Posts by Jane Lawson

logo 174x60


January 12th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY04 No Comment yet

I had a fantastic night’s sleep and feel nearly rejuvenated. I also met my fourth cat of the week!


I’m very happy with how the first puddle – Nothing Whatever Must Be Clung To V – has turned out. My original plan was to try to create a white puddle and then pour black ink on it, but the beautiful white river valley with filigree edges is more than sufficient. Ben filmed it this afternoon; it’s fantastic to have an onsite film and photographer. Today he showed the films he’d made of Alice and of Jin Bells doing his puddle swap, they both looked great.


The second puddle contains some beautiful filigree areas – I’m not totally sure why the paint has separated and spread in this way, I expected it to create a more uniform whiteness, don’t know if it is to do with the dust particles in the water. There is one area which looks like an aerial view of streets on a waterfront. However as a whole it is less satisfying and the different types of marks don’t work as well together. Today I poured on some of the gloss; I wondered if it would separate or marble, but it has diffused much more than the water-based satin paint. One shape looks like a scorpion and one like a foetal dragon. It will be interesting to see how it develops overnight.


I also created a small and very minimal shrine to Sim/on/e, in one of the alcoves on the stairwell that used to have hot and cold taps. I think, from what Paul Fyles said the other day, that the hot was hot enough to make a cup of tea, so that the operators didn’t need to leave their stations to make a brew, but I may have misunderstood. I have cleaned the puddle below the shrine and plan to fill it with clean water as a protective moat. Which is a bit odds with Sim/on/e’s generally approachable nature, but I think will look good. It is possible that the moat will fill just from the drip, but if not I’ll use clean water from the rainwater butt.


I need to commune with Sim/on/e to find out whether s/he can be trigendered if s/he comes from Gethen – does being genderless for periods count as a gender? Clearly not; so maybe s/he can’t be from Gethen, which is a shame. Or s/he could be from a parallel Gethen where, when not in kemmer, inhabitants are hermaphrodite and asexual; this seems the best solution. I think Ursula would approve.


I’ve taken some photos with Tom’s camera but am not totally happy with them, so will aim to do some more tomorrow, as well as cleaning the rest of the steps down from Sim/on/e – although I’m not sure that anyone will see them, I still want them to  be clean.


My plan to reassign the rooms of the Mill will have to wait for another time.

logo 174x60


January 12th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY02 No Comment yet

Today we had a talk from Joe Fletcher Orr about his work as artist and curator since graduating two years ago, very funny and honest and impressive. And lunch in the luxury of the warm library! No soup this time though but lots of cake.  These things are important.


I have scoped out some good puddles in the Mill for Nothing Whatever Must Be Clung To V. This is part of a series of ink floor paintings; the title refers to the fact the unpredictability of outcome when pouring the ink, and the importance of not being attached to a set outcome.  I plan to add floor paint to the existing puddles, part drain them and then pour ink on when they are dry; however I don’t know whether they’ll dry by the end of the week.


Paul Fyles talked me through a plan of the Mill room by room. A lot of what the Mill produced was cotton wool products, by the million. I had never thought about the mechanics of cotton wool production before, or the mechanics of bandage construction. I would like to relabel the rooms with their previous functions; I’d also like to assign different functions to the rooms (room seems the wrong word for such vast spaces) – a kitten-snuggling room, a cheese room, a racecourse…


Last night I did sleep for about half the night, and it actually felt like sleep rather than the alternation between full wakefulness and dreaming of the previous night. Tomorrow night, I get my own room in Burnley.


January 6th, 2016 Posted by BLOG, DAY01 No Comment yet

Impressions of today:

Lots of people – in their twenties, mainly. Interesting mix of practices – textiles, movement, dance, scenography. Only one painter.


Great talk from Kerry, as ever, on ethics; she always has new and interesting things to say. Good to know that the Buddhists were into the poo piece.


Had a full tour of the mill for the first time – it is more amazing than I had realised. We saw the cinema, constructed out of black plastic sheeting, the main reception with lots of beautiful wood, the dark downstairs with intriguing machines, the beautiful corridor, lots of interesting marks on the walls which would make great paintings, the giant warehouse space…too much to remember. Colours a range of pale pinks, aqua, light blue, pale green, some red.  Lots of substances I could make tempera out of, if I were willing to brave the dust.


Lots of big floor spaces that I can pour ink over – what happens if I don’t clear the dust away first? What happens if I pour floor paint onto the dust? Though I think it will look better cleaned. What happens if I pour paint into the puddles – any chance that it will dry by Saturday? Even if I pour the paint onto dry floor, will that give time for the ink to dry by Saturday? Thinking how long it took at Blank Space – but I did pour lots of water on then. I would like to revisit this work.


I have named the cat Elsie, although Bella would also suit her. If she is a he, Norman, maybe.


Other ideas – I would like to get my head round the structure of the mill and its processes – what took place in what building. I would want to do this before taking colour samples.


It turns out there is a charity shop in Brierfield – how did I not know this?


Elly reminded us that there is no need for outcomes this week. This is liberating.


I would really like to get a decent night’s sleep. Am not sure what I will do if this isn’t possible.