Archive for March, 2009


you know i dreamed about you for 29 years before i saw you-the national

Installation Images.  Much better quality than before kids.


horizon line

To my continual amusement, blog writing remains an activity mired in difficulty.  This blog is something I feel responsible to in the sense that it’s a tool for me both as an artist and a researcher yet I never know what to say to it.  It’s like your Great Aunt Rita, you maybe see her once a year and she gives you crap gifts but she’s still your aunt and you know you should be more polite….

Yeah well I have a lot of info that will be making it’s way to the blog soon but it’s all in bits and pieces, scattered throughout the mental fields of barley that gently wave through the breezes of my mind.  (I can’t believe I just wrote that, but it stays because it’s so, well you know).

Yesterday was the de-installation of ‘this is how i want you to remember it’ and it’s always interesting how the thing that takes forever to go up, comes down so much quicker.  As if all the time and effort that went into building it gets to come back and mock you later on, all that deliberation is now just a pile of grey painted MDF and more screws than even I was aware of.

I find that perhaps this is where it’s most interesting, art or maybe just my art.  At the end of the day it was simply a sum of its parts.  Grey paint, gelled lights, screws, wood glue, sweat and months of deliberations, it’s simply that.  What once was, is no more and what is no more, once was.  It’s kinda strange because I provided a context and a sense of meaning to all this stuff and now its just stuff.

I am having these deep thoughts because pretty much as soon as this work went up I turned my head to begin Room 2 and all that, that entails and I realised in a way that I was never going to be as connected with ‘this is how i want you to remember it’ because everything about that work hinged on some sort of extenuating circumstance, the whole process before construction was laboured in some crap outside of my control and then when it finally went up I didn’t know how to deal with it as a work in it’s own right due to more extenuating circumstances (more on these in a bit).  I began Room 2 to avoid forging a relationship with the work that was in place; or rather I wanted to avoid a close relationship.  It’s funny because this work really did encapsulate so much. It’s fucking good, I mean it was really well conceived from the top down and yet for all the things I understand theoretically, my emotional response remains muted and distant.

I wonder if I will feel for this work differently in a few months or perhaps I will feel the way I do because of the particular relationship I have ‘this is how…’, I mean it’s based of my childhood bedroom?

In tandem to that line of thinking I have been sort of toiling with what aspects of me are present within the work, not because I fancy navel gazing but more because things have changed for me.  Long story short I am dealing with some personal stuff and I jacked my knee back in December and I now live with this constant physical pain.

Emotional pain is one of those things, it tends to drive some people and destroy others.  I am sure my emotional state will feed into the work and shape the ways certain things sound and look.  It’s part of who I am and I have never pretended to be immune from that aspect of making work.

But physical constant pain is a different thing all together.  Thus far (I’m 29) I’ve managed to make it through life with the occasional bump, bruise, scrap etc. but for the most part nothing with any serious lasting pain, but now due to a rather unfortunate bout of DIY I tore some cartilage in the back of my knee-and it hurts like a bastard, all of the time.  When it first happened I didn’t think much of it, but when it persisted and I finally went to the Dr. and I was told I tore some cartilage and I would need arthroscopic knee surgery to fix it, well in the immortal words of Jon Spencer ‘Now I got worry’.

It’s not so much the surgery or the practical aspects that have me pondering; rather it’s the pain itself.  It’s pervasive and persistent and it now informs every aspect of my day in a way that I never thought possible.  Sun can shine and my knee hurts, it could rain pigs from the sky and that shit will still hurt, it has changed aspects of my life from sleep through to thinking about what I may do at night-go raging or staying in.

While that’s interesting, the thing that has me the most focused is the way it could change my work.  It’s the pervasive element that I want to be present through the work now, I somehow want to make other people feel it, if only so that they can understand.  It’s this thing that informs who both who I am and what aspect of myself is present in     the work regardless of all the other layers at the end of the day comes out of who I am – then why not?  Why not make it front and centre?

This, the idea of being steered by these extenuating circumstances, in my case physical pain and being caught up in an emotional funk aren’t new ideas.  I’m not daft I know that but it’s new for me within the context of the work produced for this PhD.  What was clear, is now not so clear.

Like everything else I will come back to this.  I just felt it was important to make a first step towards answering this, if even only for myself.


No thank you….

Seriously this is amazing…..


taking me higher and leaving me shallow’ – ryan adams

It’s come to my attention over recent weeks that there are people outside a very particular context who are now reading this blog; Hello Mum!  It’s rather flattering, but in a way a bit freaky.  A blog is an anonymous thing and place, I can be ranting away on any such thing and I do it from the comfort and PRIVACY of my own space.  The publicising of my innermost research thoughts, knowing now that it’s being consumed outside of the PhD and a group of my mates is both exhilarating and confusing.  In a way thinking no one read it allowed me to sort of rant away like the village idiot, but now…

I spent the beginning of this year in America asking questions, clearing my head, experiencing life and just doing stuff.  It was immensely important, if you are researching the essence of experience than not having any is as detrimental as not working towards the creation of one.  Some days were spent watching the sky change colours slowly, others were spent in sub-terrain spaces interacting with people and situations that pushed me and my core to the very edge.  Yet in a way, the way that I ‘know’ now is some much more nuanced and enhanced than 6 weeks ago, or when I first asked the questions that created this research.  I am indebted to these situations and people because they only enhanced my installation this is how i want you to remember it.

If you’ve been reading you know that I have been working on the first installation of three within the research I am conducting.  This work was major for a number of reasons:

1).I haven’t shown anything on this scale in about 5 years

2).This work will set the tone for my understanding and practical handling of both methodology and method

3).This is the first time I have ever created work within this context, the context of practice-led research, and it was my chance to see if all the thoughts, ideas and theories I have come across, discussed or generated thoughts out the last four years hold any weight.

I am not sure I can explain to you with any clarity how I felt about the work before I came back.  It’s a project I have been living actively inside of for months and in a way it was an albatross, a burden, something I had no positive connection to – it was just something I had to do.

It’s so cliché but that changed.  When we started construction things went slow, the frames for the walls, the furniture, the lights – it was all bits and pieces of a larger whole but nothing was coming together for me as the artist.  I needed to have the work up by Monday the 23rd of Feb and the Thursday before it was still a skeleton, no shell, no skin.  Slowly over the weekend it began to take shape and come together and as it achieved a physical presence I was able to allow myself to reconnect with it emotionally.  Suddenly it was my work – an actual thing.  Something I could physically manipulate and control and it made me a bit breathless.

I mean this was big for me, big because I had a budget in a way that I had never had a budget before and the space to really create the work that I wanted to create, but it was also big because suddenly it felt like for the first time all the stuff:  the theories, the books, the ideas, the late night drunken chats, the supervisory meetings- all that was being put out there and either I know what I am doing, or I am the great pretender.

This is something I want to explore further, I felt it was important that I get back on the horse with this blog and post something plus some installation shots.  Hopefully a more detailed and informed entry tomorrow on the process of the installation etc.

Enjoy the images, as always all complaints or concerns can be directed back to the management…. me.  For larger images hit me up at Flickr…(look to the right hand side for the link)