Sunday, 11 August 2013

warp and weft and masks and women

Hi guys

this is a new thing about a new project i'm doing with my mate Jenny, it is to do with feminism, yay! The town hall is full of statues and busts that look like this

and are big ol whiskery men. The thing is, as Jenny found out, in the golden olden days people who could afford to get statues done of themselves did - and there aren't ANY women in the Sculpture Hall, surprise!

Sooo we're doing a little proj whereby we celebrate notable Manc women throughout history, by temporarily covering up the men's faces and hiding them, behind massive badass crochet womanface masks. I'm doing the crocheting and Jen's boning up on her history and learning about some seriously astonishing women doing their bits for a better world. The official blog and info about our women etc, is at but I'm going to post here now and again, so I can talk about my feelings and complain and swear and things.

Right so first off can I just say it is EXTREMELY difficult to make a mask which a) looks like a person's face, b) looks like an actual, real, specific person's face, c) fits over the completely different face of a manstatue with a stupid massive nose (and in one case a stupid massive BEARD) and d) isn't completely dreadful in every possible way. I'm not going to lie to you, it's very hard. At the moment I've given up on a) and b) and am focussing on c), after which I will attempt to do features and whatnot.

As for d) well time will tell won't it!

Here's some photos of eyes I have done so far.

this is Elizabeth Gaskell

this is Sylvia Pankhurst

this is Sunny Lowry (she looks angry)

I'm having most trouble with noses so that's why I've stopped at the 'masquerade ball' stage here. It's going okay now, I've got a few wonky noses sorted out. 

Another thing which is bothersome, is that I don't really have terribly great photos to work from, so I'm sort of guessing what they look like anyway. It's pretty hard and my motivation keeps wandering off and falling down the nearest drain. I am enjoying the process though, it's fun to try new things even when they are impossible. 

Some half-finished masks will be in PS Mirabel's Artifice exhibition curated by Aziza Mills at the end of August, so keep an eye out for that.

Ohh I'm sure it'll be fine. Join me next week for more worries and general chitchat!


Saturday, 20 July 2013

something a bit different... and way overdue :(

hey beloved guys, I am distraught that I have not posted anything since FEBRUARY, I have been busy with work stuff and procrastinating, etc. Plus I haven't made anything much worth sharing UNTIL NOW (more on that later)

anyhoo those who know me well-ish or see me every day will know that I quite often wear clothes that I have customised myself or made out of perfectly reasonable other clothes - indeed quite a lot of my clothes have been butchered in some way. I like looking like a day glo tramp. WHATEVER mum

I've been making dresses out of big boy t shirts for years now and they're really great, for something you can buy for a couple of quid from a charity shop they're real comfy, pretty hard wearing and they look nice (I think).

here is my Pinterest-style internet craft tutorial with diagramzz. Also I get to show off my Paint skills.

to illustrate this better, here are some that I have made over the years (photos by Maddern)

made this about 6 years ago. two big boy t shirts and a bit of flowery jersey in the middle. also please note bit of red fabric added in to preserve modesty.

black t shirt dress for a party, instead of a second t shirt I crocheted round the bottom and collar with sparkly blue yarn, it's really short

this is made from a pink girl's top and two big boy t shirts. 

here the two navy t shirts didn't really match. Added the collar from an old top that had gone a weird shape.

big grey t shirts, baggy fit, cat.

there you go, the end. 

oh yeahh me and my friend Jenny are doing a project together, we are sorting out a blog for it and that. I will update here when it's all sorted. It's exciting, I'm being an artist.

see you in 6 months xxxx

Monday, 18 February 2013

how I learned to stop worrying and love live art

Hi guys. wow I can't believe I haven't posted anything in nearly two months, rubbish! I haven't had time to do anything much recently besides panic, so please do excuse.

Still haven't really done much worth talking about, but I want to sometimes do posts about other people's work instead of just mine. I think this is the first one.

This weekend I was lucky enough to go to In Between Time in Bristol, a city I had only briefly visited before. It's a live art/performance festival with participatory stuff thrown in. I have a very limited experience of live art and didn't really think I liked it. How my eyes and mind were blown wide open!


1. The String Section performed by Reckless Sleepers: four ladies in black dresses and heels performing a symphony for wood and metal: basically, sawing the legs off chairs bit by bit whilst they were sitting on them. I liked this piece very much, it was quite uncomfortable but funny to watch them frantically destroying the structures that they needed to support them.

