Triennial tripping

Folkestone Triennial is the largest open-air display of public art in the UK. Every three years it brings together a diverse mix of international and local artists to make new site specific works. This year I went on a walking tour guided by Naomi Eaton-Baudains a producer working behind the scenes at the Triennial and also an artist in her own right.

Her tour was fascinating giving an insight into how Lewis Biggs, the curator works with the artists to develop pieces that respond to each location, considers the broader dialogue between pieces dotted throughout the town.

Continue reading “Triennial tripping”

Pandemic Portraits

During December 2020, as we were in the midst of yet another lockdown, I drew a portrait a day of the people around me and a few via video-calls too. Some of these portraits I quite like, others I’d rather lose, but it feels right to document the full sequence in order. Looking at the self-portraits I can sense some of the mental turmoil I felt in those months.

Continue reading “Pandemic Portraits”

We Will Walk – at Turner Contemporary

In 2020 the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent hosted a show called ‘We Will Walk – Art and Resistance from the American South’, celebrating and documenting the art of black communities in the 20th century. It was an exhilarating and moving show, with such a rush of humanity and bathed in an art spirit of the highest order. I wrote a little delayed art commentary afterwards but the show felt so profound, in many dimensions, that I struggled to do a full write-up. Here at least are some of my reflections gathered together with some photographs, to document this show.

Continue reading “We Will Walk – at Turner Contemporary”

Delayed Art Commentary – Feedback Loops at ACCA Melbourne

Back in the heady pre-pandemic days of 2020, I was lucky enough to be visiting Melbourne in Australia. When I discovered there was a group show at the ACCA, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art featuring Zadie Xa, I naturally had to visit. I’d heard about her work, but not seen it in the flesh. And I was intrigued to see the work of the other 5 artists showing alongside her.

Continue reading “Delayed Art Commentary – Feedback Loops at ACCA Melbourne”

An Ode to Retail

It has been a tough year, not least for our retailers. I’ve been thinking of them. I always do at this time of year. Most of my working life has been in retail, be it on the shop floor or in the boardroom. How strange our shops have been shut … like the stages and cinemas, the theatre of high street retail temporarily closed. I have missed them, almost grieved their absence.

Shops are extraordinary things. They inspire and delight. For many years retailers have sought to add panache and ‘experience’ to fight off the onslaught of the juggernaut of online competition. But in these dark times, shops provide something more vital — a human interaction, a moment of being cared for and looked after.

Continue reading “An Ode to Retail”

Just a great article about drawing from the Masters

Drawing from other artists’ work – be it casts, statues or paintings – has a long tradition in art education. This article has a great rundown of this vital part of self-education for many artists. Some great historical titbits too – for example when it first opened the Louvre in Paris used to reserve certain days for artists to work from their collection!

Continue reading “Just a great article about drawing from the Masters”