Tuesday, 22 December 2015

states of mind

States of Mind was an engulfing and disorienting experience. The day I visited one of the invigilators commented, 'We have a good mist today'. I was one of the first three people in the installation that morning and was glad we had seen each other before entering, it helped me feel safe. When other people entered I felt intruded upon, and when one of the disembodied voices loudly announced how the mist was formed and that there was infrared lighting to locate bodies the magic and mystery was altered for me.

The space asked that I focused upon myself, my perceptions, my consciousness, orienting by pacing the rooms edge with an outstretched hand. Breathing to keep relaxed, noticing the effect different colour light had on my thoughts, my emotions, my body. When brave I walked through the centre of the space, submitting to the mist that appeared thick enough to bite. I paused for a while, leaning against a wall, looking down to where my feet should be. Grey specks floated in my eyes, are they always there? Was it my eyelashes? I was reminded of being high in the hills as mist descends, (the word haar came to mind - a sea fog), and how in these outside spaces it is possible to feel simultaneously comfortable and so alone. It was my first experience of such limited visibility and I couldn't stay long.
  



Wednesday, 16 December 2015

autumn term - years 1 & 3 at drew primary

Cardboard shenanigans with teeny tiny y1 pupils and weave and illustration using silhouette with not so tiny y3 pupils at Drew Primary School. The books that inspired us were On Sudden Hill and Tales of Wisdom and Wonder. In the spring term I'll work and learn alongside the y2 & y4 classes taking inspiration from another two fantastic books. I love mixing art and literacy and the children love it too.

 Design for an incredible monster creature box thing!

 Cardboard self portraits

 Warp and weft (and proud hands)

 Box monsters with rattling tummies (secret ingredient - buttons!)

 Cardboard crowns for kings and queens

Lion silhouette, background inspired by West African Kente cloth

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

words

Just rediscovered the words written by the students in Norway following my lecture on my art practice. I asked them not to think too deeply or self-censor, simply to write the first thing that came into their heads. These words sparked their own making in the studio.
  • Nostalgia        
  • Walking         
  • Mysterious      
  • Wonder         
  • Silence        
  • Afraid          
  • Pink 
  • Winter forest
  • Air
  • Vintage 
  • Animals & nature
  • Family
  • Soft
  • Bird

Saturday, 28 November 2015

epping forest

Thank you to Sebastian Richter who traveled to Loughton in Essex to capture a large format photograph of my work. You can see where we trampled down leaves positioning the arms, using the photograph created in June as a guide. Throughout the seasons I'm creating four images of this piece.   



Thursday, 19 November 2015

year 1

Working with the youngest children in school is a powerful reminder of the wonder available in everyday life. Witnessing the children's joy and willingness to get stuck in, have a go, to become absorbed in the feel, texture, colour of something. Noticing the way they repeat an action, becoming so focused and in a flash, unfocused. Whatever needed to be expressed/learnt has been processed and its time to move on. There is an ebb and flow in each child, quiet contained intent and then a desire to share and show. I adore their lack of self criticism, their lack of judgement around good or bad, their sparkly delighted eyes because they successfully glued a red shape to a piece of cardboard.



Wednesday, 18 November 2015

c2c lecture

Images from my lecture at the Agder Folkehøgskole last week. Showing one of the maps that I navigated across the county with and dipping my boots in the North Sea at the start of my journey. 



Sunday, 15 November 2015

folk school

This week I lectured and taught my first art class outside the UK working with young adults at the Agder Folkehøgskole near Kristiansand, the most southern city in Norway. I'll post details soon, but for now wanted to share the students response to my lecture on walking and art. To spark their own making I asked them to write down two words that somehow encapsulated what I'd shared with them. These words were folded and placed in a bowl, pick and mix style, and each participant selected one to use during our two days together. Below are a selection of the unpicked words.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

autumn term - year 6 art at drew primary

The first half term has come to a close at Drew Primary School. My focus with the year 6 classes was drawing and model making, our inspiration came from Ice Trap! Shackleton's Incredible Expedition. These were challenging classes to teach as the listening skills of the groups needs developing BUT, together, we achieved wonderful outcomes the pupils are proud of.


 Drawing with ink on coffee stained paper

 Map inspired by the journey of the Endurance in the Antarctic 

 Practice diorama

 Four layer diorama incorporating pastel, laminated collage and drawing

 Bold and detailed drawing of the ship the Endurance

Diorama showing blocks of sea ice

autumn term - year 5 art at drew primary

The first half term has come to a close at Drew Primary School. My focus for the year 5 classes was drawing and print, our inspiration came from within the pages of the book Skellig. We had a great time together, the classes were a pleasure to teach.

 Printing with acrylic paint

 Painted collaged block

 Drawing using carbon paper

 Printing with inks and rollers

 Print of Skellig

Beautiful design, art books were hand made/bound by the pupils

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

round two at drew!

Ding ding! Round two has begun at Drew Primary School, another year in which I can build upon what's been created and make our art projects even better. These thoughts lead me to reflect upon my summer term with the year 2, 4, 5 and 6 classes. Cross curricular creativity was in full flow, mixing art and literacy using the books each class were reading as inspiration for my bespoke art projects. As always, I learned alongside the children, the books taking me into the worlds of artists and art forms, culture, history, fairytale, fauna, geography and geology.

