I have just heard that I have got the part-time job that I need to keep head above water financially – starting in late January. So now I can forget about job hunting! Yes!  That is one less thing to distract my attention.  I am getting to a place of clarity in knowing that I am separating writing and action or physical and textual, doing this in life and art.  There’s a big possibility of sectioning off part of my front room to be a dedicated library – amazing!  (Bliss)  I am really aware of how highly I regard reading, text and books.  It is possibly to a fault, to the point I would rather read tonnes about something than actually do, but I think this is a habit rather than an actual preference.  I don’t want to do what I’ve always done, that won’t get me anywhere!  I am also hankering after doing an MA p/t as soon as I possibly can, but then I might be back to square one financially and have to earn more and therefore have no time for the MA! Hmmm.  Will have to research funding for part time MA’s more thoroughly.

There are so many things I want to do – there always are.  I have run up against a lack of money for canvas to currently carry on the 254 words painting – I shall be able to continue in February now, unless I am pleasantly surprised with a grant, in which case sooner.  (not holding breath!) I have a complicating tendency to continually separate and put things together (threads), it’s a collecting impulse maybe?  So – my various threads now (I keep going over them, to try and see it all clearly – clarifying is important to me right now):

  • Library performance – spoke to a performance company recently who mentioned Commedia dell ‘arts from the 16th century –  and that what I am doing has something similar to that… improvisation, music and dance, touring nature.   Also that it may have come about as a result of the political and economic crisis of the 16th century…seems to have parallels to now.

I have had a mind map sent to me from the tutor who has 4 students interested in the project at Hereford college on the mobile library performance.  One of the points they have is why one mobile library? Hmmm.  Hadn’t considered more than one at all!   There’s lots more on the mind map for me to mull over, it is really exciting to be working in this way with other people, but also very nerve wracking because I have involved so many.  (I am one for getting buried in the details – so it probably feels more complicated than it actually is!)  I do want to have this performance develop and actually happen for the Eisteddfod, so keeping it all clear and simple at the core is vital (with many people involved.)


  • #portrait:TACHBROOK performance in association with Rufus Stone is next Saturday – I am travelling up to Pimlico next Friday and the group (4 of us) will be sourcing materials locally to set up our market stall where we will be asking people to take a photo on a disposable camera within the market.  We’ll get these processed at a shop a few metres away and display the results.  To get the hang of it, and because I wanted to feel more of a connection to Abergavenny I took a whole disposable camera’s worth of photos a few weeks ago of myself in Abergavenny.  When we arrive in Tachbrook we wont have any of the display materials we need, we’ll arrive with nothing, and leave with nothing as we’ll offer people to come back at 3pm to collect their photos, and also offer them up for local shops (perhaps). If we have material left we’ll charity shop or bin it.   This activity is valuable to me in advance in the connecting with the environment and in working with a group, with the group developing clear boundaries for the performance.  Although the project seems apart from my practice I knew I had to take up the opportunity when I was invited to take part because the chance to work collaboratively is something I have not done much of and I admire the way Viv Barraclough and Ash Roberts collaborate.  Another artist – Becky Sumpter is also involved. Working with these diverse artists is exciting and stimulating for me – we all individually work in very different ways.  I am curious how I have seen this collaboration in its development ( over last few months, meeting up occasionally, but mostly through email and phone contact), now when about to perform and what will it be like afterwards?  We are not taking photos of the project, though Teresa Albor (Rufus Stone) is.  What will it have been, without our own documentation?
  • Want to revisit words I collected from people on my typewriter at the print shed show.
  • Wanting more of a connection with the physical world somehow in my work.  I have been going out near where I live drawing anything, sheep, foliage growing over a car, the market hall, the suburbs.   But I am wanting to paint as installation (could be inside or outside, but outside is more appealing to me) – writing backwards/wordfall / in and out and through growth forms. The words are like a hidden journaling, they are decipherable (just!) and I am often using a word from a song as a starting point, or something I have heard about in the news from others (don’t watch news currently) or something that is on my mind longer term.  I also sometimes make it actually impossible to read (I believe) by writing backward, up or downward direction and in my left hand.  But it is still recognizable as writing.  The growth forms are usually painted, often in green tones, these are improvised. (see image of works in Print Shed show, attached. And recent sketch book activity.)
  • Wanting to get my art out there in order to let it grow / have its own life (or to die, if that is its fate).  Feeling melodramatic as I gave myself an ultimatum a few weeks ago –x, y and z by next year or else get a proper job!  One was to earn £x (this p/t job does that), another to get work in 6 exhibitions and the other was to figure what I think art is for and therefore what my role is!!  So 2 of them are really easy to see if I’ve achieved, the other not so easy, but I think that will be ongoing!!!   So the threat is massive and my motivation is very high.  Searching high and wide for places to exhibit and I have a master list of which annual exhibitions I’ll go for.  Exhibition could be fairly loosly applied to simply ‘getting work out there’, in installations as well as gallery exhibitions.  I reckon only 1 or 2 might be in a gallery space. One already in the pipeline for April in Hereford.  I would like to get my work further afield than than – into my region somewhere I haven’t shown before and perhaps one in another country.
  • Easier to lie in words than in action (i.e. body language often gives the game away)
  • Is there just too much text in my world? (doesn’t make clear thinking easy) perhaps I could give text its place and not let it spill over into action spaces. Why am I attracted to text sooo much?


