Obscura, a photogram I made in 1999 in the darkroom in the basement of The Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building, was one of the first 2D works I made which had a phenomenological effect, rather than narrative.

Thanks to the curator and art writer Nico Kos, this work has been bought by “The Ned” for the permanent collection called VAULT 100. Curated by the Head of Collections at Soho House, Kate Bryan; the collection features 93 female and 7 male British artists; the inverse male to female ratio of the FTSE 100. The Ned hotel is due to open next week, is in the heart of the city.

The VAULT 100 collection is in the old vault of the original Barclays Bank AKA The Ned.

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My work is hung among the work of some of the best female British artists living.

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solo art exhibition and art residency

21st Dec 2015 – 21st June 2016

 

as part of The Wealden Literary Festival 2016

set in a beautiful old barn, this show celebrated the death of the winter through the recording of dead skeletal plants and the alignment of string to the winter meridian sunlight angle, in the middle of the summer.

I gave a talk about my work.

 

click link to watch the film featuring me talking about my work:

Wealden Literary Festival 2016 film

 

 

giving a talk

March 30, 2016

Giving a talk about my art practice from my degree at Glasgow School of Art to present day, The Kirk Lecture Theatre @ UCA, Canterbury for potential MA students.

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30th May 2014

As I embark on 10 days of forest life, I find I am interested in responding to the forest environment as directly as possible, abandoning all education and previous methodologies, like a brand-new human arrived on earth.

The bright green of the beech leaves and the jet black trucks are the predominant visual stimuli so far and I have begun to paint with green and make big black charcoal drawings, responding to my emotional, spiritual and physical reaction to the space.

I will not have a computer or electric lighting for the next 10 days.

I am reading Richard Mabey’s ‘Nature Heals’, found in the forest studio library and will continue to research David Nash’s work and animal structures.

I am very grateful to have this opportunity to be wild again, thanks to Stour Valley Arts and all the contributors.

 

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Id primal reaction no.1 – released from ideas and conceptual structures; I express myself as simply and directly as possible with paper and charcoal.

 

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out  – primal reaction no. 2 – an awareness of light and environment comes into the day 2 response.

 

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nest, abode, birth – primal reaction no.3 – feeling inside something looking out, day 3.

 

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universe – primal expression no. 4 – being out in the universal space, perceiving and comprehending the source of light.

 

DSC_0025subject – primal expression no. 5 – cube; object to reflect the universal light and break it down into reasonable and logical structure.

 

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black square – primal reaction no. 6 – the dualism of black and white, light and dark, fear and surrender; a simplification of the cube. From in looking out. Me being in the universe. Dark forest. Fear. Peace. Balance.

 

I found being in the forest scary, especially when sleeping there on my own, why? Fear of not seeing what’s coming IMG_5515s to get you, fear of the unknown…

I’ve become very aware of the dynamic of looking from within the light and looking out into dark and the other way round and how they feel.

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charcoal drawings exploring the dynamic being in and looking out from the opposites of light and dark, white and black.

 

 

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In the dark looking out, things are less frightening and actually inspire in me a sensation of spirituality and a sense of being in a religious building like a cathedral or mosque.

 

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experimental drawings considering the graphic interpretation of out and in the light and dark

 

 

As a continued route of investigation from my artwork Emerge in the Stour Valley Arts exhibition in Ashford (see below), I took a white ‘plaster of Paris cube into the forest and took photographs of it in different forest environments and using the composing mechanism of photography as a tool for exploring contrast.

This process has opened up questions into the use of the phenomena of contrast: the logical, pure, sterile, human shape of the white cube and the connotations associated with it, in relation to the seemingly chaotic and rich, fertile forest environment.

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This action seems to feel like I’m investigating my own relationship with the forest; the cube represents me, trying to position and immerse myself…

 

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Or perhaps it is a comment in response to my perception of the sensation of contemporary culture within the natural environment?

 

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“I believe that language and imagination, far from alienating us from nature, are our most powerful and natural tools for re-engaging with it. […] Culture isn’t the opposite or contrary of nature. It’s the interface between us and the non-human world, our species’ semi-permeable membrane.” Richard Mabey, Nature Cures pp.23

 

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Sleeping on the forest ground.

 

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Ant kingdom and cube.

 

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“But it was regaining that imaginative relationship with the world beyond that was my ‘nature cure’.” Richard Mabey, Nature Cure, pp.64

 

IMG_5389sVoid

 

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The white cube’s final resting place…watch this space…

 

 

Gerry Kelly with speaker over water

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Using the space The Art Shack; the sound artist Gerry Kelly, and two musicians; Clive Fletcher on bass and Ian Gooda on drums, came into the space and using the water pool I’d built for Project 2: camera obscura inverted (see below), reverberated the water using sound waves. A theater spot-light reflected the ripples on the water surface onto the back wall.

It is really beautiful and mesmeric in the real.

The 2 varying patterned ripples of the two instruments overlapped and combined.
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meditation and repetition

February 20, 2013

been listening to alot of minimalist music; Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Philip Glass and looking at the work of Agnes Martin and Brice Marden.

I have begun to express my response in drawn lines in charcoal in my studio. Images to follow soon…

moving image: smoke in projection series 1-4 (click to watch)

Open Mind – film for listening to

This is a photo (long exposure) of my shadow blocking the projection of the camera obscura in my studio. I painted the floor white where the edge of the projection lands to help the clarity of the image.

 

My studio is currently blacked out of all light, except through one hole. It is  exactly the same as a camera or an eye. All vision perceived is via the phenomena of camera obscura; the weirdness of the light passing through a hole and somehow projecting itself again against the walls, film, photographic paper or retina.

When photgraphing the image for the sake of documentation, I became aware that the camera could have its’ moment of perception prolonged to 30 seconds or even indefinatley. This is unlike our eye and our rate of perception. We can blink to still an image into our heads, but we cannot do what the camera does. So I have begun to explore the possibility that photographs are not an honest represenation of reality, but are infact utterly unnatural. Life does not stop. If you look at a photo of a child, for example, they never stay still like they do in a photo (unless asleep), but the freeze-frame enables us to see an essence of that child that would be otherwise unpeceivable.

It reminds me alot of a Wim Wenders film, “Until the end of the world”, when the main character invents a machine that he ends up being able to view his own dreams on in film format.

I feel there is an overwhelming amount of photographic imagery around us, especially with facebook. We are being mind moulded into thinking photos are a true representation of reality. I see now that they are not. I am interested in developing this passgage of thinking.

Solstice in the studio

June 21, 2011

It’s a confusing sensation. But breath-taking and beautiful.

It works and is quite mesmerizing.

I have simply blacked out my studio (on Tontine street) and I drilled an 8mm hole in the wooden blackout board over the window and like a miracle I can see the street outside, right down to the bottom and I can see people walking by with red umbrellas and vans driving past, as the vibrations of them are felt throught the building, because it is now and it is absolutely real, its happening, like a film on the ceiling and the back walls, but it is also going on simutaneously outside. Amazing.

On the back wall it is also incredible, but then a seagull flies by and its makes the reality connect, slightly!

These are my first experiments. Tomorrow (the solstice), I am going in to perfect it, with 7 different hole sizes, blackout fabric from FHODS (thanks Peter Hesleden) and I am also painting the solstice part of the floor work; ‘Optimum light’. A good time to be an artist.


photogram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“In their simplicity, photograms give the alphabet unfamiliar letters. What is seen has never been in a camera. Life itself is the image. Viewers sense it, they FEEL the difference.”
Adam Fuss (quoted in Shadow catchers’ handout)