Having finished my Fine Art Degree at Hereford (see my previous blog https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/hereford-college-of-arts-6) this is the place I’ll discuss what I am doing and to state my aims, failures and successes.  This blog is about the making, the organising (I’ll be co-ordinating exhibitions), the handling my own time to create along the many threads begun while at college.  I’ll be finding ways to work out of college, and sustaining my practice through life in general.   I have a residency at The Print Shed, Madley and a placement with Meadow Arts, details tbc, for the next year.

This blog is called ‘wood for the trees’ because this is what I am trying to do – see the wood for the trees – focus my activity,  mainly limiting the admin I take on plus faffing around and actually do things to do with getting my work onto the next level.

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Degree show time again and I am impressed once again by the bredth and individuality on show (often bravely) at Hereford College of Arts.  I have also had a peek at the Bath Spa show which was a treat too.  The engagement, energy and hope for the future that each graduating student is so fresh and present.  Just a year ago I was in their shoes and I wonder how my perception does that odd collapsing thing where I swear it cannot be 12 months since it was me there!


Going on for me now Collaborative Magna Carta project with 7 other artists plus a photographer and calligrapher with Framework Herefordshire (+ new website, www.frameworkherefordshire.org) gaining clarity with my focus.


Feeling like its now time for a new blog.  I’ve done the Wood for the Trees year.  I’m still wrestling with stuff but actually I have learnt such a lot about the way I work (out of college).  What I thought I need, actually I’m fine without and other things I’m finding in ways I didn’t expect. I am finding mentoring in unexpected ways.  The focus on my practice is renewed after a year of trying to do too much.  The next 6 months (at least) I’m going to have a real (my) art focus and relieve some of my frustration (maybe!)  I have been so undecided about stuff this year, up and down.


MAGNA CARTA – we had the practice run for the Magna drawing on Monday artists in working together on the banner cut in half.  In my Magna Carta response I focus on the text and literacy in a way.  I imagine a world where half the population can read and half cannot.  The ‘textuals’ and the ‘visuals’. So, my section of the banner will be structured as a grid.  On one side there will be square sections filled with writing by the textuals about their life – for this I haven’t decided whether it’ll be handwriting or typed.  The other side will be filled with square photos representing the visuals in their life.  Our photographer David Griffiths has sent me some photos to work with of local people doing various activities and I’ll use the cyanotype process to print these in square format.  Where the visuals and the textuals squares meet I’m going to have some kind of overspill. The text will flow into the photographs and the cyanotypes will take over the text in certain areas. This all has to be played out in the process.

Afterwards we ironed out some curating puzzles (it’s 10m x 1.5m! and made of paper in its first incarnation, 2nd is going to be a tapestry)



The little museum of Ludlow




I’d written and given a talk about art and maths back in November, but I’ve now condensed it to perform at the little museum of Ludlow and to collect questions raised by it.


Now writing this on the train on the way home from Ludlow.  A much busier day than expected. Started off by getting in cleaning supplies and cleaning the display cabinets ready to take objects on loan and found.  Our first loans came in from Richard, who talked to poet Jean Atkin about the spit roast turning brass contraption and a small spinner issue to soldiers in the first world war as a way of passing the time. Jean has gone away to write the poem.  My pocket talk on chaos and order started with me talking to a volunteer who had been serving teas and coffees in the library in the morning and with my first question collected in the book.


Changing the play settings for my talk to autoplay so that I talk naturally rather than using the slides to lead me.  Trying to keep the talk to 2 minutes and then question writing.


I’m interested in chaos and order and I’m collecting questions on a short talk – in going into Physics and learning a fair bit of Maths and a bit of code early in life to becoming an artist interested in chaos and order and relating that to art. Some art has a clear superficial link to maths in that the artist uses visual markers of maths in the finished piece, but I’m more interested by the art which has maths used somewhere in its making or structure that is invisible unless you know about it.  So, a mathematical pattern which has fascinated me is the Fibonacci sequence. Starting with the number 1 and adding the last 2 numbers to get the next in the series, you get 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21,34, 55, 89…..


And on…


Would you add a question or questions to my collection in this book?


Teresa Albor recorded me doing my mini talk so that days I’m not there it can be available and the question collecting can continue.


Studio Log in pictures. Now reflecting on being bathed in these words. How to push it further is the question on my mind now.

Doing some urgent working and slow thinking.


I saw a call for participants on the re-title (http://www.re-title.com/ ) website a few weeks ago and was fascinated by the possibilities of the possibilities around creating a museum/gallery like installation through borrowed and found items.  This has struck me as very interesting in regards to my own practice, particularly relating to my chaos/order, art/maths and control /influence thinking.  I am particularly excited to be spending some time in Ludlow, which I have only visited once, as I will get to know it through the objects people lend and the unwanted things found abandoned around the town.

Thinking about order, I considered early on in talking about this performance about having short talks, perhaps twice daily or on request, about my chaos/order ideas through images.  Basically a lecture in a nutshell, or maybe a better word could be slideshow / visual talk?

Below is a summary of the project.

The Paradox of Order

Little Museums of Ludlow (at Ludlow Library and Museum resource centre) 13th June – 5th July and Pimlico at Tachbrook Market 19, 20, 26 and 27th June 19, 20, 26 and 27th June

The paradox of order


The Paradox of Order is a project that explores the notion of why we seek order in the world.  One part of the project involves creating “a museum” of objects found/from/about a place, collected, prepared and installed over a set period of time, in as public a place as possible.  The local community is encouraged to lend objects and share the story/history of the object, identifying its significance as part of the collection. (From http://www.paradox-of-order.com/about/4588929818)


Ownership for projects is openly shared– the work will be performed by an informal collective of artists and members of the community who have come togetherto be a part of individual projects.


