I have started the moth wings………..painting, not drawing. I am finding it hard to be expressive in paint. I haven’t painted for ages, small or large. Maybe I have just got used to having a pencil in my hand.

Yesterday I counted all the wings; eighty – three. They are extremely beautiful – many with an extraordinary metallic dusting. I wonder what evolutionary purpose moth ‘bronzer’ fulfils…….

When I was gifted a matchbox full of wings from under a bat roost it was the massacre of such soft and gentle things that resonated. Dismembered in a clinical way and only the wings left………Hannibal Lechter on a grand scale.

I decided to paint each individual wing as a memorial and had intended to paint them as a ‘pile’ at the end at the bottom of the paper. They are of course so thin that there is no such thing as a pile. At present I have no solution to that problem and am just continuing to paint one wing after another trusting that some form of conclusion will present itself at the end.

It is a very meditative way of working. Quite new to me


How can the Fates be so rubbish? Sometimes I think someone has it in for me.

Nothing but endless bloody rain.

The Farningham Horse Project continues its perambulations around Kent.

Most Saturdays Ros Barker [my project partner], my husband and any passing teenager, neighbour or friend who can be talked into helping us out, loads 120 hobby horses into the cars and the cavalcade sets off.

Ramsgate it rained. Shoreham it rained and last weekend at the Folkestone Triennial Fringe it rained again. We sat in the car for half the day and then went looking for another venue – one that was dry. Eventually we carried the horses up a hill to some caves on the Leas Costal Path. We put out our lead horse – our Gay Pride Gardening Horse – don’t ask! – hoping its 5ft flag would bring in the curious.

It did its job – and we spent a happy afternoon explaining the project to the surprising number of hikers and families out in the wet.

Now we have to decide on a strategy for the next six months……first we need to come up with some form of support that will mean we can exhibit them indoors – galleries, shopping Malls, underpass etc.

No funding at present for this part of the project but more importantly no one has come up with a solution to the problem of how to stand 120 hobby horses up. I favour narrow strips of something with holes in that will take ten horses at a time. Flexibility is important. I can see them in one long line or around the edges of a room, or ten on each stair………

Some are quite top heavy, all are 4ft tall. Whatever we devise will have to go in an estate car boot……I suspect each support will have to be assembled on arrival. Maybe there is something in metal or plastic manufactured for something quite different we could utilise?

All suggestions warmly welcomed – please use the suggestion box below!


Would I like my solo show featured in a museum ‘passport’ being printed for 2012? As the museum is over the road from the exhibition gallery, is very art oriented and has its own gallery- and my work is museum orientated, this seemed a no – brainer.

So – I have spent much of the last two days choosing an image and an exhibition title for a show that isn’t on for a year and will feature work as yet unmade. Slightly mad.

Image was surprisingly easy.

Title surprisingly hard.

Titling as I see it is about positioning the show for your audience, giving them a clue.

Art titles. They seem to come in three sorts- the ‘this is what I am doing sort [‘The Drawing Room,’ / ‘Crossing Frontiers, looking for an Eastern Identity’], the poetic sort [‘Memoirs from a Cold Utopia’/Shadow Catchers: Pinhole Photography’], and the ‘you should know in advance that my work is contemporary’ [Every Jetson has a Flintstone inside’/ ‘I will eat this sleepy town’.] There is also of course the no holds barred approach culminating in the famous Shanghi Biennale title ‘Fuck Off’ in 2000. Translated from the Chinese meaning ‘Uncooperative Approach’ ……………….think we guessed.

And if of course you are Picasso or David Bailey, just your name will do, although we now seem to have a fashion for the colon, ‘Gerhard Richter: Panorama’/ ‘Rene Magritte: the Pleasure Principle.’ Maybe I should have one of those………..

Having been told there existed a random art exhibition title generator [sncart.blogspot.com/2011/02/random-exhibition-title-generator.html] I thought I had to give it a go……result: ‘To Find the properties of gaming: figuring the Local.’ It then exhorted me to enjoy the show’!!

Maybe not.

I have always favoured the poetic. I feel this may be a failure in me, that I should favour the hard edged; the difficult. My work is tightly controlled, archived and curated. Maybe I use my titles to ask my viewer to find the poetic that I can see in it.

In the knowledge my work will be low key colours and that viewers will have to be close to engage with it I finally settled on ‘Sotto Voce.’

Doubtless it will be hopeless by May and I will hate it with a passion. Hey Ho.


I have been offered a solo show next May. A whole gallery space to play with. Nothing grand, but a lovely space that was once part of a large church. It still retains the feel of a small chapel and suits the low key colours and the detail of my work.

Suddenly next year seems to be shaping up too fast; a residency in the crypt and a solo show…….great opportunities but the responsibility of making new work that hangs together and that I feel good about – within the time frame – is rolling in over me. Is this sickly, panicked claustrophobic feeling universal? It will of course come and go from now on.

The apocalyptic nightmare of having nothing, or nothing good enough to show, is sniffing around me already. But I know the rules, I have been here before. Every good idea, every happy experiment, every finished piece will push him further back into the outer ring of darkness whence he came.

So – nothing for it but to start work. Driving is always good. Long delicious hours of free flowing unconscious ideas ……….


The other day an artist sent me a paragraph of text lifted from my recent blog and asked if she might use it to label some of my work. I had no idea she read it ……I felt quite startled. Am I alone in feeling almost stalked?

This is crazy. I blog to an unseen audience, that’s the point, or at least part of the point; the wish for discourse, to feel less alone, to feel that there are others alongside also struggling to make sense and headway of whatever they are working on……….The other is of course to listen to my own creative voice coming back to me, to catch it unawares and see if it sounds different to the endless chats I have with myself.

Sometimes it does sound more grown up, but I think that might be a matter of wanting to sound like I know what I am doing in print rather than knowing what I am doing – which is of course, different.

Anyway, the silent reader, the one who reads and moves on and leaves no trace……

You blog. No comment. Sometimes it is immaterial to me, sometimes I feel as if my blog has been found wanting – too boring? too ordinary? bad writing? bad art? But hang on – is this me being childish, petulant, attention – seeking? Probably the majority of blog entries remain unacknowledged and after all I still have the other half of my bargain – the echo of my blog voice.

I think on reflection that maybe it is the fact that any mention of my blog in conversation invariably means we have at least a faint connection. We know each other. So my being unaware that they are reading my blog feels somehow socially uncomfortable…..as if I should have known something I could not have known.

Now – why don’t I feel the same about Facebook?