Friday, 9 November 2012

Dirty Yellow Splodge

Still on the subject of dirty yellow, which just will not rest, this was the desktop scene in my studio as I was attempting yet again to resolve the (life)boat sculpture drawings. My thoughts have gone back and forth like a pendulum - origami, not origami, lace, not lace.  Last week I thought I had a breakthrough in the form of the piece, changing it to a big, sharp black object. Part boat, part architecture.  I got quite excited about it for about an hour. On reflection, I think that is a different piece, one that can sit alongside the lace (life)boat perhaps.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

New Old Scissors

At last, scissors for collage cutting so that the house scissors do not keep disappearing, resurfacing next to a pile of postcard or stamp fragments. The larger pair, from Holt, North Norfolk, have been re-sharpened to devastating effect. I don't think tools are generally sharpened as much as they need to be, not now. The smaller pair were bought from Suffolk. Now to cut out some Martello Towers....

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Cyrus Garden End & Beginning

Although the Cyrus Garden Project, as funded by the Arts Council, has officially ended, the visual research and inquisitiveness continues unabated. The initial points of interest and departure remain, although perhaps morphed or transmuted or diverted into new and different areas.  These new pockets of interest are connected by threads (perhaps silken, who knows) to the umbrella of WW2 and Persian Gardens. So much remains a continuing work in progress. And as ever, I have difficulty editing out these interests, so many are fascinating and perhaps distracting.

Perhaps a mini review is in order? A list of outcomes and shortcomings, such as those sent in the Arts Council report? Except I think that all these things are embedded within this scrapbook and there for all who care to delve into.

The end of the project calls into question the aims of this visual scrapbook now  - is this a natural conclusion or an arbitary deadline somewhat disconnected from the organic nature of the research process itself? This is, of course, one of the difficulties I experienced through all those months of creating the Afterlife -Docks Inventory book, trying to define the elements of a process whilst still in the midst of the process. (Incidentally, I am still working on different versions of the inventory, just as the research process has continued.) It is all a journey of discovery.
This image took my fancy today, not sure why.  It is a telephone in the Western Approaches Museum, Liverpool from The Touring Territories first research visit there.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Toiuring Territories East Anglian U.F.O Archive

We have finally delivered the East Anglian UFO research that Nicola Naismith and I undertook on behalf of Dave Evans, Co-Director of The Royal Standard, Liverpool. We journeyed up to Liverpool to give a talk about the project to the fabulously welcoming Royal Standard and had an interesting discussion about disparate UFO matters.  Part two of the evening was a snapshot of our interest in parts of Liverpool such as The Clarion Cycling Club (Nicola) and the Sugar Silo on Huskisson Dock. 
Coincidentally, we also displayed the Satellite Portfolio that our artist's group collated for Aid & Abet, Cambridge last year.
Nicola and I stayed with Dave and Fran overnight, but missed out on the Special Edition of Close Encounters, in favour of the local watering hole.
This is a polaroid of the archive table as laid out for Dave, and as we left it for him. The next day we returned to the docks, where my Polaroid camera decided to have a melt down.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Nine Perspectives

During a recent Satellite meeting, Nicola Naismith referred to The Becher's Typologies of varying industrial structures photographed from similar perspectives and formatted into a grid for comparison.  German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher had begun working together in 1959.
I immediately realised that this was one of the implicit motives for me photographing from within the WW2 defence fortifications, so I've played around with a grid format, almost like a list or catalogue of the views.  Of course, by no means completist, even within my modest boundaries of collecting. I have other versions of these, but decided to try this one as a double-sided short-run A3 print. This is ideal for someone who cannot resist collecting sets of items and I could just aswell apply this to my images of cranes....

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Ideas about boat sculpture

Whilst in France I spent some time thinking about my "bateau sauvetage" boat sculpture idea - another piece I have been circling round for over ten years. (approximate Guernsey French for lifeboat.) I discussed the idea during my In Process Residency at The Queen of Hungary Project Space with Nicola Naismith, which set me thinking in a slightly different direction. Bigger. No origami.
I'm planning a maquette first to test some of my thoughts and considerations. I'm still a long way off from even starting the piece, but small steps forward.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Prototype book, belated image.

