november 2016 : the first period of filming capturing the museum’s model railway, ground floor public activity and behind the scenes looks at the stores and the social club used by the electricity board during their residency in the building, ending in the 1970’s

may  – september 2017 : the second tranche is filmed.  post production takes until january 18.

january 2018 : questions set in november 17 are answered and the second tranche is submitted to doc fest 18.

march 18 : filming in the nearly decanted museum.

july 18 : filming in the empty spaces of the building.

november 18 : present shimmering place to the mina symposium, melbourne, australia.

march 2019 : begin tranche 3 (t3) filming onsite and offsite.

august 2019 : first prototype.

september 2019 : first prototype with hardware shared in co production meeting.

january 2020 : editing begins.

april 2020 : arts and heritage volunteers zoom meeting catch up (during covid-19 lockdown)

september 2020 : prototype 4 for arts and heritage volunteer catch up meeting and creative team sign off of interface.



after 5 months of the most strangest time, i’m preparing for another arts and heritage volunteers met to share, discuss and catch up with the three artist commissions that will be permanently installed in the museum of making.

in those 5 months we’ll have had our own experiences of the covid-19 pandemic and collectively we now prepare for whatever next might happen with it.

during those months i wasn’t 100% certain about wether the museum opening would be delayed so maintained a level of moving the project forward.  i’m glad to say there’s a planned opening in 2021.

so what am i going to be talking about in the meeting ?  it’s prototype 4 !!

in this version the interface with accessibility options is up for testing and feedback.  the content of this version is some of the signed off video of the construction work at the museum of making.  the main caveat of this prototype is i still have a lot of work to do on the linking of clips, and as i add more content this will continue to evolve.



with the interface i’ve wandered into a graphic design headspace and i’m enjoying the playful feel to what’s happening as a result.



i’m looking forward to sharing the interface with the volunteers and staff and hearing their reactions.



the project is starting to feel a lot more real – we’re discussing hardware installation dates and when the main contractor will prepare to leave the site.

somehow i need to get back into the mill for one last filming session prior to the main contractor leaving.  once the meeting is complete i’ll be able to look forward into the diary and start to negotiate what might be possible, given the current level of guidance and restrictions.

after christmas with the building handed back to the museum trust, i plan to go back in and film aspects of the recant of the museum collections.

in the meantime i’m working through editing the footage i already have.  during lockdown i spent time arranging clips so this process now will be as smooth and as efficient as possible.  with so much content to work through i am really mindful of time efficiency when i sit down to work.

one last thing i’ll add at this time – the project feels like its starting to come to me.  what do i mean?  for long periods last year i was filming and filming with not really knowing what the project would look like.  now as i share prototype 4 and think about the coming weeks of work i have much more of a sense of what the work is – it’s coming to me.  i hope i’ve gone a little way of explaining this.

i’m looking forward to the meeting and the coming weeks of adding content into the project.



footnote from meeting.

we heard how red had first approached the museum 11 years ago to discuss the possibility of creating a derby lockout image as part of his hidden histories series.  i had no idea the discussion had been so long !

we also heard from toni how her work is the culmination of an 8 year journey for her.

it got me thinking about the work i’m making.  in 2011 i chanced upon the non linear concept.  at the time they were refered to as  database narrative films.  the concept of having a database of narrative units and the relationship of these to the viewer lit me up at the time and i began a journey of discovery of possibilities.

last night i found it all rather poetic.


speaking of the pandmic feels like an important thing to do and to reflect a little here so in years to come we’ll look back and see what it was like.

in the previous post i spoke about how i was going to set up the dining table to work on and indeed it saw me sat there for a lot of time.

with the uncertainty of the pandemic came delay with my progress within this project.  for several months i maintained a slow ahead both position in case the museum did suddenly get finished.

when news was available it confirmed how pandemic had affected the progress on site and for me this was a relief – to know what was going on.



yesterday i packed up the dining table.  i was in a place where i felt ready to go back to the studio and resume working – to rebuild momentum with the non linear project felt the right thing to do.



i moved back into the studio and prepared myself for working today.




the uncertainty of covid-19 remains.


