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Ready to install

Well, it's been some time since I embarked on these works for Trinity Buoy Wharf and its been a great experience. With the paper piece I was able explore working on a very large scale with a great deal of intricate detail, and the steel pieces have given me the chance to extend my skills working in this medium and I'm grateful for both of these opportunities. All that remains now is to install the trinityof steel pieces. I hope it's clear where I found the imagery for these. The buoys are the same as those I found on the archival photograph of TBW, although cutting them out has allowed me to overlap them. The leaves are the same as those found on one of the coat of arms I studied, I took one image, mirrored it and intertwined the two together to form the 'S" shape. The ships, again were from one of the coat of arms. Whilst making this piece several people said it reminded them of another well-known ship based heraldry - the Blue Peter badge! I hope the grey colour I have settled on removes this connotation to some degree. the next pictures I post will be of the piece installed on it's blue shipping container home. Wish me luck!!

Bashing away

I have a new plasma cutter! More importantly, I've figured out how to use it. This is great as it means I can get on with my second commission for Trinity Boy Wharf. The idea behind this is to take three (a trinity) of the diamonds from my paper installation and re-imagine them in steel.  I have decided to use the ship motifs from the coat of arms, the stylised leaves again from the coat of arms and buoys. Each diamond shape will be made from hand cut, forged steel (all done by yours truly) and then powder coated a different colour. The 3 diamonds will be attached to the exterior wall of one of the shipping container studios which is painted 'Trinity Blue' and should look very effective. Heres hoping anyway!  A quick work in progress shot below.

Steeling myself

I am very excited to be able to start another piece for Trinity Buoy Wharf, this time in steel. I had a site visit last week and have seen a few places where it might be able to go. It'll be great to use all my metal work kit again, I just hope we get enough sun so the solar panels on my shed help power my plasma cutter!

Here be Monsters

Lovely time at TBW last weekend. I was very lucky to have an ex student of mine, Sophia, helping out and we had lots of fun facilitating a land/seascape collage based on actual and imaginary responses to the site. I've got some nice photos of it, some I'll post here, some more on my Facebook page which you can go to if you click on

Workshops for Open House Weekend at TBW

I was soo happy to get my work installed this week, it's in just the spot I hope for and looks great, many thanks to John B for his help there. 

This weekend is Open House Weekend and I'm running a drop in workshop over the 2 days where visitors are invited to take part in making a landscape based on their responses to the site. I've been cutting out little people and ships to be used, hope we have lots of visitors!

Another scorcher of a day yesterday and I revisited Trinity Buoy Wharf yesterday. It was a real hive of activity with a film crew at work and and all sorts of people milling about the place. I have to admit feeling a bit apologetic being another person needing something! Still up to the lighthouse, trusty blu-tack at the ready and a few photos later I think I got some good shots of the diamonds interacting with the space. Hope you like.

Site visit to Trinity Buoy Wharf with work in progress

The work is coming along and after another site visit yesterday I have managed to get one or two photos of elements of the work actually at Trinity Buoy Wharf. You can see these on my facebook page Here's a taster for now. I was also really lucky to get some brilliant paper to use in the work, some lovely childrens drawings of the view there, including the O2 arena and the cable cars. Such an exciting place to be. 

Trinity Buoy Wharf!

Woohoo! New project! New blog! It has been a while coming but I am now very happy to be starting work on a new site responsive project at Trinity Buoy Wharf in London's docklands. Close to East India, Trinity Buoy Wharf has a rich working history, being the site of London's only lighthouse, an experimental lighthouse used to train Lighthouse Keepers for the south of England and also a manufacturer of buoys. These days it houses a great many creative types, including individual artist studios, The Parkour Academy and English National Opera's set building centre as well as being permanent home to some awesome art including 'Longplayer', an Artangel project by Jem Finer. 

I have made several visits to the site now and have my first batch of paper which I'll be using to make the work. Much to my delight the (authorised) skip raid produced some brilliantly apt bits of A4 for me to use, including sheets of printed music and lyrics of old maritime ballads!You can see some of these and my early ideas on a new facebook page I have set up,  which I will regularly update with photos and info on the project's progress, so please do like it and I promise not to over-post!

