Thursday, 17 February 2011


So I may have mentioned that I’m in a group show at Dilston Grove ' Concretum', I spent the last few weeks trying to bring the piece together. I’m quite pleased with how its progressing - although a little worried about how it will weather in the space. I like churches, I like the idea of what a structure like that promises. If you have enough faith you will never be disappointed, as the rewards come after death... It requires a lot of faith to make art, but unlike the afterlife disappointment is never far away….

Falling/fallen hairball 2011

So in this church I remembered Maurice, patron saint of knights and dyers, apparently of Coptic origin. Going back to my Christian roots, I wanted to make a piece that would somehow probe the faith imbued in a object (or in symbol), the idea that this thing could somehow facilitate transcendence…

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Design totality

I cannot make up my mind whether I should be blogging weekly or more frequently. Often I’m exposed to things, my head starts swirling and then I’m not sure where I am.

Anyway… picking up from last week, reading Mr Bauman further, his chapter ‘individualism’ sets up a kind of dystopia; one that hadn’t been anticipated it seems, as we were more focused on the nightmare of not having choice, being controlled and directed by some omnipotent designer (Orwell’s big brother being a prime example). Bauman’s nightmare however leaves us (humanity) in a state of perpetual anxiety. Being in charge of ones destiny, is a heavy responsibility.

Last week I came across a blog entry by Kevin Buist, using examples from art and design to discuss the difference between the two. His first entry uses a piece (I’m vaguely familiar with) by Felix Gonzales Torres ‘perfect Lovers’ – it’s definitely worth a read… Buist is attempting to discuss the subject over several entries but his current conclusion poses the making of the problems and the solving of problems as the distinction - artists making rather than solving hmmm - design he reckons has utopian ambitions…

The observations by both of these writers ricocheted around my head for days. Heading back into the studio brought that longstanding dilemma of ‘usefulness’ back into my head - It’s been an unsettling week…

Dandelion t-shirt design 2006

I don’t know, I still think I have utopian ideals and struggle with the reality of others. I suppose I've been trying to escape from that by retreating back into the studio. What’s left though, in that space is a circle/sphere, not just the ones I’m currently making, but things I’ve made before. That sphere is a totality and I suppose I’ve been regarding ‘Black’ in the same manner…

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Well I was probably looking for a bit of therapy, although I know it’s a bad word when connected to making ‘Art” oh well… Thing is you never really stop thinking do ya? It’s the kinds of thoughts... So I've cracked on with the chain mail, my mind has been travelling forward, leaving some disappointment with my proposal for the show. There is always a level of expectation, which can be destructive when making something – I hate that.

I think I’ve been getting confused… or maybe I need to clarify further between these ideas of unstable structure and anti structure. At the end of last year (and perhaps this was more related to an emotional state) vulnerability seemed to be a prevailing property of the unstable structure - it seemed brittle and fractured. I can only put this down initially to working with solid materials, and my relationship to a sculptural tradition, which has always been rather tense.

The soft fluid structures in my drawings however are an elastic entity, essentially the original blob idea, which introduced itself to me back in 2004. Surely this elastic structure must have more strength?

Studio floor this week

Continuing to read Zygmunt Bauman (‘Liquid Modernity’ this time) has left me feeling ambivalent. He makes me feel embarrassed for being an ‘identity seeker’ since he puts it as an unsatisfying quest; everything is fluid; everything is moving the search never ends, goals are never achieved. As I’m writing this I’m thinking of a huge expanse of water and a shipwreck, its contents carried away by the current. You can imagine the rest...