I 've realised that I haven't posted any images of the Afterlife-Docks prototype book, the culmination of countless hours of work from the Cyrus Garden project. I'm about to 'crit' the book at the Queen of Hungary Project Space and conside rthe next steps with it. Still, most exciting. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Load docks collage

"Load" Digital collage image.
Postcard collage of White Rock Pier, St Peter Port with two types of loading/unloading and slightly differing colourway choices.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Resurrection of a Nissen Hut

Strange things have been afoot down at the studio.  The pillbox has been given a severe haircut and a Nisssen Hut has appeared.  The piece of corrugated iron that I appropriated for the In Process Residency has been magnetised back to the whole, limited edition poster  and all.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Of Black Glass and Nasty Yellow

Bunker /House, Dominique Rey

            Abigail Reynolds at Ambach & Rice       
Black glass and nasty yellow have been on my mind this past year. Whilst in Liverpool I saw some interesting work by the artist Abigail Reynolds, with a connection to collage, at Bluecoat Another piece of work by Reynolds pinged a resonant elastic band with my Bunker /House (still no definitive title) and most recently the hotly disputed yellow window mount for my "Meeting Place" collage shown during my In Process residency in March. Perhaps it is the wasp syndrome?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Two photography darkrooms

Photographed on my recent research trip to Liverpool, this is at the National Trust owned, former house of Mr And Mrs Chambre Hardman, well-known portrait and documentary photographers around Liverpool.   The house is itself like stepping into a tinted snapshot from the 1940's and 1950's; higly photogenic particularly with some interesting lighting.  The darkrooms seemed fascinating both by daylight and redlight and the ticking clock and the ground floor was stacked high with yellow Kodak boxes. Just the redolent smells of the chemicals missing, but nevertheless transported back to my childhood.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

In Process Residency - last day.

Two polaroids recording the last day of my In Process Residency. Polly Cruse curated the 'show' or arrangement of work that was finally viewed by an audience, so it was interesting seeing how that influenced the process of editing work. In particular, Polly and I made two small but effective and noticeable alterations to the layout. We turned the 'Facade' arch  round so that the back was facing the audience as they entered the space, which in effect created more of an internal space the other side of the arch and more of an impetus to get there with two routes seeming more available. The second small but effective change was to project the video through one of the sandblasted glass panes and into the arched tank, creating layers of shadow both within the tank and on the wall. The space remained architectural in the way it was informally broken up  into smaller spaces by a repeated arch or curved shape, the best we could do within the single space. Good reactions from the visitors and good conversations had.

Friday, 9 March 2012

In Process Residency - Day Four

 Polly Cruse from Satellite Artists came in  today to arrange the work and transform the space, the third curator and the fourth time it has been arranged/ moved. She seemed interested in layers of viewing and using the shadows and patterning within some of the pieces. I have time in the space tomorrow to reflect more. Not so many concrete blocks to shift today.
Just a lot of mobile phone images today as I have just got back from the pub.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

In Process Residency Day Three

Stephanie Douet from The Queen of Hungary Project Space came in and shuffled things around today, with less accent on the bunker. Although, looking through the documentation images from today that remains the predominant influence and feel. 
It was good to play with video projection alongside the other pieces and I intend to  bring in another videowork if I can find the thing. Really tired now.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

In Process Day Two

First thing this morning I placed the black  Bunker-camouflaged-as-a-House on the plinth and messed around with the yellow acrylic rods. Some months/ years in the making.
Nicola Naismith from Satellite Artists spent the morning in the Project Space with me editing, sifting and sorting out which pieces she felt worked well together and could sit happily in this space. There seemed to be a mass of work that could become two or three different shows, or one show with different rooms. However, in the allotted area we had to play with, one pared down, rather bunker-oriented show emerged resplendent in greys and blacks with small splashes of yellow. 
Tomorrow I am picking up the projector, so my guest for Thursday will have some video to play around with too. I wonder if my old super 8 projector works?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

