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Please turn away if easily offended.

Oh ages and ages ago, there was a discussion about the derogatory connotations that go alongside the term “Local Artist” and even the picture conjured up in my head is of an elderly watercolourist who’s sold a few, and has an exhibition in the library window.

So if I get a job/opportunity within a 20 mile radius of my home, what am I? What do I call myself that doesn’t put this picture in people’s heads?

This is where the problem arises, because my son uttered a phrase the other day, which I love, but it’s so full of arty-bollocksyness we laughed about it for quite some time. But, in the cold light of day, I think I’m going to use it. Talk not of local artists, talk of EMBEDDED CULTURE.

(*sniggering*)

So I’ve come to the conclusion, although I still eschew the arty-bollocks, that it might be useful sometimes… but then maybe that’s what makes the difference? If it’s useful, it’s not bollocks.

Apologies for 3 lots of bollocks in one short post. Oops… that’s 4 now. Bollocks.


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I’ve hung “Are You Listening?” up in school. The children loved them, made up stories about what the adult that made the hand marks was saying to the child, searched for the marks, twirled them and spoke to them. I should have shipped in a bunch of children for the assessment!

Seeing them in a child space, rather than an adult space was interesting too, where they could fit the furniture, and the people surrounding them were their peers.

The adults were interested in varying degrees… one of the cleaning ladies said they were “charmingly weird” which I can live with!


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Domesticity.

I had forgotten how much of it everyone else was doing.

The washing machine repair man is here. He is miserable, patronising and has an air of smirky resentfulness about him. But what’s he got to complain about? He hasn’t got a houseful of unwashed teenage boy clothes!

I have a long list of household chores to do before I can even start on the art today. I resent it, but conversely I’m vacuuming with relish (messy, I know) as it is a physical reminder of a return to normal, whatever normal happens to be!

Once I’ve caught up, I will have my Tuesdays and Wednesdays to myself to write, read, make, visit, or just slob about with toast looking at facebook and youtube, catching up on my listening.

So if you’ll excuse me, I have to rediscover where we keep the pledge.


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Well it’s properly over now. The babies have come home and are shoved in those big blue Ikea bags, waiting for me to find them a home. The song is over, the fat lady sang. I sang all the way home in the car, loudly, you know, in the way that you try to sing loudly at funerals?

So all those half-baked, half-written, half-formed, half-arsed ideas I’ve had need to become fully formed. I need to get them out there, into the big wide world. I need to apply for stuff. Get myself seen. Self-publicise.

So next week I write.

Get myself organised.

Clear my studio/dining room

Start again… today is the first day of….


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I don’t want this to sound like one huge trumpet blowing exercise, but I’m having a really good week. The purpose of this blog is not just to tell you readers what I’m up to, what and how I’m thinking, but also to remind myself how I felt, how it was to be in a particular place at a particular time. So that maybe when I’m having a grim week, I can look back fondly on this time.

I’m sat at the moment in the foyer, looking at the “babies” twirling in the air currents, and listening to my song. People have told me they love/like/dance to/hum along with my song. The security guys that have been here all week tell me they like it, they’re not driven mad by it… it’s only Wednesday, they’ve got till 4pm Sunday, so it might happen! I’m not fed up of it yet, and I’ve been living and breathing it for the last 6 months or so… maybe even more! But that may be an ego thing! Haha! I never believe it when singers say they don’t listen to themselves… surely that must be nonsense? False modesty? I’ve written two songs to the point of having them properly recorded, and I love listening to them! The second one is better than the first, I think, and the third one, in my head, I’m sure will be better still, in terms of clarity of thought, execution and production.

Thursday:

In reading and commenting on Marion’s blog: www.a-n.co.uk/p/2157883/, she has shed light on my own process. I wrote a song to go with my first assessment in the first year of my MA, the Lullaby. It wasn’t really ready to play with that piece, so was finished for the next assessment point. It linked the two “episodes” if you like. The making comes first, then the song, but the song initiated by the making, gets played with the next episode of making…. That sounds like nonsense, but I hope you know what I mean.

So the work that is up at the moment, is pushing words into my head, through the reactions of other people to the work, and ideas and language that insinuates itself into my brain from looking at it, living with it. The words that arise from this process, will appear with the next episode of making. Thank you Marion for making me think about this part of my practice that is still new, and needs more exploration.


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