one of our daughters had come home from work on sunday with the beginnings of a cold.  she’d worked 5 days straight and as a teenager the whole looking after oneself isn’t yet a cool thing to do.

yesterday afternoon while i was out she started to cough a little.

today was meant to be her first day at college.  she’s done the responsible thing and stayed home.  the family is going to self isolate based on an interpretation of three sentences on a website.  we can’t yet find a local test.

the guidelines say we need to isolate for 14 days – despite no clinical diagnosis and no available tests.

i feel uneasy as today was going to be me in the studio following through a plan.  i do have the minimum resources to do this at home; however, it doesn’t yet feel the right thing to do.



some minutes later …

a test has been found and booked nearby for later today.  getting a test now alters everything.  within 48 hours we’ll have a clinical diagnosis and either a remaining part of 14 days with good reason or being able to return back to what we’re calling normal.


i expect that our storey is very common and actually becoming quite normal.


i think what i’ve taken from today is something will guide me into how to include references to how the pandemic impacted upon working on site at the museum of making.   i do have an idea …


i am becoming motivated to work once again.



— update —- the result was negative.


so here we all are in april 2020 – global pandemic with national lockdown… there’s no easy way to begin this post than to get it right out there – my thoughts are with all those who are affected adversely by the situation.



i’m writing this in preparation for the zoom meeting later today and listening to the third track from the music to work to form the shared playlist below.

through our arts and heritage journey we’ve met in many different locations and i’m looking forward to what the zoom environment might be like.

for the record the meeting is being hosted by sue and gemma –  red, toni and myself are presenting where we are in our respective projects and there will be opportunities for those within the zoom meeting to ask questions.



in january i took on a studio space at haarlem artspace with the plan that i could focus on the work i need to do to complete the non linear project.  little did any of us anticipate where we might find ourselves in april.


while we are in lockdown i’m able to maintain some level of focus and work at home on the dining room table.



in the previous post i talked about the drafting of edits.  for those of you new to this blog, i completed the research phase towards the end of 2019 and as we broke into the new decade embarked on the creation of edits for the work.  all the content i want to use from the main site has to be signed off by the main contractor now.  the process currently needs reviewing.


at the end of march (a week into the lockdown) google reminded me i’ve been on site for a year now.



seeing the images was quite emotional and as we progress towards news of a possible extension to the lockdown, i do wonder what delays – if any – there might be to the museum of making project.



from the recent research i’ve done with zoom i decided to not share any video during my presentation – instead making a selection of frame grabs and telling a storey from those.

for the meeting i’ll be using this post as a source of images and after the meeting share it to the google group.



as you might already know the workshops at the museum of making have been operational for some time.  in february i made my first visit and caught up with andy and some of the volunteers.



the spaces are so light and airy compared to the prototyping versions.  when i visited, the volunteers were working on the carcasses and draws for the accessible storage on the second floor.


up on the second floor progress is clearly visible – i was on site while the core team were working to form the frames and place some of the shelves.



another noticeable progression on site is the return of the model railway.  up on the second floor the shelves from storage now reside and the volunteers have temporarily taken over the co pro hub as a basis for the more detailed work to continue.





my process involves going backwards and forwards in time.  from being on site to revisiting past visits in the edit – to eventually bring everything into the moment for the visitor to experience.

before the current situation arose sue and i had managed to resolve both the location and form of the work.  the work’s interpretation has been started and is well progressed.



i know toni’s work will be on the first floor within the main gallery.  i’ve had a little look over images from there  …



in the first batch of approved videos were a collection of edits involving the site engineer.



i’m currently working on edits featuring workmen on site in various roles.



my current work schedule is based around needing to work with content created within the building so the main contractor can approve it – before they finish on site.



one of the really enjoyable aspects of going into the silk mill are the moments when i see something for the first time…



these present me with an interesting challenge of how to include them in the final work.  similarly there are aspects of the renovation work i’m yet to consider how to include, for example the installation of the new lift near the entrance to the workshop.



so to sum up.


i feel in a good place.  i have good working knowledge of the content already created and know what i need to support this.

soon the main site of the museum of making will shift from construction to recant and i’m yet to think about how i might cover this.

alongside the work on site i have the content from the model railway,  stores, previous years and spoken testimonials from 3 of the collections team.

with the edits now feeding through the path of creation and approval, my immediate work is to continue with this and keep up to date with the evolving situation we all find ourselves in.

the editing of collections testimonial and associated footage is something i’m looking forward to.   it’s bound to further fuel the question of how does this feed into the overriding story?

in the coming months i’ll pick up the non linear programming and  feed in the new edits.  thinking about it now, the prospect of doing this work excites me greatly.


