The Principle of Sufficient Irritation

The London Group President’s Prize show 2016 at the Cello Factory with Martin Heron and Darren Nisbett

Last year November my work was selected for exhibition in The London Group Open, which is a biannual event showcasing the work of current members alongside the same amount of works by selected contemporary artists. The membership is thriving, with around 90 members, so the show was spilt into two parts and hung in a salon style.

The current main gallery used by the group is the Cello Factory on the Southbank. As the name suggests, it is a converted space with high beamed ceilings and skylights. The award of this space and the time to work in it meant that I was able to conceive a piece which is much larger than previous works. 


‘Cloud’ is approx 4m x 4m x 3m and is suspended in the space, stopping before it reaches the floor. The salvaged wires are a mix of power, telephone and data cables, and have all been connected into one circuit here, with two tiny LED bulbs proving agency. This is an opportunity to experience a physical relationship to the copper cabling we are surrounded by and depend on for our life services, including communication, conversation, and data exchange. The material is unified by a small current, so the imagined past uses of the wires might bleed into one another, and have their current forms extended a little. They have been spared the scrap-mans’ smelter for now. 


I am also exhibiting 2D drawings for the first time, and I see those in terms of physical exploration too: Following my residency in Beijing I have been processing my experiences there in many different ways. One of the ways I have been trying to discover what this orange object is for is to draw it and draw it. No matter how closely I look I still cannot work out how it might be connected. They just stood on top of telegraph poles there as rare beacons of colour in the thick, flat air.



Martin Heron takes his background in large scale public art installations as a starting point which he is able to position his work against at 180 degrees. In contrast to large heavy works designed to live an age, here he salvaged scrap metals and allowed them to have some say in how they are treated. Martin manipulates his materials until they seem to have said ” stop!” They crease and fold according to previous marks, and colours in the form of paints and tapes respond to altered angles and lighting too. 
They protrude from the wall at intervals, giving an airy colourful illusion to their sharp edges. They are displayed at head height, which I feel places some of the responsibility for taking care back onto me, activating a personal interaction.



Darren Nisbett is showing a photographic series chronicling his exploration of abandoned and derelict industrial machinery. They are printed on guilted and textured metal, which transforms them into becoming relics themselves. They might be as decayed as their subjects. 

They are dark and imposing, mixing the mechanical with the possibility of the anatomical, and the scale of the original objects I hard to ascertain. Small clues suggest their enormity, and the dark row of frames moving along the wall of the gallery seems to have a mechanical rhythm of its own.
The three of us had not met before we won the award last year, but were instantly drawn to the shared interests of our work. We met regularly throughout the year to discuss the theory and practicality of staging a coherent group exhibition, and I think that these conversations paid off through what we have produced. The installation was well planned over three days, and went very smoothly. This luxury of time opened up our plans from an early stage:

As a photographer Darren knew he would show on the wall, and as a space based sculptor I was keen to exploit the height of the space. Martin makes sculptures which are often displayed on the wall, so the balance was struck. 

I calculated logistics and materials before I arrived, but was not sure of the final form the work would take. This was dictated in part by how the cables I chose behaved on the day, and in part by how the space was transformed when the wall works were installed. 

As the rich dark photography and the colourful textured sculpture went up, it became clear to me that my cables should only be black, and the coloured and white wires of my collection were packed away. I began with the heavy, smoother cables, a mixture of data and telephone wires, which draped more elegantly in the heights between the beams. As I moved lower to the ground the work narrows, but still appeared to be floating upwards, and so the lower section is made from solid core power cable which is more capricious.

I worked with the title in mind, as it was the only part of the making I could be sure of before I began. This is part of my explorations of the communication network and our interaction with it, and the hanging form gives a monumental presence to materials we customarily ignore or are insulated from.
I also produced a publication to accompany the exhibition, with writing by Susan Haire, the president of The London Group. 

