Exciting Times

Limbo painting room
Limbo portrait room

I have been to 3 events this week that have been inspirational.   Two were hosted by UCF, and one independent cultural ‘happening’.  All enriching in their own ways.

'suicidal' portraits
‘suicidal’ portraits
  • “Into a Limbo large and broad, since called the paradise of fools, to few unknown..”  John Milton, Paradise Lost.
Tim Shaw's large-scale burning man
Tim Shaw’s large-scale ‘man on fire’

Limbo has responded to the doom-mongers in an attempt to transcend the ‘spectrum of crisis’ that prevails by orchestrating the first biannual, staged as a blue-print for a future Biennale for Cornwall.  This event has created such a buzz across the creative community.  I caught up with it yesterday when I banged loudly on the big wooden doors of the Old Coffin Store, Truro.  It was 4.30 and already half an hour past its closing time.  To my surprise, I soon heard footsteps descending some stairs and as the door opened the familiar smell of oil paints and turps wafted invitingly out into Walsingham Place.


Marie-Claire Hamon invited me in apologising for having turned the main lights off.  No problem, there was plenty of natural light available to see what there was to see.  Upstairs, she showed me the TAap room where she was working on one of the portraits of famous people who had either committed suicide or attempted to commit suicide (a final nod to the coffin store).  She kindly agreed to let me take these photos.  Thanking her, I left her to continue her work.  An auction of the portraits will take place.  (11th April).


  • On Tuesday evening, the AIR building at UCF hosted the launch of Makernow, its new digital fabrication lab.

This is such an exciting area of development in the technological capabilities for creative projects.  I already have designs I want to try out with their digital making resources and look forward to the publication of their open days soon and putting some of those ideas into practice.  The most fantastic thing about this venture is the willingness to be outward facing, to communicate and share understanding and experience of developing projects with interdisciplinary collaborators.  This kind of open sourcing is something I definitely want to be a part of.

  • MA Art Lecture Spring Series: Patrick Lowry (American Dream)

I did my MA at the same time as Patrick.  He kindly lent me his geological map of Cornwall which to my shame, I have still got.  His illustrated talk was vintage Patrick.  He is such an engaging personality and it was wonderful to see all the fantastic work he has produced over the years since I first met him.  He was primarily here to talk about his upcoming exhibition, American Dream, where he is ‘constructing a full-sized replica of the facade and garden of a 1950’s American suburban home complete with a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air‘, at the Exchange opening 26th April.  Rather worryingly, he admitted that rather than giving this lecture he should be working on the build…..having just two weeks to build the exhibition from scratch…..but he is so capable, I am sure he will achieve this seemingly daunting task.

Fiat Lux Latin – Let there be Light (TAap)

Near the end of the week now and at last, the temperature is rising and the sun has managed to find its way into my cottage and into my mood.  Today, it feels like a good time to be an artist living in Cornwall.  There may not be much money floating about but this has not deterred the creative fraternity from doing what they do best.  Making art, with the attitude – whatever else is going on – we shall not be daunted.  In fact, it feels more like a flowering of creativity than a withering of will.