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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Visit to Herne Bay, Bishopstone Glen and Reculver. Cycled to Margate to visit the Turner Contemporary Gallery then cycled back to Reculver. This is perfect day number 2, spent on the North Kent coast.

Started the morning at the Beltinge Beds, Herne Bay, a little past low tide. The Island was fast disappearing. The beach is now coated in fine silt and needs to be removed by a good storm or scouring tide. I found two sharks teeth and a fish vertebra in the first five minutes. Walking towards Reculver – past Bishopstone Glen before noticing two men fossil hunting just to the east of the glen. Inspecting the Thanet Beds (clayey sand-sand) revealed numerous valves of the bivalve, Arctica, many with pyritized casts. I also found a flint ‘coral’.


Fossils and pyritized casts of Artica from Thanet Sands (56-58MA), Bishopstone Glen, Herne Bay

Just before Reculver the sandy cliffs contain numerous sand martin nests and just by the slipway sand wasp holes.

The 9 mile flat cycle track to Margate, The Viking Coastal Trail, follows the coast and is an easy ride.

Margate’s new Turner Contemporary Gallery sits by the harbour behind and older building. I feel quite ambivalent about the architecture but on the whole I think it contrasts well with the local architecture. Inside it is spacious and light but will it be a white elephant? The art is indeed contemporary. The single Turner painting just seems to be a token. Russell Crotty‘s work seemed childish, badly executed and disappointing. Ellen Harvey‘s work referenced Margate as a place and Turner as an artist and worked exceptionally well.


An unexpected visit to Bournemouth yesterday gave me the opportunity to visit the Barton Beds at Chewton Bunny. Fabulous weather meant that the welly-sucking clays were dry and crusted and could be safely walked on! Ian West (Southampton University) has writted extensively about the geology HERE

Two hours spent examining the deposits yielded numerous fossils, mostly broken though.


Fossils from Upper Eocene, Barton Beds, c. 40 MA

Exploring Speculative Realist philosphy, art and science is now an obsession which I would like to explore through the medium of art. Whilst science captures the ‘reality’ of ‘the Great Outdoors, my art attempts to ‘mirror’ that reality through use of particular materials and process. T i m e is a fundamental component of my work especially Meillassoux‘s notion of dia-chronicity.

Why exhibit?

I do not want to make work as institutional propaganda.
I do not want to make work as a commodity.
I would like to make work which proposes that Science in not the work of nihilists and that science is ‘beautiful’.
For me then, exhibiting is a platform for my ideas about Speculative Realist philosphy, art and science.

a n d i f i t s c o n t e n t i o u s s o m u c h t h e b e t t e r !

The mirror clips have been removed and the work looks less ‘mirror-like’. I’m hoping to sort out a way of mounting the work using mirror-fix glue.


there-now, graphite and fixative on mirror, 22" x 13"

I’ve just re-read The Invisible Dragon. A polemic against institutional art and why beauty is a threat to said institutions. Beauty bypasses the ‘institution’ and appeals directly to the viewer – dangerous because the work is then out of the ‘institutions’ control. There is a very interesting translation of a lecture given by Meillassoux at HERE
I’m finding myself and more and more interested in Meillassoux’s ideas, especially signs without meaning.

Visited British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet at the Hayward Gallery. Wide range of work – some familiar artists plus many new ones. Lots of food for thought – I’m still thinking about all the different works. This is in sharp contrast to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour 2011 at the Mall Galleries. A multitude of extremely competent work was on show but the work didn’t provoke much thought. Bevan’s paintings at the National Portrait Gallery – Isolated head and neck, mostly twisted postures, wrinkles & sinews visible. We are alone in the world, conciousness is problematic, we witness our own isolation and it sucks.

Discussion generated ideas for own work – loose the mirror clips (take away ‘mirrorness & historicity of the mirror – but do I want this? what exactly and I trying to say?), work on aluminium or other media (Work on aluminium foil sheets – like Phoebe Unwin). I was getting interested in ‘beauty’, but mustn’t get sidetracked. Need to clarify why I wish to exhibit.

I’m working on a drawing which I hope to submit for the Jerwood Drawing prize. My rather ancient version of Photoshop 5.5 has just died (boohoo!) so I’ve downloaded GIMP to edit these photographs – its very impressive for free software.


Drawing based on cosmic background explorer data


drawing detail