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I have started another painting progressing the ideas from the earlier REVIEW painting. This time my improvements/experiments are:

Get away from the literal idea of the magazine cover but just use the language of magazines/marketing.

Use the strap lines instead – found statements  – soundbite society

Use an image of a model, as the female gauze staring out at the female viewer

Union jack background to symbolize  Cool Britannia and modern day culture.

This time the scale is about 3 times the size of the earlier REVIEW painting.

Improve my use of stencil and text as the last one was a little crude and could do with refinement.


Artist Talk today with Emma Price who’s introduction was:

Emma has worked as an independent art consultant for many works, enabling artists such as previous visitors Mark S. Gubb and Heather and Ivan Morison to deliver ambitious and exciting artworks in the public realm.

Emma is a also a Board Member of Ffotogallery Wales and is a co-founder of Goat Major Projects in Cardiff.


My thoughts:

How refreshing to hear someone from the commercial reality of the art world who was willing to give some hard earned advice and lessons in experience for us to consider in developing our own artistic careers beyond the comfort of university.  She was engaging and put us all at ease as she bounded her way through the pitfalls of a professional career in the arts. Emma now deals with curating and commissioning contemporary art in the public realm and she talked through her current projects.  

She energized me in terms of residency opportunities after university as I start to develop my CV and networking at every possible opportunity as it is through those connections that you have already established and future ones that you forge that help develop your career.

I would have really enjoyed one to one tutorial time with her but I had to go due to other commitments.


Firstly I need to apologize to anyone reading the student blogs. I was accidentally creating a new blog every time I posted an update, I totally got this wrong so today I have had to reconfigure by blog and do a lot of copying and pasting.  I am not technologically minded and I am embarrassed by bombarding everyone with too many new blogs with my name on!

I have been over the last week spending time on the Cargo Collective website and building the website required to be operational for hand in at the end of December.  I have learning as I go and having bought the domain name, now have a strong platform on which to present myself as a credible artist going forward after the university experience.   S0, as a learning curve and as part of my professional practice I am pleased with the result.  I have added a connection to the blog within the site.

Check it out at www.aligibson.com




This saturday saw the opening event of the Kules residency programme in Stoke On Trent. Their aim is to use the empty industrial spaces around the city for short term art projects.

The opening event was well attended and featured a number of artists known from Staffordshire University. It was a very social event to meet and greet familiar faces and to meet some new ones.

I happended to be upstairs looking at the work of the artist Leigh Clarke when he was preparing to put on his make up for a shammen singing performance piece.  I happen to be a professional face painter so I offered my services to Leigh at this point and by helping him out, I managed to make another connection and meet the artist.  It goes to show, you never really know who you are talking too.  Once fully painted somewhere between a skull and a monkey, Leigh sang to the audience in an acapelo style commenting in a very engaging way about dry social observations of our time, highlights including Chicken in a box and Mother F****** Gangster.

Well worth a visit. If you are local, come and see what is in the show, the large scale installation by Leigh Clarke is not to be missed.


I was pleased with the painting yesterday ‘Review’ but my head is already racing with the comments from Cally Spooner and how I can progress my line of inquiry and develop my work.

I have found by going through some weekly downmarket magazines where people sell their stories for cash, some quite powerful headlines that I can use in my work. If I remove them from their original editorial content and reinvent them within my work, then I may have something powerful here. I have a large number of these statements up on my studio wall so I can reflect upon them and decide which I feel are the more powerful.

I need to test how to translate these headlines into paintings. I have been using stencils and spray paint but the one I felt was the most successful so far was when I turned the stencil over and pressed the residue down onto the canvas, it picked up a number of layers of spray paint and I feel this is a far more interesting resultant image than just purely spraying on the paint. So although the letters are reversed, I need to recreate this by further testing.

I do feel the union jack is very successful to use as a ground but again I need to test what works comparing some samples using the union jack and typography and just a simple acrylic white/blue/red mix.  By testing I will know what has the more power.

Also, I need to consider, I was thinking that next step was to use one of the glamourised vogue ladies, whos face stares out at the viewer and one of these headlines but then I question of the works alone would stand successfully without the need for additional portraiture? Like a Richard Prince joke painting?  I need to test this.

If I use these headlines with a female face then the viewer will empathise with the face and connect the 2.  It could be interesting.

So I feel I am in quite a strong position at the moment. I have my source material in terms of vogue ladies from advertising and I have a wealth of headlines to choose from.

Time to think and stand back a little and then test and I will find the answers.