Friday, 12 August 2011


In just a couple of weeks Desi and I will be back in Dundee after spending four months in London. This has been a great summer and has given me an opportunity to see, and work closely with, a lot of amazing artwork.  Upon first moving here I immediately took advantage of many of the free galleries London has to offer, I explored The Tate and Tate Modern, The Saatchi Gallery, The Serpentine Gallery, etc...  But my favourite exhibition of the summer was the Egon Schiele exhibition at the Richard Nagy Gallery.  I attended the show on opening day and was in awe of the amount of Schiele drawings and watercolour works hung in this fantastic small space.  I had never seen any of Schiele's work in person before so this completely blew me away.  Possibly even more amazing than the exhibition itself was the fact that I somehow wound up working in the gallery during this incredible exhibition.  I not only got to get closer to my favourite artist's work than I ever will again, (e.g. placing Woman With Homunculus back into it's frame) but also met some really great people.  I learned more than I thought I would about the inner workings of galleries and also about art collecting and dealing. I learned a bit about the auction houses and even picked up a painting from Christies...on foot.  Yes I walked through the streets of London with an Otto Dix under my arm!  And that wasn't the first time I'd experienced that, about a month earlier I did the same thing but with a Klimt drawing that needed to be picked up from the frame shop.  On both occasions I was panicking the whole time, I thought I would definitely somehow ruin these precious works of art.  But no, I made it back safely both times...apparently I'm not as clumsy as I thought.  This has been an amazing job and a phenomenal experience.

On the university side of things, my summer project is now starting to come together.  It took me a while to figure out exactly how it was going to work but, eventually, it started to make sense...I think.  Here is the brief we were given for this project:

 Summer project:  The Artists Book
This summer you are expected to work on, and arrive at your first tutorial in year three with an Artists Book.
This book should reflect your interests in art making/practice/imagery/direction and will be an introduction to your year three tutor and peer group of your current investigations and interests.
The Artists Book can take any form, size or guise, from a boxed set of papers, a folded sheet or map, a scroll, a free standing object, a multiple or edition. It can be as small as a matchbox full of papers or as large as a door! for example!! Please avoid the Blurb style of online photo books,unless it relates to the format or imagery involved. Please do look at successful artists books. The Centre for artists books in the DCA has the largest collection in Scotland and there are several publications in the DOJ library for information.  Have fun!

For this project I've decided to use a pre-existing book and I am adding to it.  I'm very interested in, and have been reading a lot about, psychology, neuropsychology and things of that nature.  The thing that holds my attention the most is the abnormal side of these subjects.  I love learning of strange behaviours, feelings (both physical and emotional) and abilities.  I also still have a love of the unconscious/subconscious mind and have continued to do many subconscious drawings.  The book I am using for this project is an Abnormal Psychology textbook, which has been a very interesting read, and I'm adding drawings, cut-out pictures, text and pages from other books to it.  My process has basically been: doing a lot of reading on the subject and then drawing or writing whatever is naturally purged from me into the book.

I'm getting excited to get back into the studio and jump into another year of constant creativity, but it'll be sad to say goodbye to London.  But, who knows, maybe we'll be back here next summer.