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Artist and wordsmith, whose work engages with issues of access, from acknowledged physical needs to perceived symbolic exclusions. After being selected as one of DAO's New Voices in 2011, Gini's online presence has become an integral part of her arts practice

Unlimited missing

8 August 2014

Blog

photo of a toy lamb, yellow with red ears and feet, harnassed into a black, baby-car-seat

Oh no! I won't be there. I'm so sorry; truly sad, mostly for myself, but also because I feel like I'm letting everyone down. I can't make it and it's definitely not because I feel like the second is an anti-climax; after the first one I'm even keener on a second. I was like that with my own children. Sort of timid about the first: over-the-moon, but scared of the unknown. And then, well words fail me. It was amazing, he was amazing and I couldn't...

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Responding to Dolly

21 July 2014

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A yellow lamb with red feet, a loopy-lamby body, wide eyes and a smiley mouth is leeping over the coloured cushions on my bed

I am longing to respond to Dolly Sen's blog of 20th July 2014, with encouraging reports of bedlam spreading through the country... Similarly, the proliferation of arty ovine quotes, making more and less sense of the wolf since maybe its the black dog... Winston Churchill said that 'Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd.' Not sure I can make any sense of it, but would add: 'there is something about making things beautiful (me -...

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parallel vessel evolution

12 July 2014

Blog

this is an image of the outside bowl as described in the blog, viewed from the side with green leaves pointing upward, phormium strand clearly visible. It sits on a white square base against a grey background and throws shadows against the wall

Accompanying 'self-made person' my soft-sculpture, empty vessel in Salisbury Arts Centre's Homegrown: Artificial Things exhibition,  is a smaller vessel made of Fatsia Japonica leaves. It has its parallel classification card: Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Asterids Order: Apiales Family: Araliaceae Genus: Fatsia Species: F.Japonica Mirroring the seven soft-sculpture hands that are in the process of creation, the palmate leaves of the...

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Evolving the empty vessel

29 June 2014

Blog

A white card on pale green background. Contains familiy classification information plus a warning that the artwork may contain irony

'I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.' This quote from Malcolm Gladwell highlights a persistent contradiction in me that isn't at all helpful for my artist when it comes to exhibiting, publishing or otherwise putting my...

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Is it art?

6 June 2014

Blog

two rows of images of sky, photographs captured over 24 hours, each row has twelve colombs each colomb consists of six photographs. Colours are shades of blue and grey with some white cloud and five colombs of almost black night sky

Looking back at May weekends' sky colours, I'm a little dismayed by how grey the 24hr Salisbury weekend sky has turned out. Fascinating cloud formations, but still grey. Inspired by Dai Fujiwara, I was drawn to doing my own colour hunting of Salisbury sky. I haven't figured out if it's a distraction or seeds for a new direction. My little camera tends to interpret the onset of evening with quite a decent illusion of blue, so it looks like things are improving around eight...

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Falling behind

26 May 2014

Blog

A pen and ink drawing of a large wrinkled dog, with enormous worried eyes, sitting guard on a locked wooden chest. The scene is lit by two candles on the floor and a mouse is in the process of jumping over one of them.

How long since you updated your profile? My what? For someone enchanted by Anais Nin and the concept of fluid personality I've been ridiculously negligent about my profile. On Dao I'm still the wooden-puppet wordsmith, a profile arrived at by the same kind of looking back that a resume, a CV, requires; and I'm notoriously bad at delivering one of those. I am my work, not my CV. I do still enjoy the sound of wordsmith, it conjures memories of sounds comprehensible only to me and...

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Voting, politics, consequences.

25 May 2014

Blog

Black and white lithograph of textures and spaces that reflect natural rockiness and possible roots with a decomposing canister labelled ‘contaminated’ lower right of the centre. The canister maybe integral to the shape or it may be partly attached by

I grew up with the flag flying. The halyard whipping against the flagpole in our garden was a constant reminder of celebration. Birthdays and special occasions were always accompanied by the full size rectangle of cloth, sometimes cracking loudly in high winds; I remember once the flagpole actually broke. Other times the heavy oblong hung languidly, still in sultry weather. On completely other occasions we used the long narrow vimpel, with it's elegant pointed end the finger of fairy...