British Cartography Society

I was very pleased to be asked to speak about this project and 'Paper Trail' at a conference called 'How Maps Inspire Us'. I presented these two projects alongside others who work with mapping or various kinds. Most fascinating was Kate McLean's smell-mapping where she told us how she recreated different smells found around Paris. Really unusual and thought-provoking work.  

All done bar the shouting...

It's been great, hard, frustrating, exciting, revelatory and damn scary at times but the work is up, the talks are over and it's all done bar the shouting.  Or final evaluation.  

I think it's been a successful project, the facebook page has 72 likes which is pretty good, this website has about 300 unique hits since the project started and I have been front page news once for 'The Hornsey Journal' and once for the new 'Ham and High Broadway' - their very first issue in fact.  

I have spoken at 2 schools, 1 sheltered accommodation for the elderly organisation, 2 Surestart play centres,
the University of the 3rd Age, MHTG, spoken to representatives from Muswell Hill Sustainability group, Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Residents Association, the Friends of Muswell Hill Library Committee, and the United Reform Church.

The project has featured online on the Muswell Hill Sustainability Groups website, the Local Gallery's website, n0tice, in individuals's blogs, 'The Hornsey Journal Online', 'A London Street' (Japanese Magazine).

I conducted 5 residences in total - one very short one at the Library back in March as part of 'Green is Good in Muswell Hill' and then the Local Gallery in May, the Koukan Gallery in June, Coppetts Wood Primary in July and the 5 day residency at Muswell Hill Libray in August. Three more than I had originally planned. 

I also did 2 audio interviews for 'Muswell Hill Media' and produced a Youtube video whilst doing the residency at the Library. 

Did it go as I had hoped? Yes, mostly. I would have like to have spoken to more schools in the area, I think it's a great shame that more did not take the opportunity to get me in - as I'm free and green and it is inspiring for kids- I know that from the ones I have spoken to and have seen the work.  

I would have liked more people to have remembered to drop some paper off. HUGE THANKS to those that did. There would be no project without it. As it happened I had more than enough and from a great range of ages and people, but, you know there could have been even more participation.  I find it a little sad when I hear people saying 'Wow- that's amazing! I didn't know that was going on in the Library'. I did try and get the project 'out there' as much as I could.

Do the people of Muswell Hill like the work now it's finished? As you might expect some love it and some really don't. The ones that don't probably wouldn't like anything contemporary and at least with it's positioning - although it is approximately 7metres - long you can choose not to see it if you so wish (it is sited above eye-line).  And those that do - great!  That's what I hoped.  I also hope you will tell your friends and encourage more people to visit the Library which is a wonderful, free resource that we need to support by going there and using it. We'd really miss it if it wasn't there after all.  Thank you.

Talk cancelled due to illness 16.10.12 next one 24.10.12 at 4:30

So sorry if any of you turned up for my talk on the 16th but I finally succumbed to a particularly nasty virus. 

The next one is on Wednesday 24th October in the Library at 16:30. I thought I would not only give an overview of how I made the work but also talk about the Arts Council Grants for the Arts funding application I submitted too. It could be useful for some of you that have been thinking of applying.  Hope to see some of you there.

Officially opened and installed

Well, the work is now up and in the library for anyone who cares to visit it and see. The opening last night seemed to go well with plenty of visitors. Many thanks to those who said such nice things, I hope the word spreads and people come to see it, and I hope it is a positive thing for the Library. It has been an epic piece to do and I feel relieved it is completed, I know it won't be to everyones taste but I hope at least they can appreciate the integrity of the work, how it is not only for the area but of  the area. I am doing a series of artist talks on the project in which I will present images of how I made the work and give details of the various community activities that contributed to it. These are on Tuesday 16th October at 10:30,Wednesday 24th October at 4:30 and 8th November at 4:30. The talks are being held in Muswell Hill Library upstairs in the Toy Library and will last approximately 30 minutes. They are free too.

The home stretch...

The rest of the Residency at the Library went really well - I met some great people and learnt so much about the area. I received all sort s of invitations to see things in the area but have been so busy it has been tricky to follow them all up. Many thanks though to all that contributed.

