Looking through the photos that I’ve taken and selectively editing has been pretty exciting. I’ve been experimenting with repetitive pattern, symmetry and the perfection of the circle.

The results plot a journey rather than final pieces. Some remind me of the windows of the cathedral I visited the same day, probably just a subliminal connection though. It’s not surprising, my obsession to find order in chaos is becoming quite a preoccupation and I feel drawn to those who do the same. On a recent visit to the amazing museum in Lille, I spent most of the time looking at the symmetrical designs on 17th century majollica plates, rather than the Goyas and El Grecos on show.

It is important for me to see through the seductive and slick images that have evolved through editing and not lose sight that they must work well as prints, i.e. be translated through woodcut, carborundum and engraving. To be honest, the prospect of physically cutting the plates is quite daunting, I know I will want to experiment as much as possible to discover which technique is best suited to the subject matter, which puts all this screen-based image development into perspective.

It would be more straightforward if I had an outcome fixed in my mind, but I feel it’s important for the work to develop over time and for the original subject to be sourced close to where the final work will be located. I would hope, having experienced this city first-hand, that the sense of this place would permeate the final work and that the shape, form, pattern and colour/tone will echo the original source subject matter, seeming strangely familiar to the viewer.


I am eager to make a start on the files. I shall explore every video and photo (but perhaps not Mary Beard being filmed for a BBC documentary, despite how exciting this was: she had a lovely pink streak in her hair and seemed over the moon to be here), and every audio recording: a squeezebox playing sea shanties, cathedral bells peeling, sirens, street preachers and singing…

Once the videos are completed I shall look to what will make a strong image for a print from the video stills. I intend to create various types of prints: woodcut, perspex engraving, carborundum, collagraph – all huge and probably 120cm in diameter, and then decide which works best.

Whatever I do will be a labour of love, but worth it. Before the physical work though: the editing.


It is important for me to visit the site where the final outcome of the commission will be positioned, to get a feel for the environment it will sit in: next to a park, a thoroughfare for students and businesspeople, in the centre of the city (but away from the shops).

My initial response when I was invited to make work for this space was to take inspiration from local buildings, one in particular that is iconic. I created a lot of footage of this building and took loads of photos, it is a contender for the final piece, but will be manipulated using my usual techniques: abstracted zooms to make a wider statement, i.e. not just a depiction of one particular place.

If I decide to pursue this particular body of work, I am very pleased that the building is in view of the site that the art will stand; the reference will be so condensed though that the viewer will not immediately know the original inspiration, but be aware that the image and details are familiar – almost like a forgotten memory.