Tuesday, 31 October 2006


I noticed this bruise on my leg this morning and realised I had absolutely no idea how I got it. I do get quite a few bruises - usually traceable back to sitting with my legs, arms, whatever pressed up against a table leg or similar. I was thinking about this in relation to my work - it obviously made me think about marks left behind by a touch - but also about how we hear/ feel/ see lots of things without ever registering them and that one of the things which interests me is drawing attention to these small things. Once something has registered it is very difficult to ignore again, for example every time I notice a bruise it will trigger this train of thought. I was thinking it would be really interesting to produce a series of sounds which were not normally noticed (e.g. pencil marks on a surface) and turn them into downloadable ring-tones or similar so that they went from invisible to visible?

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Drawing Seminar in Dublin

The Square Root of Drawing
Opening Tuesday 24th October 2006, 6-8pm.
Exhibition continues until 2nd December 2006

Also as part of this show DrawingLab at the Dublin Institute of Technology
(DIT) in association with Temple Bar Gallery and Studios is organising a
seminar entitled "Drawing Now? - Examining Issues in Contemporary Drawing
Practices" which will be held in G6, DIT Mountjoy Square on Saturday 25th of
November at 12.30 - 4.30.
The Keynote Address will be given by Catherine De Zegher, independent
curator and former Director of the Drawing Center New York and a
presentation by artist Tim Knowles. The Seminar will be chaired by Dr Siun

Saturday, 14 October 2006

The search for a perfect sketchbook?

I've spent a lot of time over the last 25 years trying to find a way of organising all my ideas and thoughts. Because I can often spend years thinking about an idea before I make work, a normal sketch book is too 'chronological' - I usually remember that I have written/ sketched something before but can't remember when. The only option if I want to find it is to leaf through lots of separate books which can take ages (and I would usually give up fairly quickly as patience is not one of my strong points!). For a while I tried index cards - which were great to lie out on a table, shuffle, flick through and could be filed in card boxes under different areas of interest. However I didn't ever really find a way of carrying loose index cards around which was sustainable, kept changing my mind about which size cards to use and any other pieces of paper I picked up along the way (newspaper cuttings etc.) had to be stuck down onto cards before filing. I then tried a moleskine Japanese accordion-fold notebook which can be opened up to show a continuous length of paper that worked really well, but was too small for all the time. The breakthrough came when I found a rollabind punch whilst 'decluttering' and decided to try it out. I punch paper (any size or type up to A4) and bind together with rollabind rings. It works in a similar way to a ring binder system but has a couple of major advantages. I can remove any sheet of paper without 'opening' the rings and I can punch any piece of paper as long as it measures more than an inch and stick it straight in my book (so any scraps of paper I draw, notate, cut out can easily be included.) Levenger in America do a similar system called circa with beautiful leather covers/ holders and heavyweight papers - but it works out really expensive so I bought a £12.99 Collins elite diary from TK- Maxx (just over A5), took out the diary etc. and use this as a main notebook jacket. When it gets too full I can just remove pages and make up new notebooks or file away. I've been using this for about a month now and it seems to be working really well.

Monday, 9 October 2006

Sound Stuff

Months ago I did some sound recordings of pencil marks on small crumpled papers (tissue, bond etc.). They've been at the back of my mind since but I hadn't done anything with them. The image above shows a printout of the 4 sounds. They vary in length from 50 seconds to about a minute and a half. I had thought I would like to do something to represent the sounds visually i.e. an image of the sound of a drawing - but had no idea how to go about it. Whilst at a friend's wedding in Italy earlier this month I was talking to a colour scientist who is doing work on (I think) tonal differences within digital images and we had some really interesting conversations which at one point touched on this whole sound thing. (Loads of other stuff which gave me plenty to think about and which I'll no doubt return to at some later point.) He has access to software which has enabled him to generate numbers for the sound and which allows it to be 'plotted'. The problem is that a one second sound generates approx. 11,500 numbers which means a 50 second recording would generate over half a million. This is not really a problem in terms of the number but rather scale - plotting that many numbers on a scale which was feasible would give a very long piece of work!! I thought I would try to cut down the numbers by only plotting the point which represent a change in direction - 100 numbers was reduced to 18 - which seems more manageable. I'm really interested in the idea of a small drawing alongside a sound recording and a visual representation of (the sound of) the drawing. Think I need to learn a bit more about sound first though….