Category Archives: Uncategorized

Having way too much fun here….

Turns out curating the apocalypse is way more fun than it should be..

Ceramics, collage and creatures exploding, exploring and expiring in the Milking Parlour….this intriguing show brings together the work of David Burns and Mary Tambini for the first time; in a conversation that begins in the cradle of civilisation and ends in planetary implosion at our own hands. Open until 26 November, Tuesday-Saturday, 11-3, it’s a must see.

Having been already familiar with David’s work, from the moment I visited Mary’s studio in Childe Okeford I knew I had to get her in a room with him. There is something fragile here and yet deeply grounded in a collective cultural consciousness.

I felt that here was a conversation to be had – and here it is.

Mary researched this latest work on a visit to Kurdistan, where images 1000s of years old were the inspiration for the distilled motifs threaded throughout the work. It is a beautiful body of collage and ceramic sculpture with a collective feeling of cultural substance.

David has this to say about his recent work:

“The 11-year ticking clock in which to fix climate change and global warming has led me to respond with the present pots. The way humanity has squandered the resources of the planet we live on for what? Gain is only a relative term, some of the least affected by technology would seem to have a more carefree, healthy lifestyle than the likes of those making a financial killing by killing themselves.

I see the bowls as various versions of the cosmic black hole relentlessly sucking in everything in its path, all the trappings of success and achievement in the modern view going at light speed down the toilet to who knows where. It could be argued by the kinder folk amongst us that our present predicament is due to everyone not firstly understanding our planet home and secondly thinking that because things in the old days changed grindingly slowly it would always be so. Some would say”it’s not about misunderstanding and ignorance” but a pure, couldn’t care less attitude. Human beings are far too smart for their own good.

Surprising then that precious few have seen the writing on the wall. Possibly a condition of having a knowledge base that starts at zero and ends at zero point one.

Over time I have collected various different textured surfaces that are used in combinations on the bowls. They are made into press mouls and combined with thrown surfaces to produce the outside of the bowls complementing the interior pattern. I then use combinations of keys, coins, other metal objects and broken porcelain dolls to create the final images. My direction and ethos to highlight the effects of global warming, climate change, degeneration and decay are thus integrated into the work. I use many unconventional methods and materials to create the surfaces I require by adding brick dust, fibre and ground glass into my clay bodies firing them in different temperatures and atmospheres.”




Banned by Instagram

In my last post I posited a posit from an unknown source on l-e-a-k-a-g-e.

is social media the undoing of us all, are there no more surprises? Are we all un-forming and pre-ejaculating ourselves?

Well it seems not me with this as Instagram took it down owing to it’s ‘inappropriate content’. Jeez they didn’t treat Rubens like this….

Menage a tout le Monde



“There is no need to tell anyone anything. The allure of social media is shortsighted, and especially in the long run. Being glued to dopamine-infused communicational needs spells l-e-a-k-a-g-e. Why spill the beans before they’ve even had time to cook?

Work, work, work. Then package, market, sell. But avoid leakage to the greatest extent possible because it will decimate the potency of the end result. It’s devious how this works: you think you’re informing – enthusiastically so! – but in actual fact you’re deforming both form and content by not keeping the process hermetic.

If you have a tight hermetic vessel, you’ll attract far more than with a wide open vessel with ten social media megaphones attached. It’s all in the silent force. Work, work, work. Then package, market, sell. Not the other way around.

By the way, this little text could actually be seen as leakage too, so I’d better… stop… writing…”

wise words…… but whose are they?


the Gugg

So in my last post I mentioned finding myself at a farm…. here’s what happened next….


I ended ip redesigning the website [very s-l-o-w-l-y] and here is what I wrote on the first page….

“At Guggleton we are about creativity and development. We aim to provide a welcoming environment for the creation of the new. In whatever form that might take for the individual. We support established artists by providing them with a space to experiment, new artists with the network, structure and exposure to develop and raw artists with the opportunity to grow.

Exhibitions at the Guggleton vary from season to season with one core theme, growth. We are, after all, occupying a farmyard.

Now in a period of regrowth ourselves we will, over the next few months, be developing our facilities in line with what we feel is needed to provide this ongoing resource. 

With the appearance of galleries such as Hauser and Wirth and Messum’s in the area, and new projects underway in Sherborne, we really feel that we have an opportunity to provide a more accessible alternative to these facilities, growing another audience already identified by others, piggy-backing on cultural tourism and demolishing the ‘threshold’ issues of many Fine Art institutions by remaining true to our community.

We are now in need of vital funds to upgrade facilities in order to host more exhibitions, events and workshops and to create more studios and spaces for artists, makers and practitioners to work out of.

