Jardins Chromatiques opens in Amiens


jardins chromatiques

jardins chromatiques ‘isle aux fagots’ ‘

smoking key2

jardins chromatiques ‘port du fumier’



smoking key

jardins chromatiques – port du fumier


Pouf du Vent

"pouf du Vent" listed under 'pale purplish pink' in the dictionary of colours - !930

“Pouf du Vent” Mearz and Paul (Dictionary of colour 1930) and listed under ‘pale purplish pink’ in the Universal language and dictionary of colour names – 1955

Mearz and Paul produced a dictionary of colours in 1930 – A second edition was produced  20 years later. ~It was used mainly by mycologists to measure colour changes in fungi and other mycological studies. It has also been used in measuring colour in genetics, horticulture and botany.

The name has intrigued me ever since I read it, as it really stands out against the other, less evocative names found in the colour dictionary – I first thought it meant  Puff of Wind in English but  that’s  ‘Coup de Vent’ in French, I believe. The colour dictionaries of the 30’s and 40’s were partly created for the textile industry . So I thought it had perhaps something to do with textiles.  When I looked into Pouf ‘history’ certainly many textile and fashion descriptions came up : headdress, hairstyle, gathered up skirt or dress into a round puffy shape, It wasn’t until I realised that Mearz and Paul’s colour dictionary was mainly used by mycologists that I realised it must be for some sort of a pink puffball fungi – so i searched and found these below! 


Wolf’s Milk ( Photo by Jason Hollinger)

But it turns out its not a fungi at all, It’s a Slime Mould (?)

 Lycogala epidendrum, commonly known as wolf’s milk, groening’s slime is a cosmopolitan species of plasmodial slime mould which is often mistaken for a fungus

Its Cosmopolitan Slime…..Not a Puff of wind at all.



Pankhurst Mosaic

'panky mosaic'

‘panky mosaic’

Just completed the central mosaic for the main square of Southern Housing’s latest development in the East of Brighton. Collaborating with Jane Fordham the mosaic is  3 metres in diameter and a black, white and grey abstract design. Surrounding the mosaic are 8 re-claimed Victorian Lampposts fitted with colour changing LED’s- the residents will be able to control the colours of the lights via an app downloadable to their smart phones. The changing lights will also illuminate the  mosaic and its neutral tones will be chromatically altered by the coloured lights.



Jane grouting

Jardins Chromatiques


Amiens Medieval Cathedral in miniature on top of a new office block

I have another project in Amiens again this year – This time to work specifically with the Hortillonage or floating gardens – I and the other selected artists and Garden designers (French and English) all met up a few weekends ago – where we discussed our projects and visited the sites. There are some really interesting projects being developed.

I will continue with the colour Library , first exhibited at Fabrica – this will be the first time it has been done in  another language and will be done using a series of enamel colour swatches installed onto wooden sculptures  (otherwise known as posts) and based on the colour in and around the gardens. It will also be the first time where the public will be able to interact with the project using smart phones and social media.

Hortillonage or Floating Gardens of Amiens - one of the Seventh wonders of the World

Hortillonage or Floating Gardens of Amiens –

Drawing over Bloomsbury

Last week we  finished documenting the Bloomsbury wall paintings at Berwick Church. We spent 3 weeks  documenting every crack, flake, mould spot, salt blister, and bat dropping (or maybe woodpecker, they have made a dozen holes/nests in the spire, a common problem apparently!) .  I don’t think I have ever looked at an artwork (or anything) for that length of time or under that amount of scrutiny.

Greg mapping/drawing Duncan Grant's "The Triumph at Calvary"

Greg mapping/drawing Duncan Grant’s “The Triumph at Calvary”

We used close up photos of the paintings overlaid with acetate sheets and standing in front of the paintings themselves  (viewed through magnifying optivisors) we drew on the acetate with coloured markers, . Each  marker denoted a deterioration or deposit on the paint layer. Below is a couple of images we did of the Chancel painting, Quentin Bell’s ‘Wise and foolish Virgins’

wise and foolish drawing on acetate with photo underneath.

Print out  of a section of ‘The Wise and foolish virgins ‘  by Quentin bell with overlay  drawing on acetate 

Remove the photo from behind – result-  a very informative and functional  plan/map but also a rather beautiful but purposeful “wise and foolish”  ‘abstract’ drawing  too.

wise and foolish drawing on acetate

wise and foolish drawing on acetate

Chain Reaction

'Gene Amp 2700' - Stig Evans 2013 - Pigment and acrylic on canvas - 130 x 150 cm

‘Gene Amp 2700’ – Stig Evans 2013 – Pigment and acrylic on canvas – 130 x 150 cm


The show started last week and is a group show I am in with 5 other artists at the Sidney Cooper Gallery in Canterbury. We have been collaborating with the University of Kent Bio science dept for nearly a year and a half on this project and is based on the 30th anniversary of the PCR machine. The machine is basically a little oven and is  used to amplify segments of DNA. Because significant amounts of a sample of DNA are necessary for molecular and genetic analyses, studies of isolated pieces of DNA are nearly impossible without PCR amplification. Often heralded as one of the most important scientific advances in molecular biology, PCR revolutionized the study of DNA to such an extent that its creator, Kary B. Mullis, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993. Apparently he was a good surfer as well.

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A Month in the Country

Bloomsbury wall paintings,  Berwick Nov 2013

Actually its just under 3 weeks.    A small team of us  have just started a project on the Bloomsbury wall paintings at St. Michael of all Angels at Berwick. Painted by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Quentin Bell during WWII, onto plasterboard (which had only been manufactured since 1930). Not the most stable of substrates. plasterboard is very absorbent and the constant changing interior environment  seems to have  played a big  factor in their  deterioration. There has also been previous restorations and structural changes during their relatively short lifetime. We will be documenting the previous interventions and deterioration  over the next three weeks to better understand how the deterioration is developing and why it is happening in some areas and not others. And hopefully in the near future a treatment program can be implemented to prevent further loss.


Berwick Church

Angela The Curious Goat

Church Kneelers ready for 'Chain reaction', Sydney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury

Church Kneelers ready for ‘Chain reaction’, Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury

Just finished these four ‘Church Kneelers’ or prayer mats for a show at the Sidney Cooper Gallery in Canterbury. Actually they were made by my Mum and her friends (experts in Tapestries, thankyou so much !). The show is a culmination of nearly two years collaborating with the Bio science dept at Kent University. The exhibition is based around the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) machine developed 30 years ago.

PCR is a process of copying DNA, amplifying specific sequences of As, Cs, Gs and Ts – the chemical alphabet that makes up the genetic code ( the names on the church kneelers). It does so by making millions of identical copies of the original ‘template’ sequence. It allows the detection and analysis of vanishingly small quantities of DNA, and in combination with a vast array of add-on technologies it is a central part of biomedical research. Applications are endless – forensic detection, disease diagnosis, food safety testing, therapeutic protein production, biotechnology, to name only a few.

The title  ‘Angela The Curious Goat’ is a way students remember  the 4 Amino Acids that make up our DNA.

Researching into Laboratory practise in the Bioscience dept I came across many  rituals that scientists use in working with a PCR machine (they can be very temperamental).

As you can see from my previous post I spend a lot of time in Churches, restoring wall paintings and  I often look at the kneelers at lunch and tea breaks and think of the thought and time that goes into making, and using them. So I felt this was perhaps an interesting way to represent how both science and religion rely on rituals and habits in their daily activities. 

I have also made a series of paintings for the show which I will post up soon . I would like visitors to the show to use the kneelers to look at the paintings but I don’t think the Gallery is going to go for  it.. shame.