as i came to compose this post i noticed the title of the previous post, written a month ago.  i skimmed that post to get a feel of where i was and i’m happy to reflect that at the end of july i’m not so lost.

the residency with east street arts was confirmed and despite a limited time availablilty of the meanwhile space, agreed to use the space to research something – i was so lost i began with simply sitting, observing and waiting to become bored, to see how i responded.

the grieving i’d been feeling through may and june has wained – don’t worry, no one i’m close to has died – i was mourning the completion of the non linear project about the museum of making.  recently i’ve met up with the site manager and his wife in the civic hall and shared a coffee and stories and caught up with each other.



it felt very special to be sitting in the civic hall drinking coffee and sharing stories – where exactly 2 years to the day, multiple teams worked to suspend the trent 1000 engine by rolls royce from the steel frame.  we talked through the feelings and emotions of completing the project and what lays ahead now.



i’m two weeks into the meanwhile residency (half way) and i’m about settled into the space.  my last reflective post talked about feeling a little unsafe – i’ve moved things and acknowledged that i needed some time to settle into what is an empty space we have access to for a month.

also on the residency is thomas wynne.  thomas’ focus has been around his ma show and this week i’ve been party to a conversation about it ma work and the upcoming final show.

my initial sitting and observing was superseded by some playing and this moved onto critically thinking around an invitation to respond to a poem by an unknown poet on the dear york website.  the site has been set up for users of services in york to safely comment about their experiences.  the poem is of the experiences of a survivor of locked in syndrome.  a condition i wasn’t previously aware of.    in attempting to find a link to explain i found this guardian article about it.

what began as an idea for getting people involved has evolved into me reading the poem and filming myself with the intention of creating a video version of the poem.  the majority of filming and the voice recording has been taking place in the meanwhile space.  working alone i’ve been setting up shots and filming various ideas to create an edit to run alongside my reading of the poem.  reading out loud is something i find particularly taxing given my own condition.

in creating the response to the poem i’m enjoying being connected with my creative process again.  recognising how this manifests itself and the joy at realising outcomes to the questions i pose.

i’m working with the created content at home.  one of my favourite images i’ve made this month is of me working at home.


the residency also includes a package of support and i’m looking forward to engaging with this as i continue to find out where i currently am.


yes – i feel lost at the moment.

music on and back into the post.


i have to admit that since completing the museum project i’ve been catching up with the whole pandemic effect thing.  i miss contact with others, i miss doing those little things that fuel the soul.

i’m waiting to here back from both an application to an ma and a residency opportunity and this waiting is causing tension and fatigue.  i feel lost in what i’m practicing at the moment.

there is part of me that does wonder if i should simply stop trying the practice of art and go and do something else.  however, i then stop myself and step back. in july there’s going to be a blog post published about the installation in the museum of making and my connection with the community in york sees me potentially visiting them in july.

the feeling of disconnection is the overwhelming feeling.  how i cope / deal with it is what is proving to be the problem.

retail therapy might be one way out of it – available funds are low so this is a very limited option.

researching a process – going deeper is an option.  i have a small mirrorless camera that i’ve joined the community of hackers of it to shot raw video.  this leads me in to a workflow to research and become familiar with.

what to create about – that is as yet to be defined.  the overall feeling of fatigue and disconnect underpinning a malaise that is difficult to get beyond.

at the back of my mind is an awareness that i might well go backwards rather than forward.  the ma would be an active way to explore the going forward.  what i might have to face up to is an ability ceiling that i thought i can move.

this is in someway me facing my disability – neurodiverseness and trying to find a sustainable way to make a living.

for now – i make a note of it with a suspicion that not much is actually going to change for me as this is what i am.  yet again i come back to identity and that clip of tracey emin and “all undergraduate work is about identity”.  it haunts me in such a way that i can’t actually say why it gets to me so much.

maybe i don’t know who i am.  maybe i know who i am not.  how might this come into the world ?  what is identity anyway ?  what is it that i am experiencing ?

there’s glimmers there of questions.  there might be follow up visual ideas.

if i view my situation differently – i’m not lost – i don’t yet know in which direction to start moving forward from where i currently am.  this does feel accurate, honest and true.

maybe if i can find the strength to be brave, i can follow my honest self – rather than to follow the money.  this is so challenging at so many levels.

one thing i have learnt is that it’s what you’ve done, what you can show/share that others are more likely to trust, than merely you saying you can do something.  makes me think of risk.

within play the risk is built in – is it though ?  what do i mean ?

with play the risk is the outcome, it’s not defined – it is arrived at through the process.

i recognise in myself how i play a lot and get a lot out of that – more so than the final outcomes.  i have so much that i look at locally and think how awful it is.  i do have an internal desire to have outcomes that others look at and exclaim – whatever their exclamation is at that time.  and i do have those works.

writing these words generates a feeling inside me that i do feel intenesly and it leaves me feeling frozen to the spot unable to move.

so i see how simplicity of idea is at the core of what i do – wow i’ve taken a step there forsure.

the works that work well for me are the ones with seemingly simple ideas at the core of them.

