Tag Archives: Annabel Dover

Blue Mythologies

Blue Mythologies by Carol MavorCarol Mavor’s latest book, Blue Mythologies: Reflections on a Colour, has just been released. This series of explorations of the colour blue presents readings which are at once sociological, literary, historical and visual, taking the reader from the blue of a new-born baby’s eyes to the films of Jarman and Kieslowski.

It also features Iris’ Stocking, by Annabel Dover.

Find out more and purchase the book through our bookshop.

Annabel’s work will be in another book soon; our own This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age is in production. Mavor’s beautiful fairytale, Like Weeds, written for Annabel will be included in the book. Here’s a short excerpt:

At an early age, Annabel began composing her own nomenclature for the colour blue. Her tiny, densely nature-rich, taxonomically inscribed world was a blue marble writ large: like the earth itself. Annabel’s village was famed for its kindly Giant. He was nearly seven feet tall and weighed over twenty-three stone. He was strong. He was gentle. Children loved him. When he walked down the street, you could hear the children in peals of giggles chiming in with his roaring, big laugh. The Giant would carry boys and girls, three to a shoulder, begging them to kick him harder so that he could feel it. Little ones, who were too excited about the newness of their first steps, preferred not to be carried. They followed along at a brisk trot wearing baby-blue baby reins, complete with tinkling bells.

The Girl-Naturalist had once worn these reins and had sat on his shoulders.

Watch for more news coming soon…


Family Romances

British & Foreign Beetles ©2004 Annabel Dover

British & Foreign Beetles, ©2004 Annabel Dover, watercolour

‘Scientific observation and tender girlish enthusiasm’ is a curious mix of what seems to be diametrically opposed concepts and practices, but this description by Annabel of her own work is absolutely spot on. Not only does this describe her work but it also suggests there may be another way of approaching observation which includes fascination, delicacy and empathy; a gentle approach to observing the world which allows tenderness to remain, and to remain on equal footing with hard fact. Her works are as delicate as antique Venetian blown glass, and as fragile. Once in her gaze, the objects she works with are given to a relentless and crushing scrutiny; any individual subjected to this kind of probing would soon buckle under the intensity. Innately understanding this, Annabel satisfies herself with observing their objects; a kinder, gentler proposition but one no less penetrating into the soul by Annabel’s eye.

Jane Boyer: On your website you describe yourself as constantly being “drawn to objects and the invisible stories that surround them; [t]hrough their subtle representation…exploring their power as intercessionary agents that allow socially acceptable emotional expression. The work presents itself as a complex mixture of scientific observation and tender girlish enthusiasm which often belies their history.”  That is a wonderful compendium of mystery, fact and fascination.  Do they share equal weight in your explorations?

Christening Gown Ayrshire ©2002 Annabel Dover

Christening Gown Ayrshire, ©2002 Annabel Dover, oil on board

Annabel Dover: I really enjoyed the show ‘Life or Theatre’ by Charlotte Salomans. It showed a very personal, fabulous fantasy representation of her life.

My upbringing was constructed from lies and my parents indulged in their own personal dramas. The truth was impossible to decipher and the objects that surrounded my sisters and I were often the only witnesses to ludicrous acts of fantasy and violence – the Freemason’s case with a bag of un-hewn rocks, a sign of dishonour; the naval coat with the buttons ripped off, indicators of an affair that my father had with a Naval officer; the college gown of my sisters’ father, an alcoholic professor; the love letters of his father, Canon for the BBC, to his fiancé; the jewellery that represented both my mother’s and my grandmother’s love affairs. These and many other objects highlighted the traumas and the breaks in human relationships that made up the atmosphere of my upbringing. The stories told to me by my family unravelled with the discovery of these indiscreet objects.

The personal stories people tell are fascinating to me, they announce who they would like to be and often contrast with how others might perceive them to actually be.

Water Garden ©2012 Annabel Dover

Water Garden, ©2012 Annabel Dover, water, plants, moss, glass dome

JB: A few years ago Anna White photographed your studio over the course of a year, she asked you to take your own photographs of your daily life and write down thoughts about your images. She included one of these texts and your accompanying photograph on her website. What strikes me is the association you make between the history of the rose bed outside your studio window and your own life history through the rose in the image. Association is a powerful tool for memory, can you explain some of the ways you use association in your work?

AD: I really love it when people communicate with me and I really felt this after the MA follow on show at Central St Martins. Lots of people came up to me and shared their stories. I had made a self-lit cubicle of roughly vitruvian proportions with a theatre blackout curtain and 365 small paintings inside. The images were of family photographs and things I had collected when I worked for an Antique dealer doing house clearances. I was touched by how many people felt a connection with images of other people’s belongings.