This was made by Risograph, which is a relatively analogue technique in the field of printing; kind of a mechanical screen printing process which uses vegetable inks, banana paper and large drums to reproduce the images. This gives a warm tactile print quality which is often slightly off-calibrated reminiscent of hand production. It seemed relevant to the materials and interests included in the publication is presented in a limited edition package which also contains three samples of metals, one produced by each artist in the show. These are available from the artists.
To conclude the exhibition on Thursday the 10th of November we are hosting an evening of artist talks where all three exhibiters will be presenting their practice. Refreshments will be served. All welcome at 6.30 pm

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@2_by_3 with Alia Pathan and Bex Massey

We decided to organise ourself as 2 by 3 as a structure within which we could explore similar interests in sculpture, objects and presentation. This resulted in our first show Death of Intention which explores the roles of objects and space in how we experience and interpret the world written about by Walter Benjamin.

The fluid process of producing this show resulted in a open and new installation which feels autonomous and optimistic. The time to curate and install together has given it the feel of a residency- an event which is often characterised by noticing the luxury of being able to prioritise and focus on your practice, slightly removed from the demands and distractions of daily life. Over the course of four days we had two days to initially install our proposed work, and the remaining time allows for experimentation and exploration along the themes proposed by Benjamin, around the themes of barriers, obstacles, agency and negotiating space.

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Alia Pathan works predominantly in time-based media, presenting thoughtful digital film and media installations which explore the deapths of human experience and connection. For Death of Intention she has thought about the deliberate construction of an apparatus we can use to experience her media work. Materials and construction are common themes in all the work presented in the space, and this work Peter, Pixel & I, uses carefully manufactured structures and objects to invite us to move around the work, explore as much as we dare. I can avoid looking at a film of a medical procedure if I stand to one side, choosing to be selective in how I look at it, mimicking the official policy towards the market in such procedures during the soviet era which informed this work. In thinking about the official ‘blind eye’ which was turned to the doctors and ship which worked in international waters, the artist has also produced a silk flag which simultaneously interrupts the space and provides a backdrop to the films. The luxurious surface invites me in as much as the printed design of eye operations repels me.

In the next space the heavy contrast of cast iron sits on the back wall, spelling out the image of a cat in raised characters which could be read blind. The Cyrillic ‘shhhh’ form in the Center, once I’d had it translated for me, suggests the silent complicity of the operation of duel systems.

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Bex Massey is skilled painter of photorealistic images, who has always considered modes of display beyond the sole canvas. In the past she has used leaking daylight, objects as props, and juxtapositions with mass produced materials to support her paintings. For Death of Intention she has not dispensed with paint altogether, but here it has taken  a supporting role, used to highlight physical elements which allow for the themes to prevail. The combination of crafted objects with organic elements gives the work the same slightly precarious sense seen in earlier  works.

The main space holds two pieces, ‘Seasonal sculptures’ number one still employs abstract canvases, balanced one on the other here,  as a backdrop to a cast object. The painted reproduction of a pineapple is topped with a regular a top sliced from the fruit. The pineapple is colour and pattern- matched to the canvas, whilst the colour of the pineapple top is reflected in the section of artificial turf which supports all parts. This limited palette ties the selected objects together, somehow making sense of the variety. The slender vertical presentation gives a poetic sweep to the assembly.

Seasonal sculpture number 2 consists of a junior school chair supporting a slice of watermelon. The chair has been restored and repainted in white on one side, fluoro pink on the other. The pink is reflected in the flesh of the watermelon which has been remade whilst still presented in a piece of cut peel. The organic elements in these Seasonal Sculpture series lend a sense of tension and termporality, making me want to cherish the looking while I can, before they topple or rot away. The simple bright colour on the child’s chair lends an element of playfulness to the work, which is tempered for me by the faux offering of the fruit.

