i come to the end of the week feeling the affects of my current cold.  fortunately i was able to attend the prototyping conversation at derby silk mill.

four diverse aspects of prototyping had been assembled and it led to a really informative and insightful event.

i say topics as one of them had two speakers from rolls royce speaking about the digital transition within the company.  put simply they are evolving their digital prototyping culture to be able to work with very small prototypes very quickly.  in a company where safety is an absolute they eluded to how in the digital world being able to fail fast is proving benefical in arriving at simple solutions to the complex problems they face with visualising big data.

the speaker who i felt lit up by was martin smith.  i even got to demonstrate one of his kinetic sculptures.  he spoke of how he likes to solve problems and joked with the engineer that for him there is “no such thing as a design freeze.”

smith’s work resonated with the main thread of thought, that of how prototypes generate conversations.

seeing smith’s works made me start to think about a kind of decision i made back near the beginning of my practice, that of avoiding making objects.  i think this was in response to my personal situation of editing my belongings and the emerging new cultural consciousness towards the planet and use of fossil fuel.

the engineer from rolls royce, working digitally, spoke of how it’s easy to bin code that doesn’t work and move on to something new in an attempt to make it work.

so why did i reject object ?

reflecting about what was happening around me i saw objects being made, expressing the idea and more often than not remaining unsold.  so my consideration here seems to be financial.

there is something else going on here.  a confidence in expressing ideas as objects.

from my maker residency i showed that i have the dexterity skills to create objects when the belief and drive is high when thinking about the idea.

so is it that i’m questioning how an idea can be expressed, or is it to do with the nature of the idea that i’m wanting to express?

the way in which i feel is very important to me.  this is informed by my previous career experiences where i was involved in producing works that were shown to audiences, either as one offs or for a limited run.  the nature of linear narrative influencing how the production sort to manipulate emotional reaction to produce the desired effect of the narrative.  hence why the hi hat and snare resonated with me last year…. a place in which to develop from.

for my visual practice to progress to a place where true emergence can take place, i feel i …… ……………………………..



i take a moment to listen to some gregorian chants…. consider the receding mist around the trees as seen through the window and contemplate a cup of tea.



put simply ……..


my thoughts collide and become foggy.  business cliches abound and i bump my nose on a cul de sac of thought.



and that cul de sac only exists as a thought.


so i can redefine my cul de sac as an area where i have options to go towards things that make me feel good about myself and about the world …. about my world.


and while in this cul de sac with options i can test what makes me feel good.


i need a name for my cul de sac with options.  bert is the obvious one.






this morning my sore throat woke me, i sighed and sniffed and realised that i am once again with cold.  undeterred i did my chores this morning in an attempt to carry on as normal.

today does feel normal.


after my feelings based bouncy ride of late, documented on this blog, today feels much more level.


one of my tasks at the moment is to redesign my practice website.  currently it really falls short to give someone a sense of where i am and what i can do.  my on going working relationship with the derby silk mill museum helping me to realise more of my potential.

i know from experience that the consideration of a website is one of many twists and turns.  my approach this time is one of minimalist communication of the three aspects of what i do.



after the last few posts it felt important today to write one that was level and sans emotional overtones.  i needed to get back on the intellectual path and i have tasks to complete upon it.

one apect of my practice i’m starting to enjoy is a newly begun project with the working title refresh.  the above image comes from it.  i have some ideas on how to develop it and i’m liking where it seems to be taking me.

i take a moment to ponder that via a gaze through a window.  i notice two birds balancing on a tv areal.  they make a little dance and they exit their perch.  almost immediately another lands in the vacant space.


and it all seems so different in a moment.




i’ve been working through a component of the film project (and i’ll reflect upon that in that space ) and this morning we’ve reached that point where it’s all good and i have a … thing … undescribeable thing lift and i have so much energy again.  it is slightly painful in nature yet not a bad pain.

