Archives for the month of: August, 2012

Enjoyed Deptford X with a walking tour heading off from Bearspace led by the lead artist curators of this years festival the wonderful Hew Locke & Indra Khanna.

This year the theme was THE DECORATIVE.

Dzine’s ‘Phenomenon’ sculpture took decoration to the nth degree.  Capturing the spirit of ‘Szwaybar’ a phenomenon of Curacao where the humble bicycle is pimped into a statement of style and showmanship..

Felt like I was on holiday, joining a group to be shepherded round the local sights on a gorgeous sunny day.  Nice to find some old friends from Goldsmiths also on the tour. Starting off at the imposing St Paul’s Church to see some site specific installations by Adam Walker, Charlotte Squire and Lisa Snook and calling in at Gallop to reminisce about Biba with people who could remember visiting in its hey day. Blank Promiscuity at St. Paul’s House had put on a good show. It wasn’t easy to tell who had done what in the group but the overall feel of the show for me was a cocktail of voyeurism, the body and scientific exploration. There was lots of peeping through (which I love) theatrical and laboratory elements.


At The Faircharm Paul Coombs had created a sobering installation ‘Filthy Dirty Homo’ which listed all the countries in the world where homosexuality is illegal and the consequent punishments delivered. The list was frighteningly long. He had also made tortuous looking sculptures which came from his feelings of society trying to shape him into being something he was not.

Henna Nadeem’s images from A Picture Book of Britain had been made poster size and pasted along the wall at Ha’penny Hatch.

I first saw her work at Charleston back in 2006 when it was part of the Brighton Photo Biennale. Her overlaying of pattern and combining of images to create a new landscape is something which really appeals to me. There are cross cultural messages here, the celebration of the quintessential landscape of Britain looked at  from a non western heritage perspective.

Hew Locke has been considering the financial crisis today and relating it back to the days empire and colonialisation.

Hew Locke discussing his work ‘Gold Standard’

He has been looking at the highly decorative old share documents which tell not so beautiful stories of great wealth, exploitation and ruin with the fortunes of countries completely turned around in the course of the last 200 years. He paints over the share certificates highlighting and obliterating the history of the companies that raised money for foreign investment, tracing the rise and fall of financial powerhouses.

The installation ‘Gold Standard’. This building looks made for its embellishment.

China was once trying to raise money from the west now they are the world financiers.

We finished the tour at Van Khan Gallery to see Doug Jones ‘Non Sum Qualis Eram’ ( I am not what I used to be).

A sinister crocodile of subdued children with heads bowed,  dressed like little bishops with no faces. He is interested in the way pattern and design convey meaning, the social group and about fitting in. Apparently his influences come from his days as a choir boy. From this they don’t look like happy days.

The big excitement for me this week though was installing my own work at Bearspace.

‘Collected Thoughts’ had been agreed on but I was waiting to see if they would want Calypso Wanderer or my new work Graft i.

Graft i

In the end they stuck with their original choice of Calypso Wanderer but choosing MkII.

Calypso Wanderer Mk II

I was a bit disappointed as it would have been nice to have a new piece in the show and I had worked hard to get it done in time but they felt it fitted better with the other work.

The interesting part was to see how my work would be priced. This is something I have always had to struggle with alone before and I had never really had a professional opinion on it. ‘Collected Thoughts’ I found particularly hard to price as the pieces are quite small individually yet each one takes several days to construct. I was happy with the prices they gave and this will help me in future to make a judgement.

I had been hoping to go to Engine Chat Chat this week but was unable to in the end. I had wanted to get some feedback on my images that I have prepared for ‘Syndrome’.

I wonder what changes might have stemmed from a group discussion. As it is I have had to make my own decisions. I have settled on 7 images that will be lit from inside and two that will need a torch to view. They will go to Promptside to be put on sublimation paper next week so any final tweaking will have to be done very soon. I will need 36 stretchers which the ever patient Pete next door has been tasked with. The basis for each image has been something that disturbed me as a child whether real or imagined. something that may have subconsciously contributed to fears and anxieties in later life.

It is interesting to see how my own memories of an event differ from my Mums. I talked to her about my memories of a séance we performed at my Uncle Les’s one Christmas with cousins who were much older than me.  We apparently made contact with a lady called Lily who had been murdered by her husband. We both agree it was scary and involved my Uncle Les and messages of death. We both believe he died shortly afterwards. She remembers that he came to the table and the glass spelt out DEATH and stopped at him. I remember that he wouldn’t come to the table and the glass spelt out ‘GET LES’ repeatedly but he wouldn’t be involved and in response to a question ‘is it a matter of life or death’ replied ‘YES’. The glass then moved faster and faster around the table until it spun off and smashed.

