3 October 2021

The way it is Now

Oaks Open 2021

The Way it is Now

Open studio 2021

For my first open studio after lockdown I made a simple and speedy decision to show 'The Way it is Now'   choosing these small works using the criteria the past, the present and the future.

I had the ground prepared for two canvases, (not yet named Summers Day and Wait ) in early March 2020 and Inaccessible was unfinished when I went into isolation for 18 months.

At home I spent a lot of time looking at my old and twisted Wisteria tree, I made several drawings, pen and ink studies and walked.

Wisteria pen and ink

Returning to the studio I had a lot to consider after lockdown, I made a few quick ideas for a new painting based on interrupted verticals and horizontals.

Study 2021 acrylic on card

Concurrently deciding to use the previously unnamed but prepared canvases immediately. I had no initial expectations but needed to work in a very exploratory way. I wanted to be surprised.

Summers Day 


Questioning what is important to me now it was interesting how many questions and comments were asked about the two new paintings Summers Day and Inaccessible. Both of which stand outside my normal way of working.

These selected small works highlight a fragile system, exposing an interconnectedness of water, earth, space and my environment.


Discarded Shell

 List of works 

Specimen No 5  2013 (shell) in oak frame 17 x 12cm charcoal, acrylic, carbon pencil

Specimen No 6 2013 (shell) in oak frame 17 x 12cm charcoal, acrylic, carbon pencil

Curiosity No 5 2013 (bird skull ) 26 x 20cm pencil and graphite

Oaks Park Leaf Sep 21 14 x 19cm acrylic ink directly from ink dropper

Fallen Oak 2021 acrylic ink directly from dropper (image 18 x 21cm) 22 x 27 framed

Discarded Shell 2021 (found on rubbish heap in Wolverhampton, almost the furthest point from the sea) oil bar on paper 21 x 30cm

Sea Change  in vintage frame 23 x 29cm (image 18 x21)

Sea Change 2015 acrylic, plastic, ink wash - reclaimed frame (image size 29.5 x 20)

Inaccessible 2021 acrylic on card in reclaimed frame 35 x 24cm ( 21 x 14 image)

Summers Day 2021 25.5 x 25.5 acrylic on canvas

Wait 2021 25.5 x 25.5  acrylic on canvas

Blue Divide 2004 16.5 x 32.5 oil on board

Crosscurrent 1 2021 30 x 30cm framed,  acrylic ink and acrylic on paper

Crosscurrent 2 2021 (image 25.5 x 25.5)  30 x 30cm framed,  acrylic ink and acrylic on paper

Crosscurrent 3 2021 (image 25.5 x 25.5)  unframed acrylic ink and acrylic on paper

Repairing 2012 (image 35x25 cm) charcoal

Reclaimed - materials 2008 31 x 39cm mixed materials, charcoal, graphite

Reclaimed - Dovetail 2021

Switch -Reclaimed Series 2012 ( image 17.5 x 11cm ) cobblers wax and acrylic

Reclaimed  cobblers wax and acrylic in small black frame 


Unearthed 2010 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Restricted 2021 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Sea Change  2009 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board 

Switch iii May 2019 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Yield 2011 2019 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Nudge 2020  16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Forgotten series - Remaining 2017 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

Unfolding 2017 16.5 x 16.5 acrylic on board

1 October 2021

Moving into lockdown, looking back to the future.


Humbug 2021 oil on board

Reclaiming two offcuts of board I had put aside a few years ago, I notice there is something in these matching shapes that works, I recognise something there, like trying to recall a forgotten word. Changing them around I see a way to continue.
A simpleness in the symmetry emphasises their repeated form, these household materials appear almost naturalistic, creating a visual similarity to growth patterns in a shell, a chrysalis or maybe the traditional tetrahedral shape of a humbug.

I realise that this similarity is in the word humbug too. as a type of synesthesia, visually together but altered.

I also see how this comparison between natural process and waste products now relates to an earlier group of works.

In 2009, I made a series of small drawings around the idea of  'Ocean Crisis' after a return visit to Marloes cove in Wales. Concerned by the quantity of plastic debris I saw there, I took a twenty minute walk along the shore line collecting the plastic waste and later including it in a series.
Ocean Crisis 2009 and more recently in Sea Change.
I first saw Marloes cove in 1979 and had been absolutely amazed by its pure clean beauty, it was shocking to see the changes when returning in 2009.

I came across this Ladybird book at around the same time  

 Ladybird book 'The Story of Plastics' 1972

   'The Story of Plastics' looked at the beginning of how plastics were changing the world.
Now we are trying to find ways to remove ithem from our oceans

Sea Change 2015 -  acrylic, ink, plastic bag,  29.5 x 20cm

26 October 2019

Murmurings in Artlicks and Deptford X

Murmuration at Hart's Lane

Drawing Connections - A two day group collaboration in Deptford

Initial group thoughts: forest, humble materials, newsprint/paper

Installation includes old chair, folder of railway news clippings, charcoal space left behind and frottage collage.
In The Matter of This Estate

Responding to the decaying old work space I consider the Deptford X proposal of untold stories, unexpected realities particularly appropriate.
My ancestors, two brothers moved to Deptford from Liverpool in the 1840s both steam engine drivers, most likely to have had apprenticeships with Stevenson as they lived close by in 1830.
These were fast moving times of social change, industry and the railway altered patterns of movement around the country and changed many lives.

