As part of Level 6 of our degree, BA (Hons) Fine Art at University Campus Suffolk, we have to keep a blog of our time and progress in our final year.

In the First year, Level 4, I kept a blog on Blogger, but didn’t continue in Level 5.  When I get the chance, I will update the old blog with info from Level 5, so there is continuity between the two blogs.

Who am I /What do I see?

If I don’t know how can I possible expect others to know?  I am a mature student, with family, pets, long-term depression and more recently anxiety.  I list my mental health problems because they are a part of my everyday life and have been for many years, and I firmly believe it is a ‘health’ problem regardless of whether it is mental or physical.  Furthermore, one impacts onto the other, bringing it all together.

It is entirely possible that without these issues I would lose not just the difficult stuff, but the good too:  Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction; in Sanskrit the word Karma means what goes around comes around; in Taoism yin-yang means harmonizing balance.  It has taken me a long time to come to terms with it and I feel the best way to deal with is: to accept; embrace; and acknowledge that, along with the negative,  it also gives me something and enhances my art; a serendipitous dichotomy.

William Wordsworth, in ‘The Rainbow‘, wrote of “the child is the father of the man”.  Georg WF Hegel wrote about ‘Phenomenology of the Spirit‘, the study of appearances, images and illusions in human consciousness and its evolution from the first person point of view.

In essence, I get excited at being able to show people what I see, what it is that excites me.  Its particularly relative to the child-like point of view, where a child brings you a frog, tadpole or grasshopper.

This extends to others too.  I see myself as an enabler, a facilitator.  I once attended a workshop on problem solving in a more creative way.  We were told to think of a scenario where are problems and imagine yourself as a superhero and how you would resolve those issues.  My superpower would be to enable/facilitate others, thus empowering themselves.


My studio space, more photos:

These photos are relevant for potential hanging of work.


I use the Notes app on both my I-pad and I-phone a lot, I find it is easier than pen and paper for general notes as I can copy ad paste straight across into here or wherever.  I will insert relevant notes into this blog to help show the thought processes and how they flow.
Make box of glass with sheets have
Light rope
Baby christening gown
Rusty fire grid thing
Fire drum thing with rope light in?

Wire photo form, turn upside down and black and white
Replicate this form in other ways and styles, bringing light into it
Neon light in white
Make look like a negative?

Photo in 3D frame thing?!

Print with acetone

Photocopier scan as does Annabel Dover

Mirror up and down

Skirt or dress of reflective material
Paper tear easily use buttons to fix stitch in place

Silver tongued
Silver lining
Five for silver (my birthday)
Silver threads for grey hair
Mum and dad 25 years
Ag – Group 11, block 5, atomic no. 47
A soft white lustrous transition metal, it possesses the highest electrical and thermal conductivity and reflectivity of any metal
See website for more, moon etc
Voile nets hanging down
Spray silver buddy hair

Car problems

I had to take my car to a specialist garage in Barham, near Claydon.  So I take it in first thing and walk into Claydon; there isn’t much there to do to kill time, so I go for a long walk.  Eventually its time for one of the local pubs to open up and I can go in out of the cold.  Now I know this doesn’t sound good, but before you judge, I ordered a large coffee and found a nice corner seat to relax and read the art book i’d especially taken with me, Dan Flavin.  I haven’t got more than a page into it and my brain starts whirring . . . actually that could be why I was getting strange looks and not because I was siting on my own in a pub, drinking coffee and reading a book!  Outcomes the notebook and I start scribbling down the thoughts coming thick and fast on the Degree Show.

Sitting on my own, preferably in the sun somewhere scenic or exotic, drinking, reading and writing or typing is actually one of my favourite things in the world to do, but this must be one of the first times I’ve ever done it.  This time, I had to cut it short because my car was ready.  One of these days I want to go away on my own somewhere and do this all the time, that would be amazing, I think.  Well, at least do it whilst away with others, I don’t always want to talk and some people are afraid of or feel uncomfortable with silence.  Maybe in Cyprus?!

Yesterday had Group B meeting on Curatorial stuff for our Degree Show, all good, but . . . I talked with David and others, about current ideas for my work.  The trouble is, this is the final exhibition and it means a lot to me, obviously and I want it to be right.  Its making me anxious, but I’m trying to not focus on it and instead take in the things, play with them in the space etc and see how they look.

Wow, having just read chapter 6, it has clarified a few things for me.  My happy, peaceful memories with mum and dad are mostly of being on the boat, somewhere I always felt relaxed and calm. The only times I felt otherwise were when other family members intruded into that space, which I always found incredibly stressful and caused great anxiety for me. I love being on boats and in caravans too, they symbolise the same for me.  A house doesn’t represent the same for me, I couldn’t wait to leave home as a teenager, to create my own safe place. Mostly it was just me and parents on the boat, whereas, the house felt more open to intruders, more vulnerable.

At home, I often move furniture around, changing layout, trying to create that perfect space, perhaps that isn’t possible in a house.  Lighting, particularly sunlight is crucial for me, on a boat or in a caravan it is easy to always be sitting in the right place, you just more a few feet and you’re there again. Perhaps I can only really achieve that feeling in a small multipurpose space, a bungalow, a loft space. Ideally every room that I would use would be south facing and the garden too.

Dolls house, front facing north, no sun on front

Photos of the past on the house?
I need to move on to now and the future and what that means
Copy photos or negatives maybe

Pair back, make it simpler, no chains, no christening gown or wedding dress

photos/negatives on fishing thing, see through hanging down, so it is just in front of my eyes, casting shadows, as sun moves round so will the shadows, sometimes on, sometimes off as in life

The shadow stretches across the room, but is beaten back by the light

A mirror reflects the shadow back on itself

When the sun reaches a certain point, it shines threw things set-up to create an effect: a reflection, refraction, shadow etc, mirrors?

A lighthouse warns of rocky shores

change every 7 years:
0 – 7
7 – 14
14 – 21
21 – 28
28 – 35
35 – 42
42 – 49
7 mirrors
I’m in the last (7th /) 7 of my seventh mirror
Mid-life and the beginning of the next half of my life
filters on the glass where sun shine through, only when sun gets to a certain height, that it comes through pure and hits the mirrors on the wall, or the the seventh one, that then reflects out onto something else or another mirror, that reflects back onto the house and negates its shadows

If you cut a hole into something clear like perspex, acrylic or glass and shine a light through, does the shape of the hole show in any way?

Hang Perspex/acrylic sheets up for interaction with light?

Beanbags to sit on
Business card – look for the silver lining, reverse holographic

Paint the light reflections onto wall in lighter colour

Frosted glass for water effect? Photograph printed onto an ohp acetate and then projected onto the wall with an ohp – meh.

Acetate stuck to window, sun shines through and onto floor – okay.  Ooo bubblewrap.

I brought in a couple of things today, the first being my garden incinerator, with its lovely rust and flame markings on the outside.

I put it in my studio space first, sun already in there at this time of day, and start playing with lights, holographic surfaces and reflective black card to see if what I had been thinking of works in reality.

Hmm, looks pretty and nice to play with, but not for the Show.

The card and these lights aren’t really working for me, again they look pretty, but not for the Show.  Next!

I’m starting to get frustrated, because the reality is not the same as the idea (at the same time this isn’t entirely a surprise, common).  So just play and do what I do.

I didn’t really look at these photographs until today, when uploading onto the computer for this blog, apart form the lid one.  It’s so easy to get lost and wrapped up in something . . . just go back to basics, what am I about?  What do I see?  Well that’s simple, just look at these, they’re so beautiful.

Now in seminar space, videoed, couple of photos, 13.00
Standing by Windows writing notes
Few items on windowsill, sun shining
Looking down at shadows on floor

The roof is creaking, there are a couple of reflections on the ceiling

I lay a few reflective things around to capture the sun

I grew up beach combing, you walk along looking at the ground, hoping to find washed up gems of the everyday, discarded or dropped accidentally

We had a bucket with useful lengths of string on the boat
I had a found piece of wood with string through a hole, to pull behind the dinghy

I used to look down at the river surface, especially at low tide, what could we see

Shutters made with the ripple effect

Adam has laid out his canvases to measure up, he’s too hot, so he’s opened the windows
The blinds start clanking in the breeze, reminds me vaguely of halyards clanging in the wind
Dad used to bungi them to try to stop this, as it can be really irritating after a while!

Minster patterned glass or another below I can’t see the name for, distorted clock seen through

Do a search for Emily on Google for large acrylic sheets and find a few, plus mirror acrylic sheets

Emily has bought some latex, you can use to make moulds by building up layers, turn inside out after dusting with talcum powder, coat inside wth Vaseline so doesn’t stick and then poor in resin. You might be able to do with slip I guess. Once dry can be painted.

Okay I try holographic paper on floor and black mirror behind, with blinds closed – didn’t work, it reflects bright light back really well, but not the holographic spectrum effect.

Hologram paper or one of the other effects created in Drawn Together prjct 10 needs a Matt surface and no mirror, can be white

The black mirror card can only really be used for the strong light such as light coil

So if I take a photograph of a shadow, draw around the shape onto acetate or plain paper and scan in or reflection and project it, waxing and waning into a wall

Dog Walking

After getting back from the dog walk this morning, I had to reach for paper and pen to write up the thoughts that had come to me whilst walking in the sun and the mist.

It’s now less than 5 weeks till the Degree Show, 2nd June 2016!

Cyprus College of Art

I have just got back from an amazing week, with amazing people at the Cyprus College of Art, led by Course Leader, David Campbell Baldry.  I produced work in response to the space I chose the first day, using both my own materials and found items there.  It came effortlessly and gradually grew during the week.  But, I then felt conflicted.  When I get back, do I put on a show to show-off work produced or do I make an exhibition as a response to the site?   I know it sounds simple now, but I’d somehow gotten lost in what I was trying to do.  I’d also forgotten some of my most personal and important life experiences that influence my work.

Whilst at the Cyprus College of Art, I’d practiced sitting meditating with success.  I’d also done what I did last year, swept the courtyard as part of the list of chores to be done, but I’d done it because I wanted to, not because I had to.  I found the sweeping action to be therapeutic and gave me time out to do something without actively thinking, something I have done too much in the past.  Plus, this came straight after having watched, Eat Prey Love, an amazing film.

If you give yourself over completely to the task at hand, regardless of what it is, you can get lost in the activity and focus wholly on the now.  It’s incredibly calming and allows your mind to wander freely.  This is what was happening with the sweeping.  Thank you to David for his part in this process and also to Dr Jane Watt for the artist name Mierle Landerman Ukeles and her Maintenance Art.

A few things that caught my attention:

Work in progress, thank you to Sarah Hayes for the salt flakes, lovely to work with.

Pop-up exhibition and group crit, the last pictures of my space (apologies Amy, I seem to have missed you out).

Now back into the space and plan.


