Grizedale

Visited Grizedale Arts today, at their Lawson Park HQ, situated in Ruskin’s back garden. They were busy feeding the ‘slug eating’ ducks. What an inspirational place, and they are truly embedded within the valley, unlike some other rural arts projects. But what a valley: Coniston is a pretty exceptional place, a heady mix of nature, history, art, tourism, philosophy and Swallows and Amazons, and that is without the additional input of Grizedale.

Body stones

For our Mezz event in May we have the artist Ilana Halperin coming to talk. “One evening, someone approached me and said; I came across something I think you might be interested in – a collection of body stones. Body stones? Body stones: gall stones, kidney stones, they are made of geology. From this conversation grew the idea that we as humans are also geological agents – we form geology. We are like volcanoes, producing new landmass on a micro scale.” Recently returned from Iceland and on her way to the Turner Contemporary for a performative lecture, Mezz is pleased to present Ilana Halperin, who utilises text, delicate graphite drawings, sculpture, video and performance to explore our intimate relationship to the seemingly distant and abstract world of plate tectonics, in her quest to develop art objects formed within a geological, or deep time context. For Mezz #13 Ilana will first be showing some work from herPhysical Geology series, followed by a talk entitled Autobiographical Trace Fossils: “a field dispatch on the nature of new landmass of a cultural, biological and geological nature – from petrifying caves in France, to geothermal pools in Iceland and a collection of body stones more animal than mineral.” Fascinating stuff. Hope to meet you there on Thu 5th May. See the website for details.

Looking into the future

Working in Derriford hospital today, and I felt really humbled by the patients and what they are having to face. I have checked with others in the hospital, and it seems quite common to imagine yourself at the age of the patient you are treating at that moment. At one point I was imagining myself at the age of 88. I hope I will be as lively and thankful as he was!

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Now this is going to be interesting! I have just won a commission to create new work for the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve North Devon, which is one of only two such reserves in the UK. A fascinating landscape in its own right, but then there is its mirror landscape, made up of all the data collected by scientists about this ecosystem. That is where iDAT comes in as one of the project partners, a collaborative arts-science agency based at Plymouth University who’s aim is to bring such mirror landscapes into view. I will keep you posted.

Take your breath away

Spending time in the imaging department, in particular looking at how CT scans work. One of the nurses said to me: “there are no secrets in the body any more, we can see everything.”

Unexpectedly moving

Living next to Gloucester cathedral I came across an exhibition there by Greg Tricker: sculpture, painting, stained glass. Having helped him carry this huge piece of wood into the nave, I have been to look at the show. I found his work surprisingly moving, with such a clear vision. It makes me long for naive times. The nun Sister Wendy Beckett is writing a book about his work. I remember her TV show about art from a few years back. I would like to do a show in the cathedral on silence, to complement the week of sound art that I curated there in 2002 called Naked Nave.

Distorted Quartz

Clay10, a commission for Newton Abbot Community Hospital, has just been completed. The large disk image high up in the atrium is alligned to a window on the opposite wall of the atrium the glass of which warps and distorts the circle as you approach, finally presenting the picture of a grain of Quartz in a magnified 3D once you are standing right infront of it. It looks great!