scary – worked all day at derby museum and it’s been so good i’m blogging before i’ve eaten.  i’ve lead a gif and meme session.  put into the public programming after the artist rooms tate bursary pilot programme associated with the richard long exhibition we explored making gifs and memes, alongside some analog versions for younger visitors.  its’s been an awesome day.




we used the work of joseph wright as basis for our memes.


in the summer i saw that when having a digital session there were visitors to the museum who come along because there is something to do.  today i used what i learnt in the summer to ensure we could cater for all ages and abilities and those families wanting to make something at the museum.  i’ve run a digital session that i had no one turn away from because there wasn’t something for them.


last week was scary for different reasons !

i’m currently the driver of the mobile museum – by driver i mean literally the person behind the steering wheel.  a few weeks ago i had an initial introduction to it in goole.  last week we again visited it to move it to manchester.  it looked magnificent in the autumn sun.  i rather like this manipulated image of it :


from goole we drove to manchester and met road works,  rush hour and football traffic.  i was getting to know the vehicle well.

24 design of manchester have been looking after the transformation work on the mobile museum.  through a process of human centred design the museum and 24 design have facilitated ideation and prototyping workshops.  while in manchester what was an old mobile library was re-energised into the makory – the silk mill museum on the road.

the makory will visit schools and communities in derby and derbyshire, the project is in partnership with the derwent valley mills and funded through the hlf great places project.  there are so many partners and stakeholders that listing them all and in the right order is a bit of a task so apologies if i haven’t entirely nailed it right now.

at the end of the week was to be the derby mini maker faire and this was to be the makory’s initial outing.  through circumstances out of our control we had delivered the vehicle later than planned so we were going to have to take the vehicle with not everything inside fully commissioned.

i’d not driven the vehicle at night so decided to play it safe and go the motorway route to derby.  this all changed friday lunchtime when we saw how the m6 was blocked due to a huge accident near knutsford.

reverting back to plan a that was once plan b that once was a and became b – we drove from manchester to the derby via the a6 in the dark. awesome journey with my personel highlight of highlights being coming out of buxton up the hill to see a low moon behind some tress.  the moon was so low it looked huge.  it was an emotional moment !

the following morning we were in derby :



i can’t start to explain the feeling of achievement i have for both getting the makory to the maker faire and back and the digital session at the museum today.

what i can explain is my rumbling stomach.

with a massive smile on my face i close this post out and tootle off to the kitchen to make some dinner before the low blood sugar becomes scary !


there is something very satisfying about getting to mid afternoon on a friday and logging into my a-n account to prepare a blog post.  for one it means that i’ve got to the end of the week and managed to get all i needed to do done and i’m happy and awake enough to pull the photos together and write a story around them.

my process is to firstly edit and upload the photos.  once thats there – select some music – helps me to generate a vibe to bound me along.

so what have i been up to lately and how does this impact and move on my practice ?

the main thing that springs to mind has been putting together the presentation for the australian symposium, finally finished on sunday.  the shimmering place project is one i’ve done alot of reflecting about and producing the 10 minute presentation as a video again gave my space to reflect upon it.  this is important now as there is another commission waiting to begin and there are a list of things i want to do with the third tranche as a result of the first.  it’s a friday so i’ll spare you list !



the day before finishing the video i’d co-facilitated a session we called “creating calm” at derby museums.  linked to world mental health day we had a drawing based activity and a contemplative activity available for the visitors to lose themselves in.

i took the initial lead with the contemplative activity and artist stevie davies led on the drawing activity within the context of her surface details project.

i made this  drawing with the collaboration of stevie and 3 visitors.



i enjoy the sessions where the sticks and stones come out as i witness so many responses to them :



after my day at the museum and finishing off of international work, walking the dog …



earlier in the year i wrote about  a first aid course i’d begun and been unable to complete due to commitments at home.  this week i’ve been able to complete the course and in doing so renewed my first aid certificate for another 3 years.



the small yellow box in the picture is a trainer aed or automated external defibrilator.  when used the actual units help to recover the natural rythym of a beating heart that had gone a little spammy – that’s not actually an official technical term for what happens.  to put it simply an aed helps to restore calm beating to a heart that is other wise beating.  aed’s are being placed more and more in the public sphere and they are relly easy to use and really really helpful in a cardiac arrest situation.

for the first time in this first aid course i was able to fully engage with the cpr practice as i was not dealing with emotions connected to my father and his heart attack.

the course accommodated outdoor scenarios.  when i did mine as first aider the causality i came across in the  role play session was beathing yet unresponsive.  the casualty soon stopped breathing so immediately was given the resus annie and began cpr and calling for “the defib”.

the role play was mass casualty so my initial cpr was more than the 2 minutes guideline for each person before swopping.  30 compressions followed by opening the airway and 2 breaths.  the rate of compressions delivered about 100 per minute.  in the classroom we practiced with a metronome set to 120 bpm.  2 minutes at that rate is about all you can do before you need a break – on an adult.  in my role play setting the casualty was a child so the effort needed is less than an adult.

if you’ve found the cpr description interesting i recommend you find a 16 hour first aid course and give it a go.  as well as cpr we covered how to respond to other situations like asthma attack, cuts, fractures and keeping warm while waiting for the ambulance.  me in a bothy bag is a picture i’m going to hang on for now.



there are multiple projects happening or beginning at the moment at derby museums.  one afternoon this week saw me in three different meetings.  one of these was about the after school club project with the makory.









i hope by now the question of what is the makory?  is within your conscious thoughts !










the makory is the name of the mobile museum of making. – effectively the museum of making while the physical building is unavailable due to building works.  the vehicle will be kitted out with a workshop, workstations and collection objects.  it’ll visit schools, communities and heritage sites in derbyshire prototyping activities that will be deployed in the museum of making when it opens in 2020.

i’m part of the team of facilitators who will be working in the makory .  the makory currently looks like a retired mobile library :



there’s one other thing i can tell you about the makory … i’m getting to drive it !

can you tell i’m a little excited by this prospect ?

it’s having its refit next week, so all being well i’ll be getting up front and in the driver seat as it’s journey to derby via manchester begins – next week sees the conclusion of a period of co-production into how might the mobile museum of making look on the inside.

the after school club will focus on making and acquiring skills.  i took in my box of whittling and carving to the meeting yesterday so i could demonstrate how i’ll introduce myself and that i like to make things.



the conversation was excellent and how it evolved informed our thinking about what will go into the first session.




so i’m getting busier with the museum and this is a good thing.  next week will be a one off as we move the makory, complete the refit of the vehicle and move it to derby to begin the journey as the mobile museum.

i’m keeping an eye on my non linear project practice as i have some ideas to research for the third tranche.  for the next few weeks this might have to be stolen hours here and there.

being busy makes it more important to keep my practice ticking over and finding moments to play …



my day today has been supported by forest school dog – i’ve been finishing off my 10 minute presentation for the smart story telling symposium in november.

it’s been a while since i gave any type of presentation so a 10 minute via video has been an interesting challenge.

i’ve worked nearly 12 hours today so i have a glass of wine now and bakeoff extra slice is calling.

oh the high life of international working !