The roots of my current processes of practice can be traced back to the childhood play which so infuriated my mother. Now I can give myself permission to, ‘fiddle about’, to see where processes lead.
During childhood adhesives and good pigments were not available. It was a case of making do with whatever was available or coming up with workable alternatives. Today, my tempting materials surround me.
The environment often provides unexpected moments of beauty and fascination. They can be transitory. A speedy sketch or camera lens may occasionally capture the excitement, but it is also good to learn to appreciate the moment for what it is and to allow the senses to explore, discover and dance. This is an area of personal development.
Cameras are essential for my processes of practice. They can record the ephemeral, the passage of time and assist in focussing the attention on interesting details, such as when light is observed creating diverting effects.
Whilst a painter will set out specifically to produce a painting, more often than not I will not have an outcome in mind. The processes and materials are of an interest in themselves and will lead and determine the outcome, whatever that might be.
Processes of practice involve experimentation to test out constraints. There may be construction …
… drawing, painting, printing, wetting, drying, shaping, fitting,
knitting, knotting, sewing, threading, weaving, cutting, twisting, tearing, manipulating, pressing, placing, touching,
observing, listening, smelling, tasting, recording, preserving, conserving … and waiting.
I might be drawn to inspect pencil shavings, a once fragrant, blush coloured crab apple found on a glorious Autumn afternoon walk or the stiff and uncomfortable apron, covered with splashes and smears of gesso from so many little creative adventures. Devising means of seeing them, viewing them in a manner which pleases and intrigues the eye (even if this is non-permanent), is the nature of my practice.
Having practiced as an individual, working with others and creating process challenges for them has provided new dialogical experiences. I looked at the experience of eating (a personal favourite), memory sharing and used a favourite artwork to explore possible historical occurrences in a relevant context.
A shared experience was devised to generate playfulness, something which can all too often be lacking in the adult world.
My processes of practice can involve a range of sensory experiences. The outcomes may be tangible, stable, environment dependent, ephemeral, individual or shared. There may be an outcome in the form of a painting, drawing, photographic image, print, model, structure, sculpture, an installation, a sound or video recording but the processes of practice and their refining to satisfy the senses, takes precedence over the production of an item which is immediately recognisable as a conventional piece of artwork.
A sister website mapped the MA experience at Aberystwyth University, School of Art.
This can be found at