I am about to begin a 3 month residency at Bedford Art Gallery. I intend to use this blog as a record of the time I spend there and as a basis for a new book about adventure and a fictive proposal not to go to the antarctic (Bedford seems to be as good a place to begin as any)

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Weather cold, clear and painfully bright.

I drank too much, talked too loudly about Katie’s lucky pants and received a Bedford memorial mug. Later I stayed up until half past three talking to my friend in America, but that is another story.

I am packed up and waiting to make the journey back home it is more than 11 months until the show. It’s a pity, but I don’t think I should write any more.


Today has been dedicated to packing and making an inventory of works for the show. At this point I have more or less decided the pieces I will exhibit next April and I have been forced to reject a number of the videos because I’m not sure how they will fit in. The show inventory is as follows:

First Ice, dvd, 09’09 – displayed on a small screen
Cyclorama, dvd, 15’37 – back projected
Arrival, split screen dvd, 02’00 – tft monitor
Eva, dvd, 01’45 – tft monitor

Incidents at Sea –
A selection of small scale sculptures shown in rotation on a small table and an upturned plastic cup.
Incident at sea – man menaced by penguin

Cyclorama machine
Float, fan, tissue paper, found illustration
Pitch and Roll, automaton
Circumnavigation, glitter ball motor, found illustration

Drawings/ Collage/ Photographs
Untitled, record sleeve & found illustration collages.
Untitled, collaged envelope.
Self Portrait, digital photograph

Journal, full colour paperback book
Tracings, limited edition book of drawings.

The time here has passed incredibly quickly; everyone has made me feel really welcome. I have had the time and encouragement to put together, what is for me, a very coherent body of work. Special memories for me are: Katie driving me to Wysing, Laura typing ever so quietly when I had a headache. Eva’s unstinting support throughout the residency and Sarah’s almost violent enthusiasm for the Black Flag Game. A strange thing did happen to me today. I took a break form packing, went out for a coffee and read the last few entries of Scott’s journal. After the last entry were a series of letters he wrote as he was dying. I was suddenly overcome with emotion, which may have disturbed a few of my fellow drinkers. To be honest this is not an unusual occurrence, I cried at the end of “Princess Diaries” but I did feel embarrassed for my lack artistic detachment – failed again.

Tonight we go drinking.



Wet weather soon cleared to warm sunshine.

I’m so aware of the end now that I am finding it difficult to write. I have spent time faffing about and thinking about packing things away. I did take a leap of faith this morning and took one of the twenty or so self-portraits I have photographed to be printed. I have developed a strange and unhealthy fascination with images of myself over the past few weeks constantly thumbing through the horrors captured over the last fifteen years. This photo is a conscious attempt to create the sort of image that in itself is nothing. But if I were to achieve something great, discover something wonderful, or die heroically, then it would stand as a record Alex Pearl, the man. I don’t intend to do any of the above. In the afternoon I had a very useful chat with Eva about how the exhibition might take shape, or not.



Today I made a brief foray to my studio in Rendlesham. It’s looking a bit disused so I spread stuff all over the floor. I’m beginning to put together some little scuttling machines for Airspace. I made two but one fell apart immediately, this is normal. I also started work on finishing a piece for Bedford. It’s a broken glass ice flow, which was originally laid out, on a piece of black velvet. I couldn’t see how this would work in a gallery so I decided to use the table I ‘accidentally’ bought from the Exchange Emporium. I’ve spilt some ink on it and added a small sixties lamp from Germany.


22/03/08 – 24/03/08 I have lost track of the exact dates of the following events. The journey north was hampered by strong wind and hail. On several occasions we were pushed sideways by prodigious gusts. Once we had finally arrived, tense and exhausted from the effort of keeping the car on the road my mother began the task of shovelling as much food into me as she could. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but the lack of exercise and prodigious amount of processed food I have consumed over the last few months has already made me a stone overweight. Then it snowed! I have been longing for snow since I began this journal back in January and it was everything I hoped for. I could even describe it as flocculent. Unfortunately I hadn’t brought any filming equipment with me so except for personal pleasure I was unable to take advantage of this late fillip. Undeterred I clambered to one of the highest points in the area and planted a small black flag.