Deptford Stories  - railways, pubs and a few local facts (more information in pages)

Drawings are built upon thoughts of a physical structure, working quickly
I use frottage from wood grain and lengthy pine needles together with newsprint to build an image that could have been abandoned long ago in woodland however it didn't dry overnight.

My drawings often evolve through disruption from a random event. I deconstruct yesterdays structure. Now focusing on the building of the viaduct and the people surrounding it including fragments of forgotten news clippings from my ancestors in the 1840/50s. 

This drawing now needs to evolve through alteration by adding an independent voice, Barry disturbs the image and leads it elsewhere.

Drawn conversation

Drawn Conversation

Alison records chance voices on local transport, I use these murmurings of passing through Deptford without content.
Their rhythm, tone, pause, repeat interruptions are transposed into marks creating a visual sound wave of social mobility. Changing accents and languages reformed through a sort of synesthesia.

Group voices murmuring.

Sound installation, speaking from Rilke.
A section spoken by each group member is recorded 
over the top of the previous recording, mingling voices dissolve and reappear murmuring Rilke's words.


25 October 2019

Drawing Connections at ARTOTS Holland

Micrographity May 2019 Hertogenbosch

The exhibition evolves from an initial group discussion formed around the tangling of words microgravity and drawing concerns. Using simple graphic art materials to generate a process of drawings, how do physical laws appear to the eye?  Disrupt - a moment of change...a micro force.
One tiny moment of impact generates a physical process that continues beyond its source.
Making a series of immediate studies from that instant I notice each is different, each time changing. Energy forms change as they spread, altering from one form to another.
Layers of change develop, gravity affecting forms and deforming, multiplying or disapating, spread, each repeat differs. There is symmetry in this natural force. A memory of a previous trip to Amsterdam, in the Contemporary Museum of Architecture that is surrounded by water, listening to the gentle lapping sounds of 'Slow Moves' by Jose Gonzales that filled the space.
These thoughts dictate both the drawing activity and materials; fluid charcoal, dust, ink, speed, graphite, smudge. Mondrian's rational geometry and observations of the ocean edge become a starting point.
My drawings are continuing from Mondrian's sense of a returning equilibrium, it is this power of intrigue of the moment present in each distinct study from which they evolve.

Disrupt i - 24.4.2019 Charcoal on paper

Drawing Connections at AOH Brighton May 2018

Collaborating with Zahura Hossain

The Roll

Jill Evans & Zahura S. Hossain
Looking at the sea edge, inspired by the  physical momentum of the sea, we witnessed the continuity of the waves forming and disintegrating. Combining our two visual languages and negotiating boundaries we worked directly on to the same roll.


Alison Carlier and Jill Evans

Calling across the land contours between us, listening to how the voice travels and disappears, failing to reach it’s destination.

Active listening across the gap, aware of the ambient sounds of our surroundings and the absence of the call.

24 October 2017

A Many Sided Thing

A many sided thing

A residency of collaborations

Wimbledon College of Art
16th-27th October 2017

As a member of  'Drawing Connections' I am taking part in the show at Wimbledon Space
The residency begins with an exhibition of an ‘avatar’ from each participant.
I exhibit ‘Left behind’ charcoal on paper. The title is both instruction and circumstance.
I pass these two trees regularly, they are ignored by most, unnoticed in an unkept scrubby patch behind the studio.
Interested in how the eye roams around the shifting detail I need to draw and get lost in the messy tangle. I stand and make several quick charcoal drawings but it becomes to known to my hand and eye, reconstruction begins to stall in its reality.

Left behind
Collaborating together Alison and me walk through the space discussing which direction this collaboration might go.
Our conversation wanders through from an original old door stop that remains fixed in place - a floor that continues up the wall - sounds mingle of people passing through in many directions -  doors banging - fragments of conversation merge in and fade away.

Memories are linked together and I recall a mind sound...

...and then laughter behind the toilet door on holiday...for whoever went in their it became compulsory to boing the boingy doorstop.

Seeing the word brings into the mind the sound of a frequent family walk... the squeaky gates crossing over the railway line with the children a sense of fear, seeing the warning signs, laughing, we whistle as we quickly cross.

Bell in a cold frame
Listening to a radio program on the burying and silencing of Russian Bells ‘ Once heard you can’t unring the bell’.      

Bell in a cold frame

Old and new whistle sign

Whistle booth

Our contribution to the show developed through conversation, linking mindsounds.

An interview with justintime

16 May 2017

Tate sounds mingling

Wolfgang Tillmans at Tate Modern

'if one thing matters, everything matters' the printed message on Tillmans courier bag sums up the current exhibition. I admire how 'Everything' is spread out on the very basically constructed tables.

Tillmans 'everything' tables

'if one thing matters, everything matters' the printed message on Tillmans courier bag

Janet Cardiff -  audio installation

Stepping into the ring of speakers that surround the listeners down in the tanks below the Tate galleries, separate voices come to my attention and fade away again as I walk around inside the circle. The voices change as I sit down, they form into a choral round, it stops and restarts abruptly, reminding me of once wandering into St Davids Cathedral when on holiday and happening on a full rehearsal of the Welsh Male Voice Choir, a very magical moment.

Otobong Nkanga - audio installation

An installation of white concrete balls in various sizes connected by ropes. Three  separate voices can be heard set apart around the installation emitting song and changing languages from three of the balls. Initially it brings to mind shipping and slavery but on reading the info it is more about a gathering and our connections across networks, the 'interconnectedness of life'.

Out in the connecting space I notice a similar mingling of sounds, voices and footsteps, from the visitors as they pass through, as if a repeating performance of cultural interchange.