It is now less than 2 weeks until I install the finished work. It is nearly there, I still have some serious cutting to do then I have the tricky task of making sure the three separate sections work together and the entire form has a cohesiveness and rhythm.  

Other things are in place though - I have got the book back from the publishers, invites are sent and it looks like people want to come and see it so that's good. 

It has been a really epic task - here's hoping the next two weeks or so continue to be constructive.  

Residency in Muswell Hill Library

At last! The work returns to Muswell Hill Library. I installed it last Saturday and left it feeling hopeful that all would be well for the start on Monday.  Needless to say one of the sections fell down and I had to come up with alternative fixings, but happily as 10:30 approached on Monday morning all was in place and where it should be.  I'm just over the halfway mark in terms of the residency's duration and beginning to feel more settled in the library.  In some ways it would be nice to be able to extend the period the residency as I can sense people are becoming more comfortable about approaching me and word is spreading about what is going on. However, time is passing and I still have a rather complicated third section to start, and a book to produce so I will have to spend my time on these things.

It's been great to see the 'Map-Me' activity growing and more people pausing to write me something to include in the work. 'Map-Me' is very different in the Library as it is directed towards adult visitors rather than being adopted by children which is what happened to a greater extent at the other residencies.  

It has been truly fascinating to hear about the history of the area from some extremely knowledgable people and to learn a little about peoples lives here.

I'm not sure that everyone knows what to think of the work, it is quite overwhelming in terms of it's detail -but I think many have enjoyed hearing about it's construction and spotting the little cut views I have included. 

Here's hoping the rest of the week goes well!

Coppetts Wood School Fair

Very busy day at Coppetts Wood Primary School today. It was nice to get the work before people who wouldn't necessarily have otherwise seen it today. I still find it quite daunting though - putting up the work and waiting for it to solicit a response. Some people came and asked me about it, others I directed towards it - but there was so much else going on there too that I couldn't focus on it all the time. 'Map- Me' went along too - under a slightly different guise of a treasure map to fit in with the fair. I have to say though - apart from the library residency 13th-17th August I am happy to be leaving the work in the shed now and focussing on making the second and third parts.  Phew!

Koukan Gallery Residency at AP and Beyond

Another great weekend! It was fantastic to be involved with the Children's Art Exhibition at the KOUKAN Gallery this last weekend. Happily for me it meant I met some great kids (and their great parents!) and got them to join with the 'Map-Me' activity and encourage them to think about donating some paper. I even got some paper the next day so I was very happy about that. I've Put up some images below and you can see the full album on my facebook page.  The gallery was a great space in which to show the work - even the photos I took on my phone turned out well. I really need to get on with the second section now - I have the map, just need to crack on!

Visits to St James Primary and Bruce Castle Museum

I was so happy to meet the staff and children at St James Primary in Muswell Hill yesterday. The children asked some really good questions about the work and I was very impressed by the Reception children's knowledge of the Land artist Richard Long.  I am very hopeful I shall see some of them at one of the project residencies.  

I also went to Bruce Castle Museum yesterday on the off chance I could make an appointment to use the archive room. I ended up staying for a couple of hours sifting through an amazing cache of photographs and prints of the area, I took photographs of some which I felt were most pertinent to the area I am working on, its so fascinating seeing how it has changed in 150 years. Obviously, we all recognize that an area develops over time but to see just how much was startling. I'm not sure about copyright on putting the images up here so maybe I'll post some later if I can.

University of the 3rd Age, Surestart in North Finchley and Koukan Residency

Phew! Well I have been pretty busy recently. Firstly, I visited the Haringey Branch of the University of the 3rd Age to talk about the project, unfortunately my carefully prepared Powerpoint Presentation didn't work but I had some printed images I could show. 

Next I had two talks to parents and carers at North Finchley Library which was interesting as some of them knew my piece at artsdepot. Curiously one lady referred to it as 'the butterflies' - which I can see- but was not something I associated with the work. 
Tomorrow I am speaking to St James' Primary School about how the children can get involved and contribute paper. And lastly, I am now involved with the fabulous AP and Beyond Art Festival which is taking place this weekend. I am going to be in residence at the KOUKAN Gallery on Alexandra Park Rd, N10 with the work and 'Map-Me" the participatory project again. 
Here's a Picture as the work as it is now - ready for the Koukan installation. Come and see it and me Open Saturday and Sunday 23-24 June 12-3pm.

More images of Map - Me at the Local Gallery Residency

Mini Residency at the Local Gallery and 'Map-Me"

Well! What a busy few days it has been. First of all the residency at the Local Gallery which went very well, I was really pleased to meet so many N10 residents who were intrigued by the project. Some of them joined in with 'Map-Me', the activity I set up alongside the work and others made promises of paper donations. I even managed to do some work on the project - but not much it was just too busy most of the time! 

The best thing about the residency - apart from meeting people - was being able to get more awareness for the project and promote the summer Library residency which will be over 5 days - 13th -17th August and will show the work at a much more developed stage. 

Finding out on Saturday that the project had got the Arts Council for England / National Lottery funding was just fantastic and I'm still reeling a little bit from all the excitement. 

Here are some images from the residency showing 'Map-me' and close ups of peoples contributions to the project. Needless to say children were very happy to join in and I have plenty of lovely drawings from them. Adult visitors tended to be more self conscious about drawing or writing something - I guess they felt rather 'put on the spot'- but all the same I got some creative and interesting responses. Perhaps when I do it again in the summer I could put a few more examples up for people to refer to. Any thoughts anyone?

I'll post some more on the next blog post!

The first residency is just around the corner now! 18- 20th May at the Local Gallery, Avenue Mews, N10. Look out for an article about the project in the Hornsey Journal too! Should be out this week. 

After a rather exhausting but lovely weekend I have to get my act together and make sure the work is looking good for a visit from the 'Hornsey Journal's' photographer. 

I'm just hoping that I said relevant and useful things about the work and myself when I spoke to the reporter about the project. I should have probably have had a list of prompts. Oh dear. 

How does the saying go?- 'There's no such thing as bad publicity!'

Visit to Hilldene Court and general progress

I made my first visit to Hilldene Court last week. Hilldene Court is individual sheltered housing flats for the elderly and I met some of the residents for a chat about the project at their monthly coffee morning. I had organised the visit hoping that they would be interested and have some paper or some tales of the area for me.  Having taken some images of my artsdepot piece 'Paper Trail' it was easier to give them and idea of what I am hoping to achieve with Mapping Muswell. It was a good meeting and I am hopeful that when I return for another visit we can discuss whatever they have for me - many thanks to Eveleen to organising the visit for me.

I have also been busy with the actual work (which is what it's all about after all!) and I need to hjave enough done on it in preparation for my upcoming residency at the Local Gallery 18-20th May.  It is getting considerably bigger -  it must be nearing 2metres wide by now and is incorporating lots of lovely bits of paper. I've had some interesting and poignant donations recently. See below.

The envelope was sent to Canada and came back again over here! Date on it is 1986.

Small views

I am aiming to include small views in the larger, more abstract body of the work. I have completed a couple that can be seen on the Mapping Muswell Gallery, but these are loose and probably will not go into the actual work. I have needed a large enough area created by a shadow that I could work on and the first that has occured is adjacent to Grosvenor Rd on the N10 boundary. The cut is a view down the street towards Ally Pally, focussing mainly on a young tree just coming into leaf. The cut is taken from a photograph which has been extremely overexposed and printed onto donated paper. The paper is not particularly high quality so the cuts are as fine as I could make them with the given material. Regardless, the view is quite dramatic - especially with directional light casting shadows behind. How well it and others of a similar type will work within the whole of the work remains to be seen - please feel free to comment!  

Paper donations

I have just been going through some donated paper and came across this little beauty. A leaf form an A7/A8 notepad - some kind of Health and Safety Ledger from the '90's. Note the last entry...

I am relieved to say I have finally managed to complete and send off my Arts Council Grants for the Arts Application. It was a hard slog - about 6 months in the planning and execution - and I have several people I ought to thank for their patience in reading and re-reading it: Alice, Gary and my Dad in particular. I know there is no certainty in these things and a good chance I will not be successful this time but, I am wiser and the process has been demystified to some extent at any rate - which is A Good Thing! Anyway, here's hoping...

