The loose ends…

Mort’s Hermaness, Acrylic on paper, 110 x 30 cm. 2021

I’ve a passion for poetry that began in my early teens. Actually it went underground between my twenties and sixties but has come back roaring in the past decade. I have an inkling its that way as regards our obsessions for many of us. I’ve rifled through a fair number of my favourites for the text that wraps around my paintings of late – Redgrove, in particular and Charles Wright is another. But recently I’m rather taken with Helen Mort‘s Division Street. Not least because of her poem North Of Everywhere that takes Shetland as inspiration. Perhaps because her work is more contemporary I’m wondering what the etiquette and legality is in using fragments of these many poets? Of course – as yet – I’ve not exhibited these works much (several were installed at Deda last winter but, courtesy of COVID, nobody saw them) and other than this blog they’ve not been publicly released but…

Mort’s Shetland, Acrylic on paper, 137.5 x 33.5 cm. 2021

Anyway these two have been on the studio wall since late June, so time to get them completed ahead of our holiday…stand by for reports from the Outer Hebrides…

PSU Nos. 43 & 44

Painting Standing Up No. 44 Ideal Country

Sitting and waiting these two since I returned from Dorset. For what? just the final tweaks as it turned out. Sadly none of the Paintings Standing Up are going to Déda…and what’s the status of that showing of the exhibition Days Like These anyway…not sure as they (and we) are firmly mired in Tier 3. Ah well at least we got the shows title on the nail…

Painting Standing Up No. 43 Forward to Spring!

Helping out…

Cape Poem (left) & Gwarra (right)

Earlier this autumn I put on another show at Deda in Derby.  My contributions are shown above.  I donated Cape Poem to the organisation as part of a fundraiser and contributed a short video piece that can be viewed here.   I’ve a great fondness for Deda and been a long time supporter as well as putting on shows there.  I’d appreciate any support that others might give them!

Truckin’ On

Sweet Bemister
Sweet Be’mi’ster, Acrylic on paper, 150 x 50 cm.

Nowadays it seems to be one thing after another…with activity that follows hard on activity.  Of course it’s nothing of the sort really, just the onset of age gives the appearance of time rushing by.  And things that I used to have to do ‘on the hoof’ I can now take time over…  So it is with the painting, I give even more time over to sitting and pondering than I did when younger, though I could lose hours to cogitation even back then.  Following on from the completion of Rock Of Ages, the third and final grouping of the Landscape & Memory project, I’m still drawn to one aspect of that endeavour, viz. the inclusion, or rather the wraparound, of text on paintings.

Petrarch reads augustine
Petrarch Reads Augustine, Mixed media on paper, 106 x 94 cm.

In other news the show I’m curating at Deda this autumn is rapidly approaching, much of the work for it is waiting patiently in my studio for delivery this coming weekend.  The view is on Wednesday 11th September because before then we’re off to Venice for a few days to take in the Biennale though I’m imagining spending quite a bit of time in the Gorky, Frankenthaler, Scully shows about town too.


And finally I have a small painting, Cape Poem 3, in the upcoming East Midlands auction that is on show at the Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre from the 6th September.

Auction PV e-vite[25]

Wheel comes off…

Installation shot: Geometry, Wonky or Otherwise at Deda, Derby from left to right, Louisa Chambers (4), Sarah R Key (2), Richard Perry (2), Louisa Chambers, Terry Greene (2)

The shows are over…it’s good that there’s something on the horizon now that the two recent shows I have been involved in have come to an end.  I imagine I’m not the only artist who has that slightly empty feeling when these projects come to their conclusion.  I’d like to use this post to thank Andrew Bracey, Louisa Chambers, Lucy Cox, Terry Greene, Sarah R Key, Andrew Parkinson, Richard Perry and Marion Piper for joining me in Geometry: Wonky or Otherwise.  And to thank everyone at Deda in Derby.  As for my show at Repton I owe a debt of thanks to the team there…and especially Louisa Chambers.  It was a pleasure working with you all.

Installation shot: Geometry etc. left Sarah R Key right Lucy Cox (2)



I’ve been suffering for over a week with yet another bad cold…and nowadays I find it pretty shattering.  Even though I’m (hopefully) the right side of it getting on with work (certainly in the manner I’m accustomed to) is hard going.  I find myself shattered and have to take a rest for forty minutes or so during the day.  This is something I never used to do at all and whether its simply because I can or whether it is just a fact of my advancing years I don’t know…but it’s debilitating and frustrating.

Not least because I want to finish my Winter Cycle and move onto other pieces, to get started on the detailed plan for the show I’m planning for the autumn at Deda in Derby.  The painting above is one of those I’m hoping to show – its by the marvellous sculptor Richard Perry.  Richard is an artist I’ve known since the very early 1980’s and I’m excited to be able to exhibit these terrific paintings he’s been making recently alongside his exquisite carved stone sculptures (for which he is justly highly regarded).  The show is titled Geometry: Wonky & Otherwise and takes as its loose premise the idea of a certain regard for geometric forms in contemporary painting, be they situated within a strong conceptual and systemic framework or more openly and loosely articulated within open and fluid painterly framework.  I got excited about a show of this kind a year or so back when I realised that I knew half a dozen or so painters, ranging in ages over three or four decades were playing with these ideas again.  Anyway today I’ve been feeling a little more energised and have started detailed planning for the show having settled on the participating cast in the last few weeks.  I’ve had to reign in my ambitions a little but am still confident it will hang together coherently and, its good to be back curating after a self imposed seven or eight month layoff!

Conversation about Conversations…

2014-10-09 12.53.02 HDR

I’m sitting in on Carnival of Monsters today (18 Oct.) from Noon till 3pm and tomorrow from 4:30 till 6:30pm. if you’ve time to pop along and have a chat about the Conversation series (showing alongside HMS colleagues).  When I’m not there I’ll be working on the catalogue for Happy Little Fat Man – Art by Kevin Coyne on at various locations around Derby in November, December & January – more details to follow shortly!




Danger, Danger – Kevin Coyne, 1992

can sometimes overtake the best laid plans.  The initial Crowdfunder pitch for our upcoming Kevin Coyne exhibition in Derby, ‘Happy Little Fat Man’ didn’t make its target so we are having to go again.  Instead of being in the studio my day is being devoted to online activities to try and raise the £1250 that was pledged last time around…and maybe find a little more!

This is my first time in fund raising through social networking and its proving quite tough! The initial target was a little ambitious so we’ve scaled it back and are going again…if you pledged first time can you ‘go again’ and if you are coming to it new then please consider doing so. There’s a new link and we have ten days to raise the figure…or we get nothing!

The project details are all here:

If you are coming to this new here’s the basic info from the Deda brochure for the autumn.