studio mo(nu)ments



[ moh-muhnt ]

an indefinitely short period of time; instant
the present time or any other particular time
a definite period or stage
importance or consequence
a period of success

[ noun mon-yuh-muh nt; verb mon-yuh-ment ]

something erected in memory of a person, event, etc.,
any building, megalith, etc., surviving from a past age
any enduring evidence or notable example of something
an exemplar, model, or personification of some abstract quality

and also a verb….. (a doing)………

*(abbreviated & adapted from*

Talking with the students at Killard House School this week, revisiting the moments we spent together at the MAC International in February and bringing forth some old mo(nu)ments – one could say these things I have piled up here on my desk are enduring (if inscrutable) evidence (perhaps even personifications) of an indefinitely short period of time (I had named them ‘witness’)  ……or to be ambivalent – from the perspective of now – the now –  of any number of other times, as they have lain in my studio as a constant ….beckoning……

in “still life” – primordial object – form becomes matter.. original purpose withdraws, the thing vitality is solid, its performance magnified in the stillness of its own particular vibration, inscrutable, ever present, monumental.




More ecology drawings

I decided not to submit, though am tempted by the Eigse curatorial theme this year :

This year’s Art Works Open Submission invites artists to submit work that considers farming, sustenance and encounters with the land.

Encounters with the land perhaps, farming at a pinch, sustenance yes. Ecology drawings can spin from all of these things. Titles remain elusive for now…

farHorizons.jpgNearing horizons: Weather growth knot


Beeswing: Comb rhymes with home



I am constantly trying to tune in with chance in my practice, invoking coincidence and allowing random events and chance encounters to open up connections with the world about me and help me to tune in to resonances from the universe.
This drawing I called Tesla’s Egg, and I made at the end of August . At the same time astronomers were getting their first magnetic waves back from a collision of neutron stars 130 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth… I found out from an article published in Discover Magazine this week


these coincidences offer moments of synchronicity perhaps a tapping into the fine tuning of universal phenomena…. I am struck by Robert Dienel’s impression of the event and how similar in form it is to my drawing…


this is from an article

Dawn of an Era: Astronomers Hear and See Cosmic Collision

By Eric Betz | October 16, 2017 9:00 am


These are drawings combining images from my neglected garden, and my own interior landscapes allowed to play out on paper while listening to podcasts from Timothy’s Morten’s idea of The Mesh, and a musical studio environment created from classical and experimental music on lyric FM.
The drawings are not specifically about something definitive, more a series of entanglements, a processing of these various exposures. I see them as compositions in the musical sense, taking form from soundscapes merged with headspace imaginings.

Interior Jungle
Flutter vortexCloudball


MIxed ecology

the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.

This is the result of time spent with dried leaves graphite pencil paper and Lyric FM

25 July on an overcast evening changing from daylight to fluorescent midway


Summer is time to get away from work, I love this from Carol Bove

I decided to stop using the word “work” as an experiment. It was very difficult! I had to compensate by substituting a more specific description of the activity. For example, instead of “I’m going to my studio to work,” I’d have to say, “I’m going to make some drawings.” Or instead of “I’m going to work around the house,” I’d have to say, “I’m going to clean the kitchen and fold some laundry.” I discovered that the absence of the word ‘work’ forced me to reconsider assumptions about leisure, because the idea of work implied its opposite. I let go of the notion that I deserved a certain amount of downtime from being productive or from being active. The labour/leisure dichotomy became uncoupled and then dissolved. I couldn’t use labour to allay guilt or self-punish or feel superior. Work didn’t exist, so all the psychological payoff of work for work’s sake had nowhere to go.


I started to adjust my thinking about productivity so that it was no longer valued in and of itself. It strikes me as vulgar always to have to apply a cost/benefit analysis to days lived; it’s like understanding an exchange of gifts only as barter. The work exercise made me feel as if I was awakening from one of the spells of capitalism. And there was more to it than that: I was able to begin the process of withdrawal from my culture’s ideology around the instrumentality of time, i.e. that you can use time. I think the ability to withdraw from consensus reality is one of the most important skills for an artist to learn because it helps her to recognize invisible forces.

full article here:

Thinking about process

The Tate Gallery website defines PROCESS ART “the term process art refers to where the process of its making art is not hidden but remains a prominent aspect of the completed work, so that a part or even the whole of its subject is making the work”

I understand the act of drawing as a bringing forth, a way of connecting with the world and a drawing out from within. When embarking on a drawing I see the context as the laboratory for the practice – each new context yields a particular assemblage of criteria and elements for creative play. Part of the making is a an invocation to these elements, a spell binding to bring forth this potential, it is important to remain very open at the start of a project to allow for a gathering of  parts, protagonists and behaviours – and then a settling – I think of it as a stirring of the ground where seeds can find purchase. Nurturing and honing comes later as the form takes shape.

I have had a clear out in the studio, various drifts and collectibles have become salient. In the studio I am alone and in tune with R Serra’s verb list with my ‘of gravity’ and ‘of entanglement’ forms working ‘to hang’ ‘to unloosen’ and thinking about drawing in space.

Listening to Tim Morton’s lecture Nature Isn’t Real

On the fragility of lichen – where algae exists symbiotically with fungi  o-o-o  –  if a thing exists, it exists in the same way as everything else – in this discussion about a flat ontology (but not a flat ethics) Morton proposes a new term, Implosive wholism (subscendence) where the the whole is less than the sum of its parts, and an argument for interconnectedness.

Set Theory
the branch of mathematics which deals with the formal properties of sets as units (without regard to the nature of their individual constituents) and the expression of other branches of mathematics in terms of sets.

The Mesh
The ecological thought does, indeed, consist in the ramifications of the “truly wonderful fact” of the mesh. All life forms are the mesh, and so are all the dead ones, as are their habitats, which are also made up of living and nonliving beings. We know even more now about how life forms have shaped Earth (think of oil, of oxygen—the first climate change cataclysm). We drive around using crushed dinosaur parts. Iron is mostly a by-product of bacterial metabolism. So is oxygen. Mountains can be made of shells and fossilized bacteria. Death and the mesh go together in another sense, too, because natural selection implies extinction.

Suspension drawings

Beginning new work – picking up threads from play with space/line and suspension/gravity.

Image shows standoff between 2 kinds of suspension – the freeze frame stasis of plaster and the live suspension of hanging things There is a tension in this counter balance of forms that I want to inhabit for a while