So this has been a pretty big week in my professional world and I am feeling pretty excited about it all.

Firstly I found out my tutor could put me in touch with someone at the Uni who works in sound which is excellent as I cannot do one of the installations I plan for my MA with the knowledge I hold alone…. yes I am reading up on thinsg and doing copious amounts of research but actually there are some things that still make you go “hmmmmm” and want to smack your head against a wall….. so this was great news and in fact I am meeting with the said person on Tuesday during my lunch break at Uni… YEY!


Then on Tuesday I also discovered that I have been shortlisted for The News’ (a Portsmouth and south west Hampshire paper) Woman of the Year (Arts Category); which is pretty, bloody great.  Well that is apart from the fact that they expect the nominees to still buy a ticket, which I think is a tad unfair really but there you go.

On Wednesday I had my Artist One to One.  This is a session I get once a year as part of being an Aspex Associate (the main contemporary gallery in Portsmouth).  This was surprisingly great; I had some great advice about my multi installation idea for my MA.    Lots of useful advice about funding for my much bigger arts festival I am launching next year, off of the back of the success of Fareham Art Trail this year; and a huge boost with regard to understanding my worth as an artist and arts organiser.  I was also pretty glad at how impressed my adviser was by how I manage to do it all, including run arts courses for disabled children and artist networking evenings.

To cap it all off the call outs for Fareham Arts Festival went live tonight which is fantastic news.  To find out more about this you can visit:



So it’s a bit of a cheat putting this here as it is not directly linked to my MA.  However if you are like me and believe that art is life then it is indeed appropriate to post here.

As well as my MA and running an art based soc ent (still in the early stages); I am also a bit of an arts organiser: I launched Fareham Art Trail earlier this year — a spin on the usual art trail; no open studios, more a group of exhibitions of art in unusual places, appealing to the masses and not necessarily art lovers.    Plus other arts events during the week.  Although a success, next year I have much bigger plans with an entire arts festival taking over the entire borough.


Anyhow I digress……..


It occurred to me that there is very little chance for artists to meet and properly network with other artists.  Obviously you have private views, conferences, shared studio spaces etc but what about when you’re not currently in an exhibition, you’re new to an area; you work alone?  How then do you meet your contemporaries?

Regular small networking meet ups are common in other industries so why not in art?  Also ,why if you are going to do it ,do most people pay money to host it through the large profit making US based site: “meetups”?

I, being who I am, decided against this and so……………..

Saturday saw the first artist meet up/networking evening based in Fareham and it was great success.  There were 13 of us in total; including one member of my new MA course and her friend.  The conversation was not patchy and everyone found it really beneficial.  We even have a couple of collaborations likely from it already!

Art is about communication and reaching people and I feel with every time we get artists talking to each other we are a bit closer to making arts potential powers of healing and societal change, a reality.


So this week was the start (in effect) of my MA.  My head is always crammed full of ideas, not always with a plan of how to execute them, but I never let that stop me.

However due to the late notice that I was indeed on the MA course I was, for the first time, seemingly without a plan.  That all changed however with a visit to the cinema last Monday evening.  I had what I can only describe as a “eureeka” moment when watching the Fincher (in my mind) masterpiece, Gone Girl.


I had an epiphany (my husband thinks I have far too many of them for them to be “epiphanies in the classic sense) that I should put myself at the centre of my MA.  To make the project an intensely private experience whilst at the same time being completely public and, for want of better words “in your face”.


I had 2 main ideas.  Both heavily influenced by my experience of disability.  The first, a very public examination of disability and sexuality, involving casting many different sexual organs of both sexes, including disabled and “able” in a variety of media and leaving them to degrade.  I had got no further than that.


The second idea involved a multi media, multi sensory ,fully immersive installation experience that reproduces the affects and emotional turmoil experienced as part of my Generalised Anxiety Disorder.  The seemingly “normal” appearance of me in my wheelchair as opposed to the torture I feel inside every time I leave the house in a panic attack like state that can last for hours at a time and for seemingly no reason.


I have not completely decided on how to go about this: film, photography, light and music are all likely to play significant roles.  As is the use of space, or the lack thereof.

As part of my research I have been reading Slavoj Zizek: First as Tragedy, Then As Farce and his look at our post-capitalist society.

Watching, BBC4’s series Sound of Cinema.  A wonderful look at how music and sound shape our cinematic experience.  Great attention was paid to the synth loving work of Vangelis and Walter Carlos.  But the most interesting part was an interview with Clive Mansell (formerly of Pop will Eat Itself) and the discussion of his famous collaborations with Darren Aronofsky.  In particular the soundtrack for Requiem for a Dream and his use of what Mansell terms:
to create the “soul” of the film.  Because, in Mansell and Aronofsky’s vision the film is indeed a horror film with the monsters being the everyday characters inhabiting this nightmarish vision of urban life and addiction.
It was particularly interesting how this “monster music” was re-orchestrated for the Lord of The Rings.  Thus showing how different interpreations and tonality can create a completely different atmosphere.  From “monster” to “hero”.

I also watched the Capote penned classic, Breakfast at Tiffanys.  I do love this film but it is not just the great cinematography, the rich colours,  the wonderful soundtrack with the Mercer/Mancini penned classic Moon River.  It is the amazing script.  The lead character’s obvious mental illness that she chooses to ignore.  The inability to cope with everyday life and the powerful relationship with fantasy that is an everyday part of Golightly’s life.  It is a refreshing look at mental illness and the need for pretence and for keeping up appearances that is a part of everyone’s life to a greater or lesser degree.
Of course there is a fairy tale ending, shown not only in image but also the re-orchestration of Moon River, but we shall choose to ignore that little bit of Hollywood in an otherwise amazing work.