Travel Chaos at London Bridge

Some poor bastard threw themselves under a train near New Cross this morning. It screwed up the trains into London Bridge so when I arrived at my office people were late and moaning about it. I listened to them in the lift and a bit more in the kitchen but eventually the selfish assholery of complaining about being 30 minutes late for a job that isn’t going to dock your pay, punish you or probably even notice you showed up late got to me and I said; I would imagine they were feeling pretty bad. The response to this was …

You don’t look Somali

I get this quite a bit. Never from Somalis, they have a habit of going oh yeah, you got this or that and point to things about my face that they have. One woman once and grinning broadly grabbed me by the chin and rubbed the top of my forehead and said what else could you possibly be. But I was buying “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race”. And I got into a conversation about it with the sales person who had read it and thought it was really great and when I mentioned my dark …

Workshops at the Dhaka Art Summit and Bistaar Arts Complex February 2018

In February this year I was invited to give workshops as part of the Dhaka Art Summit and for the British Council at The Bistaar Arts Complex. The plan was to be part of a team delivering four workshops during the summit, plus another workshop in Chittagong. I went with Eleanor Von Browne, Trish Scott and Fraser Muggeridge. It was great, not least to be with three other people I either didn’t know all that well, or had never met at all but whose company I thoroughly enjoyed, in a place I had only ever heard about but had no real …

Posh frock from the 1950s

The Dress

I love this dress.  I’m not sure quite how I got it, but at some point in the early 80s my mother finally despaired of ever fitting into a slew of my grandma’s 1950s designer frocks from Isabel of Birmingham and handed them over to me.  They were all beautifully designed and well made stylish things for events that people just don’t have any more, like luncheon or canasta with supper.  I had them taken in and wore a few of them to destruction.  This one was a particular favourite, it’s been to at least two weddings,  parties in London, …

Art Washed

Two of my friends lived in buildings that were rented out at ‘affordable’ rents to artists.  They have been moved on.  I visited them both on or around the last days they were there.  In Warren House, Michael found it unnerving to be one of the last people still living in the block.  Some kids had broken in and were making their mark the day I was taking photos, we could smell spray paint coming up the stair well which was both unpleasant and disconcerting.  The day I visited the Balfron Tower, the place was a alive with people gathering …

In the Prado

What with one thing and another, the Prado is mainly warehouse of paintings of people doing shit things to each other in the name of various deities, though mostly the christian one.  That has never stopped me from visiting those kinds of places and I was hugely rewarded by seeing Rogier Van Der Weyden’s descent from the cross in the pigment for the first time.  I watched walrus of art, Waldemar Januszczak, banging on about this painting in an episode of the Renaissance Unchained and he was his usual hectoring self but in this case with good reason.  That said, nothing …

Writing

I write about work in progress, the work of other people and the occaisional random rant.  The categories broadly link some themes as does the tag cloud.

Selfie

Little Races

I’ve been sitting on this forever.  I have wanted to make work about the experiences of transracial adoptees but I’ve been shy and unconfident and full of excuses why I should not do it and lazy, I’m prepared to admit that I am capable of lazyness, just not very good at it because I am also a high achiever when it comes to feeling guilty about lying on the sofa watching daytime TV. Anyhoo, I got made redundant at the end of July from a parody employer.  I sat about plotting revenge for a while and then I thought fuckit, …

People

I’m thinking a lot about portraits at the moment as I am collaborating with other trans-racial adoptees to create portraits that represent us in a way we feel comfortable with our own image.  So I’m reviewing other portrait work I have done.  The relationship between the sitter and the photographer is so much more than point and shoot.  There is a skill to sitting.  There is a skill to managing the pose from both sides of the lens.  I took each of these photographs for distinct reasons and I can see what I was thinking about when I made the …

In Cuba

I stood around by the road a lot in Varadero.  A couple of times I was stopped and people tried to engage me in conversations about the cameras I was using and why I was using them.  I got that through gestures as my spanish is strictly menu spanish, which is about as much use as chocolate teapot in Cuba because aside from beans, rice and pig, the menu was mysterious unless you ate with the other tourists, but that menu was prohibitively expensive and frequently dire. I stood by the roads because the cars are fascinating, but everyone bangs …