Sarah and I are very lucky to live in Coventry, a lot of culture happens here and at the beginning of October we were treated to the Festival of Imagineers and a visit from our very lovely friend Ceri. On Saturday 1st October the ran was coming down, a quick check on Twitter that the rain hadn’t out the performers off and the festival was still happening.

Urban Astronaut by Highly Sprung

We headed down to University Square to see the first performance Urban Astronaut by Highly Sprung. This is a performance I seen glimpses of but never the first performance, it was great to see the full piece. The Urban Astronaut looks at what the world could be like in the future with serious air pollution problems. A female dancer explains through dance that the rich have left in rockets to other worlds and those who couldn’t afford it are left, some with more money have astronaut suits and others don’t. The female we are watching doesn’t wear a suit and is nurturing the earth, growing plants and collecting water, it feels she still loves the planet. Some time into the performance the Urban Astronaut arrives he is suit wearing along with his companions, his companions walk and they propeller him up and down on a travelling time machine. At first they destroy her world, pull her plants and home apart but she starts to show them that the world is okay and they don’t need suits and masks and slowly they begin to see. Eventually the Urban Astronaut is suit and mask free and dancing in formation with female. It is a beautiful performance with a powerful and easy to understand story. It was also interesting to see the performance taking place in heavy rain and how well the performers dealt with it. When Sarah and I are creating new outside work we should consider how it would work in the rain.

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

After the performance we headed into the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum who were celebrating the Festival of the Dead. The gallery was a hive of activity with Drink & Draw, street dance and crazy hairdressing from Osadia. Osadia was performance hairdressing, the two stylist didn’t appear to say anything and we’re dress fantastically in evening gowns, they did members of the publics hair in absolutely amazing styles.

Wheel House by Acrojou

Back in University Square we watched Wheel House. Wheel House is a converted German Wheel, props have been added to create the feeling of a full home within the wheel. The performers go about their day to day lives living in the wheel. Through the performance you watch them work through the struggles of living within the wheel, the most moving was when the female character fell out while sleeping. I really enjoyed the performance, visually it was brilliant, watching the acrobatics taking place in and around the wheel was a lot of fun.

Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo Valse

The performance was meant to take place within the Cathedral ruins but sadly couldn’t because of the rain. The new Cathedral is very large and has a very high ceiling, the performance was moved inside instead. It felt very special to be within the Cathedral during the evening, it looked stunning with low lighting and candles. Teatro Tastable di Bergamo was a dance performance on stilts and was beautiful to watch, the ladies where dressed in beautiful ball gowns and the gents in suits. My favourite part of the performance was when they light giant balloons filled with helium which floated to the ceiling and burst at the top exploring confetti everywhere. Visually the whole performance was very impressive I felt it really showed how being flexible with venues can actually really add to art as the Cathedral felt like the perfect fit for the performance, we just missed a few fireworks!

Orchestra of Samples by Addictive TV

The final performance of the festival was Orchestra of Samples by Addictive TV. This was a brilliant performance, while touring Addictive TV have recorded hundreds, thousands of musicians and filmed them playing. They have now mixed the recordings together, you have a few musicians playing together at once with all of their videos playing on a screen behind the mixing desk. This really changed the music the musicians where playing, you would get some very traditional music and modern together creating one sound. I loved the way this twist was created, taking individual musicians and then creating a whole new product from them. Perhaps this is something for Sarah and I to think about.


On a beautifully sunny day in August I headed to London to see the Serpentine Pavilion and Summer House and the Festival of Love. After watching the world go by in Hyde Park while eating my lunch I head to this years Pavilion by the Bjarke Ingels Group.

The Pavilion was a cool and calm space with a light breeze. Inside the space is a small cafe and plenty of space for sitting to take in the space. People are taking it easy, relaxing and admiring aspects of the Pavilion. Through the day this will be an ever changing space as the sun moves and creates shadows and light across the Pavilion in different spots. At the moment the sun is right above me and the light is predominately coming from the left, this is because the cubs are shallow, on my right they are dead rectangles which are perhaps as long as me in length (if you’ve not met me, I’m quite short and so is Sarah). It would be fun if yay could crawl through them but it would completely change the calming atmosphere. The Pavililon is created from stacked cubes / rectangles and they are all stacked with an overlap. A baby girl has just entered her eyes are wide and she is looking all around in a totally calm trance. A little boy comments it’s like a little house. The calmness of the space really intrigues me. Big Knitting was full of children running, in here it is the complete opposite, is this something we could try and capture in our work one day? We really wanted to create something very interactive which Big Knitting was and we both feel we can develop on this and create even more interactive work, for now I think we will continue to create interactive chaos but maybe next year we’ll fancy calming it down a bit!