The sense of dashed hope of nourishment continues in the next room, where chips are referred to by potted yellow flowers. They are potted in McDonald’s fries pots, supported on a crafted shelf against a slash of red and yellow on the wall. The movement of the first piece is here, and the simple palette too.  These sculptures are a departure for the artist, yet the unmistakable lineage is plain to see, which I find really interesting. How this happens and what we do with it is one of the questions we asked of ourselves in creating this show.

Drawing work and ideas out of the usual métier into something more 3D, sculptural, interactive, invites a different experience from the viewer, just as it is a new way of thinking and working for the artist.

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Personally, the work I presented seems to be stretching my practice from both ends: the multiples which make up AQI (air quality index) are bookended by a working circuit of power cable with exposed bulbs and contacts in one direction, and by gestural canvases in the other. The circuit is one of the most quiet, distilled works I have shown. It’s fascinating watching how it is interpreted, as I try and gauge if it is pared back enough, or too much… The concept seems to be communicating itself, with the audience spontaneously approaching and activating the work. The cooperation and interaction required to complete the circuit is a new explicit element, whilst the execution of the basic materials themselves keeps the focus on the object/materials themselves.

The oil and wax paintings are physical interpretations of some of the imagery I collected during my residency in Beijing last September with Red Mansion. The abundant stimulation and input of all senses which I experienced will continue to feed my work, but in flattening it into two dimensions, I am distancing myself from what was an intense physical and emotional period, and this allows me to better process it objectively.

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Death of Intention @2_by_3

After the scale and formality of the launch of the Red Mansion prize exhibition in March, my emotional involvement with art school and my investigations there paused. The quiet space this left slowly expanded, as I relaxed my vice-like grip on planning for the future. But physics declares that nature abhors a void, so in this space other plans were able to take hold.

The hard work continues, conversations start, and common threads emerge. This re-examination of our practice and dominant interests are keys in to new plans and work. One such conversation has resulted in 2 by 3, a collaboration with Bex Massey and Alia Pathan, in which we think about the sculpture in our practice today, the evolution of our making as it follows these interests. Representation, display, communication, physicality, are all explored in our inaugural exhibition, which has been our first opportunity to get our work in one place.

Creating these opportunities to install work differently, and try out new things, feel key to our process. They’re key to a lot of processes. The time spent curating and installing, the play that allows new things to happen, and an informal atmosphere which feels supportive, all allow for conversations, critique, experimentation. The autonomy of the exerience is refreshing. It’s an antidote to the niggling hangover of the fantasy studio syndrome, the one I’m quick to warn others against, but which applies just as much to myself: that fantasy which makes it tempting to say that the perfect space/funding/time (delete as appropriate) would free me to make x y or z.

The reality is always that the work is now. It’s what happens wherever it is you find yourself. Artists I have met in the past have talked about filling sketchbooks during a monotonous commute, or of presenting an MA show made entirely on the college photocopier after the money was gone and a supportive tutor gave you his credit. Louise Bourgeois began exploring her vertical sculptures on the roof of her New York appartment using wood scavenged from the streets as she walked her baby in the pram.So we continue to make work with the tools to hand, and to install it in places we are able to access. To carry on showing, talking and thinking, trying to share our investigations into where we find ourselves and what we are thinking about today. Getting feedback and new angles from new people, and each other, moving things further.

Missing Narrative @BrixtonEast

Missing Narrative E-Flyer

Exhibition open: 30th July – 3rd August 12 – 6pm
Private view: 31st July 6 – 9pm
Symposium: 1st August 3 – 5pm

Brixton East Gallery

Visual arts often communicate something that is beyond vocabulary. Language is often inadequate, language is unable to translate the visual and the visual’s relation to words. [painting and music] “will always be over and above anything you can say about it.” Jean-Paul Satre.

Missing Narrative explores what is absent, something that is incomplete but perhaps implied. The idea of a work in transition exuding possibility but not actuality. The ‘mystery’ of the final coming together of elements in the artwork and viewer can become implicit in the narrative completing the works meaning. Philip Guston said “The painting is not a surface, but a plane which is imagined. It moves the mind. It is not there physically at all. It is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is what you see.”

