Archives for posts with tag: RCA

Back to etching. Have completed an intro/induction at Thames Barrier Print Studio so am now good to go with new work. 1603 aluminium plateTried aluminium in saline sulphate which gives a really deep etch. Used stop out and painting into hot hard ground. Was good to play around with new materials and get some tips from resident expert etcher Nick Richards. 1603 stop out

This primer from Wilkinsons is cheap and works well as a stop out solution. The etchings I had done before were all on steel with soft ground, I love the deep rich tones from steel but am trying a new piece of work on zinc with hard ground with should give me a more precise line.

1603 etching plate




This work is inspired by the idea of gravitational waves and grains of space which is one of the lessons in Carlo Rovelli’s book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. It’s taking a while to cover the plate in the dots. I’m not sure when it’s all done if the wave pattern will disappear.


Michael Doser’s keynote paper Seeing Antimatter Disappear at the symposium Shadow Without Object  gave an insight into how the study of gravity acting on antimatter may help explain why it has disappeared. As a research physicist at CERN he is engaged is trying to discover why there is not the same amount of antimatter as matter in the universe and why what little there is remains clumped at the centre of our milky way galaxy. I asked him if antimatter was considered part of the 5% of the visible world of matter and I think he said that it was as it interacts with photons and fundamental forces.

1603 Michael Doser

Although gravity is the weakest of the fundamental forces its impact on the parabolic flight of anti-hydrogen atoms can be witnessed by using emulsion on a photographic plate which records the particle collision. Using photographic emulsion gives a far more accurate and sensitive result than any digital recording device could.

1603 anti proton imaging.jpg

He said some confounding things – that antimatter emits light exactly like normal matter so you can photograph it but you only see it when it annihilates. So we don’t actually see the antiprotons just the trace of the aftermath of their disappearance left in the photo emulsion on the plate. Working at quantum scales the collision of the proton into the emulsion is digitally scanned and a 3d image stacked up to reveal a starburst. The starburst is the locus of disappearance.

Cosmic rays coming from remote stars hit our atmosphere and produce showers of particles that plough through our bodies – these can be seen using cloud chambers which are detectors that track the particles. The unseen activity of the universe made visible. This is something I am hoping to see when we visit the underground laboratories at Boulby.

1603 cloud chamber particles.jpg

At the talk Are We Darkened by the Light? at Tate Modern architect Asif Khan had brought along a sample of the darkest material on earth – a Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array. This material was made as a reference for noise images which aim to establish what black should be when looking at a camera chip to remove interference. This material is so black because it absorbs all the photons of light rather than bouncing some back to our eyes.

1512 darkest matter

I wonder if all the photons stay in this material when they are absorbed. Does it fill up with photons?  Does it get hot in there?  Planck’s constant states every hot object emits light, how does that fit in?

Also at Tate Modern was In/Visibility a work by Vinita Khanna that uses a polarising filter to conceal and reveal the colours in a copy of Gustav Klimt’s painting Portrait of Frau Adele Bloch Bauer.

1602  InVisibility

Vinita Khanna In/Visibility

Choosing an image that we are all familiar with, yet most of us have never seen the original, Vinita Khanna comments on the intangible nature of vision demonstrating the invisible made visible. Humans treat their vision as absolute, when in fact the bulk of our perceived reality is generated by our brains.

1603 Clare Muireann Murphy

Clare Muireann Murphy is a brilliant story teller. She was performing her new work Universe at The Crick Crack Club event upstairs at Soho Theatre. Colliding the science of the big bang (cracking of the cosmic egg) with mythical tales of a goddess tumbling from the skies into a watery world to be rescued by a fearless turtle who then gets turned into a magical lyre that plays the music of the cosmos passing from god to mortal. Clare creates a place of wonder and insight where time stretches and a fissure opens that builds a dream bridge between many worlds…

1601 Repetition Variation

Julian Page presented a group show at Clerkenwell Gallery with a strong sense of the material world. Layers, grids, clusters, networks and stacks – great pictures here:  Repetition Variation.  Having watched the steady growth of Stack while sharing a studio space with Amy Gear at the RCA I have a great affection for this piece.

