News of work in progress, exhibitions and events.

Spring 2024          

The most visually impressive component of the Essential Workers Project has been completed.

The giant illuminated fungi, lit from the inside by camping lanterns, can be installed on the floor or on a table. They were made using recycled tissue paper  and  formed around balloons or supported using pruned willow withies from my garden. Recycled from the garden! 

There are 10 expressive fungal forms all together, not based on reality but made to express the power and excitement of fungi in the world. Implying the power and potential of essential workers.

 

 

 

THIS IS EXCITING!

A new book about Percy Shelley has been compiled by academics in San Francisco. It’s called “Percy Shelley for our Times” and has been published. The co authors asked me if they could use my book called “Something Rich and Strange” 2016 which mentions Shelly, on the cover. Of course I said yes and here is a tiny image of it. They have promised me a copy of their book.

September 2023          

Essential Workers of the garden who make and improve the soil are often harmed as enemies. We need to dwell with them in a circularity of mutual existence. When slugs and snails eat my lovely plants I cry! But the plants can recover and eventually the hedgehogs and birds keep them down. Essential Workers should be supported and treated well.

Books have been written about the massive role of fungi in ecosystems. The beauty of their fruiting bodies, uses as food and possible future benefits are becoming well known.

I have had amazing support from David Ashby at The Courtyard Pottery in Grassington. He knows everything about clay and oxides, firing and glazing. It was so much fun! I haven’t used clay since teaching in Leeds. All these pieces are made in white clay with oxides applied and then glazed in a thin transparent glaze. I have made over 50 creatures including micro-organisms and bacteria.

Creators of Soil

The beginning of a new project, inspired by new ideas about growing with nature, makes heroes of slugs, worms and fungi. They are the most amazing network and deserve recognition. I am using a lot of different materials to create an interesting exhibition.

 

 

     CERAMIC WORMS, MUSHROOMS, SLUGS, SNAILS AND GRUBS.

Above, mushroom spore prints on black card. size A2

To the right, drawing with Ash Tree twigs using mushroom ink. The twigs were collected from the ground under a tree affected by ash dieback – a fungal disease.

 

USING MUSHROOMS DIRECTLY ON PAPER

Ink Cap Mushrooms deliquesce and at the end become a black liquid. I have used this liquid to draw using Ash tree twigs, the Ash tree itself being a victim of a fungal disease.

A ceramic mushroom filled with tissue paper books. The books were dyed by dipping in ink from ink cap mushrooms. The books have messages inside.

Size 30cms diameter.

 

 

Experimental monoprints combined with collage, which will be developed into other kinds of printing.  All Size A4

 

 

 

September – October 2022

Well, three exhibitions at the same time is quite a bit of work, but very rewarding, particularly in meeting friends old and new at these group shows. I’m taking part in three different parts of Yorkshire, Settle, Thornton and Halifax. 

All credit to the curators of these group shows which are always difficult to hang.

 

March 03 – March 19 2022

Such a joy to be exhibiting again and I do hope you can join me in Skipton. The exhibition of my work, called Carte Blanche, will be upstairs in the gallery and it will be hosted by myself or volunteers on the Thursdays and Fridays. If you want to visit on a Thursday or Friday, please contact me first, so that I can meet you there.

On Saturday 19th March 1-3pm there will be a wine and cheese closing ceremony to which friends are cordially invited. I do hope you can come.

 

 

   Exhibition at The Mill Bridge Gallery in Skipton

 An opportunity has arisen for an interim exhibition of some of the map work produced during the plague years 2020-22.

 

This is great, because I need to see it on the walls and get some feedback on the work itself. So I’m designing this as a trial layout which will help both me and the Craven Arts curatorial team at The Folly Settle, decide what content will work up there and also how much will be needed. 

 

June 2021

World Book Night with World Book Night Artists in 2021 was by mail. Somewhere in this display case at University of the West of England is my contribution to the project. I also took part in the UWE book fair, BABE 2021, by submitting digital images of two recent books for the digital catalogue. It would have been held at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol.

JULY 2021

The stone carving, last seen in October 2020 on this news page below, is FINISHED XXXXX  I am so happy about that. It’s the biggest carving I have ever done and it was physically demanding. After the exhibition it a will look great in the garden.

