Sunday, 19 March 2017

Project update "this comment has been deleted"

This project has several strands, initially I was going to try and utilise as many printing techniques as possible to create posters using the statements and then I settled on screen print for that element, for uniformity and clarity.

I recently held an opening for the "This Comment has been deleted" project at Koffee Pot in Manchester, the work is up until the 9th of April.

One interesting thing about this project is that it really does spark conversation as to what is art and what is not, it's always a personal opinion really but it's something most people are very passionate about and have something to say.

Some of the supporting reading material I have been looking at, articles and essays.

I have no idea who this lunatic is or who let him in.. oh well, art is for everyone after all!

I cut up some of the prints that had mistakes or were not very good,
people had fun making new statements.


Participatory projects and surveys

Art Gallery Here project
I came up with this project as a response to the fact that many people feel alienated from art; artists, art and galleries are not always accessible to many people and I wanted to explore ways to take this back to basics so this project asks artists to deposit a piece of work anywhere they choose and leave it for someone to find. People who are marginalised or have no access to art now have the opportunity to own a piece of original art and to interact with the artists and each other.
The "gallery" is only available online on this map and once I have gathered some more entries I will make an online gallery page for it.
Everyone who feels creative is encouraged to submit something if they like, anywhere in the world and there is no criteria, your work will not be moderated, you choose what to leave, simply leave a work in the location of your choice, add the tag and submit it via Curator Space.

The map:


I created two surveys, one designed for art gallery professionals in the visitor and engagement teams, these are the people who devise programmes and come into contact with visitors both regular and occasional so they have much to tell me, I work in this field myself but it's interesting to see how other places feel and what their experiences are.

The other designed for the visiting public, I am most interested in the opinions of people who do not visit galleries very often to find out why this is and what can be done to change this.

If you are an art gallery or museum professional and would like to participate in this survey please download it here and email it to me at: my university email

The idea here is to see what sort of work or projects I can devise that eliminate this invisible barrier that many people feel.

-Here are the responses I have recieved as of today for the general public survey:
(click for larger view)  up to date responses can be viewed here ( If you are interested)


Mixed media pieces:

I have started creating mixed media pieces in response to the comments, thinking about what people might have been visualising when they made these coments.
I came up with a few pieces that are coming together to form a fictional exhibition guide.

These are mock ups of some of the pages for the fictional exhibition guide, some are works in progress and I have a few more pieces to make, some physical some digital, photographs, collage and mixed media. I certainly want to try and represent the individual comments so have chosen ones that can be visualised.



this element of the project is still very much in progress and at the research/theory stage, I feel that many of these comments I have worked with are made in reference to the fact that artspeak is, in fact bollocks for the most part, it is alienating, it is confusing and does seem designed to create an invisible barrier, one that keeps "us" in and "them" out. No one in reality speaks like this so if we want art to be accessible and open to all I think this needs to be looked at seriously, it must be worked on, I have spoken with galleries who agree and are working on making it more accessible.

Question: Would you be more comfortable visiting exhibitions if the descriptions were more realistic and in more everyday languague?

Reading some gallery guides and exhibit descriptions can make people feel stupid even if they are not in any way stupid and this feels very much designed.

I found an artists who is creating a fantastic project where he is decoding and recoding this language and he has a documentary here.
It has me thinking about ways in which I can remix these comments themselves into something other than words.

I think I will go through all my collection of gallery guides and exhibition leaflets and see what I can find!

I am working on a written piece to pull all this together in a series of booklets.

Interventions and Gallery visits:


I was thinking about the decoding artspeak project and looking for ways I could put the statements through so many different processes that they would be unrecogniseable as their original form and would become abstract art works themselves, in the way that artpeak is often indecipherable from regular language.

 I found a little site that converts binary data to an image, the image generated is tiny so I put it into Illustrator to see what an autotrace would come out like.. of course there are many options but I went for a default.

So the Phrase "When I was younger art, proper art, was landscapes that you could hang on the wall."

is converted to binary then into a tiny thumbnail, and after a bit of vector manipulation ( it comes out black and white of course and I colourised it) comes out like this:

so realistically I could mess around with these elements and create a digital landscape picture.

I think I will try this for some of the images I have not been able to visualise in "traditional" forms..

the tiny image at the bottom that was generated is what I created the coloured one above with.

I might create a series of digital pieces with these and possibly do screen prints, some layered pieces.

