Hand Studies (Bridget)

I’ve been spending the past four days taking photos of these mannequin hands, copying Bridget Fiske’s fine gestures from our rehearsal last week. As with the mannequin dance based on Pena Bausch’s choreography, I am ending up with enough photos so create an animation much longer than the work I’m citing. In this process (and the birds and seascape paintings) I attempt to elongate time, stretch and tease it out, dissect it, give it added attention…. I do the same when I am working therapeutically with clients, stretching tissue, opening space for better communication between physiological systems.

Deborah Hay my body the buddhist

A beautiful observation from Hay from a group dance class where there were a couple of accidents with candles being knocked over rand then the subsequent clean up by all the dancers…..

“When I knocked over the candle I thought ”I my god,” but then I thought, ”Oh good. We all get to come together again”

This is perhaps one of the silver linings to what seems a never ending deluge of bad news.

A counter-intuitive approach

Retard: delay or hold back in terms of progress or development. From the French retarder, Latin, retardare from re-‘back’ and tardus-‘slow’.

I was thinking about my new project today, the seascape film, and what it is I am trying to achieve with this work. As with all my practice, there is is an allegiance to the first impression, but in addition, an exploration of non-narrative time. The word retard came to mind and I was struck by this idea of delaying or holding back the tide of progress and development in order to create a qualitatively different space or path.

As part of this, I’ve been practising sitting, doing nothing at all, for 15 minutes a day. The idea is to fully engage with inactivity, to digest and cultivate a sense of, and feeling for, what can be best described as no mans land. What are the qualities of this territory and how are they different to the dimensions of endless consumption, action, movement, opinion, subjectivism and infinite perspectivism we currently impose on the past, present and future? It appears counterintuitive to our current way of thinking but my feeling is that there are great creative forces residing in this space and its about having the skills to recognise them.

So…this is what I’ll be exploring with the seascape film, the open horizon-; no mans land, exemplar par excellence.

The diptych and autostereograms

I’ve been thinking about those Magic Eye images that were so popular in the 90’s and the kind of vision that is required to see the hidden motifs within the patterns. It’s all about diverging one’s vision so that each eye sees separately. Our natural tendency is to allow the brain to converge this double vision into one unified picture. It took me to Cezanne who, interestingly, was painting at the time this optical research was taking place. His paintings seem to exemplify this distinctive vision, of a world seen from two slightly different angles. This is what makes his paintings seem like they are teetering on the edge of an abyss, objects and landscapes and people on the verge of falling, neither flat nor full of volume but both and neither at the same time.
It took me to my own preoccupation with the diptych and how I’m drawn to making images that disrupt the tendency of our eyes to settle in one direction. I like the idea that one can create an image where the cerebral and visual faculties are not subsumed into one another but rather, are in dialogue. Sometimes, the conversation between the two is conflicting, other times more harmonious.

Learning to Paint

Still Life with Spectacles. oil on board 22 x 30cm 2020

At some level it feels like every painting is about learning how to paint (again) Like any profession it’s about developing skills and putting those skills to the test. One feels like a beginner every time one starts a new painting. Cezanne’s Portrait of his Son, is my favourite ever painting. In my eyes it’s perfect. So what a pleasure to discover the means with which I could study it ‘into’ a new work. The relationship between form, volume, colour, representation and abstraction in this modest piece is so tightly knit and yet so beautifully fresh.


I have been preparing some boards for a new diptych today and was thInking how much the join between the two panels resembled a seam of some sorts. The demarcation between the sea and the sky in the deadpan works has a similar stitched quality. When one speaks of fabric prices one also refers to them as ‘panels’. I love this overlapping of language.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.