art photography


Photographs of the work are not the work, they are a representation of the work. It can become complex, layered, enfolded.

I take a digital photograph using my mobile phone. I get a print shop to print it, and then I draw on it, and screen print words onto it, in layers.

Then, I try to photograph it for a digital display. I discover this: these photographs, all of them, and especially the ones with the gold leaf, do not photograph easily at all. Everything shifts with slight changes in angle, in light. Actually, this is what I love about them. Words come into visibility and out. Whole paragraphs disappear and reappear.

Are they impossible to represent? Not quite. I don’t believe that. It’s just harder, it takes a long time and fortitude. Because I did not want to admit defeat, I felt like there was something so important about them, I wanted so much to show, to share.

artists books painting

Evening Desk

Testing lots of combinations today – ending the day half way through…

art photography

Cyanotypes again!


Testing cyanotypes

Working on the cyanotypes today, trying things out and making tests, enjoying a bit of sun on the face.


making a poem

Here I will share a letter that I wrote to myself yesterday:

26 March 2021

Dear Sian

Perhaps you are a overwhelmed with the tasks you’ve given yourself. You do not need to do all of these things, you need only to do some of these things. You do not need to resolve them, tied up tight, only to present what you have, loose and lovely.

On Wednesday, you remembered P for a moment. That one class he taught, the lesson where he stopped us all from rushing around in the college print studio, the whole big chaotic group, frantically making our work. Shouted “stop!”, shaky almost, upset. Called us over to make a circle. Told us “you need to remember what you are doing – what you are doing is making a poem”. All art is that, isn’t it? A song; a poem. That is the test of what I am doing, what I am working on : is it a poem?

And the mental state (the spiritual state) which you need for the job is a particular one – unhurried, not thinking about outcomes, schedules, deadlines, those things. You have to do other things – the schedule things, the stuff – but they are incidental to the real daily work, the important good work.

Yours sincerely


art drawing

layering in the writing

I’ve been trying out different ways of layering some of my written pieces into the drawings. Some tests today – screen printing my writing onto small drawings and photo prints:

art drawing

trying combinations

Today, some experiments trying out my mountain drawings & photos in combinations ( ie. by placing side-by-side).

I feel like something promising is happening, & will carry on with this thought, and probably paste them down together once I reach combinations I am happy with.

art photography

photos with gold

working on these gilded photos again…

artists books video

folding an envelope, thinking things through

(Thanks to Roz Moreton for showing me how to make this a few days ago).

art artists books

putting things together

I’m now running out of space in my studio for my body – every surface is heaped, including the floor, the chairs, the tables, the shelves, the drawers…

The picture shows the pile on my desk which is touching my left elbow as I write.

It is a few of the things I am putting together in my mind today: I had very many photos printed, glossy ones with twilight views of the mountain, and I want to try and find a way to integrate them into an artists’ book form with my drawings and writing.

So far so good – although really speaking, this is basically a slightly formalised pile. So at this thought there was doubt, and a light despair, and then a good friend of mine suggested that I look at the work of an artist called Helen Carnac, and I found that she has said the following wonderful and enlightening thing in an interview with ‘Norwegian Crafts’, about the work of moving things around, putting things next to one another:

‘I’m interested in combining things, showing how they move or change in relation to each other. In reality, this is a staging of the relations between things. To move things around has almost become a mantra in my artistic practice. This movement also includes me, whenever I leave the studio to participate in various projects.’