while i sat chatting friday i was asked “what do you do for yourself ?”

i paused and struggled to find an answer.

saturday afternoon after painting emulsion on two walls done after taking the dog out i sat on our sofa and felt quite sad that indeed there appeared to be nothing i did just for me – just for the enjoyment of it.

the blog post i wrote friday connected to the artists and mental health article by alistair gentry.  reflecting about it i saw how being short of things or even a thing to do just for me, just for the pleasure of it was impacting upon my ability to be in the moment and happy in that moment.

i made a short video work.  it had been viewable here however after considering it and mentioning it to my partner whose reactions made me stop and think – i’ve removed the two links and placed an image there instead.




originally written on saturday 18th august, this post was editted sunday 19th august after considering the on going situation we find ourselves in at our home.  the thing i did just for me needing to be edited because of external considerations.  the work exists,  i can’t really share it.  shame.


friday night, the dog spread out on the arm of the sofa and my lap becoming warmer from holding the laptop ready to type.  reflecting upon my week there’s been three main components.

more sessions at derby museums, all of which have been great fun and having so many different and varied conversations.  i’ll drop in some images of the goings on throughout this post.



second thing has been a rebalancing excercise over on my instagram account.  again i’ll drop into this post the instagram posts made this week.




i’m skipping through the first two quickly as i want to spend time on the third.


earlier this month an artists and mential health piece by alistair gentry appeared in the a-n news feed.  today i finally got to read it.


firstly i can say that with my short term memory affected by my dsylexia i initially struggle to remember what i did in fact read.  this memory problem quite often affects how i feel as recalling things proves to be difficult when in conversation etc



the article appeared to be longer than it is at lunchtime – read it on my phone see.


i’ve never had a formal diagnosis for any mental condition although i have been to the doctors in the past when i was struggling.

once the counselling service i went to discharged me after two sessions because ” we don’t deal with the type of problems you have here.”





where was i ?


oh yes – the artist and mental health article.  yes – i agree mental health should be talked about more.  there you go alistair i’ve agreed with you.  is this enough ?



is it though ?


mental health is delicate and dynamic.  we all have it and we all have our own version of it.  today i had time to read the article because i had some time before meeting to discuss how i’ve been struggling for months with several little things that have all added up to make andrew unhappy.

we met at the post house in derby.  tell them andrew sent you for a 10% discount on the door price for the jazz evening sunday 26th august.  they have a range of artisan foods and craft beers with award winning deserts.




you see it’s easier to skirt around the mental health and well being of one self than it is to be honest about what is going on where the symptoms aren’t medical.  how might we get a conversation going about mental health when the symptoms are as a result of the actions and decisions of others?

alistair mentions ……. ” They could start by paying them properly, ….. ”  how many of this community would have improved mental health and lives  if the work they are doing was financially valued higher than currently?

part of my conversation today was around value and self worth.  when one is in a reduced self worth state its far more difficult to command a reasonable competitive day rate as one is less likely to hold onto ones market value and hold out for something higher.  i suspect budget holders will gladly pay less to make their budgets go further.

my conversation today was mainly about the fact that i’ve been through something and i needed to talk about it.  conversations about mental health need to be with a person one feels comfortable with, feel they can be trusted and most importantly of all listen to what is being said.

alistair talks about organisations putting their money where their mouth is.  are you advocating that the organisations pay the fee for a 4 week active listening course for the majority of their friendlier employees ?

active listening is amazing.  the feeling of being listened to can make a huge difference to the mental and emotional strength of an artist – of anyone.

personally when i’m in a meeting and my suggestions seem to repeatedly not be heard – i start to go inside of myself.  i have to find the mental strength to silently pull myself out of the slump, find part of the conversation to engage with and dive back in on the front foot and make myself heard.



it has felt great to be open about my experiences.  my suggestion alistair is for organisations to make it easier for those involved in it to be open and honest about their experiences.   i don’t know how to do this right now ….. maybe we can talk about it sometime ….



my week has been spent at derby museums sites being part of the delivery team for four public programme sessions – diverse and interesting :





accidental art



muddy masterpeices



bugs and beasts


and the rain came :)



i’ve been working with stevie davis and i enjoyed my week at the museum more because i’ve been with stevie.  recently we’ve been busy on twitter too





all in all a good week.  i have had moments of critical thinking and questioning whats been going on.  when it comes to writing it all up – its friday, i’ve eaten and the merlot needs attending to.

have a great weekend xx


once more i sit staring at the blank blog post entry and negotiate with myself how to begin.  i do this ignoring my overall mood – one of tired hot slightly low yet upbeat at the same time.  i have pictures from last week – i have a beginning point.



last week i went into the silk mill in derby to film, document, run around in swirly patterns with recording equipment attached to my head.   the newly opened up spaces now show the building in some glory not seen for many years.

on the way home the bus broke down.

there’s word that soon i’ll hear more details of the commission for tranche 3 & 4 of the non linear project about the silk mill’s story to becoming the museum of making.

on the same day i was in the silk mill a question arrived on facebook:

“Hi Andrew, are you still into filming??” the question came from friend and ma student sara brighty.

we arranged to meet and i agreed to help with her development of part of her final ma piece.  the request was to recreate something made with mobile phone and instagram to a higher standard.


we’ve met twice this week – filming and post production.  i’ve really enjoyed my time working with sara and i wish her every success with her final installation / performance.


i sometimes wonder about the work i do and the things i make – in terms of standard and level.  this week i’ve helped an ma student develop and improve an idea to a higher standard.  thank you sara for inviting me to help you :)



now into the big schools holiday i’ve begun a series of public programme sessions at the museum and art gallery in derby.  on wednesday we were playing with collage and throughly enjoyed myself.



with the informal learning environment i continuously ask myself how can i make this enjoyable and fun so the learning is part of something else.  there are many sessions to explore this.