Archives for posts with tag: Jane Boyer

Relationships. The discovery of gravitational waves was the inspiration for some recent etchings. Trying the same image in softground on steel and hardground on zinc.

As I understand it gravity is the result of a relationship between the bending of space time and mass. The recording of these waves pulsing for the briefest flash of time when  two black holes collided and merged into one has excited scientists. This merging of two black holes was such a massive event that it caused ripples in the fabric of space time to spread out across the universe. 1604 two black holes

I was first introduced to the idea of beauty in mathematics and the extraordinary collaboration  of Cambridge professor G.H. Hardy with Srinivasa Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematician from India by the Complicite production A Disappearing Number.

1603 a disappearing number

Raymond Flood’s Gresham College lecture on the value of collaboration between these mathematicians along with J.E. Littlewood and Mary Cartwright gave further insight to their relationship and the advances they made in mathematical analysis and number theory. What interested me was Littlewood’s summation of four distinguishable phases  in creative work: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification or working out. Preparation is the conscious research and the problem should be kept in mind at all times. Incubation is the work of the subconscious and the waiting time can be several years. Illumination can happen in a fraction of a second; it is the emergence of the creative idea into the conscious mind and implies a mysterious rapport between the subconscious and the conscious. The verification is then just a matter of realising the idea, the hard work has been done. I feel this.

My etching ‘Forest of Eden’ was selected for ‘Blind Plural’ at Hundred Years Gallery. The exhibition ‘comments on or plays with issues related to the nature of hostility, its forms and representation…’

1409 Forest of Eden

Susan Eyre Forest of Eden

In history the wild man’s characteristics reflect topical fears and aspirations, violating the taboos of civilization and symbolizing the repressed desires of society; they oscillate between horror and fantasy. I wondered who a contemporary wild man might be. Someone on the edges of society, both fascinating and repulsive. I had come across images on the internet of this person who posts photos of himself posing almost naked with guns strapped to his body. An internet meme shared with equal disgust and fascination – I placed him back in the forest of all our origins.

Jane Boyer raised some interesting questions about self awareness with her solo show A project space called I at ARTHOUSE1. An exhibition of the I-artist curated by the I-curator.

1604 Jane Boyer enigma

Jane Boyer enigma wall

My own mind struggles. How can I separate myself as artist and myself as curator with regards to my own work. 1604 Jane Boyer Minerva

Surely I want the same things in both those roles. I start by thinking I can see how this works if I separate myself as chef and artist. Looking at different roles I play and how I react to people from these different perspectives. A bit like cross curriculum activities, but within myself. I think I’m going to need a chat with Jane about this sometime.



Alongside this I have been reading Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli whose final lesson Ourselves tells me that I am a process which adheres to the laws of nature. There is not an ‘I’ and ‘the neurons in my brain’. They are the same thing. My unique sense of self is the rich culmination of billions of interactions and processes within my brain that reflect my personal history of experience. So with this in mind the works in the solo show are the markers, the process made manifest and as Jane presents; an autobiographical curation of a self.

Denise Gough playing Emma in the play People, Places and Things makes a plaintive cry to the world at large – why is it that she can’t cope with reality, why is it that she is overwhelmed by the unjust nature of the world and must resort to mind altering chemicals as a means of escape when everyone else seems just fine with it. The audience joins her in a spiral of despair.  Denise Gough’s performance is extraordinary and totally captivating, how she can put herself through such emotion every night is another question this play raises about how we separate ourselves from reality. The clinical rehab set protrudes into the audience arena like a neuron connection within our collective brain.1601 People Places and ThingsThe play is a visceral interrogation of self and relationships. The cause and effect of actions between mind and body. Self destruction and self renewal.

1601 Denise Gough

People, Places and Things

When Emma finally emerges from months of tortuous self analysis to face the world alone she is advised that to maintain her freedom from addiction she must avoid anything that might trigger associations with her past life causing her to relapse – she must avoid people, places and things.

1604 Govt collection

As part of London Open House weekend I visited the Government Art collection on a guided tour and behind-the-scenes look at how this major collection of British art operates. There was a lot of security and in most areas no photography. Our Government (us then) owns a collection of around 13,000 works of art mainly by British artists from the sixteenth century to the present day.  About 75 per cent of the collection is on display in British Government buildings in the UK and in Embassies and Residences around the world. The idea is to help promote British art. There is a meagre budget to purchase new work with most of the funding going to conservation, transportation and installation. A nice perk of being a civil servant is to have the choice of some great works for your office, for the rest of us they do offer a lunchtime tour of a small viewing gallery and the racks to see what’s been left in storage.

The raw space of the Bargehouse on the South Bank was a great setting for the meditative pieces of Kate Fahey. The degraded building echoing the degraded web images she appropriates into her work.

1601 Kate Fahey

Kate Fahey

Pulling the digital from the screen into the world of matter, she reverses the process of the viewers visual overload of images.

1604 Kate Fahey Possible-Object

Kate Fahey Possible Object

A hundred explosion images become one, one grainy image is cast solid in aluminium and a slow beat metronome stills us.

1604 Kate Fahey Counting-Uncounting

Kate Fahey counting/uncounting

We are in a war zone, in slow motion.

Bedwr Williams animated line drawings that made up the film Writ Stink at Limoncello showed the deconstruction of a man obsessed with hiding his secrets – turning on fellow creatures, suspicious of everyone he meets – maybe with good reason – life becomes a battle to preserve, to hide away and disengage.

1601 Bedr Williams

Surreal, comedic and tragic we are left wondering about the power of knowledge.



The bliss of ignorance. Those lovely few weeks when the future still held the possibility that I would be accepted on the printmaking course at the RCA.
I was expecting a letter so was unprepared to suddenly come across an email while at the studio idly checking my phone. It took at least 10 minutes before I could open it.
Scrolling down the tiny screen until I came to the numbing – very sorry…
Now I know how much I wanted it. No sense of relief about avoiding all the stress it will entail just a complete deflation.
I have however been put on the reserve list and am apparently very high up the list – now I just need a victim of circumstance – would that it could be someone who has decided to study elsewhere.
So there is still a tiny whiff of opportunity which could hang over me all summer.

But the important thing is to keep on making work.

Enjoyed my visit to see This Me of Mine at A.P.T especially as I got to chat with the curator Jane Boyer about the show.
It was one of those conversations where you end up in a silence of contemplation, wondering what the future holds and knowing it goes on regardless. Jane is concerned about the impact the digital age will have on our sense of identity. The exhibition is designed to creat a dialogue about the changes we might face in the future trying to maintain our identity and looks to personal stories, family connections and memories that anchor us to past and place. Leaving or creating an impression of ourselves and how that impression can be manipulated or misread.

Kate Murdoch - It's the little things

Kate Murdoch – It’s the little things

Kate Murdoch’s work ‘It’s the little things’ – a portrait of  her grandmother described by an assemblage of personal paraphernalia from her life caused a strong physical reaction in me – nostalgia is such a powerful emotion especially when it comes unexpectedly. Being confronted with a hair curler like my Mum used to wear and an ornament with cut glass coloured eyes like one I had when I was small was such a stomach lurching reel back through time. A younger person who doesn’t have those memories to evoke would have a very different experience of Kate’s work.

Anthony Boswell - Time Box

Anthony Boswell – Time Box

Anthony Boswell’s Time Box was clever and unexpected. Like a set from a film noir it draws you in and then catches you unawares turning the world upside-down as you come face to face with time.

Dahlstrom and Fattal showing at Beers Lambert was a stylish show. Culturally though I felt I seemed to miss something in the viewing.

Amir Fattal

Amir Fattal

Amir Fattal creates sculptures in a mid-century modern style. Clean and beautiful lines with fashionably retro light fittings.

Elevated, toppling trapped illuminated crystals like brains from a science fiction scenario.

Oystein Dahlstrom

Oystein Dahlstrom

Oystein Dahlstrom makes ‘digital renderings of the natural world that masquerade as truth’ We are to view these images not as photographs but as simulacra. They are fascinating works showing heightened detail as a celebration of materiality while giving the material no context.

Carlos Cruz Diez

Carlos Cruz Diez

Light Show at the Hayward Gallery was pure spectacle. A fairground of pulsating, flashing, glowing colours, clever illusions and optical trickery.

Leo Villareal and David Batchelor

Leo Villareal and David Batchelor

The subtle work of Katie Paterson was a calm moment allowing us to experience standing in the moonlight but indoors.

Lightbulb to simulate moonlight gives us a rare opportunity in the city.

1304 Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson

Olafur Eliasson’s model for a timeless garden drew an audible WOW on entry – it was a theatrical moment of pure joy.

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

Rows of water fountains are frozen in unison under strobe lighting creating constantly changing sculptures. Natural phenomena captured. You enter this space after contemplating scenes of soldiers under fire and in combat, the matter of fact disclosure of horrific events on an ever rotating Reuters style news feed so the contrast of emotion is marked.

Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer brought some serious reflection in her revolving towers of words of the accounts from declassified US government documents from the ‘war on terror’.

More illusions, time travel and identity crisis in Cloud Atlas.  Our lives are not our own. Through the ages our actions either good or evil count and carry events forward.

1304 Cloud Atlas
The film was bold and exciting. Clever use of film genres mimicked the varied literary styles of the novel and you didn’t have to wait till the end to make all connections as the eras were spliced together so it was easy to follow each plot line and still see parallels across time. It was worth seeing just to witness the amazing makeover each actor received when playing a different character in another age.

What is the ocean but a multitude of drops.