Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Angels of the North @ Greenbelt

Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Recently I have had the desire to explore one specific stage of the paper making process. The stage when the fibers are destroyed is known as mastication. This function is also performed by the human mouth to process food. It is a process of understanding linking the feelings of hunger to the physical activity by the body.

The central theme for this work was in response to the 400th anniversary of the King James Version Bible. In an attempt to understand the word of God by knowing it with the body I attempted to physically consume the words and document this process using the presence and absence of light.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


photographs by Taro Morimoto

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Veri Higi Pisrad

Veri Higi Pisarad

Pop Up Space, Centenary Sq Bradford

During this short residency from 14th Sept to Thursday 23rd I made 100 drawings.

The subject of the drawings were photographs by Damaso Reyes taken at the Culture Factory, Tallinn in May this year.
The photographs document a performance by myself and Sandra Jogeva Estonia's most controversial artist.

At the opening these drawings were for sale at a price the buyer estimates equals 30 minutes of their professional time.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Pen Pal Pears

@ Little Ghost Gallery

I was given a pn pal and she never wrote back so I displayed 73 Unwritten letters one for each day waiting for a responce.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Residency at Polymer Culture Factory

I’d intended to use my residency at Polymer to reflect on my practice and to begin work on ideas that I’d not yet had time to develop. For the most part I achieved this and more importantly got involved in activities which broadened my practice in a way that was both disquieting and exciting.

My first few days at Polymer had already been unsettling. Arriving at my new home I’d gotten very lost, been insulted, couldn’t find any food that looked recognisable and when I did get around to making work it had been destroyed. But then things took a turn for the better. I was given a teapot and suddenly I was productive and sociable. Conversations lead to new ideas and my work began to change.

After one such tea fuelled very late night conversation with Sandra Jogeva, Estonian Artist and Co-ordinator of Art Container, I agreed to have my blood taken. I’d already decided I was going to make paper in batches of 100 until I have made 1000 so the blood was to be used for one batch. Fortunately photojournalist Damaso Reyes had arrived from Brooklyn and agreed to document the process.

At 8.30am on Monday 18th May Sandra came to my room with needles, a rubber belt and sterile swabs. I wore a Russian bridesmaid’s dress and sat in the sun whilst she prepared my arm. She complained my veins were too small, tightened the rubber belt on my arm and ordered me to pump the blood with my hand so she could get the vein. On the second attempt she hit the vein but went through. Blood poured from me. I spent the rest of the day in the dress making 100 cups of tea for my many guests as well as 100 bloodstained sheets of paper.

It was UNICEF blue week whilst I was there and I was asked to do a workshop on making paper. With limited equipment I was worried how it would go but the attitude of the people at Polymer was so that encouraged sharing and collaboration. There was room for individuals to create their own work as well as work collectively. The group make paper from things they’d found and gathered including old Estonian books, krooni, wallpaper plants and bamboo fibres. We also attempted a large collaborative work that may raise a few eyebrows.

In the four weeks I made 1000 sheets of paper, 8 paper action figures, a pinhole camera, went to a lecture, sang at a church, planted some tomatoes, got involved in a sound art installation, and met interesting people from all over the world. As well as this I have had uncountable experiences and conversations that have made me rethink about art, life and morality. I’ve found that all I had to do in Tallinn to get something done is to open my door and get the kettle on.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Cabinet of Curiosities

As part of the Leeds International Artists Book Fair I was invited by curator Louise Atkinson to make a book work to be installed in a cabinet.

I made a minature library by slicing sections of books I had read so that they fit into the space. I had a stamp made and inserted a card into each of the books. The viewer was asked to use the library as they saw fit.

All books were returned.
Some were damaged.
Mainly by excessive stamping.

link to abc archive

Thursday, 22 April 2010

13 moons

The Yorkshire Sculptors Group are working on a new project for exhibition next year. We've done a trail run at the community exhibition space at the library. It was a good opportunity for me to try out installing the work I have made from paper.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Temple Works Found

Group exhibition October 2009
venue website

There was this TV show when we were little called Fraggle Rock. When the song came on we would dance. There were Fraggles and Doozers - the Fraggles just had a laugh and the Doozers spent all their time working. The Doozers made buildings out of clear plastic.

When I found the clear plastic pieces in the Work Study room (the study of effectiveness in the workplace) I was reminded of this world of workers and bosses and all things Marxist. I was in a hard hat (like a Doozer) in a factory (like a Doozer) being told what to do (like a Doozer) with this clear material ( like a Doozer) but yet I wanted to have fun (like a Fraggle) and I wanted to play (like a Fraggle) and I was enjoying myself (like a Fraggle). It was a strange place to be. I
felt that the only thing I could do was be a Fraggle playing a Doozer. The result of my playing was a maze for a rubber stegosaurus I found earlier.

The second thing I made happened when I went into the office. In the drawers I found headache tablets, a plaster, a sewing kit, a birthday card, a cassette tape, a nail file, some doodling and a few other personal effects. Of all the other trash lying around these small personal effects were
evidence of the people who worked there every day. I wanted to archive these objects because the were so personal. Using paper from the same office to make paper pulp I fossilised these objects to preserve them and keep them in acknowledgement of the people who spent every day at the factory.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Natural Selection

'Natural Selection' at Arts@Trinity October 2009

Confinement and The Sinner

Grandchild with Kiss and Not so White

A group exhibition by members of the Yorkshire Sculptors Group in response to Darwin's Origin of Species.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Born and Bread

At our AGM last year our ever enterprising Barry Midgley (member of Yorkshire Sculptors Group) suggested we take ourselves to the big smoke (i.e. Landan Daalin!)

