Have just come back from walking in the Lake District for a few days with my daughter and husband over the Christmas holidays. Frosty days!
Longlands, Cumbria light casting deep shadows.

Setting out -1c car window

Crunching ice underfoot

And I finished the knitting for Kate's centre (notmassproduced)and posted it to her today! Hope to go and see it 'in situ' in a couple of weeks!



My Christmas card - playing in the December snow

And a very happy New Year to all my blog readers and followers. Thank you for all your sharing and comments - what a lovely community you all are! I decided to give my blog a more festive, seasonal look - hope you like it - I love the snow which I saw on Jeanne's lovely blog ART IT


'195 miles' at PSL

Yesterday I went to the launch of '195 miles' a joint art collaboration between PSL (Project Space Leeds) and the Whitechapel Gallery in London - it was really buzzy. Lovely mulled wine and mince pies warmed us up on such a damp cold day, and there was even an installation complete with live horse grabbing everyones attention. I look forward to following the project over the next 2 months and I recommend a visit - go here for more information.

Knitting going well!

My progress so far - you would hardly believe that these are Tesco and Sainsbury plastic bags when knitted! I'm loving the process! thanks to notmassproduced for the idea! My friend Jean has given me a big bag full of used plastic bags so I can keep going over the holidays. Next to knit is the blue stripe!


Knitting crazy!

I'm knitting up my plastic bags for Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre in Knaresborough who are on an artistic mission to cover 26 poles - go here for more information and some gorgeous photos. There are some lovely snowmen too!


East Street Arts

Just wanted to mention 'Multitude' at ESA in Leeds again. It was a great event and I have posted photos about the 'collections tour' earlier. The staff are really hot about publishing what they've done and even have a blog where you can read more about what went on and also see photos of the Salon exhibition


Degree session tonight

Had a stimulating session tonight at college on painting. Adam, our tutor, who is a painter himself, showed 2 Dvd's on painters. I am not a painter (yet!) but got alot from listening to John Virtue and Ian Davenport talk about their practice. The discipline especially. John was particularly inspiring and so passionate about his work - I have tonight done a bit of research and found out that he puts in a 10 hour day - I suppose the fact that he was a postman starting at 3.30am helps in terms of getting started early in the morning! I personally wasn't that taken with Ian's work and was more interested in the filmic qualities. Both had something to say about abstract work in very different ways.


Affirmations for artists

Found this today and thought how much I need to be reminded of these things as sometimes it's not easy to stay positive in these gloomy economic times. Created by Alyson Stanfield.

I am in the process of setting up a new blog which will be all about my coaching and facilitation practice and lots about creativity as well - things like these affirmations and other resources that I find will get posted on there and this blog will remain for my art practice - so look out for my new blog - I will post the link on here


A weekend of collections

There's so much going on in Leeds at the moment I'm having to make some difficult choices! The Leeds film festival ends tomorrow and I've only managed to get to three events run by KiNETIKA yesterday. In the afternoon there was a tour of Film Lab North - Howard took 3 hours to show and tell us everything that happened to a 16mm or 35mm film once it arrived at the lab - they process films for television such as Planet Earth and also artists film, Tacita Dean's film on the lighthouse was processed there. It was fascinating and thanks to Howard and his staff for giving us so much of their time. Last night I attended KiNETIKA's two programmes of short 16mm and Super 8mm films at the Adelphi. The first 'Subtle Bodies' was not well attended which was a shame as it showed a range of beautifully made collective films. The second showing at 8.30pm was really well attended and presented a range of films made by students in the ExP 24 workshops. It is good to see so many young people still interested in the cellular film movement today but I wonder if it isn't just a bit of a fad that will soon give way to the more lucritive digital industry in their later years. The main question is will film survive? I really hope so!
Today I chose to go to one of the ESA Multitude events the 'You're never alone when you collect' tour - wow was it worth it! I also have one of my photograms in the 'Salon' exhibition - it's on next week Thurs - Sunday and is well worth a trip to Patrick Studios to see the exhibition.
A mini bus took us to the homes of Lynette Willoughby, Mick and Gill and Benedict Phillips to look at their wonderful eclectic collections.
We even had cocktails at Mick and Gill's home, served from a genuine 50's bar (complete with a collection of cocktail sticks)followed by coffee with amaretto and chocolate biscuits at Benedict's. What wonderfully inspiring and different collections they were. Thank you so much for inviting us into your homes and sharing your passions. My only critic of the tour was that it was not long enough - there was so much to see and talk about it could have been a day rather than a couple of hours - so next time more more more..... The collecting obsession is something that lots of us can relate to - not just artists!
The photos are of Lynette's way of displaying her collection of paperwork, a small part of Lynette's collection (there is literally a house full of amazing stuff) and Gill's collection of pens from around the world



