Tuesday

Communication.

I feel that I really struggle to communicate.
I often think about things that I would like to tweet, or write about on this blog, or even just say to another person, yet I don't do it. Something always blocks me, I don't know what.

I think a lot about the things I cannot see.

I have been thinking a lot about how to communicate, how to tell you about all the things I am thinking, about all the art I want to make.

As I'm struggling to do that, I'm going to do it as a list, I hope you don't mind.
I like lists.
 Lists are cope-able with.

A list about the art that I am making right now:
1. Ambit - A knitted work 4,392 stitches long and 32 stitches wide. (488" x 4")
The work is knit in white Norwegian sock yarn. The central 6 stitches represent the 6 autistic artists  who are part of the NUNO group show and are knit together in a cable pattern. Each section where the cables cross represents 1 mile. There are 488 miles in total between me and these artists.

2. Un-named audio work - A collection of all the silences in my unedited Welsh Gates Are Latched With Mensa Puzzles podcast. I sound like I speak very fluently on my podcasts, but that is only because I can edit my audio files. In reality there are long silences as I translate the images in my visual brain into verbal language.

3. Movement Drawings made using lo-tech and digital devices with data gathered from movement, heart rate and sleep patterns.

4. Un-named Digital work - digital drawings mapping walks I want to take, have taken or would like to take but that are impossible.

A list about the art I intend to make soon:
1. Communication Fail - I want to knit all the times that I couldn't speak, or misunderstand something someone else says. I think this will be knit in the round with knit only stitches and yarn overs for every time communication fails.

2. Ongoing drawing works made on walks that will map my body movement and that will express something about time, effort, silence and aloneness.

3. An art walk from Stratford on Avon to Oxford

4. Video work - I have already amassed quite a bit of video, but never put it online so I am  planning to do that soon. This work is generally connected to the work I have been doing with natural processes and weather phenomena.

5. A generative knitted work informed by sleep data captured on my Garmin device.

A list of longings:
1. The time to make work.
2. Figuring out how to better tell you what I am thinking and making.
3. A van.
4. The opportunity to sell some of my work, so that I can buy a van.


Monday

I'm finally coding and it is everything!



Click on the image with your mouse. 

~First bit of random coding with many thanks to Daniel Shiffman at Coding Train and the folks who made p5js~

Wednesday

Ambit - a pilgrimage


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A pilgrimage is a ritual journey with a hallowed purpose. Every step along the way has meaning. The pilgrim knows that life giving challenges will emerge.
A pilgrimage is not a vacation; it is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place. New insights are given. Deeper understanding is attained… On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes.
Nothing will ever be quite the same again.
” Macrina Wiederkehr


Walking is an act of hope, an act of rebellion, a gift, an act of suffering, an act of determination, an act that links us to our ancestors, an act that opens opportunities for our descendants. 

Walking is precious to me as my body stiffens and flares with arthritis. Every walk is for me an act of defiance, a joy, a statement of freedom. 

Ambit is a durational performance for MfOR’s Neither Use Nor Ornament which involves physically connecting with 6 artists by walking and taking public transport to get from my studio to theirs.

I will create a knitted ‘drawing’ as I travel; knitting being a metaphor for connecting people and community. The (neither useful nor ornamental) object I create will evoke the white road, the beaten path made by thousands of feet across thousands of years along the hills and valleys of Britain. Every stitch a step, a braid of stitches crisscrossing every inch and representing one mile journeyed. There are 488 miles between myself and the other artists.


Many of the old paths, Drovers roads, country lanes and pilgrimage routes that once crisscrossed Britain are covered now with grass and fields or subsumed by tarmacked highways. The journeys that ravelled along them still exist in memory and in the evidence written in our DNA. 

Humans are travellers. Today, hundreds of thousands of people are walking across the Earth to escape war, hunger and poverty, just as our ancestors have always done. Today, people walk also because of the damage richer nations have done to the planet's atmosphere, causing environmental devastation on an epic scale.

My own acts of walking are done mindfully; a small act of solidarity with fellow humans/refugees and the billions of creatures; insects, birds, fish and animals who are beginning their own mass journeying in the wake of the changing climate.



Tuesday

Data list 1. 2 walks for Neither Use Nor Ornament project


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Duration: 4 days 
Sections done: 
Stourbridge to Kinver 17 Aug 18, 
Knighton to Rhayader via Abbeycwmhir 22-24 Aug 18.

steps from Stourbridge to Kinver: 17,150
steps from Knighton to Abbeycwmhir: 50,949
miles walked: 34.04 miles
meters climbed: 860

List of items taken on the Wales walk:
Walking poles
Voice recorder (unused)

Pedometer
Yarn
Knitting needles
Smartphone
Phone charger
Solar charger
Water bottles
Water tablets (unused)
Sleeping sheet
Shawl
Ground sheet
Airbed
Travel pillow (discarded)
Tarp
Aluminium Tent pegs
Gas stove
Tin cup
Wooden spoon
Two lighters
Headlamp
Maps
Money
Knee brace
Blister plasters
Micropore tape
Toothbrush
Towel
Painkillers
Suncream (unused)
Deodorant
Handknitted wool sweater
Waterproof coat and trousers
Handknitted wool hat
Cotton bandana
Spare knickers
Two pair spare socks
One pair wool socks (handknitted)
Spare t shirt
Two pair cotton leggings

Data uncaptured
sleep hours:
calories burned:
calories consumed:
number of blisters:
duration of rest stops:
number of rest stops:

wind speed:
precipitation:
sunlight hours:

number of sheep encountered:
number of ravens:
number of red kite:

list of tree species:
list of fungi:

gates opened:
stiles crossed:

list of songs sung:
number of times expected heart attack from effort:
biscuits consumed:








Monday

Walking with Rachel Henaghan

The finished drawing made by Rachel Henaghan using my drawing device

Part of the work I am researching for Drawn, is looking at how I can capture emotional responses to being in certain landscapes using both lo tech and digital drawing devices.

Due to various technical and non-residency issues, I have been struggling to get the digital drawing devices to become a reality. However,  have had some successes using the lo tech device, recording an emotional response to being in the environment by using different coloured pens, corresponding subjectively to an emotional state.

The red ink represents moments of high stress, purple is lesser stress, green is low stress.

Recently I had an opportunity to go for a short walk with artist Rachel Henaghan (listen to the podcast here). I got Rachel to carry a lo-tech drawing device and select from 3 coloured pens as she walked and experienced the environment. We walked through a small town centre and into a country park. The majority of the time we were in the park.

The various marks are created by the movements made while walking. 
I received great feedback from Rachel, who enjoyed listening to the podcast and who felt that walking and using the drawing device might have "great therapeutic potential." Which is exactly what I hoped would be the outcome when using the devices. I am now keener than ever to walk with other people and allow them to experience and give feedback about using the devices.

Friday

Diary Entry: 5

I gave a workshop at Width of Circle gallery on the 21st July in which participants made their own origami drawing devices and then took them on a short walk.

The workshop seemed to go well. A mixed group, including one child. I forgot to create evaluation forms though. People seemed engaged by the first part of the workshop in which we did some simple drawing exercises, drawing houses and thinking about mark-making.
I should have spoken more about my own practice I think.

The walk was interesting, we went along a local canal which gave us lots to look at. It was difficult to have conversations with people as we walked though, they scattered just as my class would have done, so will need to have breaks for the groups to stop and come together if we do this again.

There were satisfying gasps of delight when people uncovered their walking drawings and saw what they had made. It was also very interesting how they were all very different, just as the ones made during the SENSE walk.

Although the origami drawing devices are easy to make, they are not very beautiful. So I need to give some thought as to how to make them lovelier. Also, I need to think harder about the outcome for the participants. If they could frame their pieces in some way maybe.

Things to do: Research generative art.
Use digital pen
Blog
Think about outcomes for the walks
Keep a record of daily distances walked
Research tracks, paths, ley lines.