In Process Residency - Day One

Concrete blocks, chairs, panes of glass, lights, metal - rusted iron and aluminium, desks and the odd framed picture, all lugged and dragged and hoiked in and out of the Project Space today. the theory is that lots of objects in the space early on enables me to have material to move and shift and make associations between through the rest of the week.  I have an old fol-up wooden school desk that I have set-up as my command table. I'll take a photo tomorrow. The small fragments of rusted Nissen hut make visually arresting arcs within the room and divide it into three. Three of the A0 posters are gaffa taped to the wall - they may well be moved at a later date so no wallpaper paste yet.  
These are a series of images taken throughout the day. 
I'm also recording the week on the Queen of Hungary blog:

Monday, 5 March 2012


Tomorrow I start my 5 day residency at The Queen of Hungary Project Space - . 
Excitingly I 'd ordered some posters with that rough fly poster quality and they arrived in double quick time on Friday. I've blown-up one of my stamp collages, "Irandar", to A0 size, so the radar image is more obvious. I much prefer them original size, original collage, with the cuts and blemishes in glorious 3D visibility, but the flattening in the print is interesting and the image remains bold with lovely graphic qualities 100 times bigger and 100 times more pronounced. I've also done a negative version which has a harsh grey green, almost with a fluorescent attitude.  I like that as it reminds me of Cold War posters and reference to alien invasions and UFOs.
Over the next  5 days I willbe able to consider in detail where to put the two versions of "Irandar".  I like the idea of pasting them onto some corrugated iron (part of a demolished Nissen Hut) that is stacked behind the Project Space, but it is only borrowed and would be a pain to try and get off afterwards (as I remember from the huge fly posters we pasted up on King's Street, Norwich next to Dragon Hall).

Friday, 17 February 2012

Xenophon created the Cyropaedia in the 4th century B.C, a semi-factual work about Cyrus the Great.  In some tangental link, I have been trying to compile my own encyclopaedia of my ideas and inspirational images for over a year now, using the Cyrus Garden Blog as  the framework on which to hang it. Everytime I get nearer the end it concertinas out like a long, metal Slinky, revealing more ideas, more images more of interest. And whether to stay in print format or go with the digital-only version, goodness knows.  My latest attempt is to simply cover the letters A to D as a first volume, with a severly implemented cut-off point beyond which no new subjects will be included.

Perhaps it is more of a compendium or a directory or an inventory than an encyclopaedia? 
Encyclopaedia: Origin; mid 16th cent.modern Latin, from pseudo-Greek enkuklopaideia for enkuklios paideia ‘all-around education.’ My book certainly won't be 'all-round' but decidedly 2 or 3 sided, partial and with large gaps in it.

Nicola Naismith sent me this image from a shop front in Norwich. Perhaps an alternative model for the book?

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Guernsey Docks

Two postcards of White Rock Pier from my growing collection that I am itching to make some work from but cannot until I resolve my A to Z book of my work, or at the moment A to D. I have been working on it for more than a year and just cannot get to an end point or even a point that feels middling like a comma or a pause for breath.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Reconstructing A Garden for Cyrus

I spent today in the freezing studio bringing a lush garden back to the parched ground surrounding the card image of Cyrus The Great's tomb. Perhaps not the original chahar bagh, but there are trees for shade, a few flowers and even a pool for reflection (albeit reflecting a garden pavilion from elsewhere).  I feel inspired to make Cyrus some more gardens, but the rule is that I must only use postcards and that was my one Cyrus tomb image.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Jersey Photography Show

These are two (thumbnail images) of the three images that I'm showing in Archisle: The Jersey Contemporary Photography Programme.  They are, of course, of WW2 defence fortifications in Jersey. They're rather melancholy and grey/ blue hues - quite a contrast to the bright, blue-sky fortification images I took in Guernsey.  The actual photos are printed on Kodak Endura metallic paper.  The show opened in December and continues until the 31st January.

Persian textile pattern detail on House.