My hero

I found a leaflet in the Lincolnshire Poacher after a tiny version of the picture below caught my eye. It was for an exhibition ‘Profusion’ that I have managed to miss or at least will miss as I canny drive! Today I googled the artist, Martino Gamper who had created the chairs and I was blown away!

In the last few hours he has become my hero as he not only collected ‘discarded chairs from London streets (or more frequently, friends’ homes)’ for two years but he the spent 100 days reinventing 100 chairs to transform the ‘character and/or the way it functions.’ So let’s just recap, he is a collector and is interested in discarded chairs. It has absolutely made my day!

This is just one of the blooming brilliant chairs called ‘Plastic-Fly’

Please go to the website to see more: You will not be disappointed!

Beautifully taped

Rebecca Ward makes beautiful tape installations. My friend K sent me the link today and I cannot get over how long this must have taken, and the patience too. As someone who has worked with tape before, I know the furstrations it brings all too well. She uses a mixture of duct, electrical & vinyl tape. I think you’ll agree these are great!

Harry Wintle – A book on Van Gogh

‘Van Gogh’ by Harry Wintle aged 6.

Van Gogh is an artist. Van Gogh paints pictures.

He cut his ears.

It is Van Gogh

It is one of Van Gogh’s paintings.

One of my work colleagues Andrea, told me about her son Harry’s new found interest in Van Gogh. It made me so happy! He had a lesson about Van at school and on the same day would not go to bed until he had made a book about him. I think you’ll agree it’s a brilliant portrayal.

Nottingham Contemporary – Generous tea portions

Went to Nottingham Contemporary last weekend and the art was really great, especially enjoyed Frances Stark’s work. The tea was also superb and everlasting. I ordered a pot of Earl Greg for approx £2 and it lasted for 3 whole cups!

I thought the cafe bar had a good feel and design. You can’t go wrong with an oversized tea cup and a disproportionate cigarette. On the other side of the room there was a huge ruler too!

Frances Stark – My favourite pieces:

And also another one at the same time, not, 2003 (Trees and birds)

In box, 2004 (Paper in a pile out of a cardboard box)

I went through my bin yet again, 2008 (Hand holding paper on red background)

Empty Stage

Empty Stage – Malt Cross Gallery

I thought the concept of this show was really interesting and all the work fitted it well. The idea was that the work wasn’t immediately visible to the audience which meant you had to look harder to see it or even find it. ‘Each artist is interested in the idea of trickery and deception and questioning expectations of art in a gallery space.’

I think this piece was most successful! A ghostly figure projected onto the wall, walked around and disappeared. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, before it disappeared. I then waited to see it again and really liked watching it.

Watercolour challenge

I suddenly remembered about the channel 4 programme Watercolour challenge yesterday! I used to love it. It was cracking daytime TV. There was always someone who did a massively abstract ‘out there’ painting. I think they should bring it back.

watercolour challenge


Taking Time

Taking Time – Craft and the Slow Revolution

I went to see this show in Birmingham at the Waterhall with my Nan, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. I was especially impressed by the work of Sue Lawty. There were tiny stones collected and positioned together to make this large scale image. Every stone represents it’s only period of time. It is explained perfectly by Sue Lawty herself on the ‘Making a Slow Revolution‘ blog.

Calculus 2009 – 2 x 3 m – natural stone on gesso (photo credit: John Coombes)

Calculas - Sue Lawty

My Dad Steve collects stones mainly from Scotland. They are such amazing objects and do make you think about how long they have been around and what experiences have moulded their shape and pattern. By taking them out of their natural environment you are almost freezing them in time, because they won’t be weathered and ground into sand.

John Newling – The Clearing Part I

John Newling –  The Clearing Part I

I went to see this exhibition last week in my lunch break. It was really good to get out of the office and experience something different. I went with Katie to find Bio City, the location of the first stage of John Newling’s work, The Clearing Part I. It was such an interesting space to have a nosey round, the exhibition itself being in a science lab. You see these huge buildings everywhere and you don’t often have the opportunity to have a good look inside.

John Newling

I really enjoyed the work. The contrast of the view through the window of  a wasteland highlighted the more unnatural hydroponic growing system inside the lab. In the middle of the room there were fans regulating the temperature of the beech trees. On the edge of the lab there were series of experiments in progress. John Newling has shredded historical documents about the space on the river Trent to make soil. He is using a compost barrel outside and turning it throughout the day, which produces balls of soil which he is then growing seeds in. I think this is my favourite element of the work. Aesthetically the balls of soil with the paper intertwined and the signs of early growth make me smile.

John Newling - detail

Information is Beautiful

This is an amazing website called ‘Information is Beautiful’ that Tez sent me the link to (Thanking you!). I think I have been looking for this website my entire life. These ‘visualizations’ are the work of David McCandless, a London-based author, writer and designer.

‘Moutains out of Molehills’ – If you click on the image you can see the graph detail and information about it.


On the website there is a link to the Guardian data blog which is quite interesting too.

It also made me think of Ellie Harrison who is an artist who was an avid collector of data. Now Ellie describes herself as a ‘Recovering data collector’ after documenting and recording information about her day-to-day for 5 years. I think it is incredible that it lasted so long as it must take some much out of you, you’d need to have a blooming good memory and dedication to the cause.

In my work I quite often create an action or situation for myself that is time consuming, laborious and draining. It definitely can feel like a labour of love. I watched paint dry (white paint no less, on a white wall) for what felt like a life time, I think it was in actual fact a few hours but I believe that to be one of the most difficult tasks given to myself. The most difficult one, which makes me appreciate the challenge of collecting all the data in Ellie Harrison’s work is when I wrote down everything I spent for 2 months.  I wanted to do it for whole year, but it drove me doolally.

Like minds

I was reading a book recently which had pieces of writing by different types of artists (sculptors, film makers, play writes, writers, poets etc.). It had their points of view and stories about their experiences in the ‘art world’. I related to bits and bobs and started to mark them down, so I could read them back. 1 month later I have revisited the book and theses are the bits I had picked out:

When talking about his artwork vs his barbering he says they ‘meet and have a love affair, and at times they are so far removed it jars the day-to-day nuts and bolts of earning an honest bread’ Fraisel Abdu’ Allah

Talking to a painter friend of hers says ‘we agreed we always called ourselves ‘painter’ and ‘writer’ (not ‘artist’ and ‘poet’). Because it sounds more proper, i.e. manual, work, I suppose’ Selima Hill

‘Elizabeth LeMoine has spoken of the desire to do a residency where one went into somewhere not as an observer to make work in response to an object or to the situation but to go and do the work of that place for a while, to find out what it’s really like to work there.’ Louise K Wilson

I stopped reading the book at page 70 as it cut a sentence in half and two blank pages appeared. At first I thought it could be the artists statement but quickly realised it was a printing error. I think this says a lot about my point of view on the ‘art world’.