But seriously…

Analysis, Art

I’m learning a lot on this MA. I have already discussed how I’ve come to realize that seriousness in approach increases the chances of a serious i.e. Considered response. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Seriously.

Today we had a lecture about photography compared to painting. It was almost metaphysical in content. I loved it. And it reinforced my embryonic realization that perhaps, just perhaps, I am not a charlatan. Perhaps I can do this.

So, here is something that I’ve been working on…a life painting rescaled and mixed with my image archive. A post modem stained glass window for today’s gods and behaviors. Does it make you think? What? I’d love to know.




So, having children can lead your brain to emulsify for a while. Not because of my female status, but because of sleep deprivation, multi tasking and multi conversations, cat herding talents and the usual domestic schlep. I am finally removing the glue from my synapses by studying for this MA. It’s a great feeling. I recommend it.

This afternoon we discussed a critical essay. The exact text is not really the point. The important aspect is that I can hold my own these days. I can contribute, question and have a (partially) informed opinion. It’s marvellous. Invigorating.

Today’s discussion included a debate around whether it is possible to convey emotion via a painting. A seemingly simple question but when considered in conjunction with an assertion that all artistic endeavour is only done after a conscious or unconscious internal filtering and rationalisation – a translation – it becomes more interesting. Do you ever get a pure message across?  What is lost in translation? Is there such a thing as a truly expressive artistic gesture? If you agree with the initial assertion, then no, there isn’t. Does it matter so long as one manages to ‘touch’ the viewer? Discuss.

And the more fundamental realisation? To be taken seriously, to get thoughtful critique, discourse and constructive comment you need to approach your practice with equal seriousness. If you downplay your thoughts, your process, others will not stop to see your depth. Why would they when you do not yourself?

I found myself making light of some of the pieces I have been working on recently when in fact, I have found resonance in them. I am starting to realise that if I want to continue with this artistic role then I have to commit. Method acting is obligatory. As with any life choice, I have to stand up and be counted. I have to stop playing the ‘dumb’ card.

This is not a comfortable realisation. I have to admit to playing the fool so as to protect myself from others’ ridicule, disappointments and disagreement. It’s a fairly familiar tactic used by many. But it won’t serve me well now. It’s time to grow up. I hope I can do it with grace.

And no, no punchline today. Today I’m all purpose and focus. Today it’s just me.


Art, Uncategorized

the sketch is the view from a table in a shop in a village in the Cotswolds. I could tell you where but it’s not important really. Plus, there are only three small tables so if we all turned up together they would be a little overrun. And this shop is a sanctuary. It is remote, warm, full of goodies, close to my best friend’s house. And no phone signal. Perfect. I sat in this shop this week and listened to the silence. It was exactly the right thing at the right time. The type of silence you get next to a fire, with a dog sleeping at your feet. An enveloping shawl of silence.  So I drew the silence. Then I drew the rest.


Art, Inspiration


Now, you know I am a recent addition to the student population. I am a few weeks into my MA course and this is what I’ve learnt thus far…

  • my brain is still there, who knew?
  • Occasionally it works too…

Witness, a panel discussion this evening where, although I admit my long word radar was going off the scale, I found myself making some connections between what was being discussed, and coming up with some original (I hope) ideas and questions to explore at some later date. As follows:

  • if fiction breeds sentiment when making a film then is nostalgia based on a lie? Rather than being a warm fuzzy remembrance of things past is it a deliberate attempt to redact the unpleasant aspects of our own and others’ history?
  • Does being political In a film (or other medium presumably) make things less interesting? I think not, but one of the speakers put this forward as an opinion. No one disagreed!
  • Even if you want to be ‘authentic’ and represent the truth in a film by using facts as inspiration (photos, diaries etc) you still can’t help but introduce artifice and thus will you always be creating an unreal record?
  • Do you have to rely on falsehood in order to convey the truth? When making a film I think so because you can’t ever replay a moment unless it’s filmed real time and even then it’s fraught with pitfalls.
  • A song was chosen deliberately to be used in a film with the intention that it would come on the radio ‘randomly’. I thought of this as being ‘deliberate chance’.  A paradox.
  • There was a discussion about the venue where you show a film. To me the venue, the nature of how your audience sees your film, must be really important. The venue must act as an amplifier for your idea behind the film. Certainly, if you see a blockbuster In a tiny cinema you lose the vavoom Hollywood intended!
  • There was an extension into how some artists are very specific about how they want their film, piece, whatever presented eg Bill Viola. To me it’s a no brainer, if I want a film to be received in the way I intend then I will be anal about how it is presented. If it was a painting I wouldn’t say, oh, you choose the frame and where to hang it. I’d make my demands. Nicely of course.

Lots more but these are my main thoughts. I’m going to explore some of these ideas a little more, when I don’t know. The image is my note page from the panel. Can you decipher it? I can now, ask me again in a week!

Cup bored love 1.0


this is about stories objects can tell you. My kitchen for example is a museum, a collection of artefacts that tell my family and my story…why do I keep my mother’s meatloaf dish? Why do I have that coffee maker? What does the kitchen represent to me? To others? There are lots of questions spa round domestic history, social injustice and misogyny I’m interested in that the good old kitchen can help us answer or at least examine.

Today I got excited and made something to back up my ideas from yesterday. It’s a model of something I’d like to build, draw, construct at some point….thoughts?

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