Elizabeth Gilbert (eat pray love)
TED talks on creativity and genius – “Olé!” or read the transcript – this sums up what it can be like for creative people and kinda answers where did that come from and why?

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman:

‘EI means being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions – both our own and others – especially when we are under pressure.’

M83 With Altrow song, Emily

Name David said re art and mental health Hayley Lock Suffolk Artlink

Mierle Laderman Ukeles

Sweeping sand – Emily?

Rubbings on packing paper of studio floor, finger prints, prints of students over the years association

Oriental hangings, rice paper?

(My version made with a variety of pencils, charcoals and pens to experiment, making rubbings of the swirls on the floor, they look like fingerprints.)

Allan kaprow, Stockroom, Naples 1992

Sweeping statements – you can lead a horse to water, but a conclusion must be made

Horse ring on wall with lead rope and hair on floor

Sand brushed around the floor, David story of lady house by desert and whole life sweeping sand (karate kid?), leave sand in swirl valleys in floor:

In the Karate Kid ‘Miyagi takes Daniel to his home to begin his training. Out in front of the house are a dozen classic American cars. Miyagi tells Daniel that they’ll have to make a pact: Miyagi will instruct Daniel and his student will not question his method. When Daniel agrees, Miyagi hands Daniel a sponge and orders him to wash and wax all the cars. Miyagi’s instructions are very specific; Daniel will only use the sponge and waxing cloths by moving his hands and arms in wide circles. He will also breathe deeply, in through his nose & out through his mouth. In the weeks that follow, Miyagi gives Daniel further chores to complete with similar instructions on technique: sanding a walkway that leads around Miyagi’s backyard (landscaped to be a Japanese garden), staining the fence that surrounds his property and painting his house. With each new chore, Daniel’s frustration grows at the seeming lack of any karate training and Miyagi’s minimal praise of his work.’  Daniel later ‘realizes that the chores (which are essentially Daniel’s “fee” for the lessons) were also practice for defensive moves, exercises to build muscle tone, his reflexes and proper breathing technique.

Sweeping brush in corner with some sand in a small pile

Sand down wall using sand paper on horse brush and leave both under?

The relationship between the brush and a horse (Lucy gunning, Horse impressionists). Little girls pretending to ride a horse using a broom, as did I “horsey come back I say-er horsey come back . . . here’s come horsey”

The innocence of a child, the want, the primordial need to own a horse, the sensing of that deep bond between horse and rider, primeval, ingrained in humans. To ride and think as one. The trust, that when no-one else can, at least the beast can be relied upon.  Horse therapy.

If wishes were horses I’d ride away, written on broom.

There are gaps under the boards by the floor that could do with filling so as not to ruin the look and also a piece of right-angle metal on the wall that needs to come down.

Making Light of the Darkness

The original title, when I thought I was going to exhibit past ideas in my space.  Time and ideas have moved on, Mierle do dah.

I’ve caulked holes, swept a bit, caulked gaps and packed larger spaces with cardboard, ready to finish caulking.  I’ve bought the, hopefully, last few bits needed.


Sweeping statements.

You can lead a horse to water, but a conclusion must be lead.

If wishes were horses . . . I’d ride away.

Grooming horses, sweeping, caulking, sanding, rubbing down (wood and horses), painting etc Meditation on the everyday.

The relationship between humans and horses, especially little girls; horse symbolism; equestrian therapy.

Using a broom to sweep, using a broom to ride as a pretend horse as a child . . . ‘horsey come back, I say-a horsey come back . . . here comes horsey.’

Sweeping sand, sand used in a menage, horses riding in a menage, grooming horses, checking yourself around horses, meditation around the mundane, grooming. William Blake and sand.

Sand, fill, sand, paint, sweep, wash, paint.

Sand pattern (sandpaper over horse brush), drill, screw, sweep, sand, sweep.

Sweep sand around, patterns (?), sand into floor grooves, broom (with horses wishes written on) head up, leaning against wall, sandpaper by sanding, lead rope through ring on wall, brush on floor, horse hair all around on floor in place where horse could have stood (Buddy).

Lotus flower (mended) on one windowsill, black outline ornament on other windowsill.


Weird and Wonderful Wood

I went to the above event this weekend, it was amazing, everything wood related, tools, instruments, craft, art etc etc etc.  Spoke with a couple of great guys about their instruments, the first being makers of native American flutes.  So much nicer than the traditional flute, which I played at high school and a warmer sound than the recorder.  Tried playing and it was a really organic experience, it doesn’t matter about sheet music, just play to enjoy.  Would love to but they start at £90, damn it.

The second was a Lutheir called Con Rendell.  I was most interested in his Harp, an instrument I have a longing to own, not necessarily to learn to play in the traditional manner, but just to play and see what happens.  He also had their this beautiful instrument:

I held it and just plucked away at the strings, I was gone, completely sold, again EXPENSIVE!  The silver lining is that he  runs workshops to enable people to make their own bespoke instrument, yes please, yes please.

Can you imagine?  Attending an art residency, everyone chipping in together, creating food, fun and art.  Sitting in the evening around a fire, drinking, chatting, laughing, singing and playing music, this is my Shangri-La, my heaven, my utopia.  It doesn’t have to be all the time, but regularly attended or created, a retreat from pressurised living, I could call it ‘Shangri-Lou’.  Anyone want to join me?

I’ve finished filing hole and mostly sanded down, just a couple of patches I couldn’t reach and had to leave to catch the bus.  By the end of the day my back is very painful from bending over and also I moved a couple of boxes on Monday that I know realise I shouldn’t have, damn it.  I’ll work from home for a couple of days to give my back a rest.

Day two of working from home and my back is still as painful and I’m now staring to feel mildly panicky with stuff still to do, things I have to take in etc etc and breath.  I’m also trying to make a new business card ready for the DS and working on irons in fire for post show, more of those later.

The Everyday (some of the following is taken from my dissertation The Enigmatic Smile of Everyday Artists, 2015)

Stephen Johnstone, artist and filmmaker based in London and Goldsmith College Art Department Senior Lecturer, says of ‘the everyday’:

If the everyday is the realm of the unnoticed and the overlooked, however, it might be asked just how we can attend to it?  How do we drag the everyday into view?  And if we manage to do so, is there a form or style appropriate to representing what has been identified as the ‘inherent indeterminacy’ of the everyday?  Which in turn begs the question: why should we wish to investigate the everyday in the first place? (2008, pp.13-14).

Greek slave, Aesop (c. 620-564 B.C.) is credited with first use of the phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt’, as a moral lesson from one of his story telling tales The Fox and the Lion.  If this is indeed so, then it goes some way to explain why as a society, we generally ignore or just don’t sense experiences and objects of ‘the everyday’; as first brought to centre stage in 1913 by French painter Marcel Duchamp with his  concept of the readymades with Bicycle Wheel.

This new art approach to making and encompassing the investigation into, and celebration of, ‘the everyday’ was further embraced nearly  half a century later by Fluxus artists John Cage (1912-1992) and Allan Kaprow (1927-2006).

Following in the footsteps of Duchamp, amongst others, these artists took the concept of ‘the everyday’, broke down boundaries and opened up the art world to a whole new vision for what could be experienced as art.   They ripped up, redesigned and reframed the art rulebook.  Lines between art and non-art blurred, reflecting the definition of “Flux”, meaning ‘to flow’ (George Maciunas Foundation Inc., 2015).

Nature, objects, sights, sounds, actions and experiences of ‘the everyday’, such as dripping water, shadows, reflections or brushing your teeth, became the subject of an artist’s gaze and ensuing absorption and fascination.

In Professor Stiles’ opinion, current Head of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University, North Carolina, Fluxus artists sought to reveal an insight of “the extraordinary that remains latent in the undisclosed ordinary” (George Maciunas Foundation Inc., 2015).  They used differing ways in the exploration and bringing together of art and life as one, both for their pleasure and that of their followers.

John Cage was one of the most amazing artists, a human sponge, listening, watching, taking in information and translating it in his own way through his art, performance, prints, music etc.  He saw beauty in ‘the everyday’, having learnt from amazing people such as composer Lejaren Hiller (1924 – 94), Ray Kass the founder of Mountain Lake Workshop, American artist Mark Tobey (1890 – 1976), teacher of Zen Buddhism Dr Daisetz T Suzuki at Columbia University, Indian art curator Ananda K Coomaraswamy (1877 – 1947).

When I came across John Cage, just before he was talked about in Level 4, it was  areal turning point for me, especially his rules:

which I wholeheartedly took on board.  It opened me up to a whole new world, that was already there within me waiting to be let out, to be felt and expressed.  It was there from childhood, laying on the back seat in the family car trying to gage where we were by the passing roof tops, streetlights etc.  Seeing faces in wall paper patterns and clouds, lying in my bunk on our boat listening to the sound of water lapping against the hull.  The sound of ‘silence’.

George Maciunas Foundation Inc. (2015) About. Available at: (Accessed: 3 December 2015).

Johnstone, S. (ed.) (2008) The Everyday. Edited by Stephen Johnstone. London: Whitechapel Art Gallery.

Allan Kaprow (also is taken from my dissertation The Enigmatic Smile of Everyday Artists, 2015)

In 1957 the American artist and theoretician Allan Kaprow, at the time painting in an abstract-expressionist style, attended John Cage’s course on composition, at the New School for Social Research in New York.  Cage discussed his ideas of Zen and Duchamp, and about the audience actively participating in his 1952 ‘event’ 4’33’’.

Kaprow had already been looking at the experiences of life as what art should be expressing.  To get away from the mundane of the past and develop into an exciting movement of the future.   Through this, sensing:

a new capacity for art to reach out beyond its conventional limitations [. . .] it was his interest in experimental music that brought him to John Cage’s class in 1957 (Kaprow and Hrsg, 2003, p.xiv).

The ideas learnt from Cage’s classes had a profound effect on Kaprow.  He had previously created ‘environments’, installation pieces involving large sculptural collages. Then in 1957, at a picnic for members of the New York Hansa Gallery on the New Jersey farm of artist George Segal, he created an event, combining performance with sound and installation art.  This was the catalyst for him to arrange his own and the first happening.  (Fineberg, 2000, p.188).

Kaprow’s new developed concepts echoed Cage’s life as art aesthetics ‘message’ and were further emphasised by his use of experiences as the medium for his practice.  These soon became yet another catalyst for Fluxus performances describing simple acts, mostly borrowed from everyday life (Cricket et al, 2012, p.12). Furthermore, Jeff Kelley, Editor of Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life stated of Kaprow:

For him, the contents of everday life-eating strawberries, sweating, shaking hands when meeting someone new-are more than merely the subject matter of art.  They are the meaning of life (Kaprow. and Hrsg, 2003, p.xii).

