This is going to be my new studio…


It really is remarkable when things converge.

‘Image-breaking retained the sense that each element retained its own vivid specificity but took a step a back from the final lightning strike of illumination which would hold them all together in understanding. Image-breaking was the perpetual delay of illumination: intelligibility was held in abeyance through the unresolved relationship of parts to wholes. It is the lack of transcendence, the permanent uncertainty of any resolution, which propels New Brutalism back into the world as a form of ethical realism.’[1]

This has been circulating in my mind for weeks as I carry on with the rest of the madness on my plate at the moment.

I found this definition came to the forefront of my thoughts as I considered the work chosen for The Core Gallery Open which I will be co-curating with Ros Davis in ten days. Without giving too much away (you’ll have to come see the show!), new painting in the UK is right on target with this quote. Here is a link for more information on the show: http://www.coregallery.co.uk/current-exhibition/

As I continued to sort through my studio yesterday (each day of sorting propels our move forward and is the reason for my madness at the moment) I uncovered the box pictured here. It is an ‘as found’ piece which is another connection to New Brutalism and Paolozzi in particular. It moves me, (sorry, no pun intended) and as I consider whether I should interact with this box, changing or altering it, my inner voice screams ‘NO!’ So I claim it as it is, something unusual for me in my work.

Earlier today I read a really great interview with Moby by Kyra Kordoski[2] in Whitehot Magazine, and this quote struck me: “What can you take a picture of that no one else will see?” This is something Moby’s photographer uncle taught him about photography and which resonated with me because of my background in photography. It was a fresh active memory when I saw this box again today in the studio. This photographic quote conflates poignantly in my mind with the image-breaking quote to become a notion of ‘what do I see that no one else will?’ This is not to suggest others would not have the capacity to see what I see, but rather it highlights the fact that we each are absolutely separated from each other’s thoughts, we are isolated with our own interior workings. We empathize, understand, communicate and sometimes hate but we never cross that threshold of absolute awareness of another’s interior thoughts. At best we guess. I see this ‘guess’ as what they were circling around with New Brutalism. This ‘guess’ underlies all of our attempts to communicate and is the reason, I believe, we use symbols to convey meaning in language – all language.

This is one of those things I’ve known all my life, one of those things which founds my worldview, but something which only struck like lightning today because of a particular convergence of ideas at a particular time. It’s one of those things that make me feel the electricity of living.


I’ll also be part of a panel discussion on blogging presented by Andrew Bryant on 22nd September at Core Gallery. In preparing for this, Andrew has made me aware of how my engagement with reading informs my work. This awareness is also in the mix. He said, ‘You seem to use the space to work over, rehearse and pull together the various texts you are engaged in as part of your visual practice. In this sense your blog is much closer to the academic/professional model of the contemporary artist, whereby your practice is ‘informed’ by your reading. Because of this your blog is the way in to a deeper, more complex understanding of your practice.’

Thank you Andrew, I’m really looking forward to the first Artist Talking event. Here is a link for more information: http://www.coregallery.co.uk/diy-educate/ , there are still spaces available if you would like to hear more.

[1] Ben Highmore, “Image-breaking, God-making’: Paolozzi’s Brutalism”, October 136, Spring 2011, MIT Press, p.99

[2] Kyra Kordoski, “DESTROYED: Moby the Whitehot Interview”, Whitehot, September 2011, found at: http://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/2011-destroyed-moby-whitehot-interview/2364

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