Iris' Stocking ©2011 Annabel Dover

Iris’ Stocking, ©2011 Annabel Dover, cyanotype

JB: Your piece, Iris’ Stocking, is a life-size cyanotype of a woman’s seamed stocking from the 40’s. This is about all that can be gleaned from looking at the work, but the addition of the story behind this stocking gives an electrifying significance to the piece. Can you tell us more about the work, the stockings and the significance it all has for you?

AD: My grandmother kept a pair or gossamer thin silk stockings in a drawer along with a lipstick and a handkerchief ready for her husband’s return from the war. He never did return and was pronounced missing presumed dead. She kept these hidden and locked in her bureau and was found along with a photo of her husband in her wallet, after she died. She had remarried a horrible bully, my grandfather.

JB: Carol Mavor has written a beautiful fairy tale of your life, called Like Weeds.  Much of your work deals with the stories attached to objects, or more specifically, the stories people tell of their objects. Do you think of these stories people tell as fairy tales of a sort? Can you describe or define the boundary between real life experience and when the experience becomes a story?

St. Anthony & Putti ©2010 Annabel Dover

St. Anthony & Putti, ©2010 Annabel Dover, silverpoint

AD: I think they are. I think they change each time we tell them. My stepfather has dementia and no longer knows who I am. He was a POW in WWII and now when he talks about his time there it’s based on the plot of The Great Escape. I think we have always been characters in our own fairy tale. The essay Family Romances, [by Freud], talks about this:

“The child’s imagination becomes engaged in the task of getting free from the parents of whom he now has a low opinion and of replacing them by others, who, as a rule, are of higher social standing. He will make use in this connection of any opportune coincidences from his actual experience, such as his becoming acquainted with the Lord of the Manor or some landed proprietor if he lives in the country or with some member of the aristocracy if he lives in town. Chance occurrences of this kind arouse the child’s envy, which finds expression in a phantasy in which both his parents are replaced by others of better birth.”[1]

[1] Freud, S. (1909). Family Romances. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IX (1906-1908): Jensen’s ‘Gradiva’ and Other Works, 235

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. Your book purchase made through This ‘Me’ of Mine will help raise funds for the project.

Annabel’s suggested reading:

Archaeology of Knowledge by Michel Foucoult

Art and Artifact by James Putnam

Biographical Objects by Janet Hoskins

Burning with Desire by Geoffrey Batchen

Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture by Jonathan Smith

Reading Boyishly by Carol Mavor

The Archive edited by Charles Merewether

The Emancipated Spectator by Jacques Rancière

The Familial Gaze by Marianne Hirsch

The Politics of Focus by Lindsay Smith

Jane’s additions:

Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

If you enjoyed this interview, please follow This ‘Me’ of Mine by clicking the ‘follow’ button below.  You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook, those links are also below.  Pop in and see the great work our partners are doing too! Click on the logos below to go to their sites.

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Annabel Dover, Hayley Harrison & David Riley News

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Annabel Dover: Dark Starlit Heaven Residency at Aid & Abet

Annabel Dover’s residency, Dark Starlit Heaven, started earlier this week as part of Aid & Abet’s Temporary Residency in the House at Kettle’s Yard. She will be drawing with silverpoint – a form of drawing that was popular in the 1400s. A silver stylus touches the gesso surface to create an image. The drawing darkens as the silver tarnishes. Dover’s drawings focus on the objects that have personal stories attached to them, real or imagined. This is a great opportunity to witness an artist at work and find out more about this fascinating drawing process. Find out more from Aid & Abet

Familiar, 2012 Hayley Harrison

Hayley Harrison: Familiar selected for Lynn Painter-Stainers exhibition

Hayley Harrison’s painting, Familiar, has been selected for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Exhibition at the Mall Galleries from Monday 18th February – 2nd March. Find out more about this year’s selections and see the 98 works chosen at Lynn Painter-Stainers

Hayley works predominantly with painting, but also uses drawing and text. Her work currently questions what ‘Home’ is, in both a physical and psychological sense. Recent paintings invoke a sense of timelessness and absence. She is interested in how we recognise ourselves in the quiet moments that surround objects and place.

Secret Story, 2012 David RileyDavid Riley’s Secret Story at West Ox Arts Gallery

David’s work is part the West Ox Arts Gallery exhibition Secrets & Stories, until Jan 27. See a video of the exhibition here.

