Photos


Sometimes it’s interesting to take photos of the physical world that we cannot see.

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My scarf is my collaborator: together we try to defy gravity.

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The red earth, scorched yet still wet, is a piece of land in Changsha Normal University, cleared for a playing field. I spent one month there in April teaching Japanese woodblock  printmaking and giving talks in various venues.

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I like the small shadows from the overhead sun after days of torrential rain and misty gloom. Photos freeze time.

Meanwhile in the UK, just the act of leaning in the forest is like that thought experiment: If a tree falls in the forest and no-one hears it, did it make a sound?

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If I lean on the air, and no one sees it, did it happen?

Ahhhh, but of course! I am seen! Here is the proof online!

These photos were made for a show called Poetry Scores Hawaii-Look Like What It Means that opens on February 15th in Hilo.The show is based around a collection of 25 poems by beat generation poet, Albert Saijo(1926-2011) who was a California-born Japanese-American writer. His style was distinctive, writing in capital letters, combining a fluid stream of haiku-like phrases with a playful honesty. I was invited by juror Phil Sanders to pick a poem to respond to.IMG_1640_e

The poem I chose was called PAB

PAB I INHABIT AN ANGEL BODY – THIS PRESENT I INHABITS A PRIOR I – HERE IS THE EARTH BODY AND HERE THE PRIMORDIAL ANGEL BODY (PAB) EXPRESSING ITSELF EARTHSTYLE THROUGH EARTH BODY – PAB IS EVER UPRIGHT EQUABLE SANE STILL EMPTY – THE ONLY NAVIGATOR – INVISIBLE – IDLE – IMMOBILE EVEN IN MOTION – THE CEPHALIZED COCOON THAT FITS WITHIN OUR SKIN EXACTLY – THIS UNMOVING CENTER BINDU DOT WALKING OVER 800 YEAR OLD LAVA – ROAD IS RAW LAVA WITH CLIMAX VEGETATION GRADED OFF – WALKING BODY BECOMES HOUSE OF ANGEL BODY – FOREST TAKES HUSHED HABIT IN LIGHT RAINIMG_1526_eThe show runs from 15 Feb to 15 Apr and there will be an opening reception on 10-11 Mar at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, 200 West Kawili Street, Hilo, HI  96720-4091. For more information please see http://poetryscores.blogspot.com/

I wish I could see the show: any sponsors out there please get in touch!

Summer Scarf

New scarf, new mysterious setting…

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Thinking of making another stop frame animation from the series…

A practical, hard working, no-nonsense but extreme eccentric, my mum has long frowned on art as a waste of time and an embarrassing activity that people who are bad at everything else end up doing.

However, today she put in her words what it means to be creative as follows:

‘You produce something no one else has thought of. Eventually you will do it. Accumulate all these good ones. Improve, improve, improve. Many years you observe when young. Make mistakes, give you insight to improve. Every time you improve. Next one, next one, next one, don’t know when. 80, 90 year old still think not perfect yet, still got a lot in there. This is what drive you.’

Nice words! Here she is doing Tai Chi in winter with a crazy assortment of clothes on…

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What is the catch? Is it catching? I’d like to practise on Trisha Brown’s Walking on the Wall…!

One green scarf, one bouncy bed, one point and shoot camera on self timer, one tripod, one leaping person, twenty five times over. Well, actually I think I’ve taken a few hundred of these now, as the light and shade changes so quickly in my south facing room. I’ve been trying to make an animation of the sequence, though the still frames are possibly more potent than the moving image.

Link to a test piece below:

Anyhow, both make me laugh…which is why I make art, maybe?!?

New Scarf for Spring

I feel like a complete traitor, but my red scarf that I photographed thousands of times, and which is the scarf in my animation, Suspiration left my possession last week Friday… I must have dropped it somewhere in Battersea. So, after a week of fruitless searching and mournful loss, I thought, ‘Well, not to worry: I can buy the exact same scarf on Whitechapel Market for £3’. So I went shopping, stood in front of the beautiful scarves, saw the same scarf as before and it didn’t feel right. It felt like I would be buying a fake of the scarf which has been to Venice, Padova and Japan with me.

IMG_2411_eSo I turned away and looked for something new. This scarf was next to the one-poun-one-poun-anybox-anybowl-anybag-one-poun stall. It also cost a pound. It is a lovely fluorescent yellow on a aqua background, and makes me laugh with its curious blend of design, day glow weirdness and functionality. Reminds me of a jellyfish out of water…

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Of course, like before, I want to make both of us fly! Testing the ‘spring is sprung’ theory…

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