I was talking to one of the artists yesterday, who had submitted work for my ‘Doesn’t look like a book’ exhibition and she said that while it was the most frustrating and difficult thing she had ever done, it was also the most invigorating. This is the second time I’d heard that an artist had been pushed way out of their comfort zone to make something new.

I love that.

My own work has also been pushing boundaries (for me that is) I don’t know how people will react to it, as compared to some of the work I’ve received, it isn’t as ‘pretty’, but the exhibition is about thinking about books in a different light.

In one dictionary term ‘ A Book is something regarded as a source of knowledge or understanding’, not necessarily bound pages.

From the reaction of visitors to last time I did this type of exhibition,  l could see that viewers were spending more time looking at the artwork.  It was a mixture of a game, a trial…a bit of an endurance test, but it got everyone looking.

It worked well both for the artists AND the gallery, as people were venturing into spaces that were deemed ‘not as interesting’.

The exhibition is a mix of artists I’d worked with before and new ones that had submitted work for the callout. A good mix .

So this morning I waited in for parcels that had to be redelivered . The poor postman was absolutely weighed down, but I’m so glad that every one of them made it in time.

This is my last day off for a couple of weeks in which I don’t have to do much really, so I’m going to sit in the sun and enjoy my free time.

(And breaking with tradition by writing my blog a day early!)




My thoughts have very much been with the studio news this week, but as the deadline for the book exhibition I’m organising was up on Friday, I’ve had to shift my attention to go through all of the submissions.

I felt so bad about rejecting so many today. They were amazing works and I really toyed with the idea of extending the exhibition to another venue to include these books, but realistically, I knew I couldn’t take on extra work.

If anyone reading this had their work rejected, believe me, it wasn’t because it wasn’t good enough, it just didn’t fit with what I wanted to achieve with the exhibition. Please don’t take it personally.

The task now is trying to get all of the work delivered in the next ten days. It was a really tight turnaround, but it was the only way it could be done. At least things were made easier with using Curator Space to manage the submissions – highly recommended!

I’m a bit too tired to write really,  but I want to get into the habit of writing on a Sunday – regardless of what I am doing. (I’m actually in work, but making the most of a short break)  It’s good to keep to some sort of structure while there is so much going on.

Studio news, it was decided that one of the residency artists –  Iranian artist Haleh Jamali  will be staying with me. Looking forward to that .  News here : http://www.artinliverpool.com/international-artists-to-translate-the-street-for-alternator-studio/?utm_content=buffer9aea3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

So… back to work then….





We had our studio meeting last night so that Brigitte (who owns the space) could update us with the outcome of the Arts Council funding application.

Of course, we already knew the outcome (we were successful) but we needed to find out how it would effect us.

I think maybe a different blog should be started – solely for the evaluation of the project, but for now, and really to get my head around it all, I’ll outline a few things here.

OK…  Brigitte Jurack owns the studio space. She is Head of Sculpture/Time Based Arts /Research Leader Art Fine Art at  Manchester Metropolitan University .
She actually put in the application, so apart from making a few suggestions for contacts and publicising on social media, I’m afraid I can’t take any credit at this stage.
This research and development funding will go towards testing a series of residency models and relationships built within the local community.

There will be three shops involved (all close to the studio space) in which the first three artists chosen will have short placements. This will be followed by a production period in the studio.

I didn’t even know two of the shops existed! With my time being so limited, I tend to go to the studio, work, and then go home.  Whereas, Brigitte has clearly spent some of her time, walking round the local   community and talking to the shop keepers.

How did I not know there was an Iranian grocery close by?? The artist chosen to work there will be Farsi – speaking. Need I say that I hadn’t even heard of a Farsi language??
God I’m a dullard :(
To be honest though, the studio is in a bit of a dodgy area – to the right you go into a bit of no mans territory where sometimes you get kids throwing bricks and meet people you’d rather not bump into ( which is initially why I thought we wouldn’t have a chance of getting the funding. Who would want to come ? ) But then I suppose the area to the left (the route I usually take) leads you to the Williamson art Gallery and a nicer area of town.

When I sat down and chatted to Brigitte about this a while back, I envisaged the artists doing the residencies to be recent graduates, It was quite a shock to read the CVs of those that will actually work with us and find out they were all mid career and doing quite well.

It made me feel kind of small and that I hadn’t really achieved much.

I feel a bit low in that sense, but also excited that I have been given an opportunity to expand my own knowledge and hopefully, learn some new skills.

My contribution for today anyway is to set up a twitter account.
Follow us : @AltStudio2


This is a very short blog post, but I’m quite excited about it and therefore felt the need to share it.

On Monday, we heard the news that the arts council bid to run International residencies in  our studio space, has been successful.

How it will effect us, the community around the studio, and the research artists themselves, will be revealed after our meeting at the weekend.

Alternator Studios





Its two weeks till the deadline of my open call for the book exhibition, but after a meeting at the gallery on Thursday, I was asked to do a press release and send images asap.

I do have invited artists in the exhibition (people I’ve worked with before) but I had to spend a fair bit of time prodding artists into at least sending me  an image.

This is the problem. Galleries work with the media and need things yesterday, but generally -and I do hate to generalise, artists will leave things to the last minute. (I include myself in that statement :-( )

This has made things incredibly frustrating for me.

What is also frustrating, aside from the fact that it’s all happened so quickly and was therefore too late to apply for funding, is that many artists are just not reading the brief. The call out was titled ‘Doesn’t look like a book’ which is kind of a big hint to what I want, but still, I’m getting beautifully crafted books…that clearly look like books, sent in to me.

Sigh.  I’m going to have to reject loads of good stuff as it just won’t fit in with the exhibition :-(

Images of work that will be in the exhibition…..