It has soul… like Rory Gallagher

Our exhibition is called 26…

This may seem odd, in fact it was a serendipitous mistake (by my interpretation anyway).

You see, there are only 25 of us students exhibiting. But without a viewer there is no exhibition, and so the 26th person is the viewer… Roland Barthes would like this, that we leave room for the reader, who is the ultimate author, or artist…

Whatever. I have been making catalogues, lovingly, by hand and my trusty Bernina…


There will be 150 of them… by Tuesday…


I designed the layout and had the insides printed, and then I asked everyone for scraps of their artwork, and stitched them to the covers, then I stitched the covers and text together… Each catalogue is a unique piece of art in it’s own right. The viewers can have fun figuring out which artists their scrap came from ;-/


I like gritty, edgy, scrappy, recycled, grunge style art… it has soul… like Rory Gallagher…



All in the hands of the Gods…

Ah well, I haven’t sat down for over 10 hours… but the studio is all cleaned, everyone’s work is hung, I have collected a ton of info for the catalogue, and my installation is installed…

Here it is, as seen through the lens of my iPhone…


Another viewpoint:


Wolfie, in all his animus glory, complete with antlers that make him part of the forest…


I think it is all jolly spectacular.. there is some fantastic work in the studio. We are the graduates of tomorrow, and we ROCK!


My Gallery Space…

Phoebe and I went to check out The Refinery today, to view the space that one of our curators suggested might suit my installation. It is perfect! Enough room, dimmable lighting and I can hang stuff from the ceiling! There is an artist installation in there at the minute, as you can see, which is not connected in any way to my work. The photos are just to give an idea.


The photo below shows the entry to the space:





New Tarot Bags…

I have had three commissions for custom Tarot Bags in the past couple of weeks, so I thought I would share them here. Two were for the Thoth Tarot, but with very different requirements. The images below were for a regular size Thoth deck, and the client wanted an embroidered bag to reflect the energy of the Two of Disks card, she was delighted:

The bag arrived today!! I was surprised it got here so quickly. It is exquisite! My husband says it is the most beautiful Tarot bag that I have and I agree! Love all of the different colors in it and the way it reflects the 2 of disks card. I love holding it in my hands and feeling the wonderful energy from it. The cards fit perfectly into it. My husband and I were just looking at the amazing bag again. He is an artist and I thought you’d enjoy hearing one of the things he said. He said, “It’s like painting with thread and fabric.”

Here is the bag, front and back:



The bag pictured below was for a Tarot reader who wanted his own sigil embroidered on a heavyily padded velvet bag with wraparound spread cloth. This was for the large Thoth deck.



And finally a bag for my friend Beth of Little Red Tarot, for her Wild Unknown Deck:


The Map is not the Territory

The following post is by blogger Andy Parkinson

I found it fascinating, how he connects the mapping and NLP theories with abstract art. I was initially reminded of René Magritte’s painting, Ceci n’est pas une pipe.

…according to John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St, Clair the territory isn’t even the territory, (Whispering in the Wind page 25). They use the term First Access (FA) for the point where we gain access to information about the world through our sensory systems. The information received at FA is already a map, though we are accustomed to think of it as the territory. The vast majority of what is out there never reaches our senses, and the information that does reach us is also transformed. FA is the product of these transforms or mappings. Grinder/St Clair use the abbreviation F1 to refer to the set of mappings that occur before FA.

Then there are the linguistic transforms that take place after FA, the mappings that we usually refer to when, with Alfred Korzybski, we say “the map is not the territory”. Grinder/St Clair use the term F2 to refer to these transforms, our linguistically mediated mental maps.

It seems to me that abstract painting is particularly well placed to explore the pre-linguistic, F1 transforms or mappings or representations, that occur between the events of the real world and our visual perceptions (It can and does also explore F2 mappings as does figurative painting).

The coloured discs you really see in this painting are not out there in the external world, they are not on the surface of the painting. Neither are the 49 bright white discs that appear in the centres of the squares (especially when you look slightly sideways). They are part of the F1 transforms, mappings or representations that take place between the world out there and FA. I suggest that whilst that’s so for everything you see including the canvas, knowing that these colour/shapes exist only in our  F1 mappings shows us something about that mapping process. I think the painting is helping us to model colour.

Something else about these subjective/colour shapes that intrigues me is that we see the discs as perfect circles. Although the drawing is inaccurate we see the discs as if they were accurately rendered… your eye is more accurate than my hand. Your representation or map is, in this respect, more accurate than the territory.

Stopping by woods…

We set up for Light Nelson today… the real thing. I added new branches, and adjusted some old ones. Rebuilt the polystyrene bases and fixed them together with very clever ‘staples’ made from naturally forked twigs.

It looks great… all of the installations at NMIT look fabulous, an awful lot of work went into them. I waited until well after 8.00 pm , but no one came from the opening committee or the press, which was a shame. Anyway Phoebe and I sneaked a look around Queens gardens as the weekend is supposed to be wet, and to be honest, it is much more fun when you can see stuff, and breathe without being squished in the crowds. Sneaky, but necessary imho.

