My 2022 calendar is now ready – you can order calendars and prints of the artwork here.
Yesterday I went to a talk at Well Projects from anthropologist/sound artist Dimitrios Bormpoudakis from the University of Kent as part of A Cut From Sharp Grass, “a visual art exhibition & series of public events developed in response to the increasingly urbanised, networked & technologically integrated landscape of Kent”. Here’s my sketchbook notes from the talk.
Hello from the southern hemisphere. Here’s some new press shots of my friends’ band Bismuth I took a few weeks ago at the original UK Botany Bay…
Here’s another gig poster I did (this time for a gig that’s already passed, because I’ve been so slack about updating this blog)…
So I moved back to Kent last week. (I’m knackered after travelling round Germany for three weeks and then moving house back-to-back). To Margate in particular. I grew up in Medway, a little way to the west, but left when I was eighteen to go to university, as it didn’t feel like there were any opportunities for me. Nearly fifteen years later, here I am. A lot has changed in that time.
I used to do a lot of photography, but I don’t do half as much now, which is a bit of a pity. My flickr account (which I started in 2007) has 376 albums and 4976 photos. I thought I’d do some regular posts with photos from some of the older albums. I’ll tag them as “from the archives”, especially as a lot of them are from well before I started this blog, or moved it from blogger to wordpress. Here are some photos from a trip to Whitstable in January 2008. It was my birthday, and I went on a trip to the coast with my friend Bryony and our then boyfriends. I had this Kodak slide duplication film I’d got in a giant bag of expired film I’d got for 50p per roll a few years earlier, and kept in the freezer. I’m not sure if it was taken with a Lomo LCA or an Olympus XA2. I had both at the time. I still have them in a box under the bed, but they’re both slightly broken, because I got them very, very cheaply second-hand (I think they were both about £15). I should get round to fixing them at some point. I think they’re fixable. These pictures were cross processed in C41, and then scanned. The pictures on my flickr account are a little small by modern standards, but screens were smaller then, and storage space on Flickr limited. I still have the negatives filed away, anyway.
On Sunday night I went to my friend John Newman’s sound installation at the Deaf Cat in Rochester, put on by the TEA people. There was a Damo Suzuki improv gig the previous night when I was away. I’m sure they organise these things when I can’t come specifically to spite me. I also went to watch at their band dating event they put on on Thurs. They got musicians to fill out a profile, then assigned them to a band, gave them 2 free rehearsal sessions, then they played whatever they came up with on the night. It all worked out very well. There were soundscapes and something that sounded like a Talking Heads rehearsal.
On Friday, my friends Tukru and Louise had their first gig (for Tukru in 10 years) appropriately on International Women’s Day. The band only formed a couple of weeks ago, so it was a bit nerve-wracking for them, but everything went fine. I tried to take some photos, but it was in the cellar of an old restaurant/bar, where you could touch the ceiling and there were no stage lights, so I didn’t get anything much usable
Here are the other photos from Whistable. I took more of the boats, seashore etc with my wide-angle lens on film, and I haven’t had it developed yet. I much prefer my film SLR to my digital one (70s Pentax cameras just feel so nice to use), but I’m too broke lately to use much film, and I still have 5 rolls sitting around that need developing. I didn’t eat any oysters while I was there, because I’m vegetarian, but I did have a really great mascarpone, truffle and rosemary pizza.
These are from some photos I took in Whitstable a few weeks ago, a pretty oyster fishing town in Kent (and sometimes *too* popular with the daahn from londons for the taste of the locals). The roofline of the school took my fancy.
I’ve always had a soft spot for 30s suburbia. These two pictures are a place called Twydall, near where my mum lives. I went along there to buy some wool, and I wasn’t disappointed, the area is full of old ladies. Also, the fact that the wool shop is called World of Woolcraft and is run by what could be the brother of the Comic Book Store Guy made me laugh.
