Sunday, 22 November 2015

Mrs Pool(e) Lived Here 100 years ago

In the 1920s my house was "in the occupancy of Mrs Poole" and then "formerly in the occupancy of Mrs Poole". Nothing more was detailed about her - no name, husband, family, occupation. Who was she and what trace was left of her life? Through electoral rolls and census data I have addresses of places she lived but most of these houses have been demolished and even the streets themselves no longer exist. The 1891 electoral roll lists her as "age 20, married, dressmaker neither employee nor employed" but later data lists no occupation.

Traces of Mrs Pool(e)

If you've not had a chance to see You Lived Here Mrs Pool(e), there's still time! The exhibition continues until 20th December 2015 at South Sq Gallery, Thornton (see previous post for details). This work, created over the last 6 months, was inspired by Mrs Poole who lived in my house 100 years ago. Here's a little taster:


Curiosity Cabinet

Shadows of the Past

 Research notes

Kerbstone rubbings

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Exhibition Eve!

Tomorrow night will be the preview of my exhibition You Lived Here Mrs Pool(e).

I look forward to seeing friends old and new there. All welcome!

Follow this link to South Square Gallery website for info on what else is happening on the

preview night.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Three Days to go!

Three days to go to the opening of You Lived Here Mrs Pool(e)! Here's a sneak preview from whilst we were hanging it the other day. Join us on Friday night for the preview.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Zigzag prints go far and near

This mono-print, based on the mysterious cup and ring marked stones on Baildon Moor has just gone off to Nashville, Tenessee; a long way from my Yorkshire home! 

I love the way the ink  seeped and feathered in this print. It really reminds me of the landscape of the moors. Sometimes those serendipitous bits are so good but impossible to repeat.

And one of these Canal Company Warehouse prints has recently been sold at Shipley Triangle, who have some of my work for sale locally. I'm guessing it's therefore going to be hanging on a wall nearer to home, but they go very easily through the post, so who knows?

More of my work can be seen on Artfinder and Etsy, links at the top right of this blog page. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Who were you Mrs Pool(e)?

Mrs Pool(e) lived in our house in the 1920s. She rented the property and is mentioned obliquely in legal documents when the ownership changed. 

In 1922 the house was ' the occupancy of Mrs Poole' and then in 1925 it was'...formerly in the occupancy of Mrs Poole but now unoccupied.'

But who was Mrs Pool(e)? How did she come to be living here, presumably alone? Could I find out anything about her from just a surname and one address? 

This was the starting point for my current work and first solo exhibition 'You Lived Here Mrs Pool(e)'. Working in mixed media, I am exploring ideas about the home and neighbourhood I have shared with Mrs Pool(e), and about the traces of her life that I have found.

A date for your diary! Friday 6 November 7-9pm will be the exhibition preview at South Square Gallery, Thornton, near Bradford, where more of Mrs Pool(e) and of my artwork will be revealed! 

Would love to see you there!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Life is fragile

And a moth arrived in the post

Found gifts

Another found object gift this week!

This great little egg shell, about 3cm across, was recovered by Alice. I was very excited by the fact that you can see where the bird has tapped its way out of the shell.

However, as I write this and look at the photos I realise that the shell is broken inwards rather than out and what I have is more likely an egg that has been attacked by another bird. Rather more sad, but that's life I guess.

Monday, 27 July 2015


At last the Wide Angle photography exhibition I've been working on for the last few months is up and I can get back to doing some creative stuff.

Back at the beginning of the year when I was asked whether I'd like to get involved either by exhibiting or helping organise, I didn't realise quite how much I was inadvertently taking on!

The idea was to invite local people to submit photographs on a theme and put up an exhibition in the Kirkgate Centre, Shipley: take the art out of galleries and into people's everyday lives sort of approach. 

Easy!....? No quite so. 

As you can see, one of the challenges is that it's not a place designed to be, nor dedicated to being, a gallery, so we had to work around oddly shaped spaces, trunking, doors and other uses of the hall. 

However, what is really nice is that all manner of people use the centre for so many different purposes and this is the backdrop to whatever else they are doing, just as a picture on the wall at home would be. 

Organising this has been a very steep learning curve and a self-taught intensive training course in curating, management, advertising & use of social media.

Once I'd realised that the reason I wasn't involved was not that I wasn't part of the inner core, but that there was no inner core, I decided to just take hold of what had been started and make something of it.

Let's say it hasn't been perfectly organised, but we did it. And it was a very small we!

Fourteen photographers are exhibiting with wide-ranging styles & subject matter. My photos are from the Nazca lines in Peru (Earth from Air) and on the Salt Plains of Uyuni, Bolivia (Sun, Salt & Water), both amazingly surreal places. 

The Wide Angle exhibition is on until October at Kirkgate Centre, 39a Kirkgate, Shipley, W.Yorks, BD18 3EH. Tel 01274 580186 
It's generally open weekdays 09.30 - 15.30 but is also open at other times when the building is in use, so if you're making a special trip, it's best to phone beforehand. Alternatively, check out their website and combine the exhibition with one of the amazing mixture of things that go on there.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Canal Company Warehouse Revisited

I love this building and have been doing some more work based on it. This time breaking out in to mixed media: a bit of paint, bit of crayon, bit of pencil, bit of paper stuck on, layering up, scratching in...

Some things I found on my walk the other day

Number 1:  a bit of jigsaw on the path in the park. 

Number 2: an interesting, battered, embossed bit of old metal with 4 slots cut in it. I had to balance on rocks in the stream to get this one. 

Number 3: a very dried out frog. 

It's hard to know which is my favourite. I think I like the strange combination of the three.

I also found sunshine on steps. 

And a red beck

But I didn't manage to bring the latter two home.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Canal Company Warehouse

So many reminders of the Industrial Revolution and it's impact on my local environment exist in Shipley, not least the old canal-side buildings. The appropriately named Canal Company Warehouse is one of my favourites. Now in a very neglected state, it remains an interesting and striking structure.

I love the patches of corrugated iron and the rusting skeletal structure revealed where the covering has been lost. In my lino print I concentrated on the patterns and shapes, the twisted form of the fence creates a fluid contrast against the starker lines of the building.

Actually, I really like the chain link fencing. Initially I wasn't sure whether to include it or not but once cut and printed I was swayed. It seems to create a depth to the print, leading the eye in and out.

Working in lino is quite physical. It's good gouging out the marks you want to make but needs to be thought out and is quite a prolonged process of cutting, printing, drying, cutting, printing, drying.... 
a contemplative approach!

Sometimes I want to work in a quicker, more spontaneous manner with a freer use of colour and marks.

In these paintings of the warehouse I also wanted to bring the fluidity of the water into the picture.

Originally the warehouse would have been used for storing goods being transported by barges. Nowadays, that function has disappeared but on a still day the reflection on the water's surface is almost a mirror image blurring the boundary between water and brick, bringing together once again the building and the canal.