drawn from an early teenage idea of wanting to be a bird. I now am more able to see the futility of this and am quite interested in the evidence i find on my walks. living in the country i am shocked by the scenes of death and devastation caused by and inflicted on the birds. We have quite a few buzzards living round here and their prey can often be found strewn, quite often headless, in their eating spots. Most days i go for a run and will quite often encounter hares, rabbits, pheasants and other creatures. It is really interesting for me to, on the one hand see these creatures alive, running around, and then to discover their remains the next day. Memento more.
I also did some drawings on rocks today. I use vegetable pigments so they will wash away. I'm interested in the idea of creating things that could be from fairy tales. Spring is finally coming and today their were lots of violets in the banks, bluebells coming through and wood sorrel in flower.
# 6 [9 May 2008]
well things never run smoothly do they? after the disappointment of failed grant applications both mine and my artist wife's cars broke down, the camera flash broke, my children broke the video camera and finally my apple mac with everything on it! aaaaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhh!
anyway, carried on working in my books and took some photos of the writing on rocks as it disappeared, could have some thing there.
# 7 [10 May 2008]
that was yesterday... had a better day today- did face painting at my daughter's summer fair.
In the print centre this morning I managed to get what i wanted on the eggs and feel that this is definately moving forward now. i'll stick some photos up, let me know what you think.
i'm using kallitype photo process and this is the most success i've achieved to date. i'm going to work on some drawings tonight but it's so blooming hot in the studio.
oh, really nice... jeanette got accepted for the drawing open at Oriel Davies in Newtown, and I got an invitation to the opening at South Hill Park of "for the love of making books" (touring from Wrexham Arts Centre see artistsbooksonline.com) which i'm in and "Folk Art and Fairy Tales" (touring from Oriel Davies) which I wrote the catalogue for. I got rejected from the drawing open. hey ho!
# 8 [26 May 2008]
No pictures today ... just to say that things are moving along well with my bookworks.
Had a good day at the Eisteddfod yr Urdd in Llandrillo yn Rhos today. my daughter was playing the recorder (beautifully.) Saw Rhian Haf and Carys Wynne Williams working flat out on children's projects in the Arts Council tent. Catrin Williams was doing something very exciting in the Pabell Celf. I was a judge this year so it was really good to see all of the children's art from across Wales together. Diana Williams, who is involved in the Le Chiele regional print centre project (see under Regional Print), had a stand... she was far too busy to talk as i went past.
# 9 [4 June 2008]
been busy working on the Guardian Guide series. I have also been making some screenprints. read a really interesting article in the Guardian on Saturday which reminded me of a thing Susan Sontag had said about photographs and innocence. ian mcewan's article was about the day of judgement and made an interesting read. he also made some comment about times like we live in and how when times of uncertainty and great change stories of impending doom become more prevalent. i made a similar point about fairy tales in my catalogue essay for "folk art and fairy tales" the oriel davies touring exhibition.
anyway... i'll put some more images with this post.
# 10 [4 June 2008]
thought i would add some more images
Visual artist based in North Wales, also run the Regional Print Centre at Yale College in Wrexham, and juggle lots of different things usually all at the same time. Don't always manage and find it hard to walk AND talk.