Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A Look Ahead

January and a chance to look ahead at the unfurling year and what I hope to try and to achieve within it.

As always I plan to be in a number of group exhibitions this year as any other, but I have taken the decision to limit myself to just the one solo exhibition for 2016 - AMUSE BOUCHE at the Town House, Spitalfields in October (see you there!) - in order to give myself the space and time to develop my ideas and explore other avenues of expression without undue pressure.

More limited edition screen prints for sure, but hopefully other forms of print too - linocut, etching, fabric, letterpress, etc. As well as that I hope to pick up my paint brushes again after a few years' absence, and to continue developing my delft tile production - this small cottage I'm sat in now is crying out for tiled walls in the kitchen, hearth, staircase, bathroom…

Many other exciting projects and collaborations along the way, self-initiated and commissioned alike.

My main objective this year is to renew my love and vigour for what I do, and to embrace a playfulness in my approach, to welcome flaws, marks, the scratchy, the undefined, the incomplete, happy accidents. A challenge for me perhaps, but a fun one!

Above is a chart (blurred for discretion) of all the ideas currently buzzing around my cranium, laid out before me to survey - to assess what needs to be prioritised, and what might be shelved or postponed. It is immediately apparent that there is more than I could ever possibly get done in three or four years flat out, let alone in one! Still, it is useful to see it all there in front of me - a gentle reminder when unsure what to tackle next and an edifying note-to-self not to take on too much.

Here's to a great, creative and prosperous 2016! Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Norwich Castle Museum

Arms of Norwich City
One bleak, wintry day last week, in the lull between New Year and Epiphany, Nick and I made the pilgrimage to see the Norwich Castle Museum.

The Norman keep floats over the city, close and massive, an impenetrable Caen-stone cube, always in sight, but, until that day, unvisited. Ah, what treasures it holds!

Here is a small handful of the gems stored within. We must return again soon - we only had time to investigate about half of the galleries there…

Lustrous locks, medieval stained glass

Medieval heraldic lion

Stained glass roundel, February (pruning), medieval

Stained glass roundel, December/ January (feasting), medieval

Stained glass roundel, April (sheltering from rain), medieval

Stained glass roundel, September (grape harvest), medieval

Medieval ceremonial drinking cup

Ana Maria Pacheco, alabaster panel

Ana Maria Pacheco, alabaster panel

Ana Maria Pacheco, alabaster panel

Neo-classical marble bottoms

Roman brooch, showing Pan or faun/ satyr

Lowestoft porcelain


Staffordshire cat

Dutch genevers bottle

Salt-glaze Bellarmine or Bartmann jug 

A Trifle FROM CROMER, pill or snuff box

Delftware plate, showing a mermaid

Sea creatures, anemones in glass

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


I like to mark the turning seasons of the Year and so this morning Nick and I headed out into the garden to Wassail or drink the good health of the fruit trees in the orchard in order to ensure a bumper crop of apples, as man has done on these isles for millennia.

A piece of bread is soaked in cider and placed within the branches of the noblest and most venerable trees to nourish the orchard spirits. Other, smaller fruit trees receive a blessing and cider libation directly to the roots. And of course, a few crafty swigs are taken by the participants to ensure their own health and fruitfulness!

It seems as though Spring is already here without the sharp bite of Wintertide before it. Violets and primroses poke their heads out from amongst the Autumn leaves still on the ground…

Twelfth Night in the christian calendar marks the Feast of the Epiphany, or arrival of the Three Kings or Magi. Being half Polish I like to adhere to the tradition of inscribing their initials +K +M +B above the door lintels at the front and back of the house for added good fortune.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New Beginnings

A New Year and a fresh New Start!

A New Year and with it, a New Blog. Here the symbols of Janus, double-faced Roman god of doorways and new beginnings - a Key to lock the old year behind and a Cockerel to herald in the year ahead. Gouache on cartridge paper.

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