In order to co-operate with the demands of my Masters course I am switching to

If you do have any questions or comments, please do contact me.


Such was the title of my dissertation. I wouldn’t have thought when I began the course that I would research an artist who uses the material of violent death and from the morgue to convey her message but seeing her work on YouTube ( made a deep impact. The dissertation received a high mark despite its grim subject matter. Should you wish to read it you can now find it at:

It’s been a challenging summer composed of migraines, medications and home improvements.  Tearing down walls without being certain of the outcome was terrifying but everything went better than expected.  It can be very rewarding taking a risk.

NB If you are thinking of putting in Pax wardrobes with sliding doors but don’t have the 4cm+ extra space recommended by Ikea, don’t despair. We had 2.5cm clearance and managed it by obtaining the pieces 112568 early and putting them in place as we built the carcasses, adding them before putting the tops on. The sliding doors do not have to be dropped in from the top but will slide on from a side.  Just be careful when moving the carcasses or you will nick your ceiling or may into contact with your lights.

From my experience and observations, how would I advise a newbie art student? Just a few points, in no particular order:

*You will be self-directed, so set yourself a routine straight away in order to make your decisions easier. If you know that you get up at this time and go to uni at that time, it means not having to decide each day about these things, giving you more brain space for creativity.

*Be open to ideas and to people , they will enrich your experience.  Join in.

*Go to everything you can, learn as much as you can. You get out of it what you put in – so enjoy this opportunity and make the most of everything.

* Have fun and experiment.

*Keep your sketch books up to date and use them to help you.   Most importantly, they are there for you, a visual thought process, as well as for assessment.

*Ask for help and guidance if you need it. Push, if necessary, but always be honest, pleasant and fair.

*Be positive and supportive and you will find that others are too.

* Find the library and use it. The stock will be fantastic – too many books/films, too little time.

*Don’t be fooled into thinking your dissertation doesn’t deserve your attention – a good dissertation can make a grade of difference to your final result. Read the criteria carefully and come back to them throughout the process. Use the summer vacation to get this mostly done. Use inter-library loans. Enjoy the opportunity to really get stuck into a topic.

*Use essay writing as dissertation practise. Find out what is acceptable and what is too idiosyncratic as well as how to structure and reference.

*You will have times when creativity seems to evade you. Work through them recognising that they are all a part of the process.  Just keep going.

* You will find that there are no definitive answers and everyone sees your work differently. Go with your gut instinct, listen to that faint internal voice rather than ignoring it, it is the most reliable.

*Have a blast!

Tonight, Shani Rhys James will be opening Outset at The Gate.   Come between 6-8pm to see the work of the emerging artists who made it through the selection process.  Work is for sale, so bring your wallet, just in case you are tempt

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1-outset exhibition

Outset 2014 – 23rd July-15th August 2014, The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff. 

This week, The Gate Arts Centre hosts its inaugural annual Student Art and Design Exhibition. ‘Outset’ features students that are Foundation, 2nd Year, 3rd Year, Graduate and Masters Students, showcasing  painting, illustration, photography, animation, architectural design, concept illustration and 3D design.

We are very excited that the show will be officially opened by renowned Welsh artist Shani Rhys James, MBE on the 29th July.

The Outset Class of 2014 comprises:

Sarah Barnes, Emma Booker,James Brook, Ruth Clemmey, Kaisha Cody, Sarah Daniel, Charlie Drozynski, Jack Evans, Kate Evans, Alyson Greening, Hannah Hatt, Jo anne Jeynes, David Mayne, Anwen Morgan, Aidan Myers, Laura Selbie, Lydia Spurrier–Dawes, Ceinwen Stone, Ed Tweedale, Sol Whiteside

1. Measure the prints. 77cm x113cm? That Somerset is sizeable!

2. Try to track down a suitable mill board but go to B&Q to buy hardboard.  Use their expertise to cut 2 pieces 2cm wider and longer than the paper. It’s cheap and will fit in a Fiat 500 🙂

3.Track down webbing for a strap. It’s 90p a metre in the market but you can buy a PoundWorld ratchet set to disassemble.  Sew into a loop.

4. Use a high double bed as a workbench. It is a good size and works well covered with a dust sheet and cutting mat.  (Don’t ask any other occupant about this, though. They may not be entirely sympathetic.)

5. Make a hinge with duct tape, adding an extra 1cm .


6. Test materials for innards – blind fabric is stiff but bulky.

7. Fabriano paper from the roll is big enough and will fold into an envelope shape, even if it is a bit of a battle. Mark and cut with a 1cm extra margin.

8. Drill holes for ribbon ties and attach.

9. Score, fold and glue down innards envelope with PVA

10.  Weight down whilst drying

11. Determine to apply strap at a later date if needed.


This is the final week of Pinnies from Heaven at Craft in the Bay, a show well worth a visit.   A whole variety of materials  are used by contemporary artists to give a twist to an ordinary, everyday garment, which has a history from the beginnings of time (see the fascinating history boards if you don’t believe me).

Did I fail to mention this?