Art Research

Back to a foundation sketchbook.

Some new pointers from tutorial discussions to follow up

1.We Form Geology (2012-13)

2.Physical Geology (2008-9)

1. ‘Ripple-Marked Radience (After Hertha Ayrton)’ 2019

2. Keepsafe (I) 2019. Keepsafe (II) of the pair pictured in installation shot 3.

3. Core Values

4. Ghostly

1. Nigredo Laid To Waste (1992)

2. As Above So Below (1992)

3. Flammable Solid- Flammable Liquid.(1994)

4. Mossers, Rebels and Wolves. (2000)


Inspiring range of practices in terms of materials and processes.  With Donna Haraway’s ‘Staying With The Trouble’ in mind…. Papova tapestries = particularly interesting and appeal to my interest in the  haptic aspect of textile work and possibly the gendered ones too? Stimulates thoughts of possible developmental work in textiles. artists’ practices in this context are enviro-ecologically motivated in quite a political way. I am also interested in a sort of spiritual perspective too – the Laniakea sort of notion from Tom Chi perhaps?”…. Evoking a spiritual materiality – is that an oxymoron? I suppose I mean finding ways to articulate the sense of awe and wonder – the joy – of ‘being stuff’ (nature) rather than purely anthropocentrically cultural. Here back to thinking about Latour and his arguments against simple binaries like this.

Shared with RW, in tutorial, the sense of pure green-eyed-monster envy that Onwin’s practice raises in terms of working at scale in such inspiring locations – ‘As Above, So’ Below’ project going onto my jealousy list along with Penone’s massive bronze and gold trees, Eliasson’s Turbine Hall Sun installation and the whole of Little Sparta. Aspirations to make work at scale even more squashed by this lockdown and lack of space to make anything very much at all!

Of Halperin, noted how much I enjoyed her sound installation at Glasgow (GOMA –  CIA trip last Autumn) and that the geologic/personal unity of  ‘The Eldfell Birthday Event’ work resonates with me quite deeply. Something about how different ‘timescales’ interplay ….


Following -up some of the mind-mapping in the sketchbook has opened up new reading avenues and we have a list of texts for close reading to prepare for a forthcoming seminar programme. This keeps the mind busy though the body, in truth, is most happy at present being outside doing the allotment. PEAS and BEANS are ‘in’ though under protection and more tender things are migrating to the poly tunnel or the new cold frame we’ve built, leaving window sills for the second round of germinations.

Bennett,J. (2010)”Vibrant Matter: The political Ecology of Things” London, Durham. The Duke University Press.

Murdoch Mills, C. (2009) ‘Materiality as the Basis for the Aesthetic Experience in Contemporary Art.’  ScholarWorks, Universtiy of Montana.

Ingold, T. (2012) ‘Toward an Ecology of Materials’. Annual Review of Anthropology, 2012, Vol.41 (2012) pp427-442

Hodder, I. (2012) Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships Between Humans and Things. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Margulis, L. 1998. Symbiotic Planet. A New Look at Evolution, New York, Basic Books

Cohen, J.J. Ed & Duckert, L. Ed. (2015 ) Elemental Ecocriticism. Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press.

Irigaray, L. , Marder, M.   (2014) Through Vegetal Being Columbia. Columbia University Press.

Jane Bennett lecture  Artistry and Agency in a World of Vibrant Matter(2011)

Jane Bennett lecture Material and Visual Worlds

Gregory B Sadler  Philosophical Reading of Heidegger with ……  – The Question of Technology Pt1 and Pt2

Walking Around 2: Wandering Into The Print Workshop.

Well, NO! It was more like racing in at high speed shouting ‘Let me etch!’ This was because, the day before, I had watched this……..

…and while watching it, I found myself scribbling furiously, drawing quite spontaneously, and making little illustrations of the things Chi was talking about. In no time, I had several sketchbook pages, drawing, making notes, thinking back to the CHWA, conference and remembering the projects about blood and breath that had been presented there……….. Yeah! A sort of idea was germinating which resulted in this.

And by Appraisal time just before Christmas…… these

relating to thoughts about these things….

“It is through a phenomenological type of reflection that I was led to see that the oneness of the human person and the rest of the system of nature is discovered, not invented….. a sharp division between the self and an environment is not present.”

Marietta, 2003. p122.

Marietta Jr., D.E. (2003) in Toadvine,T. Ed., Brown, Charles S.Ed. (2003) “Eco-Phenomenology. Back To The Earth Itself” New York, SUNY Press.

I re-shaped my module proposal as an exploration of interconnectedness- macro to micro -relating to the evolution of elements critical to life and the connections between plant, animal and mineral worlds by which these elements move through time and space.

The evolution of respiration would be illustrated with organic cellular forms in fluid environments drawn spontaneously in a gestural style and be contrasted with crystalline, mineral entities and abrasive erosive processes illustrating the evolution of circulation. The prints would be presented as artist’s books in zig-zag form to suggest time and include enclosures to suggest space, telling the story of the evolution of iron into the HemeB molecule critical for respiration and circulation in plants and animals – a fascinating interconnection that stimulates questions like ‘What are we?’, ‘Where do we begin and end?’, ‘What is other, upon which we depend?’