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Seeing and not seeing - more confrontations with art...

24 May 2014

Blog

Three vertical columbs in shades of blue and white, on white. Each columb consisting of six photographs of the sky above my house, each image is a variation of cloudiness.

I rolled through some really powerful rain. There were rumbles of thunder and Salisbury Cathedral Close was deserted. Visibility was poor, water was splashing onto the stones of the sculpture 'Sanctuary' and steaming off rather like a vintage Hitchcock movie. I've done my best with the stones, on March 15th I blogged my initial reaction. Last week on a sunny day I took my lunch and joined the hordes of tourists sunbathing on their stored heat. I watched small children play with one...

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Inside/outside reality; mine or someone else's

26 April 2014

Blog

Black and white lithograph, a dark image of roughly drawn, tangled roots.

Reading Sophie Partridge's blog: Public bodies, disability on display.../ 10 October 2011, I felt an immediate eureka-style 'yes' bursting out of me. I work hard at my public image for two reasons: first, I was brought up that way, and second, to control the damage to my perceived intelligence caused by my wheelchair. Does my bum look big in this is not my reality, but as a wheelborne woman I'm never free from the constant pressure to assess and reassess the visual impact I make...

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Feeling less than reality:

22 April 2014

Blog

Black and white etching using printed net to create forground and background to the drawing of a hand-shaped tree with its canopy of fingers grasping at an escaping bird.

In those patches where I seem to be unrecognisable to myself I get to wonder about life, the universe, cake and everything else. I attempt a little distance from my practice - in order to 'make' the questions I need to ponder people. I need to think about who we are and who I am. I am, but not in a sense of separateness that singles me out and then leaves me vulnerable: vulnerable to the judgement of others who see themselves as qualities or quantities separate from the whole ness...

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Art-induced Confusion - another very personal reaction to an exhibition

15 March 2014

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Pen and black ink drawing of a Capercaillie displaying its tail feathers. The bird is a herbivore, but in my drawing the profiled beak looks more predatory.

Rolling through the empty Cathedral Close on a chilly grey morning, I was intrigued to see a delivery of large, assorted carved and uncarved stones. They were being steadfastly ignored by Frink's Walking Madonna, but I was curious and open to anticipation. Previous sculptures have, on the whole, worked well with the almost 800 year old building and the atmosphere of its surrounding Close. I wondered how long it would take to assemble the jumble strewn out over the grass. It was like being...

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'In search of emotional completeness and overflowing comprehension.'

7 March 2014

Blog

In shiny pink letters on a blue background the fragmented words 'because I can' shine out.

I recently rolled around an exhibition I would be tempted to describe as invisible. I find this frustrating. To be surrounded by a body of work that says nothing to me (to the point of invisibility), is somehow creepy; a disturbing and unsettling experience.   I need art to make sense of the world; to expand and finesse the identity I call self and my relationship to those I call others. Through art I may grow into rich diversities of unknown. The artworks I am drawn to are works that...

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The Protest

19 February 2014

Blog

hand written, fan shaped, black text on white paper: 'the truest measure of the justice of a system is the amount of protection it guarantees to the weakest' aung san suu kui

Straddling the pavement were three enormous Highway Maintenance vehicles. I could see them in the distance, and the crew of the first one watched me approach. 'Sneaking up on me like that, you almost killed me' one of them offered as I rolled passed them on my way into town.  I also passed half a dozen disabled acquaintances, with their family or friends, heading in other directions. The sun shone and it was business as usual in town. Arriving at the gathering point, I was a little...

