The Last Day

Tomorrow is our last day of the e17 Art Trail. We've had a blast! Of course I've not seen anything I wanted to but I have really enjoyed the showing our project this year. YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE AUDIO HERE: YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YAARIT HERE: Hope to see you tomorrow!

An Old Diary

Another happy hectic day today at the hollow ships. I was going to write something here about Anais Nin but I'm too tired and I can't concentrate! Instead, I'm just going to paste a sort of old diary note that I just found. I wrote it on the 5th of July 2010 when I was living in New York. I had recently quit my advertising job and was spending a lot of time wandering around a la Henry Miller and muttering 'I no longer think I'm an artist, I am an artist' (Tropic of Cancer).  It's (nice?) (Terrifying?) to see that I'm still the same pretentious wally that I was at 28!  It's also interesting to read the note back and remember that I spent a lot of 2009-2010 reading Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet and, apparently, trying to sound as pompous and 'interesting' as he can.. (Durrell was a close friend of Henry Miller - see it all come's back to Miller eventually..) Also nice to remember the Carmine street pool - I miss going there for

Leave the gun. Take the Cannoli. Also, Robert Lowell

I don't know why I thought about that line on the school run this morning!  I know there have been multiple attempts to analyse and understand the line within the broader context of the Godfather narrative because, well, I just googled it. My overly simplistic reading is something like 'rescue what good you can from a horrible situation' or 'eat desert as a coping mechanism' (I'm speaking as someone who ate half a leftover birthday cake yesterday.) They wont get me a PhD in Film Studies but hopefully They're will buy me a few lines here. I don't know why I just read this paragraph back in a Meg Ryan 'You've Got Mail' voice...  Some of my recent Cannoli's are the American poets: Robert Lowell, Richard Wilbur, and William H. Matchett. I can't pretend that I fully understand them but I find that when I read any one of them I get that tingly/excited 'I should write a poem!' feeling, often quickly followed by that tired/blank page

Walthamstow and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

We will be open again this weekend: Saturday and Sunday, 11am - 5pm. Yaarit is just adding the finishing touches to her vases. I’ve used a clip in the Hollow Ships audio of the American writer Henry Miller talking about France: “Wherever the eye falls there is colour, irregularity, whimsy, individuality, together with all the evidences of age and use, the patina of life lived..” This links really nicely to the vases but the most important thing for me, was to find a way to shoehorn Henry in.  Whenever the going gets tough, or even when the going is pretty downhill, I often come back to Miller’s ‘Big Sur’ period for a boost or recharge or something like that. I particularly like ‘Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch’   because here is the domestic Henry, a million miles from his banned books, worrying about childcare and wondering about the world. And painting - really terrible water colours - but painting with joy and enthusiasm.  I have a book of photographs  of ‘Henry and frie

Grief is the Thing With Trucks

And specifically 'Independent 149 Mid' Trucks (Skateboarding, not Eddie Stobart).. but I'm getting ahead of myself.  On Friday I quickly wrote up some notes about our project and printed them so that they'd be to hand whenever visitors arrived . If you're unlucky enough to drop by when Yaarit is on an Aldi run, as happened on Saturday, they really are a life saver (for both of us) because.. well,  this is all I can tell you about the vases; "Yes, they're amazing aren't they!... No, I've no idea how she does it.." I can't make stuff and I don't know how stuff gets made! At the last minute I wrote a paragraph about the audio explaining that, among other things, it was ' a meditation on grief.'   I hadn't really planned to mention grief but it suddenly felt important to write it down. I think my hesitancy had something to do with the fact that I'm generally pretty squeamish about 'confessional art', but it feels so

Greetings from the Hollow Ships!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to visit us today! It was great to hear about so many other people taking part. I really hope we can get out for a bit next week to visit some other venues. And who knew that combing ceramics, white curtains and excited toddlers could be, well, a little bit nerve racking? They don’t seem to mention this anywhere in the parenting books. It has been a VERY h ectic few - weeks? Months? Preparing for this but it has been great fun so far. We’re closed tomorrow for Adam’s 5th birthday party (go away rain) but will be opening the ships again next Saturday. I'll write more about the project in the week. I'll probably also use this as an excuse to write about other things that I feel are connected to it. Right, I have a dinosaur birthday cake to make...  |  |  Hollow Ships Audio

Hollow Ships and Other Vessels

'Hollow Ships and Other Vessels' is a collaboration between Product Designer, Yaarit Mechany and her husband Tom Baker (me!) for the e17 Art Trail 2021 (Venue number 40). Yaarit has made 5 new, unique vases from old objects.  Playing on this year’s theme of ‘possible futures’, the objects have been brought together to create new, exciting forms, continuing and expanding their journey into the future. They're beautiful. You should come see them! I have created a sound installation which hopefully works alongside them as a kind of commentary on the vases and the idea of objects 'becoming' or moving towards 'possible futures'. As Anais Nin says, "The flow, always the flow." ..But there is also baseball and skateboarding woven in there too..  You can listen to the audio by clicking here: The Sound of the Hollow Ships You can visit us at: 20 Sybourn Street, E17 8HA I'll try to come back here soon to talk more about the project and our experience of