Reverberations - Bradley Eros

Just got back from an exhilerating weekend in London - attended the Bradley Eros film performance at Camden Arts Centre on Saturday and then the workshop at no.w.here studios on the Sunday. Bradley's 'Cinema Povera' uses found footage, burning and mirrors amongest other processes. He was very generous in sharing his experience and methods with us in the workshop. Thanks to James, Bradley, everyone at no.w.here and all the participants for making this a real learning and fun experience. I am now deep in found footage, scratching and burning and punching holes in 16mm film - watch this space


Light night in Leeds

It was a great evening and how wonderful to see so such a mix of people in town at night - a thought I had was that we need to have a revolution in our cities on Friday and Saturday evenings - everyone over the age of 40 and families together out on the streets enjoying themselves - rather than letting the youngsters have the city to themselves - lets see everyone!! Maybe it would be a way making our cities safer at night!
The 2 very best things I saw were the AMAZING maze of light and shadows from Pyramid of Arts - inspiring and beautiful - thanks to everyone involved - the second was LIFT - Leeds Intimate Film Theatre - a real experience - a cinema in a goods lift - it was such fun! Thanks to Beryl, Cheryl and the others taking part - I will post photos as soon as I can find some - didn't take my camera with me this time - a mistake!!


The red ball at the old Greenwich Observatory drops at precisely 1pm everyday and sets world time - WOW how amazing is that!


DIY 5 Keep your luggage with you at all times

I have just got back from a pretty exhausting but exciting weekend in London. As part of my professional development as an artist I applied for a place on one of the DIY 5 projects and was selected to participate on 'Keep your luggage with you at all times' with Geraldine Pilgrim (http://www.corridorperformance.org) in London. This project was an opportunity for artists to go on an individual one day adventure reflecting on the power of the suitcase as an iconic object and its potential use in both performance and installation, exploring the role of significant objects in live art to represent experience and emotion, examining ways of looking at souvenirs/evidence to signify physical as well as emotional journeys and experiencing the joy of inspirational visits as a source for creating work.

The adventure began on Saturday morning at Le Pain Quotidien on St Pancras International Station where 14 of us met for complimentary coffee and croissants around a huge rustic pine table. It was an excellent start to the day, and after enjoying our breakfast and introducing ourselves we chose our suitcase and were handed an envelope with £30 as a contribution to travelling costs. We then all departed on our individual journey, carrying our suitcases.

The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day. Water called! So I chose to go on the River. I boarded a boat to Greenwich at Westminster and duly set off for my destination. I have never been to Greenwich and was not sure what to expect, so I duly read the information handed to me with my boat ticket. When the boat arrived I ran up the hill to get to the observatory in time to watch and take a short video of the red ball on top of the observatory dropping down the pole at precisely 1pm, and mark world time. I stood with one foot in the Western Hemisphere and the other in the Eastern Hemisphere. I went on an architectual guided tour of the new Planetarium. I wandered through TIME itself. I mulled about how TIME ruled my life! I added my comments to the wall of postcards displayed by visitors saying 'when time stood still for me' and learnt lots of things I didn't know. Then I went to the Museum shop to look for objects that would illustrate my visit. I bought postcards of the Meridian line, a Meridian tee-shirt, 2 Meridian pencils, a pack of Meridian playing cards and a book called 'On the line'. I spent all afternoon wandering around the observatory and grounds. As I sat on the grass waiting for the boat to arrive for the return river journey I opened the suitcase to sort through what I had collected, was it enough? What was expected? I didn't know. Then, to my surprise I found a bunch of old sepia photographs which I had not seen before because they were conceiled in a front zipped pocket. I immediately thought that Geraldine had put them there but it turned out she didn't and was as surprised as me when I told her. They were the missing link to time and memory!! And I put them in the central position when I came to display the contents of my suitcase! At this point I want to mention how important the suitcase was - yes I was frustrated and irritated by it and I looked decidely out of place on the boat and in Greenwich - I was the only person carrying a suitcase. I was aware of it all day long and the part it played in the process! Carrying an empty suitcase for the first half of the day was weird to say the least and I would quite happily have left it somewhere - but I didn't!!

The following day, Sunday we met at Toynbee Studios to share the experience of our journey and reveal the contents of our suitcases. We had all had such different adventures and it was really enlightening to share our experiences and the things we had collected to represent our journey. Geraldine gave us 20 minutes to chose an area in which to install the suitcase and it's contents in any part of the building including the outside courtyard, which was my own personal choice. We then visited each suitcase as a group and silently made notes about our interpretation/narrative of the journey based on what we saw. We then returned to the studio for the rest of the day and discussed our findings without knowing whose suitcase it was. The owner of the suitcase then told us about their journey and how our narratives fitted with their experience. I shared my experience of 'time travelling' with the group. SEE THE PHOTO! As per usual I had accumulated alot of evidence. My learning again is to find the essence of what I want to say. Participating in this project has given me the opportunity to:

