Welcome to Off the Shelf, a blog charting the activities I’m undertaking during the period of my a-n Professional Development Bursary.

Before I set the context, firstly; an apology.

While I have only just set up this blog, I have been undertaking my proposed activities for the past few months now. I know, I know. I place the blame squarely at the feet of an intensive freelance workload, which has included the end of the academic year, planning a professional development programme and delivering a festival. Now I image

Without the capacity to coherently articulate my research, I studiously took notes, snapped pictures on my iPhone and filled a drawer with research and creative material ahead of this day.

I applied for an Professional Development Bursary to undertake research into self-publishing and artist books. Over the past few years, my creative practice has evolved from making sculptural works to a more research/writing led approach. Alongside this I have been producing digital drawings and designing publications, alongside working with images/material in new ways.

A collaboration with artist/writer Grace Harrison was a refreshing experience that challenged my admittedly introspective working practice. After seeing Grace’s work in self-publishing, and researching the area myself in-line with our discussions, I had a moment of realisation that this has been calling me for years: my obsession with books, my desire to combine writing with imagery to create new contexts, and an increasing disinterest in articulating my work within an exhibition format.

My only problem was that, on reflection, I realised that self-publishing/artist books are a relative blind-spot on my artistic radar.

So, I proposed a programme of professional development activities that will, hopefully, act as a major catalyst for a considered move into this field. Thankfully I was given the go ahead.

Off the Shelf will act as a vehicle for my ramblings and discoveries during this period.

Over the next few weeks I will be catching up with myself, bringing the blog up to speed with what I’ve been up to over the last few months.

Until then.