Preparing for the Independents

There’s been so much happening lately, I haven’t had time to update this blog since the open studio.¬† The studio opening was really good and really nice that so many people came to see us on such a gloriously sunny day.

It gave the 3 of us – me, Julie Dodd and Carol Ramsay a chance to catch up and chat about future projects as we are hardly ever in the studio at the same time (our jobs get in the way ūüė¶ )

So we’re going to do something for the independents as a studio and also, I’ll be doing something with SCI ¬†¬†¬†

In the meantime,¬† I’ve added some images and a bit of blurb of my recent exhibitions to the main page of this site though if you want to hop over to that :¬†


Open Studio

open studio


Next week¬†¬† (Sunday 13 May)¬† I’ll be opening up my studio¬† at¬† Alternator Studios¬†¬†

It’ll be good to have all my work out and be able to chat to visitors.¬†¬† Call in if you are passing!

Alternator Studios

Balls Road East


We are across the road from Birkenhead Central Library and opposite Lidl.   A little more info here :



I think I started my last blog post with ‘its ages since I’ve written…..’¬† so I shouldn’t really start with that again I suppose.¬†¬†¬† But….

Truth is, I’ve started painting again and although I’m happy with the way things are going, I wasn’t up to showing my work just yet.

Having said that, I tentatively started applying for a couple of things and was happy to have two small works accepted for the ‘Out of the Box’ exhibition in Manchester (More about that when the show opens)

I’ve started adding some of the paintings to a different site so as not to clutter this one up :¬† I’ll upgrade it when I’ve added the rest of the images.

At the moment, I’m combining old and new work – recycled/found materials and paintings. Here’s a few examples while I’m waiting to upload images to the new site:

Back to Athens

This weekend, I’ll be heading back to Athens¬†to take part in Platforms Project , represented by SCI .

Although its really exciting to be involved in International projects like this, it brings up the old problem of how to get my work there.  It has to be light in weight, but also able to fill a fair size space.

It took me ages to get going and I had loads of failed projects on the way.¬† It was just by chance then that I had a conversation with another artist who was telling me about his old studio in the Bridewell.¬† I think we started¬†talking about the Rauschenberg exhibition at Tate and got on to the subject of music ( don’t ask me how we jumped to that!) …..So this guy was saying that he wanted to impress an artist in his studio (many years ago) ¬†and recorded some obscure soundtrack & played it loud when the said artist was passing.

The artist was Adrian Henri.

Henri’s work¬†had popped up recently in an exhibition, so I thought I’d take a look at his work and poetry again.¬† I had been looking at poems for inspiration and wanted something about Liverpool…and also possibly something very English… like TEA.

Up popped ‘Go to work on a Braque’.¬† It was a bit silly and slightly nonsensical, but it had several references to Liverpool landmarks PLUS a line about tea!

I stole it.

I’d used tea and teabags in earlier works and found it really light, but durable.¬† So I set about drinking gallons of tea so that I could save the bags.

The results are a blind with the words of the poem and a portrait of Henri himself.




Paint on the kitchen work surfaces

This month has been a bit manic, as I’ve been working towards two exhibitions. The piece for the Sheffield exhibition (which actually opens next week – argh¬†!) has been put on a back burner as I really couldn’t get it to work.¬† So while I’m still out of my studio (too cold) ¬†I’m working from home and putting all my energy into the¬† Southport ‘Door’ exhibition which also opens next week (see images below)

It always helps me to work on something completely different for a while to take my mind off the problems I had with what I will keep calling ‘The Sheffield piece’. Having so many unfinished works on my kitchen table has made things a bit chaotic at home, but hey ho, what can you do. I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this .

So… the work I delivered to Southport yesterday was a photograph, which¬† I took in France and a sculpture made from a recycled ceramic.

I actually take photographs nearly every day but I never think to exhibit them. It was good to frame something up for a change. The ceramic piece took a while to complete, as I wanted it to look fragile , but it had to be strong enough to be screwed into a block of wood as a working door handle.

The hands on the hand sculpture were taken from a piece I made last year ‘The Birth of Icarus’. (see below)¬† I was glad to be able to re use the entire original.




Walking the City

This blog helps me think, which is why I do it.¬†¬†¬†Reading over my last couple of posts was like¬†viewing someone else’s problems and¬†seeing the ******** obvious, which was obscured to me because I was right on top of it.

It helps if you just write things down.

