and paint, see pictures in squiggles and clouds is dead.

I think my mum probably taught me to draw too, but in my memory it is Nan who stands out. Hours spent at the kitchen table practising the pictures on the table mats, trying to instil in the 8 year old me the need for subtlety of line and a soft pencil.  Memory is a changeable beast, Nan’s was for the last 8 years or so, her stories of life repeated and slowly muddled over their telling.  I remember the screwed up balls of frustrated drawings that filled the waste paper bin, tucked away behind the armchair. I think they were the first clear sign I saw that something was changing. I’m not sure where she went, but I’ve been sending her occasional postcards to make her laugh, I hoped. The words on the back becoming simpler and larger. This one was next, I can hear her laughing now.

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I came away from Morocco simultaneously wanting to get rid of all of my stuff and live very simply whilst colouring all the walls and filling areas with dense detail. Those contrasts seem to heighten the emotion and feeling of each space, making it more tranquil or portent in relation.  The internal and external qualities of the architecture mirroring the Islamic inward and reflective attitude towards spirituality. Lovely spaces for a life well lived.

marrakesh part 1-pattern

February 23, 2012

The buildings of Marrakesh are so full of pattern it’s awe inspiring. Almost every surface is tiled, painted or carved into. As if in order to emphasise this, domed or raised ceilings, filled with skylights or massive metalwork lanterns, extend the potential area for pattern right up to the light fittings.  It’s rather overwhelming, especially when you think about all the people who would have worked on the embellishment. Somehow it is balanced just right with the simplicity of the outside of the buildings and the vast areas of space given over to courtyards and light. The sense of space and peace created by these elements allows for the intensity of focus and vision the patterns must have needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

book post

February 15, 2012

In the autumn I made the biggest edition I’ve managed so far – 100 little concertina books. With images drawn and screen printed from the etchings I had made about the special wilderness found, for example, under tramlines and between canals and railways.  As I’m not the best at anything and hate wastage, around 40 of the 100 books are a little like special wilderness themselves – smudgy, wonky or a bit scruffy. These 40 are being sent out across the country to 10 wonderful destinations where kind people will start their journey off into who knows where.  I hope to keep some sort of track of them here.

the week after a week away

February 13, 2012

storks nest on the Badi Palace in Marrakech

Re-entering the climate, culture, routine and patterns of home whilst trying to hold onto, digest and understand what you’ve just left.  So many pictures to sift through, I’ll try and post some as I go.  For now, the amazing storks that loom large over the ruins of the Badi Palace and create a raucous rattling with their beaks – CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK.