Tag Archives: a-n Artists Talking

More Than We Seem

Borrowing Hayley Harrison’s new blog title for this post, I’d like to share some of the blogs of the This ‘Me’ of Mine artists. Many of these blogs are active exhibition spaces or working ‘sketchbooks’, some in the real sense like Hayley’s blog and some in the sense of a virtual space to work on ideas. Some of these blogs are journals recording life as an artist – all of them are fascinating documentation of the creative process.

Hayley Harrison

Sketchbook entry No. 55 by Hayley Harrison

sketchbook entry No. 55 by Hayley Harrison

‘More than we seem’ is a sketchbook diary of journeys and encounters.

Something’s Happening a log journal of self realisation as an artist.

David Riley

322, annetta © revad david riley at coded images concepts

322, annetta © revad david riley at coded images concepts

coded images: annetta a virtual exhibition in 26 parts of work built from cartridge paper, masking tape and electrical insulating tape.

coded images: a 1 pixel cursive alphabet an alternate installation of David’s 1 pixel cursive alphabet.

coded images: C I R C U A R E themes an exploration of phonetic symbology in the form of circles and squares.

F O R M A T  a blog dedicated to exploring the facilities and limits of an a-n Artists Talking blog.

Sandra Crisp

Filmstrip- Global sunshades (c)Sandra Crisp

Filmstrip- Global sunshades (c)Sandra Crisp

Work in Progress a virtual work space/studio log.

EXTRA! a visual journal of things that take Sandra’s attention.

Edd Pearman

Palace (c)2011 Edd Pearman

Palace (c)2011 Edd Pearman

Edd Pearman a news journal of Edd’s career activity.

Kate Murdoch

No No No (c)2011 Kate Murdoch

No No No (c)2011 Kate Murdoch

Keeping It Going a personal journal of life as an artist.

Cathy Lomax

Basil Rathbone & Tyrone Power in 'The Mark of Zorro' film still, source: Through a Glass Darkly

Basil Rathbone & Tyrone Power in ‘The Mark of Zorro’ film still, source: Through a Glass Darkly

Cathy Lomax: Art Review and Comment is a long standing blog about Cathy’s interest in movies, pop culture, Karen Klimnick and so much more.  It is a look at what fascinates.

Through a Glass Darkly “A stream of image consciousness from artist Cathy Lomax”

David Minton

Tracey's Thrush (c)2012 David Minton

Tracey’s Thrush (c)2012 David Minton

‘It’ a Hiding to Nothing a third person narrative of self, a first person discussion with an alter ego named ‘It’.

Annabel Dover

Brick vault, part of Annabel's new living situation at Burrell Road

Brick vault, part of Annabel’s new living situation at Burrell Road

Market Project Annabel is member, co-founder and contributor to the Market Project blog.  Market Project is an artist led initiative formed to research and share information on career and economic development for artists, with a focus on ways forward in an ever increasing atmosphere of artistic arrested development.

Anthony Boswell

'Construction' (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

‘Construction’ (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ – Beyond Painting a self-reflective blog on life as an artist.

Reside Blog: Anthony Boswell  is part of The Reside Residency.  Anthony is documenting work in progress while being artist in residence in his own home; hallmark of the residency programme.

Jane Boyer

Rebecca Projects banner

..and of course my blogs

Rebecca Projects an informational blog on art writing and artist career development.

Blending Primaries a personal blog looking at the challenges and rewards of being an artist, writer and curator, and often how each of those practices informs the others.

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Living in the Constant

Film still from 'Nightfall', (c)2011 Anthony Boswell

Film still from ‘Nightfall’, (c)2011 Anthony Boswell

Anthony Boswell is an active blogger on Artists Talking, the a-n blogging platform for artists.  I’ve had the pleasure of watching Anthony’s practice unfold and last year I was struck by seeing his work ‘Time Box’ pictured in an essay written by my colleague and friend Becky Huff Hunter.  I went back to Anthony’s work and had a closer look.  I hadn’t actually met Anthony and our connection through Artists Talking had been brief and intermittent with only occasional comments to each other on our respective blogs.  Anthony’s blog posts often deal with issues of time spent waiting and the effects this kind of relationship with time can have on creativity and one’s emotional and mental states.  In his ‘Time Box’, I saw an interesting statement on the influence of memory and time, and the transformation that takes place in time and us as a result.

Jane Boyer: ‘Place’ is of major importance to your work.  You have achieved an interesting merging of identity and context through ‘place’; it’s as if ‘place’ represents both an identity and a context simultaneously.  Can you tell us more about the significance this has for you and your work?

