25 December 2013

Reflections, Bristol Harbour 25/13/12

I feel Christmas day is one day of the year were things stop and all is silent, like the reality of daily life is put on hold. Well I think it felt more like that last year because today it was surprisingly quite busy.

Anyway I had the opportunity to take some pictures, there was still some stillness left in the air. However instead of pointing the camera directly at the subjects I was looking at I decided instead to photograph reflections on windows. I had tested this out briefly before which I then uploaded to my blog and so today I wanted to just solely focus on that aspect. By taking pictures using this method I feel I have captured an alternative view of the built environment around me. In some cases subjects seem layered or reversed even quite blurred, dream like in some way. In addition this time round I have included people in among some of these built spaces. I find when people are present the spaces seem more physical as these people are in their own way interacting within that environment. It can also speak of a moment captured in time, traces of that moment, reflections of the past or of what is to come.

8 December 2013

Creators of our own reality

Selected photographs from Austria, Bristol Harbour and Stonehenge

Recently I found my mind has been bombarded with a lot of thoughts. I am not to sure what exactly caused it, weather it was some of these photos or the paintings that I am working on at the moment or my immediate surroundings. Who knows maybe it was a mixture of all of these, anyway I thought it would be worth wile to record these thoughts in writing and tie it together with some visual imagery I was looking at.

What I have written here is a list of some of these thoughts I had at that time and I suppose in some way they are quite abstract. However there dose seem to be a thread that links it all together. I keep examining these thoughts over and over again and what I notice is perhaps there all reflecting the world I am living in. Its all created to serve a purpose and function to that purpose but its only as real as the idea that created it. 

  • Our we limited by the reality we create for ourselves? Our we free?
  • Douse the constructed reality programme or condition human behaviour in a sense dictating our actions, understanding and our place in it?
  • Is what's real no different from what is not real or what is imaginable?
  • Our we ourselves slaves of our own creation, imprisoned in a reality we have created for our selves, serving a system that in itself can be like a machine, inhuman and lacking feeling, understanding, compassion and emotion.
  • Is my understanding of this physical reality limited by what is imposed upon me? But if it was I would not have these ideas or questions. 
  • How can I escape this reality? Through art, music? Or do I just accept it as what it is? Must I adapt?
  • Is this constructed reality a reality based on limitations?

Some of these ideas may seem ridiculous even negative but they are all based on how I felt at that time and I suppose the mind goes through a series of changes which may effect the way understand my surroundings and my place in it.

24 November 2013

161st Annual Open Exhibition 2013 at the RWA, Bristol, UK

Lately I have had the opportunity for Juxtaposed to be displayed in this current exhibition called the 161st Annual Open Exhibition 2013 at the RWA in Bristol, UK. I was also fortunate to be the joint recipient of The Bristol First Collective Award for this piece to which I am very grateful for.

The work will be on display from 24/11/13 - 26/1/14.

Please click the link below for further information: 

19 October 2013

Austria. Selected pictures from 26 to 30 September 2013

Here are some pictures that I took when I was out in Austria to see my work presented at the 8th International Biannual of Ceramics, Kapfenberg 2013.

These pictures were mainly taken from Vienna as I spent most of my time in that area. It seems like the time I spent out their just flew by so quickly, then again I was not out there very long, but there was just enough time to do some exploring and experience something new. Looking back at that memory know feels quite unreal, like a dream in a way.

I enjoyed my time in Vienna the city is very clean, and the air was very fresh, it was difficult to smell any fumes or pollution and the sky was always very blue. It seemed like a lot of the architecture was quite traditional and so the city has probably retained a lot of its heritage, in fact it was a bit difficult finding any built spaces that looked modern. However the transport is very modern and easy to use and navigate.

Within the time I had out there I managed to do quite a bit of sight seeing, I went round the city to different areas and checked out some museums and a contemporary art gallery. There was not really any particular plan, in a way I just stumbled onto things that caught my interest. Perhaps this is also captured in the pictures as the photographs documented my experience out there, however in some way I think it is an experience that in some way is quite universal.

The photographs can be seen as recognisable to a specific area for example through the style of architecture or reference to place but at the same time they could be seen as spaces without subject matter. Is it then a way of documenting my experience through the built environment that can be recognisable but also on the other hand questionable. I think these pictures makes me think about my place in this world and how I interact with built spaces and the effect it has on me. I would like to think these picture could convey the unreal within the real therefore bringing about an alternative perception about the constructed world we create for ourselves. I think this is something I will continue to investigate upon.

4 October 2013

Bristol Harbour: Selected photographs taken 24/8/13

Lately I have been out and about taking photos again, this time in Bristol harbour. I went outside very early in the morning to be able to enjoy the silence and stillness, by choosing that moment I realised how free I was in the ability to move around and interact with the space and the objects in it. It must have been about 7:00 am I went outside to take these pictures, but by being there at that time meant I could really enjoy the moment and focus on what I was doing without having many distractions.

