Stage 1 of Book Art Collaboration - studio work

Have spent a day in the studio experimenting with making 'envelopes out of envelopes'- not sure where this is going but it is my first response to making the bookwork for sub(missive) - I've enjoyed this immensely - it has been inspired by a visit to the Yoko Ono exhibition at the BALTIC gallery in Gateshead yesterday and her quote about 'In-structure' - I have decided to call the bookwork In-structure (as that is exactly what it is) My idea at the moment is to insert something secretive in each envelope - a key will be involved! Watch this space as ideas begin to take form .................. To see the instructions I received go here

I love the envelopes with 'windows'

Something that emerged from instruction and yet not quite emerged - not quite structured - never quite structured.......like an unfinished church with a sky ceiling' (Yoko Ono)

Earth request - help needed please!

My good friend and artist Marged Pendrell is working on a project involving a collection of earth samples here is what she says:

'I am looking for people who would like to take part in a work entitled -EARTH CONNECTION
It involves the collecting and sending of a sample of earth from a place that has a special significance , experience or memory. A small plastic bag of approx 2"x2" would be ideal . With the sample I would like details of the place it came from , date and name (optional). Also, why you chose that place - this can be written as text, poem etc. Deadline - End of February'

Marged's project is really wonderful and I hope you will feel inspired to take part - let me know by a comment or email me here for details to send the sample - unfortunately Marged is not a blogger and I can't persuade her otherwise at the moment - here is your chance to show her the fantastic support given by the blogging community - thanks in anticipation!


Visiting my knitting

I have been to visit my knitting (made entirely from used supermarket plastic bags- so it's waterproof - pretty essential in the north of England!!) at Henshaws Art and Craft Centre and met blogger Kate from 'a disordered life' It was great to meet her and she organised a tour guide for me so I felt quite special. I learnt all about the centre and the work they do with the visually impaired. I visited all the workshops - such a creative place to be! Just look at this work they have produced


My interviewee

Ann the 'Wild Somerset Child' has posted her answers to my questions on her blog - it is an inspiring read that made me feel that anything is possible if only we want it enough! Thank you Ann for being such a great woman to interview - read the interview here

Yesterday on my walk the world seemed to be 'resting in peace'

and in a state of decay............

Today a real change when all the bird life seemed to be out and about on the lake enjoying the sunshine!


Book art collaboration

I am making an artist bookwork (not sure if it will be an actual book at the moment -read on and see why!!!)

These are the instructions that were posted on Facebook in December - there are 50 participants ..........

(sub)Missive a Book Art Collaboration, is a new mail art project investigating the dissemination of ideas with particular reference to (mis)communication and power relations.
Taking the hierarchical construct as a brief, each participant will devise a set of instructions to create a new bookwork. Instructions may be comprehensive or restricted, ranging from the single word to the diagrammatic. Using the social networking forum as a platform for collaboration, each participant will contact the interested party above them in the attending list, after December 15th, for an address to post instructions to. Participants must post instructions out before January 5th. (so each participant both sends and receives instructions) Once instructions have been received, the collaborative partner will have a further 6 weeks to respond to and create their bookworks for possible inclusion alongside the Leeds International Artist Book Fair. Please retain letters and envelopes as these will be exhibited alongside finished works. Participants may want to consider this in the aesthetic of their instructions.

I sent off my instructions at the beginning of January to Vivien in Colchester, UK and at the beginning of this week I got my instructions in the post from Samantha all the way by snail post from Australia here is what I got......(this girl even has a typewriter!!) - click on the images for the detail

and WHEN I opened IT UP this ...........

how EXCITING is THAT!!!! so I've bought a carton of goat's milk as a start!!!! I forgot to photocopy my instructions before I posted them so I can't show you them I'm afraid. But I will post images from the final exhibition exhibits in March.


