Friday, 13 December 2013

Lincoln Christmas Market, and 2013 review

Lincoln Christmas Blackout card, 2013

Lincoln Christmas Market 2013 opened with a huge storm that caused flooding in Boston, Skegness and other coastal areas, followed up by a large power cut, in which most of the city was plunged into darkness for up to an hour.
To celebrate Lincoln Christmas Blackout, I designed these cards, which were quite popular at the Christmas Market.

Lincoln West End Lights
The LAN Christmas Market moved to St. Mary Le Wigford church this year, and amid the blackouts, Lincoln West End Lights was worth a visit. 

Jesus' blimp
You don't get this elsewhere!

my stall at Lincoln Christmas Market 2013
My stall seems to inspire people to complain about the prices being too high, even though they were much lower than they'd pay in a gallery... but I made about as many sales as last year, and had more visitors.

This year has been a very mixed year.

In many ways, some exciting things have happened, but in others, financially, I'm still fighting for artists to actually get paid, and after 5 years of doing this, it's starting to wear very thin. The Art Party Conference is, of course, a very important part of that, but as another year comes to an end, I face yet more upheaval caused by the fact that I still don't earn enough to pay every day living costs.

An article has appeared on about Magne's work with Apparatjik - I can't tell how recent it is, it was shared recently, and I haven't been following Norwegian media as diligently as I probably should, but it does include a photo of my brother and I, with my combat disco boots, trying to avoid being the subject of such photos by hiding behind The Lady Of Shalott; you can see me there taking the photos for this blog, bringing a small bit of Apparatjik outside the Cube. 
Never mind thinking outside the box, they should be dancing outside the box - am I in or out of Apparatjik? I'd like to think I'm somewhere as elusive as Guy Berryman, and when I finally get around to finishing off an Apparatjik Suite piece of music I'm creating, I hope to return to Oslo again, and I still hope one year to get the chance to go to Flø.... or participate in Oslo Open. Of course, it would also be nice to undertake a residency, or exhibit again, but for that, I'd need to create some new work, which will require funding.

I can't create work when I'm having to find somewhere else to live every time something changes that is largely out of my own control.

I've reached the end of another Kickstarter campaign for my graphic novel, which I wish to focus on once again, and as it hasn't achieved it's target, it will be relaunched next year.

So for now, I'm taking a break to try and get things back to normal, commissions and funding are both very welcome!! Mostly, getting paid would prevent many issues I face as an artist, and I could maybe get on with making new work.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Art Party Conference

Last weekend, I had loads of fun at The Art Party Conference in Scarborough

crossing the Humber Bridge on the way to The Art Party Conference

Beware these crafty ravens, trying to force you to part with £s!
Of course, being a blackbird, I'm not normally a huge fan of ravens, but nice brolly :-) I didn't buy a mask, because I already have one of my own :-)

Throw stuff at small effigies of the Rt. Hon Michael Gove MP!
Karen Thompson's Goveshy was such fun! Many artists really went for it throwing stuff at Gove's multiple heads!

Big hello to the very welcoming and friendly Arts Emergency lady that was doing zines.

There was much art manifesto writing going on with Airspace gallery's Pigdogandmonkeyfestos, which reminded me of Foundation Art at Boston college with Andy Black 
This will become part of an exhibition at Airspace gallery in Stoke-on-Trent 3rd May to 7th June 2014, so we might have to go for a trip to see what happens to them!
a-n were there doing AIRtime, which included the most best maltesers cake - here's Susan Jones' latest article for The Art Party Conference.  

The Rt. Hon Michael Grove MP
BBC news coverage

The Rt. Hon Michael Grove MP being challenged on his policies
Bob And Roberta Smith
Bob and Roberta Smith's STEAMPUNK manifesto for art and education

The Rt. Hon Michael Grove MP - booooo!!!

Message from Jeremy Deller for all his critics!

We asked Jeremy Deller to write a note to Becky's Dad. We explained that Becky's Dad was at the battle of Orgreave, and subsequently hates Jeremy Deller's work "The Battle Of Orgreave". This is the note Jeremy wrote for him :-)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Lincoln Simulacrum

For a zero budget exhibition, The Lincoln Simulacrum was installed.

With a group of artists blagging laptops, projectors, materials and time, the exhibition was installed, and a Wewillgather cashmob was set up to recover some costs.

The private view went particularly well, with performances by artists Rebecca Willoughby and Peter Rollings' Experimental Sonic Machines. 

I exhibited selected work from my graphic novel, alongside sound work from the last digital collaboration with Apparatjik, and images from my trip to Oslo.

I haven't been commissioned to produce any new work, instead, I'm struggling to survive at all, either as an artist, certainly as a single parent, and that isn't conducive to creativity. 

I feel as though the work was good, it went well, but it was only a test. Compared to the ambition of my ideas, it was nowhere near.

However, the alternative would've been to not have done anything at all, and that is what non-creatives want. They want to break my spirit. Advice has been to give up self-employment and go and do some other job instead - this only makes me more determined to continue, to fight against this false dichotomy. 

