Tuesday, 7 December 2010


I had one of those aha moments today. Living in isolation, be it on an island, like above, or else snowbound, as today, then introspection can lead to breakthroughs. They may be obvious to the masses, but to the individual................well...............that takes a bit longer.

Isabel Soria says,

                             'a spritual view of nature is able to meaningfully contribute to our self identity'.

While living on an island, I had a complete sense of identity; strong and visual, insular. Since leaving the island, I have no identity of self, no sense of being centred in self, no sense of 'knowing' or of 'connection'. I suspect that this research journey has emerged in order that I might acknowledge my debt to a special place through sharing my experience of creative survival.

Who else is out there?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

clutch distractions

No clutch. No car. No excuse.

 Spent all day in my studio trying to bring to life something I feel in my mind's eye. It's a long drawn out process which I enjoy; the rhythm of making suits the day. Still not sure if I'm getting anywhere but keep going.

Sometimes stuggling relentlessly blinds us to what's right there in front of us. In attempting to make these silk pieces conform to another identity, I can't see them for what they already are. 

Walk away, come back, look again. It's all there.

Sometimes looking at the opposite reveals the real, like this.

Sunday, 28 November 2010


No images today, no time....plumbing gone wrong, cooking overdone, words unwritten. Anyone else have a bad day?
Did spend it finally with good friends though!

Friday, 26 November 2010


This is something I do a lot; creative play. It's essential in my practice that I do this, otherwise, how do we grow?
The image above probably wont look like much to you, but as I endeavour to tease out of my mind what I see, this is what happens. My studio is full of such attemps. I'm actually quite happy with these :)

Today I came across some words which mean a great deal to me;
 'I understand the spiritual as a way of living the ordinary while sensing the extraordinary'
Lucy Lippard

Thursday, 25 November 2010

islands and survival.

There's something about living on an island, surviving internally, watching the horizon, feeling the weather, which has impacted almost indescribably on my creative practice. I think what I'm struggling to do is to understand and articulate this, both visually and also through words. One becomes aware of one's inner resources, strengths and weaknesses while presenting a brave face to all transient mainlanders.
 Through my research I want to reach out to other artists who survive on islands through their creativity, see what we have in common, if anything.
The image here is from Australia; prisoners were directed to cut a bathing pool from the rocks. The image says it all.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

dark spaces between

In my creative pratctice I'm looking at those quiet places we go to in our minds. In trying to create visualisations for these, I've been looking at rocks on the shoreline. Here's one from Sutherland which is particularly resonant for me.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

day 1

I'm not sure if I'll manage to sustain this blog but here goes. I'm embarking on a new journey, for me at any rate, looking at my own creative process in the context of practice based research.
Based at the University of the West of Scotland, (UWS) within the School of Creative and Cultural Industries, (CCI), I'm looking at place, in particular, islands, and that elusive connection which inspires a creative response from artists.
So far, I'm reading and trying to understand where my own creative practice sits within the bigger picture. I seem to have written about 33,000 words in my research journal so far, writing obviously isn't a major problem! But these are reflections, notes on reading and tend towards rambling, I suspect. It's the transition from this kind of flowing writing to the academic writing which fills me with a kind of dread....will it become just like everyone else's? Will I lose the essence of who I am as an artist? In being objective about the subjective, where am I in it all? Does it matter?
Alongside the reading sits my creativity; I'm a practitioner who thinks. I need to make, it's a compulsion, a way of life and one that I value above all others.
The image at the top is what I'm currently working on; silk, painted/manipulated and suspended within a given space, slowly rotating in silence.