Art-in-the-world-wise it’s a good year for me. Two exhibitions, one near, one far! Definitely time to celebrate. (Please hold while I squelch underfoot a niggling quibbling mass of worry-worms – what if nothing else comes?). Done. And back to celebrating… I was chuffed when five CatAListers (SashaBowlesRosalind DavisJustin HibbsEvy Jokhova and Annabel Tilley) asked me to join their new collaborative project Catalyst 3. Did my bit in February, well before my exhibition in Lisburn came into focus. Can’t wait to see the end-results.

Catalyst is part parlour-game, part contest/clash/collision, or shall we say: cooperation? The rules are simple: One artist starts a piece – absolutely no constraints, and delivers to the next in line by the first of the following month. Each consecutive artist has a month’s time to transform or expire. As the piece passes from hand to hand a chain of interventions ensues, an interplay of endless possibilities: to build up, take away, change, erase, append, dismantle, embellish, augment, obliterate, leave traces, overwrite. All media are allowed, and here they span painting, drawing, stitching, crochet, collage, assemblage, video installation, 2D, 3D, side by side, under and over.

Catalyst is an exercise in trust and daring, a tug of war as media, ideas & styles, egos & ambitions meet and enmesh. At every stage questions of authorship and synergy arise. In the end a coming together, a joining of forces, a feast of creative conversations. Each artist’s individuality threads through and interweaves with the other artists’. As they delve into one another’s work, they raise their game, explore new processes, revel in associations & connotations, all of which feeds back into their own art practices.

Catalyst means pressure, pleasure, purpose, pain; suspense, surprise, exhilaration. There are no rules. All the while the clock ticks.

Catalyst @ Husk Gallery
with Sasha Bowles, Rosalind Davis, Justin Hibbs, Evy Jokhova,
Marion Michell & Annabel Tilley

Exhibition continues 20 – 30 June 2015
Tues to Friday 8am – 6pm | Saturdays 10am – 5pm.

Tuesday 30 June; Artists Talk & Soundclash from 6pm
With: Justin Hibbs, Ben Lancaster, Peter Liversidge & Martin Herbert
(All welcome)
Husk Gallery, 649-651 Commercial Road, Limehouse,  London E14 7LW7

@Husk_Gallery #catAlist



The exhibition at R-Space Gallery in Lisburn came to an end on Saturday, and my work is travelling back to me. Toes have been dipped into the wider world, lines have been redrawn, learnings&reflections are ongoing. One splendiferous strand will go on twisting and curling: Joanne Proctor and I want to continue our collaboration, albeit at a slower pace. Yeaheah!

Robert Martin, gallery-director, had put us in touch in March. We took time exploring each other’s work on-line before we decided what we wanted to do together and how, and in-spite of feeling pressed for time – the month while the show was up – went for tactile&tangible (as opposed to mediated by the computer-screen). Snail-mail served us well.

I started us off with a photograph of two plaits and a poem about a sibyl. Mysterious parcels travelled across the Irish Sea – the unwrapping of contents suspense- and delightful. Gifts of a kind, offerings… Sometimes we made new pieces in response to what we found, sometimes we worked right into a piece. Cooperation means you have to raise your game, look with two sets of eyes, yours/hers, respect and marvel in what you receive, and find the courage to intervene in another’s work, which has an aspect of competition, even demolition. You also can’t be too precious about your own endeavours, deliver them with generosity and breath held. Egos may clash!

It’s been a gentle ride – getting to know and being attentive to each other’s processes, ideas, media, materials has been a joy; at one time though, when my trembly hands failed to comply with my very clear instructions and I felt I spoiled a delicate piece, anxious too.
Will be exciting to see where we go from here.