We never discovered if someone was pushing that glass but in my memory it didn’t feel like it.



















Visited Supernature for the twilight event featuring The Human Lounge (Tailor-Made Dance) & Amy Turk (Harpist).

Sitting on hay bales in a small copse opposite the Guildford Spectrum listening to the amazing talent of Amy Turk conjuring music with expressive flowing movements as the light faded and Mary Branson’s magical light and sound installations came into their own.


The woods came alive with the amplified sounds of the unseen local insects and wildlife.

Back home I’m afraid the insect inhabitants of my crate collection weren’t being celebrated.

It was time for drastic action as the old wood was fast turning to dust.

Just hope nothing escaped into the house while the boxes were sitting in the hall waiting for a fine day and this dousing with Cuprinol has done the trick.

Comparing memories. Assembling the images for ‘Syndrome’.

I have been working on the images which relate to things which disturbed me as a child. I have not tried to corroborate my memories but accept them as they are.

Though it was interesting to find out this weekend after discussions with my parents that when our neighbour Mr Wright died an ambulance was called  but when it arrived Mr Wright was already dead so they refused to take him.

Hence his sojourn in the bedroom adjoining mine and the fear of those feet coming through the wall in the night.

I probably have more images underway than I need now so may have to choose between them once I see how much it will cost to get them put onto sublimation paper.

I use Promptside to put my images onto paper for me which I heatpress at home unless they are very large.

They are not being terribly prompt at the moment though and have had some images to print for about a month now. This is worrying if they take as long to do the ‘Syndrome’ images I could be in trouble.

I had been hoping to make 2 new pieces to offer to Bearspace next week when I deliver my work for Odds Against Tomorrow but looks like it will just be one new piece.

I am very excited about the Bearspace show – to be in the same gallery that shows some of my favourite artists and I can’t wait to see their latest show by Dzine which I will go to on Friday – curated by Hew Locke

it looks a real treat.


I’m not sure how likely they are to take a new piece of work in place of what they have selected but after reading their paraphrasing of my practice I was inspired to finish something I had started earlier this year.

They wrote ‘Susan Eyre transforms a concrete block into a utopia with mixed print.’

Ever at fault for being too literal I can’t wait to cast a concrete block and print on it, and cut fabric onto it.

For now though I have taken the collograph I made from chopped up sandpaper, plastic mesh and cardboard of a grey brick area and iron grille doors and fixed this onto an aluminium base with 3M positionable mounting adhesive.

Nick Amott of J & R precision Engineering in Turnham Green cut the aluminium for me. A really helpful guy who was recommended to me by the innovative mechanical sculptor Tom Wilkinson.

Then I painted a fantasy undergrowth on paper in sublimation inks that I have transferred onto polyester.

Next I cut the polyester onto the collograph.

I received free membership from the Printmakers Council this week – a prize awarded about 3 years ago at an Ochre summer exhibition which didn’t reach me at the time.

I’m not sure how much I will benefit from it anyway, I have a busy year already and I expect they mostly want framed work on paper for their shows. The first call for submissions does seem to be in that vein and also offers a browser facility.

Can’t be doing with that.  Although I work with print I have no urge to make repeated copies of the same image and I don’t like the title etc on the front of a work mostly I find it distracting.

At his Southbank Meltdown performance for some reason Antony felt he needed to distract us from his extraordinary voice with the antics of Kazuo Ohno wandering the stage with various bizarre accoutrements. We just wanted to hear Antony sing. I guess he thought he was offering us something more. Joanna Constantine swaying in spooky fashion under a wavering moon in a cloudy sky to the accompaniment of a distorting soundscape was OK for a bit but became a test of patience as we waited for Antony to sing. Then there was the film –  Ohno suckling from a pig, wallowing in mud. It felt tragic. Antony had promised strength and beauty and an exploration of spirituality – all he needed to do express all those things was just to sing. Still it seems ‘Cut The World’ taken from the Life and Death of Marina Abromovich is about to be released so I have that to look forward to now.

As for his intentions…

Antony recently said on his choices for Meltdown, “I want to create a kind of paradise. I want to walk through that forest and see and hear the hardcore beauty and strength in art and music that makes sense to me. The weather is changing and everybody knows it. I want to participate. What is my relationship and responsibility to the world around me? Frontier expressions of emotion and beauty can be fantastic tools with which to enter that discussion.”

– sounds a bit like transforming a concrete block into Utopia.