It’s been so hard to motivate myself today while the weather has been so nice. To be honest, I’ve hardly done anything other than write a couple of half hearted emails.

I have made a breakthrough on the church installation I’m doing though. Well…sort of….

Frustrated by the lack of response to my emails over the commission, I sent a final one saying ‘this is what we are going to’, ‘we are going to do it on this day’ and ‘ I would like you to do this’…

Ah – that was the trick. I now know ….finally… that I just give the instructions and they respond ( occasionally….? or eventually…?). It does mean giving up two mornings of my much longed for week off, to attend meetings with them all, but at least it’s now going in the right direction.

Having spoken to a friend about a similar project she did a few years ago, I just know this is going to be a difficult one and like her, I will be spending many a night doing ( and re-doing) artwork that was meant to done by the community.


The reason I didn’t go to the Liverpool art Prize PV on Thursday, was that I thought –‘ oh it’ll be packed and I won’t be able to see the work’. This is of course, the absolutely and totally wrong attitude, as PVs aren’t for looking at work. Duh – what was I thinking?

So I went yesterday on my break instead …. 5 mins walk from work. That’s the good thing about them deciding to move the Art Prize from Metal – Edge Hill station building, to a more central location. Although Metal is an amazing and far superior space, the Albert dock location is just more accessible.

Having said that…..I went around 3pm, hardly late in the day, and there was just me and another person looking round. This made the two volunteers very keen to chat. I learnt a lot from them… like that ‘ one of the short listed artists was a total surprise as she never goes to Private Views or hardly exhibits or anything, so no one knew her.’ Really? Then why is she there then?

The novelty of us all sussing out that ALL of the shortlisted artists in the Art Prize History, has a connection with The Bluecoat, has long worn off. But hey – they still put on a good show!

I only knew two of the four artists and that was because I have worked with them. Obviously I don’t network enough to know the other two.

The stamp on my hand in the photo means that I like to put things in order (work by Laurence Payot) I could have chosen any of the four options but I thought this one suited me more. This is probably the reason I found the exhibition a little hard to follow. I don’t mean the work – just the layout. It is difficult to put four disparate artists in a relatively small space and expect the exhibition to flow, but there must have been a better way of doing this. I actually had to ask where Payot’s work was, which seems crazy as it’s a massive banner right in the doorway. For some reason, I assumed this was just a publicity banner for the exhibition.

I think I should go back for another viewing now that I know a little more. Although there’s some great work in there, I’m putting my money on the ‘outsider’ winning . That’s my ordered, but cynical mind talking.

http://liverpoolartprize.com/ until 8 June


Apparently, there is a term known as ‘the BTinterneters’ – these are people who only check their emails once a week, always at the same time on the same day. Apologies to any genuine BTinterneters, but it wasn’t a term I coined myself.

So, without a contact number, I’m still waiting to hear (by email… and probably sometime next week, as my contacts fit into the above catagory) if I can run a workshop on Thursday ( this week) … with young children, in preparation for the church installation. I am off on Thursday and I’m keen to use up a non work day, so that I don’t have to swap and change so many later on.

Apart from this little hitch, all is going fine. I’m now on top of the shoe installation for June. ….. I’ve made 55 pairs out of the 100 I need, with plenty of time to spare.

I was given a huge stack of out of date calendars the other day – which are perfect material wise, for my installation at the Chapel Gallery….. I’m not going to start that until the others are up and running, but I’m so pleased that I don’t have to think about the materials now.

I just hate this sitting round and waiting when I could be doing things : ( WHY DON’T PEOPLE CHECK THEIR EMAILS DAILY????


Reading over some of the artists talking blogs, I’m struck by the complex reasons behind the work. This sometimes makes me feel ‘guilty’ for want of a better word, as my work is mostly structured on practicalities. Obviously I work with paper because I enjoy the making, but the reasons behind….? I’m subconsciously picking up on things around me for the subject matter, but I base the design on what is practical to carry, what can be packed etc. Material wise, I use what is there – not necessarily actively sourcing materials, but trying to recycle what I have.

With this in mind, I had to quickly re think my proposal for the Land, Sea and Sky exhibition at the Chapel gallery in September. What was I thinking when I said that I will put in the paper shoes for it? There was no way in the world that I could make my shoes fit the brief.

So I spent days writing lists. I was a mental thesaurus – X is the exhibition title, what are the first words that spring to mind when you see it? So it went on from there, list after list, play on words after play…. until I found it. I will make a ‘sky’ of paper hot air balloons. I will ask members of the public to write a little note about their travels, or thoughts on something ( still need to work on that idea more!)….and these will be placed in the baskets.

In theory, I was happy with the idea, but it was another day or two before I’d worked out a design that will pack flat. I spent this morning making a few maquettes, so I could send images and other info to the Chapel Gallery, with an apology for the delay. I’d much rather be behind slightly with the paperwork, than spend the next few months worrying about my work.

Obviously, I still need to put more thought into the finished piece, but I feel happy that I have something to build on at least. Now I can box that off and go back to it nearer the date and be able to concentrate on what is happening now. ( unless they hate it of course and then I’m stumped!)

So now its gone 3pm here and that’s my one day off nearly done. I could have achieved more if I hadn’t felt the sudden need to cut the grass in my front garden. I kept glancing out of the window and wondering why my tiny patch of garden was covered in dandelions, and yet the neighbours weren’t. I could have easily left it, but as my concentration is so bad because of my tiredness, the stupid things kept interrupting my other thoughts and no matter how hard I tried to concentrate on my own work, the weeds just kept popping up inside.

I need more time off………pretty sure I’ve mentioned that ( several times) but the need to say it again gives me comfort that it might actually happen. I suppose I should be careful what I wish for…………..while pacing up and down in the tedium of my job the other day, I watched the nervous job applicants waiting to be interviewed for the casual summer positions. They were lucky to get interviews – 275 applied and they will interview about 20 of them. How can there be so many applicants for a casual job? It’s very sad.


Finally things are moving with the church workshops and installation. I received two emails from them this week….well, when I say I received the emails, I was actually only copied into them.

Sent to several people, they were informing all that they had commissioned an artist (me!) to do said installation and lead the workshops. It’s a start I suppose.

A note at the end of one of the emails informed me that someone is going to contact me with some possible dates to come in and work with the adults and children in the group. The groups meet on a Wednesday and Thursday morning term time, which is a bit of a pain as I was hoping I could drop in when I was available. This might mean me swapping a few days in work, if I can .

Even though the US exhibition is a long way off, I need to save at least 3 days leave from this year to carry over. It will mean I can’t just take a day off here and there when something comes up, so I will have to be careful.

I wish I could say I was hugely organised trying to balance all of this, but in reality, I spent an entire day on Sunday, picking up scraps of paper I’d written notes and made scribbles on, paper that I’d saved because I liked it, templates for several paper objects I have in the pipeline….etc etc….and put them all together in one big file so that I could actually find things. Please make me keep using this file!!

I’d also found myself in a really ‘couldn’t be bothered’ mood but continued making paper shoes anyway, as I have a deadline.( Exhibition in June) Because my concentration wasn’t there, I ended up with at least 4 ‘left’ shoes and had to search high and low for matching paper to make the correct ‘right’ ones so that I have matching pairs : (

I need a day off……a day off doing nothing!!!!