Working at home today casting washing powder. Nice to be making something.

I just wanted to mention that I have been noticing during this residency how much thought all our visitors have put in to looking at and talking about our work. No one took anything on face value or assumed to tell anyone what they have or haven’t done, it’s been much more questioning.

This in turn has made me hyper aware of just how quick people can be to judge, label or make decisions about things, myself included. This seems to come in the form of dismissal. It would probably sound something like ‘oh that artist, yeah they just make community art’ or perform naked, or paint black things… you get the idea. It comes from seeing one thing, or having a little knowledge and then applying that to everything else that follows. I don’t like it; it’s lazy, a bit arrogant and just simplifies everything to the lowest common denominator. I am guilty of it myself I know, so I will resolve to take this with me after the residency finishes.

I wonder if this is some of the problem in a small art scene such as Liverpool. Lots of people have met and might feel like they know what people are doing and what they’re making… but people change, develop and so does their work, so things always need to be reviewed. It suppose it happens to institutions/organisations too and, for example, with Wolstenholme Creative Space, I am curious to see if they are given a chance to relaunch, or whether people have already made their mind up about what it will be (based on its previous life).


Very sad news on Friday that my Auntie has died, not sure what happened yet, but it’s been a shock and clearing up/sorting a bit at her house today was strange – nice to be there and near her, but sank in that I wouldn’t ever see her again. My sister also just rang to say that she named us two as executors of her will – that means a LOT of sorting out to do. Bank, house, car, funeral etc etc and so on. All in a week with unmade work and a private view on Friday at A Foundation. Not that the opening seems that important at the moment really, it just always comes at once doesn’t it?

TAXED Skillmarket was on Saturday and was both fantastic and disappointing. But, I had a great time and met some new faces and saw some great exchanges going on. As an experiment, it was a success I think – certainly it’s provided much to think about and I will enjoy writing up an evaluation. We (taxed and the helpers we employed to help – with financial support from a-n) have arranged to meet up soon over wine to have a chat about it all. Angie, Katy and Aman were all incredibly astute and enthusiastic and it’s shame more people didn’t come – they could have handled more chaos I think! The disappointment was because so few people that were involved in the first research stage actually attended. Hardly anyone from Liverpool came. There’s probably a number of reasons for that, but it will need some thinking about.. Mike Carney’s (Director of A Foundation in Liverpool) gave four of us a tap-dancing lesson as his skill giving, which was just hilarious and I really appreciated him getting involved. The pictures mainly prove that we weren’t very good (But show potential!) so I have added one here for your amusement.

I must also thanks Susan Jones for attending and passing on some words of wisdom to attendees… one thing about not being full was that most people managed to get a session on negotiating with her, worth coming for alone I would say.

Anyway, I should try and get some work made…. I will go in the studio and push things around at least!


It’s been a while, mainly because life seems to be going at a crazy pace.

We have had lots of visitors here at A Curriculum (next week is our last week!), including Elena Bajo, Axel Lapp, Jaime Gili and Juan Cruz.

All visits were great in their own way, although i felt that Elena and Jaime, as artists, were easier to connect with and to be open with. Juan yesterday opened up lots of things that I had just been picking at tentatively… like making old scabs bleed again. Now I have some things to think about and am a little confused and uncertain. This stage in the process was always going to happen though and it’s never easy.

I have finally, after 3-4 weeks experimenting, managed to cast washing powder in the perfect consistentcy. It is hard, takes detail and smashes beautifully. I am itchy all the time though and if I make a costume to perform in from it, I shall probably make myself extremely blotchy. It has to be biological powder to make the reaction you see… non-biological doesn’t cure. It is somewhere between marble, cocaine and polystyrene in appearance and I love it, the ambiguity of it and the fact that it is incredibly vulnerable. Because of all these qualities, I don’t know if it should become a costume/sculpture or just be itself. But I have a week to decide, that’s it, so I will. Today though, I am doing some cataloguing and writing an essay for an exhibition catalogue. I need some fresh eyes and although time is incredibly short on this residency, I know it’s more productive for me to do this today.

It’s taken me back to MA days in some respects, having all this discussion going on. It sways me in all sorts of directions, because I find all avenues interesting. Then the decisions become harder, but hopefully better.

Next wednesday we have a whole day of a fundraising workshop with Mark Waugh (Executive Director) and Anthony Bennett (Development Director). I shall try and pass on some wisdom from that!

Saturday sees TAXED No 10. Skillmarket come to life! I’m excited and have me eye on learning some tap dancing, but I will see what’s left when we’ve matched people up! I just wish there had been a better response from artists in Liverpool, lots of enthusiasm in the research stage, but a lot of sign-ups are from out-of-town. It’s hard not to take that a bit personally, but people just have lives, that’s all. Susan Jones from a-n is coming along and has very kindly agreed to run small groups sessions on negotiating/good practice throughout the afternoon. I shall be getting in on one of those hopefully…

Sunday = sleep and washing powder decisions.


There is a great event I am missing next week (absolutely no time and not much money either), organised by Sophie Hope:

Art & Labour Summit: Cultural Workers, Artists, Students, and Interns Meet to Organise, Name Names, and Coordinate Demands
Thursday April 22nd, 6pm-9pm
Cell Projects Space
258 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9DA
Free entry and all welcome

I am planning to send an email tonight though, outlining the points that I would to be added into the discussion and my tuppence worth in general.

Anna Francis adds her bit for the artists of Stoke on Trent on her blog:


Very well said.


A busy week, hard to catch my breath or think beyond the task in hand. There were some visitors in the studio and I was sad that I didn’t have more to show but having to talk more in lieu of show and tell meant that it was actually really helpful. Things shifted a lot in my head during the visit with Louise from S1 and Haroon – unexpected! I am very excited at the moment – lots of ideas just coming together and plans for future work are almost fully formed. I am carving and drawing in the garden today – really wonderful to be getting on with stuff.

On Thursday we were invited to the VIP dinner for collectors et al for the opening of The Economy of the Gift at A Foundation. A delicious dinner that felt akin to a wedding, although we all wimped out and sat next to each other instead of the proverbial drunk uncle! Then there was Ceri Hand and the Bluecoat openings, the latter where my Japanese/Austrian guest was showing. Her work really stood out I think and she seemed to have a good time. I have to go back to see both again though as I couldn’t formulate much opinion during these swift visits.

I was invited to have dinner with POST and their Austrian exchange partners on Wednesday evening. It was a really lovely evening and nice to meet some more artists working in Liverpool.

The cardboard furniture set is finished for the first performance at the Bluecoat next week. Had a lovely time working on it with Elizabeth as we seem to be quite harmonious. Perhaps we will collaborate on some art one day… We had a great conversation on Tuesday about payment and negotiating rates. Numerous times we have been brave enough to ask for what we want to be paid, only to then immediately accept half or two thirds, or whatever the amount offered may be. Working with a theatre group recently, Elizaeth told me this came up and they were discussing other responses:

You only have half my budget? Okay, well I will deliver half a play then. Or a book without a cover, or a duet with only one musician, or I will do the painting and then cut it in half and you can choose one bit. We had to be quite strict about the time we worked on the set for – we are both busy and don’t want to work for peanuts when time is precious. It can be hard keeping track of time worked when it’s not 9 – 5, but it was great to reach our limit and just stop. Must remember that next time.

Now, work begins making sure Taxed no.10 Skillmarket is going to be well attended… event details here: