Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Stuff I’ve made myself category.

2 New ideas for Memory-related art work …

I’ve been thinking about different ways of incorporating Memory into my art work.
First off, I was struck by an article in The Archer about a young girl who lost her favoutite doll on the tube (note: she did get it back again). I remember when I lost my first bike – a Claude Butler 531 butless-joint frame which I’d looked after and tricked out for years. I was gutted when I lost it because it meant a gap in reminders of my experience which it would be impossible to fill. I think I’ll do a series of Visual Poems on “lost favourite objects” and the stories behind them …
Second, I was trying to recall when I first heard about Sama bin Laden (can’t think why) and realised that my memory of that was very confused: part info from a documentary, part recalling the twin towers falling, part watching arab terrorist videos on the news … In any case, it’s neither consistent nor comprehensive – just a vague grey image and generally high concern … sometimes. So I thought: maybe I should write a series of brief recollections about events and stuff. It’s no more “true” to me than what other people tell me is “true”, so I think it’s just as valid (but as art).
Thoughts anyone?


NoSpaceNeeded – Online Exhibition

I’m taking part in (and helping organise) the first ever East Finchley Open Online Exhibition: NoSpaceNeeded 2011.

Fifteen artists from the EFO have collaborated on making digital images from each other’s photos.

I had the idea to use “found” images, but with the copyright issues involved, decided we should each take a roll of film (using “recyclable” cameras) and then swap films randomly.

The film I got was shot by Sheila Seepersaud-Jones. Her main line of art work is ceramics, but she has also taken wonderful photos as well.

I decided I’d look at her film and try to piece together the spaces she was in when she took the photos. It turned out that the spaces were reminiscent of places I’d been to when looking after my kids. So then I thought of the sorts of people or activities that might have gone on there … leading me to include some parts of my own photos from the past in there.

There are four images: Light, Texture, Roofs and Diagonals. Each has many layers of meaning and association within them. Some are more restful than others and some more colourful than others. Each is evocative of my own experiences.

Hope you like them!

NoSpaceNeeded 2011 Show

What makes an exhibition?

I’ve had an idea for an exhibition which doesn’t need to have any physical presence, a kind of virtual exhibition.

It’s come from the notion that already there are too many photographs in and of the world, too many alternative views (we are all photographers), yet too little time and space to view them. We increasingly rely on our networks to prioritise our experiences: likes, tweets, posts about what we are each following or doing in parallel, yet not together. When we’re not networking, we’re exposed to (and creating) a huge pool of seemingly random untraceable images, only transiently connected to ourselves.

How should we respond to this situation, as photographic artists? How can we connect with and communicate our visions to an audience?

A group of us are going to collaborate on a photography show, to be seen in 2011, called “No Space Needed”. It’s going to start with the historic roots of photography: film cameras. But these are “sustainable”, re-useable cameras (most of us don’t posess a film camera any more). We will each take a film strip – 27 shots, scanning them digitally into the modern photographic world.

Then we’re going to randomise these source pictures, as if they were found objects. Each of us will use source images from someone else’s film and respond individually to create a set of four artworks for the show. These artworks will last only for the duration of the show and will then cease to exist (if indeed they ever did).

The show itself will only ever be “viewed” online, as a web gallery. The audience will be invited (by the artists and their friends) to view the show, using FaceBook, email, tweets, blogs etc. They will be able to comment on the show, the images, the artists’ ideas: these comments will form part of the show, growing it organically.

We will allow the gallery images to be purchased – again, only through online channels, only during the show. Having set this up, the artists will have no “hand” in the outcomes: the audience will be able to order the images in the available formats themselves, receiving them in the post.

Lastly, the only “preserved” version of the show to be available after the show closes will be a digitally produced book of the show, created by the artists.

Organising the show and the participation involved lengthy discussion on how it would work: for the artists taking the photos; for the artists (“manipulators”) creating the artworks; for the audience; for buyers of prints or books. It surfaced issues of copyright, credit for work done, pricing, perceptions of quality, payment processes, moderation of comments, life-span of the images, working relationships and mutual trust. This in itself was seen as a valuable part of the creative work for the show.

New Art Work – Hopeless About Dates (visual poem)

I’ve just finished this work, which is the first of my new series of Visual Poems, based on “Small Objects of Desire”. My ideas was to take the memories people have around an important (small) object and create a piece which reminds me of the story they evoke.

Visual Poem: Hopeless About Dates

Image of Visual Poem

This work has a different feel (to me) than the ones created from a “favourite place” story.

Firstly, the object has it’s own place – it exists and is still with the person (I’m asked them to bring the object in with them). It has a future – I asked them where they keep the object and what they will do with it.

Secondly, as I’d seen the object I was wondering whether to include a photo of it in the work. In the end, I used images of shapes and colours that I could associate directly (or indirectly) with the object I’d seen – so the original object doesn’t appear.

However, the content and complexity of the work reflects my recollections from the story – which I suppose supports the idea that these images are poetic and have a universality which anyone can connect with in their own way.

Excellent results from Open House

Opening my house to the public so they can see artwork in a “home setting” works well for me as well as the visitors.
I usually share my house with two or three other artists (normally working in different media), which I find works well, as the majority of visitors are those who already know the artist(s).
The best bit for me is the conversation with the visitors (my house had nearly 200 visitors and sold a reasonable amount as well). It helps me develop my ideas of the work and to bounce new ideas off them to gauge reactions. In that way, I prefer it to exhibiting in a gallery space. However, it’s a considerable investment in my time and space (thanks, family).
The group had done a great deal of publicity – leafletting, advertorial, posters, banners – and no doubt that helped to maintain the footfall. Nonetheless, several visitors had never before heard of this annual event (now in its 7th year).
Having taken a break – couple of weeks off, drawing by the pool – I’m back ready to start work on the Small Objects of Desire works.

Open House – Prompting Investigations

I was Opening my house to art-lovers this weekend (and will be next weekend). One of the joys of doing this – apart from the obvious pleasure in selling my work to an appreciative audience – is the conversation about the work.

From these discussions, I frequently find avenues to explore or variations on my work to consider. This time I had:

It’s good to talk about these things. Now I’ve got to get on and do the work – start on the “Small Objects of Desire” pictures.

New Visual Poem – In a Child’s Eye

Just added this image to my gallery. It was a commission from a buyer of my work who said she would like to have a Visual Poem of her “story of a special place”.

In a Child's Eye - 30in x 30in C-Print Metallic

It’s a moving story, particularly as I’m fascinated by the way children remember things which “never happened” (or at least, not the way the adults remember what happened). These memories are all too real though – I may do a blog on false memories soon.

I started with the idea of a rose garden, filled with Forget-me-not flowers and a child reaching for something. The rest was developed from the words of her story and their associations with my recollections of images I’d taken previously.

Hope you like it!

Small Objects of Desire project

I started this project earlier in May 2010, by inviting people I knew to come to my studio and bring a “small object of desire” with them. Each object was to have special significance for the person and I asked them to tell me the story of the object. Then I photographed them holding the object.

My idea for the project was – initially – to show these portrait-style pictures and their stories as a collection, at the EFO summer Open in July.
However, when I heard the stories, I realised that it would be inappropriate to present the words and pictures together. Partly it was the intimate nature of the stories, partly that the portrait pictures together with the words were too specific, closed, absolute.
In my memory work, I want to present the work as representing everyone’s experiences, or at least allow people to write their own interpretations. So now I plan to make “visual poems” from each story, incorporating the picture of the related object together with other images that the associated story suggests to me.

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