Sunday, 15 March 2015

Art Practice - Its about SHOWING UP

Being disciplined to 'show up' is the best part of making art to me. It is so easy to be distracted and not go into the studio, especially in a wonderful city like London. There is always something fun to go to other than get deep into the making of art. When the sun shines in London you really want to be out in it. 

I am currently going in as much as possible and it feels so much better. The work and thought process begin to flow. The ideas come at you more frequently and one thing has a tendency to lead to another.
A friend in New York calls it 'noodling' - a perfect description of what I do. Picking up books, having a quiet moment before even looking at anything, meditating, having a cup of tea are all leading somewhere as soon as the door to my studio is shut. Its all a part of that special time to enjoy your patch, allowing your brain to travel down a different path from 'normal' thought processes and everyday hum drum.

I recently looked at my Collection of Found Objects. There are some objects that I felt had served their purpose so I gave them a final perusal and sent them on their way to Op Shops. Having recently visited the Barbican and  the show Magnificent Obssessions
It is a huge show with thousands of objects ranging from postcards to cheap china dogs, stuffed animals
to beautiful silk scarves. This made me re- quantify my own 'collecting'. I felt so much more real as a collector having seen this show. Mainly because I DO use all my objects in various ways. Now that I have sorted through them I know the ones I have kept, have a way to go on their journey with me and my Art Practice.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Dreamboats - Cork Street Exhibition - Its all about Process

The Art Process

Having put the MA firmly behind me and having also graduated formally with Distinction, I am getting on with my process in a less formal approach. Relaxing back into my routine of studio time and personal life and several exhibitions around London.

This summer I have been to Australia for six weeks and enjoyed every minute. I travelled in a van up the West Coast and from Melbourne to Brisbane, taking in all the wonderful sites.
The lack of artistic boundaries a trip like this offered compelled me to take an extraordinary amount of photographs. 

I always find it is these times that allow me the space to think and create work in my mind. Many works never manifest in the physical sense. I may jot down some words, symbols, ideas in my notebook,  however generally I watch and 'feel' the idea develop, disposing of the embryonic beginnings as I watch them dawdle by. I don't think I am alone when I say  I have a sense of knowing when it is right to go ahead and begin the making of the art physically.

At times my mind is full of many ideas other times it is fallow and rightly so, for this is the time when, as my former Tutor Rod Harman once announced, that POT BOILING occurs. It is the opportunity to grow new ideas and not keep BAKING BUNS - meaning repetitive work going round the same issues /techniques and not progressing.  He would claim this at the top of his voice, hands in the air with implicit passion. He also gave me many other anecdotes like this and they are something I hold very close to my heart.

These other reveries are for me, for myself alone when I am perhaps dwelling in that fallow place. These pearls of wisdom offer much comfort and guide me slowly back out into the profound ability to create. They offer me the glimmer of hope and allow me to remember just how lucky I am to be able to create and craft the ideas which are flowing and tumbling forward. It is in these times I feel like the luckiest person alive, everything feels aligned. You never really know where it will lead you but you somehow know its a privilege.

It is from this profound experience artists call the artistic process, I have begun to create a series of prints called, 'Mistaken Identity'. These works are images taken from found photographs, found slides and stills from Super 8 imagery. They are then screen printed onto wire mesh of different gauges producing at times a distorted, pixellated image.
You can read more on my website if you are interested or have any further queries. 

Mistaken Identity 1

Mistaken Identity 2

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

' SCENT ' The Final Show

 For the past eight weeks I have been screen-printing in a Pop-Up Studio in the countryside of East Sussex. Whilst this has been a very exciting time it hasn't come without the occasional hitch ! Not to mention the horse and very strong animal smells which drift around! Although the clip clop of horses walking past the door made up for it I have to say.

Finding the studio is of course the first dilemma. I got very lucky as I searched  for the right specifications. 

For example : 

the right size room - the work I have done is 30 meters long

water available - a necessity when printing and you need a strong water pressure

 relaxed landlord - the last thing you need is someone who is hanging over you, being demanding 

that includes being able to make a mess with ink !

being able to drive to the door was an important feature -  the 47" x 49" screens are cumbersome and heavy

 Buying all my own inks, squeegees,bases,screens and many sundries. So it was a very expensive exercise as well.

