Surface II at The Crypt Gallery, St. Pancras Church opened on 12th July 2012 with a very busy Private View.

There has been a lot of discussion amongst the artists of Surface II about how much information should be given about the work and in what format.

Although we did have a small pamphlet with each artists statement included some visitors felt this wasn’t explicit enough and contained a lot of nebulous language.

I spent a lot of time at the Private View and during the week when on invigilation duty explaining my ideas that led to ‘Incidence’ so maybe it did need something available for people who want to know more.

It is easier to just talk about your work informally than to write a short piece about it. Even producing one sentence can be draining. The reason why the language used in artists statements is often a bit vague is because it is so hard to pin down a visual idea that has formed from many different ideas morphing together over time  and some of which will be subconscious.

Sometimes reading an artwork can be daunting rather than uplifting, a fear of not understanding and missing the point. With Grayson Perry’s tapestries, if you weren’t familiar with the iconic religious paintings he references would you pick this up. Is the experience less because of it. Often there aren’t such clear ideas going into the work as with Grayson.

We held a bit of an artists crit at the gallery on Monday. The discussion about my work centred around what was a spiritual experience, what might be happening in the brain. Is the connection with nature being calming coming from the patterns that formed us.  Also the possibility of paranormal activity was discussed and how this might manifest itself, interesting to see how many people feel they have had such an experience.

Crawling through the low tunnel to the mysterious octagonal room in the hidden depths of the crypt not currently open to the public it felt very possible that something unnerving might happen. It was pitch black and I had no torch so had to fire the flash to light the room, then check the camera playback for unwanted presences.

All clear.

There is an abandoned wheelchair in a disused tunnel, maybe left over from the war – it has lost its wheels and is on the point of disintegration.

I may use this image in ‘Syndrome’, new work about the inner recesses of the mind where fears are stored. It will come under the fear of medical intervention. My own experience at the age of 7 is being slapped by the dentist and then pinned down by 2 men and having a gas mask held over my face to subdue me after kicking out frantically when I saw the big syringe coming my way.


Thanks to the careful selection of artists and curation of works by Louise Harrington and Fiona Chaney Surface II was a very rewarding experience.

There is a book Surface II which can be viewed online.