We hope that your support will allow us to stage and host events that will let us include far more people in our endeavours, whilst in themselves raising funds for the ongoing development of the farmyard and program. 

We will be:

– Upgrading our lighting and hanging spaces in the galleries, especially environmentally. 

– Developing our yard to be fit for the purpose of staging outside events such as concerts, performances and cinema. 

– Providing 6-8 more low rent studio spaces for artists and makers. 

– Making our bathroom facilities much nicer….. 

– Creating a cafe/coffee house – as we hope to be able to offer refreshments on a more permanent basis rather than in just a pop up fashion as we currently do.

Over the next few months we will continue to support artists by helping them to develop their practices; alongside a comprehensive offer of workshops and talks in the following: 

Stone carving, drawing, oil painting, ceramics, printmaking, leather craft, watercolour painting, equine and animal painting and sculpture, Japanese flower painting, life drawing, upholstery and up cycling. 

We firmly believe that creativity has much to offer the individual on every level whether it be participating in workshops, developing an arts practice of one’s own, visiting exhibitions and talks or simply socialising in a creative environment. To this end we will be developing an all inclusive membership system – which can be entered by cash or time barter to ensure all aspects of the community are served. 

We will be developing our GUGGLEHEADS program aimed at getting more young people and children involved in aspects of creativity they may not be have the facilities or time to encounter at school.

As we believe that a creative outlet is a great resource for ongoing mental healthiness we also aim to increase our GUGGLEHEALTH offer with courses in Meditation, NLP, Reiki and life coaching. We firmly believe that the capability to create is part of every human nature. The health benefits of creative pursuits are inarguable, sometimes though a person’s enjoyment of their creativity can be compromised physically, mentally or philosophically.

With that in mind, at the Guggleton we like to surround ourselves with people who can help creativity flourish; whether that be advancing your painting skills, freeing your hand, loosening your brush work or advancing your life skill, freeing your mind and loosening your back…  

We aim to offer support over every aspect of a persons’ creative outpourings and at the same time stay both accessible and relevant to as many people as possible.

If our approach to life in any way coincides with your own then there are many ways that you can become involved at the yard. Please visit our Support uspage to learn more.”

Gubbins huh?















































































Immaculee Ilibagiza: The Heroine’s Journey

Researching further works has led me down many avenues but none so dark, disturbing and remarkable than Immaculee’s story.

This ‘About’ extract is taken direct from her [rather spectacular] website [no disrespect but she is evidently under management…], I would challenge anyone, male or female, to read her story without horror. Whilst personally not a ‘believer’ in some guy in the sky it is her sense of self and strength of character I find so incredibly moving. Very unsure that this is anything that could ever be the justification for a painting but inspirational none the less…

‘Immaculée Ilibagiza was born and raised in a small village in Rwanda, Africa. She enjoyed a peaceful childhood with her loving parents and three brothers. Education was very important in her household, so it was no surprise that she did well in school and went on to the National University of Rwanda to study electrical and mechanical engineering. It was while she was home from school on Easter break in 1994 that Immaculée’s life was transformed forever.

On April 6 of that year, the Rwandan President’s plane was shot down over the capital city of Kigali. This assassination of the Hutu president sparked months of massacres of Tutsi tribe members throughout the country. Not even small, rural communities like Immaculée’s were spared from the house-by-house slaughtering of men, women and children.

To protect his only daughter from rape and murder, Immaculée’s father told her to run to a local pastor’s house for protection. The pastor quickly sheltered Immaculée and seven other women in a hidden 3 x 4 foot bathroom. For the next 91 days, Immaculée and the other women huddled silently in this small room, while the genocide raged outside the home and throughout the country. 

While in hiding, anger and resentment were destroying Immaculée’s mind, body and spirit. It was then that Immaculée turned to prayer. Prior to going to the pastor’s home, Immaculée’s father, a devout Catholic, gave her a set of rosary beads. She began to pray the rosary as a way of drowning out the anger inside her, and the evil outside the house. It was that turning point towards God and away from hate that saved Immaculée.

In addition to finding faith, peace, and hope during those three months of hiding, Immaculée also taught herself English. Immaculée was always a good student and already fluent in Kinyarwanda and French. Using only a Bible and a dictionary, she spent countless hours in that cramped bathroom learning her third language. 

After 91 days, Immaculée was finally liberated from her hiding place only to face a horrific reality. Immaculée emerged from that small bathroom weighing just 65 pounds, and finding her entire family brutally murdered, with the exception of one brother who was studying abroad. She also found nearly one million of her extended family, friends, neighbors and fellow Rwandans massacred.

