Wednesday, 11 November 2009

"Quiet Voices" at TATE Britain - January 8th 2010

This event has, at last, come together. I have been planning such an event for quite a while now, but sometimes thought it would never happen. Towards the end of my involvement with 'The Big Chill' I had a yearning to draw together some like-minded artists and put on a proper ambient event. My plan was to start contacting as many venues as I could, in the hope that one of them would bite. I got lucky. Tate Britain was my first point of contact, and they said yes, straight away. Meanwhile, Simon Wild and I made a second trip to South East Iceland, with the intention of producing a body of work for such an event, and the outcome of this will be on show in the North Duveens gallery at Tate Britain in January.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Joe Myers gave me this texture last week - a little side effect of printmaking - so I fired up my scanner and squirted it into Photoshop, where I fooled around with clipping masks and type.
This got me to thinking that we ought to run a few games of "Photoshop Tennis" - where folks send a piece of work back and forth, making their own adjustments to it, without turning it into a muddy turd.
Anyone interested?

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Tate to Tate

Went for a meeting at Tate Britain today, and then did the boat trip from Britain to Modern! We went into Miroslaw Balka's "How it is". It was full of noisy kids jumping around and banging on the back wall. Also of folks taking flash photos of inside (WTF??)!! Still, I saw this shot and grabbed it. This image is two pics, blended (natch). Bottom line is that I'd love to have been there in silence - maybe with a few like-minded friends, I reckon it would be pretty intense.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A little restraint....

I am attempting to use a restrained palette at the moment! My urges are usually to slip a seriously dirty cerise in amongst the mix like this. Truth be told, I did, but thought better of it, after a little consideration. Am feeling in need of making more work with my hands, and am packing eroded driftwood, stones and glue. Whether or not it'll come to fruition, I am determined to feel materials in my hands. However, Photoshop and a scanner are just too much fun to will do both.

Hands on

Today, Simon and myself made a start on constructing a rotating platform, to shoot a diorama on. how great it felt to be using my hands again, cutting stuff out and gluing it together, with real accuracy and care. We mustn't lose touch with our fingers (arf!) they'll turn into flippers if we ain't careful, and when did you ever see a penguin make a model of the Chrysler building, using only match sticks, paper doilies and dog-shit?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

ISAN. First Date - Jumble Sale

Ah yes, moving image, almost forgot about it....

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Back to colouring in!

After a couple of great workshops with 2nd years and Foundation, back to practicing what I preach! I find myself constantly amazed by the rich pickings to be found on a pretty much run-of-the-mill walk with my dogs. Although much of this is brought back in photographic form, I am still to be found walking along, clutching a delicate frond of grass seed-heads, or a particularly grungy, but patinated leaf - I do get some odd looks sometimes!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Grindavik Geo-thermal Power Station

Okay, I know this might seem a bit "random", to quote current popular parlance but, Its what floated my boat this morning. I have a large number of pictures from my last Iceland trip, that have not been given an airing, and this one resonated with me, so I have worked on it a little.
I just loved the way that the structures appear through the clouds of steam, which fits in nicely with the Icelander's predilection for mythical beings. Many of them believe that the earth and rocks are living entities, and who can argue with that when faced with sights like this?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Words, just bloody words....

Sitting here mourning at least 3 images that never got made this week. The buggers have been floating around in my head for the past few days, but the nature of things, being what they are, circumstances stole them. Bastards, utter thieving bastards. It gets a bit like a drug in the end this art malarky, as much a necessity as a pleasure. Hope I am able to pass this to my students. It never ceases to give me immense pleasure being around when this kicks in!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Something for nothing?

More digging old textures and shapes out of 'silly' pictures! Photoshop CS4 and an Intuos graphics tablet make for a slippery workflow - perhaps the most transparent yet. I've kicked off Digital workshops with the students now, so am on a roll to try and encourage them to explore, by example!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

More Found compositions - with added decay!

A quick bike ride down to Ipswich docks with my camera, looking for decay and finding it aplenty - especially resplendent against the "new" that is cropping up like a rash all over the area. I find myself constantly fascinated by the ad hoc assemblages that are to be found in environments like this, and am only too willing to bring them home and mash up in my trusty iMac.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Am beginning to think that a good flatbed scanner is, perhaps, the key to broad and diverse digital image-making. It is very rare that I will find much visual merit in a totally digitally originated image - i.e. one that has literally started with a blank canvas. Too often are they clinical, almost sterile and lacking in any organic content (hardly surprising really). Am constantly thinking of new things that I can cram under the lid of this magical box!

Monday, 31 August 2009

'Found' composition.

I love to find interesting compositions, where you'd least expect them. This image started life as an old school gym floor, that had been re-laid in another building (The Rag Factory in Brick Lane). The planks had been laid in random order, disregarding all the sports markings that had been painted on it. This resulted in an incredible pattern. So I spent some time photographing it and then importing it into Photoshop. The twigs? Mmmm- Dunwich heath!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Shiny new toys!

The digital art&design studio is looking fantastic - 20 shiny new manly computers, ready for the students to make some lush work on. It feels odd now walking around the new building without any students there, but I know they're gonna get lost! 

Thursday, 20 August 2009

New beginings

just spent the day in the brand new college building.....
Feeling a little disorientated with a barrage of new information to digest. I spent a bit of the day snapping close-ups of textures and patinas of some of the old stuff we carried over to the new building - they somehow appeared as little rarities amongst the vast newness of the place.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!
Love my Digital Studio though....!!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Carpe Diem

Another blissful morning drawing in the garden. Accompanied by 'Riceboy Sleeps' and the wind in the trees. Need I say more? Am feeling drawn towards what feels like un-finished business, collage wise. But loving the meeting of lo-tech drawing / painting and digital manipulation.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Glorious Graphite

Sitting in the garden this morning, whilst Ruby (9 week old border terrier) slowly reduces the flower beds to something resembling the Somme after a bad day. Drawing like a crazed loon with total abandon! Need softer graphite sticks. It is quite exhilarating, and long overdue.
Cannot decide whether or not to bring this stuff into my digital collages, or just keep them as they were intended.....but are they intended for anything, other than my own amusement?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Whispering Stones

This current batch of work is one of several paths I tread, and a refreshing diversion from the long period spent making films and music visuals. In many respects, it goes back to my roots, and thus gives me some creative breathing space.
The premise is simple - bringing found or observed elements together from a walk or journey. I have long been fascinated with the minutiae of my immediate surroundings and have developed a keen eye over the years. I usually have a camera of one sort or another with me, and my wallet is often to be found with a little feather, or decomposed leaf in it!
The image above is made from photographs taken in Hali, Iceland, collaged over a background formed mostly from stained paper (Tea & Coffee) and decaying surfaces, also collected on my travels. The title alludes to some rather fascinating Icelandic folklore, which I'll go into at a later date.....

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Unaccustomed as I am,,,,,,,,,

This slightly goes against my better judgement, but nothing ventured, etc. etc.
I am collecting visual ingredients at the moment. Spurred on, mostly by the purchase of a new scanner, and a healthy interest in obscure found textures. As a self confessed collage tart, I will gravitate swiftly towards this technique, however, I am now drawn towards looking even closer at the patina of long existence.