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> > Gini

Artist and wordsmith, whose work engages with issues of access, from acknowledged physical needs to perceived symbolic exclusions. After being selected as one of DAO's New Voices in 2011, Gini's online presence has become an integral part of her arts practice

Rain, more rain, but not a washout.

4 September 2014

Blog

A view of the grey and black Wako shop front with giraffes dislayed in the two gold-lined windows. Only the giraffes black and gold legs,tail and lowered head are visible in the windows which also reflect images from the street outside. A person in the ri

Today we have a weather warning for heavy rain, flooding and thunder. The day is cold at 24 degrees and I haul out warmer clothes. An attempt to roll outdoors is abandoned when the slick surface and rivers of water make rolling hazardous. The umbrella seeps rain, my raincoat seeps rain, I arrive back in need of comfort food and drink. I get both in a bowl. A strangely nutty brown thick Chinese treat, thicker than drink, thinner than cake, hot and eaten with a spoon. Outside it rains, inside I...

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Tokyo Hands and many wheelborne

3 September 2014

Blog

A peek into a well lit Japanese flower shop. Typically small with contents spilling outside,this one has posies of small sunflowers, red and pink roses and shades and textures of green giving a light and cheerful impression.

Tokyo Hands is today's main attraction. The best one I know is in Shinjuku, home of Tokyo's metropolitan government and boasting the busiest station in the world. We need to change train lines to get there and decide to do that at Tokyo station. Last time I was there, access from one line to another at Tokyo station was through a non-public series of underground warrens. Things have improved, but it's quite some distance and there was still a short non-public area to be escorted...

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Wordplay, Lovers and bridal Pomeranians.

2 September 2014

Blog

on a black marble oblong plinth lies this gold coloured statue by Bernard Meadows surrounded by greenery. To me it looks like lying down references to spinal chord, pelvis, discs and chunky legs. Or maybe a stool on its side? The surface of the cube is sh

Prompted by Doraemon, the cartoon figure, and memories of a previous exhibition, I revisit Marunouchi and discover in Marunouchi Building a one day event which confuses me somewhat. It's a fashion show (the only event information in English, but this description might mean anything) sponsored by Eye Coffret Cafe, which seems to be a contact lens retailer. The lenses are described as 'base make', possibly a link to make-up and foundation, because they have a natural brown iris edge...

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Robots, reality and fantasy architecture.

1 September 2014

Blog

Five white robots, each with what looks like an ipad on its chest, are stood before a line of students sitting at desks. A female student in a blue dress and white hat is in the foreground. Behind the robots is a teacher with microphone and at least three

Every year the Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU) holds an open 2 day event for young people - starting from three to seven year olds and introducing them to creative fun, games and technology. It's maybe the second best such event in Japan so I'm off to check it out. At the station it's easy to figure out which way to go, there is a steady stream of children and young people heading down the road; I follow. AGU was founded by American Methodists in 1949 and there is a statue of John...

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Toranomon - Tiger's Gate

31 August 2014

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Two plastic looking cartoon characters, presumably both cats, stood infront of glass and steel doors that look out on greenery and more skyscrapers. The cat figures are bith weaing colars with brass bells around their necks. Like humans they stand upright

Today's outing to Roppongi is to see a display of 60 variations on what looks to me like a cartoon cat; a blue blob with whiskers who can go anywhere through a magic door. I'm optimistically reminded of the 100 or so artist decorated figures I discovered in the skyscraper Marunouchi Building on a previous visit. When we get there, the Roppongi Hills figures have gone, but there is a lot of promotional material for a Gaudi exhibition at the Mori Gallery - an outing for next week. A snap...

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Conversing in English

30 August 2014

Blog

This Japanese notice also warns in English  'KEEP OUT bicycle skateboard' has a cartoon kid looking cross, together with an image of a bicycle and a skateboard

Making the best sense I can of the little bits of Tokyo I am becoming familiar with is a gradual thing. Nothing is static, nothing is set in stone. And the Japanese strangers who converse with me may have their own agenda. More Japanese than ever are making the attempt. Notices and instructions in English are increasing, I put this all down to preparations for the Olympics - it's a prestige thing. A conversation about culture leads into talking fairy tales. How do children get introduced to...

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Identity crisis?

29 August 2014

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A grey and white gull sitting on the blue railings alongside the Sumida river has the brownish river and pinkish skyscrapers for a background on a grey overcaste day

Waiting for the guys to come and service my wheelchair, I watched the tail-end of a TV programme that had a sweet sounding Japanese female cooing about the laying and hatching of insect eggs and the emergence of new life. It was followed by a male voice talking the science of stars in the night sky. A young female appeared on screen with a sketch pad, followed by a mature male who explained the sky to her and allowed her to look through his giant telescope while she marvelled and cooed in...