ideas that resonate with what it is to be human. there’s me going out on a limb making a statement that i look at and wonder how i might dig into that to broaden out what i mean and understand it at a deeper level.  i do think of gormley and possible futures as i am writing this now.

i’m mindful now of how i set up a potential path to follow and before going to far along it stop myself because of a thought i have.  this is singularly the most off putting thing i do.   if i were to understand why i do that i might actually start to get somewhere.  i hope there’s quite a simple physiological explanation behind it – so i might be able to understand and negotiate it better.

being honest with myself in this space has been helpful.  i do feel more optimistic.  i see now how in retreating into my own mind of thoughts it over time ends up with how i see the world becoming very small unnecessarily twisted and futile.  something to avoid.

in the coming weeks my task i now set for myself is to turn the retreating around, find ways to get out there more.  to find beauty, hope and purpose.



my thoughts turn to terms that i have to admit i rarely consider.  if i don’t consider these and others relative to my practice, how do i join with others ?

  • representational
  • figurative
  • abstract


i’ll be honest with you.  i have a fear that if i make a choice that this choice will exclude me from something i feel is exciting and want to be part of.

i take a moment to look out the window at the sky covered in cloud.  i reflect on that last sentance.  i see how absurd it is.  i see how it potentially leaves me chasing everything.  i see how it leaves me uncertain and ungrounded.  all the things i currently experience.

i desire to be able to be part of something and remain undefined by it.  why do i perceive that being part of something will define me and why is this so difficult for me anyway ?  i sense these are now starting to relate to the conditions set up in me through the means by which i was brought up.

thoughts evoked now around exploration of those early conditioning years, how they affect me and how i react.  deep routed thought patterns wanting to be programmed. am i brave enough to go that deep?  am i brave enough to let part of what i do to be about identity ?

this post has become very insightful as i let my honesty inhabit the page.  i do want to make with integrity.  i do want my work to be relatable.



i’ve been writing for so long i need another mix to listen to.


in stating about being relatable it leads me to think about what contemporary ideas do i get behind/want to be associated with ?

well being, walking, social justice are three that come to mind for now.

mindfulness is another.

forest school as an approach – holistic in nature and over time.

time – especially non linear.

i like involving others in the creation of what i do.

are these all part of my identity ?  a thought that comes to mind.






it’s a wonderful ting to be able to say those words.  looking out the window now at the blue sky and vibrant leaves of the trees nearby i can finally sit back and relax – the museum of making project is complete.

i’ll save a full reflection upon this for the 461 blog.  for now i’m happy knowing alongside the museum project i’ve received helpful feedback from an unsuccessful submission and have sent another today.

for now i can feel happy and optimistic.

have a great day xx


hello, i hope this finds you well.  here in derbyshire it’s sunny.  today i’ve been finishing off a proposal in response to an opportunity.  i’m pleased with what i’ve written and learnt something into the bargain.

have you read blog posts or comments on twitter about the amount of time it takes to write proposals ?  if so you’ll know like me that there’s a perception of the time needed to write a good proposal.

today i’ve finished off one started yesterday morning.  i’m having to be gallant as the deadline is tomorrow.

as i reflected yesterday morning after reading the brief, i had a little moment of self realisation.  that of how much time to spend on a proposal.  as i considered yesterday morning wether or not to go for this particular opportunity, i could see i had a limited window of time.

i did go for it.

and what have i learnt ?  that in considering writing in response to an opportunity that a guide – for me at least – is to spend an hour per £1000 of the budget.  being neurodivergent i would also allow myself a 25% window of flex on the time based on an hour per k.

it’s something i am going to try again in the future – an hour per k – as see where it gets me.  it might just stop me attempting proposals that weren’t going to make to the short list any way.

have a great day xx


1 Comment

hi nick

wow ! what a few weeks it’s been – the what next summit has taken me to places that i probably wouldn’t have experienced without it.

now as the virtual dust settles i’m going to take a moment to reflect with you about the experience.

i didn’t really know what the summit was.  i signed up through a process i found confusing and not very intuitive and i can say now i’m so glad i had the courage to sign up and go with the flow.  it was this same courage and going with the flow that we first connected and i’m so pleased that this is so.

our connecting was a sign of how the summit would connect me to other people at a time when i know connecting with other people is so important for me – so needed for me.

i can’t remember how many sessions i attended.  what i can remember is that i made at least one note from every session i attended.  some i wrote more about than others.  some i listened closer than others.   some i spoke at more than others.

what the summit has helped me to realise is a feeling of where i need to be.  in some of the sessions i attended i did feel like i shouldn’t be there.  as the breakout rooms feature rolled out i was able to speak to the feeling of i’m not sure i should be here.  it gave rise to many discussions and soul searching of those in the room with me.

on the last saturday i was able to make a choice of session that left me feeling – i should be here.

in my note book i have several pages now to pour over and reflect upon.

going forward i will draw on my courage again to reach out and develop those connections made at the summit.

overall i feel so pleased to have ventured out of my comfort zone and engaged with the summit.

keep safe my brother.