Brindley Village Exhibition 2018

Almost three years since I first stumbled across the eerie site of what was a WW1 military hospital on Cannock Chase, a permanent archive and touring exhibition has been created this month at the Museum of Cannock Chase to celebrate the memories of the mining community who made the place home between the 1940’s and 1950’s.

It has been a real privilege to work with residents of the village and to be given permission to use their archive photographs to recreate images of ‘then and now’ as well as other digital work to complement the exhibition.

The exhibition runs until 12th October and then it will be touring local libraries; there has been a lot of interest locally in a part of our local history that would of otherwise been totally reclaimed by the forest.

As part of the private view, children produced simple collograph prints based on the hut structures and these were placed back at the village site.

Plans are afoot to produce a digital record of the exhibition and information about the village by the Brindley Village Legacy Group here:

Many thanks to the residents whose images were reproduced as part of the exhibited work.


Having the summer holidays for me is the only block of time in a full time teaching career that I get to make work and reflect. I have decided to return to using my original WordPress account and blog rather than the static website I had converted to over the last two years at as it fits better with the way that my practice works; short chunks of time where I can make and share….hence the new blog post.

Changing career direction and completing an MEd in special needs education alongside that has taken priority this year, plus the culmination of a three year project at the Brindley Village site this month feels like a good time to pause and decide on what is next. So expect further ramblings and updates before the energy of the new academic year begins…

Form; drawing in space

I have been starting to look at how digital drawing may or may not become a tool in my ‘quick-I’ve-got-5-minutes’ toolbox. Having produced a set of sketches in Brushes based upon the idea of subterranean structures, I wanted a way to use these marks in a physical sense.    

 Printing onto acetate allowed me to play with layering the markmaking further, and wanting to make this into a more three-dimensional form, I cut up and stitched together pieces of acetate drawing to make a cube and a simple ‘house’ form.  


 As with other drawings for previous projects (collab with Sarah Brown Wills, sketchbook circle with Elinor Brass) where structure has led to making ‘form’ with the drawings, I still feel compelled to explore how these 3D maquettes could become environments in their own right. So my next collaboration with artist Bo Jones will seek to explore just that…..

To share or not to share…

I am two months in to a six month collaboration with ten other artists . My practice has become more about being present and mindful of the ‘process’ of having a ‘practice’. So I set a brief and shared it with others to play with the idea of context or place (see earlier posts). And what I am discovering through being part of this collaboration is the fundamental need to share, to show what your response has been, and that makes me curious. We have agreed to limit ‘sharing’ images via social media of work in progress to a minimum so as not to disrupt the process of the collaboration. That limitation has been difficult for me as I am a compulsive ‘sharer’; I have never really questioned why before but now I am. 

I am not interested in having a commercial practice, in having a brand or product. I am not really that interested in galleries. I wonder therefore what motivates the need to ‘share’. I know that I have made links with others who have similar preoccupations through seeing the world through their eyes/work. Maybe that’s the reason? To validate something undefinable? Still mulling it over….

Maps, not maps 

 As part of an ongoing response to the old war hospital site at #Brindleyvillage I have been looking at how to ‘draw’ the unseen- the parts that are no longer there. 
I am not normally a fan of digital drawing, the quality of the lines made to me are somehow flat and unexciting. However I have discovered an app called Sketches Pro which allows layering of digital transfers and transparencies and this suits my printmakers mind.    

 I am interested in how I can use this as a developmental tool in formulating a response to the footprint left at the war hospital site. The only architectural remains now are square concrete post-holes and bits of moss covered brick- mostly square in shape. These remnants, combined with aerial maps of the area in the 1940s have been combined to form abstract pattern: