For January I have been residing in a little cosy hut with Mat Fleming and Harriet Plewis in Christiania, Copenhagen. We are here in January as Researchers in Residence (www.crir.net), here to learn about this unique place and its processes and to make a film that reflects this, or reflects us here.
Christiania is so incredible in its concept, and perhaps so overwhelming in its projected image that it is difficult to think about how to represent this experience on film. I say incredible in its concept, but really I don't think it should be anything incredible at all, what is incredible is that there aren't a thousand over 'Christianias' all over the world.
As a place its inspires me by its continued existance, yet disheartens me by the immense presence of the political resistance to it.
This small self goverened part of Copenhagen, home to 900 or so folk, is full of brave ideas and problems and I know that we are only able to understand the very surface of them as of yet. Currently it is a place in transition - a period of normalisation enforced by the government.
We three are talking together a great deal everyday, through all these ideas that come to us through the place and how best to present them, what to make of them. We meet our neghbours, we have discussions with them that help inform us, help add to the pool of people discussing and critiquing the ideas. We shoot during daylight hours.
We hope that we can make something that works, we had no prepared idea, just the idea that we would decide collectively between us what we would shoot the next day through discussions every evening. We are working with the title so far of 'More Soup, More Broth'.
The Wimbledon Space has a new exhibition on called The Perfect Nude.
This is the same space the UAL Artists in Residence will be using in April, so the Private View was a good opportunity for everyone from all three colleges, Wimbledon, Chelsea and Camberwell, to meet one another and get a first look at the space.
There have been lots of emails flying around about how they plan to curate the exhibition and identify common threads through their work.
This may be the only time everyone gets together before their own private view in April.
Here are the photos: http:/
I have been completing my work, 'Knitted horizons', for the exhibition I am coordinating at The Brewhouse, Taunton called Mapping the Future: Where are you now? This opens on 23 February to 24 March. The Textile Forum South West is collaborating with The Bewhouse to put on this exhibition which follows on from the successful conference of the same name last March at SCAT.
Check out the blog
I had a busy time at Plymouth College of Art last week printing and then making the bag ready for a photo shoot on Monday. Needless to say when you are working to a deadline something happens - my sewing machine burnt out so I had to spend time hand stitching everything!
Couldn't resist putting a bowler hat and tie on my archetypal man last week. But no doubt it will have to go, The hat instantly takes him from archetype to arsitype, which might be apt if it didn't also diminish the whole picture. Heigh ho.
Am pleased with the SINGING VIKING though, his harp sppears to be transforming into flight and birds, all very satisfying for him. And me.
There's an overflow of Fine Arts Students at Chesterfield Art College this year and I am taking up two bays, so this week I'll be moving to another studio at the top of the Boy's Grammar School. Space is at a premium, and I don't help by needing so much of it. but am enjoying painting large and letting imagination rip.
It's been a while since I've written on this blog. Before the Christmas break I had a nasty bout of tonsilitis and was also needed to take my daughter to a couple of uni interviews. The Turner Prize exhibition is now over so things are quieter at work which should give me some space to get on with my AA2A project. I enjoyed making my presentation to students better than I had expected and it was good to meet up with the other AA2A artists, though there was not much opportunity to discuss our various plans and experiences of AA2A. I had already met a group of the students and a couple of staff at the Baltic when they came to see the Turner exhibition so some of them recognized me from that.
I have been working steadily away. Most of my time on campus has been spent in the darkroom working on photograms and enlargements which means I haven't seen a lot of the Fine Art students. Away from uni I have been taking more photographs. Now is a time for taking stock and deciding whether I do actually want to use some of the images in etchings or stay with photographic prints and collage.
Good news arrived just before Christmas - I have secured some funding which will enable me to realise my moving image project in the summer. The body of work I produce on the AA2A is a part of this project, being an exploration of the visual imagery used to convey the concepts behind the work. Going back to darkroom basics and experimenting with photgrams was a fruitful exercise.
More darkroom tomorrow!
So with SUPERCONDUCTOR up and running at the NewBridge Project I'm busy writing the final essay for the Chance Finds Us group show which will be touring early next year beginning at MIMA.
Although it's been a tough winter (I've been inundated with writing projects from CFU to Allenheads Contemporary Arts and many things between) I have just heard that I'm one of the lucky recipients of The Arts Council Bursaries to attend The 2012 State of the Arts Conference in Salford http:/
Also, I'm doing a reading of a text I wrote for Ben Jeans Houghton's new book commissioned by CIRCA Projects Black Cloud. For more details about the event and to RSVP please go to the Black Cloud: Further Reading event page on facebook: https:/
For over two years now I have been considering taking a more abstract approach to the female nude within my practice. So having recently been granted the opportunity to work alongside Manchester Metropolitan University I thought what better time than now?..
I am currently working on a series of A4 etching plates depicting bloated, abstract representations of the female form. I was very enthusiastic to take advantage of the universities printmaking facilities as I thought perhaps my style of drawing would be complimented by this printmaking technique. But as it had been over six years since my last visit to a print studio I was a little nervous. It took me a few weeks to get to grips with the techniques and machinery (lots of upside down plates, ink on clothing and mimed swear words) but three months on I finally feel my ideas are definitely coming together.
I have created and printed from four etching plates so far but over the coming months I am hoping to double my time spent at the university and get cracking on producing a large collection of A4 etching prints (each print of a different image). Now that I am familiar with the etching process I hope to soon move up to A2/A1 sized steel plates to create much bigger prints as I find the A4 format a little restrictive. I have also begun to combine both drawing and etching by doodling ontop of some of my (less succesful) prints as a way of extending the fleshy mass within the image.
Anyway, here's one of my favourite prints. Any feedback is very welcome! More images can be found in my 'MMU: Work in Progress 2011/12' folder back on my main profile page. Thanks for reading.