Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Here's an update because it's been waaaaay too long!

playing with visuals as a way of thinking and processing...... as always....

Ok. So it turns out I can't spell 'artists' books'! I had an errant apostrophe.

Still the book fair is in the making. I am making. There are still a couple of places left if you wish to join us. And even better, come along and party or browse during the 3 days.

What can you do with your time that is best suited to what you'd like to do?

I am sitting on questions like these at the moment. Being a little reflective. Still dividing my time between 'living' and sitting on the computer - I miss the tangible (and questionable) 'reality' of material life sometimes as opposed to virtual life.

I'd have a massive coffee morning where we are all there. Or a large workshop where everyone makes together.

This recent period has seen the start of some art applications, some proposal ideas, a publication idea musing on the role/interpretation of image in artists' works. I fight the feeling where lack of time appears to hinder the ability to sink fully into the creative zone and achieve all my ideas. Patience, my friend, patience.

I then in turn, attempt to do nothing to see if I generate more output. Apparently doing nothing can be very productive. Can anyone else vouch for this? I bought this book a while ago: How to Change Your Entire Life by Doing Absolutely Nothing: 10 Do-nothing Excercises to Calm You Down Quickly

There are times I LONG TO DO Nothing and see magic happen :)

In other news, I've decided to have an entirely hand-made Christmas. I don't know whether I am simply adding to my frequent sense of fatigue and overload, but I do love the notion of recycling and making by hand and thought I would extend this idea to Christmas given I am hosting this year. I have already ordered my cracker snaps and christmas hats and been collecting loo rolls vociferously. I also ordered a lovely stamp and white ink for my cards. + I discovered a delicious Pear & Fig Chutney recipe and so my kitchen has been filled with these aromas :) And I will be making some more of these rum truffles too this year (another good reason to keep a blog).

This book is also a good discovery: The Image as Burden

It is a present but I want one myself now - looks intriguing.

Have been to see the Turner prize recently along with Turner's late watercolours. Sometimes I don't get to as many exhibitions as I'd like.... although I did also get to see this year's Jerwood Drawing prize too.

Oh, and I ran a well-received collage workshop at Imperial College last week. Strange as I don't do so many in-person workshops these days, but I do love them when I do.

That's all for now. I know there are many other things, many of them involving domestic life, helping with homework, endless rounds of washing. And in between I try to sleep.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The ArtLacuna Book Fair is coming to town!

It's official. The date is set, we are busy preparing and if you would like to join us (by coming along or taking a stand) see details here:

ArtLacuna | Book Fair & Publication Launch
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th December 2014, 11am-5pm
Publication Launch / PV, Friday 5th December 2014, 6-9pm
To celebrate the 2nd publication of our Really Serious Research, Bodies That Matter 3, ArtLacuna is hosting an artist's book fair
Please join us for this exclusive Artist's Book event featuring one-off and limited edition Artist's Books by artists and book-makers at ArtLacuna Space 
If you make books, zines, small publications, photo, print or any form of artist book, then join us by taking a shelf space (£20*) or table (£27*)
We have table spaces of 100cm x 60 cm
And shelf spaces of 115cm x 9cm
Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis - so sign up quickly, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
There will be music, drinks & refreshments + if you have an idea to add to the event such as book reading, live demo or similar, please submit to us for consideration.
The fair is open to all. To book your shelf/table, and for further details visit:
*no other commission or fees taken on sales
48 Falcon Road, London, SW11 2LR
I look forward to seeing you there - any questions, just ask!

Sunday, 12 October 2014


Wear Me, 2014, showing in Williams Art Gallery, Gwydir St, City Centre, Cambridge CB1 2LJ as part of Art::Language::Location 2014

Earlier this year I entered an open submissions competition and was thrilled to have work accepted.

This weekend was set up in Cambridge, UK, along with many other artists.

In regards to my work, I've been pondering and exploring the idea of erasure and removal in many different guises (of the female figure from it's static location within advertisements), still exploring my interest in how images in popular culture are presented to us, and what messages are embedded within as a result.

This particular Project (ALL), gave me a chance to develop ideas started last year when my work was also chosen to be part of Deptford X. Posters.

Posters as a way of re-examining public images. I'm interested in sight. In the consumption of images. What we view and where we might view it and the language therein. I want to intervene and interfere with the images that are presented to me as a norm, or as an identity, or as an aspiration for me or my life. There is a sense I am inadequate without what is presented to me. This is the basis of advertising is it not? To emphasise lack; where we lack in our life and where one's life would be better etc etc if we only had what was (visually) on offer. It's about looking and desiring.

That's another reason I 'do' art - it's an opportunity to create visual images that have a language of their own, or at least attempt to.

As I homed in closer to these images and started to look at the context of where female models were placed, what titles were given to the articles or fashion shoots, I felt an odd mix of alarm, surreality, frustration, disbelief, and at times horror. But then I chose to emphasise these contexts, switching them about, minimising areas, choosing to select and re-look and re-present, and in the process create new narratives - as much of my work does.

What happens if you take a photo of a photo. If you select and magnify an area. The odd-ness increases, revealing (in my view) just how strange, and at times, how insidious advertising can be.

In this project I developed a series of images, selecting, magnifying and re-contextualising graphic imagery. I have put these images with article headlines or advertising text from the same magazine, marrying them together so they become one again. I chose to explore the incongruity, and amplifying that incongruity that already exists, for me, within the pages of the same magazine and advertising in general.

These (altered) images have then been put back into the public domain in Cambridge ranging from shopfronts, to cafes, to an art gallery, to bookshop walls, to public park noticeboards. I've often longed to put work back out in the public domain, removing it from a white cube gallery scenario which can make them commodities and concrete 'art-work's and therefore being 'read' in a certain way as a result. But by being posters in an alternative context, they have a chance to be read differently. For others to bring their own thoughts and narratives to it as they encounter these images in unlikely places, throwing off a typical or 'given' reading of 'images and text' within certain locations.

