Katie Jo Anderson

Artist based in South West Scotland; interested in people, places, materials and collaborative practice.

Month: December, 2012

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I’m currently on the look out for an old phone hand set for casting – any suggestions other than e-bay which I’ve got covered, I’d be open to! Phone boxes have started to catch my attention – Kirkcudbright’s phone box is looking particularly unloved and grubby. There’s a strange sort of nostalgia surrounding these dated […]

Book List Inspiration

I thought I would add a little inspiration to my blog this week: I have been reading. A lot.

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Book 1. After Theory. The uni library was selling off some stuff and I picked this one up for £1 before I left. Books often sit a while before I get round to doing anything about them (like opening them). It’s a curious book for someone who doesn’t know much about a lot of the writers and thinkers mentioned – but I’ve filled it with lots of post-its already so I figure some of it is going in subconciously or something.

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Book 2. Edgelands. This is by far and away my most favourite book of the past year – I bought it after hearing a snippet – strangely, for I am not yet an avid fan – on radio 4 sometime last year. Again it sat about for a while, gestating perhaps on a shelf – it’s nearly all post its and I’ve read it a lot – I reccomend everyone go out and buy a copy. Strangely beautiful prose (perhaps?) discussing everything from shipping containers, forgotten industrial estates, the disused, abandoned, edges of human living, the in between spaces of rural and urban. I love it!

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Book 3. Caveman Chemistry. I put this on my Christmas list this year as it has been on my amazon wish list for a while now. I don’t know if there is a person alive who could not be inspired or encouraged by this man. I’ve barely started it but already I’m pretty captivated – strangely by a chemist when previously chemistry and maths made me feel queasy but this book is so tightly linked with materials and use than I’m hooked.

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Book 4. Cycle of Violence. Well, anyone who knows me knows I’ve a bit of a soft spot for Grayson Perry. Christmas shopping in Forbidden Planet in Glasgow unearthed this – quite unexpectedly – as I was hunting for a present for the other half but, to be fair I had little idea that he’d had a shot at graphic novel writing in his time (1992). It’s a little graphic but does write curiously about a Bradley – who goes on the win the tour de France! Not quite bedtime reading but definitely time off reading.

 

Jump starting the studio practice

I may have skipped out a couple of blog posts… first of all the Open Studio’s flattened me a bit – and then the festive season jumped on me from behind and has continuously got in the way ever since. Thankfully, nearly everything is done for that and so I can return to the studio tomorrow (on Christmas Eve!) – with, finally, no distractions. 

The pause in work has been advantageous. A moment to take stock of everything, tidy my thoughts, rearrange them and plan the next steps. The workings of several next projects are being laid out, and my renewed enthusiasm is coming too – with the renewed focus I mentioned previously. I am scouring e-bay for some new objects – an old telephone handset is high on the list. 

During the open weekend I got chatting to someone about the light bulbs and it rekindled an interest in the possible installation of them. Initial tests have begun – and off I trundled up the hill behind Kirkcudbright to install them in the woods; but the need for scale is becoming more apparent.

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I am definitely a scribbley sketcher most of the time, but a birthday present ‘

Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing’ 

has been really inspiring me to draw properly again – I’ll need to get started as I have decided to write each of my projects out as proposals, with a little more strategic planning to actually get the work done on time. The next deadline is looking like being May bank holiday weekend (25th-27th 2013) but the question of finding an exhibition space to use before August in the KBT vicinity is raising some nerves already. 

In other news – I find myself in the spare time I always make helping out at the Commonty, a regional network for artists and arty types in the D&G area (I naturally advise that you check it out, blogspot or otherwise!), and hopefully into the future at the Stove! Everything is going to plan and 2013 is setting itself out to be an exciting year!  

Open Studio Madness

This week has been a simmering pot of stress. There have been lighting disasters, hanging dilemmas, tidying. Tidying again, Learning how to solder fragile wire frames. Learning not to throw fragile wire frames at the walls when they wouldn’t solder together. Tidying again. Attempting to create an ‘ambient’ studio playlist (think thomas newman, beirut and tracy chapman).

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Fast forward the Open Studios bit – coping with strangers in my secret space, inspiring conersations, making pennies (although it feels slightly like feeding my petrol tank small bronzes.) I feel

reinvigorated

revived

Regained excitement and drive towards following the new direction of my work

changing tack

evaluating.

This is probably the most useful bit – stepping back and looking at what I’ve done in the past four months has highlighted: a) how little work I’ve actually made, and b) what’s wrong with the work I’ve made. 

I have also developed a frustration with the decrepit-ness of red phone boxes scattered through various villages, that stand as relics, crumbling monuments to a time past and forgotten.  

I am full of a new optimism, new pressure, new focus, new drive. Eeek!!

Open Studios event approaching…

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The anxiety is building. And it isn’t a Christmas shopping anxiety – be it the second of December or not. Next Saturday I open my studio door to whoever happens to want to come in. I’m treating this as a marker point in my residency – a deadline, and a midway point. To assess, evaluate and progress (in theory). One of the nicest things about the past  four months has been the sense of freedom. Answering to no one has been liberating and after the close confines of university has allowed me to work without boundaries. Curiously, this release period has pushed my work back in a direction that feels more productive and this feels the right time to pause before changing tack. 

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So, following conversations that have taken me a long time to follow up on – I am finally starting to take objects out into the wider world. Triangulation points got my interest a good while ago but have been on a bit of a back burner for a while now. They are outdoor plinths, ready made, site specific plinths – which is a strange sort of anti-plinth notion. At uni I always took a hostile position to the terrible MDF plinths that can swamp student shows and some gallery spaces. These on the other hand, seem different – sited as they are on various hill tops, permanent features. They should be at odds with with the landscape, these strange concrete structures, but strangely, they are absorbed into the place and their permanence makes them natural structures.