Bitterweed project at Dartington

On Saturday 9th July, Paul and I took part in a project titled Bitterweed in Studio 20 at Dartington. The project by artist Kate Marshall and curator Gareth Ballyn takes as a starting point the novel The Bitterweed Path by Thomas Hal Phillips. This novel published in the US in the 1950s gives an account of coming-of-age and coming to awareness of sexuality in the Southern US in the early 20th century. It is one of a small number of ‘gay’ novels from the period.

Marshall and Ballyn’s project will generate zines and interaction and images to excavate memories, to consider how books live on after their time or beyond being read, and to explore images of men together.

More information at the Bitterweed blog.

Organ of Corti – assembly begins

I’m currently working with Liminal (David Prior and Frances Crow) on their project Organ of Corti. This project won the PRSF New Music Award 2010 and will tour to four sites in England during July and August 2011. There are full details of the project at the website

Next week we are doing a trial build of the installation, getting all the elements together and building the work to see how long the installation takes, and to check for any snags. We’ve been given space at Dartington, the old Theatre at Foxhole, so there is enough room to have all the tubes and base units and to put them together. We hope to have a sneak preview of the assembled Organ of Corti at Foxhole Theatre on Monday 20th June.

We’re using big rolls of polystyrene sheeting to wrap the fragile Perspex tubes. Each is 3.5 metres long.

Arduino Workshop

On Saturday 21st May I attended a workshop on Digital Aesthetics at Spacex , Exeter. The workshop was led by ?Graham Dean of HighWire at Lancaster University and focussed on working with Arduinos. It was organised to coincide with the exhibition The Recipe Exchange by Helen Pritchard.

We were introduced to the Arduino, an opensource microprocessor, and looked at different applications of these by artists and designers. We then spent the day writing code, wiring the ‘breadboard’ and assembling functioning digital objects.

As an opensource technology these offer opportunities to artists to work outside the branded and licenced environment and to be part of an international community of designers, developers and artists. In the short workshop we got to make LEDs function, going on and off to a set time, added a sound emitting element, and set up a manual control to affect the speed of blinking, and a light response input to affect light output.

All very basic in ways, but also the building blocks or base elements for potentially much more complex objects. The video shows our simple construction.

arduino workshop

Low Profile launch Build Your Own

On April 15th I attended the launch of ‘Build Your Own’ a new project by Low Profile (Rachel Dobbs and Hannah Jones) at DXDX Studios, Plymouth. The project has developed out of the artists’ reaction to the structures and institutions around practice-based / practice-led PhDs in the Arts. Faced with difficulties of finding a context where they might pursue a joint research project, or find funding to support a significant period of joint research, Dobbs and Jones have embarked on raising the funds and resourcing to Build Their Own …

The event was held at the new DXDX artists’ studios at Regent Street, Plymouth.

Low Profile

DXDX Studios

Review of Tim Ellis exhibition at Spacex, Exeter

Tim Ellis, The Tourist

exhibition at Spacex Exeter

12 March to 30 April 2011

On Saturday 12th March, I attended the launch of Tim Ellis’s exhibition ‘The Tourist’ at Spacex, Exeter. I’ve posted a review of the show on the Interface section of the a-n website.

The body of new work, a mix of sculptures, installation and paintings, sits well in the varied room spaces at Spacex. The work is amusing and witty, drawing together aspects of Modernist aesthetic with contemporary bricollage to critique the certainties or ideals of the Modern, and to question our easy dismissal of Modernist aspirations.

Review at Interface (

A print version of the review will be published in AN Magazine, June 2011.