There is some very cool stuff out there… lots of bells and whistles. I will post pics tomorrow, but to be honest I would still rate my forest as one of my favourites, and am not usually one for self applause. I like its simplicity, that few resources and materials were used and the fact that it was all recycled except the bulb. I especially like that it looks beautiful in the daytime too.

So here it is, sadly as facilities did not get the sound fixed in the gallery, so my creepy sounds were only there when I was hiding in the cupboard with my iPad!! It is such a busy time for the staff that I am not sure if it is a great idea to have it as an actual part of the course, but I loved doing it, so maybe it is! It was a slog getting this effect just right, I wish the sound had been working, I could have maybe bought a cheap CD player or something had I thought it wouldn’t get fixed. Still, I will know next time.

Phoebe and her shadow walking in the wintery woods…

Phoebe Forest

It is difficult to photograph the halogen light with my iPhone, the pics look better desaturated!

Forest Room

I was so happy how the shadows filled the whole room, including the ceilings!

Forest Ceiling

I love images of things that are not really there… holes in the light…

Forest Wall

Mary and the Tower

Today I finally completed one of the Tarot Bags ordered long ago by my friend Felix. It was for the Mary El Tarot. I don’t have this deck, there are a few cards I love but the other…mmmmeeeeehhhh. I based the bag on one of the cards I really like which is The Tower.

Mary El Tarot – The Tower card:


The bag I made for Felix – inspired by this card:

photo 1

Detail of embroidery:

photo 2


This guy has something going…

It is wet and my pond (where all the willow branches live) is flooded, but I need to collect branches for further Light Nelson doings….

While procrastinating,  I found this article. Shame I didn’t find it when we were doing the mural project, but there is something about this guy’s work… that I feel in some part if me that I can’t quite identify.

Check this article about Syrian artists Tammam Azzam.

Apparently these images are created by the artist in Photoshop, but I thought these two were projected… wow, would have loved to do something like this for Light Nelson. Next year…



Images sourced from: Huffington Post


Reflections on Bikes Blues & Metal Guitars

Today we had our review session on the exhibition in the gallery, all the students and Graeme our tutor gave us feedback.


The students found it hard to fault, and the two comments that were made were things I had already though about, so that was encouraging.

Graeme gave us some really good feedback, which should help the whole class with their exhibitions… lucky them to have had this session. It feels good that our exhibition brought up the opportunity for Graeme to respond with so much good food for thought.

Graeme talked about how we could have done it differently, and used my original concept of reproducing a workshop feel, transforming the space. I would have loved to have done this, but it wasn’t to everyone in our groups taste. Given that in our group of five we have 4 different cultural backgrounds that’s not surprising!!  Also the very short time we had to set up was prohibitive, but yes we could still have done something more like a workshop.

I really liked the idea of just having the bike and the guitars, and no pictures or other art. I could have made a photobook, and we could have had the couch that we originally talked about putting in. On hindsight this is something I would definitely consider.


Cheri and I talked it over later though and we both feel we did a great job and the reaction of the public supports this.

Russ loved it, all the visitors loved it, and his in-laws saw him in a totally new way. Had we used the workshop format it would have been like visiting Russ in his workshop, but because we celebrated him in a gallery setup, his friends and family saw him in another light.

A big part of the event was the gig at the opening event… those who were unable to attend missed out on the public feedback, the amazing atmosphere and of course the fantastic music. The opening night, to quote Russ, was ‘totally amazing‘.

It’s over now, the gallery is empty, the holes are filled and it’s all ready for a new exhibition next week. I look forward to it. I feel a bit flat after all the excitement, but I think a lot of that is exhaustion. I need to chill this weekend. But not before giving our group a big pat on the back.

If you were part of this event, in any way, then once again, I thank you.






Talking about last night…

Well I am exhausted, but very proud to say that Bikes Blues and Metal Guitars was a great success. Russ and Phil who played with him were fantastic, as were the crowd. All day while I was working on all the final touches I got so much encouragement from everyone in G Block, I felt almost invincible! I am thinking that Cheri maybe felt the same, boy did we work hard for this!


Russ and many of the the visitors said that the  gallery looked wonderful, great video and the guitars and the Indian glowed with Russ’s passion and pride in what he does. We got lots of compliments and thanks for hosting this and Russ himself was blown away. So, there are things I would have done differently, and I would have stuck to my original idea of a more workshoppy look than gallery look, but group work is about everyone’s input. I think we did a great job in such a short time.Stop picking Bobby, it was a job extremely well done!!

A highlight was our dear Staju playing his Indian drum with the boys, and he did it very well… Rock on Staju!

The best thing that came from this, in my opinion was Russ’s response, he was absolutely over the moon. One thing I want my art to do is spread joy, there are messages to get out there I feel, but there is always more than one way of doing it. Focusing on the positive aspect of an issue is far more likely to result in change in my experience. We, all know bad stuff happens… it doesn’t need neon lights to highlight it, it needs ways of changing it… a little artistic alchemy can go a long way.

Anyway here are a few photos of the setting up…!




All images by raggedpoet.