HotHouse Talk – Alex Donne Johnson

HotHouse Talks, Visits and Talks

Great HotHouse talk with Alex Donne Johnson of DazzleShip toady! Great to hear about the projects they have worked on and how each project has pushed them to learn new skills! Check out the website here!

Never stop creating!


Duke of Uke – The research continues!

CIP, Duke of Uke

As part of my ongoing project for the Duke of Uke, this week I decided to join a ukulele playing group! Armed with a few short questions to get people talking about their experiences and a drink for some Dutch courage, I got started.

My questions were short and fairly open ended; I wanted people to chat freely and thought I would get the best responses from this type of question.

Why did you start playing the Ukulele?
Did you play any instruments beforehand?
What kind of music genres do you enjoy playing?
What do you feel you have gained from playing as a group?

The answers I got were varied, many people talked about how being part of a group helped them gain confidence. Being in a group allowed people to perform with likeminded individuals who share a common passion. Some people spoke about how playing as a group helped to bring music back into their lives and even helped them find skills that they weren’t aware they had.

Overall we decided the best way to describe playing the ukulele is as “A happy, jolly, friendly thing!”



Natalie Czech – Poems by Repetition

Visits, Visual Research and Inspiration

Whilst wondering around New York’s Museum of Modern Art I found an amazing series of works Natalie Czech. The Berlin-based artist creates poetry by selecting letters, words or phrases from other texts and recycling them to create poetry. I absolutely love collecting and recycling images/text and objects into my work and really love the idea of recycling known texts into something entirely different and new.
natalie czech

The text reads: I made love to myself in the mirror, kissing my own lips saying “I love myself, I love you more than anything” (Allen Ginsberg//Natalie Czech) Check out more of Natalie Czech amazing work here!

Whilst in NYC one of our smaller tasks was to look at the advertising and text around us and to recycle some of what we saw into a poem, this is mine:

Get out of here!
Big bag man
There’s a missing person on 34th and Penn
Tick Tock! were running out of time
for 24 hour chicken.

I really enjoyed this exercise and plan to keep doing this with other text/ advertising/ music etc

New York! New York!

Visits, Visual Research and Inspiration

As part of the study trip for 2016 I went to New York for 4 days, this gave me an amazing opportunity to experience a truly 24 hour city but with studio and gallery visits lined up, it also gave me a glimpse into the process of many other creative practitioners.

The First visit we went on was to the Museum of Modern Art or MOMA. I had no idea how big the museum is!  it was an absolutely amazing experience with over 10,000 contemporary artists work on display. Check out the MOMA here!

It was amazing to see work by one of my favourite artists Jackson Pollock on display.

Jackson Pollock, 1950

My favourite exhibition within MOMA is Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015. This is a longstanding exhibition series of recent photography. There are 19 artists and artist collectives on display with work created specifically for the exhibit.

“Ocean of Images examines various ways of experiencing the world: through images that are born digitally, made with scanners or lenses in the studio or the real world, presented as still or moving pictures, distributed as zines, morphed into three-dimensional objects, or remixed online.”

Photography has always been something that has interested me and after seeing this exhibit, I have a even more interest in it! I would like to use photography more within my own practice, especially film photography, and i think this will give me another way of making sense of the world around me.


As I left MOMA I stumbled across an amazing sculpture, ‘The impossible’ by Maria Martins the pieces “spiky tentacles reach toward each other, the male and female forms in this bronze sculpture are locked in violent opposition. “It is nearly impossible to make people understand each other,” Martins said, suggesting the source of the aggressive interaction depicted here.” This sculpture completely blew my mind! I love the tension and aggression  in the piece. The sculpture makes me think about interpersonal relationships and how sometimes understanding each other can be difficult, it also translates in a much broader sense, with world politics and how it really seems difficult for people around the world to see eye to eye.