Work in progress going well, though late with the blog entry. The series with ‘news stand’ as the working title, is yet to be fully developed, but a first completed run has been made, and pictured here. This set using a local newspaper has two versions, black and white, and also a colour version. The full version will be nationals, but less variation between them. The final set may be ‘nationals’ or ‘tabloids’, but I don’t want to define it just yet as I want to see it evolve. The first run, pictured here, has a secondary set of smaller A4 versions but not all of the series will have that. Well, not unless further specific ideas evolve during the process, but I may return to those later if at all.

I have decided that A1 sheets work better than A2, and that smaller secondary pieces have to work in a different way to the larger pieces. In that, they need to function independently of the newspaper context, well to some extent.

I had a conversation earlier during last week and I said that newspapers and politicians it seems to me, either lie and/or mislead, not by the statements that they make, but in the omissions to their statements. The whole picture never seems to be present at the point of announcement. My work does this to some extent by omitting aspects from within the appropriated images and other material, but the allergisation adds something other than the original message. I take the original references and divert them.

While I am interested in the way communication works and while I am interested in how representation works, I do not seek to illustrate that, I want to take that interest along with other thoughts. Sometimes, well quite often really, I like to add some nonsense, or diversion. The images become something more and different then. The viewer will be held in the deluge with closure suspended.

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So the first print run of the Devices series is done (pictured here all in green). Now I am back in the print room again, some of the work in progress is either complete or very near. The other piece pictured here is part of the secondary series based on an idea called reportage. This links also with the other series based on this theme, with the working title ‘News Stand’. This series may change title as it develops but the concept is well defined. I have started printing the News Stand series, and I have stacks of stencils at the ready.

In fact all the ideas are well defined now, and those that are going to be developed are decided. This blog has reflected the residency, with a great deal of ideas and experimenting but focus has taken over now. I have met with Carol and Vicky to discuss arrangements for an exhibition and a clear concept for the for it has taken shape. More on the exhibition details soon when everything Is confirmed.


The sketchbook never empties, not all ideas manage to get out.  But some will.  This page further explores the connections and/or disparities between sign and index.  An odd statement perhaps, as we think of them as different; hence the different names.

So after stating the obvious and at the same time the incongruence.   Let me explain.  It seems to me that if associations can be attached or attributed to both signs and index, then both could be used interchangeably or perhaps interdependently.  The Simulacrum project is moving towards a combination of photo screen and cut masking.  Some part finished pieces.

I recall reading about the work of Ian McKeever and his use of the combination of photographs along with painting.  He talked about the use of different information. I guess something from that earlier influence has continued to be of interest to me as a concept, though redefined and very different work.  Collage and print feather strongly in the Simulacrum project.

Combinations of different kinds are coming up all the time in my ideas.  Ideas about hybrid combinations of print and painting have been with me for a while now? But I think I have enough for this project without taking those ideas any further. It may be a while yet to my return to paint.

From those early days as a student I also remember some good advise from my tutor about using a sketchbook.  He said leave something to resolve in the artwork, don’t resolve everything in the book.  My sketchbooks are still quite fractured with snippets of ideas, tests and reflections, even though there is a gradual progression of clarity.  The ‘News-stand’ (working title) newspaper image pictured here is a mock-up that will need developing when i start printing again. I have several pieces of work in progress at the moment awaiting resolve and final decisions when I return to the print room.

I have been reflecting back also because I come across Italo Calvino’s Memos for the next millennium again, which I first came across at art school.  Always interested in how language and representation works. Calvino talked about Quickness as a trait he valued in literature, defined as a limiting of description to allow the reader to engage in making up aspects of the narrative.  That seems still in my thoughts as I build up the allegories in the collage prints.  He talked about limited description along with an object that was a protagonist.  That word sparks my imagination.  . . . Hmm.  Another project perhaps.

Protagonist is a word used in discussion by a friend at a recent exhibition opening.  That of Robert Priseman, the exhibition now on at the Waterfront Gallery, preceding my exhibition. He has made some very interesting work about a series of shootings, which are remarkably approachable.  Is this case the protagonist is perpetrator.  This was a coincidence as was right in the middle of thinking about Calvino’s Quickness in relation to the work on show as this painter limits what he depicts from the subject matter.  I had the chance to talk to the artist about how he developed the pictures, and he said that they were pieced together from many fragments to complete the images.

Interesting, and very different to my work, but it is really interesting to see how  representation works and engages the viewer. And how it works differently in different work with different content and ideas.  Priseman takes the subject reduces information but keeps the content intact.  The Simulacrum is about an allegory that alters and/or ‘misreads’ the original content.

I seem to be stepping in from point to point here, rather like the Simulacrum series as each successive piece links to the previous.

That’s enough for now.


While working on the Simulacrum series which uses a collage fragment and a printed element derived from other fragments, I altered the surfaces of some pieces. I experimented with aging effects for two reasons. Firstly because some of the surfaces were very shiny and took the print inks less well. Secondly because after testing (pictured here, 5 devises and abrasions image) I realised that the effects of breaking the shiny surface created yet another connotation to add to the references in the prints. The series is almost complete now.

The ‘Devices’ series is the next series to expand. I will complete the first print run (the green image pictured in the last blog post and here in the device and note-page sketchbook) when I get back to the residency. In the meantime I have developed a second version with extra devices to alter the significations, and also use colour in different also to associate signs with context. I worked out a test layering on Photoshop with the reporters note-page inverted to negative instead of the positive register of the first Devices piece. This Devices series extends the ideas I had for a series called ‘Reportage’, which relates more closely to newspapers, and is now more complex. This new method more closely follows my starting point in the residency, where ‘the trace of the real or everyday’ is important. In this version the method of production uses the note-page directly as the mask in the screen-printing. But it also uses light and colour in a different way, not just because the first one was just in green, but because the suggestion of depth is more intense with a central white area. I think it creates a different engagement.

So the ideas are becoming more elaborate and refined, and also as the second sketchbook page shows the ideas are expanding faster than I can produce. I am thinking now about alternatives for printmaking where other found surfaces or objects may be used for printing on. I will probably need more time to take that route, and it would perhaps move too far away from the residency project concept. I have worked up more ideas for the Reportage series and developed a complementary series with the working title ‘Front Page’ or ‘newsstand’. This is well underway with compositions tested, though not pictured here and work will start next week on the real thing.