Sound and Space

Sound prints and threaded spaces.

Ropewalk Gallery

Went to pick up some work from the Ropewalk today, the exhibition Top Draw has just finished. Really lovely gallery space along with craft shop, coffee shop, framing, workshops, print facilities and sculpture garden.

implied touch?

Thinking about how to represent sound visually - I love the plotted linear image, but maybe a bit too obvious? - I was thinking about piercing paper to represent the peaks and troughs and this reminded me of braille. It seems that the immediate mental connection to braille is touch - the sensation of running fingers over the surface. It also made me think about erosion - some form of tactile work which invites touch and then wears away as it is stroked over a period of time?


How weird is this? After saying yesterday that I hadn't seen any of Gego's work, I received a book about Eva Hesse's sculpture today (ISBN 0-300-11418-4) and the first thing I saw on opening was above installation (Reticularea) by Gego!
What is also strange is that when I was in Italy, I was discussing colour spaces with a scientist friend and thinking about whether it would be possible to physically create one with wire or cord 'plotting' RGB co-ordinates (as you do?) and the image in my head was really similar to this.....

Exhibitions at Drawing center 2007

I'm hoping to visit New York around May next year - apart from anything else to present my work to the Drawing Center viewing panel. (I've been trying to go for nearly 2 years). I was really pleased to see that whilst I'm there the following exhibitions will be on - particularly pleased about Anastasi !! I've never seen work by Gego - but found the 'mak[ing] visible the invisible' bit below really interesting, (see end of my last entry).

Gego, Between Transparency and the Invisible
April 21 – July 21, 2007
Opening Reception: Friday, April 20, 2007, 6-8 pm
Gego, Between Transparency and the Invisible explores the intriguing relationship between line and light in the work of the Venezuelan artist Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt, 1912-1994). The exhibition will trace Gego's interest in “mak[ing] visible the invisible” from a rarely seen series of monotypes of the early 1950s to her delicate drawings without paper and tejeduras (woven paper pieces) of the late1970s-1980s. Juxtaposing important artworks produced from the mid-1950s to the late 1980s and bringing two bodies of Gego's work into dialogue for the first time, Gego, Between Transparency and
the Visible, will foreground the critical role that drawing and printmaking played in the artist's oeuvre.

William Anastasi: Out of Drawing
April 21 – July 21, 2007
Opening Reception: Friday, April 20, 2007, 6-8 pm
The artist William Anastasi will recreate site-specific works that date from and were first shown in the late 1960s. These early pieces are testaments to the artist's interest and pioneering efforts in site specific projects, as well as in the medium of drawing. The artworks incisively explore the nature and behavior of drawing in the gallery space through different strategies, bringing to the surface questions about site and medium specificity, materiality and the dematerialization of the art object. By focusing on the artist's expansive approach to the medium, the exhibition aims to contribute to a much
deserved critical reconsideration of his oeuvre.


I noticed this bruise on my leg this morning and realised I had absolutely no idea how I got it. I do get quite a few bruises - usually traceable back to sitting with my legs, arms, whatever pressed up against a table leg or similar. I was thinking about this in relation to my work - it obviously made me think about marks left behind by a touch - but also about how we hear/ feel/ see lots of things without ever registering them and that one of the things which interests me is drawing attention to these small things. Once something has registered it is very difficult to ignore again, for example every time I notice a bruise it will trigger this train of thought. I was thinking it would be really interesting to produce a series of sounds which were not normally noticed (e.g. pencil marks on a surface) and turn them into downloadable ring-tones or similar so that they went from invisible to visible?

Drawing Seminar in Dublin

The Square Root of Drawing
Opening Tuesday 24th October 2006, 6-8pm.
Exhibition continues until 2nd December 2006

Also as part of this show DrawingLab at the Dublin Institute of Technology
(DIT) in association with Temple Bar Gallery and Studios is organising a
seminar entitled "Drawing Now? - Examining Issues in Contemporary Drawing
Practices" which will be held in G6, DIT Mountjoy Square on Saturday 25th of
November at 12.30 - 4.30.
The Keynote Address will be given by Catherine De Zegher, independent
curator and former Director of the Drawing Center New York and a
presentation by artist Tim Knowles. The Seminar will be chaired by Dr Siun

The search for a perfect sketchbook?

I've spent a lot of time over the last 25 years trying to find a way of organising all my ideas and thoughts. Because I can often spend years thinking about an idea before I make work, a normal sketch book is too 'chronological' - I usually remember that I have written/ sketched something before but can't remember when. The only option if I want to find it is to leaf through lots of separate books which can take ages (and I would usually give up fairly quickly as patience is not one of my strong points!). For a while I tried index cards - which were great to lie out on a table, shuffle, flick through and could be filed in card boxes under different areas of interest. However I didn't ever really find a way of carrying loose index cards around which was sustainable, kept changing my mind about which size cards to use and any other pieces of paper I picked up along the way (newspaper cuttings etc.) had to be stuck down onto cards before filing. I then tried a moleskine Japanese accordion-fold notebook which can be opened up to show a continuous length of paper that worked really well, but was too small for all the time. The breakthrough came when I found a rollabind punch whilst 'decluttering' and decided to try it out. I punch paper (any size or type up to A4) and bind together with rollabind rings. It works in a similar way to a ring binder system but has a couple of major advantages. I can remove any sheet of paper without 'opening' the rings and I can punch any piece of paper as long as it measures more than an inch and stick it straight in my book (so any scraps of paper I draw, notate, cut out can easily be included.) Levenger in America do a similar system called circa with beautiful leather covers/ holders and heavyweight papers - but it works out really expensive so I bought a £12.99 Collins elite diary from TK- Maxx (just over A5), took out the diary etc. and use this as a main notebook jacket. When it gets too full I can just remove pages and make up new notebooks or file away. I've been using this for about a month now and it seems to be working really well.

