graphic scores

Graphic Score Hilton

Anyone who has followed my work for a while may remember that I have collaborated on occasion in cross-discipline projects bringing music and visuals together. Fifteen Images was the first of these projects in 2010, which resulted in a kind of graphic score based on colours and textures from a garden, which the performer could use for improvisation (along with defined ‘tonalities’ and a conventional score). This week sees the first performance of a group of works called Fresh Yorkshire Aires. Four different composers/artists have produced graphic scores to be performed by piano duet.

Mapping Yorkshire, with composer Nigel Morgan, takes photographs from four locations in Yorkshire as starting points for our four scores. You can find out more about the scores we produced here. All the Fresh Yorkshire Aires scores are on show in Leeds 14-17th June and the first performance is on Thursday 16th June in the gallery. Later in the month the scores and performance will be in Sheffield. Information and tickets to the performances are available at Fresh Yorkshire Aires.

Textiles & Music Interact

You may have noticed that there are new links appearing on the right hand side of the page at the moment.  I’m in a period of starting projects that have been in various stages of planning for some time.

I’ve been involved in the interdisciplinary group Textiles & Music Interact since 2009, when we created and first performed/showed the work Fifteen Images.  We are now developing our third project, Remembering Britten.  We’ve set up the blog to record the development of the project.  This provides a way for the members of the group to share developments as well as forming an archive and information point for anyone interested in finding out about our work and following it.

>pairings

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Yesterday I was at Manchester Metropolitan University for the Pairings conference. 15 Images was included in the programme as an ‘intervention’, which meant a performance after the main papers and events of the day and hopefully gave the delegates a little time to chill out and reflect on all the stuff they’d been listening to all day.


15 Images is of relevance to the Parings project, which is all about cross-discipline collaboration, because it brings together 4 individuals from 4 different disciplines: composition, textiles, digital technology and performance. There were some lovely comments following the performance and hopefully some useful contacts made.

It was good to get back into my studio today and get things straight in my head in terms of what is left to do before my final deadlines at college. I had a useful afternoon planning how my main printed and stitched felt pieces will be arranged in my space, working out what is missing and the jobs left to do. I then spent what seemed like ages grappling with various social media type things. Not my forte but a necessary part of set up and promotion as an artist in this day and age!


Meanwhile, there seems to be some rather good collaboration going on in my garden. The rain is back in play and is boosting everything beautifully. There is suddenly lush growth and a fullness that was lacking a week or so ago.


This time of year is when things are most harmonious in my garden as blues predominate and work together with the purples and pinks. I have a lovely viewpoint from the kitchen window that looks past little blue and yellow violas in the window box, through to the blues of rosemary flowers, the ceonothus (which is at its peak), irises and aliums. Every now and then there is punctuation from a citrusy yellow euohorbia or alchemilla mollis just starting to flower.


>duet performance

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For anyone within easy reach of Plymouth on Tuesday 5th April there will be a performance of a new duet version (for jazz piano and trombone) of Fifteen Images at Plymouth Art gallery. Details here and here. This afternoon performance will take place following a lunchtime lecture by curator Helen Carnac in which she will discuss some of the ideas behind the Taking Time exhibition, to which Fifteen Images is currently linked at Plymouth.

This will be the first performance of the duet version and will feature Matt Robinson and Kieran McLeod, both of the Royal Academy of Music. Sadly I won’t be able to be there but if any readers do make it I’d be interested to hear what you think…

>wierd sounds

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After yesterday’s lecture (which was thankfully well-recieved despite a smaller than hoped for audience. The picture shows setting up – there weren’t this many empty seats!) and very successful performance by Matt Robinson of 15 Images I could relax a little.


It was strange seeing my animated images so large – this is the biggest yet. It really made for a completely immersive experience in the dark lecture theatre with comfy seats that you could relax into.

It was lovely to have a little time to go back over the road to the Museum and Art Gallery and see the Taking Time exhibition completed. I re-aquainted myself with Sue Lawty’s tiny stones, added a bit to the web of threads that invites additions, marvelled at Heidrun Schimmel’s stitches and admired Matthew Harris’s subtle textures. There will always be a textile bias for me I guess but there is so much else in this exhibition not mentioned specifically here that I really appreciate seeing for a second time. There is an entry on the Craftspace Taking Time blog about the Plymouth exhibition by Craftspace’s Emma Daker.