This summer term the pupils worked with textiles, painting and digital media and made props for the school play, creating diverse outcomes. We used laminators, drawing inks, made huge communal drawings, listened, imagined and drew some more. The books that inspired our creative journeys were One Night, Far From HereI Was a Rat! or The Scarlet Slippers and The London Eye Mystery.

During the school year 14/15 I created 12 art projects for 12 classes, this was a huge challenge. Now I get the rare opportunity to redeliver the successes, tweak and modify the odd times things did not go to plan. Much of my professional life is spent facilitating one-off workshops for particular exhibitions or events so this is a rare and welcome opportunity.

 The London Eye

 Drawing with Shreddies

 Listening circles

Friday, 5 June 2015

hand stitched

This has kept me busy for the past 2 months, I'm making new work for the Leytonstone Arts Trail. I've been hand stitching (literally) charity shop finds, my mothers aprons and blankets and pillow cases from my childhood home.

Numb fore and middle finger on my right hand, blood shed.


Friday, 24 April 2015

drew update

Times flies, summer term has begun and another four fabulous art projects are under our belts. Last term I worked with years 1, 2, 3 and 4 inspired by Grace & Family,  A Necklace of RaindropsVarjak Paw, and The Pebble in my Pocket. There was as much learning for me as for the children, which though scary at times in terms of familiarity and sureness leads to exploration and invention and that trade off is worthwhile. 

This term begins with year 2 and One Night, Far From Here and year 4 and I was a Rat or The Scarlet Slippers. I'm planning activities including print, textiles, digital media and as always, drawing drawing drawing! I enjoy building relationships with the children and my aim is to ensure that they are not overwhelmed by art, that they feel it is for them (if they want it) and enable them to shine and share their marvellous outlooks and ideas. I, in turn get my weekly fix of kindness and fun, they are a great bunch of small people. After my two days at Drew I go to sleep to the sound of Miss Logan, Miss logan ringing in my ears, which may sound unpleasant but is actually nice... Sometimes I feel rather famous as I pass children in the corridors and they beam and say my name. The workload can be a challenge, everyone in school is very busy BUT this chance to reach a whole school is a great and rare opportunity.


I was a Rat! Year 4 pupil transformations

Thursday, 23 April 2015

heartwood

I'm making new work for the Leytonstone Arts Trail inspired by this writing created at Goldsmiths many years ago. Am fascinated by the idea of an eight year old girls arms and am hand sewing until the early hours. I'll say no more for now, have a read and see what you think.

Once my dad taught me something about the world. He drew into the dust layer on our slab path a circle with the end of a stick, within this circle he drew a smaller one and told me how the earth was hot at it’s centre, a molten furnace, a core of matter turned liquid. Small, sitting with ease on my haunches, I believed him unquestioningly, my insides churning, I knew he knew.

To collect firewood we journeyed beyond the threshold of the house into my safe place, the remains of a once huge woodland. Resonating with sound the wood accepted our silence, drawn onwards by genteel swaying branches, graceful arms embraced us in turn. Almost unheard through its consistency a chorus of birds tweet and twitter, tiny hearts thump beneath feathers, announcing temporary ownership of space and air, a melodic roosting.


In the chill dusk breath is visible, vapours entwine and disappear into the ether taking with them words which shall remain unsaid. Puffing out my breath steam engine fashion I pretend to smoke with long theatrical drags, holding an invisible cigarette to childish lips. My father smokes a real cigarette and I receive praise for rolling Golden Virginia with my nimble fingers, unknowingly giving emphysema a helping hand. 


At the cusp of day and night, the boundary between light and dark, the sun gently lowers itself to the horizon and we search for brittle wood, the deceased of the forest. Daddy longlegs drift out of wild grass, I shiver at the sight of their gangling thread legs.


We glimpse a small tree the width of a mans thigh, dry dead wood, asking to come indoors, to warm bodies and dry newly washed golden hair. Dad on one side, me on the other, pushing the trunk first this way, then that. Loosening its grip, back and forth, a wobbly tooth in a gummy hole. With a sharp crack and splintering an eco system dislodges, woodlice curled in defensive armoured spheres take a fall. I feel a lichen layer beneath my fingernails, the texture of bark imprinted upon impressionable palms. The scent of newly exposed earth and heartwood seeps up into my nostrils with the prickly realisation of how dark it has become.


We drag our bounty across the road. Cold air clings to hair and skin and clothes, a halo of chill outside-ness. Over the threshold without ceremonial sawing the uncut trunk is pushed into the fire, the tree divides the front room and sprinkles its earth print.


The fire wakes and flames tentatively trace minute bark undulations, register each surface to acknowledge the form to be consumed, a tender shy approach before taking hold and roaring victory. A victim of spontaneous combustion, a limb hangs from the fire with a blackened knee joint, as the fire takes another bite the trunk/limb is pushed into this insatiable mouth, until hours later all that remains is blackened charcoal and a soil shadow upon the floor. I sit warmed in my nylon nightdress, cheeks burning as the air in the room solidifies, pinning me to the spot, my insides churning.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

alexander

Its taken research and determination and I have finally found the grave of my father's brother. No headstone, only this small memorial without inscription and I wonder if a family member planted the heather or if its spread from another's grave. I've measured up the memorial to create my last cosy for my father's family. In Scotland a grave is called a Lair. Marvellous. 

 Alexander Logan

My footsteps on the search to find him...