Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Time inevitably passes ...

There’s a small path opposite where I live that takes you across the rugby fields and then next to the golf course and eventually to the fields leading up to Stafford Castle. Sometimes, when I am working on my research from home in the week, particularly when the weather is nice or I need to clear my head, I love wandering along this path. It is quite unusual to bump into anyone else, apart from the odd person walking their dog across the fields or a few people at the castle itself.
Last year I created some pieces of work that included parts of Roland Barthes' The Pleasure of the Text and were located randomly along the route to the castle. I was really happy to discover that one of them was still there!! It was a little worn at the edges which I really loved but still fluttering on the post that I had attached it to.

I love wandering around the castle, particularly when it is sunny as everything seems so calm and beautiful and removed from daily life. As it's so high up it's really nice to just sit at the top of the hill that the castle sits on and look down and watch everthing pass by and reflect in the quietness and stillness up there.

I spent two days last week attending the BIAD Summer School called 'Promoting Your Research' which was a great two days for fellow PhD students and staff at BIAD. We had some really inspiring speakers including Professor Paul Wells from Loughborough University who discussed communicating practice-led research and also a talk called 'Type-Writing' by Dr Caroline Archer which for me was really interesting as it touched on notions of typography in the thesis.

I've been sorting out a lot of my stuff over the past weeks and came across a lot of art work I'd done when I was younger and lots of letters from my grandparents which stirred up a lot of memories. There was one particulrly beautiful passage from my Opa in Germany which he wrote in a letter dated 07/03/1996:
The letter really touched me as I thought that it was quite profound and poetic. The letter was in response to a card I had made with a painting of some flowers on whilst my Opa was in hospital and looking back now I think that the letter is really touching. It's always really cathartic sorting through things sometimes and made me smile to think of my grandparents.
The weather here was dreadful too. I have never known Oma not to go into the garden for so long, except to feed the birds. One good thing - the grass doesn't grow.
       Time inevitably passes, it will grow. So do we all. There was a time when Oma and I pushed you in a pram to Ealing Common, today you're almost in your teens. It is good so. It would be awful to be a child forever.

I've had some really good bits of news lately! Firstly Ive been asked to produce some work for the exhibition When We Build Let Us Think That We Build Forever which celebrates the 125th anniversary of the beautiful College of Art building in Margaret Street which is part of BIAD. I've also been asked to deliver a session for the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice in Art, Design & Media for new students in November later on this year. I undertook the course myself nearly two years ago when I started my PhD and it was hugely helpful. Its really exciting yet a little scary delivering a session to other researchers!!


  1. Hello! I was vainly googling myself (Jackie Taylor) and then found you. We have 3 things in common - our name, we both teach things and I just finished my PhD about 18 months ago, so I know that feeling! I'm a lecturer in occupational therapy, so I have had encounters with making art in therapy, but my appreciation of art is based on visiting galleries. I like your colourful streaky pictures.

  2. Congrats on your PhD, thats fantastic news! I can't even visualise completing mine yet!! And thanks for your comment, I think it is so different experiencing art through making and visiting a gallery, yet so rewarding to help others throught it.

  3. Post PhD time is a strange place to be - people warned me that I would drop into a black hole, wondering who I am now - and they were right! Now trying to get some of my stuff published.