beautiful places

May 30, 2012

In April I got to visit Kettles Yard in Cambridge… Since I was at high school I’ve wanted to go, having seen and heard tit bits about the place and it being not so very far from where I grew up.  More recently I was given a beautiful book,  LIGHT SPELLS, full of photos of the place by Graham Murrell and Kathryn Faulkner that focus on the light changes in the space over the course of a year. The picture above is one of Murrell’s from the book…   I was so pleased to have finally made it.

We were welcomed into the space in such a lovely manner, almost as if we were at the beginning of a tale about to be told and the scene was being set for us to enter into it. Moving around the original interior, 4 old cottages knocked into one, the rooms are domestic in scale but furnishes with art and objects laid out just so. One can take a position, sit back and enjoy the arrangements in the wonderful space and light of the place. The unfamiliar mix of domestic intimacy and art gallery austerity led to a playful sense of occasion. I wonder how they lived in the space and opened it every afternoon and if they squirrelled away their clutter into clever cupboards and grand pianos.  I  also wonder why we don’t design homes with better storage, and more interesting room layouts.. The majority of home design seems to have come to an acceptance that square or rectangle is considered the ultimate shape for a room, whereas L shaped or wonky rooms can often make more useful and interesting spaces for their nooks and crannies. You can tour Kettles Yard from your seat here but it’s much nicer to visit.

she shew me

April 30, 2012

..only when I moved to Manchester was I told of my incorrect grammar. But back in Norfolk I could say without note that my sister shew me, along the river Wensum, things I’d not seen before. My sister, having now lived there longer than me, walked me through the city along the river with its huge weeping willows and shew me the old pump house near Barn Road, some good public art – it looks like it belongs there – on the Quay side and a parasitic birds house in a tree beside Cow Tower.  She shew me the Jarrolds Printing museum, only open on Wednesdays ( it was a thursday) and a new bridge – rusty metal and wood..mmmm near Pulls Ferry. We walked over to see parts of the old city walls, out past the football grounds and Carrow Bridge House, tucked away up the side of a hill. She says they reckon parts of the wall were taken as raw materials, built in and around. People are living with the wall in their homes today and might not even know they have a lookout post in the attic, flint arrowheads in the cellar.

We also walked into Surrey House the Norwich Union building that took up all the marble Westminster Abbey couldn’t afford, lining almost every surface with it. We saw an  early air conditioning system and a gold and green skeleton clock made for the Great Exhibition. The clock played 12 tunes, 1 for every hour, the workers disabled it as they couldn’t get enough work done, unable to resist the urge to waltz the  marble floors whenever the  chime called them.

The Ben Youseff Medersa had a courtyard with tiled walkways and a hall with intricately carved white plaster walls and high wooden doors in the arches. The students rooms were set around smaller less decorative tiered landings with carved wooden bannisters and eaves opening out to the sky. The rooms were living and study spaces, small, spartan and solid with wooden steps and platforms worn smooth by the students who stood and laid upon them. I enjoyed the inset spaces, windows and tiny connecting doors. Without furniture, it seemed to me the spaces encouraged you to consider them as playgrounds, to climb over, crawl through and tuck yourself into nooks and I wondered if that was how the students lived or played there and if they would be allowed.

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.

Gum Dichromate

October 19, 2011

tri-colour of an amzing fuzzy tree in Rye

2 colour photo of a place I love in norfolk, its the gap between the trees that does it, it has a telegraph pole running through it's middle.

I spent 2 lovely days at Hot Bed Press last weekend on a workshop taught by John Brewer who specialises in alternative photographic printing methods. Gum Dichromate is like a photographic watercolour process, so you can build up washes of an image. I think we were all surprised at how many prints we could make in the time we had and it all got a bit giddy on the last day – so much fun and some results I’m quite happy with. The best thing about it is that it’s best to work with digital photos – finally a way ( I can handle) of adding magic and depth to digital pictures.

New work

October 19, 2011

trial print for the journey series,

I made some new prints for the Hot Bed Press residency at Warrington Art Gallery and Museum.  We were asked to respond to one of the themes in the Inspired to…exhibition that showcases work from the collection under the categories music, seasons, love and journeys. I’ve spent the summer sitting in random places meditating on the wild spaces between paths of travel we cut through the landscape. It seemed a natural progression to use these shapes in the prints. It’s hard to see, but the whole print is debossed, honest. There are four prints at Warrington as part of the Warrington Arts festival, showing until the 27th October so have a look if you can. Among others showing are Mandy Tolley and Kelly Dyson who are both brilliant printmakers.


August 10, 2011

I made a film to show this work when I was trying to figure out how to display the piece in the Womans Work exhibition at the Link Gallery in Winchester. In the end Linda Hasking was kind enough to make a shelf for the work, but now I have a film too!