In 1961, Kaprow created an installation for the opening of Hauser and Wirth’s New York show of Environment – Situation – Spaces.  To the audience viewing Yard, they literally saw a yard filled-up by, potentially, hundreds of old car tyres, all piled up on top of each other.  The piles are random, as if they have just been thrown in there over time, perhaps by a garage owner, out of sight out of mind.  There’s nothing extraordinary looking about the tyres, perfectly normal moulded rubber, each formed into a ring shape, once made for car wheels, now discarded and probably very dirty.  They don’t seem to form any patterns with potential meanings, hidden or otherwise.  Visitors clambered over the tyres, without unity in any particular stance or shaping.  To the observer, it was just a yard full of tyres, which probably initially left visitors with more questions than answers as to the whys and wherefores.

The title of Environment – Situation – Spaces epitomised perfectly Kaprow’s seminal work.  It was created in the environment of a backyard space situated behind the then Martha Jackson Gallery.  It was designed to be interacted with by the audience, the main concept of a ‘Happening’.  Allowing a high element of play and encapsulating Kaprow’s ethos, echoing the American artist philosopher John Dewey’s thoughts from 1949 on, ‘“art not separate from experience […]”’ (Kaprow and Hrsg., 2003, p.xi).  Thus, blurring the boundaries between an audience and the artwork, into “lifelike art” (Kaprow and Hrsg, 2003, p.201-18).  The viewer becoming part of the art, as in this case where visitors to the gallery clambered over the tyres, interacting with the installation.

Not satisfied with just producing work for the viewer to merely observe, Kaprow felt it to be the responsibility of:

the artist’s disciplined effort to observe, engage, and interpret the processes of living, which are themselves as meaningful as most art, and certainly more grounded in common experience (Kaprow. and Hrsg, 2003, p.xii).

It is also the responsibility to then deliver that interpretation for an audience to engage with, to become part of and to have part ownership with the creator.

A further confirmation of the absorption and translation of natural life by an artist was reflected by Jackson Pollock, when he said of himself “I am nature” (Fineberg, 2000, p.93).

In reference to the essays in his book Essays on The Blurring of Art and Life first published in 1993, particularly the “Un-Artist” essays, Allan Kaprow wrote:

non-art-lint gathering on the floor, the vapour trail of a missile- is whatever has not yet been accepted as art but has caught an artist’s attention with that possibility in mind (Kaprow and Hrsg, 2003, p.xxi).

As artists it is not just about the instance of these individual ‘events’, it is what we bring to them as people and not just through our creativity.  How we interpret and give meanings, which can differ for the one same event, to fit our theme, our story or our mood.  These ‘events’ epitomise the learning through play actions of children, trying to attain the unattainable.  Through their innocence, children are open to anything and everything, observing the unobserved.  In a way it is akin to night vision; without the specialist ‘goggles’ one cannot be expected to see.  Except perhaps through the emersion of ourselves in the ‘darkness’, can we then see the light created by the artist.

Fineberg, J. (2000) Art since 1940: strategies of being. 2nd edn. London: Laurence King Publishing.

Kaprow, A. and Hrsg, J. K. (2003) Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life (Lannan). Edited by Jeff Kelley. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Gabriel Orozco (b.1962) (also is taken from my dissertation The Enigmatic Smile of Everyday Artists, 2015)

A Mexican born artist, he later moved to Europe and continued his studying in Madrid.  This was a huge culture shock, having left the progressive environment of his home country upbringing, as he was then treated as a second class citizen, as a Mexican immigrant.  This creating feelings of vulnerability, which had a huge impact on the development of his work; starting to encompass the exposure of this vulnerability (Morgan, 2011, pp. 9-10).

Orozco’s work records the temporal and poetic subtleties hidden within the rugged practicalities of the streets.  A place where, although we happily traverse for purpose, we rarely linger for fear of the unknown, the known and the worst scenario, of time lost without monetary gain of path.

In a term coined by Lawrence Alloway (1926-1990) English art critic and curator, when writing about Robert Smithson, Orozco is a ‘post-studio’ artist.  Rejecting the previous norm of maintaining a base for the creation of the artistic works and instead opting for a more temporary ephemeral approach, reflecting his style of creations.  A way of living mirrored by other immigrant artists, “remaining firmly unattached to one specific locale” made visible by his documentations and photographs (Orozco et al, 2009, pp.11-12).

In reference to the work of John Cage, Orozco said:

There could be some kind of resemblance between what I’m doing and John Cage’s recordings, but Cage’s work has so much to do with chance, whereas I’m really focusing on concentration and intention (Johnstone, 2008, pp.134-135).

When we walk, we walk with a purpose: to the car; to the bus; to work; from transport to the destination; to walk a pet; to the shops; and sometimes for exercise.  As we are walking we are thinking: the chores to do; shopping to buy; food to cook; tick lists for work; an argument or frustration.  Absorbed, often arriving with little or no memory of the journey.  Orozco’s work is the embodiment of “the journey is the reward” (A quote thought to have originated from Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC)) (MCSquared et al, 2015).

Gabriel’s work creation is very simple “I have breakfast and then start walking down some street until something catches my attention.  That’s when the movie begins” (Johnstone, 2008, pp.134-135).  There is no agenda, he is exploring and enjoying the journey, waiting for that ‘eureka’ moment to occur.

In the above image, Extension of Reflection 1992, the scene appears a very simple and common one.  A quiet street, although taken in New York, it could be anywhere.  Recent rain collected in puddles, slowly evaporating and relocating through vehicle passage through them.  Prior to the photograph being taken the artist rides a bike through the puddles, creating circular trails (the circle is a common motif within the work of Gabriel Orozco, reflecting the circle of life and the connections within it (Morgan, 2011, p. 62))on the asphalt surface organically connecting the puddles.  The puddles surfaces capture reflections of trees and chain link fencing, extending out, round and back again to each other as nature and ‘nurture’, through the repetition of the circular trails.  Jessica Morgan (at the time of writing the book GO, was The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art at the Tate Modern (Tate Modern, 2010)) echoes this by stating of Orozco: “the body of images that consists of snapshots arresting for perpetuity what he sees in nature and the sensible world around him” (Morgan, 2011, p.57).

In 1999, Orozco created a very different body of work, collaborating with four assistants, in the creation of his drawing series Havre Caumartin (image above).  The series of frottage (Frottage was a technique pioneered by the Surrealists, originating from the French word Frotter ‘to rub’.  Using graphite or pencil, to create a textured surface through rubbing.  Max Ernst first produced drawings using this ‘automatic’ method in 1925. He was inspired by the grain of planks in an ancient wooden floor, accentuated by scrubbing. He saw strange images within the patterns, which he captured onto sheets of paper laid on top and rubbed over with a soft pencil (Tate, 2015)) drawings was named after the Paris metro station.   The trace through rubbings are of wall tiles, used in public spaces in the 1950s and 1960s.  Large pieces of Japanese paper were used, purchased from the Musée du Louvre, being very thin, but resistant.   Qualities making it perfect for the use in creating reliefs in Egyptian tombs.

Since their installation, thousands upon thousands of commuters and travellers must have passed the wall tiles without a second glance.  Orozco said of them: “I had been fascinated by these wall tiles since I was a kid” (Morgan, 2011, p.88).  The memory of them must have been bouncing around inside him, waiting to leap out into creatively when the right form of expression struck him, bringing the two together.  Orozco stated: “they look like big honeycombs, like constructions by bees, or something very organic” (Morgan, 2011, p.88).

Through these sculptural drawings, Orozco has captured the physical movement and urgency of the crowds, reflecting the insightful comparison of beehive honeycombs.  The physicality and performance like nature of a group of people creating the large pieces, mirrors the differing body movements, personalities and pressures applied by them.  The busy ‘workers’ rushing past, brushing against them, knocking them and influencing the pressure applied, both physically and mentally (Morgan, J., 2011, p. 90).

Johnstone, S. (ed.) (2008) The Everyday. Edited by Stephen Johnstone. London: Whitechapel Art Gallery.

MCSquared and anzeigen, M. P. vollständig (2015) False friends, good and bad translation. Available at: (Accessed: 8 December 2015).

Morgan, J. (2011) Tate modern artists: Gabriel Orozco. London: Tate Gallery Pubn.

Orozco, G., Fer, B. and Temkin, A. (2009) Gabriel Orozco. United States: The Museum of Modern Art.

Tate (2015) Frottage. Available at: (Accessed: 13 December 2015).

Tate Modern (2010) Tate appoints Jessica Morgan as the Daskalopoulos curator, international art. Available at: (Accessed: 8 December 2015).

I became enamoured with the work of Cornelia Parker (b. 1956) even before I started at UCS.  I can see a very strong link from Orozco’s work to some of her’s, such as Spilt Milk (Jeruselum), 2012-13.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles (b. 1939)

Mierle was born in Denver, Colorado and after the birth of her first child in 1969, she wrote a Manifesto for Maintenance Art, so named after her works originally exhibited at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts gallery in New York 1998.  She wrote the manifesto in response to her feelings that there were oppositions between “art and life, nature and culture, and public and private” (Arnolfini Gallery, 2013).

She spoke of how she performed a lot of housework chores and her art, up until then, separately.  She then began to “do these everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art” (Arnolfini Gallery, 2013).  In 1977, Ukeles began as artist in residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation and produced radical public art as public culture, in a system serving the entire population.

Following on from this was her first publication in 2012 ‘Seven Work Ballets‘, collaborative performances involving workers, trucks, barges, and hundreds of tons of recyclables and steel.  Taking place between 1983 and 2012 in New York, Pittsburgh, Givors, Rotterdam, and Tokamachi, they revealed the cooperation and coordination required to perform tasks on such a monumental scale.  Tasks which predominately go on unseen and thought of, until they cease satisfy the required standards of society.

Buddhist monks have a practice in many Zen temples of soji.  It is a period of around 20 minutes, where the whole community takes part in cleaning and tidying the temple, usually after chanting and meditation.  It isn’t with the intention of completing the task, purely an extension of meditation to absorb yourself within the repetitious chore, such as sweeping and doesn’t matter if it is not completed at the end of the twenty minutes.  You just stop and move on to the next thing.  It is a spiritual practice to lead you from meditating into the next stage of the day without a sudden halt to the practise, bringing it to your whole self and behaviour and to see how you are with it.  It is about the process and through it you can learn to be completely in the moment.

Artists and their work discovered during research:

Charlie Ford The Physicality of Drawing.

Mark Rothko (1903-1970)

Lee Ufan (b.1936 )

Karen Margolis

Sachiko Abe

Kenji Yoshida (b. 1924)

Vito Acconci (b. 1940)

Marina Abramovic (b. 1946)

Martha Rosler

Jim Hodges

Anastasia Ax

Forest, Field & Sky: Art out of Nature

Dr James Fox takes a journey through six different landscapes across Britain, meeting artists whose work explores our relationship to the natural world. From Andy Goldsworthy’s beautiful stone sculptures, David Nash’s Ash Dome, Richard Long’s Avon Mud, Julie Brook‘s fire stacks, Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty to James Turrell‘s extraordinary sky spaces, this is a film about art made out of nature itself. Featuring spectacular images of landscape and art, James travels from the furthest reaches of the Scottish coast and the farmlands of Cumbria to woods of north Wales. In each location he marvels at how artists’ interactions with the landscape have created a very different kind of modern art – and make us look again at the world around us.

