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Thoughts about the end

April 16, 2010

It feels as though the residency is coming to a catastrophic end, along with the rest of the world. As I near the finishing stages of my plans, projects drop off left and right with no hope of coming to fruition, others are whittled down to their bare bones and loaded up with the eggs of my hefty expectations of myself, the Bluecoat is home to a scatter-shot logic of an exhibition with no apparent thread to follow with a final poem, the Liverpool arts scene is floundering in its massive pre-Biennial administrative-binge, and I look back on much of the work I have been doing as it were the work of several very different men. At night I dream of knitting rope with string and honey.

[Liverpool’s Spring/Summer art scene is a funny beast. We slatheringly look forward to the Biennial – in the way a child starts to look forward to Christmas when they should be concentrating on their harvest festival drawings – many with no plans yet to exhibit their work, sort of preparing their disappointment, and planning their imminent exits to the provincial galleries, and the city’s galleries make allowances with concept-shows that seem both a kind of afterthought and a box-ticking exercise. In general, ready for the long days when the streets are quite silent with the students away, and all the big-cheeses off on holiday, and think about the coming of the mythical journalists.]

In real life too, change is imminent. I am expecting a baby practically on the day the residency-proper comes to a close, and the house is piled with paint-tins and upended shelves. I hadn’t realised till now, but life is again echoing the annual ebb of the school-year, and the world is coming to an almost classical fin-de-siecle. In all likelihood I will spend the summer ecstatically bumming around in the sand-dunes (with my new daughter and beautiful newly-unburdened svelte girlfriend!), and arrive with a sobering bump in the new Autumn with barely time to purchase a new pencil case and set-square before it is time to complete more application forms. And the sky is full of ash that will never clear, and the Tories are going to be elected by default.

As I am trying to commiserate the residency I am spending conversely less time actually in the Bluecoat – as if I am hiding away from any further aspects of my practice that might be bumped off course. When I started the residency, I was fully planning to publish a collection of poems based on my work here. Now I am looking at a very short series of completed, publishable works, and a sprawling mesh of thoughts and new-approaches, and re-workings to mull, before I can imagine putting together such a package. Film, performance, bespoke print and interactive work form the bulk of my practice.

It’s baffling, frankly!

All is well then! Currently I’m putting together an idea for the final show of the residency, featuring work from some old favourites, like Ross Sutherland and Markus Soukup, along with new publishing work from Emily Speed and Phil Marsden, a few opportunities to create your own poem-works or participate in the the creation of others, and a few special guests, who I am still researching, along with a short talk about my experiences. 18th June! Hopefully you can make it.

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