Sunday, 24 October 2010

Rainbow pie

I've never seen a rainbow before where you can see it as a full semi-circle and was met with this unexpected surprise as I was travelling through none other than Wolverhampton! The camera couldn't really pick it up but it was there for at least 20 minutes. I guess that's the bonus of having crap weather in Britain, it's just a shame we don't see more rainbows!

I had a bit of a crisis of confidence yesterday when I realised that I just have sooooo much to do and doing a PhD is such an overwhelmingly massive task. I've been loving working in my new studio-office (and it's vacinity to various coffee outlets) and have been trying to write a sort of structure of my thesis and what's going to go in each chapter as my aim is to have a draft of part of the first chapter by Christmas. No pressure then eh?! I'm generally a pretty disorganised person and have been trying to give myself a routine and some sort of structure since studying  full-time otherwise I tend to go off on all sorts of (work-related) tangents and then before I know it, it's about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and nearly the end of the day!

For the past couple of weeks I've been disseminating the research diary I've kept since I started and have been working on a huuuuge roll of sexy fabriano paper where I've been physically mapping it out to try and link together my ideas. I'll post some pics when it's built up a bit more. I also found one of the books that I'd been working in when I've been organising my stuff. This is definately something I want to keep working on and I've been steadily accruing lots of lovely old books to work into.

I had the most a-mazing experience in a fab little second-hand book shop recently. There is a really beautiful and quaint little book shop that I've been in to a couple of times called Paramount Book Exchange which is on a small-ish road at the back of the Arndale Centre in Manchester. There's jazz music playing and a sofa to pop your feet up and have a flick through something you're thinking of buying and every type of book you could want. This place is a little gem. I'm a self-confessed bibliophile/book geek and ♥ books; the physicality of them, the texture of the pages and the aesthetic qualities of them (I think I need to get out more).

I'd been looking for a book by the poet Ezra Pound for a while and I noticed one in this book-shop a couple of weeks ago. When I first saw it I didn't buy it as I'm a bit stingy and I don't really like spending money, but when I went back recently it was still there and I saw it as a sign that I should get it. I bought it with another book and to my surprise when I got to the till, the gentleman who owned the shop told me that because I'd spent over £10 ... I qualified for a free piece of fruit!!! He was genuinely quite sorry when he said all of the oranges had gone as they were the most popular so he only had pears left! I of course exclaimed that a pear would be amazing and that he had made my day! I have to say it was a bloody nice pear as well! Now that's customer service!!

After my fruitful experience (gettit?!) I headed to the Chinese Arts Centre and stumbled across a right beauty ... a piece of street art by Space Invader! Some idiot had painted some dodgy black paint around it so I thought I'd better check that it was actually his and there is a great image on his website here of the original before the black paint was applied.
I came across his work originally in the film Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy which is actually GENIUS if not a little mental and definately worth seeing. Ever since seeing it, I've had an intense desire to make work on old walls etc. but I guess I shouldn't really admit that incase I ended up doing it and then someone realises it's me ...

I visited the Chinese Arts Centre and although the main exhibtion space was undergoing a changover, I got to see Sonia Khan's work 'The Mother and her Untamed Entity' in the installation space that leads to the lower floor.
I really liked the piece and how it worked in response to the exhibition space. I also noticed Tsang Kin Wah's site-specific installation, I Love U, which was printed onto the walls on the lower floor. As I've been working with text quite recently, I was really fascinated by his piece and the way it spilled over onto different areas of the walls quite organically.

Afterwards, I went to Manchester Art Gallery and saw the new exhibition called Recorders by the Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. If I'm honest, I was expecting it to not to be very interesting as I am not that interested in digital and electronic art, however I'm so glad that I had a look as it was absolutely amazing! The exhibition included seven interactive installations where each of the pieces record memories that have been obtained by the works throughout the show such as thumb prints, visual images, voice recordings and pulse rates.

I particularly liked 'Pulse Room' where the participant holds two sensors for about 15 seconds which then detects the person's heartbeat and then converts them into flashes of the lightbulb to the pulse rate. When you'are in the room, your pulse beats really hard to the rythm of the pulse that the lights are flashing to and it's a really wierd sensation. It is on until the end of January so get down there!


  1. 2 things to say to you after reading your blog entry, fellow Jacqueline Taylor . . .
    (1) yes - don't underestimate the size of the PhD - it is enormous - but, speaking post-PhD, I can say that all the work was worth it. I can look back knowing that I really worked for my doctorate, and I gained so much knowledge and understanding. I think that I even made a little bit of new knowledge - and that is an awesome feeling. Good luck with it - stay organised and systematic and creative (how could you not!)
    (2) I live nearish to Manchester and you have introduced 2 new things to me. I intend to visit the bookshop and the Chinese Arts Centre. Come to think of it I will also try to get to the exhibition at the art gallery.

  2. Thanks fellow Jackie T! It's reassuring to know that it is actually an enormous task and not just me feeling overwhelmed. Organised, systematic and creative is definitely the key! My brother and sister live in Manchester and each time I visit them, I keep finding lots of new delights and falling in love with it a little bit more, it's like my second city!