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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.


Working on 3 paintings today.  What will be the AURA painting I want to have many layers, my homage to Walter Benjamin for Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction and Malevich Black Square.  He painted the first one in 1915 so I enjoy the 100 year celebration by redoing it in 2015 but this time with pink, so its way women are the Aura, we have an Aura, we have any layers, we are full of imperfections and that is what makes us all unique and interesting.I didnt realise when I order the size for the canvas that he did more than one ‘black square’ so this one mimicks the 106cm square one. The best laid plans and all that.

I have been painting the pipe for the Teachery painting. Again, an update on This is not a pipe. Playful I hope and a little more hand hitting than is my natural style but its a gift horse so I have to use it, The Treachery of Images by Margritte painted in 1929 is recycled as a feminist work saying that men have been treacherous in their betrayal of womens rights. I have left a little smoke coming from the pipe to suggest that the issues are still smoldering and not yet laid to rest.

Last of my, my very personal and playful response to a visiting artists tutorial in which I was told ‘Art is not meant to be fun!’.  Well, this is my playful result. A painting which says just that, which means of course, it is. Or at least, it should for me.  That the creative process should be a joyous and highly personal thing that you must always believe in. A small piece of concrete poetry.  I feel I am finally finding my own voice. The paintings are becoming just that.  Not replications in paint of the existing world, but ideas from inside my head. That for me, is a huge step forward.


After 2 days working on my essay I was glad to be back in the studio today. Lots of bits and pieces to do. I want to put my foot down in the studio as much as I can this week.

I started with the dress and continued to burn out the dummy on which the dress is hung. The burn marks and melting and now spray painted pink to show a dark corporeal melted body inside.  She is becoming a presence and I need to be careful when she is finally presented in the degree show that the 3 legs holding up the dummy are not visible from the front, to add to the presence of a floating dress.   My feeling in terms of title are something like…I am not her anymore…the sacrifice.  Or something similar.  I did add some text which I felt had to be handwritten and totally my own voice.  I realize that the handwritten should be my own thoughts and voice and that topography and font text should be words of authority or at least the third person.  I added 2 slogans to the front but I am unsure about them.  It was not what I had planned in my sketchbook. I had planned to have lots of famous art quotes on the bottom and my own voice on the top but having thought about it, I was not sure if this was the right way to go.  I will leave it for now and think about it.

The shoes I am enjoying very much.  I want to say something like ‘walk I mile in my shoes’.  About the role of women in society.  The paint and printing medium ooze from the shoes, and if I am honest, like a bodily fluid and this is what I want to say really, the corporeal, the body, sex, all of it.   I thought I had worked out one step for me was 17 inches and that over a mile this was 8940 so I wrote this on one of the shoes to test it to see if it worked.  I need to double check my maths. And also, not really feel the way the number is displayed is sophisticated enough. Again, I need to think about this.

I have also been testing the books sculpture. I am enjoying the idea of how women have so many roles and how they juggle them all.  The books seem to sum this up. By testing them in terms of layout I am learning what works better in terms of presentation. Adding the picture frame of a victorian painting adds another conversation. It could really be a separate piece in its own right.

One person will see a pissed off woman, another will know the painting, some will see the male gaze at work but how this has been high jacked by a subsequent viewer and given a new meaning, the idea of the female gaze I think has humor to it.

I am interested how the works as a whole, when displayed will say different things to different people, depending on their art knowledge. It seems important to me that anyone can take something from it, like ‘the F word can mean a critical discussion about embarrassment about a critical discourse or it can literally be a swear word.  The double meaning appeals.