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Kind of at the last minute, I got an email about my ‘Concrete Tower turned Bug Hotel’ at Creekside Discovery Centre, to the effect of: it hasn’t been turned into a bug hotel yet, sorry… something to do with volunteers and vacations. And would I mind doing that transformation as part of the festival? My response: Well, I’ve never made a bug hotel before and it’s a bit short notice, and things are really very busy at the moment but, you know what – sure, why not?

The centre are providing the buddleia branches, my bf’s mum’s garden is providing the bamboo, and the local park’s gardeners are providing the logs.

I figure it has potential to be more interesting (and fun?) for visitors, especially the littler ones, to be able to contribute to the making of this home for beneficial insects (and their eggs and larvae) out of this sculpture that was made in the studios next door, for a different purpose originally, but which is being given this new, unexpected purpose – a hibernation chamber for those beneficial bugs to wait out the winter. Then participants can come back in the spring and summer (or any time they like) and in years to come, to see it evolving into something a bit more weathered (and hopefully moss-covered – if you get a chance, go check out the stuff they’ve pulled from the creek. I love that mossy old radio/cd player/tape-deck!)

The kids will be able to tell their mates: Hey, look, I helped to make that! It’s a home for bees, ladybirds, spiders, woodlice and whatever other creepy crawlies want to live there. Bees are good because this, this and this. Ladybirds are great for this reason. Spiders are good because this, that and the other thing. (You get the picture). And they can show off their nature knowledge and enthusiasm for conservation. How great is that?

Deptford X’s lead artist Bob&Roberta Smith has proposed the question for this year’s festival focus: What is the Value of Art?I think kids will be able to tell you the answer to that, no problem!

Here are some tips I’ve found from the RSPB website about such matters if you want to make your own version in your garden!

http://www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/advice/gardening/insects/building_homes.aspx

And this, from a site called Garden Therapy. Sweet.

http://gardentherapy.ca/build-a-bug-hotel/

 

Oh, and also, I’m singing for a Janette Parris’ piece in Deptford market tomorrow lunchtime as part of the festival. Not shouting about it, cos I’m a bit shy & insecure about it. But I promise I’ll overcome it on the day. Going to be fun. Weather and punters, please be kind, please be kind!!


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I’ve already shared about this, but wanted to share the outcome of my query to the Chelsea funding department, asking them to reconsider the scholarship criteria as they’ve unintentionally penalised single parents who have duties of childcare and can’t work part time on top of part time study for that reason – but they can’t change it for one student at this stage, or it will potentially open the floodgates to legitimate challenges from other students.

So I’m resorting to shameless begging on facebook.

“Does anyone have £8000 I can borrow for a low to no interest loan so I can do my Chelsea Fine Art MA once and for all please? Or, you know, any amount of money to lend for putting towards the fees?”

It’s humiliating, but got to be worth a try, right? I mean, f*ck it, why not? If it doesn’t get me any funding or sympathy, perhaps it helps open up the dialogue about PG funding a bit further?

“Already deferred once and can’t do so again. Have to give up the place otherwise which is making me feel sick. This is my last ditch attempt to raise affordable funds! (Career Development Loan terms are too steep and risky) Anyone, anyone, anyone? Beuller?”

I’m going to write to the Registrar and Exec Board as suggested by Chelsea’s funding department to thank them for the VC Scholarship but regret that I need to turn it down on the basis of my circumstances and kindly ask them to take that into account when deciding the criteria for next year’s students. So if someone else gets the same scholarship next year but for part time study, I will have done someone a good turn. I’ll be a wee bit jealous – I have no qualms about admitting to that – but I’ll also be a little bit happier knowing that I’ve been able to pay something good forward, instead of brooding in silence, licking my academic wounds.


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Port of London Authority said ‘no can do’ to my proposal of placing my work in the creek, and to be honest, discussing with the DeptfordX peeps, keeping it simple and showing only the large concrete tower turned bug hotel at the Creekside Discovery Centre, which will be open to the public on the weekends either side of the festival. I’m down to invigilate 27th & 28th September and another artist, Mandy Williams, whose work is showing in the Discovery Centre (photographs, I believe) will invigilate the following weekend (4th & 5th October) so do pop down on the relevant weekend in order to speak to the artist herself, if you want to.

Also, Janette Parris has asked if I fancy singing in her ‘market opera’ in Deptford on the 27th. Yeah! Going to be fun! Had our first rehearsal last night and the lovely talented people involved can play violins, violas, and guitars. I can’t even play the tambourine. But I can sing, and sing I will.

Times tbc, but pretty sure we will be doing a few spontaneous performances around Deptford on the day. And there will be so many performances, audience participation events, music and art coming out of everybody’s ears. If you hate art, you’re going to want to stay away from Deptford then. But if you hate art, you wouldn’t be reading this blog on a-n, now would you?

 


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The deadline was extended because there was a “line-side fire” affecting trains heading to London Bridge from Sunny South London on Friday afternoon which meant delays & cancellations. He was all swaddled in bubble wrap and ready to go, too. I was tempted to unwrap him and fiddle some more with his surface texture and shading, but you know? No. I decided that he’s finished.

So he stayed swaddled in his bubble wrap and waited patiently until after this morning’s school run.

Nice to be back in 1 Canada Square again (Article25 is based there). Last time was summer 2008 I believe, for an MA show I did with my UEL cohorts. Good memories there.

I parted with Alfred in the lobby and asked lots of questions of the Article25 rep who collected him from me. Not many of which were answered, admittedly. Seems they are still negotiating a space and terms for the exhibition. We do know that the auction is to take place in The Shard on 27 November. Mega excited about that and looking forward to seeing all the artworks the other artists, designers and architects will have done specifically for the charity.

I posted some pics of the process of making Alfred out of Action Man on my facebook, if you’re interested: Here ya go.

 


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