Knowing what you want to achieve and achieving it… The creative process must take its own direction, it’s a process that can take multiple directions; I know that I want to create a series of prints that will be collated into a book, each one comprising two colours and based on images of photos of my coagulating blood cells. Despite this specific direction, I also recognize the need to embrace unexpected creative avenues.

Images: I am conscious that creating illustrations of my cells serves no function – if I am to introduce something new into an already saturated visual world, it must not be fodder, but something stimulating and challenging – multiple layers that can enrich on multiple viewings.

I am a huge fan of Suzi Gablik’s writing, she believed that art must allow the viewer to enter an encounter beyond just the visual and become something magically enriching on a visceral and transcendental level – so unfashionable today: the sublime that connects Turner to Mondrian to Newman. I am conscious to create work that is not ‘obvious’ that can serve to open up this type of experience touching the ‘numinous’, the ‘Other’ – lofty aims, but why create shallow art that is pointless and leaves the viewer only instantly gratified and not possibly changed in some way?

The prints must initially grab the viewer, but offer much more… The viewing experience should be a journey, but not necessarily with a single destination based on images/signs that only seem familiar, they should seem disorientating and open up a multitude of possible enriching experiences.

All of this seems a worthy ideal, but to stop the ink reacting with the aluminium plate and turning black is my immediate concern!


Today was the first day of my residency at AHH Studio Collective here in Malton, North Yorkshire. I’ve lived in the town for five years and it was just by chance, through a friend, that I became aware it existed. I’ve walked past the building many times and wondered what AHH stands for – now I know, ‘Art Happens Here’.

I miss my time at Magdalen Roads Studios in Oxford where I met many like-minded artists and enjoyed many collaborations… I was thinking that it is now the time to head to Leeds to be part of a contemporary art-scene and low-and-behold, there’s one five minute’s walk from my house. I’m looking forward to getting to know the other artists who have studios there and sharing ideas.

A month totally dedicated to my practice is exactly what I need to develop the next stage of my ‘Self | Cell’ blood cell project, I know what I’d like to explore initially, but hope the work will take its own direction.

I had intended to be making videos of my own blood during the residency, I’d decided I’d have to get over my trypanophobia (I had to google it: fear of needles) for the sake of my work, but my studio practice has had to be put on hold as I broke my ankle messing about on the moors. So, I’m behind where I wanted to be at the start of the residency, unfortunately the videos made with my blood will have to wait until I’ve explored the photos of my cells further through a series of engravings/drypoints.

Day 1: Plate preparation. Today I prepared 72 aluminium plates ready to engrave. Perhaps they’ll form a book or be part of an installation, it’s early days – but I do know that each image will be created with two plates of two colours, so 36 prints in total, all re-presenting me, my blood.