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Tsukiji, kabuki and giraffes

28 August 2014

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A colourful poster for the new season kabuki performance, with the all male caste in traditional Japanese costume and made up as males and females, heroes and villains

It's the biting season, hot and humid with the electric fizz of cicadas interfering with my tinnitus. I make a second foray to the river - passing a gigantic hole in the ground where a new building will shortly enhance the space. The earth is a rich dark brown, almost black in places; the river itself is less red-brown, more grey today. I decide to roll on into Tsukiji, the Tokyo fish market, and maybe further to reacquaint myself with the new Kabuki theatre and Wako - surely the most...

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seeing diversity

27 August 2014

Blog

View of the brand new road surface, already complete with road markings

Approaching the Tokyo apartment, I'd made a joke about the familiar British look of the very patched up road outside. Next morning it was gone - the road that is. There was merely a river of rubble. The workmen looked very concerned when they saw me looking to exit the main entrance of the building for a day out, but we assured them I could leave the other way - through the bicycle storage area. It has one steep step which, with help, is just possible to negotiate. In the early evening...

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Greeting Tokyo

26 August 2014

Blog

A view of the river Sumida from a bridge looking down at riverside access and along the river to a second bridge and the banks lined with tall buildings.

A smooth landing and fast, easy entry into the land of the rising sun, sees me speeding in a Skyliner train into Tokyo from Narita airport. The journey is familiar. Japan's created geography can change as speedily as that traumatised by the natural phenomena that occur in this part of the world, yet certain things remain. The perfect rectangles of cultivated land, and the jungle effects of foresting trees dwarfed by bamboo - all tangled together with rampant vines, these things repeat...

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Tokyo first class

25 August 2014

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my toes, complete with gold nail varnish, proped up on the footstool at the end of my seat in the first class part of the plane. The decor is grey metal and plastic, the seating black leather (?) and apart from my toes my legs are encased in blue and whit

You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but times change and flying gets more stressful as the world grows steadily more bizarre. Checking in with my wheelchair became a strange Groundhog-type scenario. Three times at different points I was required to give the same information about my chair, far more detailed info than in previous years, and even then I was stopped before actually boarding, and required to give wheelchair details that had somehow been missed. Checking in I was given a...

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Unlimited missing

8 August 2014

Blog

photo of a toy lamb, yellow with red ears and feet, harnassed into a black, baby-car-seat

Oh no! I won't be there. I'm so sorry; truly sad, mostly for myself, but also because I feel like I'm letting everyone down. I can't make it and it's definitely not because I feel like the second is an anti-climax; after the first one I'm even keener on a second. I was like that with my own children. Sort of timid about the first: over-the-moon, but scared of the unknown. And then, well words fail me. It was amazing, he was amazing and I couldn't...

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Responding to Dolly

21 July 2014

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A yellow lamb with red feet, a loopy-lamby body, wide eyes and a smiley mouth is leeping over the coloured cushions on my bed

I am longing to respond to Dolly Sen's blog of 20th July 2014, with encouraging reports of bedlam spreading through the country... Similarly, the proliferation of arty ovine quotes, making more and less sense of the wolf since maybe its the black dog... Winston Churchill said that 'Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd.' Not sure I can make any sense of it, but would add: 'there is something about making things beautiful (me -...

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parallel vessel evolution

12 July 2014

Blog

this is an image of the outside bowl as described in the blog, viewed from the side with green leaves pointing upward, phormium strand clearly visible. It sits on a white square base against a grey background and throws shadows against the wall

Accompanying 'self-made person' my soft-sculpture, empty vessel in Salisbury Arts Centre's Homegrown: Artificial Things exhibition,  is a smaller vessel made of Fatsia Japonica leaves. It has its parallel classification card: Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Asterids Order: Apiales Family: Araliaceae Genus: Fatsia Species: F.Japonica Mirroring the seven soft-sculpture hands that are in the process of creation, the palmate leaves of the...

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Evolving the empty vessel

29 June 2014

Blog

A white card on pale green background. Contains familiy classification information plus a warning that the artwork may contain irony

'I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.' This quote from Malcolm Gladwell highlights a persistent contradiction in me that isn't at all helpful for my artist when it comes to exhibiting, publishing or otherwise putting my...

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Is it art?

6 June 2014

Blog

two rows of images of sky, photographs captured over 24 hours, each row has twelve colombs each colomb consists of six photographs. Colours are shades of blue and grey with some white cloud and five colombs of almost black night sky

Looking back at May weekends' sky colours, I'm a little dismayed by how grey the 24hr Salisbury weekend sky has turned out. Fascinating cloud formations, but still grey. Inspired by Dai Fujiwara, I was drawn to doing my own colour hunting of Salisbury sky. I haven't figured out if it's a distraction or seeds for a new direction. My little camera tends to interpret the onset of evening with quite a decent illusion of blue, so it looks like things are improving around eight...

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Falling behind

26 May 2014

Blog

A pen and ink drawing of a large wrinkled dog, with enormous worried eyes, sitting guard on a locked wooden chest. The scene is lit by two candles on the floor and a mouse is in the process of jumping over one of them.

