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.


sitting at our dining table i find myself staring out the window at a scene of slowly fading light with becoming brighter moon.  what leaves are left on the trees wave at me like they are all vying for my attention before they start their descending journey.

i sense the horizon line is becoming redder and the yellower leaves on the willow dome accent against the fast becoming blackened background.


i pause to turn the light on – its one of those low energy bulbs so it takes a few minutes to get up to full brightness.



returning from topping up my mug of tea the keyboard has re-appeared.  the scene is set for my work here to commence.



i’ve added a post to the non linear blog about my experience with the internet enabled symposium appearance in australia.  what i didn’t say in that post was how i amused myself by pulling faces at myself in the web cam feed.  in the non shared symposium space no one can see you smile.



in my recent blogs i’ve not so far included any references to my partner’s ma.  its in fine art and being around her research and workings out of what she wants to say and how to say it it has got me thinking about something that otherwise would be missing my from current set of thoughts.

i witness how she is being invited to delve deeper into her practice, her thinking and her knowledge.  the last of course being bolstered by the diet of books i watch her gorging on.  it gets me thnking about my own practice and how might i … or where do i fit into the bigger scheme of things art world related.

this might be uncomfortable for me as the notion of having to gorge on books in a search for knowledge and enlightenment is something that i know would be really difficult for me to do.

the side of myself that requires acknowledgement and peer admiration looks towards the notion of ma as a means to get this into my life.

earlier this week i explored the findings about my grandfather on my dad’s side.  he was a field ambulance man in the first world world.  he was dead by the time i was born and during his lifetime i don’t think i ever heard my father talk about his father.  as a family growing up we seemed to have missed the memo about its ok to talk and share the family story.

during my sharing of the grandfather revelation i touched upon feelings that i later came to realise were feelings of disappointment in my family for not being prouder about our storey.  this sense of under valuing and not being sure sometimes eats away even now at my confidence within my practice.  i think it is at least for this one reason that my notion to play is sourced.

from play can coming learning.  for me i can learn about myself, my family story maybe having sailed sometime ago.  this is at least true on my dad’s side of the family – he was an only child.  on my mum’s side i am in contact with one auntie still.  might it be possible to undo years on non story telling.

again is this where part of my practice is sourced from ?  the nature of non linear story telling making the whole thing slightly easier to handle.

reviewing what i have written about feelings about family i connect with a sense of loss of not being able to share what i do with them.



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i can remember sitting in a well dressing meeting some years ago while the search for a new chair person took place.  the wise one at the table suggested  “if you want something doing, ask a busy person.”

during the last three weeks i’ve understood the words from the wise one – being in flow of work its easy to say yes and fit the things that need doing within the already busy schedule.

before i share with you some images from my week i need to reflect about how within this flow state i am becoming mindful of my own practice and a need to maintain it.

as well as the upcoming symposium in australia i’m also taking part in the skin and bone gig in belper.  not much time at the moment to spend on them however they keep me connected to my practice.  i start to look forward to picking up my practice threads again when my schedule adopts a weekly pattern.  i’m so looking forward to starting the next tranche of the silk mill non linear project.

i’m aiming to hold onto the confidence i’m finding through being so busy within my practice too.  i’ll return to this thought in the weeks to come.

feeling pleased about parking my reflections and hopes i can glance back over this week and share some of my favourite images from the week.


the skin and bone rehearsal.  i’m enjoying working with walt, geogre and greg as they produce improvised compositions that draw me in and at times near place me in a trance like state.  my work here is to improvise visual compositions and i’m well on the way to have enough material for the first time i gig with them later this month.  set list agreed … tick.


revealing joseph wright’s mourning ring.  in our second pre-project planning meeting curator of the joe wright collection at derby museums  – lucy bamford – shared with us a ring the painter would have worn.  this is the first time i’ve mentioned this project at derby museums funded by the royal academy to work with young people to re-interpret the joseph wright of derby gallery within the museum.  we all got to hold his ring.  the energy and atmosphere in the room was quite something.  hold ring worn by joseph wright of derby … tick.


views of manchester.  in china town we headed to the most popular restaurant and spent some quality time eating, drinking and sharing stories –  steve and i sharing time with graham of 24 design.  the makory had returned as 24 design’s work needed to complete, part of the knock on of earlier events out of our control.


steve and the bandsaw.  steve is the workshop manager at the museum of making and i’ve worked as his eager assistant as the machines and vices came out the boxes and made their way onto the makory.  the transition of the vehicle getting very close to 100% finished.


case for collection object.  we almost left without the cases for the collection objects !  they quickly bolted into place.

on our journey home we encountered a closed road.  three point turn in the makory … tick.  adapting travel plans to include ‘b’ road to get past closed ‘a’ road … tick.


inside the makory.  the makory went to a community event at the weekend – the first time for activities in the mobile museum.  we quickly got to work with the modular interpretation boards and work stations to adjust light and height levels respectively.  clay hippos and badges made … tick.


makory at first school location.  we’ve also taken the makory to its first school location this week as we begin an after school project there.

parrallel parking the makory … tick.


when i sit and look at the pictures here i can’t quite believe the week i’ve had. it’s been great !

in the coming weeks the two projects i’ve mentioned will get into a good rhythm and the extra work on the makory decrease – we’re getting so close to having everything finished.

i look forward to feeling the flow state again within my own practice.

blog post written, reflections made … tick