Conceptual art is for people who want to feel like an artist but lack the talent, originality and work ethic.
These are two more I made from some comments and have some screen prints to make from them.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

This Comment Has Been Deleted

update on my current studio work ( previous post here):

"This comment has been deleted"

Images and more detail 

In large part this project has been one of discovery, it started out as a very simple graphics poster piece and spiralled out of control as I looked further into it. It has taken on more elements as I learned through the course of it there are many ways to look at it. There is of course the dynamics of communication in an internet forum where you have people from all walks of life communicating, there is the feeling of people being alienated from art and so many often speak in disparaging ways, there are those who feel all modern and conceptual art is rubbish and the artists are frauds, scammers who are getting away with it, there's the language of artspeak which is a cryptic linguistic brick wall to many people and a thing I am not alone in feeling needs an overhaul, there's the two sides that all this inevitably creates so I want to look at ways to address this laundry list of issues.

I have been looking further into why I am so interested in thes comments from articles on artists and exhibitions, I have realised there are a number of elements to this that are fascinating, the initial reason of course being the tone and content of some of the statements themselves, the often angry and words reflected and referred to something else. Sometimes very over the top,  I saw many of them as almost poetic, vitriolic sure but, there is something there that attracted me.

What I have realised over the course of this is that these are statements made, often, by people for whom this online forum of commentary is the only place they will ever be able (or currently feel is their only option) to offer their opinions on the art world, artists, work they feel is pointless and so forth, it occured to me that they are people, and I speak generally, that feel excluded from and outside of this world, their words are those of protest.

People are not supposed to be excluded from art, it should be for everyone so I really want to find out what everyone thinks of this idea... what have been your experiences and thoughs on this? Where are the barriers to art and what can be done to break them down, what is already being done?

Comments and thoughts at the end of this post are most welcomed.

Programmes like THIS are absolutely wonderful steps to increase inclusivity on many levels and, I think, symptomatic of a wider expanding of humanity's desicion to nurture one another. Then... reading online commentary on the article itself there is an amount of negativity towards the idea.

My personal experiences of living in Australia, the US and the UK have all been vastly different as the culture of class is different in each place and this transposes itself onto the environment of art and artists accordingly. I find more community based groups and artist collectives, more outsider and self taught artists in the US, there I found a more inclusive and less formal way of doing things, in Australia again there is a different way of doing things, a bit of a hybrid of the methods of the UK & US but with our own flavour. The UK, the traditional formalised ways have been in existence for so long that I am not sure there is perhaps less room for the community democratic artist collective, the non heirarchical set up does not seem to work here as well as it does in other places, in my experience. This, though is what I think needs to be changed and challenged, so I am looking at ways to combine my curatorial practice with this idea nad come up with some projects.

Feb 17th 2017

So...based on all this I decided to start a little internet based project to see what will happen, I am inviting artists to participate in a new type of gallery experiment, a nomadic gallery and exhibition with no formal dates and open to anyone who is willing to give work to someone else. Artists will leave a piece of original artwork in a location chosen by thethemselves, this can be anywhere like a train station, bus stop, window ledge, doorway, park bench etc.. anywhere and share its image and location to a map, the artwork is to be taken by anyone who finds it and the hope is that through social media people will connect and start a conversation on the idea and the art itself. It allows people to share artworks with absolutely anyone and removes the barriers, the commodification and allows for a very simple way to share art.

it's open to absolutely anyone and I hope the project will last and spread to places other than the UK.
It is one of many ideas I am trying to see what can be done to get people involved in art at a more personal level.

Here's the call out for participation on Curator Space

 In an attempt to find out about the sorts of people who are not visiting galleries and do not feel the environment of art and galleries is for them I have put together a survey which has been sent to about 50 art galleries in the UK, I am gathering data on what the visitor, engagement and outreach teams have done, experienced or know about in regards to making sure marginalised people and those from all educational and economic backgrounds feel they are welcome and able to visit galleries.
View blank survey here

Feb 25th:
I am starting to get some really well thought out responses to the survey from galleries and have started some conversations around the topics of interest that are great.

There is also a little survey I put together for the visiting public in order to get that side of the story so please take part if you can spare a few moments. I am interested in opinions and experiences from people who visit galleries regularly but, more importantly from those who don't.

An exhibition is currently being put together in Manchester so please come along if you can, it will be small but intimate and there will be some fun stuff to do.