Painting 'D' (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

Painting ‘D’, (c)2012 Anthony Boswell, acrylic on canvas, 23.5 x 29.5cm

Anthony Boswell: The real basis for my paintings is the home, specifically my own home, because what I want to achieve is capturing ideas of intimacy.  Also the effects of time on place, so thinking about my own life within the home and how time affects the fears, doubts, hopes and wishes as well as daily activities.  I feel it’s a place where I can try to exercise some control over the environment by controlling time within that environment.  The idea of the clock running forwards but appearing to run backwards in ‘Time Box’ is about being stuck in the middle of that, about freezing time.  I don’t think I could achieve that anywhere outside of the home, because the home is such an intimate place.  The subject I deal with is about intimate things.  You can also get the feelings of loss, because of the things that aren’t there as much as they are there; this creates an air of melancholy in the work.

JB: Becky Huff Hunter refers to the temporal loop and the endlessly returning of ‘something missing’ in the melancholic state in the essay, ‘On Time, Repetition and Melancholia’, she wrote about your work.  Is there ‘something missing’ or has the loop replayed itself so often it has become an entity of its own for you?

“The ticking clock in the mirror runs backwards, indicating disorder. Its face points up, directing one’s gaze perpetually back and forth between the real and the reflected scene. This doubled stage disrupts the completeness of conventional viewing, fixing instead a boxed-in, spatial and temporal loop…[i]n a psychoanalytic account, the painful, desiring state of melancholia is full of such returns, endlessly
circling in one’s mind something perceived to be missing.”

from ‘On Time, Repetition and Melancholia’

AB: I think the loop has become an actual entity of itself.  The subject does repeat itself very often.  I find myself working within the framework of the loop.  My very self is stuck within the loop; melancholy comes because I am stuck in the loop.  Perhaps what’s missing is what’s outside that loop or the fear of its ceasing to be a loop and become something that runs forward in time.  All those fears and hopes, everything the intimacy within the home brings, begins to open up to a greater loss and eventually time will bring the loss of things because of the infinite nature of time; everything outside of time is infinite.  As Becky says, there is always a longing with melancholy.

Coign of Vantage (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

Coign of Vantage, (c)2012 Anthony Boswell, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 20cm

JB: Your latest work is a series of paintings in your house, however the house is not the subject of these paintings; the emotional translation of a life lived, light, shadow and time is the subject.  It is a context but in your work it is less a context than an identity.  It is not wholly your identity because the place & space influences how you feel.  Have the dissolutions of these boundaries given you freedom or are you contained and confined, captured like the light sources in your paintings?

AB: It’s quite an interesting way of looking at it.  The subject is as you say.  The light starts to reveal something that is always slightly out of reach.  I’ve never thought of it from that point of view, but it’s interesting to think about how much of the control is being forced upon me rather than the other way around and maybe that’s why there is always such a sense of melancholy longing because I’m never satisfying what I’m trying to achieve.  Maybe I’m not actually in control.  For what I’m trying to achieve in my paintings, life outside of the house is quite insignificant in a way.  But thinking about the fact I’m not able to make a painting unless I feel comfortable with the situation in the house, the light or a certain part of the room and how it all fits in together; that is actually out of my control.  I can’t control the light, how it comes into the house or what type of light.  There are boundaries being put on my creating of the paintings.  Until the light reveals itself in a certain way and shadows are made in a certain way, I don’t witness anything and I can’t make the artwork until that situation arises.  Waiting for it to come along is quite a powerful thing because I never know when it’s going to happen, sometimes it comes quite quickly and spontaneously and sometimes you have to wait.

Time Box (c)2010 Anthony Boswell

Time Box, (c)2010 Anthony Boswell, mixed media construction, 20.3 x 27.9 x 20.3cm

JB: ‘Time Box’ is a surreal statement on time, memory and recall in the sense of ‘knowing’ the truth of something rather than simply remembering the specific details of it.  This knowing and memory can be at odds sometimes and time can be the disrupter between the two.  Is this the message of ‘Time Box’ for you?  What do you see in ‘Time Box’?

AB: The message of Time Box for me is being contained.  It’s about being inside an environment that is really familiar and trying to stay in the present; you don’t want to necessarily go back to the past but you definitely don’t want to run into the future, so it’s trying to keep within the loop, trying to be completely stationary in the present.  But also apart from being something familiar, it’s a space which can be quite intense as well.  You can’t sit comfortably within it.  It gives a sense that you’re looking down on a life which isn’t your own.  There is an unfamiliarity amongst the familiar within it.

JB: How does this reflect on your view of self and identity?

AB: Identity is quite a difficult thing for me because my own view of identity is a unique personal view rather than understanding things as cultural identity.  I mean obviously I understand cultural identity and identity in a wider scope, but my own view of identity is to think of everyone as an individual.  Though I’m really aware of everyone else in the world, I’m not aware of people being part of a culture or a wider context of things.  When I think about it, I just think of all these people with their own unique personal identities.  I think I’ve just imagined them in their space in their privacy grappling with the same things I’m grappling with, you know with the fears, the longing and the doubts.  I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  It’s just wrapped up with self isn’t it?  I suppose I want everyone to deal with the bigger questions by coming to know themselves.  I find if you know yourself you come to know a lot more about the wider context of things.

In an effort to raise funds for This ‘Me’ of Mine, I’ve asked the artists to share a list of books they find informative for their practice.  Follow the links here or visit the Bookshop to see all the books suggested so far.  We hope you will see something inspiring for your own interests.

Anthony’s Reading List:

Art? No Thing! By Fré Ilgen

Paths to the Absolute by John Golding

Peter Lanyon: Modernism and the Land by Andrew Causey

Jane’s Additions:

Mark Rothko by David Anfam

Francesca Woodman Photography by Julia Bryan-Wilson & Corey Keller

The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

If you enjoy what you see here, follow the progress of the project by clicking the ‘follow’ button at the bottom of the page and share content you really like using the ‘share this’ buttons below each article.

Leave us a comment too, we would love to talk with you.

If you would like to support the project contact me at ThisMeofMine@gmail.com


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‘Beyond Painting – The Dream of Arcadia’ by Anthony Boswell is Choice Blog on a-n Artists Talking

I’m very pleased to announce Anthony Boswell’s blog, Beyond Painting – The Dream of Arcadia has been chosen by Andrew Bryant, editor of Artists Talking, as Choice Blog for April 2012.

Painting G (c) 2012 Anthony Boswell

Painting G, (c)2012 Anthony Boswell, acrylic on canvas

Bryant says, “I like a man who sticks to his guns, who knows himself well enough to know what matters to him and what doesn’t. To arrive at a place like this and stay put takes time, close attention and a strong will – to resist the empty promise of the always new…Like Morandi, he pursues one thing and keeps pursuing it, until what remains is the pursuit itself, in the form of longing. And what attends longing, of course, is loss. Morandi, maybe, was no stranger to loss, to disappointment, and I would hazard a guess Boswell is likewise acquainted with that Master.”

This is Anthony’s post #29 from his blog, it is a particularly poignant description of his point of view:

# 29 [23 March 2012]
Thanks to Sam Bell once again for the comments on my work. Yes, it is important that art comes first, finding that visual correlation between life and the work is what allows the process to bridge that gap and allows for the ambiguity to exist, further enhancing the possibilities of the paintings to take one into personal places by way of actual experience.This week, taking time to be calm in the house, to wander through the incoming and transient light, has allowed me to find a place that can work in painting. It is the result of days of waiting and looking, sometimes listening, that makes it possible to suddenly see something that has potential, that speaks to me. Often, this happens in the most exact of places, this time I was required to lower my eye level to see what was being revealed in a mirror that had been placed against the wall. It was going back to that place at different times of the day, in different light, that reveals a general emotion of experiences that are hidden there. I have been able to make just three quick visual notes of the spot to help give me a feel of what is going on there. The time is now here when I can keep going back, look at the empty space of the small canvas, and feel my way into the visual correlative that Sam talks about. It is moving from the life witnessed to the art, for the painting to take over, for the conversation between canvas and myself to take place, and in doing so, in letting this process happen naturally, the experience I had as I knelt in the room, everything I felt, saw and heard will be translated into an experience that can be felt by the viewer via the ambiguity set up in the paint and on its surface.
'Out of Ennui' sketch 1 (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

'Out of Ennui' sketch 1 (c)2012 Anthony Boswell, Pencil on paper

'Out of Ennui' sketch 2 (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

'Out of Ennui' sketch 2 (c)2012 Anthony Boswell, Ink on paper

'Out of Ennui' sketch 3 (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

'Out of Ennui' sketch 3 (c)2012 Anthony Boswell, Ink and pencil on paper

Out of Ennui (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

Out of Ennui (c)2012 Anthony Boswell, Acrylic on canvas

Read more of Anthony’s blog and visit his website.

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I Am a Black Box

David Riley is an artist’s artist – he works with raw ideas and even when these concepts have attained a ‘result’, as David calls them, they are still wide open for interpretation, further development and wide ranging tangential possibilities.  His work could be seen as a springboard to so many other ideas in so many possible media.  I continue to be amazed by his output and the sheer magnitude of his inspiration pool.

