1 Comment

I feel for the first time this year that I have taken a big leap forward.  I have been working hard on the neon pink paintings until I have built up a small collection. I was taken very much by what one of the lecturers said about the a4 paintings appearing to look like penguin books, because of their 2 inch mount on the MDF, as such adding to their presence as objects of value and intellectual discussion.  Also, by having a number of works they appear to talk to each other.

So I have a number of A4 paintings using text, Feminism GSOH, Feminism LOL, Discourse is Ours, The F work (which I like because it has value as feminism but also a swear word, highlighting our embarrassment at ownership of it, and its issues.

The whole presentation of the works centres around the semiotic square, deeply philosophical and dealing with polar opposites, I have used it to address the issue of identity in its most simple of ways of presentation.  4 simple squares spray painted on with a quality masking tape have produced such a crisp clear line that I am really pleased with the process results, something I had not achieved in terms of finished with a low cost tape, but also, in terms of their intellectual, conceptual level, hot pink against blue, i.e. female/male and white against black to address race issues. So overall, its about indentity and I thought I great starting point to address issues of feminism now.  I feel these paintings as a collection work for the various reasons:

Hot pink is so symbolically loaded with the issues of what is it to be a woman, historically and in the present day, but also, it is used with fully loaded irony with regard to our embarrassment with feminist issues which are relevant to everyone in society so hot pink is a metaphor for our rejection as a society of uncomfortable truths and our embarrassing of the sexual liberation in which we see ourselves as in control and embrace all that is pink and fluffy.  A strange irony.   So with all that deep symbolism, thankfully it is also striking in terms of presentation of the paintings.  It grabs your attention.

The text paintings work as they are not totally obvious, you have to work to understand their messages.

The best combination, is the discussion between the paintings of the blue semiotic square and the Post Feminism work, which of course, is a loaded phrase because we call it post feminism but the uncomfortable truth is that the issues are still there, they have just moved on with modern day society issues.

So I have for the first time a body of work that has wit, makes the viewer work, a theme, my own voice and are visually attractive.

To move them forward I now want to do more pieces in a larger scale to push the same issues that work but to add in a figurative element beyond simple text paintings but I can see the most successful part of this has been the testing in the exhibition space as an assemblage and the conversation between the works that leaves the viewer searching and enjoying the twists and turns of the narration at whatever level of knowledge, critical or otherwise, they will get something from it that will leave them thinking.

So finally, I have a detailed direction, I now just need to refine it, push it more but I know I am onto something. A good day indeed. It has been painful to get to this point.


I have been busy in the studio today working on 4 new 60x60cm square boards and 4 rectangular boards 60x70cm.  I want to continue to develop my smaller test pieces so felt it was time to move up another scale. It is time to start taking some braver steps.  I have been thinking a lot about the HOLLYWOOD style signage and building text into a painting landscape in that manner.

I have also been working on the neon pink text paintings.  They need white text and not black as this fits better with the pink colour, mimics advertising to women in soft tones.  It is also quite a playful way of moving on the traditional text painting that is dealing with feminist issues.

I feel I am beginning to get somewhere now. By jettisoning the subject matter of magazines quotes I am refining my word content and beginning to really take ownership of the paintings, with my own voice.  I am aware it is high risk but I have to try.

I think this is a pivitol point.





The Whitworth reopened this weekend following the extension being added to the rear.  It was great to go and see what it is like now and it was not disappointing.  The work on display by Cornelia Parker I especially enjoyed, I was disappointed not to see Shattered Matter which I was hoping for, but the other works on display did not disappoint at all.  They are so conceptually strong and were a demonstration of how to do it.  Fantastic stuff.

Also of interest were the curatorial decisions now that they can show more of their collection in a larger space.  The portraiture area was disappointing, not in content but in terms of the display and the need to pick up leaflets detailing who had done each particular piece of work.  As it was the opening weekend, people were lifting the cards for each wall and not putting them back in the same location, causing confusion to all.  And yet, there was some good conversations going on there, especially between the Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud work.

I was much taken with the work of Mary Kelly which was a text piece on feminism that is a greenhouse. A great artist to look at further.

Manchester should be proud of having such a museum on the map. Bravo.


I had my fiI rst crit of the year today.  The feedback was to go with my inner voice as this has much more power than the magazine quotes I have been holding onto.  I am happy with this decision and advice.  It was felt that the sample paintings that worked best were the ones where text is used as part of the landscape of a painting and not as simple text paintings.  But that saying, not to close down my options at the moment as I have alot going on.  To push further the ideas of Hot Pink Christopher Wool type text paintings on feminist issues, to do a Sean Landers VOMIT painting as I am calling it and also to develop further the idea of text in landscape.