Arles, France Summer 2019


I’ve long been a fan of Vincent Van Gogh, his life and his art and in the summer of 2019, I made a very special trip to Arles in the Provence region of France. I have long wanted to visit Arles and this was my first trip. In order to capture what it meant to me and to perhaps guide others to visit this special place, I am sharing my story and experience in this blog post.     It was back in the early 1990s after visiting the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam that I really started to become aware of Van Gogh. The first book I purchased about him was indeed the guide book for the museum..I recall visiting Edinburgh and going round the second hand book shops with my brother and buying lots of old books and catalogues on Van Gogh (I still have all of them). Since then, I have built up a nice little collection of books on the artist.  

Places and things

Here is a brief description of places visited and things relating to Van Gogh that have informed my understanding of the man and his art. 


Auvers-sur-Oise 1993

A tangible connection with Van Gogh was formed in 1993 when I went on a trip to France with some friends. On the way south to the Loire valley, I suggested that we could make an excursion to the village Auvers-sur-Oise. This is situated to the North-West of Paris and is where Vincent spent his final days. We had a quick look round the village and then visited the cemetery where he is buried. After camping the night in a field nearby, we then continued the journey driving into Paris. I visited the Musee D’orsay for the first time, where I got to view a lot of Vincent’s paintings for the first time.  

Paris, 1994

The next notable milestone in my appreciation of Van Gogh actually came in the following year (1994), when I hitch hiked to Paris. Whilst in the city, I ran out of money and devised a way to make some. This involved buying some coloured chalks and a postcard of ‘The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum’. I drew it on the kerb at a few places around the city. The French francs came in and before I knew it my collection pot was full! I got to know this little picture really well and it became one of my favourite images. A tourist from Sweden was kind enough to take a picture of my work and also of me and mail them to me a few months later.

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Duodecimal – The show is now open

I got there with everything in the end. The work has been installed and the PV was on Friday 14th June. Over the last 3 years I've discussed and made public on this journal my process, thoughts, successes and failures. However it is now the end of the line for this open forum as I move onto pastures new. The work is titled 'My Job is for my people' and explores the subject of national identity through the process of de-territorilisation and re-territorilisation.  The film is presented as a 4 channel video installation and will be on view at the Civic Gallery, Barnsley, 15th - 29th June 2019. Information about the artists and the show on the web site at duodecimal_poster_a4.jpg   IMG_1515.jpg          
Posted in Jun '19, MA3 Resolution and Exhibition | Leave a comment


The Typewriter - such a fascinating object and one that now seems to be largely forgotten about. Samizdat was a form of dissident activity across the Eastern Bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade official Soviet censorship was fraught with danger, as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials. Vladimir Bukovsky summarized it as follows: "Samizdat: I write it myself, edit it myself, censor it myself, publish it myself, distribute it myself, and spend jail time for it myself."
Posted in Feb '19, MA 1 Visual Enquiry, MA3 Resolution and Exhibition | Tagged | Leave a comment

Cyanotype Prints – First Experiments

A quick update to document the first experiments carried out with a new process that I'm investigating - Cyanotype printing. Step one: After mixing up the solution, the paper is coated and left to dry. Once dry, the paper is placed in a light proof bag IMG_0205_result.JPG This is actually the very first exposure created. You can see in the picture above the coating is green, but when left in the light gets exposed and rubbing the surface with water reveals the blue cyanotype underneath: Continue reading
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Moving Image Research – Dec 2018

Transit Arts - The Territorial Sea

This month I attended another film screening that was organised by Transit Arts. I think this is the 3rd film screening event of theirs that I've attended. The films that I've seen as socially aware, political and relevant. I'm not going to describe the content of the films too much (no spoilers here). IMG_0029.JPG IMG_8080.JPG Continue reading
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Moving Image Research – Audio Visual (AV) Set up Research

Drawn from my personal image collection.  The images shown here are mainly drawn from the following:
  • Visit to Berlin 2017
  • Glasgow School of Art Degree show 2017, 2018 - Tontine building
  • Glasgow School of Art MFA Mid term show 2018 (GSA gallery) & MFA Show 2018 (The Glue Factory)
  • Exhibitions at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) and various galleries in Glasgow, UK
Lots of different approaches have been used to present moving image work, including:
  • single & dual channel monitors
  • single & dual channel projections
  • self built projection screens (back and front projections)
  • self built cinema projection space
  • gallery used as a projection space
  • video display unit incorporated into the work
Some of the equipment would have been supplied and made available by the gallery. The student work is interesting as it has to be sourced independently. AV Set ups 01.jpg BANK 1: Starting Top left:-  1,2,3  'Patrol Drama', Jamie Crew, Tramway; 4: 'Nationhood', Alan Rutherford, LAF 2018; 5: MFA Show 2018; 6: GSA Degree show 2018 Continue reading
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Gallery Visits – October 2018

Royal Ulster Academy (RUA) Annual Show

Group Show Ulster Museum, Belfast, UK (visited Sun 28th October) IMG_5332.jpg Continue reading
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Parallel Lines

I've noticed that two exploratory pieces of work that I made during the MA2 Making Days 2017-18 already exist as fully realised pieces by other artists. The matrix below shows the work that I made on the left hand side and the corresponding work that I came across. Work-parallels-2017-18.jpgTop right: Work by Dominic Bradnum Bottom Right: Work by Tallur L.N. I guess what this tells me is that you have to really go out there to find something that is quite unique and original. I thought my ideas were unique, but it is interesting to see that someone else has already been down that road. To be honest, I wasn't always entirely happy with the work that I produced on the making days for M2. The value was that I explored, took risks and went places that essentially guided me to the right places. The works above that I made were really just ideas, but I no longer feel the desire or need to pursue them further. The first making day of MA3 I felt was a lot more fulfilling and there was a good discussion around the work that I made for it. So let's hope the next making day is just as productive.
Posted in MA3 Resolution and Exhibition, Oct '18 | Leave a comment

Polish Film Poster Workshop

Over the weekend of Friday 19thOct to Sunday 21stOct I attended a poster making workshop at South Block, Glasgow. I was drawn to this workshop because of my current interest in East European culture and history during the Cold War period. I was interested in learning about film making during this period and what kind of film they made. Some Info from the press release and my own comments / photos.


BiG Poster is an artistic collective focused on contemporary art poster and its aesthetics in context of current situation of graphic design in the world. The main element of the project is the publication of an independent magazine BiG POSTER ZIN. 45500806231_a3468830ee_o.jpg Continue reading
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SERDE Residency – Week One and Two

I didn’t have time to write another entry during the residency as there was so much going on. So this is a retrospective collection of thoughts, experiences and things that I encountered. It would have been good to have more time at SERDE as the 2 weeks went really quickly. It is possible to stay for much longer periods, but 2 weeks was the most I could accommodate. However the 2 weeks were very busy and there was some great company! Its safe to say that I think that I’ve managed to gather enough footage for making some kind of video work. When I went to Latvia a few weeks ago, I didn’t know too much about the country. My knowledge of the Baltic states was a bit sketchy. This was in part a reason for wanting to do this project, it has been driven by curiosity. One of the main areas to explore was the Latvia’s borders, it’s relationship with it’s neighbouring countries and how this has affected and influenced identity. Above: Exploring Latvia’s Soviet legacy Continue reading
Posted in MA3 Resolution and Exhibition, Research, Sep '18 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment