Archive for September, 2009


September 30, 2009

I make other stuff apart from art, and have done for as long as I can remember. My Mum is very creative, so when I was growing up in the middle of nowhere, in Nigeria, she came up with ideas to help me pass the afternoons when school work was done. She actually taught me  FLOWER BROOCHfor four years. Difficult sometimes – a real battle of wills ! She’s a textile artist and always making something – it would be great if I could get some photos of the things she produced at Goldsmiths, to put on this blog. They’re in her attic.                     This assemblage brooch went to a friend in the north of England.Curio keys 2                                                             When I lived in Tangier, before returning to Abu Dhabi, I used to find some fabulous stuff at the flea market, Casabarata.  It’s one of the things I really miss. There’s nothing old in A.D. – things are replaced/refurbished/upgraded before they even begin to get any interesting patina . At Casabarata I collected a pile of big old doorkeys, rusty and wonderful. Didn’t know what do do with them for ages, then decided to hang various charms, stones, shells, bits, off colourful threads or natural wools that I dyed in rainbow colours. People liked them. I suggested hanging their own relics on them too. A well-known actor bought two a couple of years ago, at the Textile Fair in Olympia, London. Wonder what he did with them. I only have one left at present, so that’s on my to-do list.


serendipity friends

September 29, 2009

Those who are religious will obviously say that serendipitous happenings are god’s will, fate – whatever. I dont subscribe to that , I dont even think too hard about any of it – I just like it, it’s exciting ! We never know what’s round the corner – good or bad – but it’s great when from out of nowhere a new friend appears. I have a new arty friend who is also a neighbour  within walking distance – how good is that ! Five or six of us like-minded souls are embarking on drawing get-togethers, in her apartment .  No competition, no hidden agendas, we’re just going to ‘play’. I have often found that when I am being least precious about work, when it’s done with a throw-away attitude, something unexpected often comes out of it. Watch this space !

Cages and birds

September 26, 2009

Serendipity is a marvellous thing – the ‘bird’ thing began with a find in the carpark, about 6 months ago. I came across a perfectly dried, unfortunately also perfectly flat, bird. I brought it home and hung it in a cellophane bag on my studio board.Flat Bird memorial  oil and mixed media  on board A couple of months ago I did a painting of it, called  Flat Bird Memorial. It also was sparked off by a theme that I have been working on, for the next Fanaan group show – Foreign. I  featured birds in a couple of mixed media works, to do with ‘Foreign species’. Then that went off at a bit of a tangent to birdcages. I have some photos of beautiful old wooden cages, owned by a friend of mine in Tangier.

I did some drawings, cut a large shapely cage into a lino block and cut 5 bird silhouette blocks .  bird blocksNow comes the serendipity again – working in the Thrift shop, the other week, sitting on top of a donation bag was a beautiful small green birdcage – destined for me , obviously ! I have only just started printing the cage and the bird shapes, but am already inspired to go off on more tangents.  Love that poem by Maya Angelou ‘I know why the caged bird sings’.

importance of old work

September 26, 2009

sept.26 '09 (2)  Having returned from a week’s flying visit to UK, I now find my studio is almost impassable. Time for a tidy up and a clear out. I try and be restrained but when the work impulse is in full swing I havent the time to be tidy and methodical, or put things away as I go. Perhaps I should try.

The good thing about having a rummage, under all the layers of grot, is that I come across things I’d forgotten – things put in a safe place never to be seen again !  All very inspirational. I would have liked to investigate old work in the UK, while we were there, but the bathroom was being changed and I couldnt get to the relevant cupboards.

It is so important to keep old work – at present I find I am recycling actual drawings and paintings, not just the ideas. When something is 30 or 40 years old you can be less precious about it ,but see the reason why it was kept in the first place.

September 25, 2009

Unfortunately I’m not much good at the actual blogging – havent discovered how to upload pictures for a start. I just tried and it never appeared so some poor soul probably got it on their blog. Sorry.

I do have a website of my work though, so if you want to talk amongst yourselves, or go to that while I sort myself out, then here it is :

So, finally signed up for a blog – which certain people think will make me spend even more time on the computer and not enough doing art. We’ll see.

September 25, 2009