This year the Pavilion included Summer Houses as part of the exhibition. Kunlé Adeyemi’s created a inverse replica of Queen Caroline’s Temple. Barkow Leibinger was inspired by a 18th Century temple which was designed by William Kent. Yona Friedman’s was a modular structure that can be assembled and dissembled in different formations, this was a extension of La Ville Spatial (Spatial City). Sarah & I are really interested in modular work and what it could become, it was great to see this summer house to get modular ideas. The structure was very simple, based on a cube but felt very unique with the way it was stacked, this is definitely something to think about as it allows for the installation to feel different at every exhibition it goes to and can also adjust to fit into different spaces.

Asia Kha’s summer hose was inspired by the Queen Caroline’s Temple which was positioned to catch the sunlight from the Serpentine lake. This was a great place to sit and catch the sunlight, I spent a good half an hour soaking up the sun and watching people interacting with the sunhouses, it was a brilliant space to be in.

From Hyde Park I jumped onto a Boris bike and headed to Southbank, I was pretty impressed with my self as I made it pretty quickly! This summer Southside is celebrating with Festival of Love, a festival for families for ‘fun in the sun’ and it was a very sunny day for me to have a bit of fun. Appearing Rooms by Jeppe Hein was the first installation I came across, it was certainly fun in the sun. Appearing Rooms is a water fountain shooting water from the ground in different shoot formations for children to run through. The sounds of joyous screams fill the air as the kids have the time of their lives jumping in and out of the water. I wish I could join them, maybe I’ll have to make one in my garden. I am enjoying the odd splash and sprays that are bouncing off them as they run. The screams are infectious and bring absolute joy, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. Maybe water art us the way to go! For now work that creates excitement and screams of joy is the aim.

My second find is Modified Social Benches NY again by Jeppe Hein, bright red benches in fun different shapes. They are very hard to photograph, kids are loving them too much and adults too. Either posing for a pic or sliding down them. I love that they are here all summer, so solid, safe and useable.

Inside the Royal Festival Hall Ventricle by Softlab NYC hangs, the structure of a heart on a massive scales shining in reflective pinks and purple. The material is very interesting, I’m not exactly sure what it is, the guide says a complete woven aluminium, I will see if I can research it. Love Stoies from Southbank made me slightly tearful, the Archive Studio wall is covered in a tales of love stories that all have a connections with Soutbank, here is just one of them from Stewart “I did my courting there. Concert followed by 5 shilling supper – choice of 2 out of 3 courses. Little lamplit tables overlooking the Thames. Not too expensive for two young people, romantic, and then my “young man” walked me over the bridge to put me on the last train to Putney. Happy Days’. Capturing and sharing stories is a wonderful thing that art can do and something I’d like to do as an artist, meet people find out their stories, create a platform for them, share them and preserve them.  My final find inside was The Blue House by Alpha Diagne, this was a real moving insight to the Jungle. To end my visit I saw Just You and Me by Jonathan Kenndy Enyin-Otebil with How About Studio. Enyin-Otebil won the Southbank’s Design Challenge to work along Nick Wood How About Studio. For Summer of Love he’s created Just You and Me which is inspired by two polar bears and evokes ideas of love and sustainability, I really like the structure of it.


I am very lucky to have my sister (Emma) living in Finland and on my most recent trip I was excited to find out that my favourite artist Ernesto Neto was exhibiting in Kiasma, Helsinki and I had to go! It was also a brilliant chance for my sister to get a better understanding of what ‘immersive’ and ‘installation’ art is and for her little boy, Harri to experience his first exhibition.

We got the train to Helsinki which had a brilliant children’s section on it with a slide, books and toys to play with. After a wander round Helsinki we headed to the market which is on the harbour and had some delicious, very traditional fish. Then we headed to Kiasma, Sinikka (Emma’s friend) thought she knew the way, but perhaps was slightly unsure! Not to worry we made it there and Harri had a massive bowl of soup, possibly as big as him.

