After Hammershøi #1 (2022)

Recently, I’ve been spending a bit of time in an old seaside department store, home to The Margate School, an art school and studio space for artists and makers. I’ve had some official duties to enact there, but found some time to roam about the building with my camera. In common with Vilhelm Hammershøi’s paintings – the prompt for The Kick-About No. 63 – there is a rich and wonderful stillness about some of the less-inhabited rooms and spaces in this big, old building, which boasts some big, old wonderful windows too.

Palimpsest @ The Margate Festival Of Design 2022

At the outset of 2022, I began teaching a small cohort of postgraduate students at The Margate School on the Visual Communication: Design, Society, Nature one year, part-time programme. I had the pleasure of working alongside a lovely group of individuals and, in celebration of their achievements, and likewise yesterday’s launch of Margate’s inaugural Festival of Design, I was invited to work with them again to produce a short film.

Entitled Palimpsest, the film originates from the students’ initial sketches, doodles, writings and iterations, layered together, and expressed as the restless flicker of the creative mind.

As of yesterday evening, the film is now installed in The Margate School as a projection-mapped work, animating the large wall above the independent art school’s ground floor staircase. The Margate School operates out of a former department store on Margate high street – with all the quirk and atmosphere you might expect.

Many thanks to Claire-Beth Gibson, Claudine Derksen, Emma Self, Ian Jones, Grace King, Georgia Dack, Susanne Hakuba and Zoe Artingstall for helping me put this together, and for your creative company over this last year. Congratulations on your recent graduation (at the Turner Contemporary no less!) and best of luck for the future. May your brains continue to flicker!

New Street Artboards, Margate / The Margate School

The Margate School (TMS) is an independent not-for-profit postgraduate arts school, based in and for Margate, Kent – and I’ll be teaching on their new Visual Communication course, starting in January 2022. I’ll be working with students on their Image and Narrative modules over a period of ten weeks, and I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle and getting into some new creative conversations with a new community of artists.

A while back, The Margate School did a shout-out for artworks from local artists and school staff to be featured on a newly-funded exhibition space on New Street in Margate. It was with proper surprise I learned via this link that a number of my own images had been selected for the first showing of the New Street Artboards. I’m yet to see the images in-situ, but I’m happy that work produced so freely and directly (and happily) for various Kick-Abouts has made it out of the online digital realm and into a public space. It’s also exciting to see these images at scale, particularly the Brian Rutenberg-inspired image produced for The Kick-About No. 32, which began life as a series of small, quickly-produced cardboard maquettes.

Motivation is fickle, likewise confidence. I speak routinely to other creatives who struggle sometimes to keep ‘doing the work’, to talented people who never feel talented enough, or special enough, or clever enough, or fashionable enough, so come to doubt the value of what they do, or its reason-for-being, or reasons to keep doing. I am most certainly one of those people too, but today, I’m comforted by the idea that work made for pleasure, and work made with no audience in mind, can find an audience and produce an effect somewhere else. I want to say a big thank you to the team at The Margate School for featuring my stuff in this way – and also to those who undertook the thankless job of wallpapering a series of giant posters to a wall while the north wind blew in from the sea.

The New Street Artboards also include new works by Graham Wood and Brendan Parker, Vos Broekema, and June Mineyama-Smithson, along with two murals painted by Dream Safari and Catherine Chinatree.