Bedrock & Paradox

Bedrock & Paradox smallTaking its title from Edward Abbey’s book ‘Desert Solitaire’, I’ve got an exhibition coming up at the University of Exeter’s Innovation Centre. The show opens on 23rd. More details to follow shortly…


TestcardF1000I have been meaning to write a post around the word ‘hiatus’ for some time, as it seemed to be the best word to describe where I am with my work at the moment: and then the EU referendum hit! This has brought up so much sadness, many contradictory thoughts and strong emotions, much soul searching – and will undoubtedly feed into my next piece of work. But in the meanwhile… a hiatus… in work, in life and in this blog. [Image]

Where it all becomes fluid

Chalk organic flint smToday I’m setting up for the show in The Hardwick Gallery. This is the second time in the past few months that I have relocated by studio into a gallery for a short period; and I’m finding it a good way of working. Bringing all the different elements together – drawings, materials, videos – here in the clean and clear space of the gallery, gives me the freedom to think and work that is just not possible in the studio. Too many established habits there! It’s strange: for so long I have shied away from the gallery environment exactly because of it ‘white cube’ effect, of its isolation from the world outside. Now, it is just that artificiality which I am after. The next couple of weeks I am working here with sound/music, in collaboration with the flautist Tadek. Just with that in mind, the most solid of objects seem to vibrate, fluctuate, become fluid. Looking at this flint, it is moving, turning into something else, just so slowly that I can’t see it. But then isn’t that the nature of fluidity; as much to do with the timeframe you are working with as to do with the material itself – my slow is a geologist’s fast.

Score for a Flautist

ChalkScore1000This month I am really looking forward to my short residency and collaboration at the Hardwick Gallery, 7th to 18th March, called Score for a Flautist. I will be working with Tadek to create an improvised soundtrack/performance for the ‘Deep Time Chalk Futures’ project. More info is on the Hardwick website. There might be a presentation of the work on the second Thursday, that is the 17th, 5–7pm, but this is yet to be confirmed. I will keep you posted.

Life goes where the energy flows

Holiday over smSummer’s over! Time to get back to work. Had my time by the lake, eating cake drinking coffee, swinging in the hammock reading (and struggling at times with) Nick Lane’s The Vital Question. If he is to be believed then genes and natural selection are just a side show (so much for all that zoology I studied at Uni!), its chemistry that rules the roost. Life goes where the energy flows. Quite appropriate really, as I enter an autumn working with the chemistry of chalk; how it can act as a litmus to climate change. But time for just one more trip down to the lake. It’s windy at the moment, storm brewing, snails on the path, but the water is still warm. Roddy, you might recognise your Mexican hammock!

Open Studio…ish

Open studios smIt is the Stroud Open Studios this and next weekend – do come! Eighty two artists will be showing their work, and in the case of Stroud a studio can be anything from an old industrial building, a shed at the bottom of a lovely Cotswold garden, someone’s front kitchen, or one of the studios here at Stroud Valleys Artspace. Often, it is just as much fun seeing the location as the work: when the weather is good (and there are plenty of chances to snack along the way) what more could you wish for! As for here, that is Studio 15 at SVA, this is what you will see: I won’t be around in person but then this blog is my Open Studio, and that is all year round. So, a small request, if you know of one person who might be interested in this online Open Studio then please do suggest they drop by for a look. Thanks, and have a great weekend! PS: don’t forget to vote. (For those of you abroad, it is Polling Day here in the UK)

Paper round dreams

Observatory philae imageI never did a paper round as a kid, but now I am doing one every Monday morning as my eldest son can’t do his on that day because of basketball. What has surprised me is that I love it! It’s great to get out and cycle around a bit before going to the studio. Great for thinking too. There I was this morning in the rain, dropping off a Citizen at number 43, when I found myself in residence in The Observatory (which isn’t supposed to start until January!) The next half hour was a joy, ideas flooding in for this project, connections being made. I now have a plan. I can fully recommend a paper round as a great work tool! So, as a first step here is where the Observatory is going to be sited in January. Sorry number 64, forgot you this morning in all my daydreaming. I will pop back later with your copy.