A group of artists will be installing and running two temporary museums showcasing collections of objects, images and sounds that have a connection to Pimlico or to Ludlow.  Do you have something you could lend?  (We can pick it up, will look after it, and return it to you.)  Would you like to help us set up and run the museum?  During the month of June, volunteers and artists will collect, clean, archive, display and document contributions and found objects.

The artists involved so far:


Teresa Albor, facilitating artist. See: http://www.teresaalbor.com/about/4541736019 Teresa Albor is a multidisciplinary artist, with a studio practice, based in London.  She is interested in site specific projects and working with/within communities, Current investigations revolve around what art is, who it is for, and how and where it is made.

Jean Atkin, poet, will have conversations with members of the community in Ludlow who loan us objects, to document these additions to the collection through poetry.  Shropshire based poet Jean Atkin writes collaborative poetry. It is said that her work has a “historical sense: fact and myth are blended into coherent wholes’, which lends itself to the documentation of museum objects.

Martin Evans, poet, is joining us in Ludlow.  Martin is from a scientific and logic background and will “introduce plausible yet implausible facts about objects.  Poet Martin Evans is drawn to the less appreciated objects in our lives. He is the humourist behind The Welsh Space Agency  and B5105.com.  He is also a founder member of the telegraph appreciation society.

Artist Sian de Jong will be collaborating on both summer “little museums”in Pimlico and Ludlow.  Her practice revolves around the ongoing exploration and attempts to preserve and collect objects. See http://siandejong.weebly.com/artist-statement.html

Kate Morgan-Clare will be performing with us in Ludlow.  She wrote recently: “I’m caught up in the subject of our relationships with objects and their role in holding and projecting ideas about our identity.”

Artist Ash Roberts who happens to be a collector of machinery. http://www.hca.ac.uk/HCA-Live/April-2015/STACK-5

Artist Vivian Barraclough who is interested in collaborative working.

The Little Museum of Pimlico – Teresa has just received confirmation that it can be at Tatchbrook market in Pimlico.  Busiest days would be 19, 20, 26 and 27th June.   If here, the crew will set up anew each day.

So far I am due to be taking part in the Little Museum of Ludlow on 13-19th June.

Arriving on the first day we will be accepting objects on loan and donations of objects for the museum, as well as finding objects to clean, record, draw, talk to the owner to find out details, writing about it, measuring it, displaying the objects.  Arriving with minimal kit, the museum will look quite bare to start.

Before the start I’d like to create a stencil for ‘clean graffiti’ on the pavements of Ludlow, simply with LITTLE MUSEUM and an arrow in the direction of the museum.  (Mon 11th May – I’ve phoned Ludlow Town Council and Shropshire county council to ask permission)

If I get the go ahead from councils then I’d be doing some clean graffiti during the day.

Teresa quote ‘borrow grammar of museum /gallery’.

Both Ludlow and Pimlico performances start when we turn up, not prepared ahead too much.  By taking the ‘art’ out of the conventional white space, Teresa hopes that people who wouldn’t usually go near a gallery will see the performance / take part.  Wider community involvement.


Confronting the notion of Bathe In Ignorance, I have begun by responding to the words in an English dictionary I am unfamiliar with. I considered a literal interpretation of the phrase initially, using words (where the meaning was not known to me) cut from a dictionary and filling a bath with them. I rejected this possibility and left it for a long while because it was too fixed even without working any further on it, so I went on working on other pieces. More recently I have come back to it with fresh eyes (also having seen the solar eclipse and projected it onto a white barked tree through a pin hole) and now working with a word at a time, through individual paintings, screen printing and a video of light projected through card with pinprick writing on it, this last idea has led to this installation development.
I feel that now is the time to test the boundaries of my practice by putting my idea into a more present and tangible form, yet still true to the core of my practice; i.e. text and misunderstanding. To develop the suggestions of this piece I am going to bathe visitors in the light of my ignorance, which I find incredibly exciting as I don’t know the impact the resulting piece will have on myself and the visitors who encounter it.
I see the installation consisting of a 3m radius walk-in dome. There will be words transmitted in light into and out of the dome, this will be achieved by sunlight during the daytime and by a light from inside once dark, as a result the words will be visible but reversed from the outside. This installation needs to function both in the day and at night, the viewing place changing from within to outside the dome.
I am encountering problems about which materials to use, therefore I am researching the possibilities of working with metal, plastic, fibre optic and fibreglass. There are practical considerations such as how to prevent the light dispersing as it enters the dome during the day and so considering methods to reduce dispersion of the light, a double layer of material?
The dome structure needs to be large enough to stand inside and I have been making small scale models – so far my completed model is the diameter of a dinner plate and I am now making one in my garden about a metre in diameter. I have spent this afternoon (with a helper) cutting wood to size, drawing a circle in the grass, wiring the poles together and cutting pieces of black plastic (kindly given to me by Annette) to fit the sides of the tippee / dome structure. To test how well the words can be seen in this set up I have indicated circular area’s to limit the pin-hole words to and that is my next job – pricking holes in the black plastic sections to form the words. My initial projecting of words onto the wall was so simple compared with this! I have a feeling the holes won’t be big enough and wont project at all!! I have just got to do it and see!

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