Friday, 31 December 2010

Highlights of 2010

Here's some highlights of 2010:
Exhibitions seen : Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain, Agnes Martin at Tate Modern, Picasso at Tate Liverpool, Shackleton at Maritime Museum, Liverpool, Robert Mapplethorpe in Sheffield, Beyond limits at Chatsworth, Ron Mueck, Goya prints & Facing East in Manchester, Miroslaw Balka's & ai Weiwei's Turbine Hall installations at Tate Modern, Ai WeiWei, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Manchester Art Gallery & Abstract expressionism at MoMa New York & Kandinsky at the Bauhaus at the Guggenheim New York.

My art: Cut Click exhibition, Won the Dry the River Poster Competition, Finalist in Ten Images for Ithaca & work shown in Greece, Sushi carriage in the Doodlezine, Berlin Poster in the Show us Your Type exhibition in Barcelona, Picked to be in the 1st Central Station Book, To Kill a Mockingbird T-shirt design did well, Finished large complex map drawings, in the online map where I belong exhibition, started screenprinting!
Music: Idlewild at Moho Manchester in April & the 100 broken windows at Relentless Garage, London in December, Discovering great albums by Wild Nothing & Best Coast, Rediscovering old stuff by Weezer & Belle and Sebastian, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals new/old III/IV album, she & Him's Volume 2 which is just as good as Volume 1 and finding new gems like Frightened Rabbit, Loch Awe and LCD Soundsystem.

Places Visited: Visited New York City for the first time ever and found it exceeded my expectations ten-fold & they were pretty high to start with. Back on UK soil went to Chester Zoo, Chatsworth Horse Trials, London-wimbledon (queued overnight!)/kew gardens/balham

Notable Books: Finally got round to reading some Haruki Murakami (After Dark), Walden by Thoreau, Diving bell & the butterfly, Moondust, Nothing by Paul Morley, The Summer Book by Tove Jansson, re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the 50th anniversary of it's publication.
Oh and who could forgot we got the cutest little kitten ever and we named him Panda!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Work in Series?

I’ve been working on a series of works for a couple of years now I loosely title them ‘Map Drawings’ as they are all drawings on maps. Working in series has brought up some questions though. This series has become a comfortable set of work, which I can easily go back too and fit into again, it’s become my comfort zone. This phrase ‘comfort zone’ has always felt negative and maybe it doesn’t have to be, maybe while restricting yourself and limiting your parameters great things can come from it too. I remember having a great quote that illustrated this but I can’t find it now so I’ve found a few more:
‘Each repetition has a new meaning’ --Gandhi
Limits increase creativity. --Kim Stimpson
‘Repetition is the mother of all skill. --Anthony Robbins

Or am I just in denial? All the great artists are put into boxes of what they are known for, we all do it go round galleries guessing who’s work that is and more often than not it’s easy to guess because of their style, their comfort zone of work is easily noticed.
Maybe because I keep coming back to this series it means it’s not finished, maybe it won’t be done until the last piece is completed. Does there have to be an end, it can be organic, just go with the flow and work to your own rhythm not dictated by anybody except yourself or at least your subconscious.
What do you think? Why do you work in series? Why don’t you work in series? Is it important?

100 Abstract Broken Windows


One of my favorite albums of all time is Idlewild's '100 Broken Windows' and this year was the 10th anniversary of it's release, I loved it when it came out and still love it now, it's such a complete album every song is there for a reason and it flows effortlessly. My first ever gig was on the 100 Broken Windows tour at Manchester and the last gig I went to was the 10th anniversary 100 Broken Windows gig at the Relentless Garage in London. I've seen them loads and they still surprise me with how good they are and how amazing they make me feel. They're taking a hiatus this year so they can come back better in 2012! plus it lets Roddy Woomble do a solo tour and I get to see him at the Union Chapel in March, wahoo!

Anyways to celebrate 100 broken windows' birthday I listened to the album and drew a small abstract picture for each song (1st song-'little discourage' is top left and they then carry on...). Each image was drawn in the time it took to listen to the song and then I've put them all together and you can buy a t-shirt of it here! I think they make work better individually and with some type and then maybe I'll bring them all together to make a zine. I've never made one and this would make the perfect one, so keep an eye out!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Lochgilphead Map Drawing

I finally finished my latest map drawing I've been working on, it seemed to take forever at the time and now it's just become a record of that time. I took an OS map of Lochgilphead that I'd found in a charity shop and using the grid squares of the map I blocked out alternate contours within each square and then the opposite ones in the grid square next to the that. As well as completely blocking out all the green spaces. Why? The answer to that changes constantly, sometimes its a reaction to information overload and I need to gain a bit of control or freedom and I can achieve this through taking time over a map with a simple pen. Other times it's creating shapes from things that already exist, turning things around to a new perspective, a new lightness or darkness appears from something that wasn't there before. Then I like that sense of decision at the beginning where I decide what process to undertake at that point I am at my most decisive until I realise that it's impossible or not going to work out and then it changes and becomes permanently in a state of flux like me, like us, like the planet and the universe, it has always been like this and will always be like this, we're just along for the ride...

Central Station Book!

I'm in the Central Station Book, my copy just arrived and it looks fab- My map drawing 'Map Circle' was chosen to be a part of it (see top pic)! It's a book celebrating the 1st year of Central Station and there's Q&A's with two of my fave artists Martin Creed & Richard Wright, information about projects and what happenend with the member fund and lots of exciting portfolio work.
If you're not already involved, it's a community for artists/designers/filmakers/photographers/illustrators and many more creatives and you should join in just go here! If you'd like to get your hands on a copy of the book it will be available from January 2011.

Friday, 10 December 2010

New York City!

I went to New York a couple of weeks ago and had the most amazing time! The architecture, the shopping, the art, the food, the streets, the sights, the people, the views, the park! We went to Katz's deli, the pastrami sandwich was like nothing you'd ever believe, saw Kandinsky exhibition at the Guggenheim and Abstract Expression show at MoMA which were unbelieveable. Ate donuts for breakfast and took in an ice hockey game at Madison Square Garden, walked around Greenwich village. We took the subway to Brooklyn and walked back over the Bridge, saw Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and had a turkey dinner, went up the empire state and had the most amazing peanut butter brownie! Just had the best time and now I'm back to grey ole england and missing it so much!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Berlin/Barcelona & Paper
My Berlin poster I did for show us your type was exhibited in Barcelona and still on show till the 5th December at Galeria Cosmo better get there quick! In this picture it's the 2nd from left on the top row. It's great to think it's off making friends and starting its own journey!

My 'Paper stack' piece which was part of my degree show was featured on Central Station's Top 5: Paper. I'm also going to be featured in their Birthday Book which comes out in January, so watch this space for news!

Chemistry submission for Compound Mag

Here's my submission for Compound Mag on the theme of Chemistry. Every issue will be based around a theme and everyone picks a song to interpret thus creating a visual mixtape. I choose 'Contagious Chemistry' by You Me at Six who are fast becoming a favorite. Go here for more details on how to submit, you've only got till 6th December for this issue though so hurry!