Monday, 28 February 2011

Northern soul

Some photos from my weekend in Manchester...

Friday, 18 February 2011


As I mentioned yesterday, today was the first day of a self publishing workshop I'm involved in as part of our practical unit at college. In the morning we discussed a little about what the artist book might be and the possible importance medium can have in disseminating an idea, followed by a practical session in the afternoon. In twos or threes we had to produce a publication with limited means - paper, long arm stapler, thread, photocopier - using what we could find from the library books surrounding us as source material. In my pair we settled on the idea of creating a kind of fictional encyclopaedia, with images selected from a variety of different books of art, theory, literature and history. Due to the seemingly arbitrary nature of the images and the titles we gave to each entry the encyclopaedia is not essentially intended to impart knowledge, but is more a reflection on the way in which knowledge and concepts of history and value are constructed.

Making a dummy...

The finished article...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Studio notes

Just a little documentation of my current work in progress... To give a little background to the work, I am mainly concerned with the idea of the in-between space, and have been looking at these kinds of places that occur often on the periphery of urban spaces. I am having issues with display methods, it seems to be one of the major stumbling blocks right now in terms of my work's progression, other than that I'm feeling fairly positive about the direction it is taking, and the relations being produced between the images once they are in place on the wall.

Tomorrow is the first of a five day, bi-weekly self-publishing project which I am now really looking forward to starting, I feel more and more that the work could exist particularly well in book form. The idea of a book being placeless is a concept that particularly appeals to me in relation to this body of work, a potential for the work to be distributed and received simultaneously in various locations outside of the singular space of the studio.

Who knew?

Today I discovered that one of the local schools back home in Norfolk was designed by Britain's leading Brutalist architects, Peter and Alison Smithson. The first project to bring them wider acclaim, Hunstanton School (now Smithdon High) is made almost entirely of glass and steel, and was highly influenced by the work of Mies van der Rohe. I've often driven past and thought it looked particularly interesting, but never quite realised its historical status!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Material pleasures

Dulcie was very naughty and treated me with a rather lovely early Valentines present today, namely the above sweater from COS. It's a really nice speckled blue and will be great for the milder spring weather hopefully on its way soon. I was really impressed by the store, their clothes have a certain understated simplicity, offering a subtle twist on classic designs, and are very reasonably priced for such good quality. The suede Vans were another recent purchase, I saw them on sale at a cut price in the Vans store and couldn't resist adding them to my growing collection...

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Good living

Yesterday I picked up a copy of Apartamento magazine, which I'd been lusting after for a while. Describing itself as 'an everyday life interiors magazine', it features numerous interviews with designers, architects and others about their lives and their homes, with an ethos centred around good design and living solutions. Beautifully printed on various paper stock it is a really nice publication full of great photography and inspiring abodes. Issue 06 even contains activities for kids drawn up by LA artist Miranda July.

Saturday, 5 February 2011


I finally got round to watching Douglas Gordon and Phillipe Parreno's Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait this evening. The film follows legendary footballer Zidane for the duration of a match against Villareal, with 17 cameras tracking his every move. Edited together with the varying footage and soundtracked beautifully by Mogwai, the film is first and foremost a treat to watch and at times moving. Michael Fried has discussed this film in relation to his interests in Diderot's notion of absorption, which argues that the most true form of portrait shows the subject completely absorbed in their actions, unaware of being observed. As he points out this film does that majestically, whilst also posing interesting questions due to Zidane's immediate surroundings: he is obviously aware of the magnitude of the people watching him (in the stadium but also around the world on television), yet his ability to remain absorbed completely in the task at hand never wavers. It is this aspect that I found most interesting, the way it allows us to reflect on the nature of the image today, its mass circulation and the spectacle of the sport itself, a truly global sport of which Zidane was a global icon (albeit a tragic one...)

Coleocephalocereus fluminensis

The latest addition to my budding plant collection...

(Ignore the rather dead one in the corner, it didn't manage to survive the harsh winter alone in London...)

Currently reading

Homi K. Bhabha - The Location of Culture

I've been finding Bhabha's classic of post-colonial cultural theory a really engaging read. Writing my essay around the subject of migratory form I have found this indispensable, his notions of 'in-Betweeness' and production of self-identity within the minority, marginalised individual that exist on the periphery of existing culture in a globalised, post-colonial world have been really useful in forming my own ideas of form in relation to my essay as well as my own practice.

Irit Rogoff - Terra Infirma

Rogoff here applies the language and signifying nature of geography and its associated connotations - space, luggage, travel, belonging - to contemporary art, reflecting on the problematics of geography in terms of its masking of issues of identity and relating these issues to visual culture and the image.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

If you hear a piano fall...

Considering how much of a big deal The White Stripes have been through my so called formative years I thought it would be wrong to not acknowledge their passing. Just one of their many hits, directed by Michel Gondry no less.