“Using a cipher, a secret can be shared in plain sight. Knowledge of the key will reveal the secret to the chosen few. With time and resources, the key may be discovered and the secret revealed beyond the intended audience. Once deciphered and revealed the story contained within the secret can be read as-if intended for all to see!”  David Riley

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Catching up with Summertime

Summertime is the time for fun in the sun – right?  It’s also the time for some great art activity and the artists of This ‘Me’ of Mine have been very active.  They’ve also been busy composing their thoughts in several new blogs, see the list below.  Here are the highlights of some of their recent and upcoming activity:

Annabel Dover:

'Marshall & Snellgrove' (c)2011 Annabel Dover

Marshall & Snellgrove, (c)2011 Annabel Dover, cyanotype on paper

Golden Thread Gallery

Royal Academy Summer Show
Curated and selected by Tess Jaray

Fringe Arts Bath

Santorini Biennale
Santorini, Greece

Kate Murdoch:

'10x10' (c)2008-2012 Kate Murdoch

10 x 10, (c)2008-2012 Kate Murdoch

Coastal Currents Arts Festival
Stade Hall, Old Town, Hastings

Exhibition of 10×10:
19 – 21 September 2012, 4 to 7pm

Artist Talk:
19 September 2012, 7pm

Object Swap:
22 September 2012, 5 to 8pm

David Riley:

sonnet 84, colouring shakespeare (c)2012 David Riley

sonnet 84, colouring shakespeare, (c)2012 David Riley

HEADLINE: 99 days of colour coding the news
Online Exhibition at: http://virtual.codedimages.com/headline/

SONNET: colouring Shakespeare
Online Exhibition at: http://virtual.codedimages.com/colouring-shakespeare/

Anthony Boswell:

Marker (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

Marker, (c)2012 Anthony Boswell

Reading Room
Little Berlin, Philadelphia, USA
Curated by Becky Huff Hunter

Reside Residency
The Reside Residency is inspired in equal parts by the notions contained within Xavier de Maistre’s ‘Voyage around my Room’ and the founders inability to find a suitable residency for an individual with familial and professional responsibilities.

Hayley Harrison:

Portrait (c)2012 Hayley Harrison

Portrait (c)2012 Hayley Harrison

Hayley has been painting portraits at several art fairs this summer.  Here is a list of some of the fairs she’s attended:

 Faircharm Summer Fair

Dandy Lion Market

Mayton Street Festival part of Holloway Arts Festival 2012

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden part of Dalston Flower Show – Chelsea Fringe

New Blogs:

David Minton: It’s a Hiding to Nothing
Kate Murdoch: Keeping it Going
Sandra Crisp: Work in Progress
Anthony Boswell: ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ – Beyond Painting

The project is also starting to get some press attention. Anthony’s interview was mentioned in The Arts and Crafts Gazette in June. In July Perrick Senelaer editor of Art Pie invited me to be a contributor and write about This ‘Me’ of Mine. It gives me a unique opportunity to write about the project from a different perspective and I hope will offer further insights into issues surrounding This ‘Me’ of Mine. I have an article coming up for Art Pie on my interview with Shireen Qureshi.  Our interview will be posted here in the next few days,  so watch for that. And last week, @an_artnews mentioned me in a tweet with some other very exciting groups and individuals making a mark on the UK arts scene, I was very honoured. As a result the project has gained some new followers.

So if you are enjoying the developing content, help us spread the word. You can follow the project by clicking on the ‘follow this blog via email‘ button or the ‘follow@thismeofmine‘ button just below the list of tweets. Leave us a comment too, we’d love to chat with you. If you would like to support the project have a look at our BOOKSHOP for books which have inspired the artists of This ‘Me’ of Mine, commissions from book sales go to fund the project.

Thanks very much to everyone who is watching!

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Annabel Dover and Cathy Lomax in ‘Tainted Love’ curated by Corinna Spencer

PV: Tonight! May 3, 6 – 9pm

Tainted Love

Alice Anderson, Kirsty Buchanan, Annabel Dover, Georgie Flood,
Andrea Hannon, Paul Kindersley, Hayley Lock, Cathy Lomax,
Alli Sharma, Corinna Spencer, Mark Scott-Wood, Jessica Voorsanger
Selected by Corinna Spencer

4 – 27 May 2012
Gallery Open fri – Sun 12-6pm
Preview: Thur 3 May, 6-9pm

You are an obsession, you’re my obsession…

Cathy Lomax
Corinna Spencer

For those who do not share it, unconditional devotion is seen as unhealthy and unsettling. But to the devotee their chosen idol – however undeserving – is at the centre of the world.

Tainted Love is a day dreamingly dark installation about obsessional love. These desires for desire will range from simple groups of paintings to more elaborate devotional structures each dedicated to what Proust claimed was ‘the only successful (sustainable) love’ – unrequited.

From cabinets of transgression to intimate shrines the Tainted Love artists use objects to attempt to come closer to their objects of desire.