Stack is an encounter with mass.

Repetition celebrates editions in the print fest Multiplied at Christies. A jostle of galleries showing their wares. The RCA gets a stand showcasing alumni with recent graduates. I had one sculpture from everydaymatters showing. It looks obvious in this picture but it was surprising how people just didn’t see it. It was about the only work not on the wall and when the room was packed it disappeared in the crowd. Invisible matter.1602 RCA  mulltipliedI was pleased to have two variable editions of Paradise Road sw4 shown by Dark Matter Studio in a grouping with work by Zoe Dorelli, Mary Yacoob, Marianne Walker and Patrick Jackson – The Inner City Pilgrims. A new collaborative project I am involved with whose aim is to re-mystify the city.

1602 Dark Matter at Multiplied

Katharina Grosse has been interrogating space in relation to her paintings such as  ‘Untitled Trumpet’ which have expanded to the point that you can walk through them.

1601 Venice Katherina Grosse  (2)

Katharina Grosse Untitled  (Trumpet)

From the experience of having a painting transferred from canvas to silk she was inspired by the folds in the fabric. Folds in space.

1601 Venice Katherina Grosse  (1)

Katharina Grosse Untitled (Trumpet)

A fold in space could theoretically, allow a short cut from one place to another.

1601 wormholeA wormhole has two mouths and a throat. For travel to be possible, wormholes would need to be full of exotic matter, that is to say a non-baryonic matter like dark matter i.e. not made of the stuff we are made of. It is as yet another unknown.

How we move through space and interact with the architecture that surrounds us was explored in Mimesis  at Westminster Reference Library.

“Mimesis produces mere ‘phantoms’, not real things. It is at once dependent and deluded, just as a mirror is empty and inessential without something to reflect.” – Matthew Potolsky

1602 Amelia Critchlow

Amelia Critchlow

Amelia Critchlow and Evy Jokhova have been considering how image and architectural form influence the way we read our world; how cognition can cloud and clarify and how association can attack an image or experience, or stand apart, apparently neutral and transparent.

1602 Evy Johkova 3

Evy Jokhova

Mimesis created an unstable environment of wobbly furniture, erased images and material associations where the chalky surface of architectural columns turn out to be constructed from Brie.

This is the playful mimic undermining the authority of grand architecture and opening a space to question our surroundings by subverting expectations of form.

I was introduced to the beautiful work of Ben Cove at Multiplied and then visited his exhibition Modern Language at Peter Von Kant Gallery.

Architectural devices are made symbols. Flat surfaces deceive the eye with shadow and form. Clean, sharp colours zing against black and white images drawing the eye backward and forward shifting us in space and in time. It’s a dynamic experience. Having read a lot lately about how there is no empty space, there is no void, I can feel here that all space is packed with information and all is connected through space time.

For her archaeological installation Wrong Way Time in the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Fiona Hall filled the room with an ecology of objects that tell the story of civilization from primal beliefs in magic and animism through capitalism, global economic collapse and climate change leaving us with the challenge of facing the end of anthropocentrism.

1601 Venice Australia Fiona Hall (2)

Fiona Hall

She trusts in our sense of wonder and imagination that can see life forms in sculpted drift wood to see a world not of exploitation but of symbiosis.

1601 Venice Australia Fiona Hall (3)

Fiona Hall

In the French Pavilion Celeste Boursier-Mougenot’s work also activated primal beliefs that animals, plants, and inanimate objects possess a spiritual essence. In transHUmUs an arboreal dance reintroduces us to a latent anthropomorphism. The trees glide around directed by their own metabolism with their truncated roots exposed on their islands of dirt, like isolated protesters quietly demonstrating.