Artists:
Rose Bell
Mel Cole
Gin Dunscombe 
Cadi Froehlich
Clare Harford
Alice Kelway-Bamber 
Monika Kita
Sasha Morris 
Sue Stephens
Kim Thornton 
Billy Ward 
Edgar—Walker 

Guest Artists / Symposium guests:
Ann Course
Karl England
Rebecca Fortnum
Claudia Sarnthein
Gregory Williams

More guests TBC…

2yrs’ worth of shows

I think it’s worth collating the shows I have participated in over the last 2 yrs of this MA. Many were accompanied by excellent publications produced by James Edgar and the excellent work-form team.

Here goes, in chronological order, with install shots:

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40 Litres
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Copper postcards

Can’t believe I haven’t blogged these before. As one is about to make it’s way into the Chelsea College special collection, I think I should gather them into one post.

I think the work is still going on, as they are continuing to discolour. They are also leading to other works, like my A4 sheets.

They feel very intimate. They are held in private collection internationally. (read: I have posted them to friends as far away as NZ)

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This is the collection progressive images posted over one week for the exhibitionin Brisbane, Australia which started this off. The final is the actual postcard.

Zeit_Wert_Zeit, (Time, Worth, Time) Museum Der Dinge, Berlin 28/29 June 2013

Hosted in the Museum Der Dinge (Museum of Objects), Berlin. The 2 day event brought together economists, artists and educators to discuss their work investigating Time and Value.
In our current industrialised lives our body clocks are aligned to the beat of the machine, and even our lifespans can be measured in terms of financial liabilities. What does this measurement depend on, what is the scale we are measured by, how did this come to be, and what impact does it have on our creative practice and understanding of our current age?
Speakers and artists presented, and the setting further enhanced the experience: To reach the symposium we walked among the cabinets and exhibits of the museum, like time travellers through the 20th centuries’ design evolution.

Having been invited to attend this symposium in Berlin, I got the opportunity not only to attend the talks, but to talk to individuals there. Berlin and London are obviously very different cities. Time seems to flow at different speeds in different locations anyway. Contrasting two capitals, and the experiences of two sets of residents added another dimension to thinking about time. Value and values vary from place to place too. The way time is spent, adhered to. Things start on time, time is made for coffee and cake, time is made to visit exhibitions, time is wasted waiting for buses (or is it well spent in conversation?)

There follow posts on my notes from the various presentations which were in English and German, so pardon any translation errors:

Dr. Andreas Bödecker, banker and professor.
Time Is Money
Talked about historical exchange and value of labour beyond financial. When all labour was regarded as equal (ancient south American civilisations) was everyone happy whether. Baker, medic or cleaner? I more recent history more dangerous jobs were paid more. Now value is judged on how much wealth you can generate.

This was one perspective, which was challenged, or rather alternatives were explored during the following days presentations. Marina Landia’s work is directly related to this I think.

Konstantin Adamopoulos Economics and philosophy.
Heads up the Bromburg Scholarship project in Köln. Produces workshop sessions with Marina Landia bringing together artists and post grad economists for meetings, cognitive exchange questioning economic and creative thinking.
Talked about the ‘time is money’ presentation by Bödecker, suggesting it prevents an oversimplified view of money. Adamopoulos asks ‘why does no one want to be a cleaner?’. It is the egos role in this which is problematic, and his program further examines this.
‘Sinns und Geld regelt die Welt’ (knowledge and money rule the world, quote from Bödecker yesterday) is too simplified. What of the human role, autonomy, the unknown and strange?
If Bödecker talked about belief and law (the church) ruling, then the renaissance introduced personal choice. We must make our own story.
There are many steps between, including the war between individuals (egos). The ‘nature made me superior’ explanation.
John Locke wrote of his birth, which came about early due to his mother suffering extreme shock at the Spanish Armada attack ‘My birth was twins. Myself and Fear’ [translation tricky. Is this perhaps an example of a linear/literal reaction to a trauma] . An artistic response to feelings of confusion and alienation during that period, the renaissance, was to begin to place towns and forests in the middle and far ground, as strange, ‘I am not in it’.
In the post grad ‘Bromburg’ program the economists are interested in the personal views and opinions of the artists, rather than expecting them to answer for the whole demographic!
Referenced writings from Stich(?) and Kräftig Kunst (?)
This practice facilitates Lathams Incidental Person theory, and being placed within an educational institutional context sows the seeds for positive future development.