i do wonder if my honesty is sometimes a little too honest, however part of me blogging as i do is to be honest about how life has ups and downs and i wonder if sometimes there’s a need to get up fixes from those around us and online…



for me i’m exploring being me and all that that entails.  i hear how children learn about themselves in moments where it gets a little scary, their hearts beating just a little faster.  their being out of comfort zone helping them develop.


i wonder, as adults do we forget that we still need those moments?  moreover do those around us forget ?


i’m happy to be part of any future discussion about the pros and cons of writing in an open and honest manner and wether the process of blogging is about the  author or the reader.



after writing my previous post, i’ve realised i have periods of time where my belief in my belief in myself becomes


critically low.

now i’m aware of this, i’m going to be gentle on myself and believe that these are temporary low points that do pass.

all is ok.



i’ve come to my blog this morning to help me collect and reflect upon recent thoughts and feelings.

the film project has been well received amongst the peer review group and the project team at the mill.  i came home after the meeting and spouted stuff at my partner about the meeting but also about me and my inner feelings about why at times i make things.

at the time it was very raw and very personal.  now several days later the feeling has ebbed and i’m not entirely sure what i’m left with.  what i can remember is the core feeling of needing something that equals out a constant feeling installed in me by my teenage experiences in front of my mother.

i pause a while, look out of the window and try to reconnect to the feelings i has last week.  there’s nothing there right now.  i simply see the gray outlines of the trees set against the mist.

i’ve been invited by derby silk mill to propose a re-iteration for the film, a second edition if you like. i’m very excited and humbled this has been forthcoming and in part this is my way of taking some time to reconvene my thoughts about making a film.  i’m not used to there being such a small gap between the peer review and the next invitation.  the remnants of the conflict with my mum affecting my creative practice at times.

the second iteration needs to develop on from the first and i’m going to look for help with that development.  i’m aware of the professional development opportunity currently open for submissions here on a-n.


my mind is full of things i need to do.  adding the post to my annual blog, reconsidering my website, completing the details of the first iteration and proposing the second.  if they were material based things placed around the space in which i currently sit it would be easier manipulate.    there’s also preparing images for a feature on instagram.  how did it happen that i got so busy ?



sipping my tea i return to looking at the outlines of the trees.  a magpie catches my eye, moving to the left.  i scan right to find a second.  i don;t have to wait long before turn of the second draws my eye to it.  another sip of tea and collect the storey on my blog.


the first iteration of the film (and i am aware of how my referring to it has evolved) is another project connected to the derby silk mill museum that has had a positive effect on my confidence.  the hospital project, currently in evaluation was another.


this confidence building is the driving force behind my wanting to evolve my practice website.  i look at it and it really doesn’t blow my trumpet enough.  i type that and a feeling returns from after the film meeting last week.

i came back and in my spouting there was a whole maker verses artist consideration.

i considered the words…





my perception of these words is that one word has a higher value than the other.  both involve creation of things from ideas.

in my wanting to overcome the internal low self esteem feelings installed by a mother who really just wanted the best for her son, the word that i thought would do this for me was artist because i look at how there is societal respect for an artist at a level much higher than a maker and anecdotally i think this is because of the artist being of a higher intellectual standing.

i might be an artist but it’s something i really struggle to feel and in this moment there is a realisation that letting go of the hurt and other things connected to the childhood memories is what i need to do to become comfortable with who i am.

i pause.


an emotional moment.



tea.  tree.  looking.



a bin lorry breaks my meditative stair.


maybe what i’ve written that caused the emotion has helped me to clear the energy that was stored.

returning to writing i do feel clearer in my mind, clear in my intent.


while keeping a project blog i have struggled to maintain a flow on the annual blog.  today i see the importance of having a blog alongside the project blog where recording how the project affects my practice can be noted away from the flow of the project.


there is much to do today and starting in this manner feels to have been the best way to started.  it’s the norm for me to once i’ve written a post to go back over it and edit and edit so that it becomes more cohesive.  today i’m going to leave it as it was written and leave you with a ….

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