Friday, 30 November 2007

Walking the young dog on her own is odd. I only have to look forward, I don't need to watch the horizon for danger. We move quickly up the path and I return to the house smiling and relaxed. The highlight of the last few weeks' forays occurred when I managed to entangle her toy in the same tree as last year. We look forward to playing with it again in six months or so.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Yesterday afternoon after 16 rather savage years I was finally forced to have my old dog put down. A few days ago he had a bleed in his left eye. It became infected and he declined quickly. The nurse held him while the vet administered the injection, a clear liquid with a black cloud at its centre. I held his head and true to character he tried to bite us all. Then he relaxed and I stroked him for a while slightly embarrassed at the amount of hair he had shed over the consulting room.


Friday, 2 November 2007

Monday, 29 October 2007


The older dog is no longer continent. He doesn't quite last the night nor the day while I'm at work. He is not pleased with his lack of control but neither of us can do anything about it. So now both morning and afternoon walks are prefaced with some disgruntled cleaning. After that all is fine and although the weather is becoming progressively more damp and dull he still frollicks (occasionally).

My preparations for Bedford are sporadic and as yet unformed. I have spent the last week staring at lists of ideas and current strands in order to somehow pull them together into a coherent whole. Most of all I don't want to force myself into a dead end. Here is a current itinerary.

Books -
Diaries, some printed some online
Some adventure based books which follow a sort of cinematic sequence involving a clock work antarctic explorer.
Others which are much more static/mundane views of passers by taken through cafe windows.

Films -
An inexplicable series of films of bits of polystyrene floating in water.
Some partly made films of foreign landscapes found in an old video camera.
A few films of bobbing boats (automata).
More films of balloons being blown about.
Ongoing Protest films
Ongoing automatic film making
Magic tricks

Drawings -
14 pencil drawings of a piece of elastic that came out of my pants.
A single unbound book of weird little drawings

Sculptures -
Tiny adventure sculptures (some moving - physically not emotionally).
Little models of made up murder scenes.

Photos -
Some photos my wife is (hopefully) taking as she crosses the Atlantic.

Titles for shows -

My Daughter is a Beauty Queen

Thursday, 25 October 2007


The dogs were fine today. I remembered the ball (a special one with a rope through the middle). Yet again the weather was grey and nondescript though a little milder than of late. We went out onto the field and I launched the young one into a frenzy of chasing and fetching until she was unwilling to give the ball back lest I throw it away again. On the way back we met a neighbour's dog with whom my old one has a bit of a history. Luckily I had spotted him coming and my dog was on his lead. He strained and yelped desperate for one last fling, I think he remembers his glory days and wishes to finish his life latched onto Lucky's throat.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Had to walk the dogs early this morning. The light was really even, no shadows at all. The leaves had crisped up but they had lost their intense colour. Forgot the ball again but both dogs ran around themselves. I was more than a little concerned that the old one might drop dead from exertion but he didn't. Next stop was the doctor's as the daughter has a chest infection. The rest of the day was spent tidying up the house which is covered in half finished projects and other bits of paper: cvs, statements (in first and third person), letters, postcards and catalogues. I feel that if I can sort these out I might be able to think about the future. The daughter has just informed me I have OCD.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


The morning dog walk went as usual. The leaves have all changed to brown mush in the rain. Half way up the path there is an opening onto a farmer's field. This year's crop (sugar beet I think) glowed green in the early sun. I'd forgotten the ball so the young dog romped in manic circles around the old one.

The evening was taken up with a rather gentle networking event in Ipswich with tea and cakes. I had to show some work so I chose Ten films for the invisible girl which to be honest I'm still not too sure about. The main speaker was Sue Jones who curates the Whitstable Biennial she made me realise I have been perhaps making a few mistakes approaching curators.

On the way home the bus driver went the wrong way.

Monday, 22 October 2007


This morning was grey and damp but rapidly moved on to grey and wet. Walking the dogs is more difficult in this weather. The young one bounces with excitement getting huge pleasure from the spray as she runs across the field. The old one hunches, tucks his tail and steps stiffly looking back, hoping to return to his bed. The grey light somehow intensifies the colour of the fallen leaves. Much better than a sunny day.

I'm looking for a mentor at the moment. Its part of my Arts Council grant which I have been neglecting. Gill sent me a possible name yesterday and I am trying to decide whether to contact him. I probably should.


Woke to a bright cold morning feeling exhausted. Half a term of teaching has worn me out. Still it should be worth it because the money earned will allow me plenty of free time in Bedford. Breakfasted hurriedly on tea and toast and exercised the dogs. This was the usual balancing act between watching that the old one was not dropping behind and keeping an eye on the young one who was forging ahead. Got them back in one piece, fed and watered and rushed out of the house to catch the train. Ellie was still in bed.

The train was full so I had to sit in the quiet carriage staring mournfully at my ipod and listening to honking conversations. First stop was the Foundling Museum to drop off the final copies of Diary of a Foundling Artist where I had a quick chat with Alison. The show seems generally well received. Then I went off to find a few of the galleries I had found interesting at the London Art Fairs.

Domobaal was nearby but try as I might I could not find it. I stuck my head in every doorway drawing funny looks from the residents. Angry with myself but wanting not to waste any more time I headed back to Liverpool Street and marched determinedly into the East End. Actually I headed up towards Hoxton street first looking for Store and Peer. I went on an arcing loop through Hoxton walking miles out of my way. The sun was out now and I was starting to sweat under my heavy coat. Peer and Store were both closed behind heavily graffitied shutters. Associates was open so I had a quick peek. I had planned to go on for a look at David Risley and Keith Talent but my earlier tiredness was overcoming me so I headed home.

I have huge swings of mood. Today was quite low.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007


The last few weeks have gone with such a rush that I have delayed starting this blog. The exact dates and happenings of recent events are lost to me but I shall attempt to provide the gist. Needless to say I have been very busy. My identity as a Foundling Artist is slipping away and I am now looking forward to the adventures that await me in Bedford.

The aftermath of RSVP has left me with a few things to start thinking about. I've done the tour of the art fairs and seen some galleries I'd love to work with. If only it seemed as easy to persuade them that they'd like to work with me. Gill Hedley has made an excellent job of giving me lists of names to follow up and has bolstered my confidence with kind words. I just have to do something with them.

Ahead of me is a residency with BCA Gallery in Bedford which seems like another test, another important way-point. I remember the interview pretty well. Katie Walton had sent me a (slightly panicky?) text about half an hour before suggesting I emphasise the educational aspects of my proposal. Once underway I must have seemed like an over-excited puppy. I spoke rapidly about ideas for involving all sorts of social groups in my practice; young people, old people , narcoleptics and dyspeptics, all would be showered with artistic joy. I can't remember any of the ideas now, hopefully the interview panel wrote some of them down. Anyway I'm starting to think more carefully now about the whole expedition the highs and lows of which I intend to record here. Also my wife has just embarked on a transatlantic voyage leaving me to juggle a teenager and two dogs.