Marina Landia The Art and Economy foundation
Marina Landias work engages with current affairs and their effect on the economy and art. She looks at all systems of culture and society from an auto poetic and inner logical based point of view. This is complex- society depends on all systems functioning properly.
(Lehrmans) theory proposes that problems arise because these systems are often closed to each other. But they do reach their limits, moments where consensus cannot be reached internally, so they spill over out of necessity and touch other systems
E.g. The economic culture may may sense witthin that system, but may haves negative impact on other systems (e.g. politics/art)
Latham proposes the Incidental Person who is able to transcend systems. Lehrmans proposes that this is the role of the artist.
Can this active penetration into other systems can even influence decision makers?
Marina Landia’s work involves interviewing economic leaders, penetrating the system to see what is inside. Quotes from some of these films included “Money is the goal”, and “It’s all about the return”.
These people work within financial capitalism, credit capitalism. It’s a volatile system. In dealing with the time/money relationship the fact is that currency fluctuates, time does not.
Within the economic system, unhappiness seems to come from no knowing how to change the speed of work and workload.
Despite the impartial stance taken by Landia, the bleak reality in these films is unavoidable. There is a uniformity to the phrasing and the emotional involvement of the subjects, and very little passion. Occasionally they seem to be struggling to believe their own pronouncement, but mostly they appear to acting in the way which is expected of them. I tried to imagine how I wold feel about the works if I was still working in that world. Would I be bemused by the fact that these statements were out of the ordinary to the rest of the world? Would I be inspired? Or is it impossible for me to imagine this now, as I have crossed over into a different system in my chosen path as an artist.

In the Bromburg workshops, Marina Landia and Konstantinos Adamopoulos bring their two groups together and set goals for discussion. The sessions begin with the chaotic formation of groups within each other, then 5 mins silent/ non verbal communication.
Then, using collage they create displays looking at what interests them personally, what makes a successfully economy/ world. How to balance risk vs. desire.
Risks are acceptable if discussed and agreed on, but there are always personalities which are more risk averse or risk happy. A big discord is that todays risk takers are less often affected by negative outcomes.
The create games. Looking at choices and paths through life as a game helps to see what your priorities and goals are. Are the rules already set or can they change? E.g. By starting with using a dice you are already subscribing to something. There is always space for interpretation- can this space be filled with ethics?
We all have the ability to change these decisions.
The way these workshops are structured is admittedly in the style of economics, eg spokespeople for the groups etc. They try and find neutral ground to avoid too much hierarchy. The aim is that they all leave with a positive impression of the experience.
One thing that is emerging is that both parties deal with uncertainty.
‘Earning money, for economists, is all about resources for uncertain outcomes. Nothing is known or certain.
Ref. book: Time Parodox. private vs. public. ‘Happiness is achieving in all your roles and aspirations’

