De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea

Found a Kjell Torriset catalogue in the shop – I hadn’t seen his work before – really like the installations.
Coffee and cake on the terrace – lots of ideas for new work.

I need a good concentrated period of making. There are so many demands on my time (and distractions) at the moment. I often think of a TV programme that Tracey Emin made a few years ago. She spoke with Maggie Hamlin about art and motherhood – Hamlin said that she made a decision not to have children because choosing between the child was screaming in one room and a canvas was screaming in another was a decision she never wanted to have to make.

Didn’t get the cornwall residency – this time! Continuing to look for residencies that are focussed on artist’s practice and developement.

Looking forward the the AIR Open dialogues event next week.


In 1990 (or possibly 1989) we had a ‘professional development’ session at college. We had to imagine our perfect day.  I was reminded of my perfect day this afternoon as I walked along Hastings’ seafront. I remember that my perfect day took place in a (unnamed) town on the coast. After breakfast over looking the sea, I stroll along the promenade on the way to my to a day at the studio. I stop at a health food shop to get something for lunch and at the florist for flowers.
I grew up a few miles inland from Southend on Sea. I was an unathletic overweight child with a fantasy that if I lived near the seafront I’d run along it every day.
Could I live here?
Would it be my perfect day?

I really like out of season seaside towns. Perhaps it was the time I spent on the seafront during my Foundation Course at Southend Tech. Perhaps I have a tendency towards the melancholy.

I feel comfortable here.

I’m staying in my bosses place – a major major perk of my part-time work in the design/gift shop. Although there’s a smart living room upstairs I’m sitting the basement kitchen. It reminds me of some of the student accommodation friends and I had in Totnes. The kitchen is dug into a steep hillside and it is therefore quite damp and musky – I wonder if it’s this that most evokes the cheap holiday-lets we rented before the tourists arrived in the south Hams.

I have to remember that the life I’m leading in London is far from normal. John has needed care of nearly four years now – since his broken ankle in January 2004. By the time the plaster came off he was limping, stumbling and falling as the result of the MND. Everyone says I’m wonderful for staying with him, especially as we only got together the year before. I’m not sure I’m so wonderful, I feel as though I never had a choice but perhaps that’s just melancholy ….


Finished the 6.5 inch embroidery and it’s looks wrong, a bit pathetic, a bit weak – size does matter! It looks lost on the 14 inch square handkerchief.

 The trouble is that I want every aspect of my artwork to be significant. Some significant number just aren’t aesthetically ‘right’ though. Do I give up on the entire piece or allow myself an aesthetic judgement rather than a logical one? Being able to justify all the components of a piece is important to me, but maybe it’s not always important for the artwork itself.

I’ve decided that I’ll include some considerably older pieces when I get my photographed (a new year project). Having poor or no photographs of pieces that I like or that are significant developments is bad for my confidence, and has made talking about my practice a little awkward.

Old artwork to photograph:

sewn up suit

Camp – tent structure

Exchange – large patchworsilk plane

Also need to scan some older slides/prints.

Standing Room Guide

I want to be able to offer at least one good image for each of the pieces I’ve shown in the last 10 years. How I can I expect other people to take me seriously if I don’t take myself seriously …


I'm questioning what my practice is and what I want it to be. I think I might be putting the cart before the horse.

The studio has become a refuge from all the anxiety about John. Since spending more (regular) time there I've really enjoy the 'making' and want to spend time developing that. I want to immerse myself in making without thinking about relevance, theme, appropriateness…

At the moment I'm embroidering more handkerchiefs. This time with gold thread. I'm playing with the diameter of the circle I'm sewing – the current one is 6.5 inches. Does it matter where this measurement comes from?

Today I'm using my sculpure skills to fix a crack in the bottom of my bath – needs must! I'm tempted to cover the whole thing in resin and fibre-glass. Must remember that it's not an artwork – well, not yet …


I'm finding the idea of working with an established gallery more and more appealing. Not least because of the number or emails, meetings, conversations, and false starts seemingly inherent with artist led/alternative venue shows.

The fantasy goes like this – I agree the dates of a show in the coming 12-18 months. I make the work. I send a picture or two and my mailing list for the invitation. I deliver and perhaps even install the work. I arrive in the late afternoon. I enjoy the opening night. Three weeks later the show closes. I return and collect my work.

Right now I just need things to be simple. And they're not. Perhaps I'm not as comitted to 'process' as I thought I was. Maybe I just don't have the energy for collaboration at the moment.

I'm really pleased to be getting re-acquainted with Marcia Farquhar. Saw her 12 Shooters last week. It was a brilliant way to catch-up with 10 years worth of performances. Mind you I found it a bit intimidating to be invited to a retrospective of someone I consider a peer…