Now, I thought 15 Images was fairly experimental but some of the other performances in the Peninsular Arts Contemporary Music Festival so far have been wierd and wonderful to my inexperienced ears!


Current listening: deconstructed pianos, earworms, wine bottle blowing, radioactive particles and cloud chambers…

>hanging fifteen images

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I’ve spent most of today at



in Plymouth, seeing 15 Images installed as part of Taking Time



There was lots of very careful measuring, marking out, fixing (by Vicky and Emma, gallery staff)


yet more measuring…



until the 15 panels and the digital photo frame with interpretive presentation were beautifully installed



on the lovely georgian grey walls


Then there was just time to put the finishing touches to tomorrow’s lecture, which will take place over the road from the gallery (in the Levinsky building, Plymouth University) at 11am


and then hot-foot it over to the festival launch.

>art walk

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My exhibition at yesterday’s Wakefiled Art Walk went well. We didn’t get huge numbers through the door but given that it was a fairly damp and bitter January evening I think the steady flow we got was pretty good. There were some lovely comments and I met some really interesting people. It was especially nice to meet Hannah.

The space@55Westgate as it is now called (was Westgate Studios) is a beautifully light white room and worked brilliantly for the mixture of artwork and interpretation that we included (I don’t think the photos do it justice). It is great to have a bit of practice at putting an exhibition together too – each time you do it you learn something new. This was timely for me and because it was ‘for one night only’ was not too big a deal to be overly stressful.


Once things were set up (and the slight technical problems were overcome – is it possible to use technology without hitches?!) I went off for a wonder round Wakefield to look at some of the new buildings springing up around the place: there are lots!


I visited the exhibition of The RIBA White Rose Award buildings at the Beam Gallery and then went on to look at the new Hepworth Gallery, which opens later this year.


It’s a pretty imposing building with these angular slabs of concrete plunging straight down to the river. With the grey January sky reflected back by the water it was all rather dramatic. The building looked a kind of lilacy grey in yesterday’s light.


I couldn’t help thinking how much more welcoming it would look if one of those massive planes was covered in a green living wall…

>exhibitions

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Sense of Place: Spring

This Wednesday (26th January) my work will be exhibited as part of the Wakefield Art Walk. The textile panels of Fifteen Images will be displayed alongside a digital presentation giving the background to the whole collaborative project. My four Sense of Place pieces will also be on show for the first time.

The venue is Space@55Westgate (WF1 1BW) and the Art Walk is on from 5-9pm.


This is prior to Fifteen Images going to Plymouth next month for a performance at the Peninsular Arts Contemporary Music Festival on 12th February and the project is the subject of the festival lecture on that date. On the same day Taking Time opens in Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and I’m absolutely thrilled that my physical textile work and the digital presentation will be included in this exhibition until 9th April.

>published

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Yesterday, when I got home from college, there was a small package waiting for me. It turned out to be my complementary copy of the new academic journal Craft Research, the inaugural issue of which contains a collaborative paper about Fifteen Images.

Extract from the abstract:

“This article describes a body of collaborative work titled Fifteen Images (Le Jardin Pluvieux). This web-based artefact brings novel approaches to textile representation in work produced under the umbrella of a practice-based research project in music called ‘Active Notation‘ . . . Research undertaken during the creation of Fifteen Images investigated both aural and visual reception and issues of materiality and temporality in digital representations: how textile objects might become effective visual partners in the temporal domain of score-led music performance.

>sponsorship

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I’ve just returned from the post office having posted a very large and unwieldy package off to Madeira UK. They run a student sponsorship scheme for final year students which, for the successful candidates, gives £100 worth of threads – not to be sniffed at! In order to apply you have to send off a number of boards with examples of stitch based work.


So this is what I’ve done, including examples from three different projects. The first is from my most recent stage two project which was called ‘Loss’ and was based on issues of cultural and biodiversity losses associated with deforestation in South American Rainforests. This project used a really luscious and rich colour palette of saturated colour, which contrasted with the subject matter in a way but provided lots of challenges in terms of getting the required depth of colour in dye and print processes. I learnt a lot!




The second featured a body of work that was developed from a summer project based on observational drawing of insects called ‘metamorphosis’. This was very much based on transferring drawn line into stitch.



Third, I included work from the 15 Images project I undertook last summer.


So now I’ll have to wait until September to find out whether I get the threads.