Tainted Love will also be touring to..
Meter Room Coventry, 8 June – 8 July 2012
Preview: Thur 7 June, 6-8.30pm
Downstairs Hereford, 22 September – 18 November 2012
Preview: Sat 22 Sep, 6-9pm

Paul Kindersley
Hayley Lock

Transition Gallery
Unit 25a Regent Studios
8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN

Please contact Corinna Spencer for more information and images

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©2012 Transition Gallery | Unit 25a Regent Studios | 8 Andrews Road | London | E8 4QN
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This ‘Me’ of Mine Symposium

I have been hard at work the last two months writing scads of exhibition proposals and grant proposals – and I’m not finished yet. But I’ve just finished the largest, most complex and the most important grant proposal for the project. In working my way through that, several things have fallen into place – significantly the proposed symposium in conjunction with the exhibition.

I’m very proud and honoured to announce three of the four invited experts have agreed to be on the panel and the fourth may join us yet!

The panel members are:

Dr David Jones photoDr David Jones, Director of the new Visual Culture initiative at the University of Exeter.  His current research interests focus on visual culture, in particular installation art and the archive and the visual coding of trauma and testimony. He is currently exploring contemporary theories and representations of the archive, especially in visual culture.  He co-organised a one-day workshop at Exeter in May 2011,  Repositioning Memory: between the Archive and the Rubbish Heap.

Dr Claire Hart photoDr Claire Hart, Lecturer and Researcher with Centre for Research on Self and Identity at the University of Southampton. Her research largely focuses on self and identity. The self is an important point of contact between theories of social behaviour and personality. For example, according to self-categorization theory, the self can be defined at different levels; in terms of an individual self (as a unique individual) and a collective self (the self as a group member), and her research focuses on these levels of self-categorization.

Annabel Dover photoAnnabel Dover, Artist and PhD Fine Art candidate at Wimbledon College of Art, explores the social relationships that are mediated through objects.  She explores the relationships we have with objects that simultaneously confound and support emotional expression. The personal narratives imposed upon objects often provide a hidden expression for the breakdown in human relationships and the overlapping, disparate and disjointed memories and emotions that they reflect.  As a result, her work is specifically engineered to be overlapping, mythical, disparate and disjointed.

See the Symposium page for more info.  Follow the development of this project by following us on Twitter and becoming a follower of this blog, see below.  If you would like to support this project contact me at: ThisMeofMine@gmail.com

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Equinox at Transition Gallery

Plan to visit Equinox, a spring fund-raising event for Transition Gallery, that fab artist-led space in London run by Cathy Lomax.

Add to your art collection by bidding on unique works of art in the silent auction.

Annabel Dover will be there too with a flower stall and these beautiful goose eggs:

Not to be missed!

Sunday 18 March 2012 2-6pm

To welcome the spring Transition would like to invite you to a day of folk fundraising festivities including a special exhibition and silent auction of unique artworks donated by over 50 contemporary artists including Phillip Allen Eileen Cooper, Sigrid Holmwood, Cathy Lomax Mali Morris, Ryan Mosley, Emma Talbot and Virgina Verran with the opportunity to bid on the day or online until 30 March.

Cathy Lomax
Kim Baker
Corinna Spencer
Lindsey Bull

Bring your mother along for a cup of tea and homemade cake for Mother’s Day

Lots of innovative activities and handmade items to suit all pockets

  • Mimei Thompson’s White Elephant Stall: eclectic art bric-a-brac
  • Folk Bejazzeling: on the spot fashion accessory making by Alex Michon
  • Wicker Aura Portraits by Paul Kindersley
  • Palm Reading by Madame Espinoza
  • Corinna Spencer’s Zine Stall: low & highbrow books and magazines
  • Mother’s Day Tea & Homemade Cakes by Alli Sharma
  • Annabel Dover’s Plant Stall: spring flowers, postcards and plants
  • BBQ: sizzling hot sausages with homemade relish
  • Calum F. Kerr will be presenting A.A.A.B.A.M DAMNED, an edition of artist curses in a wearable Book Cloak.

The afternoon’s entertainment will include films, performances, readings, live music and a DJ set by Another Guy Named Gerald.


Transition Gallery is an artist-run, not-for-profit gallery. Its two publications Garageland and Arty have no advertising and promote the work of emerging artists and writers.

Transition Gallery
Unit 25a Regent Studios
8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN

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©2012 Transition Gallery | Unit 25a Regent Studios | 8 Andrews Road | London | E8 4QN

Sign up below and follow the development of This ‘Me’ of Mine and get news of the participating artists’ activity.  Check out the artists’ suggested reading too in the ‘Bookshop
Coming Soon – an interview with David Riley.
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