Wednesday, 18 December 2013

"... I could almost feel the undertow"

Ever since the joined forces of a storm-surge & a spring-tide hit the east coast on 5 December I was wondering how Spurn peninsula was faring. Only a week later we came across some images.

The road and the dunes have been washed away, the images below may tell the rest. Three dozens of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Hebridean sheep, a rare and beautiful species, drowned in the surge. See Yorkshire Post  and [BBC].

image source
photo credit: RNLI

The image below is taken on the morning after the surge at 9am, a moment after high tide.

photo credit: Env Agency Geomatics
The submerged area is the site where we, Jo and I, recorded Fr-Agile early in the morning on 8 August '08. It was a stormy day too and cold as if it was winter.

Trying to imagine what it must have been like on 5 December ... a comment in the visitors' book at South Square Gallery, where Fr-Agile first was shown, surfaces: "Standing close I could almost feel the undertow."

This referred to Buoy [Fr-Agile]. Here's a studio clip:

A long post, full of links, about a stretch of landscape - or rather seascape - that is rich in every aspect, wildlife, history and the power of the elements to name just a few. It's a microcosm that has been changed considerably.

What next for Spurn Point / HDM 29. 12. 2013

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Humber Dreams [booklet]

Humber Dreams* - A Panorama of 101 Dreams wraps up the texts gathered in the Dream Book on display at Hull Central Library during the literature festival. This booklet is now on-line for you to view and share.

Thank you to all who took the time to think and write. - Some dreams did come true - read on in the booklet...

Click the links below to view or download the pdf files.
A version that can be printed as a booklet:
Print double-sided on A4 (short-edge binding);
then fold and assemble to a booklet.

Enjoy - your comments are welcome.

Humber Dreams
 * Humber Dreams is a text-based installation commissioned by Humber Mouth Literature Festival 2013. In response to the festival's theme "I Have  A Dream..." people were asked to write up the dreams they have for their life, for Hull, the region or the state of the world.

The small print: Most dreams have been sent anonymously. When names have been submitted I used the initials. Some longer texts have been shortened, trying to reveal the core.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The sky at dusk, late November.
The camera can't really capture it...

While 101 Humber Dreams wait -
scattered on the floor -
currently my worktop -
to be compiled
to one 'Panorama'.

It takes a moment...
but I'm getting there.

Coming soon...

Saturday, 30 November 2013


Although in real life I prefer the sea to mountainous terrain I find this type of maps fascinating.
I keep coming back and 'wandering' the Himalayas and other peaks. It's as if the contour lines de-scribe the terrain and, in a way, make it readable.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

#HullYes - come true

Hull will be City of culture 2017. Like many others I found myself jumping up and down (secretly in the kitchen before breakfast) and moved to tears this morning... A city coming out of the shadows. Well done Hull!

And thus, some more dreams among Humber Dreams became true today...
See images in last post.

I like these lines by Philip Larkin from Hull's bidding video portrait.
So, I had to transcribe this 'poem'*, click a line to see the film.

a place cannot produce poems
it can only not prevent them
and Hull is good at that
for Hull has its own sudden elegancies
people are slow to leave it
quick to return
and there are others
who come for a year or two
and stay a lifetime
sensing that they found a city
that is in the world
yet sufficiently on the edge of it
to have a different resonance.

*In fact the lines stem from the foreword to 'A Rumoured City: New Poets from Hull'

More Humber dreaming

The 'dream-stallation'

Part of making this piece was known territory, but some was a trip into uncharted waters. So I learned some subtleties that could be improved a next time.

Thank you to all who helped to make Humber Dreams come true!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Dream Factory

Humber Dreams has been installed just in time for the launch of the festival on 8 November.
To suspend this installation from 8m long horizontal wires was a bit of a challenge. Then, creating the 'word-cloud' was a social endeavour. Many people walked past and stopped for a chat, very enjoyable.

I continued to work on the piece throughout the festival, until last Friday. People keep writing into the dream book or e-mail dream-lines, in the form of poems for instance. And so far at least one of the dreams did come true...!

Yesterday I took some photos and played about with our small camera to capture some moving images:

Photos to follow in a next post.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Humber Dreams

Humber Mouth Literatur Festival 2013 
Humber Dreams sketch
commissions Humber Dreams
An installation that captures the thoughts, dreams and wishes of people in Hull. It aims to reflect the local spirit and atmosphere.
On display at Hull Central Library 8 - 18 November 2013

People’s dreams and thoughts, written or printed on labels of transparent film, form a floating ‘landscape’, similar to the mist hovering on the Humber on a foggy day in November. This misty ‘dreamscape’ can be read and will evolve throughout Hull’s literature festival from 8 - 18 November 2013.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Humber Dreams

Building the framework for Humber Dreams, an installation that will be part of this years Humber Mouth Festival. Not much to see so far... I'm working with nothing but invisible threads and acrylic glass sheets. Yet peoples' dreams, the substance of this piece, are materializing in their written form.