2. The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein - How to Become a Cupcake

Okay this one was a bit nuts and not at all what I was expecting: women in bras and tutus smearing food all over everywhere, yeah yeah I thought. I ended up really enjoying it though, just because of its apparently disorganised structure and the bit where the Famous becomes a real boy, and the bit where she dances to the Backstreet Boys over and over again while the other women squirt cream at her for about ten minutes. Thought this one was kind of aggressive, although I liked it. I didn't take any pictures because I was mesmerised by the sight of a naked woman on crutches weeing on a pile of popping candy. I am sure you can find pictures on the internet of that sort of thing if you like.

3. Holzinger and Riebeek - Kein Applaus fur Schiesse

ohhhh... this was the same day as the Famous, and I had seen so much human flesh and fluids by this point that when the whole pulling string out of a fandango/throwing up/weeing stuff happened (within 5 minutes) I was like, oh hooray. But this was THE BEST thing I saw all weekend! It was so sweet and warm and funny, such a delight. I have developed massive crushes on both of them and rekindled my love for Devendra Banhart. I came out feeling like I'd taken some giant drugs. I still have no idea why I liked it so much.

4. Silvia Rimat - If You Decide to Stay

No nudism in this one, just a nice lady dressed as a bunny, pondering on probability and chance, and celebrating the fact that we all went to see her show at that precise time with rum and nibbles. I did cry though, when she asked who would put sleeping pills in their children's lemonade at the end of the world, and no one said yes except me :(

Me and Oly took part in Kate McIntosh's Worktable in which I deconstructed a chamber pot with a crowbar.

Live art makes no sense to me, I can more or less grasp meaning from it, I enjoy it, I feel moved by it. Is that enough? I don't understand how it's constructed. I watched loads of hour-long shows that felt, to my uninitiated mind, like unconnected series of things indiscriminately wedged together in a sequence. Maybe it's just because I'm used to static images or something. If someone would like to talk to me about this I would be grateful.

Also while we were recovering from performance-fatigue, we wandered round beautiful Bristol and had a look at the graffiti on Nelson Street

this looks like a John Campbell?

Plus other things which I've forgotten. It was a great time and I feel like I'm changed forever. Until probably next week. Anyway I will try and write more soon, i will make something, I promise. don't leave me


Sunday, 6 January 2013

the true meaning of #mousebiro

Yo yo, hope you are having a happy new year so far. I am distracting myself from a job application which is taking forever.

anyway I have been meaning to write something about this for ages, because it's great. Ages, ages, and more ages ago, I read somewhere that mice can squeeze through a gap the width of a biro tube (a quick google search reveals that this may or may not be true anyway, my favourite is this yahoo answers post - good old yahoo answers. 'What is a biro')

because I am a dumbo I took this to mean that mice can fit THROUGH an actual biro TUBE, like down the inside of the whole tube. Stupid. Anyway years later me and Maddern submitted it to Salle Pierre Lamy for their first ever (?) SPLARPY, check it out here (number 008). I was the clear winner thanks to the number of #mousebiro drawings generated, people were obviously incensed.

Check it, largely nicked off SPL's website:

 Oly (I suspect)

Ellie Larke 


 Joe List

 Joe Morris Jnr




Karen (my favourite)

Mike (at v interesting work meeting)

Me again




Laura (aka rolaricho, check out her drawings MAINTENANT)

French Amazon

Awesome yes? So I won the argument and therefore mice CAN fit through biros, in your face science.

I wanted to make something mousebiro related and still do, but I haven't yet, I am cooking something up. I am NOT cooking a mouse, I don't mean. Mice have appeared sporadically in my work, since I was at uni and the whole 'people disguised as mice/mice with suckers on their feet' thing I was obsessed with, that doesn't make as cute a hashtag, but this is the sort of thing:

I only have crap photos but anyway. 

Okay so if you've been paying attention you know I made Maddern #mousebiro socks for Christmas:

And and and! Oly, my good buddy from work, MADE me the most awesome #mousebiro picture for my not-very secret Santa present! Oh my lord. Look at THIS

Whoooooooo yeahh! Now all I have to do is get a REAL one from wonder-taxidermist Fiona Campbell. I asked her to make one, and she said she would :) 

Okay ENOUGH but you have not seen the end of this phenomenon. It's BIG