Monday, 21 April 2014

Over the last few months or so...

The cataloguing of my late Uncle Christopher Joseph Holme's paintings has been progressing well, and there's now an exhibition planned for the 3rd to 14th of November at PR1 Gallery in Preston. In anticipation of this I've been researching and writing a biography of Chris (Holme), which as he wasn't famous mostly takes the form of interviewing family members. The next step is to select the paintings that will be in the exhibition, around 20 - 50 depending on size, out of the approximately 200 that we have. I'm going to focus on the period of years from when we have the most work, approximately 1984 - 1990, and on the paintings that are most representative of his individual style and iconography. There's a short version of the CJH biography up on the tumblr blog now, take a look:

Exhibition Centre for the Life and use of Books
ECLuB is a project that I've been working on over the past few months with Robert Carter and Daniel Fogarty, that was recently granted ACE Funding (Hooray!). I can't say much as we're not quite ready to go public yet, but it will include a bi-monthly changing 'curated' library (ie: with books selected in line with a theme, or relating to a particular idea) and permanent reference library. An artist in residence will also work alongside the library, producing an exhibition towards the end of their residency, and there will be a programme of events and publications linked to the texts in the library.

Writing and Making
Last October I took part in The Manchester Print Fair sharing a stall with Elle Brotherhood, Liz Green and Chris Ridler, I hand-made some small books of photographs by Elle and constrained poetry by me - with interestingly textured paper and stamped words. I enjoyed making the books, even though it was frustrating at times and I was worried they wouldn't look finished enough, and I'd like to try more book-binding in the service of very small-scale publishing.

I haven't been doing much writing at all compared to this time last year, but have done a couple of reviews for The Double Negative, and pieces for The Skinny NW. Since taking on the role of Web Editor for Corridor 8 I've found myself spending much more time researching, planning and networking, and had a great time hosting a North West Writer's Meet & Greet with Creative Tourist in March. At the moment everything is building up to June, when hopefully I'll be able to gain a great deal more time to write properly again, and to see what I can do with some recurring ideas.

Last April I undertook a short residency at the Lionel Dobie Project, looking at working, motivation and self-imposed constraints and rules, which I failed to document at all. It was successful in some ways, and not in others - I ran a drawing workshop called a 'Chatch-Up' as part of the residency that went well, but I worked too slowly for the rest of the time. The outcome was a short publication entitled 'An Unsound Experiment' that was printed by and given out at the Lionel Dobie Project, featuring the results of the workshop, each paired with a 50 word paragraph relating the images to my research.

In other news, things have been going really well with the Islington Mill Art Academy, after our trip to Scarborough for the Art Party Conference in November. We recently took over the gallery space at Islington Mill for a week of 'active curating', whereby I.M.A.A members brought new or existing art works to the space, that were then moved around and rearranged as the week progressed. I had a go at some new work consisting of large (around 3x3x3cm) plaster beads in different colours, that were hung in different arrangements, used to mark the walls, and crushed - with these I wanted to create a discursive tool and to explore communication and social anxiety, and would like to take further if I get the chance! I need to re-read The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse as well.