I’m just back from another ‘too short’ trip to London, but my time was spent well and productively making my limited time worth every minute spent. It was such a good trip; I’m not sure where to begin. Perhaps business first…

I curated another show at Core Gallery, ‘In the Current Climate’ which is a group exhibition of our studio artists. It runs concurrently with the open studios at Core this weekend. I had a great time working with Carolyn Lefley, Kelda Hole, Nik Cornwell and Gillian Powell, their input and insights were invaluable and made the whole process a great pleasure. Pop in to see it if you get a chance.

The rest of my time was given to meeting people and was perhaps the best part of all. In particular, I finally had the opportunity to meet Helen Scalway. She was last year’s St George’s Artist in Residence and she posted on occasion to the blog they run on Artists Talking. It was the place where I first saw her work – I was smitten. We recently made contact again through DIY Educate at Core Gallery where we arranged to meet in person. It was brilliant. Luckily, I had some work with me because of the show and open studios and we spent about three hours looking at it.

For the first time, I think I questioned whether it is more important to be loved or understood. I say that because Helen read my work as if she was reading a text, it was unbelievable how deeply she comprehended my work. I’ve never had that experience before and it was a profound confirmation, my thanks and gratitude to Helen for her time, enthusiasm and encouragement.

Since I’ve been back I’ve been busily socializing myself on network media. It is still a work in progress…but you can now find me on twitter, facebook and linkedin/behance (that one, behance, may not be visible yet). It simply is a whirlwind.

Oh and by the way, the review I did of DYSTOPIA for Whitehot is still in the pipeline and hasn’t been published yet, hopefully it will be soon.

I think I really must dig out my ruby slippers and repeat ‘there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,’ because each time I’m in London it’s like going to see the wizard…


I reviewed DYSTOPIA, the new exhibition at CAPC, http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/dystopia in Bordeaux last week for Whitehot, (David R., if you are keeping tally – my first paid work). You should be able to find the review here http://whitehotmagazine.com/new next week.

The exhibition premise was an interesting one. The curator Alexis Vaillant invited American art theoretician and Sci Fi writer, Mark von Schlegell, to write a screenplay which would govern the exhibition preparation. Von Schelgell had final say in choosing all the works and Vaillant curated the show.

What I perceived from looking at the works and the exhibition as a whole was that the artworks were chosen to fit a theme rather than a theme illuminating the artworks. In other words, the works of art seemed to come second in importance to the theme. The primary thing that came across was the telling of the story of DYSTOPIA. In fact, the exhibition catalogue is von Schlegell’s latest novel, New Dystopia. He actually refers to many of the works in the show within this novel without describing them in a factual or actual way like most catalogues do. He instead, uses the artwork as a descriptive illustration for a scene or a setting within the story. Here is an example: “Despite its totalitarian scale, the structure was not what Calve would have expected adorning a New Dystopia under the enlightened guidance of the master artisan. It had a geometrical quality that tied it to the October revolution, to the Greeks, as well as a baudy spontaneity that was one part decadence. Its image was so expressive of engineering paradox, its hips so curiously dynamic, that it was not at all suitable for the sort of stragecraft Joralsky would have in mind. It was simply wrong for the current Dystopia, inexpressive of Type 1 possibility altogether.” The image is from the DYSTOPIA exhibition and is descriptive of this quoted passage from the novel-cum-exhibition catalogue.

This in effect takes importance away from artist and artwork as supreme (photograph title, by such and such artist, date, dimensions etc.) and places it within a larger framework (this photographic series, by artist, illustrates the ambient light and degraded environment within the setting of my story). I found it stimulating and exciting to think of art placed on a level playing field with other forms of cultural production. But I wondered if other artists would share that view.

For well over a century, art production has been closely tied to the artist’s ego and the creation of the artistic persona. I wonder if we are ready to share the stage with other modes of cultural production which would make art a ‘prop’ within a greater theme. I’m not questioning a comparison between the popularity of say, art exhibitions, films, concerts or theatre, for example. Or even the mixture of art and design within the creation of a theatrical or dance production. All of that is well established. What I’m questioning is the possibility for art, within the realm of art exhibitions, to let in other modes of cultural production; like with DYSTOPIA, a writer telling a story that is explored and illustrated within the context of an art exhibition. The context for the story is the art and the context for the art is the story. It seems an exciting thing to me.