Choi Jeong Hwa

I was excited to learn that artist Choi Jeong Hwa was also exhibiting. I’d not heard of him before but I absolutely loved his work. Choi Jeong Hwa is an Korean artist designer who uses both new and used mass produced objects in his art. He aims to make art on a human level with the belief that everything can be art and everyone can be an artist “Your heart is my art”. I believe everyone can be artist but they need some creativity to make their art come to life, it is Choi Jeong Hwa creativity and visionary approach which makes his work astounding.

Happy Happy

Happy Happy is a true description of this installation. Every day kitchen plastics in vibrant colours are stacked on signal threads which hang within the gallery creating a beautiful plastic jungle which you can walk through. It filled my heart with joy, I love art that you can touch and experience and here you were invited to walk through the installation and touch the work. The vibrant colours were really stimulating, I think it really did make you release happy endorphins. Harri looked and reached to touch the installation and seemed to really enjoy the experience.

With the kitchen objects he’d used a lot of the same items, salad spinners, glasses, bowls, colanders and repeated these in different colours. The way he stacked them created the illusion of different, more beautiful objects. It draws the unexpected beauty out of the household items. They are all made of ubiquitous material that does not decompose but can be reused. I’m sure you’ll agree from the pictures they are absolutely stunning. The items where sourced from street markets, shops and flea markets in many different countries. The work was put together by the Friends of Kiasma and students in Helsinki.

Love Me, Presence of Eternity, Cosmos (We Are All Flowers) and Flowers Chandelier by Choi Jong Hwa where also being exhibited.

Ernesto Neto 

Sarah and I love, love, love Ernesto Neto, it is the way he creates spaces to interact with that stimulate your senses in so many ways. He creates spaces that give you time to breathe and relax within in which allow to really encounter your own senses and the art created.

A lot of Ernesto Neto’s work takes influence from the Huni Kuin people from the Amazon. There are about 8,000 members of the Huni Kuin spread among villages in Acre, northwest Brazil. Huni Kuin translates as ‘true people’, the core of the Huni Kuin culture is their connection with the natural environment and their unity with other living things. Shamans are able to communicate with natural phenomena, animals and plants by changing shape. In the 19th century the Huni Kuin began to have contact with the majority population of Brazil and Peru and led to enslavement of the Huni Kuni and widespread destruction of their culture. Today the Huni Kuin are fighting for their land rights and for the preservation of their traditions, the collaboration with Ernesto Neto is a way for their voice to be heard. Ernesto Neto has been studying their life in depth and has gained trust of the community and is now making their culture know through his art.

Sailing Between Us 2012

[carpet field] where do we go?

Sailing Between Us and [carpet field] takes up the entire gallery, you are invited to take off your shoes to encounter the piece. Sailing Between Us hangs from the ceiling and is a crocheted structured which creates 6 floating beds. The beds are created from crochet in the same way but filled with plastic balls for comfort. Each bed is placed so you are facing your neighbour. Crochet is often associated with small handy craft but here it is on a massive scale, to me this isn’t surprising at all, that’s because I knit giant art but the gallery has commented on it in the gallery blurb which reminds me what I do is quite unusual! The [carpet field] is a lovely texture for your feet to walk on, again it is crochet, I feel this really connects you to the work as you are physically grounded to it. The beds are a lovely space to sit, relax and watch the world go by, the lighting in the gallery is just right and really adds to the relaxing experience. Lighting is something that Sarah and I should maybe think about, how it changes the way you experience something and the benefits it can have.

The below pieces make up one installation which fills the top gallery of Kiasma:

Boa Garden

Every Tree Is a Civilising Entity

Healing House

Shamans talk

Boa head, hands to be together 

Spiritual Sky


Bamboo Spine

Boa Knit

This Eye Sees Two Sides

Ground Body Earth Spirit

Lake Altar

Light Dotes

Texan Seat and Table

The installation has been especially made for the gallery in Kiasma. It takes influence from the Huni Kuin, the centre piece echoes a communal space form their villages that are used for celebrations and rituals. The boa is a recurring theme through the exhibition, it represents the guiding and empowering spirit for the Huni Kuin. The installation uses Neto’s characteristics of art, textiles and hanging shapes, again the installation is crocheted. It has the same beautiful texture underfoot and you are invited to remove your shoes. It is a fabulous space to sit within, the use of crochet makes the structure feel very light and very calming. I laid on the floor looking up through the patterns created by the installation. There are so many different elements to it, so many areas to enjoy, the shapes colours and patterns compliment each other perfectly, it is an absolutely beautiful place to be, breathe and relax.