I have recently started to revisit my most current research conducted during the last semester of my degree, trying to pick out the most relevant and interesting pieces to continue to base my current enquiries upon. I am surprised at how much of my research is still relevant to to work I want to create, and in looking at certain parts of my research I have seen some of it in a different context to how I viewed it before.

There is one particular piece within my research that has stuck with me for around a year now, with no clear idea of how I could best utilise it within my work:

This extract is taken from Edgelands: Journeys Into England’s True Wilderness by Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley. The concept of ‘self seeding’ creatures has been fascinating me since I read this chapter within the book, and I instantly made the connection between this and the clay figures I create. It’s been unclear to me exactly what this connection entails, which is one idea I intend to explore during my residency at AirSpace Gallery.

The clay figures I create have evidence of their creation on their surface; the fingerprints and marks I leave from my contact with the clays surface. However there is no clear indication of why they were made, what their purpose is. The could easily be self seeding, odd, stone like creatures that sculpt each other from the clay in some barren wastelands of a city.

I find this piece of research interesting in another sense, as the book and it’s context have no initial link to the enquiries I examine within my practice. I discuss ideas of a precarious nature, of classification, taxonomy, how institutions such as museums frame nature; how do the urban edgelands between city and countryside link in with this enquiry? In a way, these edgelands are a nature unto their own, I would argue that they are by their very nature precarious, under constant change and alteration. Borders of cities advance or detract, waste is dumped, and nature always takes hold, whether temporarily or more permanently. It is as if the nature that is found in these areas has sprung from out of thin air, self seeded and grown from nothing. This point argues the resilience of nature, its ability to appear in the most hardy and unlikely of places, but once there its existence is precarious. The wastelands could be excavated ready for new buildings, or abandoned building demolished.

This particular piece of research not only forces me to consider how I can apply it within my practice, but also the context from where I retrieved it, and how that context fits into my current enquiries even though it may first appear to be irrelevant.

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I’m very excited to announce that I’ve been selected as one of two artists for the AirSpace Graduate Residency Scheme! I’ve been excited all week since I found out, but I did not want to mention it anywhere online until the official announcement was made.

I will be spending the next six months working within the gallery and studios there, culminating in a solo exhibition during January 2016… every graduates dream! I’m determined to use the opportunity to its full potential, I do not simply want to hide away in the studio for six months, have my solo show and then leave. I really want to get involved with the artist led community they have set up there, and use this as the first step towards creating a career in the arts for myself.

I’ve already begun to consider how I plan to use the six months, having given them a rough guideline during my interview I want to make it into a more solid ‘plan’. I will be using this blog to document my time during the residency.


The process of installing the degree show was exhausting, as I’m sure it is for all final year students undertaking the same process. The nature of my practice means I can never really start to create the work until installation of the exhibition begins, and the degree show was no exception.

Having to create both pieces of work in five days was ambitious, however I knew it would be enough time to create the large scale drawing and the installation based work, as I had already created a large amount of the clay sculptures.

The work is installed and the private view is underway, the main section of the gallery space is difficult to walk through with so many visitors,  a successful opening night! The exhibition is open for a week, drawing visits from school and many other places.

It was an odd experience when dismantling the exhibition, most of the work had already been removed from the gallery by time I arrived, builders were moving everything out of the building ready for construction that will be taking place inside the building over summer, although it’s no longer the “Fine Art” building, with other courses also being moved into the space. I took everything down within an hour, a fraction of the time it took to install everything, and I stood in the empty space one last time. I’ve been working and developing my artistic practice in that building for four years, so the whole exiting the studios and gallery spaces felt rather unceremonious. Although I was helpful and opened the door for the workers who were pushing crate after crate out of the building, while I waited for transport to move all of my work.

Between then and now, I’ve applied for several opportunities, some are certain, some are less so certain. I hopefully will be making announcements on those soon. I’m sure all graduates feel the same way as me, that we can’t really have finished the degree so soon! While reality that I won’t be returning to that building next year hasn’t quite sunk in,  I don’t want to waste any time in starting my career as an artist.