24 Carat Glided Badgers

I went on a gilding course this weekend.  I learned a lot about the process.  I had no idea that gold leaf sits on a cushion and the cushion is made of bones and chalk and mud. The first thing we did was melt some rabbit skin glue and I felt right at home after that as it smells like gelatine, because it is basically the same thing. Then we made gesso.  I have never really given much thought to what goes into gesso, but proper gesso is basically glue and chalk. It made a much more satisfying goo than …

why do it: redux

I have been thinking about the motivation to photograph a lot recently.  Thinking about why I do it and ruminating on why other other people choose to do it too.  I have an account on eyeem where I post pictures from my phone.  I use the filters which I would never do on on flickr and prettyfy my shit until it looks a lot like everybody else’s.  I never considered why I treated those things differently to the stuff I put on flickr, I just did it. It is the way it is done, I am part of the gang …

and lith

Sometimes, when you lith, you need something else to be doing in the mean time.  I was making some liquid emulsion prints yesterday and they are kind of time consuming, I was using rollei multigrade emulsion because the substrate is kind of soft and I wanted the text to come out.  So i made a lith at the same time.  Of course, it might have made more sense to not do it completely in old brown, but then I wouldn’t have had the entertaining two hours rocking the tray and then the added excitement of heating the soup to about …

manual dexterity

Yeah well, after my mawkish last post I thought I should write something about art’nshit. My mother, her again but be patient, well she made, as in MADE me learn to type at school.  There was some shame attached to this because typing was a CSE subject and I was an O Level student destined for great things and non of them were labelled typing pool.  To illustrate just how trangressive my mother’s dictat had been; I was supposed to be a talented artist skilled in painting, perspective and pottery, skilling up was the way to go so when I did …

You are never far away from home even if you can’t go back

Before I left São João del Rei I went for another little walk and came to a church where a wedding was taking place. The church was full and outside people like me were rubbernecking and taking photos of the service. The bride and groom were at the alter standing stiffly as the priest said those priestly things. Suddenly everybody stood and I thought it best to walk away so I went outside into the bright sunlight and walked around the side into the shade. A door was open and I walked in. Music started to play, I think it was …

Baby slippers

When I was six and a half, my parents sold our house in an Oxfordshire village and moved us to the spa town of Malvern in Worcestershire. We went from living in a modern stylish light and airy house in a sleepy hamlet that could barely sustain a shop and pub even in the 1960s, to a massive Edwardian chunk that sat on the main road to Worcester, in a place made of hills, redolent with the twang of banjo. Everything is massive when you are 6. Even babies are big and bulky. I had been used to a manageable …

Statements of intense.

Had to write an artists statement for the exhibition in Estonia.  Nightmare. I’m putting this up to a) encourage me to think about it more and write something more coherent and b) to remind myself that my statement, like my CV, needs constant polish.  Here goes…. Moi As an artist I am interested in investigating the effect that the surfaces art is placed on has upon the final work.  I begin with film but even that is a complex choice as even now in the world where digital is king there are decisions to be made: colour, black and white, …

Residing in Estonia

I am coming to the end of a residency in Tartu, Estonia.  I arrived on 7th April, should have got here on 3rd, but there was a pilot’s strike and Lufthansa cancelled my flight. I am leaving on 2nd May, as long as Lufthansa don’t have another kerfuffle. I wanted to do this particualr residency because it is in a printing museum.  I admit that i have not made as much use of the facilities as I could have, but this is in part because of the differences between where I am from and where I am now. What i …

significant others

Nothing sums up the lack of someone like an empty chair.  I took these pictures on the day someone left to go home, a home so far away that it mean I was unlikely to see them again except for the occasional skype chat. I went to the darkroom that day feeling a bit sad because of all the leaving stuff and the chair had been bothering me for a while.  Bothering me because it looks like throne. I like the idea of an empty throne. Nobody really deserves to be a king or queen.  But we somehow reach a …

Boozers

The other day I was walking somewhere in the evening and it was quite chilly and I went past a pub just as someone left. Out side the pub was a man smoking and the smell of the warm pub combined with the smell of the cigarette made me go all wavy lines and nostalgic. I love pubs. My auntie Jean had a mini one in her hotel in the 1970s.  It was more a cupboard with a hatch, a short bar and a line of optics behind.  There was a till and those Big D nuts on a cardboard …