However, if I weigh up all the negative sides to this project and then look at the work today, how I feel as an artist etc. completing such a challenging task, I feel very pleased with the overall result. It has been a very rewarding experience and I've met many very interesting people along the way. Ranging from the other people working in the units on the property to sourcing suppliers at Ad Colour to Artizan in Brighton where I have been exposing my screens -  ( I saw Bridgette Riley's work being editioned )

This latest work 'SCENT'  will be shown at the PRIVATE VIEW 


 CAMBERWELL COLLEGE,  on the 5th of September, 2012
and for the following week except Sunday.

Please come along if you are free

Monday, 6 August 2012

Bolingbroke Hospital

Exhibition -  'A View Backwards'

Bolingbroke Hospital, Wandsworth closed in 2009. It was a hospital for the elderly and provided social activities one of which was the inspiration for the exhibition, 'A View Backwards'.

Julie Arkell, Penelope Batley and Shelley Goldsmith were all given a selection of objects that had been used to help the patients remember their past experiences .
Photographer, Jason Oddy was commissioned to take photographs of the hospital.

Hospitals are a there to serve us at our best and worst moments. Birth, death,dementia,recovery etc. Hospitals  are layered in history and embedded firmly in the communities they serve. However when conservation comes into play it is difficult to preserve all of these objects (practical and otherwise) including the therapy techniques which had been used in the past. All too often these threads are lost and entombed within the rubble of the buildings, perhaps lost forever. 

This exhibition struck a very strong chord with my own practice and stimulated thoughts such as how to use the found object as a conduit and in turn express what we want to say or what we want to convey to the audience.

Jason Oddy works with the often unseen ways architecture
affects us

I felt this exhibition had made it possible to save these memories, ideas, and caring work, through the playfulness of the artists. Feelings arose for me which could almost lead me to believe that the patients had made the objects themselves. Some being handmade others containing feelings of confusion resembling dementia and disability. In fact for me , the more the objects pertained to being child like the more they exuded authenticity. 
It was difficult at times to see where the artist had left off or indeed where the artists work had begun. I enjoyed this confusion and blurring of lines.

Penelope Batley's interest lays in the unexpected and overlooked

Shelley Goldsmith uses textiles to interpret emotions and memories
associated with the human experience

Juliie Arkell is a contemporary folk artist woking with paper-
mache and mixed media

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Working the Wire + The Golden Thread

Printing on wire has proved quite difficult, however I am one for a challenge. There are small glitches that happen from time to time - I consider them things to move my work on. These so called happy accidents, if taken in a positive light, help break down the work and take it to another place. I wait for them to happen nowadays. It makes art even more playful and fun.
 Things start clicking into place and in a controlled way, by this I mean, if you know what should be happening, it feels like someone else has the controls and that can lead to some interesting places. It is something I expect within my art process and I am somehow reliant on it.

detail from a screen before rinsing

hooks installed to help with the weight of the screen

latest addition, a drying box for all five screens
this makes a huge difference when working fast
the whole process is a lot easier

half way through a image

five colours 

Adriena Simotova

 Adriena Simotova was born in Prague in 1926. She works with carbon paper, drawing, sculpting, cutting and printing. I discovered her work on a trip to Prague a few years ago and have been interested and influenced by her work ever since.
I think the textures, layers and presentation she uses are what engages me most. More than her subject matter, which is the human body. The way she seemingly climbs inside the work and digs away while she intersects with the surface and beyond allows a lot to be seen and much to be hidden too. She both reveals and covers all at once.
this fragmentation of a work here resonates strongly with my
thoughts and feelings around things left, memory and loss

the approach to presentation, allowing the work to be relaxed onto the floor gives the work a casual unfinished presence.

Exhibition Space

Once a definitive decision is made about what exactly you are making for an exhibition the rest is easy - isn't it ?
There are many things to consider when making these final decisions. 
Where to exhibit? Where to exhibit within the room? How to exhibit? Frame or not to frame? What will I need to enable me to install the work? Who will help with the installing process? and the list goes on . . . plus health and safety are also to be considered at all times of course !

space at Camberwell

 I was lucky enough with my Final Show at Camberwell to get the area I selected when I submitted my proposal. The space is light and has a sense of airiness about it. You cannot always have it your way tho - the basin on the left is an eyesore, however what happens when your work is in place ? -  these things disappear, especially if you don't pay them any attention and get on with the job of showing your work to the best of your ability.

I may have to mark out an area to keep the audience away from the work as it is very fragile

I have noted the area quite well however I am going back for a third time with Richard,

 - an experienced artist who is going to help install my work. Together we will discuss options and details
equipment needed etc. This is best done well in advance to enable a relaxed, successful and most of all enjoyable installation.

the considerations are : will I hang my work or will I leave it on the floor ?
These decisions will be made on the day when I can see the work in situ.