Having met up with Clare Smith and posted a photo of her on my blog she has returned the compliment..hmm…bit like being tagged on Facebook – there you suddenly are looking parboiled and eerily grown up for some reason….

It was rather special to meet after following Clare’s blog for years. Not something that has a parallel elsewhere in life really. Now it feels quite different when I read her blog. Connected of course. If we had been able to adjourn to the pub I think we would have talked all night.

Clare also introduced me to her DAD partner Joanna whose beautiful tempera abstracts were on the gallery wall. We too could have talked all night finding common interests in the first few seconds and only being silenced by the final bell.

Maybe we should organise a Christmas meet up in a London pub for all the a-n bloggers who fancy meeting their pen pals? Lunch time maybe so people had time to get there/ do other things/ meet other people….carnations in the button hole…

Perhaps others could do it in Liverpool/ Bristol….etc?

Elena’s comment has made me think about the photos again….I find it hard to get past the Richter/Boltanski treatments which resonate with me.

I think its their respect and the subtlety.

Another barrier to buying vintage photos and seeing what comes is the fact that painting seems to be my instinctive reaction to the images….not sure why.

I haven’t painted seriously for a long time. Also have exchanged my big studio for a small one so making a huge mess is now harder. Feels constrained before I have started.

Or me just making excuses. I know once I start a new road it becomes all consuming.

Bit like being on the diving board looking down.

Easier to keep wandering round the PV’s for a while……

Then again I inherited a few tiny black and white negatives – most very damaged – of Berlin during the Nazi era…..hmm…..


My posts seems-to be morphing into a diary of time off art making, of wandering around its edges, of PV’s, outings…..

I am certainly in a fallow, sit back and ponder phase. It all feels very autumnal. My Protestant work ethic little voice in the head keeps squeaking that I am not working, not producing, not progressing my career.

I am telling it to shut up.

Ideas swim in and out and things catch my attention – old photos seem to be high on the list – I have an inherited album of a post war European tour. Gerhard Richter swamps my field of vision here though and I don’t seem to be able to get past him.

Nevertheless I do keep finding small sets of vintage photos in antique shops – obviously wrenched from old leather albums – and showing one family. They intrigue me these unknowns. Its the story telling aspect I think. Not sure how to tackle them and if I buy them I feel its a statement to mysef that I am not yet ready to fulfill.

So I wander on…..

Yesterday I went to the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden near Dorking. Two hours of peace and beauty. Great at this time of year; we had the place to ourselves and the duckweed had made some of the many ponds into extraordinary green silent otherworlds.

They will live in my memory longer than the work I think.

We met Hannah Peshar in the reception building – charming and chatty she has been building the huge ‘wild’ garden for 30 years. I do so envy people who have been able to dedicate their life to something like this….

So – green and dripping woods, magical ponds and other peoples black and white images…..

It all feels like overload and no straight line to a new body of work at present. But that’s ok for now.


On Tuesday evening Ros Barker and I attended a West Kent Reception for the great and the good. All dressed up and being very grown up we soon found we were the only arts related invitees and we were definitely short of a chain of office or an OBE. Still, we met some interesting people who seemed relieved to have the chance of a different type of conversation.

Tonight was the PV of ‘The Meeting Room: A Space for Minds to Meet’ – the new show in the Kaliedoscope Gallery in Sevenoaks.

‘The Meeting Room explores the meeting point between the physical and the metaphysical….’

In amongst some really lovely work were three drawings on Chinese paper: small but holding the wall they were hung on. A red line grid held endless downward black strokes within its squares. It had a stillness and a fascination ..each handmade stroke quivering with the life of different widths and darkness.

All the work of Clare Smith – who made the long trip from Dover to be there. Although feeling I had known her for ages through the a-n blog, we actually met for the first time tonight.

Lots to talk about. Good old a-n….


I am just putting my head back over the parapet having struggled to get to the stage when I could get to my blog.

Huge family party has taken all my energy and focus away from everything else. Finally getting to the stage when I have returned house/garden/ my psyche back to a semblance of normaility and have time to look back at the Telling Stories Private View – which happened in the middle of the madness…

A lovely evening [before the rains set in] which we needed as the evening was started by the arrival of the Urban Bikes which rode up from Hastings town to open the show for us.They continued to arrive during the evening – decked out with lights and soundscapes.It all felt inclusive and great fun. A great scene setter.

The event was massively well attended – at some points you could hardly move. So much so that I feel the need to go back and see the show again, in peace.

It was the first show where I hadn’t been involved in the hang in any way. Strange to come in and find your familiar work in an unfamiliar enviroment. Cathryn Kemp the TS curator and Sue the museum curator had hung the exhibition and it looked considered and classy. A show to be proud of.

Halfway through the evening Youmeni who is a Japenese performance artist danced for us in the darkness of the fabulous Dunbar Room. She told the story of the family kimono she was wearing, her exquisite movements speaking of searing emotion and pain. She must have been physically and emotionally exhausted.

Various speeches ensued but the Art Council England speech was amazing – he really got us a group and made a big point of saying he regarded TS as a standard of excellence. Can’t ask for more really.

So – show hung and PV done.

One of the TS artists has asked if I would like to join a new group of women artists considering world wide womens issues from a feminist viewpoint.

A great set of artists I would like to know better and maybe work with…another new door opens. Brilliant.


Have just got back from London having been on a evening tour of the College of Arms – at the opposite end of the Millenium Bridge from Tate Modern.

My head is now full of vellum and quill ink, strange heraldic animals, medieval colours, 15th century leather bound books and the smell of old archives……

Maybe I could live in there?

Maybe they need a resident artist?

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