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.





With my work, I tend to play around with ideas and this in turn this produces a spin off of several projects.

The theme of my earlier work ( and still is to some extent ) is travel. So I thought about using a format of wings, that I’d used in larger scale project a couple of years ago – A Means of Travel and how I personally  pass the time during any  journey.  I read…..and I listen to music.

What music sums up travelling….and how can I pass that on without actually using sound?

Looking at lyrics  that were loosely based on travelling, I chose ‘King of the Road’ because it has a relaxed, drifting sort of feel. Even though it is an old song, people from all ages and different geographical  areas seem to know it. Combining the lyrics with the shape, I had the onset of a project.

The first draft of the work was shown at Tate Liverpool, during the Liverpool Independents Biennial 2010.

I  emailed the image, with simple instructions on how to cut the shape out,  to several overseas friends, asking them to photograph the object in a place that was known to them. I also asked them to describe, in their own language, how they travelled to that place.

I photocopied the images that came back to me, cutting them into the shape of wings and created an installation of over a 1000 of the cut outs  This was shown at METAL Liverpool inFebruary 2011.