Thursday, August 31

Shed Obscura

Grace at Greenbelt on Vimeo

This is the building of the Grace installation at Greenbelt; The creation of a "shed obscura". The idea was that inside the shed you could see a projection of the outside world but upside down.

Viewers were invited to sit in the shed and reflect on this upside down kingdom, and the way in which the Christian faith requires us to see things differently. Those who spent time in the shed were invited to write comments on the outside - most said it was an amazing experience.


Tuesday, August 29


Some images of Greenbelt which was as inspiring as ever. In spite of the damp and sometimes cold nights, there is always something to make it a great time.

Ikon from Belfast was particularly memorable, exploring truth. Intriguing images of a bible being edited with a scalpel and being invited to exchange and eat a piece of paper with the words, I believe.

Fuse Factory's great video mixing and a very clever four walled screen in which the singer moved immersed in images.

Christopher Booker I thought was fascinating - on the subject of the seven basic story plots. I bought his book.

Our own contributions, Communion by Numbers and Shed Obscura worked particularly well. The communion as first seen at Grace.

Other pics: 1 2 3

The shed had a queue of people waiting to go in every time I looked with some great comments. The reflection was on the upside down kingdom which could be seen projected on one wall of the interior.

Saturday, August 19

Inside Out

Went to see Sarah Bevin's installation at Pitzhanger.

Plants growning out of household items - trainers used as plant pots, sofa cushions like growbags. Looked like a home has been invaded by nature. "I am attempting to present the power of nature in a formal setting" she says.

Here's a TV with weeds.

Wednesday, August 16

Appearing Rooms

Jeppe Hein's Appearing Rooms at the South Bank Centre. A spectacular water sculpture by the Danish artist on the terrace outside the Royal Festival Hall.

Fountain on Vimeo

Walls of water in the aquatic pavilion rise and fall randomly to divide the 10msq space into a series of smaller 'rooms': changing every ten seconds, they define all possible right-angled configurations of the space. As viewers walk through the 'rooms' they must interact with the patterns of rising and falling water if they are to leave the space without getting wet.

Tuesday, August 15

Knives Out

My get-out-of-the-office strategy is proving enlightening. I had lunch with my wife in Bentalls in Oxford Street today and the store had an interesting promotional campaign. From a red booth on the third floor they were giving away free knives! Now given the levels of security in central London does giving away sharp pointy weapon-like implements seem like a good idea? The tannoy announcement did make it clear that they were for over 21 terrorists only.

Monday, August 14

Perch on the wardrobe

I read today in the Ariel – the BBC’s in house weekly magazine – that creativity is still top of the agenda at the corporation. I’m pleased to know this as someone who has been called a Creative Producer. The article canvassed the views if some key people who gave their top tips for coming up with ideas. The creative tip which came up consistently was to get away from the desk and out of the building, and so here I am in St Martin’s church at Trafalgar Square.

Outside the church is a pneumatic drill pounding the living daylights out of a very resistant pavement. Inside the church there is a small number of miserable looking souls hunched in uncomfortable pews and one tourist in a floral shirt snapping pictures. Beats me why anyone should want to take pictures here, it’s so drab. Anyway, I chose this spot because I am using my laptop and it is conveniently dark - bright cheery locations tend wipe out everything but the faintest image.

By the way, I had in mind to prepare for a meeting I have tomorrow but as you can tell I’m easily distracted. Even on the way here I bumped into Peter, a former colleague and “the voice of BBC ONE”, and had a great conversation to stir the creative juices. Something about threatened specialist skills and automated announcements being used instead of real people. Daleks in dinner jackets reading the news.

Prior to taking up this position in the rear pew, I visited the National Gallery where I stumbled on a talk on Van Gough’s chair. The commentator explained that Van Gough had made some significant symbolic choices in painting the picture. Firstly, the angle of view was very steep – as if perched on top of a wardrobe! Perhaps he was? The chair itself was distorted. The painter had included a pipe which, according to tradition, symbolised death and a sprouting onion which symbolised life. The explanation given was that Van Gough wanted to get away from there merely earthly and fashion a symbolic view of himself which was emotional rather that rational.

And so here I am trying to reflect in the day’s business and come up with creative solution for tomorrow’s tricky meeting. If I am being told anything it is that the solution requires a combination of spiritual, emotional and rational approaches. Right now I am not sure what this means in practice. The best I can imagine is that the right kind of spaces need to be provided to allow for these requirements.

So firstly, a time of reflection (or even prayer) is required to provide for the mystery of creativity. Secondly that the emotions are engaged through the uninhibited interaction of human beings upon whose ideas we can build. And lastly that we engage in serious minded analysis to ensure that our ideas are practical and meet real needs.

These three “spaces” seem to make sense - the spiritual, the emotional and the practical. My guess is that they are rarely in balance and that the practical (and safe) argument for a particular course of action usually wins through.

So in conclusion, I shall perch on a near by wardrobe (or similar item of furniture) to view the problem and take it from there.

Just Back from Yorkshire

Originally uploaded by markwaddington.
Sunday arrived back from nearly three weeks in Litttondale in Yorkshire. A small cottage in a dale with no broadband of mobile phone signals. Sheep during the day and bats at night. The picture here is of Joshua on a walk on the hillside above the cottage. More photos here

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