Although I did send in a proposal for something recently ( which I don’t think I got as I haven’t heard anything back) I think I’m going to have to put a hold on applying for stuff for a bit, so that I can catch up with work.

Yesterday, I spent almost the entire day delivering work to one exhibition and then picking up work from another.  All in all, I travelled around 100 miles, but that also included a visit to ‘The Manchester Contemporary’. It wasn’t on the plan, but as I was in that area anyway, I thought I might as well make the most of being out, rather than use up another day.

I wasn’t even going to apply for the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival ( yesterday’s delivery)  It was very last minute (last hour in fact) and then it was only because I panicked over not applying for anything all summer. It’s a decent exhibition considering it’s an open, but last year when I had work in, a child squashed the paper house I exhibited. (a-n’s Susan Jones helped me considerably over claiming compensation for this) I suppose then, it was also a bit like getting back on the horse, rather than saying ‘Never Again’.  But it’s done and delivered now…and yes, it’s another paper house :/

After popping in to see the Manchester Contemporary. Really good – though I hid behind a false wall to take a photo of Bill Drummond. He was inviting people to be interviewed by him. I couldn’t do it.  What if he asked me an intellectual question like what day is it or something?  I wouldn’t have a clue. My head is mush with not resting it :-(

After that, it was over to Macclesfield to finally pick up my paper boots from the Barnaby Festival. I had arranged with Crown bedrooms ( where they were shown) to store them for me until I had the time to go across. I was so thankful that they had the patience  (and space!) to keep them for a while.  It’s good to have them back.

So today, I’m hoping to spend a few hours back in the studio. I was there on Monday and feel like I’m on a bit of a roll (finally!) with ideas. I had months and months of nothing coming at all, which was really worrying. I think it helped to go out to see some exhibitions though – it triggered the small spark of ideas that were there subconsciously.

I know my studio visits aren’t as frequent as I’d hoped, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working. I’m lucky enough to work with art handlers who are the experts in installing, and I went to them in the week for advice. Between us, we were able to figure out some stands/supports I need for this recent work.  Next week though I think I will be cheeky and ask if they will actually make them if I pay them. It might as well be done properly!

So tired today with all the walking and travelling I did yesterday.  Oh to have a gallery represent me so I don’t have to do all this running around


This week has very much been a visiting exhibitions week.

On my last day off (Wednesday) I walked up the steep hill to the Bridewell to see ‘Searching: Unexpected Treasures’: http://culture.org.uk/2014/09/searching-unexpected-treasures-exhibition/

I missed the PV last week, but to be honest, I much prefer to see an exhibition when it’s quiet.  Although I do say it myself (I have a book in it – shown on the exhibition poster) it really is a stunning exhibition. It was one of those rare occasions when I’ve been in a group show and thought, ‘Yes – I’m really pleased to be part of this one’. The other artists had not only produced good work, but had ‘track records’, so it felt like all were specially picked .  The curation was excellent.

I had other things to do that day, so I mainly worked at home, rather than going to the studio.  I’ve got a few things brewing in my head that I wanted to try to work out on paper before I started the work.  If the idea works out though, they will definitely be studio pieces, as they will be kind of large.

Anyway…back to work Thursday and after work last night I went up to see a whopping THREE opening nights.

First was the John Moore’s prize winner announcement at the Walker art gallery. I hadn’t even seen the exhibition before last night, so when a friend said she had tickets for the opening, I jumped at the chance.  Having not seen round before, I didn’t have a winner in my head, but I’d already heard that Rose Wylie was the favourite. I liked her work, but would need a second visit to compare it with others.

Still, I do like the idea that an older woman was a winner.  I’ve getting a bit sick of the ‘under 30 age restriction’ thing on these ‘Open’ exhibitions ;-/

Next stop was the New Contemporaries at the World museum. A really unusual place to show the exhibition (in that as far as I know, they don’t usually show ‘Art’ exhibitions)  but I thought it worked much better than in 2012 when the NC was held in the old post office building.

I think its great that the Biennial find these old, disused venues, but I couldn’t remember a single work from last time as I was so distracted by the building.

Yes, in my opinion, a very good exhibition – well worth seeing.

Funnily enough, the visitors to the two exhibitions seemed to be a ‘who’s who’ in the local art world. As I said, I can’t be bothered with all this networking nonsense, so it was quite funny to see so many people I knew, just sort of hanging round as it were  :-)

Lastly, it was over to the Central Library to see the work of Japanese artist Aiko Miyanaga: http://www.artinliverpool.com/?p=51028

Again, it was another exhibition I hadn’t seen before, so I don’t know how it would have looked in the daytime.  In this special evening event though, with the lights turned down, the work looked absolutely stunning.

Seeing the three very impressive exhibitions has put my faith back in the art world after a disappointing run round the Biennial last month.

VERY tired in work today though….. :-(


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Tea Blog by Ellie Harrison.. http://teablog.net/   just one of the many brilliant blogs Emily Speed suggested at the ‘On the road’ event organised by Axisweb last Wednesday.

I’m trying to get through them all, but the last 5 days seemed to be playing on fast forward as I took leave from work to spend time as an artist.