Text into movement (with library as setting / props)

Mobile Library text response

The premise is to express text through movement, with the setting being a pull along mobile library.  The focus is text into expressive dance.  Potentially to perform at Eisteddfod in Abergavenny July 2016 on stage with mobile library.  So it involves lighting, sound (music to be developed potentially) and of course the dancers and chosen text. The local library are delighted on the prospect of taking the library to an audience elsewhere.  This fits with my motivations of wanting to raise the profile of libraries.

A project I have been trying to get off the starting blocks for months now – it’s now or never!  I have decided to focus on this alone for a couple of weeks because there is so much to get my head around.  And it takes a while to get into the flow of it.  I have (possibly a destructive tendency) to have too many things going at once.  Like the way I read books – often 7 on the go at once.  A personal thing of note on this subject is that I didn’t read voluntarily until age 12.

Finding suitable dance/performance company to work with is my current biggest challenge.

My options:

A performance company that works internationally, based in my town.

College dance/performance students.

Ballet company

Perform it myself with training (stage fright – don’t think I could!)

Find other performance / dance artist…

This project is captivating to me because it is bringing together aspects of my practice in a very new process to me.  The subjects and core is mine, but the result is very different – a much faster tempo and potential for change and development.  I am handling the textual and physical worlds (which I have separated to consider), libraries as a threatened cultural habitat and a container of texts. Using gesture in an ephemeral way in performance is new.  I have had an interest in dance for a long time (ballet in particular), but it has always been as a hobby, with friends and as a celebration – like many people, but I have not brought it into my own practice in any way.  Dance has that instant gratification of movement and spontaneity, which painting, drawing and making is slower to reveal.

This is much riskier than anything else I’ve shown.  Previously, (apart from the Little Museum of Ludlow) I have known what my work looks like before showing it at an exhibition.

Currently research areas :


Libraries as places of shared knowledge.

Research reasons for people visiting libraries (find existing research in the form of stats)

Articles on why people love libraries

Performances in libraries.


Text in physical form

Text into 4 dimensions

Text into gesture in dance.


Transformational process of reading…

Reading print v’s digital (surveys looking at readers preferences)


Artists changing words into visual form.

Artists who work with library theme.

Other artists working with library themes

A library as a medium

I am currently reading ‘Border Country’ by Raymond Williams as the Eisteddfod are promoting it and I may work with it for the performance and ‘Performance Art – from futurism to the present’ by RoseLee Goldberg (Thames and Hudson).