Friday, 25 September 2015

Lows and Highs

A very disappointing meeting last night with nothing particularly resolved regarding whether Ryedale ArtWorks will continue as an organisation along with a flippant, stupid remark made to me by a member about my work with the anti fracking movement has left me feeling yet again really fed up. 

However, this morning saw me in Wakefield for 9.30 am, at the Art House  for a seminar organised by Axisweb entitled, Artist, Validate Thyself where we considered how artists are validated if they are working outside the established gallery hierarchy or working both within the system and without it.

I cannot tell you what a joy it was to be among these intelligent perceptive people, having rigorous conversation and exchanges about professional practice.  We are hoping that this exchange will continue in some way, that there may be more research undertaken about this subject because the report, Validation beyond the gallery, by Amanda Ravetz and Lucy Wright of Manchester School of Art for Axisweb is just a beginning.

I forgot to mention a few weeks ago that I had been accepted by the selection panel of Axisweb and am now represented on their web site. I am delighted by this, because the standard of artists represented on the site is high.  The work they do for artists is exceptional and I am proud to be part of it.

I'm off to Scarborough tomorrow for Ruth Miemczyk in conversation with curator Lara Goodband.

I am really looking forward to it; I have not seen Ruth for a quite a while, her work is very good and it will be great to catch up .  While I am there I will pop across to the gallery at Woodend to see the exhibition Mono, which has just opened, where Ruth also has some work. 

Then a walk along the shore to get some fresh air before heading back home for the England v Wales match! 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015



September.  The beginning of Autumn, my favourite season.  Mizzle, dew, spiders webs across the pathways, fruits to harvest and chutneys and jams to make.

I have made the decision to stop fretting about making more new work for my upcoming solo show in York next month.  My 'Seasons' series will look great on the newly painted gallery walls and I have picked a large painting on paper to go in the window.  Job done, feeling much less stressed now.  When I do get some time, I will go out to the studio and work on the two large paintings I started some weeks ago and finish off the artists' books I have printed.

Meanwhile, I have embarked on a mammoth chutney making session; I am running a fundraiser bottle and jar stall for frack free in just over a week's time; so far I have made Autumn tomato chutney using my windfall cooking apples and some tomatoes I got at a reasonable price in a local shop.  There are vegetables soaking in brine as I write, waiting to be made into pear and ginger Piccalilli tomorrow and I will harvest apples and plums from the garden for more chutneys and possibly some jam.  Sloe gin, matured for more than two years will also be bottled up (in small bottles, I don't want to give it all away!).  Along with contributions from other people, it should be a successful stall.  It's strange to be talking about domestic things here; but that's what my life is at the moment.


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Thursday, 3 September 2015


I completed 2 artists' books last week.  I was planning to submit to an exhibition but then realised, with all the stress of balancing everything with anti fracking work, that I had missed the deadline!  However, when I informed Steff Mitchell of Staithes Studios Gallery, (, she told me to post it to her and that she'd put it in the other gallery space even though the book could not be included in the main exhibition room. Better than nothing, but I really need to keep a closer eye on dates; it's hard when there's so much going on.

I have a few other books to complete when I next get out to the studio and ideas for others. I suppose I ought to start planning the work for my solo show too; I have some framed up, ready but I will need some more!  I think I should set aside a day to plan this properly, so that I know what I'm doing; it is rare these days to have a day that is not interrupted by something to do with fracking and I am having a bit of trouble keeping a healthy balance.

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