But what happens if an artist is misrepresented? I mean, not just a mistaken understanding of an artist’s intent but an actual misuse of an artist’s work. Do we even consider that our work can be misused? I dare say we all would be so pleased to have our work chosen for an exhibition, we probably wouldn’t mind how it was used. But should we?

How would you feel to no longer be ‘the artist’ but the ‘creator of this work’…


I can’t believe it is nearly three weeks since I returned from my trip to London and only now am I getting to my neglected blog! How is it a change in physical location causes such a disruption to work schedules? Most of my time in London was spent working how could I have gotten so behind?!

Who knows? Anyway, to report, I had a fantastic time. The show I co-curated with Rosalind Davis, Extra-Ordinary, was a smashing success and the workshop with Ros and Becky Hunter was a hit too. And the review I wrote was published, here’s the link if you want to read it: http://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/arret-sur-l-image-galerie/2251

Extra-Ordinary was reviewed too and we are waiting for it to be published. It’s thrilling to have a review, no matter the outcome. All of us are on pins and needles waiting to know what was said.

I came away from London with two more shows to curate with two more curating partners and one artist signed up; a commission to write an article on reconciling late modernist abstraction and conceptualism, which is to say reconciling the inner self and the public self – these being the opposing views of the self represented in those two movements; and great times spent with friends. I go back in June.

I’m reading The Fold by Giles Deleuze in researching the first of the two curation projects. Half of it I can’t fathom, the other half is helping me define a parallel self. One of my friends asked me where I felt the self resided in the body, the mind or the heart. I had to stop and think about that because I didn’t have an answer. I don’t feel the self resides in the body, and I know that sounds strange. My response was, ‘I see the self as parallel,’ which surprised me as much as not having an answer to her question.

It goes back to that thing of thinking in twos I’ve mentioned before. So far, my reading of philosophy has mostly been about the self and I find that my pulse races a bit when philosophers, like Deleuze, Derrida and others, refer to a fold or an entre-deux . They are describing something which is one but differentiated. I’m curious to know how they reconcile this because it is something I feel I understand intuitively but can’t really describe verbally. I think I’m circling around it in my art, but I don’t think I’ve described it fully there either.

Basically, I’ve still got lots of homework to do…


I leave for London on Friday. I am so excited, but at the same time I feel in trepidation, I think I’m about to leave my comfort zone – not that my comfort zone is very big, mind. I am making my curatorial debut with Extra-Ordinary at Core Gallery (the PV is 22nd April), an exhibition I am co-curating with Ros Davis. I am giving my first workshop, How to Talk and Write about Your Work, with Becky Hunter as part of DIY Educate also at Core Gallery. And I am having my first critical review published in WhiteHot Magazine soon. Now I can call myself an artist!

I say that jokingly but it really is no joking matter. As many other bloggers have expressed recently in their blogs, an artist must be multi-talented, not only in the work they produce but in the activity they pursue. There aren’t many professions which require this kind of diversification, but then ask any small business-person and they will tell you there’s no surprise in that. It is true; to be independent requires diversity, flexibility, intelligence and ability – perhaps agility is an even better word.

I read this today in e-flux: ‘But art is not a religion, and, though it often seems structurally similar, it is not a charity either. This idea of a “higher value” that presides over-and indeed fuels-an idea of art labor as free labor must be contested. All are to blame for it: though classical exploitation is rampant, it may actually pale in comparison to the amount of self-exploitation-the willingly inconclusive, highly generative work that is either too useless or too stubborn to ever align itself with the mundane, but remunerated, field of average labor: that of bakers, garbage men, police officers, cobblers, lawyers, engineers, day laborers, and so forth. These are the people you make your work about, and perhaps who your parents are. Art, you would like to think, is a shining vision of a possibility for something else…’ Read the full article here.

I’m encouraged by the rapidly spreading word that artists and cultural producers must be remunerated and the exploitation must stop. I’m encouraged too to read someone lay a chunk of the responsibility on our own shoulders because….no, I’m going to leave that unanswered, I don’t want to stand on the soapbox today – I’m too excited about my trip. But I can answer that and I’m sure you can too.

So back to my trip…





holds potential hope and joy,

a sweet quench for thirst.