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just being me

17 February 2014

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The words: 'our ability to treat one another as human beings is collapsing' and 'you think we are a civilisation moving forward? I'm sorry my friend we are not' appear in the red, white and blue flag colours on a dark background

Rolling slowly across the road, my powerchair's on the blink - again (I've had persistent recurring battery problems). I am in a lot of pain and cannot use my right arm, so when the bag and glove on my lap start sliding to the ground I am unable to take action.           A passing car stops behind me, an unseen voice asks if I need help and an approaching pedestrian comes close enough to retrieve my belongings; kneels and kindly enquires...

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All for one?

12 February 2014

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On a very dark grey background, the words 'this government claims it is issuing a fairer cheque to disabled people. A cheque they have no intention of honouring, but are in the process of returning stamped 'insufficient funds'

Daily I see examples of hero communities rescuing vulnerable neighbours from floods. Real proof that community still exists in this country. I also see these vulnerable people trusting their neighbours with their personal safety and in some cases with the safety of their homes. The fitter, healthier folk are donning their wellies and waders and mucking in. The institutions we might have assumed were responsible for our safety and welfare have been exposed as unready, unable and unwilling....

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Nice one Claire - Reith Lectures one week after

12 November 2013

Blog

Nine clay tiles, in a whitish shade with scrambled words in dark spread across them to create a word puzzle.

I too have been listening (see Colin's more erudite editorial of 4th Nov. 2013) to the Reith Lectures ... maybe I was not listening well. I enjoyed the first one, Grayson Perry is entertaining even when I think some of his points are not very well made, or just contradictory enough that I can't pin him down. Maybe that influenced my perception of what I actually heard. In setting the scene for his lectures, he kindly offered us some of his own handy hints for defining art. What is art?...

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Returning Meditation

25 September 2013

Blog

Photograph of black and white woven leather armour in Tokyo National Museum. Displayed in a glass case, it looks like a seated figure in a helmet. Only the absent face, fingers and feet reveal that it is empty.

Like a badly fitting wig, my days have slipped. The bright and sunny Japan mornings that greeted me at five-thirty, now brood in slow British darkness until almost seven. I shiver into lunchtimes, unhungry and confused. And the balmy evening dark that I expect to drop suddenly towards six, now lingers, seeping chill reluctantly into a day that has only just found warmth. Balmy being alien to its vocabulary, dark closes coldly around me from sevenish. Being back in British grey has yet to offer...

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Finally - Sky Tree

23 September 2013

Blog

Photo of Sky Tree against a blue sky with drifts of white cloud looking up at the first viewing platforms. The highest platform is just visible as a dot at the top of the photo. The open metal structure is coated in Sky Tree White.

Last chance this visit and the day dawns sunny, with a blue sky and a hint of haze. My visit to Sky Tree is going ahead. We take the metro, just one change and we are soon at the SkyTree stop which is several floors above ground. It feels strange to take the elevator down to ground level.  The lower levels of Sky Tree are full of shops, restaurants, greenery and outside spaces. Up on the forth floor we get our 'pre-booking' tickets which inform us we can come back in approx two...

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Ring of Fire

21 September 2013

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Photograph of an open book, a museum exhibit with its label (Edo Period, 1781-89).  The book shows Japanese text on the left and an ink drawing of a humanoid water monster on the right.

Wanting to check out a restaurant in 'My Humble House', Ginza, I take a metro exit that I'm not familiar with. When the lift doors open at street level I discover I am in a bank, which does feel a little odd. But is an efficient use of space. 'My Humble House' is a small glass tower of restaurants and bars. The place I wish to try is Chinese. It looks very elegant and cool, with lots of black marble, but there are steps up to the table level. On my right the 2 steps are...

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Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park.