…and of course somethings remain the same – working in the non linear format continues to be challenging and i love it because of this.



i’ve really enjoyed taking the time to consider where i am in the project and hopefully the sharing at the meeting went well too.

keep safe and i look forward to when we can all meet face to face again.




as we approached the start of 2020 i felt an excitement at the thought of later in 2020 the non linear work will be finished and viewable in the museum.

what to call the work remains a mystery and as we get closer to the installation i’m confident that a title will emerge as the work itself starts to appear from the research.

the working relationship with sue ball remains an important aspect of the work – our conversations allow for reflections/investigations into the recent progress and how that might manifest itself in the coming weeks.

recently the first set of footage for sign off by the main contractor has been delivered.  i’m happier about this part of the process now, having been able to accept it into the workflow.

in preparing the footage, the research has taken me into how might the words of those working onsite narrate the edits and how might the narration inform the edits.

with the major building work starting to be completed i’ve begun having conversations with those involved to generate potential narrative elements.  this is challenging as those working on site are very focused on their tasks.  often the conversation will be just a minute or so.  i do believe the final work will be of more interest with voices from site telling the story.

as well as visiting the main site i’ve continued to visit the model railway volunteers to follow their progress.  they’ve told me about the new digital control system and witness for myself the beginnings of the journey to rewire all the boards that go to make the layout.

what else can i say?

oh yes, recently i’ve spoken at length with rachel, one of only a handful of women onsite at the silk mill.  she looks after the mechanical aspects of the work.  part of our conversation was around the installation of the underfloor heating in the civic hall and ducting in the gallery.

all the way through this work i’ve had one eye on what’s happening right now and what’s coming up in the next few weeks.

the next block of editing is around the renovation of the windows.

making a non linear work is not without its challenges.  if the project were linear we’d be working to a particular narrative with me as the auteur looking to be build and resolve tension – in a traditional documentary sense.

part of the research is to establish a starting point for the editing process.  i’ve been successful in this and from this foundation i can sense what other narrative blocks i want to create.  the sense i have in creating the blocks then inform the keyword linking within the non linear project and from there the work is almost complete !

sue tells me we’re in good shape with this project.  soon we’ll have the installed environment ready to be signed off and the reality of the work being in the museum of making aligns itself with the museum being finished and open.  its an awesome project to be involved with and i’m so excited by the thought of the coming months with the move from building work to recanting the collections.  between you and me i’m also looking forward to when i can go to the museum of making and not need the ppe required to be on site currently!


the metaphoric white wash has been applied to the metaphoric canvas – the time has been reached where the research i’ve done is trimmed and backed up to create a space in which the work can continue.

all of the recent months orbiting conversations kind of resolved themselves on tuesday – thank you sue ball for your continued support and understanding – i’m so pleased you are the producer for the arts and heritage programme at the museum of making at derby silk mill.



since our tuesday conversation a feeling of vulnerability has emerged for me – in connection to sharing the proposed footage with the main building contractor for their sign off.  intellectually i know it’ll all be ok – at other levels there are concerns.

so ignoring the concerns – i’ve come up with a plan for how to begin this next phase of the process and i feel really energised again when i think about it all.

where the intention sits now has renewed foundation.  all in all what i’ve been carrying around has started to find place where it’s all comfortable and meaningful.



tidying up all the research files has been very cathartic, way more than i would have expected it to be.  even in the digital domain its possible to create and make a mess !  tidying up has certainly helped my moral and motivation – i know where everything is now !

the presentation environment is nearing being fully resolved.  i have to admit i didn’t expect it to be so involved and i can say now that it’ll be evolved from where it had got to in the arts and heritage meetings and i’ll happily talk through all thats gone on if you would like to know more.

there’s a buzz in my fingers as i anticipate the coming days, weeks and months.