there was a time when charlie brooker presented a review of the year through all the bits of broadcast tv he’d found most weird/annoying/out there somewhere.  liking brooker’s writing style meant watching this review was always entertaining and a chance to catch up on all the bits of tv we never knew existed.

if brooker wrote his review of the year based on my blog this year i wonder how it might go ?

i do of course now have the voice of brooker in my ear worm.  i pause to find some brooker on you tube :

unexpectedly i am surprised at the difference in energy between listening to music while writing and listening to brooker – spoken word is so much slower = reduction in energy.

back to the essential mix of the year …


so where was i ?

i’ve lost my train of thought and the energy that went with that has dissipated as well – so i’ll wander around for a while attempting to get  the energy back up again.


i can only speculate about what brooker would write based on my blog this year.  being honest with you i did read the first 6 months worth of posts yesterday and this morning i’ve looked through the pictures.

i found a note i wrote for me to read in the future – advice to my future self.  actually it was more a reassurance.


being out in the sun is important to me.



in considering what to write for my review of the year i’ve been considering how the title of the blog this year has given me great pleasure – the notion of play being at the very centre of the blog.  i am intending on starting a new blog tomorrow and somehow i’d like to retain the notion of play in the title.

oh to beware of over thinking it.




in 2018 i have become a little more aware of how when tired i look at the world quite differently to when i’m rested and free to explore the energy of the day.

taking a lead from the theory of biorhythms – i am going to have periods of feeling good and periods of feeling not so good.

in the last month i have been asking myself the question of are my needs being met ?  when stopping to consider an answer i am sometimes unable to clearly identify my needs.  i believe this to be part of my disability because being open and honest about my disabled needs potentially will leave me disconnected from the situation in which my needs occur.

i’m afraid to say things because of how the answer might go.

instead i’m looking within to find the answers i need.



in amongst the potential to fall into a dark space i also have a potential to be too eager to do everything possibly available to me.  i do seem to have an ability to pick things up quickly and through practice hone, refine and improve.

looking back through my instagram feed today i can see how at times there is stuff i do that after i feel i could have done better and this impacts upon my mental health image of myself.  (note to self for 2019 – be easier on yourself andrew – go with the flow and accept how the moment in review will feel different.)

recently having been through a dark time i note that i have come out into the light and once again i feel excited with the potential of things again.

in the above picture is a three axis motion sensor.  i plan to use two of these in developing another iteration of the snee snaw.  i’m hoping in january to pick up on the invitation from stevie davis to take part in activities happening in her shared space in derby.

in 2019 i believe i need to nuture and help my confidence further.  the key word here is believe.


while rewriting the about me section ( i was able to admit to myself about how for a long time i had been hard on myself about what i currently do.

playing with the arduino in the last few days i have seen how i’ve moved on in my attitude towards it.  it’s indicative of how it has taken me a long while to unpick and let go the attitudes set up from my career prior to the degree.  a few years ago i viewed the arduino with a different eye to now.  i don’t feel the need to go into details – suffice to say that across the board i am becoming more confident about where i’ve led myself to.

the energy i feel currently is one of a playful energy – not caring about what others think of what i’m doing.  if they don’t get it – no worries – we can follow own paths.  for those around me that do get it we can try and do stuff together, learn and have fun in the process.

new play boots.

i write randomly based on what went before !



ludic play boots.

a current favourite source of energy.

energy is the key.



in 2019 the non linear project at the silk mill in derby will get more active again.  i’m looking forward to getting back into the role of the embedded artist – moving within the project, filming, recording conversations.  i sense this to be something that will be a source of much energy.



overall my 2018 has been great.  year on tear things are getting better, i’ve done new things this year and am part of things happening in 2019.  i acknowledge i have a propensity to mental health problems, most often connected to bouts of tiredness caused by busy periods of working.  i’m able to look after myself and get through these to be ok again.

in 2019 things to work at are self belief, confidence and being ok with having fun.  accepting where i now am and looking for more opportunities to be with people – accepting the potential for set up anxieties through shyness and low self worth – as it has always been and i’ve always worked through it.

it feels good to be open about the things that drive my needs.   i see in this moment that being somewhere that feels safe to say what i need to say is helping me to say it and feel better.  in feeling better i can be better.

in completing this blog i need to say a big thank you to the staff at a-n who manage this really invaluable platform and wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2019. xx



it took a few days for my state of mind to unwind after wednesday and i’m really pleased to report that after a conversation yesterday i’m feeling a lot more centred and happy than the previous few days prior to my last blog post.

to help with the easing back into being me i’ve picked up my arduino boxes again and have been playing with things that make things move, sense movement or sound.

next on my playtime agenda are rotational movement sensors – i have an eye on another iteration of the snee snaw…

while out yesterday i pid a visit to the award winning mosaic i helped with.  still showing water damage – i think i decided on the spot to volunteer some time to help maintain the work during 2019.


