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Nissen's guest blog...

So that was Christmas. It'll soon be time to go back in the box. Mum, Dad, me - we get stuffed into an old Crock box with, I dunno, about 20 others. It's a nice box and she thinks we stay there 350 odd days of the year, yeah well...
She thinks she made most of us, put together from wool and felt, bits and bobs, stuff you can see and touch, but like most good ideas we don't confine ourselves to the expected; or even the good.
We come out every year to watch over the end and the beginning; we come on the darkest day with a green tree that slowly dies in a blaze of spectacular glory. We watch the lights and fire that encourage a new year into existence and we wait quietly to be packed away - hoping somehow we made a difference.
But are we merely echoes of children's fairy tales? Do we represent anything other than fading, whispy memories of a time before science ruled the world?
We're in evidence, visible, for this annual window into goodness and hope, a window that seems to be shrinking, closing in fear and cynicism as the world of people grows more complex, more unfathomable with each stride of progress, each intervention born out of curiosity and the desire for complete control.
Are the values we represent still meaningful? Is it still possible to cherish things not comprehended? Things that cannot be dissected, analysed, improved, or made a profit from?

Are Nisser merely inanimate, sentimental relics, or do we carry any kind of hope for the future?
Perhaps this time she'll take a good look at what exactly she's packing away for the best part of the year; Mum, Dad and me, we just want to bring a little balance: a sense of fun and a little bit of mischief to the world of Homo Sapiens Obduratus.

Maybe this year she'll notice that the Crock box is actually empty most of time...

Posted by Gini, 29 December 2012

Last modified by Gini, 29 December 2012

Fons: naming the new soft sculpture and wondering what life is all about...


Fons Memorabilium  Universi: source of notable information about the universe, a Renaissance encyclopaedia.


Fons: an alternative spelling of Fontus, a Roman water deity.


Fons: a spring, a fountain and, by extension, the source of something.


Fons: the bottom (lowest part).


Watching water rushing into my driveway, but cosy indoors - sheltering from the rain, I persevere with the soft sculpture. Kosta, awaiting a metal pin in his skull,  looks down his nose at me while I construct another head.


From initial drawings, influenced the weather outside and my preoccupation with the state of the universe, I contemplate calling the third man Fons; a name to live up to. I'm not sure yet that I can construct him as drawn, but the challenge intrigues me. Fons will have 'diversed'  far from his origins, there is no way he can be one of the Kouroi, yet the building materials that are his DNA are identical.


How are the Con.Text conversations having an influence the third man's construction? Working with the texts, teasing out the images that connect and contrast, I reflect on the compromises we are all making in order, not just to be, but to be more.

And on the pressures to be more; live more - a better kind of more - a better kind of life.

Kouroi, carved from a single block of stone, rely heavily on The Pose to create the impression of movement, the impression of life. Today of course we rely on social networking to create the impression, not necessarily of life, but of having a life. A more impressive life.

Aspirational life.


Fons balances on the knife-edge referencing both research into the past, the desire for roots and historical justification, and reaching into a future time or space; or anywhere but now. A visible emotional interpretation of part of the evolutionary journey that sees us reaching out, clueless, rather like that spaceship travelling into eternity with it's already dated image of who we think we are.

The unknowing reaching into the unknown.



Where are we going, where do we come from?

Is there time to raise your head; is life too

complex to risk changing focus, or taking the pressure off long enough

to realise the aimless, addictive loneliness that drives humanity

far from it's instincts and deepest longings?

And if we stick with this journey is there any chance

that one day our descendants will arrive somewhere they name Utopia?

Or, proclaiming uniqueness,  demanding individual recognition

and rights, are we giving ourselves up for some unwanted end-game

that sees us all falling, dead-ends, by the wayside?

With so many wasted opportunities, so many wasted lives? 




Posted by Gini, 16 December 2012

Last modified by Gini, 16 December 2012

More on the preposterous assumption...

The preposterous assumption that just because some people can get out of wheelchairs and climb flights of steps it's ok to reckon that we all can, has been preying on my mind. With more and more people buying mobility equipment for a variety of reasons that may or may not be associated with disabilty, I wonder how Disability Equality trainers cope with this issue.


I'm well aware that the general public do not register the difference between wheelchairs and mobility scooters: wheels are wheels.

And there is also almost no differentiating between users of wheels - apart from gender. I get mistaken for the oddest of people and I do find it offensive that people who know me and the other people in question, cannot be bothered to register the difference.


I'm not talking about small, hard to spot differences, I am talking about being mistaken for the plump, blue eyed woman with both legs amputated; I'm a size small with khaki-green eyes and both my legs. I also get mistaken for the woman who always travels her powerchair with a walking frame, an assistance dog and wearing a neck brace. I have none of these.

I do have blonde hair long enough to pin up with a variety of trademark chopsticks, yet am frequently mistaken for a short and curly haired woman on a scooter.


What makes all this so ironic is that I'm currently working on material for an exhibition called 'People Like You'. The phrase, originally offered to me with the words: 'should be taken out and shot' is now intended to highlight our common humanity, infer equality and play with the implications of the word 'like'.

It isn't meant to suggest that wheelborne are all much of a muchness and indistinguishable from each other.



Hey guys it's me! No really,

I know I'm wearing wheels, but

honest, it's me and I'm not

sporting a wig. I haven't

shot the dog, or had a change

of personality. I'm

not wearing coloured contacts,

or borrowed legs, I'm not the

grumpy one who runs people

over. And I'm not the one

Cameron blames

for screwing the



Hey guys, it's me.

Posted by Gini, 3 December 2012

Last modified by Gini, 3 December 2012