Sound Stuff

Months ago I did some sound recordings of pencil marks on small crumpled papers (tissue, bond etc.). They've been at the back of my mind since but I hadn't done anything with them. The image above shows a printout of the 4 sounds. They vary in length from 50 seconds to about a minute and a half. I had thought I would like to do something to represent the sounds visually i.e. an image of the sound of a drawing - but had no idea how to go about it. Whilst at a friend's wedding in Italy earlier this month I was talking to a colour scientist who is doing work on (I think) tonal differences within digital images and we had some really interesting conversations which at one point touched on this whole sound thing. (Loads of other stuff which gave me plenty to think about and which I'll no doubt return to at some later point.) He has access to software which has enabled him to generate numbers for the sound and which allows it to be 'plotted'. The problem is that a one second sound generates approx. 11,500 numbers which means a 50 second recording would generate over half a million. This is not really a problem in terms of the number but rather scale - plotting that many numbers on a scale which was feasible would give a very long piece of work!! I thought I would try to cut down the numbers by only plotting the point which represent a change in direction - 100 numbers was reduced to 18 - which seems more manageable. I'm really interested in the idea of a small drawing alongside a sound recording and a visual representation of (the sound of) the drawing. Think I need to learn a bit more about sound first though….

open studios and printmaking access update

First open studios finished - and for a first year not too bad. Got some good contacts, possible commission and sales and heard about Green Door - open access print studio which has just been set up by Anna Johnson. I'm going to exhibit in the gallery next month - I think the open studios and print studio will both be really good for Derby.

Exhibition Wishlist

Eva Hesse - Drawings at the Drawing Center, New York
Eva Hesse - Sculptures at the Jewish Museum, New York
Drawing Inspirations, Abbot Hall, Kendal
Since 2000: Printing Now at MoMA, New York


I've been thinking about displaying work - really don't like the idea of framing drawings - somehow makes them seem too 'finished'. I think I need to tape or stick directly to wall or just pile on floor?. I'm also thinking about doing fold/ crumple/ twist without any marks - implicit gesture and touch?

Touch and trace

I'm currently doing some drawings based on touch (pinch and punch above). Trying to get a sense of the mark left behind by a touch or gesture ( - a gesture which incorporates contact of some sort). I am aware that because I just love the whole activity of drawing - the making a mark on a surface - I have to be careful it doesn't tip into self indulgence. I was thinking about this yesterday and decided that, whatever else drawing is, it definately plays an important role for me in exploration and ordering of thought processes. In this series of drawings it also makes me aware of the physical nature of the 'touch' - the amount of pressure or intensity of the mark made is replicated (or even re-experienced?) through the pencil on paper.

British Art Show in Nottingham

The British Art Show will be opening in Nottingham on the 21st April - I'm going to the symposium 'location, location, location' at the Bonnington lecture theatre, ending with the opening of the show. As well as it sounding really interesting it is definately part of my 'get out of the studio and mix with people' strategy. I've decided I really need to start meeting other artists - it can be very isolating working from a studio at home. Derby 'art scene' does seem to centre around Derby Uni graduates - although I'm not sure this is true or just my perception as a non-graduate of Derby who has been practising for a long while....I was hoping that the open studios would be a way of meeting other artists in the city but although it's a step in the right direction, it definately won't be the case this year! I think I need to take more responsibility for becoming involved - although I'm really not sure that I fit in...

Darts - open studios in Derby

Darts - open studios in Derbyshire will be running for the first time over the bank holiday weekends during May and June. Only 70 odd artists participating - but it is the first year. Really suprised that only a couple of artists from Banks' Mill Studios are taking part. I would have thought that the whole space would have been opened. In fact only about 4 of us in total from the city centre! Hopefully it will become an annual event and more artists will get involved next year.

testing u*blog software

I've just downloaded this software to see if it will help me to post more. Should be able to write on palm and upload. Saves cutting and pasting!

Bit of a rant!

We have a new arts centre in progress in Derby which is really a combination of Metro cinema, Q gallery (concentrates on 'new' media/ technology/ lens based etc.) and Q community arts. (Q gallery is currently the only major gallery space in Derby outside of the Derby Museum and Art Gallery). Really disapointed to learn it's unlikely to contain a traditional print space and so spoke to someone in creative industries about potential spaces for setting one up. Although he tried to be helpful, I got the distinct impression that he felt there was no demand and that future funding was aimed at 'cutting edge' which incorporated only technology/ ICT based art etc. Why can't people see that in order for Derby to be taken seriously as a creative city, (and it has a very long way to go) they have to be prepared to represent all areas of creativity and not just those fashionable at the moment. Of course it's really important that film, video etc. are promoted and encouraged, but not to the exclusion of other, more traditional forms of expression - which are still being used in new and exciting ways!!. By segregating funding and opportunities, there is inevitably a narrowing of accessibility not expansion. It also sends a distinct message that media can and should be seperated and I do feel really strongly that this is a limited view - surely the point is that artists can, and do, use a wide range of media within any given work, and that it doesn't necessarily always involve 'new' media . Derby needs to embrace all types of creative expression before attempting to specialise in a selected few - there need to be more spaces that encourage proposals for exhibition that do not dictate what media should be used.

Underscan coming to Derby

Underscan will be in Derby at the end of this month. I'll be going behind the scenes on the 25th - can't wait. Find out more at this website

temporary exhibition in Cambridge