Not been able to get here as its been a busy few days.

Friday I set off for the Saatchi Gallery where a new Art Fair called SRARTA had just opened.

I was on my way to see work by a load of my Kent art friends. It did feel a bit surreal.

So – in through the grand doors waving my smart black invite kindly gifted by a friend with drawings in the show.

Disappointingly same old, same old ….. but in a glorious venue. All the art market Art Fair plastic sculptures and highly polished photography, all the uber knowing rather arch work that populates such fairs. All at stunning prices and watched over by rather lovely gallerists happy to chat even though they know I don’t have £40,000 in my back pocket.

In between I have to say there were some fun bits – Nicky Assmann’s ‘Solaris’
[www.nickyassman.net ] wind up soap covered frames redolent of the 1960’s and someone’s concrete bear sculpture both of which I enjoyed.

Then there was a room of Storm Trooper helmets which was proving a great sucess. Maybe I am just jaded but it seemed to me to be a celebrity upmarket version of the painted elephants, cows and pengiuns that have littered our sreets – fun but hardly high art. Curated by Ben Moore Co-Curated by Emily Lennox ‘Art Wars: Turning The Dark Side Onto The Art Side.

One crystal covered helmet – an obvious riff on our Damian’s skull was just dissapointingly badly crafted – and seemed to me to say it all.

So – on to Pure’s stand – well, walls really. Lesley Samms who runs Pure Arts has worked tirelessly promoting Kent artists and it certainly seems to have arrived.Some great work, some red dots and a happy curator if looking somewhat shattered.

Then Saturday I felt the need to refresh my www.re-title.com website as The National Trust had asked for a website and my new one will be ages yet.

So – a happy day spent pruning text and images and re- writing my statement and reducing the number of uninteresting shows on the CV.

Does look and feel better but all those websites are annoying – this one as the text and image boxes can’t be moved or exchanged, nor can you use landscape where a portrait image box is offered.

Fine if everything on the page is the same subject. Not if it isn’t!

so – onward and upward.

Clearing the decks.


Last night was second college tutorial.

Eleven of us, one great young tutor.

Two talented and eager young artists talked us through their BA and post BA work and we gave the crit. Pasionate about their subjects and clear lines of enquiry. How envious I am. I feel so disenfranchised by it.

Six years out of college and I have just slithered to a halt. I have to find out what all this is about or die in the attempt – at least that’s what it feels like. Last chance saloon.

Interestingly while taking a full part in crit and debate I was writing notes – they just flowed out. Nothing to do with anything in front of me, but about my work. My situation. Possibilities. Revelations.

As the speakers spoke I was putting my work/methods/ answers against theirs and interesting things were coming out.

Sitting in the half dark it was if my brain was untethered and on auto pilot.

This is what is now scribbled into my big green note book:

‘Other installation artists – why don’t they interest me more? Museological, archeological- I would rather be at that exhibition.

My work is always inside glass boxes, museum cases…am I keeping the viewer out? Plinths and boxes- add venerability. Give object importance.

Elements of replication. Formula.

Keifer, Boltanski, Doig..I react to their emotional content. A universality. A melancholy. Find in my work.

Influence – Rothko, Hesse, Hillier- much of all this is the same era. Does this make my work old fashioned?

Only other art that affects me is large scale work using very brightly coloured abstract …Total flip side.Wondering if I should set myself task of going as far in opposite direction to present work as I can.

Sublime/ Romanticism? Try to avoid the Victorian sentimentality but no singularity or muscularity in my work…

Want my work to resist a quick interpretation. Human scale.

Insatallation Artist = I have to react/respond to each project. Each project produces very different work. So – no clear progression.Would be if I painted.

Should the progression be in the importance of the actual project?

Each installation stands alone. Not re-used.

To submit need more than one image. With my work = Problem. Work always hard to photograph in entirety.

Have I got to point where need to apply for bigger commisions?= applying/handling funding. Dyscalculia [number blindness] means will always need collaborator /curator to check figures for me.

Jewish focus work early on – was working through own history as students do. Normal. Remains thread in work to this day. Own private project alongside public work. Political, but even here work same way. Lure viewer in with beauty, stillness and find the difficulty on closer examination.

Craft? Comfortable with it.

BA; a painting was my course resolution. Very intricate work. Seemed important. Still does in my work.To examine closely. Proof of having taken the subject seriously?’

So – Franny’s book of Revelations.

A bit like Napoleon who apparently after waking from a dream wrote down how to win. In the morning he had written something about fruit.


Ok. Back from Hastings where my patient friend Tracy has shepherded me through finding my domaine name [still there after several years] originally a present from my son who said grab the .com while it’s available. Turns out he has been paying for it for me. How lovely is that?

