Big Boulders & Dykes

I've been trying to write letters to people I should contact – its not going well… I think I have some sort of blockage…

My preparations for Bedford are sporadic and as yet unformed. I have spent the last week staring at lists of ideas and current strands in order to somehow pull them together into a coherent whole. This may be a Sisyphean task

Here is a current itinerary.

Books –
Diaries, some printed some online
Some adventure based books which follow a sort of cinematic sequence involving a clock work antarctic explorer (There is a film to go with this too)

Others which are much more static/mundane views of passers by taken through cafe windows.

Films –
An inexplicable series of films of bits of polystyrene floating in water.
Some partly made films of foreign landscapes found in an old video camera.
A few films of bobbing boats (automata).
More films of balloons being blown about.
Ongoing Protest films
Ongoing automatic film making
Magic tricks

Drawings –
14 pencil drawings of a piece of elastic that came out of my pants.
A single unbound book of weird little drawings

Sculptures –
Tiny adventure sculptures (some moving – physically not emotionally).
Little models of made up murder scenes.

Photos –
Some photos my wife is (hopefully) taking as she crosses the Atlantic.

Things I am thinking about –




Titles for shows –
My Daughter is a Beauty Queen



There haven't been any reviews of RSVP so I did a very uncool thing. I flicked through AN reviews unedited, picked a reviewer almost, but not quite, at random (sorry Jack) and emailed him suggesting he review the show. I'm not quite sure why I did it, maybe I am very needy. Or it might be a reaction to blogging which buries you in your own brain. I often read the other blogs and everyone is just writing away in their own little world.

Amazingly my email was answered and Jack Hutchinson dashed off to the Foundling pen in hand (I imagine). The review is now online here. Of course I now feel guilt for being mentioned first; for criticisms and omissions. But it is a relief to get an independent view. Its a bit like squeezing a spot.

I also got an email from Gill the other day mentioning that Jordan Baseman had been to the show and liked the Foundlng Opera. In another fit of uncharacteristic rashness I emailed him asking if he would be interested in having a chat and/or doing a spot of mentoring. I don't think I've mentioned it before but I am also part way through an Arts Council career development grant. Arranging some sort of mentoring was a “highly recommended” part of the application. It's the Art Council's way of spreading the love (or attaching more well known names to their evaluations) Anyway he seems nice and although he shares my reservations about mentoring he said yes.

Finally, on You Tube Little Deaths 4 is rapidly approaching 1 million views and I am now planning to publish a book of all the comments received.


Gallery design, a few notes

Don't have a sign so small that a visitor has to peer suspiciously into doorways and repeatedly walk in and out of porches to find your gallery. This is especially bad in a residential/neighbourhood watch area.

Don't hide your gallery behind steel gates, across junk yards, up fire escapes, or around dark corners. Just one of these is discouraging, all four are frankly a bit silly.

If your gallery needs this level of security because it is sited next door to a crack den make sure you, or your neighbours, have clear signage. Also make some attempt to repair bullet holes.

Don't have two identical doors, one of which doesn't open, causing your visitor to become so embarrassed at their botched attempts at entry that they hurriedly move on.


Tilting at windmills?

I'm off to London again on Friday to have a look at some of the galleries I spotted at Zoo, I've also had a list of places/people to contact from Gill. Not happy unless I'm anxious, I've started to worry about disappointing her. I've also started a new blog which I will continue on this site when this one finishes on the 20th November. The plan (at the moment) is to use it to flesh out ideas for my residency at BCA Bedford in the new year and to form the basis of a new book. I thought it was about time I showed my face in Bedford so I decided to drive over to see the opening of their latest show. I took a wrong turning on the way and ended up on the A11 to London. When I eventually managed to pull off I stopped to look at the road atlas. Unfortunately the vital page was missing and it was beginning to get too late so I turned around and headed home. After 150 miles of driving I stopped to buy a paper. Sitting in a coffee shop I read a review of the show and wondered if I could claim my petrol as tax deductable. (I think Katie Walton has some compromising photos of the Guardian art critic, they never fail to cover a BCA show)


Frieze + Zoo


‘Did’ the above yesterday with my fellow foundling artists. I have to admit I was sickened by Frieze;not by the blandiose displays, the scary gallerists and rich people, nor by the obligatory neon writing that every gallery seemed to sport. It was motion sickness that afflicted me. The pavilion is built on jenga like piles of wood and it swayed and bounced as we lurched from one stand to the next. As we left I suppressed an urge to ease one of the blocks from its pile.

Zoo was completely different. Like a crazy overstuffed degree show it was full of joy and interesting things. I managed to talk to a few people although I totally failed to hand out any of my cards. I think that each gallery should have a little box for artists’ cards on their stand (possibly attached to a shredder) it would save a lot of awkwardness all round.

I was also asked, rather pointedly I thought, when I would stop writing this blog. I still can’t get over the idea that its not really all in my head.

20th November.