Friday, 8 October 2010

12-PAGES Online Project Space: October 2010


Displacement (2010)
    Graphite square (erased) and accrued erasings.

12-PAGES introduces the Online Project Space, a monthly project set to create specially-prepared works for the 12-PAGES blog, that interrogates individual theory and presents works on a digital wall space.

The theme for October was notions of the home, incorporating the importance of having a home, and perhaps experiences of not having a home. Contributing artists were asked to spend a short time applying this theme to the process of their current practices.


Home and my Camera Obscura (2010)

I am a Key Worker (I teach) and  live in Key Worker rented accommodation (intermediate housing, they call it). I don’t get to choose whom I live with; it could be any other eligible key worker. Someone, I don’t know who, has decided that Key Workers are all young and single and don’t mind sharing with strangers. I live there, as it is just about all I can afford and is easy to get to work from.

I’m priced out of buying or renting a place of my own as it’s London and this city is affordable to but a few. But I like where I live, I like the area and I love my balcony. It is a shared balcony but few others use it. In June this year I transformed an unoccupied room near the balcony into a temporary camera obscura. I spent the month watching in full colour, the world upside down, from traffic jams on the A40, to airplanes and birds flying across clouds or observing windows from neighboring flats anonymously opening and closing.  The environment surrounding me is projected directly into my own camera space.
I might not own the space I inhabit, but I can certainly lay claim to a month-long period where this space and the territory surrounding us belonged to my camera obscura and I.


Moving Slowly with Collar Pulled High (2010)


Run Away (2010)
This drawing aims to tell us that sometimes, we need to run away from home. Home is often referred to as a place of comfort, warmth, security, familiarity and so on. although this is very true, these ideas can also be the things that hold us back. sometimes, one needs to get away from the security and the familiarity and the constraints of home in order to be achieve physical, mental, emotional and creative freedom. this is home in the physical walls, windows and doors sense, but also in the mental sense.


Untitled (2010)


Dear Jonathan,

How are you? It has been a long time, indeed. I’m touched that you thought of me and took the time to write such a heartfelt message. Only you and my brother have ever done so.

So what’s going on? Are you married? Kids? How are your family? What do you do for a job? Are you baptised now?

I’m struggling along in London as an artist and writer. I have my first exhibition at the end of this month and a second following quickly after, so I’m very busy – and stressed – at the moment. I’ve had small pieces of writing published here and there but, like most people, I’m still waiting for something real to happen. I’ve been here for six years now and can’t imagine living in another city.

I live with, amongst others, a girl from my year at high school, who is also an artist. We produce a magazine of contemporary art, for which I am the editor. Busy, busy, busy.

I have been through some bad times since I left the truth ten years ago, and wallowed in dreadful emotions that I still feel twinges of now and then, even today. Nobody’s life is perfect, or totally happy, but I do genuinely feel that I am being true to myself and leading the only possible life I can lead. Of course I can see the world for what it is – the very streets of London manifest the declining apocalyptic world painted in prophecy – and I’m sure that something will happen soon. Trust that I am not simply pretending that nothing is happening; I just feel that my time now is best spent outside of Jehovah’s organisation, knowing both good and bad, just as Christ did.

I know that you will think I'm just brushing you off and making excuses. Jehovah's people gave me my education, which has gone on to inform and ask questions of everything I have subsequently thought or acted upon. Thank you for reminding me of what I should be thinking about, however. ‘You are still my brother, and I love you’ is what my sister Sarah said to me once, and I repeat that to you now.

Best wishes,


Look out for more news from the 12-PAGES Online Project Space next month.

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