This was a brilliant programme, so inspiring, amazing work, particularly that of David Nash, such a spiritual work and Richard Long.  All of the artists were making work in response to natural environments.  I’ve looked at his Richard’s work before, but not watched him work, which was incredible to see when I looked up videos of him, a real inspiration to see him lost in the creation.

Katie Paterson

A grain of sand collected from the Sahara Desert was chiselled to 0.00005mm, using special techniques in nanotechnology. This new minute grain of sand was then taken back to the Sahara and buried deep within its vast desert sands.

Produced with the lighting company OSRAM in series of ‘lifetimes’, each set contains a sufficient quantity of light bulbs to provide a person with a lifetime supply of moonlight, based on the current average life-span for a human being alive in 2008. (Each bulb burns for 2000 hours, a lifetime contains 289 bulbs).

The End?

Today is 30 May 2016 and at 9.00am tomorrow morning the studios will be closed for our tutors to start assessing our Degree Projects.  Its been a long and interesting journey, which has passed quickly as I thought it would.  I just hope I’ve done enough.  I’ve cleared, cleaned, swept, filled, rubbed-down, swept, washed, rubbed and installed my installation.  A response to the space and my journey.  Here is a video I have made about the journey since getting back from Cyprus.

When trying to name my Degree Show I went through several pieces of paper, before realising I needed to write, which I did and then found the name:

Becoming: my doorway to Narnia

It has been probably the best thing in my life I have ever done.  There have been many tears and tantrums along the way, but it has all been worth it.  I started out knowing very little about art or where the journey would take me and now I feel relatively confident critiquing other work and exhibitions.

I will glad to have finished these assessments, but very sad to leave UCS and the tutors and fellow students, it has been amazing.  But, I plan to apply to study MA Fine Art here at, what will by then be, the University of Suffolk, to continue my practice.  Fingers crossed.

I still have to print out the final piece of this blog, the first piece printed and stuck in my sketchbook, didn’t go well, with it showing the website address against photos, dammit.

Onward and upwards, well at least forwards!



First week back into uni didn’t actually happen until October for myself and a few others, as we travelled to Lithuania for a week’s residency (22nd – 29th September):

We flew to Kaunas airport from Stansted, met by Rimantas Plunge and Kaunas students.  We then drove by minibus across to the western coast to the Curonian Spit, to the Nida Art Colony.  We arrived tired, hungry and probably slightly disheveled.  Assigned rooms (Hannah, Emily and myself in one) to unpack and settle in.

We all met up later in the communal dining area, for first introductions and sharing a dark circular loaf, a Lithuanian custom when greeting new comers.  We talked about the plans for the rest of the day and also for the week ahead.

We met up later and traveled back across the spit to Amber Bay, Juodkrante to their Autumn Equinox ceremony of Flaming Sculptures, giving thanks for the harvest. After parking we walked along a pathway lit with candles as the light was starting to drop.

It was a magical event, very pagan with  drumming, singing and amber powder thrown onto the fire for spectacular effect.  Apparently Lithuania is still a very pagan country, in a beautiful simple way.

Back to Nida and out to eat, very cheap and we all found something we were happy with.

Left my Lithuania sketchbook at uni, so will have to wait until i’m back in to fill in info from the trip.


I absolutely love travelling to new countries and being part of residencies, its amazing and I feel very lucky to be able to do these, long may it continue.  I’ve gained in confidence in doing so, especially being thrown in at the deep end with this latest one.  Very first morning split up from our peers and grouped with unknown students.  Thankfully they spoke English, but they were very unsure to speak it at first.  It was just as scary for them as for us.  They are students either of graphic design or new media, i.e. film, so we were doubly out of our comfort zone.  I only had the one meltdown thankfully and recovered relatively quickly.  We very soon started working together and a lot can be conveyed with pointing and monosyllabic noises.

Rimantas was good company, very intellectual and told us some history of their country, we are very lucky here, Lithuania is a very poor country, although since joining the Euro there is funding coming into the country.  Now would be a good time to pair with them.

I struggled with the  time difference, in that I couldn’t adjust and stayed on British time the whole week.  I didn’t like the distance we had to travel from Kaunas to Nida, felt quite isolated in case of an emergency back home.

I didn’t produce as much work as I would have liked to, felt a bit restricted by our task for the week and having to fit in with them constantly.  On a positive note we spent one morning all sitting together in the kitchen area, working on our own projects mostly, but good to work together in one space.


Back in the Studio, First Semester

Back for five minutes and almost immediately straight into Flipside at Snape Maltings for the weekend of  2/3/4 October 2015:

A great weekend, lots of visitors, especially for the art marquee, pinata making could have been booked twice over at least.  The music was great and mexican style food was yummy.

Our Activities (UCS):  Visitors could pay for face painting, I had a go at it, but I need lots of practice.  One of the Flipside helpers was amazing, very happy customers when she took over.  For one inclusive price children could make a badge, a flower and paint a ‘day of the dead’ skull face poster.  This worked really well and was very popular.  The flower was made of tissue paper and a pipe cleaner, very simple, but effect and loads of variables for future occasions.  Ready printed posters for colouring in, easy but messy and because of the marquee being very damp inside they weren’t drying very well.  The organisers had bought a badge making machine on my recommendation for children to either draw and colour their own design or use a pre printed image and it was then turned into a badge for them.  These were my favourites:

It was really busy and tiring too, but a great event to be involved with and would happily do again.  I really enjoy events engaging with the public, I find it exciting and really rewarding. although it does depend on the event and in what way.

More in here on the semester

Iraq work


January 2016

Every time I sit down to write this blog I immediately grind to a halt, uncertain what to write and how to write it, today being no different!  So, I’ve done the sensible thing and I’ve found up my copy of the Dissertation and Critical Review Student handbook and guidelines, as given out to us at the beginning of level 6.  I know it sounds obvious, but sometimes the obvious just isn’t and you can easily get bogged down with worrying instead.

When I very first started  here at UCS, I was excited and terrified all in one.  Although it felt completely right to undertake this degree, I was also besieged with feelings of doubt to me being worthy, especially compared to other students.  The very first fortnight, especially of drawing was incredibly intimidating looking at the other students abilities.  At the end of the first day of drawing, I met a friend outside for lunch and as soon as I saw her I burst into tears ‘I can’t do it’.  A pep talk from the friend and I regained my focus to keep moving forward, regardless of the fear.

The rest of that first semester flew past, painting, sculpture, then printing and lens based.  I was very confused by the grading and hated having to grade other students, too much pressure.  I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and I felt it wasn’t explained clearly enough to us before being thrown in at the deep end.  Not sure I will ever forget the horror of seeing the distress on fellow students faces at the grades being attributed to their work, nor will Adam (sorry)!

The day of grading in painting was particularly painful.  In the run up to it, all I could remember of what Robin had said was, don’t worry if its not finished, explaining that he sometimes took years to complete work, so i didn’t worry.  I also didn’t take in my accompanying sketchbook, or a label for the work, in fact it was a complete disaster.  When Robin asked me why i hadn’t taken in the sketchbook, I was honest and said that I actually didn’t know.  Luckily I could hand it in later.  A huge learning curve, but needless to say it didn’t happen again.

For sculpture I was focused and engaged easily with the subject.  Had an idea very early on and carried it through to fruition, being very happy with the result.  I still have the piece in my house, without the leaves of course.

I’m not sure David was particularly taken with it, but I was true to myself and after an initial period of not liking it, I now love it and am very proud of it.  I was true to an idea of seeing faces in tree trunks, something I look for now too.  I loved my drawing of my hand onto the piece of wood, which I had sourced for free from a local firm; I cut it out myself, with guidance, using a jigsaw in the workshop; and I followed a path of initial idea, sketch, hone it down, evolve through; to the final sculpture, making finishing changes even up to the last minute.  I had also made a leaf skeleton out of wire, including soldiering that I was very proud of too.

Printing and Lens based were the next two subjects and I through myself into them, with work I was happy enough with.  My results were okay, but supporting sketchbooks let me down.  I think having not done anything formal since high school meant I didn’t know how to do this side of the course, unlike others on the course.   The good thing is that I learnt from this and by the time we started back in the new year I realised I needed to up my game.

When we started back we had to choose what subjects to follow for groups.  Lens based was one, but at first I wasn’t certain whether to choose painting or printing.  On meeting with Sarah with a few others for printing I got really excited when getting into discussions and soon realised that that was my choice.

I did up my game and threw myself into the work, producing lots of prints, following a theme through,  but also experimenting with new ways to do so.  I did firstly start with preconceived ideas, but soon learnt to let go, under Sarah’s watchful eye.  And when I did so, the magic began to happen, letting the reins fall away, the creativity started to flow through play.  Around this time I came across John Cage and fully embraced his ‘rules’:

By the end of my first year me and my work had blossomed from “I know its inside, but I’m scared and am not sure if i’m worthy and if I am I don’t know how to let it out” to “I am worthy and it doesn’t matter how I let it out, just follow the rules and keep working, contextualising, researching and reflecting”.

When it came to writing essays, each time I’ve got bogged down with looking at it as a whole, instead of breaking it down and concentrating on each stage at a time.  It was only when we came to the dissertation that I was able to break it down and follow what Jane told us to do.  In the end I still lost a couple of weeks, where I got stuck, but it was so much better than for the essays and I actually enjoyed it.  I never thought I would say that about academic writing!

That first year was a real journey of enlightenment and discovery, but it also took its toll on me emotionally, not helped by the news of my sister’s step-daughter’s suicide.  This time I knew I couldn’t deal with on my own and sort help.  Since then it has been a bit of a roller coaster: to get the right medication; right dosage; to take it properly; and to learn to live with myself.

Second year, level 5, was difficult for me and I didn’t produce anywhere near as much work as compared to the previous level.  But that’s okay and I’m happy that I kept going, there was a time where I wasn’t sure if I could.  I am proud of what I have achieved in spite of my ill health.  The beginning of level 6 was quite scary, the realisation that this is our final year and I’ll then have to go out into the real world, oh boy.

How things have changed from eighteen months ago or even, three years.  I can now say with complete confidence “I am an artist”.  I don’t know where my path will take me once I’ve graduated, but it will be a creative path.  I was explaining to my husband how I used to have, what I can only describe as, energy oozing from me and didn’t know what or how to deal with that.  I don’t have that now, as I express and use it all the time.


Landscape and Light at Letheringham Lodge

Following on from a talk and workshop with artist Lol Sargent, we were invited to apply for a residency at Letheringham Lodge, just down the road outside Wickham Market.  Very pleased to be accepted onto this.  This came around really quickly.  The run-up to it was very busy, with the TtC training on Saturdays (see below) and helping Mother-in-law pack in preparation for moving.  There was a point where I wondered if I was being selfish in going, staying away for a week when I was needed at home.  I allowed myself to consider this as an option, to pull out and realised that it was ok to have these feelings, but that I would regret it if I did, so onward!