But we were going to do it the Yorkshire way. Would we make our sculptures form the finest marble? or carve them from the finest ceadarwood? Nope - for us it would be the humble loaf.

Hmm, well after much discussion we agreed to support each other through this challenging process. Each time we met up there were displays of the worlds tiniest loaf, bread which had been genetically spliced, holey bread and no bread but just groans of despair at the failure to be inspired by this more common yet complicated material.

After many months of hmm'ing and haa'ing I was struck with an idea. I would leave my material is the hands of my estranged neighbours - if they responded I would have an object if not I would have work without the object - either way my neighbours were sure to be surprised and hopefully moved in some way by my actions.

I wrote a letter of request for a slice of bread and the year and city of birth and posted it to 30 neighbours.
Everyday I skipped home wishing and hoping not for a cheque or a letter telling me I'd been selected but for a slice of bread. As they stacked in my freezer I felt the joy of being presented with the most valuable gift as each new slice fell through the letter box.

After three weeks I had nine slices. I preserved them and used letraset to apply the names and dates to the slices and filed them as if they were an encyclopedia or collection of reference books.

When the show in London finished I delivered a print to all of the neighbours who I had invited to take part in this project. Their responses ranged from smiles and words of delighted gratitude to folding my print in half and shoving it in their pocket!

Later Terry Hammil took our work to ANTIFREEZE in Manchester where we won best artwork in show - yay to the bread sculptors!!! You can see images of more of the work at the London and Manchester show on the links below.

Received bread, letraset, PVA glue
June 2009
Chelsea Gallery London,

Monday, 6 April 2009

I'm Sorry....

I've been resident at Leeds College of Art and Design as part of the AA2A (artists access to art colleges) programme, and I have been developing work from The Fine Art of Rejection which happened in July 2008.

During that project I pulped all the paperwork for a project that did not come to fruition and I ended up making little sculpted sheep from them. They look like this:Whilst at the college I wanted to develop the rejections that the public had submitted at the show last time. For months I have been pouring them through my mind, writing them out rewriting them, printing then in colour, taking some words and highlighting these, but it all seemed to be a waste of time because the material I was working with was much more precious that anything I could do to it. So I left it as it was and scanned the rejections which you can see online here.

Which just left me and the sheep. On an early Spring afternoon in the Lake district the sheep and I went into a friends outdoor studio and had a look through what we had got so far. The materials from the rejections was great but it lacked anything visual, so the sheep and I decide to animate some of the stories. We took lots of photographs that afternoon.

I took these images back to the college and started to work with them in photo shop. I had been speaking with some of my peers at an artist crit session at Project Space Leeds and we talked about children's story books as a way making the whole rejection theme a lot more light hearted. When I would stay with my Nana in Dublin when I was young I'd watch loads of TV because she had extra channels. I loved the Clangers and their beautiful strange world. I thought these images should have some of this other worldliness about them. This then allows them to take on unearthly characters and they can speak and animate the rejections.

I selected some of the statements from the rejections and use these as well as some prints I had made before to creat the final image. My residency was in the print room so I sought advise from the technicians and they suggested a CMYK seperation. That sounded good so I went about doing that. It took time to get everything together but once I got going I was thrilled with the results. I would make 10 of each image and when I had finished I would then select the best based on a criteria of well exectuted, bright, clear, not marked and central on the page.

Although I had a criteria, how it actually happen was this: Look at the first one, now look at the next -better or worse? Next better or worse? And then when it came down to it did the four chose look well together - actually one looked duller so another not so well executed but brighter was selected. That's just how it goes!
It was a coincedence that I happen to have had 36 rejections submitted last July and now I had 36 rejected images so I have named each of these after a rejection.

On 16th April 2009 I will be holding an event as part of the preview for the show of mine and the other three artists work. It will begin at 6pm and finish at 8pm. You will be able to see the selected and rejected artwork, there will be performance from Scott Senogles MMusc and Rus Pearson, and an opportunity for the public to be involved in this piece of work.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Winged at Sacred

What we waste tells us a lot about who we are and what we value. I am interested in the decisions we make about what we keep and what we discard and how these decisions influence us as individuals and how this then is reflected in our society.
For 'Winged' I worked with St Mary’s parish church Mirfield and Bradford Cathedral and asked the congregation to create feathers from their used service sheets to construct the wings. Before installing it here at the Delius Centre for Arts I went to the congreation of the German church and asked them to take part it the making process also.
I am grateful to all who took part and made this artwork possible.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Liquidizer @ The Vault Gallery

"Dissecting, directing and distilling contemporary artists’ attitudes to money."

LIQUIDIZER presents more than a dozen artists’ responses to the theme of money through painting, sculpture, video, photography, text and magazine; on issues from global economic policy to pocket change. (from

This work is made from Nigerian naira. Thirty years ago each of these notes would have been worth approximately $400, today they are worth about a dollar fifty.

Four were made in response the Nigerian motto "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"

Monday, 13 October 2008

The BIG Decision

Ah Light Night! SO much to see, so much to do! How to choose? Well fear not, SCS were there to help. We traversed the city directed by our giant origami fortune-teller. On our way we handed out handheld versions to help everyone make the most of Night Light’s spectacular opportunities. The public were invited to put their evening in its hands and let serendipity take it’s course.

SCS is a group of three Leeds based visual artists (Rebecca Strain, Larna Campbell and Dawn Sharkey) who have been working collaboratively since receiving a NAN collaboration Bursary. This work has been commissioned by Leeds Visual Art Forum

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

The Fine Art of Rejection

Video Stills from my residency at 42 New Briggate Gallery, July 08

For full project details see blog