A walk

We've been having some wonderful spring weather here in the UK and yesterday I took a rest from FAILURE and took myself out in the fresh air to blow away the cobwebs!!! I took the bus to Wembury where there is a rather nice National Trust cafe - I treated myself to a coffee and read the Saturday morning paper - I bought one of their delicious Devon pasties (they are slightly different to the famous Cornish pasty and if you find yourself in Devon then woe betide you if you don't call it by it's proper name - a Devon pasty!) They kindly wrapped it in foil to keep it warm - and off I set to walk back to Plymouth along the South West Coastal footpath - around 7 miles. I rambled along and ate my pasty on a pretty beach watching a hazy sea. Then a little bit of failure happened!! I failed to see the footpath sign veering off to the right to avoid the military zone and ended up at Fort Bovisand - it was a lucky failure as I took these photographs of the windows in the fort.

There was also some wonderful rust and weathered wood!

Thank goodness I'd taken my camera but in any case I will make another visit during the summer months. I had thought that the Fort was part of the 2nd World War defense as this coastline is scattered with them but it turns out it was built in the 1800's as a defense against a French invasion! I arrived home tired and took a long soak in a hot bath - It had been a good day and I felt very refreshed and alive!
Today the sun is still shining and I have some pottering jobs to do - tomorrow it's back in the print room to finish my Failure cover for the book I'm making.



I'm spending my time at the moment on the dissertation part of my degree course as the deadline of 4 May suddenly feels not far away given that the University's resources are closed for a month during the Easter holidays - we have 3 choices in this module, a thesis, a critical commentary or a praxis project - I have elected to do the Praxis Project - this is less words than the thesis (3000-5000) but must include a practical piece of work that is separate but linked to your main practice -I am doing an Artist's book about artistic failure called ' A catalogue of Failures' - and have approached it as a mail art project and invited 30 artists to submit one piece of work on the topic of FAILURE all work will be included in the catalogue - there will be no selection as I feel that is part of the failure process - there will be no exhibition as that is one aspect of the failure (I have failed to get a venue for the exhibition) -so the catalogue will exist in it's own right. I now have 23 artists taking part and feel honoured that they have trusted me with their images and words. I feel the weight of responsibility and don't want to FAIL!! Today I have been experimenting with the cover of the book and YES there have been FAILURES but I now know what I want the cover to be like -I have been trying the blind embossing technique on black card - soaking the card did not work and so I have used a dry emboss - here are some images of today....

this is the beautiful old press that I'm using at the University

I feel very fortunate that Lisa Le Feuvre, curator of the British Art Show 2011 and writer of several articles on the topic of FAiLURE agree to give me an interview for the catalogue. Thank you Lisa.
I feel excited about the project and will post more about the work to be included in the book - I'd love to hear about your own views of artistic failure too!


Leeds International Artist's Book Fair

It's been a busy time getting ready for this event last Friday and Saturday - first a long car trip from Plymouth up to Leeds via Leicester where I enjoyed dinner with an old friend. We talked about gardening and art and people we both knew. I'm now staying with one of my daughters and seeing friends up here too. My friend Jane from the days I was at Leeds College of Art shared a table with me at the event - you can see what she thought HERE. It was a great idea to share as it meant we could slope off and look at all the other tables and enjoy a break and cup of coffee. The feedback from visitors was so useful - it was a great learning experience and fun to do - the atmosphere was friendly and buzzy with lots of interest - I even sold work which has inspired me to continue making books. I only made blank books this year but now I am keen to include images, photographs, prints and drawings. I have lots of new ideas. Thank you Jane and to all the people who visited me. I almost forgot a really important part which was meeting Catherine Scriven whose blog I have been following and Susan Krause who has been following my blog. They are also both taking part in my Failure project - more about that later as it is now all coming together. I am also exhibiting in the 'Home from Home' exhibition running alongside the Book Fair with an archive of slide transparencies - I wrote about this in my last post - they are being shown on a slide projector in a walk in wardrobe - you have to peep around the door and operate the remote control to see them - an interactive installation that has a private feel to it - i am pleased with how it has worked and the comments I have received.