I wasn’t sure what to take art equipment wise, although I knew we would be looking at video/projector work, I still need to allow myself expression in whatever way seems appropriate at the time and place.  That’s simple then, just take everything!  I am going by car and don’t have to share the travelling, so that works.  I limit myself to clothing, which I judge well, taking layers, boy was I glad I did.  I’m anxious and nervous before I leave, but again that’s okay and I prepare myself by reading the directions, looking up estimated time for travel etc and leave a bit early, so I can arrive just before dark.

I find it first time and arrive early, the first one.  Its clearly signposted, which helps my anxiety, a few minutes later and Adam arrives too.  David and one of the owners, Pauline Bickerton, come out to find us, they saw us via the security video.  We are given a tour of the facilities for our stay, P’s studio, pub, lots of other rooms, our equipment, boy’s cottage and girl’s cottage with an Adam too!  As we’re first we can choose where we sleep, although the downstairs room makes sense for ‘token boy’, as there’s a second bathroom downstairs.  I choose a single room, wahoo.

Gradually everyone arrives and get themselves sorted.  Mealtimes will be in our cottage, as it has a working kitchen and good size dining table.  The kitchen is stocked with the basics for us.  Pauline will provide soup at lunchtimes, we sort our own breakfasts and we take turns doing evening meals, eating together.  Matthew Bickerton gives us a talk on the History on the Lodge after dinner.  Dave had brought Tension Towers, not Jenga!, we all join in apart from John, who apparently has stabby fingers, he plays an accordian in the background.

The first morning we meet over at the Lodge for a tour.  An incredible house and they have great taste for how they have decorated, as you would expect as artists.  Love the Unicorn!  Another tour of the grounds and buildings.  By the time we’ve finished its lunchtime.

After lunch its time to explore, where will we work, what do we see, what do I see?


As I’m writing this, I’m watching an Imagine episode with Alan Yentob and Anish Kapoor.  Ideas are coming thick and fast, as I let my mind map as I watch, listen and take in the glory of Anish’s work.  Whatever the feelings and ethos behind his work, I know what I get from it, how it moves and inspires me.  I have looked at him briefly back in level four and obviously been very aware of his work, but right now as I’m watching the programme I am so inspired, excited.  His work is brazen, awe inspiring, moving, tactile, erotic, . . . it fills you up, it leaves you craving more and wanting to go out and create big, beautiful, buxom pieces, solely for my pleasure!  Wow.  I can hear you saying, ‘so why haven’t you referenced him’ . .  . well that’s easy, i’ve been focusing on other artists that better matched my work, trying to stay focused and pragmatic, not going off track.

Anish Kapoor C-Curve 2007

Anish Kapoor Shooting into the corner Royal Academy 2009

Anish Kapoor Dismemberment 2009

Just as I thought I could get back to where I was a few moments ago: I had been watching another Imagine programme, on in the backgound, this time about the painter Howard Hodgkin.  I hadn’t been that interested in him, apart from the journey to India, that was stunning.  Then Alan talks about Howard’s mural on the side of the British Council Library HQ in New Delhi, a collaboration with architect Charles Carrea and I stop in my tracks.  It was a representation of the shade of a giant tree, made of black stone and white marble, as if sitting there in the shade of the tree reading a book.  Absolutely incredible, especially the magnitude of it.

Letheringham Lodge cont.

okay, okay, i’m back.

On the Tuesday morning I had had a hot lemon drink, using a slice from a fresh lemon, with breakfast, followed by a left over mince pie (yes I know).  I put the cut off lemon end into the mince pie foil tray to put in the bin, but as I was about to walk towards the bin, I looked down at it and the light caught it. . . . I had a moment, walking around the room to change the light onto it.  Not surprisingly everyone laughed at me.  I took a few photos, knowing something would happen.

Later on Lol Sargent came in and spent some time with us each to talk about our work and obviously I showed him the lemon photo as well as other examples of what I see.

I always go back to the scene in the 1999 film  American Beauty, where Ricky Fitts, played by Wes Bentley, and his parents move in next door to Thora Birch’s character, Jane Burnham, and her parents.  Ricky is a camcorder-obsessed adolescent who is dealing in drugs to earn money to escape his abusive Marine Corp Father.  He shows Jane what he considers to be his most beautiful piece of footage he has ever filmed, of a plastic bag dancing in the wind.  It is an incredibly beautiful and moving piece, with beautiful music to match:

“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing. And there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it, right? And this bag was just… dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That’s the day I realized there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid ever.

Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… I need to remember. Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it… and my heart is going to cave in.”

At the end of the film, Jane’s Father Lester, played by Kevin Spacey, is shot dead and in a voice-over he says:

“I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry, you will someday.”

When I have ‘a moment’, and see or hear something, it is with my whole being; it runs through me from finger-tips and up my spine, ending in a spiritual shudder; that ‘eureka’ moment.

On the Thursday, Lol came back and worked with us individually on our pieces for the Private View.  I showed him my video for a tree blowing in the wind, which he edited it for me.  I showed him the lemon photo with the background edited out and explained I would like to project that too. He put a black mask over the blanked background, which also put it the photo into the correct ratio.  Here is the Lemon Tart.

Private View – The last day, we start to prepare the site for our work and the guests.  Tables out, refreshments and snacks ready, a proper dinner to sustain us, projectors set-up and tested, a site-map, floors swept, make-up on, we are ready!

Lots of guests, tours and successful projections.  An excellent evening with lots of positive feedback.  Landscape and Light was a huge success.  Sadly I had to leave this evening, whist others stayed to celebrate and leave in the morning.

It was another wonderful experience, lots to inspire and work from.  The other students taking part were great to spend the week with, some of whom I hadn’t worked directly with before.  We all got on well, had fun, as well as working hard, thank you to them for making such a good, positive experience, especially those who made me laugh and hugged me when I needed it.  The owners, Pauline and Matthew Bickerton, are an amazing couple, nothing was too much trouble for them, they are incredibly generous and passionate, talented too, a massive thank you to them; also Lol Sargent, and David and Jane for organising it.  It was very hard leaving them all after such a great week, I found it really painful for the first half of the journey back.  Thankfully, as I got closer to home this was replaced with excitement to be back home with my husband and family.  I nearly forgot to thank the Trumpeter swans and of course Dottie!



It’s February, not sure how that happened.

Time to Change

In 2014, I found out about Time to Change (TtC), the social movement trying to end the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems, as do I.  I attended as a volunteer at one of their Villages, at Stowmarket’s Museum of East Anglian Life and had some really good conversations with the public who attended (written about in another blog). Following on from there I haven’t felt comfortable to attend any similar events, but did attend a TtC networking event at Ipswich Town Football Club last year.  I have been Tweeting about mental help and sharing posts relative to mental health on Facebook too.

I was offered the chance to attend three training sessions for Time to Change and jumped at the chance, as this is something I am passionate about and want to Champion.  I have now attended three consecutive Saturday training days in Norwich: Media Training, Champions Portfolio and Speaking Out  and it has been brilliant.  Like minded people, all with their own private reasons, wanting to take an incredibly brave stand, to stand-up and be counted, to say:


its all health,

whether physical or mental.

One impacts onto the other and can create an associated issue.

So please . . . use your common sense and work it out!

Stand-up . . . and reach out too.

1 in 4 guys, 1 in 4 . . . look around you.

It WILL make a difference and it could save someone’s life,

it’s Time to Change, its time to talk!!

Join Time to Talk Day 4 February 2016.  Let’s get the nation talking about mental health!’


An Alternative Ending

Janet and John met and fell in love

They bought a house together, married and started a family.

They had a girl and then a boy

Their life was complete.

They lived happily ever after,

The End


Alternative Ending:

Janet had postnatal depression, twice

The second time life stood still

No-one saw it, perhaps they didn’t want to

Life wasn’t rosy, it wasn’t cosy

It was hell, for them both.

Janet was scrutinised, cross examined and found guilty.

The accusers hindered, supporters soothed

But, the helpers did help.

Janet wasn’t a bad person, she was a wounded person

Struggling in the survival of the fittest.

She started with hands clenched and head hung low, in shame.

With time, she released her hands and lifted her head

She saw the light at the end of the tunnel;

She wanted to walk into the sunlight.

It was her Time to Talk, her Time to Change.


Louise H Todd, 2016

Time to Change Champion

How exciting, I’ve been invited to put this piece of writing forward for their blogs, with some additional words.  Done, sent in!


Second Semester

It’s not amazing how fast the time is going, it’s to be expected, if not scary too.  The plans are well under way for the Fine Art Auction, to be held at the UCS Waterfront building, Ipswich on Thursday 25th February.  With kind support from James Neal, auctioneer extraordinaire.  The perfect opportunity to purchase a piece of art from an elite band of  artists, many famous and local names, such as Ryan Gander.  So please do come along, have a drink, socialise and help us to raise important funds for our end of year Degree Show.  Thank you.


Critical Review Blog

In other words, that’s this.   First tutorial this semester, with Sarah, to make sure we are blogging and critically reviewing.  So far okay, keep going.


Degree Project Tutorial

Also the first one.  I went through a couple of ideas, which I need to get on and try out, to see how they work out, or not and how I feel about it.  I was telling Jane how last semester I had been talking about how I had wanted to create a safe space (a cabin), based on my Library Project from 2013, level 4, with the outside being the ‘bad place’, safe inside.  Whereas my ideas this week, have been about the bad inside (my head) and the good stuff outside of myself, my art. This is a significant change, brought about by: how much I have learnt here at university; from other students; visiting artists; researched artists and their practices; exhibitions; the tutors; residencies; my mental health struggles; and not least, my drive to keep going, regardless, and in spite of, the fear and self-doubt I have and still continue to have.

I am creative,

I am an artist.  

And I love it!!



Yey, i’ve completed and uploaded my project proposal for the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise, just have to wait patiently to see if I am put forward to give a presentation about my project.

I am so pleased with myself: firstly, I had an idea for a project that I think is workable; secondly I am extremely pleased I completed it; and thirdly I am so proud of myself for putting together a business plan, mistakes and all, for the first time.  I will need to edit it so, to take out the mistakes I have already seen, but its more about the idea, that the ability to write a polished proposal (I hope).  Although, I don’t really have confidence that I will be selected, I am proud of myself for at least giving it a go and why not, someone has to win it, could be me!


Coming soon to a Waterfront near you . . .

Pop My Mind

Live collaboration: Sonifications – Thursday 18th February 2016, 6pm, University Campus Suffolk, Waterfront, Ipswich.

Event based around the practice of Sonification, the process of taking raw data from a visual image and using software to turn this data into sound.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to see a piece of my work turned into sound, see you there!