tomorrow it is my intention to complete this blog with at least one more post – setting up where i begin the day after.




thank goodness for the break.

i’m returning to thinking about things i’ve not had space to consider and the first of these has been the about me on my website.  i took the decision to have an about me section as a blog post so i could keep the information up to date and communicate this to my reader.

until the edit the post had been a little abrupt.

in the edit i’ve taken to make it a little friendlier and more informative.  in arriving at this i’ve had to make accept and make reference to an incident that has had a huge impact upon my confidence in my practice.  i’m not quite at the point of fully being able to talk about what it was – all i can say is that it was something small that rapidly expanded and the existence of this continued to hamper my confidence for some years.

to you i will say never under estimate how the small things you think or do might have an impact beyond your imagination on those around you.

listening to woman’s hour yesterday morning i was reminded of how context of experience influences the perception of the experience.

since last week i’ve been trying to unpack the last few months so i can relax and enjoy christmas – i’ve almost managed this.  i’ve not been able to talk about what’s happening for me as it was likely to emerge in a way that was potentially very damaging and i didn’t want an external experience affecting those around me.

i’m being criptic because i find it easier to not talk about something than to blurt it out – i feel i’ve been conditioned by my want to be listened to yet not fully experiencing it.

am i making sense ?

this christmas hasn’t made sense to me.  i’ve been feeling tearful and short tempered.  i’ve put effort into remaining level and non accusatory.

i think i might need quite specific conditions to feel safe enough to explore how my thoughts are making me feel – i don’t want things to get worse before they get better.

in my written journal i’ve noted about feeling melancholic.

i take a moment to reflect that what i’m doing here is off loading in words  rather than speaking about what’s going on.  i think its a confidence thing to be able to admit what is going on – if i say it out loud will it make something made up more real and is this what i want ?

linkedin is an interesting space for me at the moment.  through notifications i see old work colleague’s profiles.  i see their paths as linear, they aren’t providing much evidence other than work stuff.

in trying to do what i do now i’ve had to work through and defeat the mental monologue set up by experiences working in the environment i was in with them.

have i experienced something that has affected my confidence and self esteem and i feel i have no voice about it ?

i try to find links and connections so i feel less alone.









and after some vitamin d, food and drink i’ve reminded myself of three of the mixes i’ve heard this year that have been played repeatedly – their energy lifting my mood.

we are at a time of year that i am now starting to manage the vitamin d intake with the intention of keeping myself from falling into something dark.  it’s a little like a tightrope walk as wobbles are happening very easily but with effort i’m not falling off.

something i am mindful of going into 2019 is the notion of doing stuff for me.  i’m hopeful for a slightly improved work life balance so i can do things that nurture my soul and doing the things that pay for things.  early indications are that this might well be possible.

the important thing for me is to believe in myself and to continue to undo the inner monologue of doubt.

i look through the images on my about me page and i see a range of ideas and interests and a belief in them.

what i’m waiting to happen is for the something that breaks me free of the comparisons that leave me feeling i’m not that good.  its the battle to be autonomous yet connected with many people.   somehow i’ve set this out as some sort of barometer to success.

fact is i don’t known what my success looks like – its way too easy to be ready to acknowledge what un-success is.


the year began with my connection to the richard long exhibition at the museum and art gallery in derby.  when the exhibition and activities came to an end i felt a little lost – like an old friend had moved away and i was unsure when i would next see them.  i acknowledge and accept this to be the case.



feeling a bit like a contradictory whirlwind – i am striving to be level headed and happy while still having a critical edge to be asking questions.


i can share with you that letting go here and writing early on about the recent struggles has helped to ease the burden of them.

i’m looking forward to finalising the conditions for the commission with the silk mill for the next tranche of the non linear project as they progress towards making and opening the museum of making.  recent events are helping to form my thinking as we go into the next phase of filming.

the skin and bone trio project is still on going and there are still many things to make with wood.

there are notes made about ideas for more short expressions within video form and i have a new piece of kit to give me another option within the creation of footage.

i think i’m chomping at the bit now to get going and immerse myself in something again.

there is a very real possibility that having been immersed for over two months in project work before christmas that during christmas i’ve gone cold turkey and rather been slow to deal with the fallout from it.

it is what it is and it’s all what it is.

i’m working to clear my head and clear my mood so when i am with others i can be fully in the moment in a happy manner and avoid having half an eye on what is to come.

peace x


it feels so decadent writing during daylight hours.  though windows both behind and in front of me the crisp warm sunshine of the day illuminates the static drawings on the horizon created by resting trees.

space to think !


space !


earlier today while spending time between sips of my moccha latte chi cappacino hot chocolate blended christmas warmer … on twitter a tweet caught my eye…

let me share it with you.



for me emily has always been one of the artists i perceive to be in the premier league – for want of a better analogy.  it demonstrates for me that to be an artist one needs to install an entrepreneurial, adaptable, and open minded ness to one’s practice.