One day residency at the Library in Muswell Hill

It was a good day! The map really draws people in - I talked to quite a lot about the project and I am hopeful some will remember to drop off some paper for me to include. I also managed to do some actual work on the piece - my index finger is still slightly numb from cutting paper! I'm attaching a photo of the work at the end of the day - it'll be up for a few more days - 'til 5th April. Go see!

In residence at the Library this Saturday, 31st March. Hopefully to generate interest in the project and to encourage people to donate paper. I'll have the work (so far) with me, I'll be working on it but available to chat - so I hope the project get some interest!

I met with an ex-colleague- the talented Mr Gary Spencer, yesterday. The idea was to hone my ACE application into something akin to fund-atttracting gold. The reality was an interesting discussion on the limits and difficulties of applications and just how many brilliant artists there already are out there. That and the fact we'd happend on a pub proclaiming to be hosting the worlds largest beer festival -(something to be said for bigging oneself up perhaps..?)

Two sick children at home have meant things have slowed down - no, scratch that, come to a temporary halt. I heard from Lorna at the Library yesterday that someone had just dropped off two boxes of paper for me - so there's more proof of word getting around. I'm very curious to see it - I've no idea who it is from - so far I have met most of the people who have given paper - or at least know its origins, so I'm rather excited about this. It'll be a kind of social archeology! I'll post any good pieces up here once I've had a good route through it!

The last few days have seen some exciting developments - first of all I have been really pleased to get such fantastic paper donations from John Lewis of Hungerford (Muswell Hill) and The Clissold Arms. Some great examples of handwritten notes, of which I'll post a sample here. I have also had some paper from O Baby and other individual N10 residents - it all helps in building up a picture of the area's diversity.  

For the 'Green is Good in Muswell Hill' Event I have arranged to be 'in residence' upstairs at the library in Muswell Hill on the 31st March. Please do come and visit and have a chat. I will be cutting away at the paper and in need of a break. If you want to bring some paper for me to go into the project that would be fantastic - or just come and check out the work. 

Many thanks too to Cora Jenkins for posting about my project on the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group website - word is getting out at last!

It has been an exciting few days: I did a bit of 'direct marketing' for my project - that is taking to the streets of Muswell Hill with a couple of flyers and talking to people directly about my work. I even got a couple of brilliant donations there and then! One from Ben "the Chewing Gum Man" and one from the lovely Elena. I think it helped that Thursday was a glorious early spring day and there was a general feeling of bon homie in the air!

I also spoke to Emma Whittlestone from 'Frocks Away' and the Muswell Hill Traders Association and there is going to be a Green Week Event in Muswell Hill at the end of March. I hope my project can be part of this - it would fit in so well - and I could occupy and empty shop as a mini residency. This would enable the public to drop in and donate paper and also give them the opportunity to ask questions and see the work in progress. Watch this space for an update!

So Mapping Muswell - An N10 Paper Project's Blog is officially underway... Today I met LJ from 's N10 Show to do an interview about the project. I'm sure I forgot to say all the relevant things I meant to but it's good to feel like I'm getting the idea 'out there' - wherever that is- N10 I guess! Importantly, I also checked with Lorna Thomson from Muswell Hill Library and she is happy to take any donated paper in from the public for use in the project. You can drop it off at the counter downstairs in the library - just say it's for Anya's paper project.

I find it interesting that as we are (and have been apparently for many years) moving towards a paperless society that we still seem to be surrounded by the stuff. Although i-pads and the like are available to those that can afford and wish to have them I think there is a basic enjoyment that one gets from writing/doodling/drawing on paper that we are not likely to give up on any time soon.

Incidentally, the kind of paper I'm after is really anything that has been made personal in some way - a doodle, a shopping list, a note left hurriedly on the kitchen table, the kind of thing that could have only been made by that individual but has no real use or significance after the event.  I don't need tonnes of the stuff but it would be lovely to get some from many different N10 residents, the more people give paper the more the work will be representative of the area, not just a map made up of streets and images but snippets from peoples lives who live there. 

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