How long since you updated your profile? My what? For someone enchanted by Anais Nin and the concept of fluid personality I've been ridiculously negligent about my profile. On Dao I'm still the wooden-puppet wordsmith, a profile arrived at by the same kind of looking back that a resume, a CV, requires; and I'm notoriously bad at delivering one of those. I am my work, not my CV. I do still enjoy the sound of wordsmith, it conjures memories of sounds comprehensible only to me and...

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Voting, politics, consequences.

25 May 2014

Blog

Black and white lithograph of textures and spaces that reflect natural rockiness and possible roots with a decomposing canister labelled ‘contaminated’ lower right of the centre. The canister maybe integral to the shape or it may be partly at

I grew up with the flag flying. The halyard whipping against the flagpole in our garden was a constant reminder of celebration. Birthdays and special occasions were always accompanied by the full size rectangle of cloth, sometimes cracking loudly in high winds; I remember once the flagpole actually broke. Other times the heavy oblong hung languidly, still in sultry weather. On completely other occasions we used the long narrow vimpel, with it's elegant pointed end the finger of fairy...

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Seeing and not seeing - more confrontations with art...

24 May 2014

Blog

Three vertical columbs in shades of blue and white, on white. Each columb consisting of six photographs of the sky above my house, each image is a variation of cloudiness.

I rolled through some really powerful rain. There were rumbles of thunder and Salisbury Cathedral Close was deserted. Visibility was poor, water was splashing onto the stones of the sculpture 'Sanctuary' and steaming off rather like a vintage Hitchcock movie. I've done my best with the stones, on March 15th I blogged my initial reaction. Last week on a sunny day I took my lunch and joined the hordes of tourists sunbathing on their stored heat. I watched small children play with one...

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Inside/outside reality; mine or someone else's

26 April 2014

Blog

Black and white lithograph, a dark image of roughly drawn, tangled roots.

Reading Sophie Partridge's blog: Public bodies, disability on display.../ 10 October 2011, I felt an immediate eureka-style 'yes' bursting out of me. I work hard at my public image for two reasons: first, I was brought up that way, and second, to control the damage to my perceived intelligence caused by my wheelchair. Does my bum look big in this is not my reality, but as a wheelborne woman I'm never free from the constant pressure to assess and reassess the visual impact I make...

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Feeling less than reality:

22 April 2014

Blog

Black and white etching using printed net to create forground and background to the drawing of a hand-shaped tree with its canopy of fingers grasping at an escaping bird.

In those patches where I seem to be unrecognisable to myself I get to wonder about life, the universe, cake and everything else. I attempt a little distance from my practice - in order to 'make' the questions I need to ponder people. I need to think about who we are and who I am. I am, but not in a sense of separateness that singles me out and then leaves me vulnerable: vulnerable to the judgement of others who see themselves as qualities or quantities separate from the whole ness...

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Art-induced Confusion - another very personal reaction to an exhibition

15 March 2014

Blog

Pen and black ink drawing of a Capercaillie displaying its tail feathers. The bird is a herbivore, but in my drawing the profiled beak looks more predatory.

Rolling through the empty Cathedral Close on a chilly grey morning, I was intrigued to see a delivery of large, assorted carved and uncarved stones. They were being steadfastly ignored by Frink's Walking Madonna, but I was curious and open to anticipation. Previous sculptures have, on the whole, worked well with the almost 800 year old building and the atmosphere of its surrounding Close. I wondered how long it would take to assemble the jumble strewn out over the grass. It was like being...

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'In search of emotional completeness and overflowing comprehension.'

7 March 2014

Blog

In shiny pink letters on a blue background the fragmented words 'because I can' shine out.

I recently rolled around an exhibition I would be tempted to describe as invisible. I find this frustrating. To be surrounded by a body of work that says nothing to me (to the point of invisibility), is somehow creepy; a disturbing and unsettling experience.   I need art to make sense of the world; to expand and finesse the identity I call self and my relationship to those I call others. Through art I may grow into rich diversities of unknown. The artworks I am drawn to are works that...

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The Protest

19 February 2014

Blog

hand written, fan shaped, black text on white paper: 'the truest measure of the justice of a system is the amount of protection it guarantees to the weakest' aung san suu kui

Straddling the pavement were three enormous Highway Maintenance vehicles. I could see them in the distance, and the crew of the first one watched me approach. 'Sneaking up on me like that, you almost killed me' one of them offered as I rolled passed them on my way into town.  I also passed half a dozen disabled acquaintances, with their family or friends, heading in other directions. The sun shone and it was business as usual in town. Arriving at the gathering point, I was a little...

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just being me

17 February 2014

Blog

The words: 'our ability to treat one another as human beings is collapsing' and 'you think we are a civilisation moving forward? I'm sorry my friend we are not' appear in the red, white and blue flag colours on a dark background

Rolling slowly across the road, my powerchair's on the blink - again (I've had persistent recurring battery problems). I am in a lot of pain and cannot use my right arm, so when the bag and glove on my lap start sliding to the ground I am unable to take action.           A passing car stops behind me, an unseen voice asks if I need help and an approaching pedestrian comes close enough to retrieve my belongings; kneels and kindly enquires...

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