After the genocide, Immaculée came face-to-face with the man who killed her mother and one of her brothers. After enduring months of physical, mental and spiritual suffering, Immaculée was still able to offer the unthinkable, telling the man, “I forgive you.”

Find her full story here:




Looming as the are for my younger son, I will take a break from here while he is on study leave at home….

See you after hols and results in September.


As one painting closes…

There but for the grace of God

There but for the grace of God

Finished, based upon my sister, but painted from memory.

New Commission

New Commission

Started, and this is about all you will ever see of the work.

A private commission for a private residence.

Exciting surface!

This is such a great time; considering where to start, putting off the first mark.

In my minds eye it is already there.

Now begins the process of getting to what I already see…

Women Beware Women

Women Beware Women - work in origress

Women Beware Women – work in progress

Writing in the Daily Telegraph last year, Hannah Betts, unwittingly helped me with my research into a phenomena I had witnessed firsthand in my social circle, something that is anathema to me as a woman who has outgrown the playground; namely ‘divide and ostracise’ and a subject first visited by me in paint 15 years ago in The Three Muses, now in a private collection in London:

Three Women

The Three Muses

The events leading to and fallout from the spectacle were felt rippling through the entire village, to a lesser or greater extent, for years and things have never, and may never, be the same a gain.

Women Beware Women is a Jacobean Tragedy by Thomas Middleton that deals with several episodes/facets of ‘female transgression’ and has not one likeable girl in it. To be fair the men are all pretty bottom dwelling too, however, the play is notable for its scathing description of female motives and reasoning. Admittedly a period piece, where the concerns of the protagonists bare not a lot of resemblance to first world 21st Century issues, the idea represented here of woman colluding with man to bring down her fellow female is seen to be both laudable and villainous at the same time. However the girl on girl crime is the real crux of the story, the men manipulated by the women to enact retribution upon their sisters.

Hannah Betts wrote under the headline:

Women are being bitchier than ever – where’s the sisterhood gone?

Women have always judged each other – usually in private. But overt bitchiness seems to be on the rise as everything from weight to wardrobes is harshly judged. Are we all Mean Girls now?

……the Daily Mail website’s notorious right-hand column, aka the “sidebar of shame”, a diet of celebrity sex scandals, fashion faux pas, reality television and incredible weight-loss stories, with judgment of women’s bodies and behaviour the underlying theme. One of the kindest people I know, a mother of teenagers and friend to all, describes it as her “dark addiction”.

“I ‘right-hand’ constantly, day and night,” she says. “No matter what is going on in my own life, there is always solace to be had in fashion fails and bikini bodies. It’s a compulsion.” Many who openly despise the body baring of Page 3 are covertly devoted to the bodily critiques of Mail Online.

This compulsion – as with the compulsion then to let rip – originates with childhood, according to Dr Frankish. “Something happens that triggers a relatively infantile response, belonging to the pre-socialisation stage of development. Not all women attack others, so the implication is that those who do are insecure in their attachments and are triggered by what they see as someone being better than them, or getting more attention than them.” We justify ourselves with the delusion that it is a victimless crime, the subject as virtual as the medium.

For my part, I see the escalation of bitchiness as a symptom of the overall rise in and currency of misogyny. Not only do people – women included – get lured into replicating its manifestations, feminism has become a live issue again, and with this liveness comes a backlash and sense that it can be used to foster divisiveness. There have even been reports about a Reddit group that may be striving to seed infighting among feminists, encouraging them into ever more “extreme” stances.

The effects of this girl-on-girl sabotage can be still more concrete, affecting women’s relationships in the workplace and their polarisation into mother and non-mother camps, each virulently opposed. They divide us into ugly versus pretty, fat versus thin, small-breasted versus large, fashionable versus unfashionable – all enforcing the stereotype that a woman must be pretty, slim, buxom and stylish rather than, say, bright, healthy, happy and fulfilled.

One must not be naïve, of course, we are never all going to get along merely by merit of possessing two X chromosomes and a vagina. Equality means equal opportunities to like and dislike rather than exist in some Pollyanna universe. But neither should we turn against each other because of possession of said attributes. Not least because in sisterhood lies strength.’ [source; The Daily Telegraph 21 February 2015]

Hello boys…


….it’s been a while. I started the concept of these guys a few years ago but  other themes and imperatives cropped up. Things have a habit of emerging again, truer and stronger, though and on the back of my six female archetypes it was just the time to return and attempt a resolution here also. So here goes, one day in and fairly pleased. I will go at it and see what occurs…