All information and images are in this blog

The good news is that I've been offered a paid role with Lincoln Inspired Festival, and I'm still pushing for opportunities that generate an income for myself and other artists. I'm hoping that in some way I'll definitely be included in Frequency Festival next year. In a conversation yesterday it was noted that I'm still only involved in "fringe" events - it really does beggar belief as to how I can do so much yet I'm still not accepted into any proper role within the arts.

Is it any wonder that I still don't feel part of any of it? Yet I still somehow get recommendations for art on Linked In from fellow artists and arts professionals - I genuinely don't understand why!! 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Lincoln Simulacrum

After a stressful few weeks of single parent nightmares, somehow or another something is coming together for the Outer Trial Bank project and an LAN installation.

I've been working hard for the LAN, developing Viking Biking Expeditions and The Birds workshop, where artists were invited to make cardboard bird wings and beaks to create a flock of birds that migrates around the city for a Viking Biking Expedition during and after The Lincoln Simulacrum exhibition!

"Cow twerking"
"Cow twerking" - guerilla art interaction along The Viking Way

The Birds workshop

Apparatjik disco bike

We're very busy constructing a Cube - after thinking it wouldn't be possible, some kind of DIY Cube is happening, and preparations are afoot to exhibit work by several artists for The Lincoln Simulacrum, which coincides with Frequency festival, but is not funded by Frequency, and I cannot endorse any form of workfare, so this is why I'm going ahead with it as an artist-led independent fringe event.

I'm also working on an Apparatjik Disco Bike, which is intended as a sculptural piece that I hope might be exhibited in various hotels at a future date....

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Summer holidays

It's been a tumultuous last week of the summer holidays. I have tried to have some time off, a break from work, to give myself time off to wait for the outcome of the ACE grant proposal, but have found myself coming up with ideas for other work, and I spent two weeks putting together a Kickstarter project for my graphic novel (which is all documented via my illustration blog).

I wanted to get away, go somewhere, I had a few places in mind, but not a chance of affording even the cheapest travel overseas to anywhere such as Denmark or Amsterdam, both of which were enticing me to go and visit.

sunflower field, South Holland, Lincolnshire

Instead, the most I can afford is a visit to my sister's down in Saxmundham. She moved there a while ago, so it's the first time I've been to visit and see her new kittens. 
This last week, my eldest son went to his friend's and never came home. He says he wants to move out. Which I'm strongly trying to convince him not to do at this point. If he does, I will lose support for him, and I will have to move to a smaller place. I can't afford to move right now, he would be much better off staying at home for another year - I did try to explain to him that if he does well enough to go to University, and decides to study here, he'd have less costs living at home, as he won't have to pay to live in halls. He can always hang out with his mates there, so he won't miss out.

I'm treating his kamikaze attempt to fly the nest as a brief hangout round his mates, and went to get away for a day or two. 

It was a horrible, rainy day, but we went to the beach despite the weather, and to Snape Maltings.

The Scallop 
 The Scallop, by Suffolk artist Maggie Hambling is dedicated to Benjamin Britten.
It's the perfect accompaniment to the book I read on the train home - "Orkney" by Amy Sackville.
We passed the House In The Clouds 
As the fine art and illustration staff at the University of Lincoln move into the all new AAD faculty building on Brayford campus, I feel somewhat lucky to have been able to have come up with the concept for Cloudbusting having been educated at the top of Steep Hill, an experience future freshers will miss out on. 

This road sign sculpture immediately caught my eye when we arrived in the car park, but I didn't catch who did it! It reminds me of waiting at the train barrier on Lincoln High St, which is where I would curate it!

Benjamin Britten at Snape Maltings


grey, misty, rainy weather

giant snozcumbers

 According to Brett, snozcumbers from The BFG. In Sarah Lucas' world that means the BFG had 2..... OMG! Here, you can use the Sewell sampler to construct a critique of this piece.

Snape Maltings 

 There was a family at this sculpture. A Mum, Dad and some kids. The parents were asking the kids about the materials used, they were clearly educated and trying to teach them something, but the kids were, as kids tend to be, far more interested in poking their heads through every hole, and climbing on it. I photographed it for anyone that might be interested in this sort of thing. To me, it's utterly dull. It's as dull as The Flintstones cartoon if the flintstones had been made in the time it was set, and had to be hewn out of granite for each frame of animation. By the time it'd been made, everyone would've been killed by wild boars or wolves. 

Lego Hero Jack Covill Lowndes from Wainfleet
This is more like it - the story of Jack Covill-Lowndes having his statue made out of Lego for fundraising for the hospice where his Mum died of cancer, was a story I read in The Metro on the train to Spalding - here's the story from the Skegness standard. I think it should be installed in Skeggy, perhaps at the train station, or on the seafront near the clock tower, where kids can have their photo taken next to it. Actually, he could be waving on the pier! 

we wondered if this was a part of the art work

I was drawn to the Sarah Lucas sculpture, it immediately reminds me of The Haywain, but also of Granny's collection of shire horses and carts that she has in her house. I'm guessing this was the original reference, made to resemble an ornament, to a much larger scale. The BFG's mantlepiece.
Here, you can use Sewell Sampler 2, as well as the original above, to critique this piece.