So – domaine name, hosting and finally a decision on a template/theme for website.

I had carefully made a paper ‘website’ and scanned a website I liked the look of.

Have returned with one that isn’t as I imagined but does all the right things for the right reasons; like being responsive ie changing shape on IPhones etc [ which I knew nothing about] and it still retains the feel I wanted. Hooray.

Next trip down I will be taught how to turn my content into pages…so – videos on Vimeo and search out those images in the right resolutions….

Thankyou to my mates who posted to say keep out the art speak and let in the light.

Looking to see when the Grayson Perry Reith lecture is going to be broadcast [October 15th on Radio 4] I see that apart from basically looking at Is it art? Is it any good? and Who says so? he has had a go at art labels. ‘Grayson Perry and the “metaphysical seasickness” you get from too much art speak ..’


I love that man.He brings such clarity and honesty to everything he talks about. I feel my whole self relax when he talks. Took two middle aged gentlemen to see him talk at the V&A – they were totally won over by him – and he was speaking as Clare. Extrodinary.


A Saturday spent sweating over which images/exhibitions/ collaborations to use for a new website.

I am a serial over- blinger…tend to talk too much, write too much.. so too many images is definitely where I will go unless tightly reined in.

Having said that strangely what I would like is a minamalist website, but I still feel the need to explain the work – which is mostly installations.

Do I have to add materials to the screen as well?

Installations are site specific, so the images look very different. Lucky the artist whose work is so similar it automatically makes a whole.

I had no idea it would be so time consuming – first find your template. Why are all the minamalist ones I like non – responsive [ie not so good on iPhones and iPads?]

Then delete from your list images you love but are too old/ no longer relevant to your work/ not a high enough calibre exhibition/etc /etc…

Next spend an excruciating morning re-writing your statement…who is this website for? Art speak or no art speak? Does warmth and ease of comprehension equal non professionalism?

Try and fail to find live links to interesting interviews you did and catalogues.

One friend reckons no one out there is interested in anything other than your recent work and your CV. Possibly right but installation work doesn’t have the same obvious ‘history’ as a body of work in another medium does.

So – a chance to go back over ones work so far.

A chance to draw a line and re-start maybe……….now to learn how to make a website tomorrow..


back from first session at college……….somewhat odd but then I think it was always going to be.

Same college as my BA five years ago, An unaccredited six months course of studio practice, seminars, crits and student led research groups…

For some time now I have been tussling with keeping my work focused and myself engaged with it.

The last few years have been a mixture of personal loss and then [this year] both my children getting married within a few weeks of each other. Art is like a barometer for me – I can see the stress like tree rings in my output or lack of it.

Some women eat more when unhappy and some less. I am an eat more woman [ sadly] but it appears a make less woman when it comes to my art.

I have found it very easy to focus on the Arts Forum I run, or advising/helping other artists, or attending everyone else’s private views…and slowly let my practice wind down.

By that I mean that I am not producing extra work outside the exhibitions I have been invited to join or projects that have come my way.

My work at Knole House [see previous posts] has been a joy. No problem researching, engaging or completing the work. I would happily work like that all year… just nothing else is being done outside of that.

I used to have a central concept – my family’s Holocaust heritage – that drove my work, sent me off to read and look and research. That has faded and been replaced by a much less urgent and diffuse way of working with memory, memorial and loss.

No longer a central concept; more an atmosphere within which my work always sits – a silent, delicate monochrome melancholy. People say that they can tell its my work even though it may be an installtion of bones or a drawing of dead insects or a plaster pear covered in wasps.

I like that – I think its how it should be and is probably a mark of the years spent working – maturity I suppose.

But still I mourn the loss of a passionate centre to my work. I fantasise that I would be scribbling furiously in notebooks, rushing to see relevant artists’ work and my own work would suddenly become a coherent whole. Because of that it would all hang together and be self explanatory, sought after and of course madly saleable….

So – how to re-engage?

I have floundered around but things that lit a small flame seem to have died away again.

So back to college. Deadlines, discipline, peer group appraisals and mutual support………

My artist friends have for the most part been somewhat circumspect about my return.

Why would I want to go back to college? They would find it threatening. Why aren’t I doing an MA instead? [that’s not threatening?]

We will see……..the college has been revamped since my day. Now all security passes and gleaming refectories. The two London artists who tutor the course didn’t teach on my BA. They are young, academic and situated in today’s art world.

My peer group are varied in their art disciplines and in their reasons for being on the course.

Tonight it feels good. If I do end up still working as I do now in six months time then I hope at least to understand why and be at peace with it.