As usual I took many pictures but I have forced myself to be selective, to upload ones that I felt had presence or some kind of significant meaning for me. I realise how difficult it is to take a picture that has these qualities, that are immersive and evocative. Increasingly I find the pictures are like conduits for the imagination, it makes me analyse and question what is already there. 

These pictures make me think of...
  • How space and form is intertwined  and that one cannot exist without the other. 
  • Reflections and how this  in itself creates new ways of seeing the constructed reality.
  • It also makes me think about disorder and chaos, as forms are occupying space in ways that is quite imposing.
  • In some ways it makes me think of a prison of some sort as spaces seem to be so occupied with form its quite difficult to escape.

14 September 2013

8th International Bienial of Ceramics presented by the city of Kapfenberg 2013 Austria

8th International Bienial of Ceramics presented by the city of Kapfenberg. 
Exhibition dates: 28th September to 10th of November at gallery of the Cultural Centre Kulturzentrum.

I have been very fortunate to have work selected for this exhibition. Ceramic work Sunrise and Contain from the August 2012 series will be on display.  

Check out the link for more information... http://www.keramik-biennale-kapfenberg.at/main/ 

2 September 2013

Book: Stonehenge A Complete History and Archaeology of the World's most Enigmatic Stone Circle, by Aubrey Burl. Thoughts and Interpretations

Stonehenge is one aspect of my research that has quite a big influence on my artwork and its context. Although my ideas may travel from looking at one thing to the next I find Stonehenge is always a place I go back to. 

It's only just recently that I have just finished reading this book listed above,  I thought it would be good to do a bit more research on the topic of Stonehenge. 

If you're looking to inherence your wonder and speculation about this monument you probably won't find it in this book. I am not saying it is a bad book, I did enjoy it and it does go a long way in laying out the evidence that has been collected over the years. Having said this though there is still some room for some questions and I guess that is always going to be the beauty about this place. 

The author has produced a book that douse not just focus solely about the monument Stonehenge itself he also has taken into account for example the evidence collected regarding the surrounding space and the burial mounds and other stone circles in the UK. It seems the author is trying to dig deep into as much detail as possible to lay dawn what is known and what the accumulated evidence can tell us about this monument and the people who built it and interacted with it.

Personally what I have found interesting from reading this book is in a way confirmation of the way in which Stonehenge has changed dramatically over the years. Even since when the first builders started its construction the book points towards evidence that suggests ongoing tests in which structural objects were placed then removed to which this process continued over the years and to some extent through generations of builders. 

Another thing of interest which I did not know till now was that the builders seemed to have built Stonehenge with colour in mind. If you look at the monument today the coloration of the building blocs pretty much all have the same greyish colour. However the book mentions that specific stones were chosen and arranged according to colour, it is only because of erosion of the stones that the colours has faded. 


Burl, Aubrey. (2006) Stonehenge A Complete History and Archaeology of the World's most Enigmatic Stone Circle - Constable & Robinson Ltd, London, UK

27 July 2013

New paintings: Revealing and Past, Present, Future (18/7/13)

Revealing. 15/7/13, acrylic paint on card

Past, Present, Future. 15/7/13, acrylic paint on card

Two more paintings finished, again it took quite a bit of time to compleate but I guess time pays off in the end.

What can I say about these two pieces...? Maybe that is always going to be the question. I think every time I create new pieces it creates more questions than answers. So I think perhaps personally the work will always generate some element of surprise and curiosity.

Although I always do try to keep a slight reference to the built environment, its always used as a foundation in which to develop from and test new grounds hopefully. I want to keep searching, explore new possibilities from this foundation, to retain a level of connection but also test the boundaries of what it could be.

New paintings! (11/6/13)

29/5/13, Meaning without Meaning, chalks on paper

29/5/13, Searching for Something, chalks on paper

10/6/13 Some ware in Taiwan, acrylic paint on board

10/6/13 The Calling, acrylic paint on board

 New painting to add to the archive. It took a wile to complete but I got there eventually. I have continued my exploration using coloured chalks and also tried using acyclic paint. They both have there advantages, the chalk can convey subtlety and variations in light, on the other hand with paint layers can be built up creating a depth drawing the eye to different tones and texture.

I feel there is almost something quite spiritual with these pictures, in fact when I was in the process of creating them I became aware of this and so I just let the pictures evolve. Perhaps this is because of the colour or the way I am drawn into those spaces, I feel I am searching, trying to find something I cannot sea. Maybe they have a presence about them as if they are wanting to communicate something, an encoded message perhaps.

