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I have been testing the model and I feel that by building it I have learnt another new trick yet again. Being visual people, you think you know exactly what you want as you can visualize it in your head, but when you build a mini set you realize that you encounter issues that you had not considered. By going through this stage it means I can refine my ideas and the layout and for there to be less panic on the installation stage.  I will definitely add this skill to my arsenal if I have the opportunity to present at such a scale again.

I have completed all the proposal documentation and will hand this in tomorrow. I am feeling pleased with the final result.  It means that next week I can finish the one painting still left to do and start work on my portfolio document that we need to hand in to complete the academic stuff.

Working on artist statements for the exhibition book and getting good quality photographs of the work have been the issues this week.

What is also pleasing is my inclusion in the degree show brochure issued by artist newsletter and my mini interview. Its all good stuff.


On friday I reworked the earlier piece using the spray painted shoes and reworked it as I felt it was not good enough for the show.  That said, I knew shoes as a metaphor for what women like and consumerism was a good one so, having just been gifted some gold spray paint which I had applied to a square MDF canvas speculatively, I realized that by reversing it, I had a shelf onto which I could place a shoe. The rest just naturally came after a couple of trips to use the saw in metalworking to cut the shoes in half so that they were not wider than the 2 inch mount for the MDF board.  It was quite fun to slice a shoe in half and see how they are made.  After taking so much trouble to spray paint the shoes pink many times, I decided in the end, that sculpturally, they worked better gold so they were turned back into gold shoes again which is somewhat ironic.  So I finally get to use the phrase ‘on sale now’ in a more appropriate way than last year.  It clearly says something about woman as consumer.  Quite pleased that I managed to turn this one around and taking the brave step of incorporating found objects into paintings.

Today I made a set from foam board of the exhibition area I want for the degree show. By doing such a mock up, and creating mini paintings on a scale of  1:19 of reality, it really has helped me confirm some layout ideas and raised other issues. So now I have the template, tomorrow I can play with the set design and test out some other ideas.  It has really helped me visualize everything and will assist greatly when I hand in my proposal.  That, and it was fun.


Sorry it has been a while.  I have been busy working on my proposal for the degree show and the final document that we hand in which is our portfolio.  I have been doing some new paintings but most of all I realize that to present on such a scale and produce a painting installation is a privilege I will probably never get again, I can imagine only exhibiting only a painting in singular in the future, to I really want to get it right and make sure the overall work is as good as it can be.

So I have been looking again at some paintings and reworking them just a little here and there, trying to move then on a little. I also have 3 new paintings, one using the ‘black’ small mdf board that was done a while ago.

I have been playing and testing with spray paint, in a more traditional graffiti way, but of course, i have lack of skill in this area and to put such imagery on a canvas is quite hard as graffiti is naturally much bigger given the medium.  As such, I did 3 tests yesterday, and I feel one of them worked, the Anarchy symbol but this only works because I stopped being a graffiti artist and could not help but become a painter again and scrapped into the various layers of paint whilst they were still wet creating the vibrancy of the piece.  I am really pleased with this work and its energy but spray paint, working in such a say is high risk and a know my limits.  This experimentation also tells me that to incorporate spray paint into the walls or floor directly is not the way to go. It is not needed and would be far too large.  So one painting using this technique is enough.

The neon signage which I tested on the studio wall has moved on a bit also.  I was concerned when it came to the install that I would not get it right in the timescale and as such, I get an old MDF board and turned this into a simple painting, mimicking on a large scale the earler A4 gentle feminism text works.  That way it all flows together.  Once I had my board I added a white border, again to add a connection between the pieces and slowly connected the light to spell out WOMEN.  I have changed it from woman to women to be more inclusive.  So rather ironically, it has turned back into a painting which happens to have electric lights to it.  It shows that original ideas and intentions morph as you go as you have to respond to what the work is telling you. I think this piece is almost there now. I may have to adjust the rope a little and I need to add mounts at the back but progress made.

I wanted to place an advert in the local paper the Sentinal to advertise the wedding dress as if it were a car but as this would cost me £27 and they may reject it anyway, I decided to just create a mock up and use the imagery of a car advert instead. It is a compromise but also an improvement on what I had. This will be displayed on pins behind the dress on the wall.

The painting that I have enjoyed doing most is SUBVERSION, an update on the Hollywood sign and really brings into conclusion all the issues I have been dealing with.  Also, I am pleased with the large abstract areas and the flat ground sky. I can see my genuine development as a painter here.

I have perhaps one more painting left to do. We have 2 weeks in the studio left now and then we have to start the install.  So I now need to work further on improving what I have and creating a model of the presentation for the exhibition.

I did test biting an apple and trying to seal it but I was not happy with the result so I have jettisoned that idea. Now is the time for honesty and ruthlessness in what is presented.



I have had a week to relax and I should be coming back refreshed and ready to go but I find myself just a little too relaxed and struggling to get back into it.

The steps I have taken this week have been more careful and less experimental.  I have been looking at more feminism books, or more accurately, post feminism books and researching more ideas for paintings. I am aware that the work for the degree show is turning into an installation and this is an area what I have not really touched on much before, being what I thought was a painting practice, but this is the time to be brave and ambitious so I am going to go for it. I recognize my own inexperience so one of my next areas of research will be to investigate installations so that I have a better understanding of the layers of this and allow what I present to be the best of what I have been experimenting with.

On a negative note, I was rejected for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries. A little disappointed but what can you do.

I had a tutorial on tuesday which confirmed that I am on the right track and all of the hard work before easter has taken me to a strong position that I need to build on to allow selection of the best works for the show.  The key phrase from the tutorial was follow your instincts.

So on wednesday I had the test exhibition space to see how all the works, compacted in my studio space would look on a much larger studio wall. Of course, it always changes and improves your perspective when they are moved into an exhibition context and are given space to breath.  I found that they more than hold the space, and by incorporating objects; paint brushes and the like into the work, it adds something.  As there was more space, I thought to try and test some brushes totally on their own.  This appeared to work.  Anarchy can be symbolized by the spray paint cans. So I know it works now, I do need to consider further how they are read in terms of each work talking to the next and how the objects interplay with it all.

I have dipping more items in the pink paint. I have tried some apples which work well, a reference to adam and eve and I need to think about a bite out of one, perhaps capturing this was varnish.  So its an area for development.

Also, building up more brushes and paint palettes, well used as a symbol of my art education.  They are really dripping with paint, that screams bodily fluid, a female ejaculation in paint.




We have just been off for 2 weeks for easter and in that time I worked on the dissertation which has now been handed in. It was relief to get that handed in.

I also went to the Tate Liverpool to see the Dora Carrington show which also had work from Cathy Wilkes.  I enjoyed both displays but it is Wilkes that leaves the lasting impression.  For me, Carrington has always been a favourite, more especially because of her position she was able to paint and compete with the boys at a time when this was unusual so it was wonderful to see so much of her oeuvre in one place.   But with Wilkes I learned something new. The combination of installation including paintings, exposed and perhaps arguably more interesting from the back, but the stars of the various separate installations which were presented all together were the uncanny figures of lost history, poverty, silently screaming out something very primal about family, children, labour and domestication. Incorporating found objects from digs or materials, the figures were reduced to their simplest form, but of course, that is what gave them their power.  I found them enchanting and atmospheric. Depicting a bygone world that I feel by DNA and genealogy was part of.   I also found it interesting that she had the confidence to switch medium for the actual heads, be it felt or a more contrived plaster basis. And I am sure that the grids also had meaning,  I would like to know more about her.