Archives for the month of: April, 2014

I have been lucky enough to be assigned Esther Teichmann as my dissertation supervisor.
I fell in love with Esther’s work when I first saw it at the ArtSway Open 2008.

She was showing hand coloured photographs from the Mythologies series.

Esther Teichmann - Mythologies

Esther Teichmann – Mythologies

It has been inspiring to able to talk with her and discover a mutual interest in lightning and the remarkable Litchenberg Figures that are left by a strike on skin

Litchenberg Figure

Litchenberg Figure

Also inspiring to see her sensuous show Fractal Scars, Salt Water and Tears at Flowers Gallery.

Esther Teichmann installation view at Flowers Gallery

Esther Teichmann installation view at Flowers Gallery

In a gallery talk Carol Mavor, in response to Esther’s work, spoke of shells, grottoes, sleeping beauty (someone who has forgotten her clitoris) and the proposition to ‘Let your lids drop the fall is always worth it’ .

Esther Teichmann

Esther Teichmann

We are taken deep inside the grotto, the dark space of desire.

I have been re- reading through the journal of Sergio Vega who ends up in a grotto at the centre of Paradise as defined by the mapping of Don Antonio de Leon Pinelo undertaken in 1650.

Sergio Vega followed the ancient map to a location in Brazil and finds himself having a transcendental experience in the cool waters of a secluded cavern.

Sergio Vega Windows on the Sublime 1

Sergio Vega Windows on the Sublime 1

I have spent my first day in the British Library Reading Room soaking in the atmosphere of investigative minds.

My first enquiry has been to try and find out who decided to name Paradise Road, Paradise Walk etc with such aplomb.

Paradise Road SW4

Paradise Road SW4

One book cites a profusion of Paradise Rows springing up in Victorian times so named by mendatious developers to attract customers to their mews squatting in not so desirable locations such as along railway embankments. Another book dates the Paradises to the 1700’s. The Victorian’s maybe just ran with the theme, the advertisers sleight of hand to gloss over the facts with hyperbole. Paradise Road in Islington had previously been Named Love Walk – this usually meant where the prostitutes hung out.  A day can easily slip by in the library and maybe only one small paragraph might be gleaned for the dissertation.

I really like these drawings by Patrick Van Caeckenbergh. I have ancient forests in my head at the moment and I like his little interventions.

Patrick Van Caeckenbergh

Patrick Van Caeckenbergh


Patrick Van Caeckenbergh

Patrick Van Caeckenbergh

I think he has a sense of humour

Patrick Van Caekenbergh

Patrick Van Caekenbergh

Also obsessive as he lived in a piece of art for 4 years.

This is a link to the website of Cristobel Leon and Joaquin Cocina – they make amazing inventive films

In ‘Los Andes’, a restless primal spirit takes possession of an office room.

Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña Los Andes

Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña Los Andes



Again a bit out of date with my life. Rewind, fast forward. A week after my interview at the RCA I went to see the current MA Printmaking student show at Café Gallery Projects – that was a year ago. I left in awe and apprehension. Suddenly here I am participating.
There was a vague concensus that we should have some kind of unifying theme but we knew that couldn’t be through the work shown as we were all individual practises. So we thought we would choose a text we could respond to through a group publication.
Rob being our show rep came up with a suggestion to use Air Guitar, an essay by Dave Hickey.

Rob Miles

My initial reaction was I didn’t like Hickey’s style and it took a few readings for me to appreciate some of his points.
From this text we managed to wrestle the title YESTERDAY’S WRONG THINKING.

The title became autonomous. It spoke of tomorrow’s world.

1404 YWT publication_0001
We made a neat little risograph publication in teal and fleuro pink.

1404 YWT publication_0002



Day one it felt impossible that we could all fit in the space.

But by day 3 we had a plan.

1404 Floor Plan


I was showing the next two from the Paradise on Earth series

Paradise Forum B3

Paradise Forum B3

The etching that had taken so long to get a decent copy mounted on steel and hung in the room with the videos for a low level light

1404 YWT Paradise Forum B3 3

and the mixed media piece on Perspex with organza which had also been a technical challenge hung high on the wall to force perspective

Paradise Walk SW3

Paradise Walk SW3

And here we are for the crits

Crit pic

Only had about 3 minutes to discuss Paradise Walk SW3 but Paradise Forum B3 received a good crit and as Rob kindly pointed out the basis of the discussion was the content of the work and not the medium or technique.

That’s a step forward for me as so often I get asked how rather than what or why when it comes to my work.

Also had the privelige to participate in RCA Secret 2014.

All current students plus celebrated alumni make 3 postcards that can be viewed online.

1404 postcard online

Or in person.

1404 postcard secret

There is a lot of interest and the queuing starts days before

1404 Gathering

It’s a secret who made what until the purchase is made

1404 postcard 3

So if you can spot your favourite artist’s work you may get lucky

1404 postcard 2

Or you may discover someone new

1404 postcard

The next event I will be participating in is Standing on the Frontier Vol 2

at Unit24 Gallery Great Guildford Street SE1 oFD

Standin On The Frontier V2 flyer

Really excited about this.

Yellow Sky ready to hang.

Yellow Sky

Yellow Sky




Been spending a lot of time in the etching workshop.
It all started with a photo of Paradise Forum shopping mall in Birmingham.
Everyone looked so pissed off – yet if they just looked beyond to the cosmos, wouldn’t they be dazzled.
I thought the two girls on the steps looked like they had their feet dangling in space, that they were sitting on the edge of something, awaiting their escape.

Of course the word Forum conjures up ideas of a Roman Forum, from which I segue to amphitheatre, a place of gathering, like a shopping mall. A sense of history of construction, of public space.
This small exert of life on earth in fadeout – a temporal moment.

Paradise Forum B3

Paradise Forum B3

I listened to Bill Viola being interviewed about his current retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris which I hope to visit shortly. He talks about the brevity of our lives and how it is really important to leave behind some knowledge or some new thing for the next generation, it can be something really simple. Through knowledge we gain transformation. But beware, too much information can become a pollution and we have to separate out the unnecessary bombardment of advertising and media sources from the good stuff that enriches us.

1404 Bill Viola

Also looking at  the work and ideas of James Turrell. His formless landscapes of light with no object, no image and no focus leaves us only with an awareness of ourselves looking and an experience only felt otherwise in dreams, meditation or near death experiences. I can remember my visit to Gagosian a few years back to see Dhatu – staring into a pink misty void, anticipating angels.


JAMES TURRELL  Dhātu, 2010

Dhātu, 2010


In ‘Once Upon a Time’ Steve McQueen presents 116 images from Karl Sagan’s Golden Record which was launched into space in 1977 to enlighten any extraterrestrials about life on earth. McQueen overlays geographical images and scientific diagrams with the sounds of people speaking in tongues. The highly factual with the highly emotional – potentially equally indecipherable to aliens but showing an alternative side to human nature other than the one NASA documented.

Steve McQueen - Once Upon a Time

Steve McQueen – Once Upon a Time

In ‘The Dry Salvages’ Elisabetta Benassi presents 10,000 bricks made from clay taken from the 1951 Polesine flood area (one of the largest natural disasters in Italy) that are printed with the names and codes of the largest space debris orbiting the earth.

1404 Elisabetta Benassi (2)

Elisabetta Benassi – The Dry Salvages

Power of nature, power of nations.

Elisabetta Benassi - The Dry Salvages

Elisabetta Benassi – The Dry Salvages

The regeneration of matter. The impossibility of control.