Saturday, December 26, 2009

Postcards from Bielefeld

Rheda Wiedenbruck

Over the christmas holiday's I took a trip to the quaint little village of Rheda Wiedenbruck, around 25 miles from Bielefeld. It was really nice to spend the afternoon mooching around the Christmas market and buying a few presents to take back home.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Exhibition flyer

(click on the image for bigger picture)

Time is really rushing by now, and it's only 1 month until my exhibition opens here at the Artist Unlimited Gallery. With the help of the house, my exhibition flyer is now all designed and at the printers. The exhibition opening will be on the 8th January and will run until 17th.  Now I'm starting to plan which of my new works will go into the exhibition and how I will display them in the wonderful gallery space.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Just a few pictures to show you my progress on the huge drawing I am making for my exhibition in January. The drawing is made in 3 separate parts and this is the first of the three. I think this piece will be on going right up to the instillation week in January when my show opens. In between making this piece I am continuing to make other experimental drawings, mainly playing with form and composition on a variety of scales.

Just the beginning stages..

making good progress..

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Me in the studio...

Just thought I'd share a picture of me working away in the studio this evening on the 9m 24cm drawing..

This picture was taken by Artists Unlimited member and photographer
Heinrich Holtgreve

Friday, November 27, 2009

A state of becoming....

I've been busy all week composing some new drawings with repetitive lines: continuing with  stacking, layering, erasing, ordering.. this is the latest drawing from the series of 'tumbling and stacked boxes'

Untitled: 5 tumbling boxes (graphite on paper, 42 x 59.4 cm)

I have also decided that for my exhibition I will make a drawing using this process that will be installed in one of the gallery spaces at the Artists Unlimited Gallery.  The space I will mount the drawing on will be across 3 walls with a total measurement of 9m 24 cm - so i have really got my work cut out for this piece.
Again i am plotting found and randomly generated numbers into a polygon which has been mapped out and masked off to give a straight edge - trying to give some order to the disorder of repetitively drawing and erasing lines -( and everything that occurs in between)
The piece does not have a title so far, but I am noting down how many lines are being drawn during each drawing session, and I suspect that this may have an influence on the drawings title in the end.

Here is the beginnings of what is going to be a very long winded process..

Just the beginning...

I have also been playing around with a process of drawing a series of quick lines, whilst blind folded, to generate some new ideas about creating new forms, playing around with confined spaces and environments on the paper surface. To help me to see the forms more clearly I have decided to give each newly determined form an identity - either a graphite surface or a specific colour. I'm really enjoying creating these new shapes and compositions from a simple few free formed lines, understanding forms and putting things into a new order feels satisfying and intriguing.
I don't really see these as finished works, more like small sketches of investigation into how line creations can lead to complex surfaces and structures. ... like creating a state of becoming something rather than being static..

A few examples - I have made many of these pieces

Made across five separate surfaces and positioned together, the order of the pieces can be changed around

Water colour and pencil

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Postcard 5

Please visit the Postcard archive to see al off the sent and received postcards so far..

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Drawing Blocks

Here are some snaps of some further work using pencils, lines, erasers and measurements, which were made over the weekend. The work is now starting to play with spacial concerns of the surface area of the paper, and I'm becoming more and more interested in stacking, piling and toppling lines and blocks.
For a full description of how the work is made please visit this previous post.

Untitled: 4 Tumbling blocks
(Graphite on paper, 30 x 30cm)

Untitled: 3 Stacked Blocks
(Graphite on Paper, 42 x 59.4 cm)

Making the work

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recent studio work

I've been sat at my desk in the studio for the past week with my head down, drawing thousands upon thousands of pencil lines. Though my neck, arm and hand are a bit sore, I'm happy with the results of my hard labour.
I have been collecting numbers from everywhere; public transport time tables, food packaging, receipts, from websites, basically any time I see numbers I've been jotting them down in my notebook. The source of the numbers isn't really that important, I just need a bank of random numbers to make my drawings. There are also some great 'random number generator' websites if I need a large bulk of numbers at once.

I have been drawing lines with graphite and drawing lines with an eraser; constantly drawing, erasing, redrawing. It all contributes to a system that hopefully creates a drawing that is transformative, generative, one that can never be predetermined, but the process of making the drawing is very defined from the outset.

This type of process is very much about trail and error, looking for the imperfections and taking those ideas to generate new systems . It feels a bit  like a machine, turning one system into the next, which leads into the next series of drawings... it never ends!

As with my earlier experiments, I have been plotting lines on an x, y axis, taking 3 numbers at a time: 2 numbers define the section of the surface to draw lines in quick succession with a pencil and a ruler, and the 3rd number  which determines at which point I  will erase, by freehand and with my eyes closed (just to 'spice' it up a bit, haha), at that point.

In this piece: Untitled: 30'659' the process is repeated hundreds and hundreds of times and is divided into 4 areas. Each area is worked on separately and contains over 200 plotted numbers.

The Drawing in progress

Untitled: 30'659 (detail)

Finished piece:
Untitled: 30'659 (graphite on paper)
24x32 cm

By the way, 30'659 is the total sum of the area in which the lines have been made, in millimeters.

The next series of drawings are made in a similar way.
My starting point is to draw a line that is made by placing a pencil in my left hand, closing my eyes and drawing a single line across the surface.
Using found numbers once again, the lines are plotted along the free hand line created at the start of the drawing, again in groups of 3; 2 numbers to determine a block in which to place very quickly drawing lines, 1 number the determine where an erased line will appear.

First few experiments  (Untitled series 3)

Untitled: 3.1

Untitled: 3.2

Untitled: 3.2 (Detail)

Untitled: 3.3

Untitled: 3.3 (Detail)

And, I have started to really enjoy plotting lines along the curved line, so i made a quick experiment using the sphere at a space to plot random numbers along a curved line - which has sparked a few more ideas for me to carry on with over the next few days.

Untitled: Spheres

Untitled: Spheres

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Postcard Archive

I have now started to archive the postcards that I am making for  project at Touchstones Rochdale Art Gallery. 
I am pleased to report, that despite to postal strikes back in the UK, that the postcards have been arriving safely at the gallery. The postcards are being displayed in a book, for visitors to view throughout my residency here in Bielefeld. The postcards reflect my current work, research and experiences  from the residency, whilst also providing viewers a picturesque and traditional tourist view of Bielefeld from current and past times on the reverse side of the postcards.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weekend in Bremen

This past weekend I made  visit to the not so far away city of Bremen.
Bremen has the most wonderful Museum for Modern Art called The Weserburg. The Weserburg is a huge 4 story art museum cram packed with touring exhibitions and a permanent collection.
The highlight for me was a exhibition called We Fix Toasters by american artist Norman White, an exhibition of digital and kinetic art.

During my time in Bremen i got to explore the city and also visit the nearby town of Bremerhaven

Wallanlagen Park - Bremen

Bremen town hall and the surrounding beautiful architecture

Die Sögestrasse

I couldn't visit Bremen without touching the feet of the Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten - The Town Musicians

The winter season market and fair

Bremerhaven is the seaport of Bremen. It is a relatively new town founded in 1827 by Johann Smidt...

Bremerhaven fishing boats

Bremerhaven Kunsthalle

Bremerhaven is home to many of these wonderful modern sculptures that are dotted around the town

Now I'm back in Bielefeld continuing to make new work and making postcards to send back to Rochdale Art Gallery. I will have some new pictures of my most recent drawing experiments over the weekend.