David also is a keen blogger and has written several blogs on a-n Artists Talking.  Two of his blogs have been chosen as ‘Choice Blog’, the most recent by Linda Stupart.  FORMAT is an artwork and a unique blog, as Stupart points out in her article; it is uniquely David Riley.    It uses the a-n blogging platform to explore the “facilities and limits within the context of an a-n blog,” as David writes in his intro.  He explains, “this should not, in any way, be taken as criticism. The intent is to explore the limit of the facilities offered by an a-n blog (implied and actual) as a form of visual enquiry”.

Stupart says, “Riley’s collapsing of form and content then is notable within the collective blog imaginary, which often fails to be critical of its own formal structure in a way that other types of practice could never get away with.  Through an explication of limitation FORMAT also reminds us of the incredible potential of blogs as medium, as well as making visible the otherwise invisible restrictions of the institutionalized blog – a very big, fairly convoluted white cube, but a container nonetheless.”

See what I mean – a springboard wide open for possibilities.

Jane Boyer: The statement on each of your blogs reads, “I am a black box, an abstract device evolved to hide the complexities within. Given the appropriate stimulus, I can be triggered to display a transient pop-up model of my inner self and disclose a little of what would otherwise remain secret.” 

Beyond the stated reason ‘to hide the complexities within’, why do you present yourself as an object and your inner self as a ‘transient pop-up model’?

David Riley: I don’t intend to ‘present myself as an object’; a black box is a system metaphor so I use it to present myself as a system, a complex system that no one can fully understand (not even me).

The ‘pop-up model’ idea was planted by Richard Taylor when he interviewed me for an a-n Degrees Unedited Blogger Profile back in 2010. The idea meshed quite naturally with my experience as an engineer, where I often analysed systems that were new to me by treating them as a black box in order to understand their true function.  At art college we were encouraged to self-analyse our output and I found myself not fully understanding how I travelled from initial concept to final outcome. So, now I find it useful to think of myself as a black box where every new line of enquiry has the potential to reveal more of my inner (often hidden) self and my motivations for doing what I do.

679-607-700 (c)2012 David Riley

679-607-700 (c)2012 David Riley, post-it note and ink

JB: Your blog REMNANTS could be seen as a companion piece to FORMAT in its use of the blogging platform limitations.  Your introduction statement is a philosophical one and reminds me of Deleuze’s observation “Underneath all reason lies delirium, and drift.”[1]  You state:

“Everything is T R A N S I E N T.

Although the tools here at a-n (and in general on the world wide web) try very hard to make everything permanent, this is not the natural order.  Any impression of permanence is illusionary. The nature of the universe is for everything to return to the universe for reuse.  I have removed (from this blog) everything the a-n system allows me to delete. I could hide the rest by unpublishing it, but this does not release the storage space for reuse.

So here we have a new outcome based on everything that has gone before: the R E M N A N T S.”

Can you comment on that existential triumvirate – memory, transience and reason, in relation to your enquiries and do you feel they are as present in your work as for someone who is working in more traditional media?

DR: If memory is knowledge and experience; if transience is the coming and going of a new influence or a loss of knowledge through lack of use; and if reason is the use of knowledge and experience to filter the infinite possibility into a manageable focus; then yes these factors are most definitely present in my work.

JB: You have two works in This ‘Me’ of Mine, twitter user names: coded (follow the link on David’s page to see the virtual version of twitter names) and bar EP blues (kinetatic), tell us what is behind the further coding of what is often already a code name in the twitter piece.

DR: I chose to translate the twitter user name into a different form, a form that would retain the full meaning but hide it in plain sight. As I wanted to use twitter, this had to be in a form that would still fit within the limitation of a tweet. If you can read my code then you can read the name, the meaning hasn’t changed. But even this is little more than a side-effect. My concept was to take the names and present them in what is to me a visually interesting way while at the same time engaging new people who might interact with me and stimulate new paths of exploration.

stringing code triptych (c)2012 David Riley

stringing code triptych (c)2012 David Riley, wood, steel angle brackets, screws, steel hooks, bungee cord and nylon bungee hooks, editable wall mountable sculpture/ re-mountable installation; 144cm x 144cm x 4cm

JB: I admire the ease with which you move between codes and systems.  Your latest enquiries, stringing words, involve stringing bungee cords which represent the alphabet, short phrases and now names.  You mentioned earlier that you see text as code and so all language is code to you, does this affect your notions of communication and how you relate to others?