David Cross. How much time do we have?
David Cross presented a new work comprising a film exactly 29 minutes and 59 seconds long. To shoot it he rented a professional camera for a fee which worked out to be more per hour than his own labour, which was a chilling reminder from the off, of societies’ hierarchy of possessions and objects, technology versus human.
The camera could only shoot films that length, as a second longer would qualify it as a ‘video’ camera and it would fall into a different tax bracket. These minute bureaucratic adjustments have real financial implications.
The film was shot from the observation deck of London’s new ‘sundial’, the Shard building. It is shown in real time- from this height few moving details are visible bar the riverboats going about their daily routines. The clouds shift, and the narrative David Cross presented follows the sunshine as it moves across the cityscape, following the route of the Thames.
Cross reminded us the the screen is not a window, it is opaque, and referenced Brecht’s writings which discussed that ‘a photo of a factory shows us nothing of the social relations of production.’
He went on to talk about how scientific findings are subject to such a rigorous peer review and publication process, that by the time they are released to the policy makers they are outdated and can be dangerously misleading. This is particularly pertinent when dealing with climate change. Especially where all stories are constructed to represent the interests of one party.
‘We live in a ‘special time’ where change rampages. This vision of London’s abundance is also a portrait of excess’
The metropolis of the city reached out to the Thames estuary, a glimpse of space and possibly of nature beyond the constructed mass. The history of the buildings, both genuine and presumed in architectural terms, documents the institutions and constitutions which govern the capital, and therefore us. They are so set it seems almost impossible to question them, which is one of the points David Cross is making. This inaction is short sited. It has only one logical conclusion if played out according to the current rules of engagement . Growth is not sustainable. Metals, minerals, ice, all resources will eventually run out. Time is running out. Inaction is suicide.

Michael Fehr. the Museum as time Machine.
Michael Fehr introduced his involvement with the Museum Der Dinge, and specifically the current exhibition, which was heavily inspired by HG Wells book The Time Machine. In this exhibition ,curated by Alexis Hyman Wolff, objects from the archives have been selected and presented within brackets of representation of time. These include nostalgia, memory, measuring, marking and recording time. Despite the extensive collection, which begins in the 1920s, the most current additions to the collection allow it to successfully avoid nostalgia. The implications however, are inescpabale: for each of these preserved objects, countless more have been discarded. Produced and trashed. Burned for energy or left in landfill for someone else to worry about.

Steven Grainger. Equity Release Scheme.
Steven Graingers current project involves his Will. As a participant, you are required to offer something of your choice in exchange for the sole rights to his Estate for the 15 minutes following the signing of his Will.
To help with the decision of what to offer, Grainger has calculated his worth for us, based on weighing up his financial assets and liabilities (current account, student loan and life insurance policy)
The grey area is his non financial value, this is not universal. It is based solely on the unique relationship between the valuer and the person being valued. This proposes the equation that time spent with someone = direct correlation with value. How can this ever be calculated?
Steven Graingers work questions the economic model of valuation, and successfully straddles economic, artistic and emotional systems, making him the archetypal Incidental Person John Latham proposed.
The absurdity of this intimate legal relationship proposed between relative strangers led rather too easily to speculation on whether it would be ‘worth it’ to murder him, and the influence on his worth of the potentially expanding collection of objects or artworks that the exchange might yield.
After seeing his presentation, having spent time with him, he then became ‘of value’ to us, and whether we sign the will at some stage or not, we are all now implicated as part of his estate. As are you, the reader. This is such an limitless proposition. This is art living on and growing in our minds, and makes me think of the works of Nauman and Beuys among others.

Karl Thorburgsson. Apples in Iceland: a new way out
Karl Thorburgsson dressed in a suit and gave us a presentation, pitching a business proposition. The irony and humour in the presentation was really engaging after a day of challenging wider issues of climate change and politics/society. His quest to become Icelands first apple farmer was poignant, as the current climate there does not support their growth. The underlying pathos was brought home by his final appeal that we all get involved in the campaign to help his project, all he needs is a one degree rise in temperature. And all we have to do is nothing, just like we are already.