Backtrack…Wednesday… yes… erm… We (I, a former work colleague – Naomi, who now works at Mostyn and another artist) headed over to Llandudno for the event.   It was a bit of a trek over there and I think if it wasn’t for Naomi (who didn’t actually attend the event, but went to work as normal) I might have had second thoughts about going.  I’m glad I did though as it was so useful in so many ways. (…and such a beautiful day for sitting on the prom to eat ice-cream. It was like being on holiday!)

Mostyn Gallery is not what I expected. A Victorian fronted building, but with a super modern interior. It’s tempting to step outside again to check out the facade to make sure the outside and inside are indeed the same building. Spooky. A bit tardis like.

Apart from Emily, James Smith founder of ‘This is Tomorrow’ spoke about how curators and artists are using the web for their work. Both really gave me loads to think about.   I was introduced to people and made a mental note of their names to follow up later.

Thursday, I went to the studio and spent most of the day there. I needed to make it ‘mine’ in a way and spent a few hours painting the walls and sorting more stuff, getting things in order. Brigitte Jurack (sculptor) was there working away downstairs.  She works relentlessly, which puts me to shame.

Friday, back to the studio to continue with work I started the day before, and make use of a plaster board I was given. Using it a pin board that is. It was really helpful to pin things on that were of interest to me – items I’d collected, an old drawing, teabags that I’d started gluing together to make giant pages and other bits and pieces. It helped put my thoughts in order.

Saturday, I only headed to the studio briefly. I needed to catch up with house stuff and other things before getting back to work. I did call into the Williamson Art gallery though to see the Wirral Society of Arts exhibition. It was an open call exhibition and as with many of these things, there were far too many artworks (in my opinion) it would have looked a million times better if only a third had been selected. But hey – who am I to say?   I no longer enter these types of exhibitions for that reason.

So today, I went back to work. Yes, a Sunday. I had to be up at 6.45 to get there before 9am, and was really fed up to find that the local trains were off and they replaced them with a bus that did the journey at a snail’s pace.  I was 5 mins late.

Still, I got to see the Markmakers exhibition Cabinets of Curiosity, briefly on my lunch break.

So much stimuli in these last five days. It’s been good.






I haven’t had a Sunday off for ages, so this is quite a novelty. We have to work 15 weekend days in 12 weeks at the gallery, so I usually do the Sunday rather than Saturday, as it’s less crazy (with the public that is)

I was going to go the studio today, but decided to make the most of the weather, prune some bushes in the garden and just read for a bit outside. I don’t want the studio to feel like it is a chore that I must do every day I have off, I need to go there in my own time.

I have booked two days leave next week (adding them to days I had off anyway) so I can spend some time down there then and really get stuck into something.

It’s nice to have a day to myself today.

Next week, I’ve booked for the axis web road show in Llandudno while I’m off: http://www.axisweb.org/features/news-and-views/our-news-and-stories/llandudno-roadshow/

I’m looking forward to it, but there were a few reasons I wanted to go there other than just for the event. We’re hoping to set up some sort of collaboration with Mostyn artists in future after communicating with them for a while, so it seemed a good idea to tie in the two things. It will also be nice to see Emily Speed :-)

On a roll with attending events as I felt that I don’t do enough in that sphere – I’d booked for the Bob and Roberta Smith talk next month http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool-other-venues/talks-and-lectures/art-galleries-should-be-more-newspapers   AND an ‘artists in schools’ event next Monday, but realising I’d have to take another days leave for something, I can possibly just read up on myself, I gave my ticket to a friend asking her to take notes for me.

I do stretch my time as far as it can go, but sadly, there are limits.


I was going to try to write more regular posts, but as it turns out, I can only do that if I have loads of time to spare…   and if I do have the time, then I probably wouldn’t have anything of note to write about !

But hey.

I’ve woken up at a ridiculous time this morning, so decided to just try to put some notes in order, before I head off to work – just as much for myself, than for the sake of blog writing.

I went back to the studio on Saturday, with boxes and boxes of materials. It was good to sort them out and see much I actually had, as while I was working at home, everything was shoved away in drawers , under the bed etc etc.  So I didn’t know how much I had.  Where did all this paint come from???

I’m also the ‘dumper upon on’ in work for all of the leaflets, business cards and flyers that should really make their way to the recycle bins, but actually end up on top of my locker ‘in case Wendy finds them useful’.  It fits the company green policy if items are recycled, but I’m not totally sure that dumping them on me counts.

Anyway… as it turned out , two of the other artists were in the studio while I was there (we keep missing each other because of work commitments) so we were able to chat about plans for the future. The decommissioned billboard opposite was discussed… (How come I hadn’t even noticed it?)  The Polish community close by (eh?) The cobblers at the end of the road which must have been there for the last 5 decades at least, but had never crossed my mind to use it any way – as a shoe repairer OR as a display for the boots I had in the Barnaby festival.

My mind was racing with thoughts. This is what the studio was really for – not just to pop in for the occasional bit of work (that I can just as easily do at home) OR as storage for the endless supply of stuff I have…

To discuss ideas.

It felt like something had been unlocked…… finally.