I watched a rocket stalk rehearse for lift off
Caught daily in a flash of winter spotlight
So Proud! Front of stage in the darkening days
They emerge like comic actors missing a cue.

Local colour to a plot already resolved,
Two trumpets flaring announce after the fact
It’s Twelfth Night! What we willed is now
Wilted, new costumes already worn and washed.

But Look! There is Jack Greenhorn
Preparing to make a last hopeful entrance
Long after Christmas performers packed away,
Our jolly pantomime audience drifted home.

In Instagram


Starting to publish and maybe promote the forthcoming exhibition.  I hinted at this in the trial installation in June.

I may have to work at getting this going – the potential interactivity is important.  Borders are virtual as well as physical.

Using instagram to ‘publish’ has been central to the educational research I have investigated this year, as first presented at the NSEAD conference Danger in the jungle – Durham. One of the identified  risks raised by students in the research period – losing control over image rights – is relevant, am I throwing way value or sharing more and building something unique and complimentary to the physical exhibition?


At the border

On ‘Good Friday’ the border at 7.20am is cold, the light struggling through to illuminate two laybys, stone walls, the flags of two countries, double sided stones and thin fences tramping off along the hump of hills.

Video recorded in 2 minute segments, rotating the view and listening for the birdsong.  Each chosen viewpoint included the flash of passing cars, heralded by the whine of engines against the hill followed by the drop in pitch as they fade back down the hill, in earshot for so much longer than in eyesight.

I also recorded the first 5 exposures shot on large format camera.  An aesthetic object in a less aesthetic landscape.

The border piper is sick of being the subject of debate, his opinions never broadcast, but his image used to illustrate a thousand press reports over the last few years.

Mistakenly perhaps, this photoshoot minimised the presence of people.


Immerge – Emerge

The mist creates a fluid barrier.  The figure emerges from the mist, the photographer immerges his camera in the ultimate watery filter.

The film shoot captures the frost and the mist, the clarity and the milky opacity.

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and below from a mobile phone shoot earlier in february

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#frost #mist #lines

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Instagram in school

Introduced the new school Instagram account yesterday.  There are multiple issues with Instagram as an educational device, but equally lots of possibilities.

Firstly, I posted a work from last year, created by a highly talented student from last year (now on foundation course).  On it’s own, with banal tagging (#firstpost) it generated, at time of writing, 10 likes and 10 followers.  This, of course is the joy of Instagram, work that had been destined to always be in a sketchbook is presented and appreciated by a host of passers by.

Untitled Print by AD 2016.

Yet, the doubts creep in – who are these people who trail past and leave their trace?  Will our students gain or lose from exploring these trails.

Students also started to use their own ‘school’ instagram accounts – with serious induction about safety and appropriate use.  One student did question wether wether she wanted the digital attention and the openness that was implied, (This of course will be her decision) others jumped into the system with delight as their first works were put under social media scrutiny, presented as creative work rather than purely personal of their own streams.

The analysis of the benefits (or indeed distractions) over the next few months will be interesting.

gliding free

A train came in a warning clap and roar 

September thunder in a barking blast.

The yellow leaf drew a super rapid curve

accelerated across time and space

blown up and over the tracks, trees 

shot beyond her maternal canopy

held for a moment then let slide 

into the eddy and turbulence, 

random gliding into see saws 

down the shimmer tracks

out of my sight,


Then dust,

a sheen of ochre

rubbed into eyes

motes of reflected light

blurred like a vintage filter

caught in coat and throat

and the slow rattle from a train

departing from its turbulent wake.

Gliding free – 1st draft film poem here


opened boxes

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#yellow #streetlight #discard

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Opened Boxes

I cannot yet reveal all that is in me

a half empty vessel pours and reveals only the bottom of the jug,

the inside of a broken heart for surgeons and healers

ascribing epithets and epigrams:

The Radical Navigator

closes minds or opens boxes,

plots the course or straps the helm

integrity, intelligence, helpfulness,

is the Steward’s tale.