Last Saturday me & Tukru decided to go to a party on a boat at the last minute. I saw that a friend of mine, Rob Bidder, who I hadn’t seen in person for a looong time, was doing some music at the event, and it would be good to see him, and the party looked like fun anyway. Being on a boat, and near Hallowe’en, the dresscode was aquatic, so I had to come up with something to wear in an afternoon (and Tukru in even less time). Good old Costumes for Plays and Playing came to the rescue. A fish hood/cape with scales for me, and a button-on mermaid tail for Tukru.
I was doing some residential teaching for the last 2 weeks. A group of year 9s from Chile came on a school trip, and I gave them lessons about English and British History/Culture and took them to various historical places like Cambridge and Canterbury. I was working in the middle of nowhere, in this old manor house in the middle of a national park. The house had been a boarding school from the 1920s to 2005, and the company I worked for was only using part of the building. We were the last school tour to be there before it was going to be handed over to the new owners, who no-one knew much about, but didn’t seem to be using it as a school. There were lots of locked up rooms that had been used by the boarding school, but weren’t used for the language holidays, like the science lab, and they had piles of school stuff lying everywhere. The attitude was pretty much feel free to explore, just make sure the kids don’t get into anywhere that could be dangerous.
I haven’t posted here for a while because life has overtaken me a little, and I’ve been dashing from place to place. I’m in Palma de Mallorca right now visiting Marcos’ family, with a permanent move to London on the cards for the end of the month (it can’t come too soon). I’ve got a backlog of photos to work through.
This is another ancient film scanned. It’s definitely from 2008, but it skips about all over the place, there’s shots of Medway and ATP and Brighton, but I didn’t move to Brighton until the August of that year, and ATP was in May, and I have no idea when the Medway pics were taken, so it seems to have been hanging about in my camera for quite a while. I don’t even know what camera I used. I think it might be a Lomo LCA, the one I got in an Estonian junk shop for £20. It’s since half fallen apart, so I’m glad I didn’t pay those Austrian rip-off merchants much money for it. Whatever camera I used, it’s some really grainy 400asa cheapo Ferrania marked film, prob from poundland
Oh look what’s come around again. All girl tunes played by me & the lovely Ms Tukru. Free zine and cake. Zine stall of lovely stuff. A good time had by all, hopefully.
I guest djed at Moogie Wonderland with Tukru last week. It went pretty well, although the students were conspicuous in their absence because it’s exam/assessment time. I didn’t plan what I was going to play, just went with intuition.
Here’s the rest of the pictures from where I took the panos at the Riverside Country Park. There’s a promontory which goes out to an island in the river, almost at the mouth where the Thames and Medway meet, with narrow beaches with reedbeds and abandoned boats along the edge and woods and pools in the interior. I used to come here a lot. I particularly love it in the winter when there’s practically no-one there except me and some water birds.
Today it was sunny and I had the day off, so I went to the Riverside Country Park. It’s where the Medway meets the Thames Estuary. It’s one of my places. I experimented with making some stitched panoramic pictures. I also took some normal pictures. I’ll post them later. I’d love to have one of those turny Russian panoramic film cameras, but I’m too poor.
At last, some sunshine. Today me & Tukru went out for some coffee and drawing. It’s the London Zine Symposium on Sunday, and we have stuff to do. We didn’t actually get much cafe time, because we forgot how early stuff closes round here. I’ve got some new stuff up my sleeve, but I don’t want to show it until it’s done.
The other day I was round my dad’s. It was a sunny day, and I didn’t fancy spending the whole day cooped up indoors. I got my dad to give me a lift up to Kit’s Coty, a strange isolated place nearby, which has the remains of a Neolithic barrow there. The barrow isn’t very evident these days, but the gate into the tomb is still there. There are more houses round there than I’d thought, all detached with big gates and long drives and beware of the dog signs, and on unpaved roads. It was totally quiet and a bit David Lynchish round there.
