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I have another toilet lady image now, the woman cuddling and protecting the 3 boys. This painting is very much inspired by the work of Kathe Kolwitz and a postcard I bought when I went round her museum in Berlin. The mother hugs her 3 children so tight to keep them safe.  I thought, lets bring this into 2015 but it also offers toilet humor but a softer side to the paintings and I am keen to offer up a rounded presentation of what may be my life (mother of 3 boys) but also deals with the universal truths of woman’s lives.

I guess that painting is a little personal. My feeling is, having done 3 toilet lady paintings that its time to park this now and move onto other things.  It is the easter holidays now and for a time I will be working on the essay.

I have been testing in the studio today the idea of adding text to the wall onto which the painting is hung.  Its very crude just now but really I am just playing. I also added the paint brushes and spray cans on the 2 inch mount of the MDF frame.  It gives me something to consider in terms of presentation.

I realize when easter is over, I need to test and research more into immersive installations as this may give me a few more ideas about the best way to present. At the moment I feel I am in a strong position in that I have something to use already for the degree show but how it will be presented will be critical.

Time to think, stop working and let it sink in. Then the ideas will begin to flow I hope.








Every day I feel like I am making real progress now.  The feedback in the group crit was that all the paintings collectively were asking for conversation and not offering an answer to the question but some perceived them an quite aggressive. I need to ensure when the are finally presented, that the message is a celebration of womanhood as much as raising questions about our many roles in society. I do have another toilet lady to use as a tender image for motherhood which may help. It needs to be quite rounded.

The feedback in the crit said that the dress, without words would be conceived as inward looking, and so, having earlier discounted the idea of writing actually upon it, I have come up with a playful advert to sell the dress as if it were a car.  This says a lot of things in a very humorous way about ownership. I have also carefully chosen to take the mickey out of myself and not out of my ex husband which is not and never will be the intention. It has been suggested that I place this advert in a real newspaper and present this as part of the work. I like the sound of that.

I have been working on the Apple painting which uses the quote Simone de Bouviour quote which is meant to say something about adam and eve, temptation and be a little playful with this when combined with the text.

The receipt painting ‘Consumer Consumed’ is a real conceptual painting and very cheeky.  I am using myself in everything now, as it is an honest voice.

I realize when I look at it now that the influence of Sigmar Polke and the show I visited in January is clearly evident.

Then at the close of play today I did some testing in the exhibition space. I am beginning to consider how everything will be presented in the degree show.


This is a very early development piece. I ordered a christmas rope light and I wanted to write something with it.  If the final degree work I am to present is to be more than just painting, with sculpture and found objects then I want to have fun with it as well.  It fits very well with the while theme that is developing. I was told in a tutorial that the work was beginning to scream and shout at the viewer, and in my own words, it is a vomit, or what I am now calling a pink vomit, and as such, if its screaming at you, all my internalized thoughts coming out and hitting the viewer, then neon flashing lights would seem to fit with the theme.

I am just testing at the moment what is possible with a 10m rope light. I had initially thought to use the word IDENTITY but one its heavy hitting and I am interested in how the work overall is read by all viewers, whether they have critical knowledge or not, and so, and for ease of a 5 letter work instead of 8 I choose WOMAN.  I struggled a little bit with securing the rope to the wall but eventually settled upon netting nails and cable ties which seem to do the trick.  There are various settings on the control, some more gauche than others and I need to play with background, which of course will be neon pink and measuring to get the right scale with appropriate access to a plug in the installation but I like this idea. It plays well against the paintings which will be on a separate wall.

I also finished the toilet lady juggling her heads. It is so simple and very graphic but says enough. Real toilet humor.  I was going to add the words MOTHERHOOD at the bottom but actually, it does not really need it.

We had a group crit today which was very positive and told me I am on the right track. It was also discussed that I should consider reworking some earlier work from January so I laid down a pink wash on PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH and it is reinvented with another meaning to fit into the show. When it was originally taken from a TATE sign on the floor.

A good day


Off to London today on a day trip.  My aim was the Marcel Dumas exhibition at the Tate Modern.  I had written an essay about her in Level 5 so she was certainly up there as a an artist I was personally very keen on and so it was an experience again in what you think you know from books and the internet and the difference to experiencing the real thing in front of you and enjoying textures and scale.

‘The Image as Burden’ takes you chronologically through her career. I will always get a huge kick out of seeing an image I have seen on books/internet live in the flesh so to speak.

Being familiar with her work already, I learnt…

that she has a wonderful way of dealing with colour, the glazes and energy screaming from her work is excellent.

I know is is well known for her poetry and writings and they embellished the walls, explaining her thought process throughout the exhibition.

The way she paints is not about accuracy, it is about energy, about activity, intensity, movement.  It captures the essence of life.

That she is awkward when it comes to hands

Many are so quick and energetic in their creation that they bubble off the canvas, synergy and life scream at you but some areas of canvas remain white, no wash is laid down first, the edges are rough and ready.  Its about emotion and not detail.

Also of interest was to see her development and comment on concept to try and move  beyond the original use of source material to something a lot stronger conceptually.

Then off to Tate Britain to brush up on UK artists. Great to see the work of Fiona Banner and how the contemporary artist room display had been changed since my last visit last year.

Finally we went to the David Zwirner gallery to see the current work of Luc Tuymans. There were 7 paintings the most interesting of which were upstairs.  Great to see them in the flesh but I was not personally blown away if I am honest, I guess you are buying a well known artist with a well established oeuvre.   A really productive day.





Another great day in the studio. Finishing off a lot of paintings.  Being very playful now and moving forward. I am beginning to feel quite excited about what is developing. There is real conversation here.

I have removed the text from the dress with turps. Having thought about it long and hard I felt it was not really working and the text in whatever form was not really adding to the work.  That the dress with its uncanny presence is enough, the dress being taken over by the paint is enough, it does not need anything else. To add the text was to overwork it. So I have removed it and now I have I feel it was the right choice. Somethings take time to resolve.

All the work I have done so far seems to be reaping dividends now.   The AURA painting I am perhaps a little disappointed with in terms of depth, despite sanding back it does not have quite the energy I was hoping for. I may have another go at sanding it down further.

I have rearranged the finished work and work in progress on my studio wall, ready for our group crit on monday.  It will be interesting to see the feedback but I am feeling that the direction and progress is really good at present.