DR: My life has been riddled with codes, as a systems engineer I see them everywhere; consequently I am very comfortable with codes. On reflection, using codes may be a strategy, being an artist is relatively new and I prefer to keep an aspect of the process familiar while I explore other aspects for the first time. Changing one variable at a time is a familiar strategy for experimentation, working with the familiarity of codes allows me to handle the unfamiliarity of materials and reactions to my work. It helps me focus on the new connections I make with people and ideas through sharing my output.  I am always absorbing new things and this feedback can influence and encourage something new further down the line. It is rare for this process to change my own perspective on the work, but it does happen on occasion, when it does this can lead to a new line of enquiry or a variation on an old one.

Maybe there will come a time when I move on and explore a different aspect, one that takes a step away from code into a less familiar territory. Although experience suggests codes will always be there somewhere.

In an effort to raise funds for This ‘Me’ of Mine, I’ve asked the artists to share a list of books they find informative for their practice.  Follow the links here or visit the Bookshop to see all the books suggested so far.  We hope you will see something inspiring for your own interests.

David’s Reading List:
The Janus Aspect: Artists in the Twenty-first Century by John Tusa

The Infinite Line: Re-making Art After Modernism by Briony Fer

Lines: A Brief History by Tim Ingold

Cryptography (Very Short Introductions) by Fred C. Piper and Sean Murphy

You’ll Never Know: Drawing and Random Interference by Henry Krokatsis, Jeni Walwin and James Flint

The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney

UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language by Martin Fowler and Kendall Scott

Use Your Head: How to Unleash the Power of Your Mind by Tony Buzan

Jane’s Additions:

The Ghost in the Machine by Arthur Koestler

Phenomenology of Perception by Maurice Merleau-Ponty

If you enjoy what you see here, follow the progress of the project by clicking the ‘follow’ button at the bottom of the page and share content you really like using the ‘share this’ buttons below each article.

Leave us a comment too, we would love to talk with you.

If you would like to support the project contact me at ThisMeofMine@gmail.com


[1] L’île déserte et autres textes (2002). Trans. Desert Islands and Other Texts 1953-1974 (2003). p. 262.

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David Minton reviews Beta Version 2.0 at Kaleidoscope Gallery and Kate Murdoch is interviewed by Artist Talking editor, Andrew Bryant

To Heal by Ruth Geldard

To Heal, Ruth Geldard, wax, found tree section

Beta Version 2.0

Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks
19 January – 10 March 2012

In addition to blogging, David Minton has reviewed a number of exhibitions at the Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks Library.

His latest review of ‘Beta 2.0’ is among those chosen by a-n guest selector Alessandro Vincentelli, Curator of Exhibitions & Research at BALTIC in Gateshead, to be featured in the March edition of a-n Magazine, Reviews section.

Ruth Geldard’s three pieces begin with verbs – ‘To smother’  ‘To Heal’ ‘To Secrete’. My male gaze lacks confidence here. To Smother? Smothering? (S)mothering? My mother?  Smother the mother? Smothering is a gentle art, but oh so insistent. Brings back memories. From a distance, ‘To Smother’ is an over sized confection on the wall. Get closer and it has the appearance of a section of tree-trunk overwhelmed by sweet pinkness; its enamel surface a contradiction. Invited by the artist to touch the work, my visual enamel is shattered by the shocking sensation of clammy skin. First reactions are of eye and hand reading different stories, but second thoughts suggest that the differences live through their associations. The eye touches more easily than the hand? My male gaze backs off a little…

Read the full review here.

Read David’s blog Dead and Dying Flowers on a-n Artists Talking.

Kate Murdoch is interviewed by Andrew Bryant

Hame by Kate Murdoch

Hame (c)2009 Kate Mudoch, courtesy the artist

And speaking of Artists Talking, editor Andrew Bryant’s latest blogger interview is with our Kate Murdoch.  They discuss art as a second career and the challenges and benefits of not going to art school.

AB: You are one of the few artists I know who hasn’t been through the art education system. Do you think that puts you at an advantage or a disadvantage?

KM: I think the short answer to that is a bit of both. My feelings fluctuate and I waver between thinking that an art education might be really worthwhile to wondering if I would personally gain all that much from it.

I’d say one of the main advantages for me of not having had a formal art education is that I’ve had the freedom to work organically and develop my practice at my own pace. I like to think that my art isn’t formulaic. I haven’t been taught how to make it; I work intuitively, so it comes from the heart.  I’ve heard some people speak about having the creativity knocked out of them through attending an art institution. I can’t say whether this would have happened to me had I gone, but I do know that as things stand, my creative flow has remained largely uninterrupted.

Read Blogger Interview: Kate Murdoch.

Read Kate’s latest post on her blog Keeping it Together, one she says will be her last.

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