Saturday, 9 October 2010

Out with the old and in with the new ...

What a strange couple of weeks it has been! The last week has been a complete write off as I've been off sick with the flu and a beast of a chest infection, watching Come Dine With Me/avoiding Jeremy Kyle, sleeping and trying to convince myself that I'm not actually going to die of the flu. The week before last however (and possible reason for my demise) was one hell of a crazy week and one of those weeks where a lot of things happen all at once and your life changes a little bit. Well, quite a lot in my case.

Firstly I started off by joining a French class - I can already order an aperitif how cool is that?! I've wanted to start French lessons for ages as the gendered structure of the French language relates a lot to my research and a lot of the key writers I've been looking at are situated within French discourse ... although it'll be a long while before I can understand an academic text so I'll settle for ordering an aperitif for now! I also had my panel meeting for my 9r which is the document which officially registers my PhD. I only had some small amendments so I'm looking forward to it being completed and my research being officially being 'registered'.
I was casually flicking through the pages of a magazine called Stylist on the train home from my 9r meeting and I noticed a piece of work which I was certain was by my fellow artist Georgie Vinsun. I checked out her blog when I got back and it turns out it's her painting 'Celestine'! How much of a cool surprise is that to find?!!

On the Thursday, it was a bit of an emotional day as it was my last day teaching at Stafford College and working at the Shire Hall Gallery as I have had some really really amazing news ... I have been really really lucky enough to receive the AHRC Doctoral Award for Fine Art at BIAD where I will be funded to complete my PhD full time for the next two years! : ) I'll also have a studio space at Margaret Street which is really cool as well! I'm a little bit nervous but also très excited. I would have been more excited if I hadn't gone in on my first day and then been ill for the rest of the week ... so next week is really my first week, yey!

I attended the conference for Interrogation: West Bromwich which was a really great day and it was really nice to see all of the finished projects. I decided at the beginning of that week that I would carry out a post-mission reconnaissance before the conference started and extend the project I did the week before. Armed with some hefty signage, duct tape and a giant paper pigeon posse I re-interrogated West Brom.
As it was raining, I  had to pretty much place everything in doors which was actually really good as it meant that everything was placed more explicitly in the public realm.
I tried to be as inconspicuous as you can, putting up signs with a big fat role of silver duct tape, particularly when there was a lot of CCTV cameras around and no-one stopped me or questioned what I was doing. A lot of the signs stayed up all day to my surprise however the Tescos sign only stayed up for about half an hour as it was removed by the shopping centre security staff! The guys at the street stall were brilliant - I paid them £2 to put my sign up with their veg signs all day. When they realised that I wasn't trying to do anything too dodgy, they even tried to barter with me to pay them to put some more signs up!

I put up loads of pigeons and got a really good response from people who laughed and thought that it was quite funny. The picture I used was of a wood pigeon rather than a city pigeon so it was actually quite beautiful when you looked at it.

I also just had to put a picture up of this sign I noticed whist pigeon-putting-up-ing in the market. I really didn't want to find out what was inside the shop ... do they actually sell babies in there?!! Err ... I'd rather not know, thanks.

The conference was really interesting and included talks by Anna Francis, Ania Bas, Juneau Projects, Michael PinskyRich White who talked about his new piece of writing State of Practice and Gemma Thomas who talked about SHOP. It was really nice to see everything brought together and reflected on, especially in the context of the talks and also to all go for a swift beverage at the end of the day in The Public.

I finished off the weekend with a really heavy but interesting conference at the delightful Perry Barr campus at BCU which brought all of the research staff and PhD students across the whole university together. The conference focused on 'What is Research?', a question I will keep coming across in the context of Art & Design, so it was really intersting to hear the question examined by different departments.
Prof David Boyd's talk in particular was really inspiring and focused on an interdisciplinary approach and reflexive thinking.

Anyway, back to bed I think so I stop feeling sorry for myself and start to feel a bit better soon!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Well done on the funding, that is amazing! You must be so pleased!!
    Enjoy the studio space :)