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A week in reciprocity, part one:

1. “Slavery never ended in the nineteenth century, it was merely re-branded and marketed to us in a different packet. The monetary economy doesn’t serve us, we serve it” Mark Boyle, The Moneyless Manifesto”.I got this book from the library and read it this week. It details the author’s decision to live without money, the philosophy he developed on the way and how he went about it. It is a thought-provoking, eye opening look at living without (or being less dependent on) money which is totally non-pious and also pretty entertaining. It’s making me think a lot and given me ideas for possible projects. You can read the book for free here.

2. Our friend, public artist Martin Heron ( came to stay last weekend. Martin lives in France but works in the UK, currently on a collaborative public project with a residential community in Hull. We had a very interesting chat about the politics of participation, touching on ideas of permission, authority, and hierarchy. It’s given me much to think about.

3. I did a daily mini zine exchange project with my nephew Oisin, age 10, when he visited us for a few days over half term with his dad and sister. We each made four zines. We agreed that we wanted to continue the project so we are going to make a zine each week and send it to each other for the next 5 weeks. Fun.

4. A letter arrived from Cruse Bereavement Care, thanking me for my donation of £75 and asking me to fill in an evaluation form for the one to one sessions counselling sessions I had recently with them. (This is a free service, provided by a trained voluntary counsellor ) These sessions were invaluable to me at a time when I was feeling overwhelmed by the losses of my grandmother and a close friend who both died last summer. I am so grateful to Cruse for their support

5. An email from fellow a-n blogger Stuart Mayes ( Stuart emailed me directly to answer a question I had asked him via the comments section of his blog about the ‘Art and Social Context course’ he did at Dartington College of Arts. In his email Stuart explained the ethos and philosophy of the course. Since I started blogging on a-n last year, Stuart has shown me a lot of generosity, taking the time to encourage and support my work and my blogs. I really appreciate this.

6. Studio day, working with some photographs from my Nana’s archive. I am just about to start the process of scanning and sharing the archive with my extended family who are scattered across Scotland, England and Australia. Hopefully this will also involve sharing stories and memories and making a booklet to distribute among all the family. I’ve also applied for a photographic residency in Glasgow to collaborate with family there in response to the archive. Fingers crossed. This week I emailed a couple of my cousins in Australia and one in Manchester about sharing the archive. I haven’t been in touch with them for a while but all were really positive. I’m excited about what this project might bring us all.

7. Vantage art Prize, Thursday 21st February: a new cross arts prize, by and for Leeds artists, curated by live artist Adam Young for Departure Arts Foundation () 45 artists living and/or working in Leeds were shorlisted, including me, for my text work ‘Recipe For Reciprocity’ which I showed as two A1 posters. The vibe of the night was very supportive and celebratory. – a great sense of excitement and goodwill abounded. Adam is just great – very proactive in artist-led activity in Leeds and full of energy and good humour. I chatted with artist and a-n blogger Alice Bradshaw about value and money ( who told me about a book on the gift economy she had been reading and thought I might be interested in – she tweeted me the link next day: ‘The Social Life of Things’ ed. Arjun Appaduri ( ) Thanks Alice!

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