Thursday, 7 August 2008

Waking up, produce update, coming soon, and reflections on the C Word

Yaaaaaaaaawn, streeeeeeeeetch, yoooooowl, stp stp stp. That’s better.
The summer holiday flower show continues. The garden is now so irretrievably out of control that I’ve given up, apart from mowing the grass in the feint hope that that makes it all look deliberate. Looking on the bright side, however, the produce is coming along splendidly. See above. Ate my first home grown plum today. Don’t know if those grapes will ever get fat and sweet, but I’m still holding out for a hot late summer…
The lilies were truly sensational, even if it was an all out battle with the lilly beetles, and the roses are still going strong as is the jasmine. The fox, it seems, has departed for now, and two wood pigeons, who live in the neighbours plum tree, are devouring the entire crop of the elder berry tree behind my shed. They’re so fat they can hardly move now. One of them actually had to sit on its bum and have a rest on my shed roof this afternoon.

That’s my mum with the goats by the way. We went to France and saw OTTERS! Yes real live swimming wild otters. Never seen them before. And a VAST toad sat on the door step to my bedroom every night, and, I fantasised, ate all the mosquitoes. My bedroom door opened on to a courtyard garden. ‘Weren’t you tempted to kiss him?’ asks my flat mate. I can honestly say the thought never entered my head. I liked him just fine as a toad.

So I’ve been reading and planning my next C Word posts, and, here’s a little bit about me and my work now, I’ve been planning my first ‘international’ show. Well, we’ll see if it really is. I’ve been invited to do a one person show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Esfahan, in Iran. I have decided to believe it really will happen, which means I’ve started making the work for it. I plan a trip to Esfahan in November, when I hope to get the contract. When that happens, I’ll be boring you to death about it. So enough of this for now. I just thought I should account for my absence in some way.

Books? Elif Shafak’s ‘The Bastard of Istanbul’, very warmly recommended, and ‘Thinking Through Craft’, Glen Adamson. This has been rather weirdly reviewed in my opinion. The two I read were critical of the number of what they called ‘art’ references. I’ve finished the first chapter, and, yes, he does meander about referring to craft practices in both art and craft. All I can say for now is that, as far as Ch. 1 goes, it all makes perfectly good sense to me. The main reason why I’d really recommend this book though is, first, that he’s really well read. There are numerous references to writers to such as Adorno, Derrida, among many others, - these have dominated so far – but the great thing is he explains what they’re saying as he goes along, so you don’t feel like a total dork if you haven’t read them. (I haven’t.) The other thing I REALLY like is that he doesn’t have a peg firmly clamped to his nose, which most art historians and especially craft historians, do. You don’t have to agree with everything he says, you can have a robustly juicy argument with the pages of this book if you wish, but at least you know you can cheerfully thump the table over a pint and somehow know it wont matter.

The ‘coming soon’ list which is usually in the right hand column is coming soon, next week sometime. There will be a post about my week’s summer school doing Egyptian dancing, then, with a bit of luck we’ll be into village craft, at the end of August, then the new craft ‘season’ kicks off with Ceramics in the City, 19th-21st September and Origin, 7th-19th October and so forth. Ah yes, I’m also trying to persuade a publisher to accept a proposal for a book about ceramics and feminism. I’ll keep you posted on that, to say nothing of my fantasies about an exhibition.

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