"I Have A Dream ..." is the theme of this year's literature festival. - Humber Dreams will be installed in the exhibition space of Hull's Central Library. And there I will be shaping Dreams from next Monday onwards - this word-cloud will evolve throughout the literature festival.

Monday, 21 October 2013

'arborescent forms'

No. 40
I read about William Armstong's experiments with electrical discharges in his book 'Electric movement in air and water', see last post.

No. 41
While he recorded many of these experiments directly onto photographic plates and created beautiful photos all along, he had to find a different way to capture experiments that produced very bright sparks.

Images No. 40 and 41 are made on plates with a very thin layer of wax and dust. What he captures this way is describes like this [p. 50]:

Inverse image of a wintry tree
"I have already spoken of electricity as organised motion, and we have here an example of it carried apparently to the verge of life. (No. 38)
[...]in the succeeding figure (No. 40) we see arborescent forms, showing trees and undergrowth, in which stems, branches, and leaves find their approximate representatives. Lastly, in the one remaining figure to be shown (No. 41), even the root is indicated lying at the foot of the stem.

And later on he concludes [p. 52]:
Examples have been presented of the remarkable correspondence between some electric figures and living organised forms.

It brings back the photos of the trees I took last winter and Drawings in the sky.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Water - and electrical currents

A few days in Northumberland. First we stay in Newbiggin, home of the Couple by Sean Henry. On the beach I find drawings created by the sea. A thin layer of black sand covers the usual beige and the ebb and flow of water 'paints' intriguing patterns into this black canvas (left pic).

In contrast the black & white image* shows the trace of an electrical current. This photo stems from a book by Lord Armstrong 'Electric movement in air and water', published 1897. We come across Armstrong's work and genius when, from the coast, we turn inland to visit Cragside near Rothbury.  Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. See also: National Trust site / Cragside

*Image source:
Electric movement in air and water with theoretical inferences
Armstrong, William George London, 1897

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Orbit in Berlin/Wedding

Exhibition pics of Orbit at Gallery Wedding in Berlin, 13 - 28 September, a group exhibition as part of the Kulturfestival Wedding - Moabit 2013.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Orbit made while working and living in a studio in Berlin for a month in May 2013 will be on display at

Galerie Wedding: „Wedding - Kunst Pur!“
from 14 to 28 September 2013
Müllerstraße 146/147, 13353 Berlin

Öffnungszeiten: Dienstag bis Samstag 12.00-18.00 Uhr
Eintritt Frei

Sunday, 1 September 2013

'Cyano' in 3-D

Cyanotype on silk threads, 17.5cm x 34cm x 14cm. This piece bears all the marks of trying and finding out - so I learned a lot... The white 'sphere' within is not centred but an asymmetric oval.

The whole thing is, or rather its layers are, a 'blueprint' using sunlight to cyanotype the white 'egg' in the threaded blue body.

See also post on 19 August 2013 Is it or is it not?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Some debris...?

While tweaking Orbit a little bit to get it ready for the return trip to Berlin/Wedding in a couple of days (see events) I looked up images of 'orbit' on the www.

Curiously what came up - and caught my eye - were images of space debris ...

Screen-shots from an ESA video [at about 09:20 min.]

From: Debris in motion (video)

Computer generated images of objects in Earth orbit that are currently being tracked. Approximately 95% of the objects in this illustration are orbital debris, i.e., not functional satellites. The dots represent the current location of each item. [...] not scaled to Earth. These images provide a good visualization of where the greatest orbital debris populations exist.  Source:

Monday, 19 August 2013

Is it or is it not?

The piece mentioned in the last post, Globe... I made it ages ago and it is 'haunting' me ever since. Its body is nothing but vertical threads, so the white sphere is in there and not there, simultaneously. Maybe the images don't do justice to this aspect, but the three-dimensional impression of this piece doesn't let me go. So, this is what I'm currently wrestling with, again and once more.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

'Stairs' ...

... is what came out of last year's On loom printing. Suspended in the studio this immediate kin of Globe now works as a compass for another sculpture. 

It is a study of how such a threaded body filters, reflects and absorbs light, when it is composed of rectangles, instead of a seamless round shape (see Globe). The white oblongs stepwise decrease in width while increasing hight.

At first Stairs was way to dense. Only after I removed every other thread the spaces between the threads were wide enough to 'fill' with light. Ultimately within the rectangle body of such a sculpture round shapes seem to work better.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Another web

The silk and polyester 'velcro' warp, see post  21 April 2013, has been patiently waiting... Now it's 'done' and off the loom, ready for printing - almost...