This seems to be an ongoing part of my work and practice. A way of examining public graphics, exploring the ways and hows of taking photographs and playing with the tyranny of imagery that already exists 'out there' in the public domain and how and where we experience visual culture. I recognise this over-abundance of advertising is synonymous with living in a city, and this level of mass media imagery doesn't exist everywhere, in all locations, although it is extremely pervasive.

What impact does TV have? What impact does all the imagery we encounter on a daily basis have on us?

I don't necessarily have the answers, but I enjoy using art as means to explore this. To take apart what already exists and question it. I enjoy being a creator and not just passive consumer of what culture has to offer - creating different realities even. Reality is up for creation, not just consumption.

I hope you can visit the projects and art-works for this year's Art::Language::Location in Cambridge. It looks set to be great, with some fine artists showing (pardon the pun), performing and generally punctuating the city with art.

Locations for my pieces in Cambridge:

'Future Perfect' - Waterstones bookshop, 22 Sidney Street, CB2 3HG 

'Out of the Ordinary' - Waterstones bookshop, 22 Sidney Street, CB2 3HG 

'As Seen' - Waterstones bookshop, 22 Sidney Street, CB2 3HG 

'The Chosen One's - Indigo Cafe, 8 St. Edward's Passage, CB21

'Casting Her Spell' - G. Davids bookshop, 16 St. Edwards Passage, CB2 3PJ

'Wear Me' - Williams Art Gallery, Gwydir St, City Centre, CB1 2LJ

'Dream Cream' - Parkers Piece, Park Noticeboard, Cambridge City Centre see map here

'Designing the Future' - CB1 Cafe, Mill Road, City Centre, CB1 2AD

'the goddess of small things' - St. Mary's Church Railings, City Centre, CB2 3PQ

*event runs until Nov 2nd. All images will go on my website soon

In other news:

We have the last day of Open Studios down at ArtLacuna today, please do come and visit us.

I was also honoured to by invited to contribute a piece to this great new site: KontentApp - please see my piece here.

There is more to come, but there has been so much going on lately that I feel a need for a rest before continuing on into the next vast plain of where life and art take me.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Current inspiring art books to share

pic from a Summer visit to this art and craft museum


Well the first weekend of the Open Studios event went well. We are at ArtLacuna again next weekend if you would like to pop down for a visit and a cuppa with cake ;) See ArtLacuna listing here.

I'm happy to say there is a merry group signed up to the workbook series - and there is still time for you to sign up before the offer closes tomorrow at midnight!

I've had a flurry of creative ideas, must be the time of year and the workbook series that's precipitated it. This has led to discovering a host of books I would like to get my hands on, so thought I would share with you my current art book wish-list:

1. Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists

2. Just Draw It!

3. The Imaginary World of

4. Photo Art: The New World of Photography (this book looks amazing - I spied it in an art library recently)

5. The Artist's Rule - I am drawn to this due to a frequent desire to slow down and 'look within' for quiet creative inspiration. Giving more time to ideas and even making.

If you've already got any of these books, or you buy any before me, let me know which ones you recommend.

Oh and I found another good quote, which I've just added to the new experimental art website:

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
- Scott Adams
Back soon,


Friday, 3 October 2014

creativity + the NEW website & workbook series!

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

- Scott Adams

This ties in with something I was supposed to do on the 1st of this month, it didn't happen until the 2nd and I am only sharing today! I am so exhausted, but the new site and the workbook series are here!

see here:

Been busy times. I'm excited. Hope you decide to join in - it's only available until the 7th ;)


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Where are all the women?


It feels a while since I wrote here properly.

The reason? I've been busy trying to compile all I've done on my art journey into a series of creativity and art tips 'workbooks'.

And writing and sending out the 21 FREE tips. If you read here regularly you may know I've been wanting to start the Experimental Art Academy. However - as I explained to my mailing list - there are times when ideas simply don't come or flow. And that's what happened to me.

As I spent time musing over ideas another idea manifested itself (the workbooks) and I am going with this.

I have spent years writing down ideas on scraps of paper, making notes in moleskines and writing in word documents. I didn't realise quite how much I had been gathering but I discovered many of them this Summer. And so it's all there. The explorations, the ideas, the experiments, the art techniques I've tried and discovered and I'm going to share it all.

My feeling is that the Academy will lead off naturally from this (off? out? from?!) And so, like many experimental things in my life. I'm going with it. I'm going to dare to do, to share, to see where it takes both you and me - if you decide to join in with it of course :)

It will be 6 workbooks delivered monthly. I've been working hard on developing a new website for experimental art and creativity. I will show you tomorrow. I am tweaking, and getting ready to launch ;)

And this is why I've been a little absent of late.

But why the blog title?

Ok, well as part of my research - looking for quotes, artists, inspirers, leaders etc I couldn't help but notice how such a disproportionate amount of them are men? (Or am I missing something and they're hiding out there and I haven't discovered them?!)

I often seek role models, people who have started to light a way forward, it somehow means even more to me when the trailblazers or unique thinkers are women.

Why are there not more of them out there? If you have any answers or theories, do let me know.

Maybe it's time to step up our game - who knows.

I look forward to sharing more and I will of course, be back here tomorrow to reveal all.

Oh, I did find a good quote from Mary Oliver I liked very much whilst hunting:

“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

All my energy is going in to writing the 21 FREE creativity tips & art ideas. We have one week left if you still want to join/see them :) - see post below. Will write more soon.