The last week has been a busy one and illustrates just how much things alter week by week. One week I’m leading up to nothing and the next week I’m wondering how I will fit everything in! I am applying for things all the time and sometimes I hear back. Sometimes these are things that end up being on deeper delving, not quite what they first seemed and sometimes they end up being something much more exciting than I thought they would be. I am learning to stem excitement, expectation of one thing and therefore hopefully reduce disappointment at a later date, but I always remain hopeful of every new endeavour.

Anyway, nothing major has come along but I did hear back from a group putting together an exhibition in Nottingham to open on the 3rd December, so it’s all been rush, rush to try and organise the piece and my time getting there all quite last minute. I am putting in a site-specific drawing that will go directly onto the wall of the gallery. It is a reasonably small drawing (my row of chairs) but a surprising amount of detail to draw. I have drawn it on the wall at the studio and am now getting it ready to transfer using a traced template. The exhibition is called ‘Not on White Paper’. I don’t know what other work has been selected for the exhibition but I’m very excited to see the results! It’s at the Malt Cross Gallery. 3rd December-14th December, if anyone fancies it.

I also had further contact with the Surface Gallery, also in Nottingham. It looks like finally there are some concrete plans being made. I have agreed to do my drawing performance for the opening (date still to be confirmed). I am very excited about doing this, after feeling so positive about it at the Open Studios, I am thrilled to be trying it in a gallery and further afield, for a new audience. I am a little scared about the prospect of performing to strangers, but incredibly excited too.

I also got a call from a guy at North Herts College asking me if I would like to come and talk to the art students about my work, with the possibility of doing a workshop in the future. I gulped and then agreed to come and have a look around in December after the exhibition in Nottingham has been set up. This out of everything above is the one that scares me the most! It is the one that really feels alien to me, but I do want to be able to do it. Lets just see what happens.


Not a lot to report for last week. I was working on a new piece at the studio most of the week. It’s a flat wire drawing outlining a particular view of my studio. I have suspended it in front of the studio scene, so it overlaps the scene. (It’s hard to explain and I’m really not sure how or if it works at the moment). It is one of those pieces that brings out exciting ideas and has got me thinking but is yet to be there in any real way. I need to keep working and working at the idea until I uncover how it might progress. Sometimes it really feels like excavating an artefact when I'm working on an idea, very slowly and delicately uncovering the thoughts that lead on to the next; extremely frustrating at times. I have found that so far it is only something that works when I photograph it and have that set view, and then it is quite strange to look at. I’ll keep going with it.

Apart from that I’ve been going over all the opportunity pages looking for what’s going on and what I can apply for. That seems to be the main constant cycle in my life… scan the pages, apply, wait….scan the pages, apply, wait….scan the pages, apply, wait…. Is this the best thing for me to do? Galleries?

I have felt low this week… I can only describe it as- not feeling human. Sometimes I feel that doing this leaves me standing outside real life, balancing on the brink of unsustainable, irresponsible, or maybe completely deluded. My paranoid feelings that there is an underlying opinion on every ones lips becomes like criticising voices whispering inside my head! (not in the mad sense, although I do wonder sometimes) As I sat in the passenger seat coming back from London yesterday, staring out at the rain, my mind wandered away from my usual train of thought (my work, possible opportunities, next week at the studio etc) and instead started trailing off to new scenarios… getting a regular job, nurturing my more practical skills, getting better at maths, being ‘normal’, doing something that people don’t want you to justify, something that explains itself through simple payment. I try to repel these thoughts but of course they happen.


Oh how a week can change things. So I began the week by contacting Harewood House, as they asked me to do, to discuss my thoughts about what I might do for the exhibition next year. This was followed the next morning by an email telling me that unfortunately I hadn’t made it into the final list of artists to be involved. That’s it. Over.

Now, I was a little shocked by the abruptness and also the fact that I wasn’t even aware that I was waiting to find out whether I had been selected. No selection issues had been discussed with me, even when I met them all. I was approached and invited to be involved. They have had changes recently because a curator left through ill health. This I presume, is why it has happened the way it has.

So my initial feelings where complete despair, swamped by all those very human emotions that I try not to be governed by, rejection, confusion, bewilderment, paranoia, which led to the inevitable flood of tears. Luckily I was at the studio when I got the email and another Fellow was around to talk through things with me. I calmed down and composed my zigzag of emotions.

There was nothing more for me to do. Move on. Just know at least I tried. But of course this isn’t all I can feel. I spent the weekend mulling. What am I doing wrong? Had I just completely got the whole thing wrong? Why did I not know the arrangement? It made me reflect on how some recent experiences have made me feel lately. Notably, like we artists are just 2 a penny, as the old saying goes and not necessarily treated as professionals. From my last two encounters with curators, I feel that I have been left in the dark, always guessing, been uninformed of their arrangements and plans, fobbed off at times. I have tried to be completely open and definitely accommodating, but both times seem to have been purposefully left in the dark and not able to discover this until it’s too late and have no options left.

Well the last thing I want to do is rant. I will definitely not get defeated and negative about things. From this I have learnt, ask every question under the sun and be completely sure about what they want from you. It sounds obvious but at times I have felt reluctant to ask certain questions for fear of jeopardising a chance or looking pushy. Clearly timid does not do me any favours.

The positives of the week:

1. Surface Gallery are in touch again, discussing more solid plans.

2. My blog had small appearance in this month’s AN magazine

3. Had a good day out with some of the guys from Digswell on Sunday and some good chats.

There….not all doom and gloom!