New Chalk pictures, 11/3/13

(In the Distance, 11/3/13, chalk on paper)

(Shifting, 11/3/13, chalk on paper)

(To the Sky, 11/3/13, chalk on paper)

It has been a wile since I last updated my blog, I have been busy with a lot of things lately, it's a bit annoying because I do enjoy putting out new material.

Currently the time I do have I use to work on things like my drawings, sketchbooks and research because at the moment it is the only creative means I have to explore my ideas until I find a suitable studio space to create ceramic work. But with limited resources there are still possibilities. I think its pictures like these that continuously drives my thought process, its this creative process that require me to explore new territories in a way other than through ceramic.

So here are a few new pictures, all dune using chalks on B4 paper, I am enjoying using this material, its probably a medium I will continue to explore as I find myself becoming more comfortable using it. In terms of the images as a whole, they are referenced from my photography, imagery taken from various locations to which have been translated by changing the colour in relation to parts of the form. I have also tried to become more consciously aware of the form and the surrounding space as it is my intention to draw the eyes to different constructed parts, hopefully the restricted colour range could help harness this.

I realise though there is still a lot to explore, hopefully the more pictures I can create the more resolved the work will get.

Window (2) 5th February 2013

Window (2) 5/2/13

Following up from my previous picture "Window", I liked it so much I thought I would recreate it using acrylic paint because as of yet I have not used paint for quite some time. I have also had a canvas lying around so I decided I would use that to paint this recreation onto.

The previous picture of course was dune using chalks, I liked the vivid colours that could be achieved, the subtleness of it, the potential for detail and the ability to use an eraser to control effects. Similarly I found with painting the potentially for vivid colour can still be achieved and is very much appropriate as I have been investigating aspects of colour and light and its effect on these geometric forms I have been producing.

Reflecting on this picture, I'd like to think it provides an alternative view of the so called constructed reality in which we live in. Perhaps it provides another way of seeing and experiencing, there is a relation to the real but it is redefined and played upon through a combination of form, colour and space.

Window, 19/1/13, coloured chalks on paper

Window, 19/1/13, coloured chalks on paper

Recently I have spent more time continuing to develop my drawings, I keep trying to find new ways to draw the eyes into different parts of the picture using the built environment as a source of inspiration.

I'd like to think with this latest picture I am coming a step further to realising that and I can see a progression in which I have become more conscious of my actions. In response to my thoughts concerning this picture, I have primarily concentrated on using the white space of the paper to enhance form, line, colour and light. Secondly I focused on using little variation of colour as possible but I still wanted to create a sense of depth and light. I also continue to think about the position of forms and how they too can contribute to creating a world ware the viewer is invited to enter, as parts intertwine and overlap and create space to peer into. 

Selected drawings, Disarray & The Way Home (8th January 2013)

Disarray, 2/1/13, oil pastels on paper

The Way Home, 2/1/13, oil pastels on paper

Just recently finished two more pictures, I decided to give oil pastels a go instead of the chalks. It has been a while since I last used oil pastels and it has takes time to get used to using them again and I still need to keep practising to build up my skill level.

I like the way its possible to really build up layers with the pastels, it was not a quick process as I had to constantly build up the layers to achieve the depth of colour and light I was after.

It seems more and more that the pictures I have been producing are taking on some life of their own, they just seem to evolve in a way I cannot predict the outcome. I find this interesting as the end result is always surprising and it challenges the way I see and identify. 

Selected charcoal pictures from October to November 2012

(Dream, 14/10/12)

(In-Motion, 1/11/12)

(Gloom, 28/11/12)

Today I finished a new set of pictures, it took me quite some time as I found my self constantly changing and reworking parts. Whilst working on these I realised though there comes a time when you do need to stop as a picture can be overworked, but it is difficult knowing when.

I have continued to use my photography as a source of inspiration for the work produced here, that still remains important as it acts as a catalyst to develop my imagination. Essentially I am reinterpreting the pictures I have taken by focusing on light, colour, line and atmosphere I get from looking at these pictures. I hope I have tried to capture some aspects of that here, but I know there is still a lot to develop, I hope to continue to produce more pictures.

Selected drawings (5th October 2012)

As recently I have not had the opitunity yet to get back into the practical side of making I have been instead focusing on the research side of things. I have been exploring drawing using some of the photographs I had gatherd from various locations as references to reflect and investigate upon.

Lately I have been mainly using minimal colour as I am just trying to find out how these pictures look if some elements are either coloured or not and also the way these formations of components react and respond to the space.

This is a new venture as not only the works exists in their own rite but also the works could potentially contribute to my overall research and practice. I will hopefully continue to add to this blog more developments in drawings and I have added a category for this to be housed in on the blog.

So I guess it's a good thing having the time out at the moment from making as I have got the opportunity to get stuck into the research side of things. Hopefully soon I could have the ability to get back into the practice itself.