1601 Venice France Celeste Boursier-Mougenot (2).jpg

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot transHUmUS

In the beginning…the word became flesh. The vertical-transcendent dimension of the Logos – the word of God from above and the horizontal-immanent dimension of the flesh below were the axes of research put forward by the Holy See as participant in the Venice Biennale 2105.  Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva created ‘Haruspex’ in this context.

1602 Venice Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva Haruspex

Using the raw flesh of pig’s caul, sheep’s intestine and cow’s stomach she weaves a canopy, an enclosure, a net, a trap, a sanctuary. It’s meaning oscillates as does the beauty and horror of its materiality. We must read the omens by inspecting the entrails of sacrificial animals.

Pamela Rosenkranz questions what it means to be human in a digital age. The anthropocentric bias of humanism is challenged when subject and object are impossible to separate. Our physical and psychic being is undergoing a transformation by the new materials that we wear, inject, subsume.

1601 Switzerland Pamela Rosenkranz (1)

Pamela Rosenkranz Simulation

The glowing wet body of synthetic liquid designed to replicate a particular skin colour floods the Swiss Pavilion with a sickly sweetness that has a back flavour of the murder victim’s chemical bath.





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




Work In Progress. So good to mix with people from painting, sculpture and photography. To negotiate our spaces, to look at each others work and discuss relationships between the works. To see how consensus forms and finally to install the show.  Really exciting to see what had been created during the past term, to see work emerging from the chaos of the studios.
I took the two images of Paradise Road SW4 to the gallery not sure if I would hang one or both but found they worked well directly opposite each other.

Paradise Road SW4

Paradise Road SW4

It was appropriate you couldn’t see them both at the same time initiating a forced extra looking as people tried to see the difference between them, were they the same image, a mirror or what.

Paradise Road SW4

Paradise Road SW4

With around 150 students showing new work the private view was noisy and vibrant.

Then there were the cross programme group crits. Freezing under scrutiny, it all becomes a blur of half remembered phrases.
Felt rather deflated afterwards, really questioning my themes and motives which is a good thing though tough to process.

RCA Work In Progress

RCA Work In Progress

The most encouraging thing was that during the exhibition people stopped to look at my work and spent time looking.

RCA Work in Progress

RCA Work in Progress

It was also encouraging to find an image of my work included on the RCA website write up of the exhibition.

Printmaking students met at the new Serpentine Sackler Gallery to discuss the current show of Jake and Dinos Chapman – Come and See. There was discussion about who the Chapman brothers make their work for (the media) and whether they were taking the piss out of us, the audience.

Jake and Dinos Chapman

Jake and Dinos Chapman

The excessive lathering on of depictions of horror and violence, the mix of Nazi skeletons and dinosaurs and Ronald McDonald all amid scenes of torture and piles of bloodied bodies reflects the tropes of the horror film and video game industry and bears little relation to real life and therefore was not shocking. I don’t think this is a desensitization of our feelings but just the fact that the depictions are so unreal, like a war hammer game. Maybe they are labouring a point that we can no longer differentiate between reality and fantasy or that we enjoy looking at depictions of horror. This is something worth discussing but it all felt rather heavy handed. It seems they may have drawn themselves into a corner and can no longer surprise their audience.

Jake and Dinos Chapman

Jake and Dinos Chapman

They obviously have a big fan base but the general consensus of the seminar was one of boredom by these repeated depictions. I think there are probably lots of codes to decipher and art history references to acknowledge if you can be bothered. The attention to detail is astonishing from the accuracy of every minute figure in Hell to the layer of aging dust on the crude corrugated cardboard models of earlier work complete with cardboard audience displaying a gamut of emotions (children allowed in this cardboard world).

It felt a great contrast to the very moving and immersive experience of Richard Mosse’s ‘The Enclave’ for the Irish Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. Also work about horrors of war and man’s inhumanity to man.

