I completed an art foundation course at the Carlisle College of Art and later went on to study Anthropology and Art Psychotherapy. Making images (written and visual) has always been part of what I like doing but was not really a serious pursuit until 2006 when I began to see image making not only within an evolutionary/anthropological context but also a therapeutic one. Then it got a pulse, it became charged. These are my twin sources of inspiration and seem to flow through all the creative stuff I do.
My most recent project is a musicart collaboration with producer & bassist Felix X from Tigersonic Studios, London. A song and lo-fi video and accompanying artworks, it continues the red thread (see earlier projects below) thinking about time and was inspired by a sense of how one’s agency & creativity is nulled & flattened by a pervading sense that all time must be productive..that there is no thinking or playing space left and that our time must be used to create a valuable object/image/product and little value placed on the process or lack of (l’ennui is also ‘useful’) Whilst listening to the radio I heard about the factory workers protests of the 1820s and 1830s in Britain. Called an “heroic time”, the working class became politicised, objecting to the brutal conditions that the beginning of the Industrial Revloution wrought.
These hundreds of thousands were co-founders of what was a new unique and hugely innovative global enterprise brought about by bringing all the processes of manufacturing of a product, (cotton for example,) under one roof.
Micro time piece technology was applied to the macro scale and the industrial revolution and the modern world was born. Steam railways connected the country as never before and time was starting to become standardised. Many a dispute errupted over which time-piece was the one to follow (factory workers were fined if they brought in their own watches) and so factory workers instinctively knew that their lives were now tied more than ever to a commerical tick-tock. Workers movements were scrutinised and had to be accounted for, survellance increased in the name of efficiency endeavoured to Smash up the Clocks newly installed in the factories. There is much harrowing evidence of the dehumanising processes at work tethering women men and children to machine and as one historian writes, it would have been more suprising had there not been more protest.
Those workers’ protests together with society’s outrage on learning of the conditions thorugh the work of Engels, Dickens amonst many eventually brought in changes that began to protect the health and safety of European & U.S factory workers (ref).
For me as we approach the 2020s, over 200 years later I can’t help but see some paralells with this time, across the global…(refs to come)
These following images were used in an eleven day countdown to the project’s launch
The song was produced by Felix MacIntosh, she also played bass and directed the video It was released 30th October 2016 on Mood Elevation Music records…the day when the clocks go back! There was a soft launch held at the Smart Musician’s Meet up. Read my blog about this extraordinary evening at the Smash soft launch...and the daily blogs with news of our chance to be heard on BBC Radio 6! Day 3..
Time Off (Red Tent Installation) : Sweet Art Exhibition for International Women’s Day 2013. The Crypt Gallery, London. This was a major installation which brought together many different ideas in a cohesive way. It also includes a sound piece with the wondeful voices of London’s Fearless Female’s crew. You can hear it here : Time Out Sound
Preserving something Special (Black & white digital print of original B&W photograph taken by J R Flynn entitled “Possible Winnings” Malaya 1955) : Face To Face group exhibition, Espacio Gallery London 2012. This piece explored memories and what we do with them, how images become potent containers for all sorts of emotions. The image came from my Father’s army albums. One of very few hierlooms my family has of his. Taken from above it shows a soldier’s card game, only their hands can be seen alongside tin cups, cards and money on the jungle floor. It held for me a certain pride in my Father’s compositional ability and placing it in a gallery seemed to acknowledge that side of him that was never really recognised or encouraged. With the knowledge of why and what he was doing these army albums were and are a source of great distress for me as there are some harrowing images too. He was just 17 years old then and he loved always the army and loved being there alongside other working-class Liverpool boys, all caught up in one of the Empire’s last full blown colonial wars, euphemistically called the ‘Malayan Emergency’ (Picture to come)
A Call for Space (video installation) : Group Show at the Red Gate Gate London 2011. Filmed during the March for the Alternative in London 26th March 2011 I edited a series of clips and accompanying sound piece, showing the people of Britain taking up space in the heart of Britains political centre. Watch it here : A Call for Space
Self Portrait (acrylic on canvas) Piece inspired by Pilbara rock art, Upper Yule River, Australia : Goldsmiths MA Art Psychotherapy Student Exhibition 2007
Art Land (mixed media) : As part of submission for MA Art Psychotherapy Goldsmiths 2006 Charlie Rouse’s HopSkotch was played alongside the moving image piece. Give your tenspeedgears a massage and listen here.. Hopscotch from the Two Is One Album by Charlie Rouse Strata East Records 1974