The warp behaved better than anticipated. And the actual weaving felt rather like bookbinding - threads instead of paper.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Filigree drawings in 3-d

When I recently scanned the garage, or rather shed, for useful items to reinstall my studio in Hull I came across these webs. Fortunately I resisted a first impulse to wipe them away - they were somewhat in the way - and realized how intricate and beautiful they are.

Underneath the webs I found loads of chipboards, moved from Basel to Hull ages ago - in fact it's 12 years... These boards now shield the wooden floor in my redecorated workspace from future activities. And yes, I managed to remove the boards without touching the webs.

Another asset is that much of my equipment, loom included, is now on wheels. One of the things I learned in Marion's studio in Berlin is, that it's soo handy when shelves and stuff are movable!

Saturday, 25 May 2013


Just completed last night. The shell of half a sphere, made of Mohair fibers, 42cm diameter.

Dancing up and down, between ceiling and floor - strung, crocheted and sewn with nylon thread.

And it's full moon today.

PS: Orbit is now part of a private collection.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


1. co-ordinates
2. static
3. spiraling
Patterns of dots in a circle - with a sphere in mind. The co-ordinates (from H to B, see post 30 April) may have left their traces in these drawings.

4. sunflower seeds
[Source of image]

The first sketch 'Co-ordinates' merged into a drawing based on circles which is more static (2.). This turned into a spiraling (3.) version.

The resulting design recalls the pattern found in fir cones and sunflowers (4.).

The aim is again to transform from second into the third dimension...

Friday, 3 May 2013


Finds during the first few days, all within about 15 minutes walk from my current dwelling:


Having said that there isn't much green near my doorstep I 'found' this piece of landscape not far from my current home:
Ploetzensee, a lake fed by groundwater in the middle of a huge green park, or rather three large parks.


Lady with a hat peers over the trees into a street further south from here.


Galerie Max Hetzler resides high up on the forth floor of the 'Osramhoefe'. A huge space entirely lit by daylight.
Work by Tony Ziegler.

Some more pics here.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

From H to B

It looked like an installation, the studio in Hull, before I left for Berlin two days ago; everything packed up to one large central block, ready for doing up the space.

Sunday night I arrived here, in the place that I'll occupy for the next four weeks. It is about 13° further east, a journey of roughly 1000km by air, without counting the detour to the airport.

I'm still settling down. The deal is the welcoming charm of this steadily changing and lively city, Berlin, in exchange for the light and green ambience of Hull.

No garden here. I'm living near the pavement, separated from passer-byes, a children's playground and a residential street (leading to a major traffic artery) only by huge shop windows - plus shutters at night. Yet, all I noticed so far is that I feel comfortable.

I took with me a few things to work on. Not sure, but curious, what I will do, since whatever I'll be making, will happen in a different manner; simply because the two cities, H and B, feature such different climes.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Another tree

It looks like finally spring has sprung. The small Japanese cherry tree in the garden is now in its pink-white outfit. The buds have been on stand-by during weeks and weeks of cold weather.

I sniffed a first whiff of mild air in Berlin a week ago. To prepare a month of living and working in the studio of a friend I stayed there a few days. I'll occupy Marion's studio in May while she is abroad.

Here I had set up the loom to make some 3-d prints using the usual silk- and some polyester-thread which looked perfectly fine. Yet, surprise, surprise ... the 'poly'threads behaved like Velcro, very fine fibrils jamming and clogging together! :-//

I look forward to unjamming the threads in June, with a fresh mind and possibly warmer weather.

Friday, 19 April 2013

A snapshot

... of a page in my notebook. Another cyanotype trial

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Deforestation - reforestation...

A couple of days ago I had a go at tidying up the computer. Then on Good Friday, confident that only rubbish was in the trash I pressed this sweet delete button to empty it. I remember the crunchy sound of the process - it took a short moment...

Next thing, I felt a strange mixture of bliss and amazement... The whole iPhoto library magically had disappeared into nothingness! And with it hundreds of tree pics that I've taken over the last couple of weeks, intrigued by the drawings of the bare branches and their signatures in the sky.

Luckily dear Stefan found a program that allows to recover 1GB of images on a mac for free. So I spent Easter Monday browsing through about 37'000 deleted pics (many of them trash) to find the ones I wanted to restore. The images below are about 10% of the now purged tree library.

Thank you, Stefan :-))

Thursday, 21 March 2013


A while ago I captured this pair in the kitchen while cooking - and wasn't quite sure whether this is rather for the eye or for eating.

But in the end just these pics survived...