So anyway, yes, finding the motivation to do stuff and then¬† getting the work out there…

I hardly ever apply for exhibitions as I usually work in group shows with people I know. So it was quite fortunate timing that I saw a local call out for an exhibition that was actually free to enter and virtually on my doorstep. What a rarity.

It wasn’t a theme I would normally choose and I really didn’t have the time to start completely new work while still working on The Sheffield piece ( which I haven’t done much to by the way as I keep getting frustratingly distracted by inane stuff)¬†¬† But I managed to rework an old piece and deliver it while I was in town anyway.

6 weeks into the year and I’m¬†finally shifting myself.

Loverpool    On til 19th February.



I lost my invitation to the party

I say ‘lost’, to cover the fact that I wasn’t actually invited. I started to feel that way this week anyway.

Right now, I’m waiting for the glue to dry on work I should have started weeks ago and while waiting, I’m using the time to write. I’m working from home by the way. The temperature in my studio hasn’t risen above 1C since October, so ¬†I’ve only paid fleeting visits there in the last few months.

So yes, writing about my different than normal week:

Monday, I went to work. That was normal.

Tuesday, I took a day off. This is the advantage of not being self employed – I can do my own stuff and still get paid. ¬†I’m feeling positive at this stage.

I went to an afternoon talk at the Walker Art gallery by one of the artists in the looking North exhibition that I mentioned in my last blog. To be honest,  although I loved his work, I could hardly hear what he was saying as he was so softly spoken and there was a video blasting in my left ear from the next room. Really, they should have turned it down (or off!) while the talk was on, but hey ho, who am I to say ?

Because I could hardly hear the artist talking, my focus drifted to other conversations going on in the ‘audience’ … ¬†congratulations about exhibiting and invitations to exhibit further. Hang on…loads of these people seem to know each other…is this a closed artists club¬†I’m eavesdropping on? Surely not. Positivity starting to drain a little….

I met quite a few people I knew anyway there, but apart from being invited to a presentation at the Victoria Gallery on Friday, nothing else came from the afternoon. (for me anyway)

Tuesday night, I went for a meal with the people from work and despite all working in a gallery, the conversations never touched ‘Art’. Working in the arts makes you very cynical (in case you haven’t already guessed) Artist Nina Edge was running a workshop in the gallery the following morning when I was back in work, tired and feeling particularly grumpy (me, not her) ¬† She talked to me about problems she is having with prints she is showing at the Bluecoat’s 30th Birthday exhibition ‘ Public View‘ . An exhibition of work by artists that have shown there over the last 30 years. ¬†We always find fault in our own work though. They looked great when i saw them. I secretly wished I had a print problem ūüė¶

Thursday, work again and as traffic has been horrendous lately, ¬†I got home too late to go to the evening life drawing class at my local gallery. ¬†Its only once a month (1st Thursday of the month) so I’m gutted to have missed it. 6.30pm is kind of early for most, but I’ve made sure I’m off for the next one.

Friday, I took another day off . I could really get used to a 3 day week, but I can’t afford it. ¬† ¬† I spent most of the day working out ideas for ¬†work and fundraising for our inclusion in the Helsinki Art fair in May. I’ll go more into that in another blog as there’s still a lot of sorting to do. ¬† I met a friend in the evening and we went to the presentation at the VG&M. We really thought it was going to be a chance to meet the Chinese artists and talk to them about their work, but it was a long presentation, heeded by fact that every sentence had to be relayed again by an interpreter. ¬†We lasted about 45 mins before making our excuses and walking hastily down to the hill to the Bluecoat.

By the time we got there, all of the wine had been drunk and people were starting to drift off. It was still quite busy though and we got to talk to a lot of artists… everyone who is anyone in Liverpool was there or had been. Networking.

There’s a lot of work in the exhibition – way too much to absorb in one night, so I need to go back. ¬†I knew less than half of the artists involved. Why was that? ¬† What was I doing when all of these people were getting themselves out there ?

I heard a few people saying that it was one of the best shows they had seen there for a long time ¬†(which I agree with ) ….... ¬†Others asking artists who seemed to have ‘done well’ how things were and ¬†got the same…so so reaction. Things are definitely not as good as they used to be for them.

The whole week has really made me think about how I spend my time. Obviously I can’t take time off every week and I can’t go to every Preview…but perhaps I should make a little more effort? ¬†Its clearly not about sitting in your work space and …erm….working is it?