Peter Alasztics. Intertechnika
Peter Alasztics family industry of laser cutting gives him first hand experience of the leaps made in technology and engineering in his lifetime (he can only be in his 20s)
His hypothesis that as the machines have evolved, their capacity for cutting has increased whilst their footprints have decreased. The machines get smaller but their hearts get stronger. He delivered this news in a very partisan way, leaving us to draw our own conclusions. The logical suggestion seems to be that the machines evolve, their hearts become more powerful, might this lead to autonomy? They can cut a much wider range of materials and thicknesses since they first appeared in the Alasztics factory, might these capabilities one day be turned on us and chop us to matchstick, or etch their wills onto our surfaces?

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more Big things / no things

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So when I went back into the space to work on the third day, I had a bit of a tidy up and suddenly the mists cleared. Something about getting all the stuff into one space gave me a bit of perspective on some of the themes that are emerging through the works.

Brillian tutorial w Babak Ghazi helped immensly. Tutorial notes on another post, but hearing his impressions of the work which he has not seen before was great. Key words; containment, psychological explorations, constraints, contrasts between things filling a space because it is there to fill vs not filling.

We talked about how I am moving away from making things which represent other things, and the anxiety that goes with this uncertainty Now I am loosening this control and working more intuitively and spontaneously with materials and arrangements, the meanings are coming out anyway, but subtly, and this invites more looking, rather than completing the whole story from the beginning.

I also worried at first that I had filled the great big working space with a load of stuff without knowing why. Turns out the slices of hot-water tanks, felt and cables were pretty consistent and pleasingly limited the chaos.

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Some of the highlights were in the details, and this detail will definitely feature in my large scale 2d work.

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Mixed response to the drawings, or rather, to their presence alongside the objects- they could better stand alone. I am so happy I have found my favorite crayon pen to draw with, after a long search since we left Berlin, source of the first.

 

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I think the colours and textures work well with this- the verdigris of the inside, the purple wire and the colours of the felt.

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Clearing the space out and looking at the exposed wiring of the space. This is actually another separate piece of work which didn’t work well when laid out along with the other stuff.

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Playing with my camera, trying to wrestle with it until the one I had stolen is replaced. I really like this piece.

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This emerged as the favorite of the collection. A real learning curve for me, as initially I was dissappointed that the huge pile of cable I spent 2 hours cutting up only amounted to this much, and the weight of it distorted the water tank slice, but in the end the space left became an important part of the work.

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The bundles of cables evolve once more. More organic. Totally unplanned. Seen here talking to a very Beuysian arrangement of felt wth cable ties.

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Re-edited arrangement of space by Sam Walker, This is Art and Billy Ward

 

Feedback from the visitors included: machinery, agriculture, harvest time, things plugged in, alchemy, circuits. References: Eva Hesse/Camden Arts Center show, Briony Fer essay, Michael Asher and André.

 

Big things / no things

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Three days in a project space which used to be a Morgue in this buildings history. Cool quiet and calm. I booked it with the intention of trying out some multiples on a larger scale than I can do in my own studio but after the last tutorial I had with Sadie Murdoch, I went off the multiples plan. Instead I gathered a lot of scrap metal and rolls of the cheapest felt underlay and piled in with them.
As they started to take their places in the space, the cut down water tanks, the wires and the textured coloured felt began to look less chaotic, and started talking to each other.
Since I have stopped telling my work what it should be saying and started listening to what it seems to say on its own, I have let go a lot of control. This is a great weight off my shoulders, but also really anxiety ridden. There is no way I would have trusted the space or my colleagues with work like this when I began this course, it’s really quite intimate inviting people you hardly know into your working space. It’s work it for hearing from them what the work is managing to say to them. Tutuorial notes on space to follow.

Atelier Berlin @WYE

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Working from old postcards and a German decimal weights and measures brass can. It’s taken me nearly 5 days to ‘arrive’ here. Not used to so much space to think. Good to know for next time, wonder if there is a way to prepare for unplugging like this. The residency in Joya was quieter in some ways but still relatively structured. Being autonomous here is great, it just took a long time to remember what it feels like. Almost child-like with all this thinking space.