Saturday, 24 October 2009

Painting epiphanies and then some ...

It's been ages since I actually used paint in my work and I decided last weekend to get round to making a present for my brother that I've been meaning to do since the summer. I worked on a piece of wood that myself and a group of friends cut using an axe in Trentham Gardens with the help of a guy who ran survivalist workshops. I took the bit of wood home with me as I thought that it's context was so interesting




Yesterday I attended the International Contemporary Painting Symposium at University of Wolverhampton, which was organised by Maggie Ayliffe and Alistair Payne ... and it was absolutely fantastic! I've been struggling recently to complete my application to register my research, but the symposium really made me think in a new light about my research. Particularly, the idea of a third space inbetween the masculine and the feminine, and its possibilities outside of the Modernist gendered dichotomy of painting. After the symposium we travelled by coach to a private reception at The New Art Gallery Walsall




to see Neal Rock and Gordon Cheung's work, who were also speakers at the symposium. After I got the courage (from err ... a couple of glasses of complimetary wine), I spoke to Neal Rock and Gordon Cheung! They were amazin and really interesting to talk to.

Next week, I will be working in the the exhibition space at Margaret Street, BIAD, treating it as an opportunity to experiment with creating textstallations and researchstallations to explore the interdisciplinarity and interrelations of writing//painting on a larger scale. Hopefully I'll have some more epiphanies then ... !

Monday, 12 October 2009

This text desires me ...

I woke up this morning and when I looked out of the window, I could see leaves floating and swirling in the sky; almost as if they were raining down onto the street. They seemed so beautiful and carefree; I was envious of them.

After being ill over the weekend, I decided to get out of the house and 'install' some small pieces of work that I had make a week or so ago about Roland Barthes' book: 'Pleasure of the Text'. I wanted to use his text, out of its textual context, to create an intertextual dialogue utilising the space outside.




I walked about 2 miles along a small footpath that eventually leads to the ruins of the old castle and along my journey left pieces of text, fluttering in the wind to be read by someone else, on their journey and continuing the dialogue I had begun.

I sat at the top of the hill at the front of the castle and just looked over the view of the town; so quiet and serene and so far away everything else that seemed important. I thought; anything's possible if you try hard enough, if you have the right inspiration to do it.


Luckily, the journey I had taken seemed to have some effect ... I got home and actually managed to re-write some of my 9r; the application for the registration of my research after a serious bout of mind block.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Alphabet soup without the vowels ...

... is probably how you'd explain what my head feels like right now! I spent the last weekend with my folks in Chester and we went to Blackpool for the day where I took some really amazing photos : )






It was a really nice break and nice way to spend the weekend before a really heavy teaching and research-tastic week! The past two days (and potential cherry on the top of the cake of the alphabet soup-ness) has been spent at INTERđ»OGATION:WALSALL seminar and research conference at BIAD. The Interrogation seminar was a really great day that brought together the different day residencies as part of the project, including key speakers and discussion about the project. I think I realised during the discusion that the INTERđ»OGATION:COLLABORATION project that myself and Agent Marsden took part of was the beginning of a process that would relate to future projects and ideas, particularly the (inteR)linking of ideas, both theoretically and physically throught the mapping of the installation and also the (inteR)collaborations. I also stumbled across the Library of Secrets at the New Art Gallery Walsall which was an amazing mobile library run by the artist Serena Korda, where you can add you own secrets in the books



there for other people to discover, and on your textual journey within the pages of the books also stumble across other people's secrets. I really liked the way that there was a sort of interconnectedness between people that were brought together through the process of exploring the textuality of the books. Also at the gallery was some work by the artist Neal Rock, whom I love, love, love! It made the day even better to be able to see (and document) his work in person as I have only seen images of his


hybrid sculpture-paintings before. They were really beautiful as well. The conference at BIAD with Elizabeth Price (who was frickin' A-mazing!) was also a really good day and really inspirational. It made a lot of connections to my research and made me think a lot about the process of writing itself as a methodology and the possibilities of developing writing and materiality as a way of making/creating research. Ive decided to include my research diary as an output of my PhD as well, so thinking about mapping strategies and becoming more sculptural and hybrid fits in well.


I met up for a coffee with my lovely ladies this morning which was definatey needed to prepare for the next week : D where I also officially start my post teaching on Art Foundation at Stafford College (eek  : s). Adding to the brain mush at the moment is the fact that my house is currently mid-process of being decorated so there is the contents of the bathroom in the kitchen and the living room (including sofa) in the bedroom and books everywhere ... aaargh! Unfortunately there is a decorator down and recovering with lemsip in bed which will slow down things a bit so I think another week of textual chaos awaits ...