Desire Lines or Paths are of interest to Landscape  Architects and to Town Planners. There are many examples of desire paths in city areas and parks, as well as in the countryside. It would be a better design process to take the essential journeys of humans on foot into account, instead of implementing long complicated “designed” routes through the planning stage and into reality. What looks pretty on a plan (aerial view) does not make real life easier for people.

“Desire Lines”  2021  relief carving on Limestone  98cms x 30cms  £450.00

 

February 2021

 

 

 

THE FINAL PIECE

 The painting “20 Walks on Google’s Earth” has reached a conclusion. Two details are on the left. In these underpainting can be seen. The writing includes the names of the walks and other memorable incidents which happened during them.

THE TITLE suggests that Google, being so rich and helping to keep us under surveillance wherever we go, pretty much owns the earth. 

OTHER TEXT round the edges is copied from the list of functions you can access while using Google Earth. They suggest some remarkable abilities and the potential to control the world.

A Panopticon is an all seeing universal eye. It was used in the 17th Century to describe the ambitions of Kings and their map makers and later by people who objected to the activities of The Ordnance Survey in the 19th Century. I use it in a Google context.

Our walks are not published routes and may never be followed by anyone again. They are transitory. As the years pass, they are like shadows in our memories.

20 Walks on Google’s Earth  100cms x 80cms.

Part of the map project which, after the Covid Pandemic, is planned for The Folly, Settle, North Yorkshire.

November 2020

Google Earth Satellite Map, showing 2 circular walking routes.

20 walks in oil paint on canvas  100cms x 80cms.

 

20 Walks July – August 2020  

This new set of work for the Map Project is based on our walks, which we always record on Google Earth. By selecting one of the  recorded walks, we can see it on the satellite image. Above, on the photo of the Google screen, two walks are shown.

 How interesting the shapes are! I can see the bits where we got lost and had to double back. Can you see them on the oil painting?  They are both included on the canvas, but the lower one is reversed, top to bottom. (It’s red shaded) The other one is yellow, top right.

 The canvas includes 20 walks. As a work in progress, it needs more additional information. I’ll be returning to it later.  We have roughly 50 recorded walks altogether on Google Earth.

 

 

The short video records experimentation with the shapes of the walks. 

I made bent wire copies of the walk shapes and took rubbings from them. With a strong light from the front, the wires cast shadows onto the rubbings.

There are 20 examples of this – to be shown in exhibition in Settle, together with the painting. They will be exhibited as drawings and wire shapes. I hope to hang the wire shapes in front of the drawings to cast shadows onto the paper.

Our walks are not published routes and may never be followed by anyone again. They are transitory. As the years pass, they are like shadows in our memories.

Work in Progress.

 

 

October 2020

This stone carving is connected to the map project, which is destined, we hope, for the Craven Arts exhibition in Settle, now planned for summer 2022.

In the form of a way-marker which might be set into a stone wall, it directs the walker of footpaths towards “desire lines.”

I like the idea of desire lines. They sound mysterious and sexy. They seem unpredictable, like the progression of a relationship with twists and turns built in.

In fact, they are unofficial paths which cut through nature in unregulated ways. They are the result of people heading off into the territory of nature, wilfully and to the detriment of the nature they want to see. They are the opposite of official footpaths, as printed on OS maps.

The consequences of unregulated activity might be bad for the environment and spoil the enjoyment of others.

 

On occasion, desire lines in cities delineate the shortest route from A to B. The planned city route for walkers might have more to do with landscape design and vehicle movement, than the convenience of people on foot. What tired walkers in a hurry need is the shortest route.

 

Work in Progress.

September 2020

A lot of people working with Craven Arts, have been preparing for an exhibition which was to be in June 2020. It has been rescheduled for 2022, so fortunately I should still be able to show some map based work. Others are collaborating with me on the theme of Maps.

 

 

The Exhibition will be at The Folly in Settle and the organisers are keen that our work has a local connection. Focussing on the Ordnance Survey map of the area, I have picked out some of the symbols used to identify tourist attractions and made card cut-outs of them.

 

 

 

The card shapes are placed under the paper and rubbed over with a graphite stick. By using the card shapes in a dislocated way I seek to disrupt the facts, in the same way that many rules, moral assumptions and laws are being disrupted in our time. Mapping

The Ordnance Survey was a supreme example of measured accuracy. As with other maps, it was undertaken to make the deployment of troops easier and to show clear ownership of land.

 

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