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David Honeybone and my installation in St Edmund’s church as part of Roundhay Artists Open Studios this bank holiday Monday and Tuesday – a completely collaborative site specific piece of work – a lot of work but great fun and very well received.

Come with us on a journey ‘From My house to Your House’: a familiar journey, a frequent journey, and an essential journey to enable us to meet, talk and work together. But this time stop, look and ask, ‘What have I not noticed before, what surprises me, what seems strange, what do I think of when I look afresh at such a routine part of my daily life?’

Start at my house, and look up above the leaves and see the telegraph poles we take for granted. Keep looking up and there is a world full of chimneys. The woods are full of light and pattern and possibilities but history is never far away – Dean’s Quarry and Gipton spa, the thrill of posting proper letters – and who remembers the Astoria, and whom you danced with there? The world of today presses in with its invitation to consume, the ever present infrastructure and detritus of urban life pushing back the natural world. Restoratives to body and soul: elegant art-deco fish and chips and much loved books and a library that has been an anchor in our lives. Nearing your house, look down: stone and incongruous tarmac tell a hidden story; then the end of the journey which is just the beginning of another. From My House to Your House is an experiment. It draws on the ideas of psycho-geography, investigating our responses to the rich urban environment between our two homes and using the journey as a metaphor for our friendship and artistic collaboration. Travelling between our two homes, we rarely stopped to think about the ordinary /everyday detail of the route. Walking it instead of driving, and sketching, photographing and collecting objects along the way, enabled us to respond to the familiar in ways unrestricted by the necessity of simply getting from one place to another. Our different responses to different sections of the journey led us to start developing a number of distinct pieces. Realising that this side altar at St Edmund’s had 15 separate panels gave us the idea of dividing the route into 15 sections and making a piece for each. The process of making them is at the heart of the project: we worked simultaneously, side by side, in the studio on developing and executing every panel. What you see is entirely the result of a shared process.

Inside the Map group exhibition in Garry Barker’s Workshop Press Gallery in April. The group, me, Lesley, Carla and Sue, all work with maps in some way. We had an experimental drawing outing to Nan Whins Wood, Tong – sit facing out in the four cardinal directions, quick drawing of the view, move round one place leaving the drawing behind, draw new view on top of previous drawing, repeat, repeat; start again; repeat 3 more times – 16 drawings of the views NSEW – enormously good fun and very interesting results –

Distorted oview of the exhibition –

Lesley’s letterpress print and my and Clare’s draft Ruskin book –

And me ‘explaining’ something about mine and Clare’s Frankenstein book –

Bit late in putting these pics here but never mind – the Lottie Tour takes place each November, run by the Women’s Engineering Society Young Members Board. Lottie dolls, dressed in hard hats, hi-viz jackets and saftey boots (though they haven’t yet sorted the hair problem…) are sent round to WES members to photograph at work and post on social media. As I no longer work in anything engineering I haven’t requested one before but last year I realised that Lottie could help me with the Women into Science and Engineering Collection that I’m sorting and cataloguing at the Feminist Archive North – great fun was had by all and the other volunteers at FAN thought she was great –

 

Needing to fix (and then dry) the graphite rubbings I’d done at Brantwood – from the path that Ruskin walked and the seat he sat in – too smelly a job for inside, a sunny day but a bit windy so they pegged them to the hedge.

 

Just had a wonderful weekend at Brantwood – Ruskin’s stunning home in the Lakes. ‘Spiritual Landscapes – the power of landscape to move us’. Led by the curator there, Howard Hull; thoroughly enjoyable, stimulating, enlightening and engaging weekend with a really lovely, interesting group.

brantwood leaf and fern 6 cropped

 

We’ve submitted another book to the second stage of The Frankenstein exhibition, in Kirkby Gallery, Knowsley, opening this month. This time we focused on the themes of Remorse and Revenge in the book – Frankenstein’s remorse and anguish at having created such a monster; the monster, rejected by Frankenstein and everyone he meets, seeks revenge. But in the end Frankenstein turns to revenging the deaths of his loved ones killed by the monster and the monster finally remorseful beside the bed of his dead creator.

 

The concertina of the book (pages from a lovely copy of Frankenstein) follows the development of the story – told by an explorer (Walton) sailing to the arctic (pop-up boat from a graphic novel edition of the book; the pages all icy white, the words whited out except every instance of revenge, remorse, anguish, repent and compassion); all written in letters to his sister (flying little envelopes addressed to her).

Maps of Frankenstein’s travels are included – Ingolstadt where Frankenstein studied; Geneva where he returns to his family; Chamonix where Frankenstein goes to grieve; Tilbury Docks, London and Edinburgh on his way to the Orkney Islands where he goes to create a companion for the monster.

The final page is a mesostic using the monster’s final speech. Under the concertina pages are little blotters, as Walton might have had on his desk as he wrote the letters telling the story told to him by the dying Frankenstein.

I’ve posted a video of the book here.

 

Fun in Switzerland

Can’t resist adding these pictures from my trip to Switzerland with Jan this June. Stayed in the lovely Berghaus Toni in Reideralp (run by my friend Linda’s cousin) before going to Zermat valley to walk across the suspension bridge near Randa (longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, almost 500m long). When at Reideralp we did a ‘practice’ bridge (I’m scared of heights so needed to ‘warm up’ before tackling the longer bridge, but in fact the practice bridge was much scarier than the big one) – and half way across a goat started across from the other side! – Billy Goat Gruff and all that. It pushed past me then followed me back to the far side – and then proceeded to lick me! – obviously my sweaty arms and neck were tasty sources of salt for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Altogether a great holiday – so good to be amongst all those mountains –