Inscribe is a textual self-portrait of our emerging new art-world, through recording and transcribing conversations between artists.

These sessions are then re-played, typed using a manual typewriter onto cream paper and photocopied.  The piece exhibited shows human error in the process of transcription through mishearing’s, misunderstanding and typos and is a contemplation on the value of communication, the potential for growth through dialogue and the obstacles to comprehension in the misunderstandings arising from the production process and ultimately transposing a conversation from one location to another.

(Here’s Inscribe at T R A N S P A R E N C Y exhibition in December – New images coming soon!)

Inscribe is a living work of art gathering artists words, it is also messy in the interpretation of recordings.  The pages are offered to audiences via a prominent sign with the hope that the pile will wax and wane with each new showing.

Inscribe is a live document.



Artists critiques and conversations.
Recording device.
Cream paper.
Emboss / Watermark

Recording critique sessions attended.
Transcription of sessions using typewriter and cream paper, listening only once to each several second section.
Photocopying original transcriptions.
Watermark / embossing of each sheet.
Assembling sheets into 1m tall stack.
Please take one’ sign on floor.



The elements that I’m focussing on – words, seeds and something that has been lost.
Seeds – plants as part of the language of an area.  Language as a reflection of the landscape.  Plants individually remain the same across generations, but words mutate readily and rapidly.

The physical and haptic experience of visiting a library is different now to when I was a child.  There was the smell of the pages of books, cardboard envelopes in which the book card was placed whilst on loan, the wooden boxes these were kept in.   There was also the feeling of walking into a world of the written word, with a few audio books on tape.

Looking back at why I choose to name the project the Lost Library?  Libraries had been declining and I had been projecting into the future – thinking: what will become of libraries?  But maybe what is more useful to consider is what have we already lost?  What sticks most firmly in my mind is the physical experience of being a room full of books.  The gestures I use when being in this space and an interaction with the text there both being core elements to my exploration.

These elements being central, I intend to physically be and respond to the next library I’m performing in alternating at set intervals between responding through gesture and reading / consuming the text in some way.  For instance – the Fibonacci Sequence of numbers is linked to patterns in plants growth and I have previously taken words from pages (in a dictionary) relating to that sequence, so now I’ll pick up books in that manner. Choosing books using the sequence 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 etc.  The sequence could be used to choose which books on each shelf, which page and which word.    These words could be recorded and passed on to the next library I visit through documentation.

The other idea relating to my methods is to audio record the sounds within the library during my performance (I would be mute) and then transcribe this to pass on to the next library I visit.

These modes could work together, one is relating to my actions for the duration of the performance, the other to preservation of a certain time and place and a creation of a chain of withdrawal and deposit in libraries.

So preparing documentation from my previous three appearances to pass on to the next library I visit is my next step.



In considering documenting my Lost Library project to now, I’ve come across an opportunity: Goldsmiths Library Residency later in the year.

I know for a fact my approach to the residency isn’t strictly what they are looking for.  My approach and M.O. rarely fits anything.  I feel unprofessional in the way I develop my work, but I know that it is the most fruitful, revealing and exciting way I can work.

My recent declaration:  This season I will be mostly wearing my actions  is proving to be quite a long season.

So in the last iteration of The Lost Library I wore a stripy top, set up in three buildings which were historical or current libraries, was mute for the duration of 6 hours, signed people up to The Lost Library, issued membership cards and gave one word to each new member.

The thing that began my project The Lost Library was my desire to bring the words within the library to life through movement.  This I couldn’t do due to believing I needed professional performers and therefore funding to do this.  Which I didn’t get ( I applied to two sources and got turned down.)  I have a big difficulty in filling out forms in that I have no idea how to answer questions, what is expected, the wording is nearly always misleading to me.  As well as the way I lose the meaning to a whole sentence due to the misuse of a word.

Before I go too far on that line of blog, let me review that area of my divergence!  This slight obsession on words and meaning and being concise is clearly something I cannot leave alone.  Something I would have liked to spend more time on is the editing of my list of 1000 words that were used for the last two performances of The Lost Library – at Fringe Arts Bath and Deptford X Fringe.  Though – in fact, by reviewing the words before each use I get to refresh them just in time, so they are perpetually my chosen 1000.

Ok, so this belief that I need professional performers has subsided since I’ve been working on various projects – the car boot, the clydach gorge collaboration presentation event and considering embodying one of my paintings from the Clydach Gorge Collaboration Lifeforce Clydach  in which white stick figures dance, do yoga and relax near the edge of a landscape ridge – on the horizon. (These ridges surface again and again in my paintings)

I found not speaking during my last Lost Library appearance at Deptford X Fringe interesting, especially with giving out just one word.  The signing people up in a register for the library was an interruption in the performance, plus it meant cardboard signs were needed to explain, which I’d prefer not to do.  If I could rely totally on my gestures and having one word to give out as the focus, this is more interesting.  What I like about how this is developing is the way I’m editing the content.  I’m reducing the elements down.

Have I gone far enough?

Lost Library now=one word+ gestures