A day to catch up!! And my interview

Well I spent a day in London yesterday - RAMBERLING around Tate Britain and taking in the Turner Prize exhibition - the last chance to see it as it finishes at the weekend - I felt disappointed in the work!! It wasn't as strong as last year in my mind but I rambled on and discovered the Tacita Dean blackboard drawings (a roomful of them) now THEY made my heart sing Tra la la la la!!!
Today is pay back for all the abundance received while away on my jolly!! A big thank you to Leslie at Textiles,shapes and colour cos my name was drawn out of the basket and I get a lovely piece of her artwork (see it here)and there is a pile of emails to attend to and questions to answer from Mary Ann at Blue Sky Dreaming who interviewed me a few days ago. This was so exciting to receive and I am going to keep this great idea going by interviewing the first 2 people who comment on my blog and ask to be interviewed!! (I was able to give the questions the reflexion required on the train down to London so it is only a matter of adding them here) Thank you Mary Ann for great questions to reflect on......... Here they are with the answers
1.When did you begin the desire to ramble and where will you ramble next?
I think my desire to ramble began as a child. I loved exploring, in the fields, woods and along the river bank, building dens, climbing trees and building a make believe world wherever I was!! Now I ramble further from home and yesterday rambled in London around Tate Britain. My next planned ramble is in Venice later in the year - NOW VENICE is a city just made for rambling!!!
2. How has your recent trip to Bangladesh affected your art making?
Hmm this is a fascinating question and on reflection I don't think it has (not yet anyway!)Although in saying that it has made me think more about colour and my use of it in my work (my work tends to be quite monochromatic). I took lots of photographs while I was there but as yet I haven't done anything with them and not used them in my art practice. As I will possibly have the chance to visit again during the next year I will reflect on this some more (One of my daughters works for the British Council and is there on a 2 year contract - she may decide to stay on another year!)
3. You use alternative photographic techniques...tell us about one?
I love making photograms. It's a simple process but very hit and miss with unexpected and often wonderful results. The most powerful one that I made was in collaboration with my daughter, Natalie. A couple of years ago she took an overdose and I brought her home to live with me while she recovered from severe depression. It was not an easy time for either of us as you can imagine. Together we produced this piece of work which I exhibited as a floor piece (life size) The process was very cathartic for both of us and Natalie was proud that she had been the subject for a piece of important work for me. It is a reminder that my best work is produced when 'my art is integral to my life'
4.If you could meet your favorite artist living or dead, what would you ask?
Now this really perplexed me as I don't really have a favorite artist and I like lots of artists for different reasons, do I choose a film maker, a painter, a sculptor etc. etc oh what a dilemma. Anyway I settled on Doris Salcedo as an artist I discovered last year when I saw Sibboleth at Tate Modern and an exhibition of her work at the White Cube. I would ask her when she knew she wanted to be an artist and to tell me something about her student days and the earliest work she created.
5.What have you planned for 2009 with your art? More video? upcoming shows?
During this year 2009 I am involved in making an artists book for sub(missive) which will hopefully be exhibited at the Leeds International Artist Book Fair. My main project is working with some old slide transpariences which were passed on to me when my father died a few years ago. He was a terrible photographer and alot of them are out of focus and people disappearing from the frame, on top of this they have been the subject of decay and have some very interesting distortions! I have chosen 20 of the slides from around 150 and am using them in an installation with the battered old suitcase they came in. The idea I'm working with is of my parents memories which are not mine - I have different memories but the image of the person sparks my own memories. The images have a 'loneliness' about them which I am exploring alongside their 'materiality'. The other intention I have this year is to work on producing some 'saleable' work from the more conceptual stuff I create! And I will also make a short Super 8 film !!! Better get on with it all then!!! Bye for now - I'm off for a cuppa!

Here's the instructions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "interview me".
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Reflexion - the 'best' of 2008

Having been looking back to 2008 and wondering what has been best for me – what have I enjoyed the most – here goes – my list of bests for 2008:

Best films at the cinema – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Mermaid, The boy in the striped pyjamas - (I'll never forget that closing scene in the last one)
Best DVD’s – Three Colours Blue, Dead Man, The Quay Brothers
Best experimental film events – Bradley Eros at Camden Arts Centre with no.w.here film collective, Ken Jacobs at Tate Modern
Best reading – Eva Hesse by Lucy Lippard, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, The summer book by Tove Jansson
Best exhibition – Artes Mundi at The National Museum, Cardiff
Best art installation – ‘Shibboleth’ Doris Salcedo in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern
Best travel experience – visiting Bangladesh – so many wonderful experiences like riding in a rickshaw, new tastes, smiley people etc etc
Best travel photo I took – this one below which looks like it could be biblical times and not today – Washing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Best fun time – WOMAD, Charlton Park
Best listening – Rachid Taha
Best food – too many to list – I just love food!
Best smell – chimmey smoke from a log fire and bluebells
Best relaxing time – spent with my good friend Maggi in her idyllic Welsh cottage in Snowdonia National Park
Best art work produced – my short film ‘After Mology Nagy’
Best learning – black and white photography short course which has opened my eyes to new possibilities and seeing differently!
Best new discovery – the blogging community


Baa, Baa red white and blue sheep

Beginning of the year reflexion

I have pinched this intention from Suana's wonderful blog 'an illustration....a day' 'I resolve that I shall live to the fullest, sketch more from life, draw more, live my life more creatively'. I've signed up to Creative Everyday to support me in this - another fantastic blog. I think that the blogging community was my best find in 2008 - and talking about finding I have been thinking about the title of my blog and that I haven't really done much ruminating or reflecting here! Plenty of rambling on the physical side anyway and prehaps this is verbal rambling! I got curious about the words ruminating and reflecting and there differences so I looked up the dictionary deffinitions
RUMINATION - 1. The act of pondering; meditation 2. The act or process of chewing cud (oh I like the thought of that one!)

REFLEXION - 1. a likeness in which left and right are reversed 2.the phenomenon of a propagating wave (light or sound) being thrown back from a surface 3. a remark expressing careful consideration 4.a calm, lengthy, intent consideration - and there are lots more!
RAMBLE - 1. To move about aimlessly 2. To walk about casually or for pleasure. 3. To follow an irregularly winding course of motion or growth. 4. To speak or write at length and with many digressions. 5. A leisurely, sometimes lengthy walk.
And as I've finished on that last one its time for a walk!