Well, I’ve paid a very short visit to the studio, armed with a pile of boxes.

I really didn’t know what to take as my head is still in that ‘I need things at home, where I usually work’ mode. I’m reluctant to take paper as I don’t know if it’s damp yet, so, so I took totally useless things. I plonked them at the floor and looked at what Carol (Ramsay) and Julie (Dodd)  had brought to fill their spaces.

Carol looked like she’d bought the entire contents of her house (though really, it was just what was in her former studio at Arena) and Julie had displays of her work on the table and on the window ledge.

I never thought of that.  When I’m not there, people might want to know what I did.

I just hadn’t thought this through at all.  It was still baking hot in there, so I just sat at the table for a while and looked round. It smelt of oil paint, even though there are no painters in the studio.

I need storage before I can bring anything else.

I wished the others had been there.

But I’ve made that start – I’ve tested the keys and figured out the shutter and made my mark, before going home to carry on with my work – a habit I’m going to find hard to break.


Today’s plan was to finally move into my studio, but as the temperature hit 30C, my willpower faded.

I hate this weather.

I hate travelling on public transport to work, roasting all day in the dry heat of a gallery, wearing closed shoes and a uniform and then travelling back, squashed up to a window in the blazing sun – if I’m lucky enough to get a seat that is.

Could be worse I suppose, it must be horrendous in London.

But the fact is, at the end of the day, I can’t muster up any energy to do anything in the evenings. I sit like a blob, completely exhausted.

I was looking forward to the studio move too….but lugging boxes upstairs and still with this chest infection that just won’t shift. Er no.

The ‘Colonize Revisited’ exhibition is now down and packed away ….well, it’s in the studio, I’ve yet to sort it all out as I haven’t had any time off.  We had to pay for invigilators for the last few days as none of us could be there, so I’ve yet to find out the final figures.  I know for sure though that the Biennial’s Sally Tallant didn’t visit.  She did email though…..well, her assistant emailed to say that she would try to visit the exhibition ( on Google maps 0.1 miles away, 5 mins walk)  ( no – she didn’t say that, I did) and  would make a conscious effort to visit the studios.

That’s something I suppose. We’ll try to get her to visit our new studio maybe?  Hmmmm

It’s only a week to the group show at Tate Liverpool, and I’ve really struggled with my work for it. I wanted to put something in that I’d made last year, but had abandoned it at the time. I’d periodically think about it, making small alterations, but it still wasn’t coming together.

Determined to finish though, I sat in my cool kitchen today, with the doors and windows wide open, and worked till I was happy with it.

I wish I could have done it in the studio, but sometimes, it’s not always practical.

Maybe next time….



Last day off.  Well, it’s actually my normal day off after being off sick for two days, but even in that short time, I’ve started to enjoy the comfort of lying on the settee watching TV and scrolling through rubbish on the internet.  Just wasting time…

So, it was while scrolling and doing nothing in particular that I saw that a friend had posted a link on facebook about a 30 day journal project she had done herself a few months earlier:  http://www.lisasonora.com/30-day-journal-project/

Last month, when I was trying to get organised for my Handmade Book workshops, by putting all my stocks of paper and tools etc  all in one place, I came across a studio journal that I’d kept while doing my MA . I’d completely forgotten about it. I really liked the way I’d kept a record of my thoughts, sketches for ideas and even exhibitions I’d seen.  I know I needed to do it for the course, but I want to do it again – now – just for me. Getting that link today has given me the jolt to start again.

I didn’t need to sign up for it, but I have anyway. Sometimes it’s good to have others to turn to and spur you on.  Bit like being on a diet I suppose – you need to get in the right frame of mind and have a support group to help.

So I made a journal this afternoon out of scrap paper I had (see pic) …and then I’ll sit and wait till 1 August when the ‘challenge’ begins.

( Of course, I won’t really be sitting around waiting – I’ll be back at work and then come the weekend,  will de-install the ‘Colonize Revisited’ exhibition at Arena, get the work back to all of its owners and then begin to install the Soup Collective exhibition at Tate Liverpool)

Oh – and finally move into my studio !!



Usually, my main daily concerns are: Have the dogs been walked?  Do I have something clean to wear for work?  If I achieve them, I feel that I have had a good day.

This is because I don’t physically have the time for other concerns…  until I take the time off work because of this annoying raging chest infection I now have that is.  That’s when I start to read stuff…

I had seen this article on a-n when it first appeared: https://www.a-n.co.uk/news/liverpool-biennial-director-i-want-to-make-it-part-of-peoples-everyday-lives  But dismissed it, after reading ‘It’s not often that you’ll hear of a festival director visiting every local artist, studio, venue and collective in order to get to know a place better. Yet that’s exactly what Sally Tallant did  back in December 2011’   What utter tosh!

I didn’t think anymore of it until it appeared again on facebook yesterday.  I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself, but could feel my blood boiling again. Though the rest of the article may have been interesting, I couldn’t get past that statement.  Who did she visit? I wasn’t.  My groups SCI and Soup Collective weren’t contacted.  Gallery/ studio groups Arena and Bridewell weren’t visited…. were there more?

I queried the statement on facebook and Carol Ramsay followed it up directly asking the article writer for clarification (on the writer’s ‘Double Negative’ page) . Interestingly, two posts (that we know of) by Carol and another artist did not appear on the site. Were they deleted or just not published?

Carol posted the article on her own facebook page asking for feedback, I posted it on the SCI facebook page. No response at all…. (In public that is – a spew of behind the scenes correspondence occurred)   Are artists afraid to say something in case they are ‘blacklisted’?

We tweeted Sally Tallant directly. Although not responding to the article, she promised to visit. I followed this up with an email .

I know she is really busy and I accept that she may not have even read the post herself, but articles like this are just not acceptable.




Last night was the opening of our Colonize Revisited exhibition at Arena Gallery and I’ve been so tired today, all I’ve done is flitted from one thing to another, unable to focus for more than ten minutes at a time. Thankfully it’s my day off, but still, I feel like I’ve wasted the day.

It was a good opening – lots of people there and they seemed genuinely interested in the work and how we got there.  It was so hot in that tiny space though and I was starting to feel the bugs that had been circulating round the people I’d been in contact with, slowly taking hold of my throat and pulling tighter.

I wanted to talk to more people, but it hurt to do so and my eyes were watering badly. I held out almost to the last half hour though, which was pretty good going.

It’s been an incredibly long week. The install began Tuesday, but all I could do was go straight from work to help out. My lunch hours were filled with printing things off and checking information for the wall labels.  A long job, given that there were so many guest artists. Carol Ramsay was curating the exhibition and while I was in work, she would send me an image as things progressed, so that I could  type out an artist list and prices – using the photo as a guide. Crazy way of doing things, but what else could I do if couldn’t be be there all of the time? There were tears and tantrums and missing work (hence the hasty printing up of requested jpgs)  and two either hung back to front ( sorry Sophie) or upside down. ( no instructions on works!)  I wish someone would do all this for me one day.  I just can’t imagine what it would be like to be invited to an exhibition and have art handlers and gallery staff do all of this ‘bitty’ stuff for me.

Instead, I’m tired and run down and tomorrow I have to invigilate on my day off.  Ah well, at least I had today…in the sun, just wasting time.

Actually, something quite nice happened today.  I got an email from axis saying that I was one of this week’s ‘5 to watch’.  Kind of tickled me. Finally…someone is saying watch me ha ha.  I wonder if … hmmm… never mind.



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