10 PRJCT Drawn Together

Following on from the extremely successful ‘10 PRJCT‘  of 2015, I am excited to announce there will be a second one:

More to follow!


Royal Academy Students Talk

Monday 22 February we were very lucky to have three students come in from the Royal Academy MA course in London.  Tom, Molly and Neil each gave  talk about their work, what took them to the RA and at what stage in their life/career. All three were really interesting, with different bits to take away from each one.

After lunch they came to our studios and gave a critique on our work blind (no info supplied from us), just on what they saw and then some feedback from us in relation to their comments.  Is is a fantastic opportunity to have this, as they come to your work with no preconceived ideas or knowledge.  It really made me look at my work from a different angle, lots to think about.

Here are my notes exactly as I wrote them at the time:

Royal Academy 22/02/2016
Tom Worsfold, Neil Kidgell & Molly Palmer

Tom third yr of postgrad
BA at slade, then straight to ra
Self portrait in shower
About himself, sexuality
Couldn’t keep using himself, needed to move away
Liberating, where come from
Went back to painting and textures in postgrad, hadn’t had time in BA
Moved to larger painting with many different mediums, responding to day before a work, starting in one corner
Angst, anxious situations
Pushing back into the world
Gouache, oil, acrylic, mono print
From memory, but not so much about him, about anyone in that moment, blood test
Implants onto the memory in future ( b to a to b) cognitive
Mono printing
Subconscious pushes through
Sold all paintings in show
Something suppressed in the rendering
Dealing with now
Metaphysical paintings
Perspective of inside a girls mouth, tooth fairy
Doodles, once drawn is done, doesn’t then paint that
Jasper Johns, quote

John Cage self alteration not self expression

My response in the moment – The fight (?) between just going with what happens, allowing it to and the questioning of how it came, where from.  Don’t question, just do, accept, embrace and ride the wave, like a magic carpet. Letting go of control, and see what happens, that’s when the magic starts.  Anxiety is born of over thinking.

BA at Chelsea 2003
Stopped painting
Sublet part of studio with friend
Group shows, social scene, get involved in as much as possible
Seven years later postgrad
Free, 17 and three years
Applied three times before got in at RA, common
Brick wall image, circle formed by cleaning the brick surfaces
Marking of time, transformation of material, everyday, surface, geometric forms
Bronze pieces
Plywood, lost wax then bronze
Formal composition and investigation into acting in bronze
Physical traces of memory and traces
Connection to memory, destroying and making, no longer existing
Evoking absence, weighty presence
Specific meaning and connotation
Abstract art looking at then, from conception
Drawings, lines
Gouache do drawing as way of thinking through process, became interested in them in their own right
What look like in colour, layers
Went back to painting, from memory, not immediately identifiable, formal decisions
Blind from memory of laying in bed and light coming through window and obscuring

Me – Feel really excited at Neil’s work, amazing, interested in Toms work from the honesty point of view and what happening, interesting he doesn’t believe in art therapy! When looking, it seems to me to be doing just this.

Intimacy of smaller sizes as apposed to being pushed away by bigger pieces
Loving cadmium yellow of cross

Phil Guston quote, baffle me!

Finding it harder to talk about his work and it’s now coming about the not knowing of his work and drives him forward
Me – The Kings voice film, when he finally speaks out

Representational, mark making,figured imagination, abstract
Uses a lot of ink on paper
Can’t be reworked, speed as opposed to paintings, occilates between the two, relate to each other, one doesn’t follow other literally

Art reaching higher level and not understanding polish artist
Larry pitman
Talk yourself out of work
Frank Kline and embarrassment
Simon O’Sullivan freeing
Doesn’t matter if stuff falls flat, temporality

Molly Palmer
Sugar house studios
Unnecessary anxieties about pathways etc
Goldsmiths different registers of reality
Images of bird ringers and birds
Frustrated with art world, gigs music groups
Album cover etching
Painting residency
Diagramatic, inside and outside
Objects reclaiming objects, paper mache
Music practice and day job
Symmetry, multiplicity of self
Film, studio costumes, sets
De Chirico
Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts funding
Back to studio, film, green fabric, music sampling
Fade film circle of broken mirror
Transformation from broken to empowering spiritual after thrown into river
Applied to RA twice
Knew where interests were, hurled self into it, playful, uptight about outcomes
Anthropomorphised conversations and relationship with lift where living
In addition to everything real film
Lines on hand remind me of the drawing on Hannah’s hand
Felt seduced by technology, most immersed in the sound
Residency in Paris, good no studio, music equip, indeterminacy, writing
Live work
Hopelessness, paralysing despair
Music in response some shapes without edges
Filmed trees at night
Wasn’t watching the branches moving, it was the wind, given shape by the branches
Filming at night of branches and leaves moving in the wind, in the light, electricity
Aware of herself, her heart, neurons
Electrons jumping from atom to atom
Come back to BA work
Sound pieces, telephone, sleep song
Like sketchbook pieces, existing solely as they are
Audio works, maybe short visual pieces to go with
Align with David burn, laurie anderson
Seduced by transformative side of technology
Trust the essential drive of the work
De Chirico

If you’re still producing work after your first two years out, then that’s good
Bursary support from RA
Best part time job is one that puts you into situations that make you look at things you wouldn’t normally be stimulated by intellectually, ie usher at Royal festival hall
Be sassy about what put energy into, I.e. Higher paid work for less hours that doesn’t suck you dry
Be genuine to yourself
Talking genuinely, not networking, work with your temperament and what works for you
Rejection is good, can spur you on
Personal statement- write about you’ve actually done and not what you think, makes you more focused
Frustrations are good, what do they tell you?
Sell work abroad, has an interest in that style of work abroad
Marvyn gay chetwood paintings sell, doesn’t talk about in respect of performances

Names used when looking at my work were: Roni Horn, Joan Jonas and Laurie Anderson.  Molly thought my photographs, particularly the two where I am in one and not the next, were disturbing.  I can see why, those two in particular stood out to me when flicking through them.  It was suggested that if I were to use these two in an exhibition, that they would work better, displayed separately, bigger effect and statement.

Perhaps what I am looking at is opposite ways of looking and seeing, the reverse almost.  I know when I think of solutions for things, I often look in a different way.  Such as talking about UCS students wanting a quiet room to study in the waterfront building, as group talking can easily disturb others; maybe it would have been better to have a noisy room for larger groups to discuss, therefore leaving the other areas quieter.

In the group discussion for the project of students and umbrellas going to Arras, they were looking for a project title.  To me it was obvious PArrasol, although I did surprise myself that time.  Things do really seem to be coming together now, when I allow it in and not fight it.

Talking of Arras, I just haven’t been able to engage with the project at all, leaves me cold.  Its like someone throwing a ball at me and I am not able to catch it, let alone return it.  Oh well, can’t do or be involved in everything.


Ctrl-Art-Del Fine Art Auction

Wow, the committee and team of artwork hangers have all worked so hard and now the day has arrived, it looks fantastic.

Fingers crossed for generous bidders.

Wow, its over and what a night.  On-line bids, absentee bids and visitors all made for a very successful evening, thank you one and all.

Photo of myself, Fern Hillen, Emily Godden and the wonderful auctioneer James Neal, a star in his own right, who made for a fast and exciting turn around.

We were all done and dusted by just after 10.30.  Then the memory that we have to make good on the display boards in the morning, when full of cold, joy.  This was an easy enough job, could have gone faster if we’d had a couple more people to help out, but well done to India Hammond and Naomi Barrell for helping with this.


Sunrise to Sunset at Quay Place (St Mary at the Quay) Ipswich Saturday 27 February 2016, From 7am to 5pm

St Mary at the Quay is changing; the structure of the building is undergoing a transformation. Before the scaffolding and dust sheets are finally whisked away to reveal a glorious new public space, come and explore the transition of St Mary at the Quay to Quay Place.

You are invited to come along – take a look around and in response to what you see and feel, make work onsite using your own arts discipline. You can spend the whole day creating or come and go throughout the day.

Many local artists have produced work inspired by the church during its 500 year history. During the launch of Quay Place later in the year we hope to show the response of contemporary artists who have worked in this unique space.

Refreshments will be provided. If you need help towards material costs there is a small amount available upon application.

To take part please email Blue King:     [email protected] 

Quay Place is an innovative project designed to create a new wellbeing and heritage facility while preserving the fabric of St Mary at the Quay

So Trudy and I did, although not from 7am.  Boy was it cold in there, but they did have hot steaming tea, which was much appreciated.  Explored a bit, up tight windy steps and discovered the bells, beautiful.

Well worth the journey and very thankful for lack of H&S.

We found a cosy light spot, not difficult there, where the bells would be rung from and spent the rest of the afternoon there.  Amazing how many photos you can take in just one small area, when you engross yourself somewhere.

We were finally kicked out, which was probably just as well as the temperature was starting to drop even more.

Out of all the photos I took, I think the one that possibly stands out in my mind is that of the slightly creepy head onto of the workmen shed.  Bit weird.

Quiet concentration and contemplation with good company.

London Trip!!!

Yey, haven’t been to London since the trip last year to see Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy.  Jane had organised the trip, but it ended up just being her, myself and three others and two of us made our own way there.

We met up at The Photographer’s Gallery not far from the Oxford Circus Tube stop.  I’d never been here before, so it was lovely to visit for the first time.  The first exhibition we saw was Rosangela Renno: Rio-Montevideo (22 Jan – 3 Apr 2016).  A wonderful exhibition, especially if you have a fondness for retro technology and an itch to press a button, particularly in non-touching exhibitions.  She used 20 analogue projectors, each with just one slide, taken from salvaged archives of photojournalist Aurelio Gonzalez, taken between 1957 and 1973.   Drawn from 48, 626 negatives that were hidden between the walls of the Communist El Popular newspaper to prevent them being seized before the military coup and which were only rediscovered by chance 30 years later.

We next saw the wonderful Saul Reiter exhibition (22 Jan – 3 April 2016) a pioneer in colour photography, only now getting recognition for this.

He’s one of a few photographers who’s work I think are incredible.  He had a way of seeing the world in a different way and of being able to capture that with a camera, so beautiful, moving and inspiring.  I hope that one day people will look at my photography and experience the same feelings.

I love going to London, travelling on the train, the tube, exploring.  Tiring but so worth it.  At first i’d thought to was a shame to have arranged the trip for a Monday, when so much is closed, but actually in the end it made it easier to choose what to see.

We moved off to find our next destination, the Lisson Gallery, but got sidetracked by Easter bunnies in the window of Tyger, oops.  We eventually got back on track and found the gallery, although we may possibly have gone in through the fire exit in error.