20 September 2013

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Photo of two garments displayed in a glass case. There is a bad reflection on one, from light on the glass. The garments are a simple shape if coat displayed with a rod through the armholes. They are of a course, hemp-type fabric, in a natural 'dry-grass'

The last time I went to Ueno, I was asked if I had visited the park and I disappointed with my negative reply. This visit, the Tokyo National Museum is on my wish list and TNM sits in Ueno Park. Wearing two of the marvellously effective pain-relief patches I set out. The Park, with its museums, international art exhibitions and zoo, is a tourist magnet; the regular train station is opposite the entrance. Unfortunately the metro exit is on to the street underneath. I cross over the road to find...

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Quiet day by the river

19 September 2013

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Terracotta tiled steps lead up to a platform with this small shrine, a rather dark outline against a lighter background of tower blocks and bridge side. The shrine, in the form of a roofed structure, sits on a square granite slab atop a plinth. Pots of fl

Blue sky, clear with just a hint of autumn haze, greets me in the morning. Back pain and balloon hand have been with me all night. I guess this will be another quiet day. The temperatures are climbing back up into the 30's, but the air still has an autumn feel. For the first time since I have been here we switch off the air-con and open windows for the whole day. I watch the curtains breathing in the wind, if anything I am less mobile than yesterday. I get offered a skin patch to reduce...

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Man-Yi and my Stroll around the Block

18 September 2013

Blog

Photograph looking down into a small walled balcony/roof garden. Left and right are trees and plants, against the far wall are two tables with a golden Buddha, and two other statuettes of spiritual entities. They share the space with lines of washing. 

Sky Tree's viewing platform cannot compete with Man-Yi, the typhoon buffeting and flooding Japan with heavy rain. Wild gusts of wind, up to 130 kph, have visible impact on trees and plants and the assorted container gardens so prolific in local streets and balconies. The forecast predicts around 30 cms of rain, with the possibility of power outages and some structural damage as the eye of the storm passes close to Tokyo. In southern Japan there are warnings of landslides.  Man-Yi's...

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Autumnal Influences - Colours of Cherry

17 September 2013

Blog

Four leaves from a cherry tree laid out on a light wooden floor. The photograph shows their autumn colours from green through yellow, orange, red and brown.

Typically the day of my planned Sky Tree visit, it rains. Early morning thunder is accompanied by sheets of vertical water that obscure visibility and never quite relinquish their hold on the morning. Plus endless rolling black cloud sitting low in the sky. By 14.00 when it really is too late, we have blue sky and sunshine and an alternative plan. Tokyo Hands is permanently on my wish list, the one in Shinjuku having a great selection of craft and DIY stuff perfect for arts and installations....

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Revisiting Tsukiji and Hibiya koen - I am my Memories.

16 September 2013

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Photo of a view of Sumida from one of the bridges. In the foreground an expanse of dark blue water just before the river forks. The walkway on the left bank is hinted at by greenery, but mostly the river appears surrounded by tower blocks and skyscrapers.

Sushi in Tsukiji (another re-visit), was very good. We followed again the old route alongside Sumida and enjoyed the autumn sun. It felt hotter than yesterday and the air was heavy and still. There seems to me to be something gentle and old fashioned about Tsukiji that I guess will disappear when the Olympic building program gets up to speed; meanwhile, I shall enjoy it while I can. Enjoying the raw fish as I do, I take great interest in my sushi selection. This time there was sea urchin,...

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Shock (urban renewal), Outrage (foreign prejudice) and glitter boots...

15 September 2013

Blog

Photograph of metal lift doors adorned with the familiar blue and white wheelchair-person logo above similar of an adult pushing a baby in a buggy. While the adult is probably female, it could just be a man in a coat...

An easy day, revisiting old haunts and tracing my way back along the banks of the river. It sounds easy, but in the constant renewal that is Tokyo, certain 'landmark' buildings along my remembered route are now flat ground awaiting redevelopment. I was aware of this, but being here, seeing the sudden open spaces, the wounds in the bare earth, actually feels rather shocking. A lot of new roadworks mean the plentiful traffic controllers are frequently moving cones to widen my pathway...

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