Have a personal adventure
Share and learn different creative approaches of other artists
Take risks and try things out
Network with other artists
Have fun

In terms of the project facilitation I was quite disappointed - The second day in the studios started off well and then deteriorated throughout the day - the time needed to be managed in order for everyone to have the chance to share their journey. We were not given any time boundaries so it was inevitable that we ran out of time. We were told earlier that we would finish by 6.30pm and no later than 7pm. In reality this did not happen and 4 of the artist's journeys were still to be discussed at 6.30pm. I did not want to miss these but I had to leave on time. I would have also liked there to have been an opportunity to discuss how other artists, particularly Geraldine, have used the suitcase in their work. In spite of this the project was a positive experience and it has deffinately contributed to the beginning of the 4th year of my degree. Geraldine was very supportive throughout the process. Please add your comments!! And if any of you reading this took part in the project please send me your email and I will share my photos with you
DIY 5, a Live Art Development Agency initiative,is a series of professional development projects BY artists FOR artists


Well at last I have successfully uploaded a video titled 'After Mology Nagy'. This is the piece I submitted as the 3rd year project for my part time Fine Art Degree course. Please be aware that this work uses flickering imagery/strobbing and is not suitable for those susceptible to photo-sensitive epilepsy. It is an experimental 8 minute film recorded on a digital still camera from a projected feedback loop. Then edited in Final Cut. It is intended to be shown as a video projection. I am now keen to work on more films/digital videos.


I have just got the photos of the small exhibition we put up in college before the Easter holidays. In just a couple of hours we converted a sitting area in the studios to an exhibition space. We fitted it out with 8'x4' blockboard, painted the area white and put up the work we had finished that afternoon in Stephen Felmingham's 3 week Masterclass - the theme was FAILURE, a bit of a paradox for second level degree students. After exploring ways in which artists have responded to uncertainty and instability in contemporary society, nine of us produced a final piece of work from the idea we developed in the first week. My work was based on trying to produce parts of a single image using 12 pin hole cameras (stacked together 3 x 4) made from black film canisters and of course it failed because each canister had a small square of photographic paper inside which produced a tiny image of the room (my bathroom in this case) So I ended up with 12 different images of my bathroom - it was a fascinating experience!

I returned on Sunday from a few days in Wales where I visited the Artes Mundi exhibition in Cardiff. I loved the work by Lida Abdul and Dalziel+Scullion The exhibition is prestigious and one artist will receive the winning award, a prize of £40,000, on 24 April. The work in the exhibition explores who we are the today's societies. I would award the prize to Lida Abdul, an Afghanistan artist - her film 'What we saw upon awakening' is both beautiful and haunting. I won't forget the pulling of the ropes and the sound they made in a hurry. 'Source' the video made by Dalziel + Scullion, Scottish artists, is very beautiful but very different from the rest of the work in the exhibition, which seemed more socially political. It dealt with the natural world rather than societies, so only for that reason would I personally place it second.


Back from the Lakes and some serious walking around Ennerdale, Whoap and Gricke - many thoughts about how to incorporate my art practice with my walking practice - what do I want to say and how do I express it visually? More about this later. I am re-reading 'Crossing the unknown sea' Work as a pilgrimage of identity by David Whyte (a poet) The book is about connecting with our inner world, our imagination which can lead us on a journey of self discovery and authentic existence. It is an inspirational read about the creative life! I love the way he writes. I used my digital sony camera to take photos on the walks. However I am continuing using pin hole photography and have experimented with 12 small images of my bathroom made in black film cannisters - easy to carry around - it is very hit and miss because the light conditions are always changing so many images have either been under exposed or over exposed. Next time I go walking I will take them with me. I have also received a donation of several old cameras - one of them a Brownie 127 (which was the first make of camera I owned) - I am drawn to using them in my work somehow. I want to make more black and white photography and less digital work!


Just starting to blog

Well I've finally got round to doing a blog - been thinking about it since last summer and now I'm here with a new way of getting down my thoughts - hoping I will be able to use this like a journal. Have been back 3 weeks now from visiting my daughter in Bangladesh and am still missing the colour, the sunshine, the atmosphere, smiling faces, the chaotic and frentic traffic and street life, smells, food - well everything really - it was so alive! I am wondering if the Western World has lost the plot? Yes there is poverty and corruption (isn't there everywhere) but there is also pride, curiousity, simplicity and spontaneaty. It was a wonderful experience and I have put my favorite photos, out of around 500 I took, on this blog - he so enjoyed having his photo taken and the woman is almost biblical!
So back to reality - this weekend I am off to the Lakes to visit my eldest daughter who has just moved there, I am taking a bottle of champagne and will do some serious walking (with camera).
Please join me and add your thoughts, comments, things you would like to see!