‘Line’, 22 January – 12 March 2016, at the 52 Bell Street gallery a group exhibition, guest-curated by Drawing Room, from 15 International artists: Athanasios Argianas, Ceal Floyer, Monika Grzymala, Victoria Haven, Susan Hiller, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Tom Marioni, Jonathan Monk, Julian Opie, Florian Pumhösl, Fred Sandback, Maximilian Schubert, K. Yoland and Jorinde Voigt.  Some of the works date back to the late 60s and others were especially made for this exhibition.

It was a real joy to visit such a great gallery, not too big, well lit space with different sized rooms for flexibility, light and dark spaces.  Exactly how a gallery should be.

Drawing is both physical entity and intellectual proposition in ‘Line‘ (quote from the press release) and coming from the guest curators, Drawing Room Directors, Mary Doyle and Kate Macfarlane.

In the accompanying exhibition pamphlet: Ceal Floyer Taking a Line for a Walk 2008 – line making machine and water-based marking paint on floor.  Her work makes a direct reference to Paul Klee’s statement that: “A line is a point, which goes for a walk… An active line on a walk moving freely, without a goal.”  In keeping with other works of instruction-based conceptual art, Floyer dictated that the line must start at the door – as if the road markings had strayed from their routes – and finish at an exit point, when the pot of paint has exhausted itself.  The line-making machine was not designed to ascend stairs; the outcome being of an unruly line.

It talks about Floyer often employing familiar, functional objects combined with clear thinking and emotional sensitivity to generate works that challenge conformity, create constructive irritants and produce ephemeral effects.  That each enactment is unique and fleeting, with the line later being washed away, leaving not trace of the work.  Real herself said “Art is just a manifestation, a Trojan Horse, for ideas.”

I love the simplicity of the line being drawn on the ground, of it literally being walked along a path.  But I find the concept of it mind-blowing, it says so much, contains so much of the person drawing the line.  No two lines would ever be the same.  So much information contained in such a ubiquitous, seemingly unimportant tool, wow, incredible.

Raumzeichnung (outside/inside) by Polish artist Monika Grzymala, conceived especially for Line and used 7 kilometre of black and transparent sticky tape to form the structure that stretched from the street facing window, linking it from the outside back to the inside back of the gallery.  She describes all of her installations as architectural interventions or spatial drawings, which is what the German word Raumzeichnung means.  The lines in this piece of work represent the invisible paths taken by people moving around, both inside and outside of the gallery, charting the energy as a sculptural mass and replicated by her movements in its creation.

Again, a mind-blowing concept, to replicate people’s movements with tape, into a tangible, visible creation.  One you can literally immerse yourself in, to imagine people’s thoughts, lives, how they moved, why they visited, how were they feeling..  Was she thinking those thoughts when she conceived the idea and again as she was creating it herself?

Red Line Through Land, 2013 by K Yoland is one of a series of multimedia works as part of a four month residency at Marfa Contemporary in West Texas, on the border with Mexico.  Her project used video, photography, sculpture and performance to investigate sites of division and restriction.  The red paper

Sol LeWitt said,  in his ‘Paragraphs on Conceptual Art‘ of 1967, the ‘idea’ was emphasised over and above its physical execution.  Furthermore, he stated: “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.  This kind of art is not theoretical or illustrative of theories; it is intuitive, it is involved with all types of mental processes and it is purposeless.  It is usually free from the dependence on the skill of the artist as craftsman.”  Sol has his first solo exhibition in Britain at the Lisson Gallery in 1971.  To imagine these amazing artists conceiving these ideas is incredibly exciting, to be around this kind of creativity must be so inspiring, assuming they are also nice people.

Jonathan Monk’s Fallen, 2006, is glass neon tubing fabricated in the design of a measurement of rope exactly the same length as the artist.  The rope is dropped on the floor of the fabricator’s studio into a random spooling, different each time and each time it is made it is in a different colour.  He describes his work as abstracted self-portrait and quotes Bas Jan Ader on images depicting himself falling from a roof or into a canal: “…gravity made itself master over me”. He connects his work to his own biography and personal experience and reworks work from the past, gently undermining the idea of artistic authority.  Apparently!

I found this part of the exhibition very peaceful, contemplative, but at the same time inspiring and invigorating, emotionally and artistically, but not physically.  I could have spent a long time in this space, just being.  Fallen is an incredibly powerful piece, even more so when you have read the supporting literature.  To imagine myself representing in such a beautiful piece; in my head it comes alive, dancing to internal music and rhythm, swaying and writhing to nature’s motion, simply stunning.

In the past i’ve looked at work with neon and apart from James Turrell, it has not really inspired me, but this is completely different and i revalue the idea of using this within my work.

Susan Hiller’s Work in Progress, 1980, was made from thread of a deconstructed painting, unravelled canvas thread, then reunited, looped and braided and then pinned onto the wall.  Apparently it is a politically charged action associating her activity with craft or women’s work, also the repetitive nature of the piece engages with Minimalism, abstraction, durational performance and automatic writing.  The literature goes on to say how it is an embodiment of the artist and also of a drawing practice losing control, of a trance-like unconscious creation.

There is definitely this feeling with any similar task, I used to do a lot of cross-stitch in the past and that hands busy, but mind focused and free at the same time is quite therapeutic in its qualities of action.  To take something apart and recreate something new with it is a different experience to creating something from scratch, somehow more satisfying, a ta-dah moment.  And working with your hands, guiding the material to its new form, impregnating yourself into the material, leaving a part of you with it, a sensuous experience.

This is possibly the best exhibition I have ever seen, a real inspiration.  I’m not sure if I can properly put it into words: its a feeling, an excitement, a knowing . . . that I get it and it feels so good.  I absorb it, in the hope that the more of these exhibitions that I visit, understand and take in, that it will help me to be able to produce work of equal measure.  That others will stand before and have the same feeling . . . I can hope and dream’!


Time for myself and Trudy Read (level 5 at UCS) to take our turn for Week Three of the project of 10 artists over 5 weeks in 1 space.  On the way home on the train yesterday we spent the whole trip brainstorming the concept of the Line and ideas:
Drawing a line under
Line between
Keeping people in
People out
Line of attack
Line of defence
Line of sight
Plumb line
Chain of command
Crossed lines
Power line
Parallel line
Facial lines
Age lines
Time line
Broken lines
Line dancing
Crossing the line
Territory line
Heat line
Hot line
Line of duty
Life line
Dividing line
Hem line
Etch line
Read between the lines
Outline – death, art
Gas line
Diagonal line
Line of cocaine
Bottom line
Strap line
Flat line
Front line
Fine line
Finish line
Train line
Date line
Clothes line
Main line
Top line
Tram line
Bottom line
Line manager
Touch line
Line in
Line out
Line up
Lines of print

Two projectors
Camera, iPad, tripod
Sound record

Different everyday:
Rolls of paper

Project over lines
Lines from ceiling
Walk around
Film underneath, on wheels?
Avatar tree connections
Lines of binary, shorter for zero and longer for one
Beanbags and lines between
Matrix of lines
Willow tree
Lines of data project over the lines
Lines of plastic, acetate, print wrapping
Bubble wrap
Tap dripping
Animal growling
Newspaper sheets, rolled and fixed
Day One:

Thoughts and note:
Rosalind krauss expanded consciousness – look at
Rope up strung from hooks in ceiling
Taped Fragile tape onto lowest point of where rope hangs down
Tape pattern onto door that is not attached
Got out A3 sketchbook and shone phone torch onto , also piece of mirrored card, filmed and photographed into corner
Placed these in front of door and filmed photographed over
Shook camera as took photo for different effects
Talked about projecting over tape
View only through window in door
Black cloth over head

Day two:

Both brought in round crystals
Head torch, hand torch
Taped bricks in centre
Moved rope, so fragile now hanging off centre; the urge is to re-centre the tape, but I fight this and leave it as it is, its part of the piece.
Photograph through crystal
Crystal photograph through
Crystal onto mirror card, small torch
Childs light thing, changing lights, shine torch over, amazing shadows
If the viewer only views from outside and has a torch, then they are creating too
Performance piece of us inside, wearing black, face covered, it is a performance piece, of them and us
White block with child’s light thing on
Light hanging in cupboard space, with door angled over for back lighting
Looked up the definition of  ‘spectrum’.

Day three:

Day four:

Time to choose a name, write some blurb, make posters and final changes to the set-up.  The idea is that the exhibition will only be viewed from outside, looking through the window.  Shine a torch through the glass and interact with the exhibition for some of the effects.  Something black over the doorway to block out light from the corridor.  Works well with Trudy’s torch.

Pop-up Exhibition

Monday 7 March, Following a Line 11.30 – 13.30

Unfortunately life decided to conspire and Trudy was unwell, unable to come in.  If it was just my exhibition this wouldn’t matter, obviously, but because it was joint, i’m now responsible for the exhibition of two people’s work.  No pressure then!  I want to do right by Trudy.  Anyway, I set up as we had discussed.  I had to move the light box, as it was clashing with the projection, but this meant it was then clashing with the light behind the door, so I turn the latter off.  I have brought in a curtain to put over the door and borrowed a torch from Emily Godden (thank you), she also kindly went over to the waterfront to meet Pauline Bickerton, who had come in to see the exhibition.  For some reason this torch doesn’t work as well through the doorway glass.  So change of plan.  Now you do walk in, one at a time with the torch and interact directly with the exhibition.  Just need to wait for visitors, hopefully there will be some, I had put posters up and announced on FB too.  Pauline said she loved it, so that’s one!

What you can’t see clearly, if at all, from the photo of the mirror, is that above the mirror was an A3 sheet with the following words written backwards:

Drawn together, following a line.

Let the light in, explore the spectrum, reflect 

and embrace the shadows.

One the corridor outside the accompanying information to the poster for the pop-up exhibition said:

The Spectrum of Drawing

Monday 29 February, Trudy and Louise experienced the Line exhibition in London, running until 12 March, at the Lisson Gallery and inspired us for our turn in 10 PRJCT – DRAWN TOGETHER.

“Drawing is both physical entity and intellectual proposition in ‘Line’”

 Initially we brainstormed the concept of the Line, then Drawing:


  • Produce (a picture or diagram) by making lines and marks on paper with a pencil, pen, etc.
  • Pull or drag (something such as a vehicle) so as to make it follow behind.
  • Take or obtain (liquid) from a container or receptacle.
  • Be the cause of (a specified response).
  • Finish (a contest or game) with an even score.
  • Cause (a bowl) to travel in a curve determined by its bias to the desired point.
  • (of a ship) require (a specified depth of water) to float in
  • (of a sail) be filled with wind.


Old English dragan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dragen and German tragen,

These we brought into the white space and explored.  Through play and exploration our collaboration evolved and broadened, to encompass light:


  • A band of colours, as seen in a rainbow, produced by separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength.
  • Used to classify something in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme points.


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘spectre’): from Latin, literally ‘image, apparition’, from specere ‘to look’.


