The marathon print session is complete.The frame is on and the Perspex inserted.

Was all I could do not to throw up all over it inserting the Perspex – slightly stressful, one false move after all this work.

‘Incidence’ is finished.


Badly bashed my foot in the final stages of heaving my screens up and down the stairs from studio to garden to wash out.

This slowed me down and prevented me from visiting Lizzie Cannon  & Elizabeth Murton at their open studio event that evening at Bow Arts.

However I did however bump into Elizabeth at the New Ashgate Gallery ‘At Play’ talk presented by Outi Remes and Cally Trench.

Kirsty E. Smith who I met at Core Gallery one time was there giving a talk about her ‘beings’ from the world of Frilip Moolog. Kirsty is definitely an artist At Play   – anthropomorphising her artwork with characters and names.

It was an evening of discussion about audience participation and ways in which an audience can be engaged with a piece of work for more than a quick glance. Audience participation is a tricky area, I like to be engaged but I don’t always want to build my own city out of plasticine or come up with a recipe to order (Babel). I would love to go on a cruise down the Nile but I really don’t want to be wrapped in toilet paper and dance like an egyptian.  Having said that there were exhibits in the At Play exhibitions at SouthHill Park that required participation that I enjoyed such as Siobahn McAuley’s ‘Faster, Faster’ – a pedal-activated optical toy. I remember going into the totally padded room, making a paper plane to fly and   an enhanced biting an apple experience, pairing  picture cards by assumption, rearranging pieces on a board – was it a route? Lighting the sections in the two-way mirrored glass house. You have to want to do it. If it works you do spend more time with each piece of work and it prompts interaction with other visitors.

I had my two Restricted View pieces showing in At Play 2009 – a large image with a small hole to peep through and discover a little world inside.

Restricted View (summer)

I didn’t set out to make participatory work but I do find much of my work has an element of discovery, peeping in or through gaps and around obstructions. I think I find the idea of the viewer discovering something for themselves makes the interaction with the art more personal. I had been able to observe viewers anonymously and found that everyone came away from looking through the hole with a smile on their face. This does seem to be the most common response, a sense of delight. A lot of the feedback I have had in comment books etc and from other exhibitions has stated that the viewer wished they could be inside the little world – it drew them into a fantasy. They would refer to Narnia and other fictional places. ‘I want to be in there’ I think it is also the attraction of the miniature, feeling small and childlike again.

I visited The Royal College of Art Show 2012 on the hottest day possible. I don’t know if that was why, combined with a sore foot, but I wasn’t bowled away by anything this year. Last year I saw so much work I loved, big favourite was Wieland Payer.

Wieland Payer Dawn 2011

Also Esther Teichmann’s Mythologies which I had seen before at Danielle Arnaud and ArtSway.

Esther Teichmann from Mythologies

Jonny Briggs, Eleanor Lines, Vasilios Paspalis, anyway there were loads.

This year I quite liked Colin Henderson, Joe Drakeford and Frank Ammerlaan’s paintings  and the sculptures with candles from Benjamin Wadler.

Colin Henderson ‘Obsidian Mirror 1’ 2012

Joe Drakeford Liquid Landscape

Benjamin Wadler

I also like Benjamin’s statement:

‘If Carl Sagan was right when he said that we are a way for the cosmos to know itself, then I believe that art is a way for us to know ourselves.

An aperture is a hole to look through, and a portal is a hole to pass through.

In art we do both of these things. That’s funny, because artworks look like objects; but while a painting can seem to resemble a wall, it has the secret power to become a window, or a door beyond the self.

As we pass through a door, experience passes through us.

New toys! Finally have a car that is massive enough to get my work comfortably in, most of it anyway.

Will still need a van for ‘Syndrome’ delivery of all those crates & now the company I usually use have disappeared and been replaced by another Hand Car Wash setup.

Invested in a V-Joiner to fix the corners of the frame Pete kindly mitred for me.

PFK04 V Joiner

PFK04 Picture Framing Kit Joiner v nailer underpinner  from UK Framing Supplies Ltd  via Ebay & it was brilliant – did the job very well even on such a big think frame 44mm.

Was very excited to arrive home one day  and find a wonderful wooden box on my doorstep. This is just the sort of thing I had in mind.

Have been out this week skip raiding for weathered old wood to make some crates, not been hugely successful. Was given two old troughs from a plumbers which turned out to be so heavy I can’t really manage them – I think they will do for plants though.

Very much enjoyed Grayson’s Perry’s TV series All in the Best Possible Taste and hope to go and see the tapestries this week at Victoria Miro.

I thought it was great for his insights but also to show his progression from idea to artwork, I hope everyone watched it.

Grayson Perry