one of the projects i’m working on at derby museums is the royal academy / artists rooms funded reinterpretation of the joseph wright gallery.  as we delve in to the life and times of this now iconic painter we learn how his contacts through his father allowed him to earn money while the large narrative paintings were things he did off his own back and took many risks in getting them displayed.  many didn’t sell in his lifetime.




last saturday the project upped sticks and spent the day in london.  we had to see the “an experiment on a bird in the air pump” 

while in town we split into two groups – researching visitor experience and interpretation techniques at the london transport museum and the ica.

i was in the group at the ica.  the current exhibition is by danish graphic design duo metahaven.  embodying the ics’a anti establishment stance their work is loud and brash to the point of alienating.  as a group we took advantage of the ica’s public adviser session.  we struggled to hear what was said as we sat slap bang in front of version history.  

in context of our project research the ica visit has been invaluable.



what my instagram post eludes to is how shortly after i took the photo we found out that our coach wasn’t going to pick us up.  after a 3 and a half hour delay we eventually departed back to derbyshire.  once the fallout of this has been resolved i’ll share what had happened to the coach.

returning to the tweet from emily – it resonated with me as recently i have been thinking about my own practice.

i’ve been writing about my involvement with derby museums for sometime now.  the work is amazing and i’m learning lots.  the however is how i find the time and head space for my own practice.

my link with emily’s tweet is that there’s a certain amount of what ever is happeneing there’s always a point where the critical emerges and in emily’s case spills out onto twitter.

for emily to be doing this it shows me that i have a good strategy following on from several years researching that my practice as a primary sustainable earner wasn’t working and as such needed to be adapted.

my note to myself here is to use the christmas break to connect with those processes and ideas you have made notes about – play, be playful, recharge, refresh and throw yourself into 2019.



emily, if you’re reading this, i trust that you’re feeling better now and good things once again come your way.



this week has seen the publication of a short video about the smart storey telling symposium in austrailia.  i felt so proud to see shots of my presentation and q&a appearance within it.  i was especially pleased with the inclusion of the shot mentioning the silk mill and derby museums.


i look out the window again.  the light is beginning to fade, the contrast on the trees is more muted with the scene appearing flatter than earlier.

i feel so pleased to be at home on the sofa in the daylight, work for the week completed and set up for next monday.  i think i have the friday feeling that gets talked about.  its not a regular thing i feel, so i’m going to make sure i fully embrace it and enjoy it.


a comfy place on the sofa avails thought and contemplation to recount recent days and specifically to reflect upon aspects of my own practice.

last weekend i made my debut with the skin and bone trio in a local pub’s upstairs venue.  after only a few meetings we’d come together to create, collaborate and entertain.

overcoming some technical problems i was ready and up for what was to follow.  it took me until the last three compositions to relax, enjoy and find my playful self.  working with the trio is creating a space for me to explore thoughts and themes not currently catered for anywhere else in my practice.  the technical problems were solvable by going with the flow and letting go of an spired higher production value.  i will get to work in that way sometime in the future.  for me the night was an enjoyable way to spend a saturday night and the notes i have

give me ideas to explore when the time is right.



i’ve found a good rhythm with a project i’m helping to facilitate at derby museums.  i spend some me time, eat and go to the museum for the session which starts at 5:30pm.  in my me time this week i got out my sketchbook and re-aquiated myself with the joy of playing in time and space – letting these playings take my mind and thoughts into happy wanderings.




sketching, doodling, writing in my book has captured recent thoughts of returning to the snee snaw project for a third iteration – this time fore fingers.  the timing for many reasons feels right.  again i’ll ease away from those aspirations and go with the flow.



onto the highlight of my week … the orrey by torchlight.

the wednesday project is funded by the royal academy and is also utilising some leftover finding from the artists rooms young people pilot earlier this year.

the royal academy is funding a project for young people to re-interpret the joseph wright of derby gallery in the derby museum and art gallery.  like the pilot we’re listening the young people through our facilitated sessions and using what we learn for activities and the re-interpretation.

this week we explored the gallery or wright’s paintings by torch light.



at a personel level this experience has left me with a whole new relationship with the painting.

i stood in front of it, chatting with lucy bamford – the curator for the joseph wright collection – while playing with the position geometry of the torch light.

never before had the orrey got the hairs on the back of my neck tingling so much.  we both experienced the orrey potentially as it would have been viewed when only recently painted.

viewing the orrey painting in this way confirmed for me the notion that wright is a painter of light.

the full title of the painting completed in 1766 is A Philosopher giving a Lecture on the Orrery in which a lamp is put in place of the Sun

writing about the experience now is taking my feelings back to the time in the gallery on wednesday.

it reminds me of how important to me it is to have my own feelings about the things i do for myself – to follow my own ideas and thoughts.  to let go of aspiration – to go with the flow – to enjoy. to feel happy.