Wednesday, 11 September 2013

self analysis

As I look back over what I've done this summer, I wonder about the thin line between self analysis and art therapy. I'm not ill, I'm just ageing, it's not easy nor do I have a choice in the matter. Trying to articulate this journey is almost impossible, I've no idea what words to choose, none come up to the mark for me. But images do, they tell of shadows, distant memories perhaps false, created histories and whispers. I'm layering my thoughts with these images, as I position one on top of the other. Some take on a dominant role, others float quietly behind, hoping to be un-noticed. This will take me to the words I need to write. This is nipping at my heels, demanding attention and I don't know where to begin, I'm in a fog.

Digital book!

I had the opportunity to see a review copy of Ann Marie Shillito’s book ‘Digital Crafts: Industrial Technologies for Applied Artists and Designer Makers’ in which I have a vested interest as my digital designs for printed textiles are included.
How I see myself using Digital Crafts – initially – is as a way of ‘finding out’ who is ‘out there’ working as I do – feeling my way in what might feel an alien, almost non-human world of creative process by machine. The contradiction here is intentional – we seek out our own kind, as I am now doing, with this book.
The next layer of experiencing the book is through exploring new names whose work resonates with my own or even my way of thinking about creative process, for this is (still) very much about creative process, albeit in collaboration with technology. A good example of encountering ‘new faces’ is my first becoming aware of  and inspired by Monika Auch; I want to find out more about her beautiful work and how she uses digital technology.
Further reading will inevitably lead me into unknown, unfamiliar territory – I am not naturally ‘technical’ – I respond to organic forms rather than ‘mechanically extruded’ ones. I see this process of discovery happening automatically – we’re driven by curiosity, a desire to explore new ideas which resonate and ultimately broaden our own. So this is what I see as being the essence of Digital Crafts – a visually stimulating layered journey with excellent sign posting.

The book will be published on 10th October 2013 by Bloomsbury and Ann Marie’s Company, Anarkik3D , are offering signed copies through their Kickstarter crowdfunding project (link to be added when it goes live).

Monday, 9 September 2013

Atomic Doric, Year of Scotland in Nature at Woodend Barn, Banchory

Recently I had a beautiful opportunity in Glen Tanar, Royal Deeside. (
I was invited to do a short residency by Woodend Barn Banchory, as part of their Year of Natural Scotland project, Atomic Doric. A project which takes a look at the people and natural spaces that make Aberdeenshire so special. (
The location was stunning, we forget just how amazing our small country looks, the varied landscapes, tones and textures of our natural world. I gave an out of doors workshop on making natural paintbrushes from found materials and will be creating a piece of work in response to my stay, which will be exhibited at Woodend Barn and Glen Tanar Visitors Centre later this year.

What struck me more than anything else, was................tree bark. Obvious, maybe, but until you get up close to these wonderful surfaces, their real beauty is seen en masse rather than as potential homes for tiny creatures, offering protection from predators and the weather. The work I create will hopefully reflect this sense subtle containment.

Meanwhile, here are some images from my stay there and thanks to all who made this possible, I really appreciated the space away to just breathe, look and imagine.

An excellent few days! I must go back up there sometime, so much to see, so well cared for, the locals are lucky to have such a wonderful place right on their doorstep. I met some lovely folk up there, out walking, enhancing their sense of wellbeing in Nature. The Rangers were great; helpful, enthusiastic and very knowledgable about the area and its history. They made some good natural paintbrushes too!