Seeing as I’m meant to be an art student, I thought it was time I did some drawing. I feel rusty at drawing. Here’s a drawing I made earlier sitting in the Castle Gardens after I signed on at the dole. Signing on always puts me in a foul mood, there’s just something about Chatham dole office, but drawing in the sunshine made me feel a little better. I think the drawing’s a little bland though. I think I should’ve made the left tree black shaded too, for better composition, but I was just drawing what I saw, one deciduous tree, and one evergreen.
On Friday I checked out my friend Pete’s gig, and then went to Moogie Wonderland’s Sipping Sessions event at a local cafe. This is Bee (short for Biancha) who’s one of the people who organises it. She’s very photogenic, and enjoys having her photo taken, which is great as far as I’m concerned.
Some snaps of the mist in my dad’s garden this afternoon. Sometimes I wish my hometown would burn to the ground and be replaced solely by trees. (Rochester excepted)
Last night I went to Moogie Wonderland. It was Ides of March themed this time, and I made them some stuff.
This is a projection on the life of Julius Caesar made with cardboard and chromakey. It’s clunky as hell, and there’s no way I’ll use it for uni, but I got it done in time for the event, and that’s what matters in this instance. (Also the audience is drunk people, and they’re not known for their attentiveness or attention to detail). My main beef with it is there’s too much text (it was the only way I could think of to get the story across when I didn’t have time to do more sophisticated animation) and most of the silhouettes are too basic. I’m going to remake it, with much better compositions and just generally at a higher, more sophisticated level.
So we had the second Typical Girls last week. It was more successful than the first, we had 20-25 people there. They were all people we didn’t know as well, which was surprising. I made 50 lurid pink cakes covered in edible glitter, and played some Patti Smith and Comet Gain this time. Tukru brought a table full of zines and fundraising stuff for her roller derby team and played some Nicki Minaj and slipped in a bit of Lady Gaga, which made me pull a face. All the cakes got eaten, and even the old men who lurk down the end of the bar had a good time. Hopefully more people and more dancing next time.
On Saturday I went with Tukru to Moogie Wonderland.
Female-fronted music, free zine, free cake, zine stall from Vampire Sushi distro. All the good stuff in life, and free entry and cheap drinks to boot.
I’ve been a hermit since Christmas. Not going anywhere, and not seeing anyone much. You can’t stay at home forever, so I ventured out on Saturday, and took Tukru with me. (I drag her out of the house, she tells me when I’m being an idiot (frequently), it works out nicely). Tukru wore a purple wig.
I decided to try out my Lomo ringflash with a film SLR over xmas. I set the camera at f 5.6/ 1/125 for 400 asa film (I’d lost the instruction sheet, and that was my best guess), but I could easily have got away with something like f11.
Tukru came round and brought me some birthday presents (shrinky-dinks, sweets, and patches) and we had a crafternoon. She typed up zine bits on my typewriter, which has much smaller type than hers, but tends to get a jammed up ribbon, and I stuck some pictures from my mountain of magazine cutouts into scrapbooks, and we listened to Nirvana and Neutral Milk Hotel and the Beatles and David Bowie and Simon and Garfunkel. We ate some tofu stirfry, and the aldi version of Ben & Jerry’s which is exactly like normal icecream, and laughed at BRIAN BLESSED’s attempt at a Greek accent in My Family and Other Animals (sedate fun)
The night before I went to Austria I hung out with some friends to drink beer and yell out the answers to quiz shows. I do enjoy a good bit of trivia. Some hats made an outing, and I took some hammily posed photos. I also got really indignant about the continuing existence of Roger Waters, even though he’s not quite in the Bono league for me.
Here’s some pictures I took in Broadstairs last summer, they were languishing on my hard-drive until this weekend.
Earlier in the summer I went to the Margate Shell Grotto with my mum. I thought it was a piece of victorian tourist kitsch from memory, but it wasn’t like that at all.
Last weekend I went back to Medway, and I went up the Great Lines with Tukru, and we messed about taking photos.