This was the first time I had gone into a project with any preconceived ideas and the influence of the Line exhibition is obvious to see, but done in our own way.  It was good to collaborate, we worked well together as we had hoped and there were a lot of ‘ooh’ moments in our creations.  It has been a significant move for me from taking photos of what I come across to creating those moments myself (with Trudy obviously).  Before it hadn’t felt right to do so, that it was somehow false or dishonest, guess I just wasn’t ready to do so.

Phew.  I take it all down and pack away, I know I shouldn’t be, but i’m relieved to have finished.  Now I feel I can concentrate on completing my blog, trying to sort out my website and planning for my final degree project.  David asked what space I would like, but I couldn’t say as I hadn’t had time to think about it.

Degree Project

David sent out an email on Sunday calling us all to a meeting first thing Monday morning to talk about our space allocation for the Degree Show, a sure fired way to get everyone in.  I emailed a reply with my request, first time I’d really had the chance to ask, having brainstormed over the weekend.  He’d made allocations based on requested already made and his knowledge of what we would potentially all be doing.  I had been allocated the section where Adam and two level 5s are and Lorraine had been allocated, as per her request, the seminar space, which was my preferred area.  After a discussion we have now swapped places to mutual agreement.

The space.

Time to Change Blog

I had known it was coming and now its happened, I feel a mixture of excitement, trepidation and slightly anxious too, probably normal mixture I imagine.  But mostly I’m very proud to have a piece of my writing published on their website.  I’m getting lots of kind supportive feedback, so i’m happy.

Degree Project

Right, focus!  I have done lots of brainstorming , as you can see:

I could do this endlessly, but perhaps now I should get on with playing and let the work come together, well durrrr.  So easy to put off creating, safer that way.

Decided this morning to spend some time looking at my library books whilst at home, not something I tend to do too much.  I tend to get the books out and then leave them in a pile collecting dust, renew and repeat.

At the moment my aim is to have my family dolls house, made by my Dad, in the installation.  Looking through Themes in Contemporary Art, chapter 6 Dream houses: installations and the home, artists who have featured this theme, include Louise Bourgeois (I’ve previously looked at her a lot): Passage Dangereux 1997 mixed media and Cell series made in the 1990s. Light placement sometimes being of the gallery and room in the centre, or light being central within the installation, but very important for atmosphere, shadows and emphasis.

Bourgeois’ houses are full of references to personal experiences that took place within; full of painful memories that she later processed through psychoanalysis and also through her art.  In psychoanalytical terms, to reconstruct  a house-like form that is resonant with painful memories can help the process of recovery.  In Gaston Bachelard’s (French philosopher 1884 – 1962) book The Poetics of Space, he argued that the ‘house is our corner of the world’.  That it shelters daydreaming and imagining and thus helps to construct memories.  It acts as both a physical and a imaginative space, with those daydreams, fantasies of childhood, remaining with us in later life.

Gill Perry, co-editor of this book, talks of houses being units defining and bringing together people and families, and their social and sexual interactions.  That when inhabited they become ‘homes’, ‘signifying an enclosed dwelling or shelter which is familiar, comforting and secure’.  ‘A home does not simply specify where you live; it can also signify who you are (socially, economically, sexually, ethically) and where up ‘belong’, this last bit was talking about geographically and culturally, but obviously our home is supposed to be just that home and where you belong emotionally too.  This can often change as you are growing up and you want to make your own ‘home’, a nest.  But for many their family home will always feel like home too, with some taking over the family house as their own when parents or grandparents have passed away.  We make our stamp both physically and spiritually onto a house, making ‘home’, leaving indexical traces as we go.  Walter Benjamin (1892 – 1940), German philosopher and cultural critic, wrote: ‘To live is to leave traces‘.

Cornelia Parker had a shed blown-up and then reassembled around a light, creating amazing shadows.

Mona Hatoum, Lebanese born artist, created Light Sentence 1992 and Current Disturbance 1996.

Both involve moving light sources creating shadows falling unpredictably around the gallery walls, confusing boundaries and encouraging a kinaesthetic response from the viewer.  With all these pieces light is a primary importance to the pieces.  For the work of Louise Bourgeois and Mona Hatoum there are cages, boxes and boundaries of restriction in one form or another, making reference in particular with Mona Hatoum of imprisonment.  Wow, having just read chapter 6, it has clarified a few things for me.   My ‘house’, with peaceful memories with mum and dad, were mostly of being on the boat, somewhere I always felt relaxed and calm, safe.  I used to spend hours playing with children of family friends, all of a similar age, who we sailed with, making up stories and imaginary happenings; reflected in my installation in The Orangery at Holywells park last Summer.  Or laying on my bunk, with the sun shining through the for’rd hatch, reading or daydreaming.  The  only times I felt otherwise, were when other family members intruded into that space, which I always found incredibly stressful and caused great anxiety for me. I love being on boats and in caravans too, they symbolise the same for me.  A house doesn’t represent the same for me, I couldn’t wait to leave home as a teenager, to create my own safe place. Mostly it was just me and parents on the boat, whereas, the house felt more open to intruders, more vulnerable.

At home, I often move furniture around, changing the layout, trying to create that perfect space, perhaps that isn’t possible in a house.  Lighting, particularly sunlight is crucial for me, on a boat or in a caravan it is easy to always be sitting in the right place, you just more a few feet and you’re there again. Perhaps I can only really achieve that feeling in a small multipurpose space, a bungalow, a loft space. Ideally every room that I would use would be south facing and the garden too.

I got a couple of DVDs out of the library, the first one episodes of BBC Two’s Making Their Mark: Six Artists on Drawing (1990); Sir Hugh Casson (1910 – 1999), Maggie Hambling, David Gentleman, Charlotte Fawley and Roy Marsden.  Hugh Casson was very interesting, he started out as an architect and was taught to draw with a fountain pen, not pencil, which taught him to mark marks quite quickly and confidently.  He makes shading by simply wetting his finger with spit and smudging the ink, simple, but very effective.  He often writes notes on the drawings, enlarged sketches of particular building parts, or information on colours, so he can make a watercolour at a later date.

The most interesting episode was the one on Maggie Hambling CBE (b. 1945).  Drawing done in 1985 on return from Barcelona Decent of the Bull’s head, significant, head is up and proud, fine handsome, innocent becomes humiliated, head defending until suddenly it hits the ground dead.  Spent three days drawing bull, became laboured, tore up drawing, had one more go and it came together in 20 minutes, without thinking, it just happened and came together, which sometimes happens.  To have these moments is why you keep drawing, otherwise it would just be so masochistic.  “You don’t feel as if you’re doing it, you feel as if it’s coming from somewhere else, err and so you don’t really feel responsible for it.  I mean I . . . I feel it came from somewhere else”.  One of a series of seven drawings she made of her Mother laying dead in her coffin, she felt it was the right thing to do, 1988, drawing from life, from death, stillest she’d ever been.  Maggie is moved by a subject that causes her to make a drawing and it becomes something outside of her, it doesn’t move her anymore, it becomes some else.  Its not up to her what she is moved by, what is important is that she remains sufficiently vulnerable to be moved.  “Somebody, i can’t remember who, possibly Rothko, said painting is an act of faith and I agree with that”.

Maggie was talking about having the same rituals for what she does when she enters her studio and how nothing can go right for days and days and days;  “quite unaccountably something will go right and I don’t know why or how.”

Where does ‘it’ come from, and why?  That’s how I felt when I had looked down at the lemon end in the foil tart case in Letheringham and it then became the beautiful video.  Where did that come from? How? Why? I think more importantly, does it matter?  Just embrace it, make the most of it and enjoy . . . have faith!

A trip to Gainsborough’s House with Mother-in-law, she has work in the shop their through Suffolk Craft Society.  Great to see the printroom and that it’s well used and loved too.  I hadn’t here before, although I wouldn’t rush to see his work as it doesn’t excite me, I do appreciate the talent and expertise.  Its always good to look at other artists, especially to visit their actual work.  I do enjoy looking close up and seeing the colours, light and brushstrokes, wondering how they mixed the colours.  I don’t think I would rather be able to paint like that exactly, but I am in awe of his skill, that’s for sure.  I did notice the difference from looking close up and that of from a distance with his larger pieces.  And of course the cracked surfaces all telling their own tales.  Something I may continue with in the future.

 The Old Bath Hotel, Felixstowe

Mother-in-law has bought an apartment there, the one with her ceramic commemoration plaque for suffragettes on the front, how apt.  Its comingly along fast now and I visit with her to measure up, look at potential colours etc.  Its the first time I’ve been inside her apartment and make sure I take my camera with me.  It looks out to sea, with amazing views, shame it’s not mine!  Anyway . . . some of the windows have black plastic over, with holes poked through . . . light is streaming through these tiny holes, worming it’s way in:

Oh dear i’ve had another idea for the degree show.  I write it down, adding it to the list.

Months ago I accidentally printed from my inkjet printer onto a laser acetate; the result being the ink just sat on the surface.  At the time it wasn’t what I wanted, but it gave me an idea for another time:

Mono print with acetate, I love the result, one to do again with more obscure images for ambiguity I think and on bigger sheets.

Olafur Eliasson

Whilst pinning on Pinterest for research for 10 PRJCT Drawn Together I rediscovered Olafur Eliasson’s work, amongst others, such beautiful work and really inspiring.  Again, looking at these works makes my brain start mapping again.  I think of water in containers, reflections, metal spraying and reflecting, river water lapping against boats, etc etc etc.  This has very much informed what I would like to do for my Degree Show, on a separate Pinterest board.

Time to start experimenting, to see what works and what doesn’t:

Hmmm much more work needed . . .


I haven’t written anything for while. I keep meaning too, but time gets away from me.

What have I been doing?

Well first there was the 10 PRJCT pop-up in the Waterfront Gallery At UCS.

Visited Flatford to see Andrew Vass’ exhibition with Emily Godden and then art by the river in the sun, deep in thought.


Then Flotsam and Jetsam at Off-Pat Gallery in Felixstowe.

Helped out with a few arts and crafts classes at Cotman House, Felixstowe.

Made a gate and hung it at home.

Pigs Gone Wild!

Did research and became more pragmatic about it for my dissertation.

Told I have been accepted to go to Lithuania this month (yippee).

Took part in Park Art exhibition in Holywells Park, in the Orangery.

MA Arts Practice show in St Clements:

Art on the Prom with family and Emily Godden, then art on the beach and under the pier, just the two of us.

Took delivery of a badge machine for FlipSide.

Had a look round the old Deben High School sixth form with colleagues in preparation for Felixstowe Creative Arts Trust (watch this space!).

Made cacti with EG.



I had not expected to get brilliant grades for the end of Level 5, what with problems of depression, anxiety and not being great at formal essay/dissertation writing.  But, I found the grade I received for the dissertation proposal really upsetting.  So after sitting crying and feeling very sorry for myself I decided to use this creatively and channel my emotions into altering a previous piece of work.

I then shared it on Facebook, particularly to my fellow Level 5s, in the hope that those who also weren’t feeling great might use their emotions positively rather than negatively.