Richard Mosse 'The Enclave'

Richard Mosse ‘The Enclave’

Filmed in Eastern Congo amongst violent armed rebels using a discontinued military reconnaissance film that registers infrared light which is normally invisible but here turns the landscape into a kaleidoscopic dreamscape where the vegetation registers in shocking pink. Hauntingly beautiful the film reflects a real nightmare scenario. We enter an alien world with a heightened sense of dislocation and confusion. Surrounded by giant screens we are trapped in a cycle, not knowing where to look or where the next assault may come from.

Richard Mosse 'The Enclave'

Richard Mosse ‘The Enclave’

After all the conflict looking for a quiet space for contemplation.

Woods v/e 1

Wood v/e 1

Woods v/e 2

Wood v/e 2

Finally managed to get these works which for now are just titled ‘Wood’ into frames. Greyscale sublimation print from a screen print of disperse dye on polyester under a layer of sublimation print organza.

Moving into my new space at the RCA. There was some swapping and shuffling around. The second years had had first dibs at the studio spaces and then the tutors stuck post it notes with our first year names over the remaining desks. Like wedding guests we searched for our place  and eyed up our immediate neighbours. Had we been placed in proximity for a reason?

1310 susan eyre

Our little walking tour around the Tate Modern area ended up with a visit to see the ‘New Graduates’ exhibition at the Embassy Tea Gallery.

Victoria Arney and Marianne Keating are the winners of the Bainbridge Print Award 2013 for the excellence of work they displayed at their University post-graduate shows.

They both gave a talk.

Victoria Arney is interested in ruins.

Victoria Arney 'Boundary'

Victoria Arney ‘Boundary’

She photographs emotionally moving images of natural disasters on the TV news. She then uses these images of destruction for her hand drawn etchings.

Victoria Arney 200,000

Victoria Arney ‘200,000’

Victoria Arney Lacuna

Victoria Arney ‘Lacuna’

She achieves a 3D effect in her work using chine colle over her etching which is slightly offset. This mis-registration gives the impression of movement – that the dust is still settling on the final judders of collapse.

Victoria Arney

Victoria Arney

Marianne Keating also deals with moving emotions, asking the public to confess their secrets, these moving words are then projected, physically moving around the gallery walls.

Marianne Keating

Marianne Keating

She collects anonymous responses to questions like ‘What do you do that causes you to blame yourself?’

‘What have you confided to a friend that you haven’t confided to your lover?’

There is a lot of regret in the responses she has obtained.

Marianne Keating

Marianne Keating

While at Tate Modern I had a look at  the Saloua Raouda Choucair exhibition.

I watched the short video about her life and work on the Tate website and admired her focus and passion for her art, to keep making work despite the political upheaval and destruction going on around her in Beirut during the 1980’s. Like the lines she explored in her work she kept to her path and followed her own trajectory.

I like her architecturally inspired sculpture and the rich wooden interlocking pieces.

Saloua Raouda Choucair

Saloua Raouda Choucair

Some of the surfaces could be woodblocks and make interesting prints.

They look good together here, better than in the gallery space where they are placed in a clinical row along a shelf.

Saloua Raouda Choucair

Saloua Raouda Choucair

Her use of monofilament as a support mechanism was interesting in her metal, plastic and fibreglass pieces.

When I was last in Crayford picking up my sublimation prints from Promptside I noticed an incongruous sign I hadn’t seen or maybe paid attention to before.

Sparkling Holidays were offered – though the building was less than sparkling, it was boarded up.

It was intriguing because it had no contact details. A bit Bob & Roberta Smith. Was this an art installation?

1310 Sparkling

Well it just took a google when I got home to discover the company Sparkling Holidays based in Crayford do seem to offer a holiday experience.


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Customer Reviews

Peter ensured our short break to  Wales went without complications and all our concerns about Disabled access for my friend was sorted without the usual headaches – it was so perfect we extended by another 3 days ” — Lee, Dartford

The staff are so helpful, I know that they will find the perfect holiday for me, they also told me what I needed to do to make my last Cruise go so smoothly . I will book with them again.” — Josephine, Bexleyheath

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