kings and goats and quadroped birds

I made some t-shirts... I thought I'd share the designs on them... slightly festive, but not like christmas tree earrings or bauble jumpers.


hugo's car!

Hugo drew me a car for Christmas. He told me a while back that he really wished he could draw wheels. I think he's done an amazing job. I love it.


climbing trees or climbing snow

Back in a Sweden covered in snow, which seems to be the general state everywhere right now. I don't think I have seen this much snow in a long time and temperatures around -20 are not exactly my favorites. still, it's kind off nice, as long as indoors stay warm. Im reading Siri Hustvedt "The shaking woman", which so far I like much better then the other book(can't remember which one, sorry) I read of hers. I went to the local, small library yesterday, now the books are piled up next to my bed which is great because as soon as I got back I ran into some kind of flu and now reading and drinking tea is pretty much all I feel like doing. Hope you guys have a nice christmas where you are. ciao x.


exhibition and some stress

Hello, I haven't written for a while now, but somehow time has gone very quick the last weeks, on Friday I'm already leaving this place for Sweden and Christmas. But before that, tonight, there is a little exhibition from me and three other ladies in a room at the HGB.

Joachim made us the beautiful postcard with a crashed duck, I think it will be a fun night. Im showing a projection of 84 slides that I made with stuffed birds from 1890-1912, a treasure that I borrowed from a friend, the birds still look gorgeous after all those years put away in a shoebox, maybe because they were conserved with arsenic back in the days. Apart from that I am working on my big number one project, hoping somehow to get all the interviews I want and get access to the archives I want to visit in different countries, but all this organization takes time and is kind of hard since I don't speak French, can't believe I learned French for seven years in school and now all I do is speaking German and French is all gone, hardly a trace left.

Time to head off and finish the last things for this little exhibition, if anyone reads this in Leipzig then do come by!


shopfront #1

This is my favorite shopfront in London. It's full of treats and surprises, and no one inside. You have to ask someone 2 doors down to let you in... and the walls are really that color. One day I will recreate it and live inside, and you can all come and drink port with me.


fashion shooot

Here is a sneaky preview from a series of backdrops I'm doing for a little fashion group in New York. Many, many more to come... and a link eventually.

Christmas surprises!

Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin

I was commissioned by Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin to illustrate several articles for their special issue about eating, focusing on the slow food movement, the cultivation of old seed varieties, the ethics of meat production and Jonathon Safran Foer's book 'Eating Animals'. I am so very chuffed with how the issue looks, it's just a shame I have forgotten all my German because I would have liked to have read the articles. Perhaps Nadja would like to translate it for me??

Big British Castle

I've been a little busy but I have also been engrossing myself in some wonderful BBC programmes whilst drawing, and my belief in the British Broadcasting Corporation has been slightly resolved! First off was the two part series which sees David Attenborough (I wish he was my Grandpa) explaining the beginning of life on Earth and how evolution happened. It looks pretty terrifying to be alive then, but also wonderful. First Life isn't available anymore on the iplayer but I highly recommend watching it. Another programme which I am late posting and is no longer available on the iplayer, but was excellent, is Glasgow Boys. And a surprise talking head appearance (which filled me with complete joy) from Jack (the painter I lived with in halls and then moved into Sophia and Nadja's flat) who was standing in the middle of a field painting and talking to Muriel Grey. If you are in London then a visit to the RA to see the traveling show is a must! At the moment there are some excellent programmes on BBC4:
The Art of Germany
The Beauty of Diagrams - the importance of drawing in civilisation's progress is inspiring.
The Art of Cornwall - the presenter is slightly annoying but bearable.

These are all still on the iplayer so if you can then watch!


English Wine

NEW! NEW! Issue of the Spectator (from December 4th) featuring some more foodie & boozy drawings from me in the lovely food supplement: Scoff!



My mom is visiting. I showed her the Gherkin from afar and she told me of a limerick she wrote. You can find it below:
Upon a phallus in Kathmandu
A tourist sat smoking his pipe


Shielagh Weaves!

I love Shielagh and her weaving... This is a piece she made for my sister. So so so lovely... She has a nice new website too www.shielagh.com


Liu Bolin

I'm quite blown away by Liu Bolin... Google him. There are many many versions of these haunting images. I remember seeing him first at the Barbican's show on Chinese Art years ago but hadn't quite grasped the extent of his 'disappearances.' Becoming more familiar with his work and the work of Ai Weiwei has been so striking and clear in its comments on the human experience in the Chinese machine.


this week

Hello, it was a busy week somehow in it's luxury. Photographing on Monday, seminar about film and text on Tuesday and Wednesday, then train to Berlin. Spent the Thursday looking for props such as latex masks and a fake mustache and some beards and although I went to the small shop for magicians on Hermannstraße where I've seen those things before they were now all gone in the Hallowen rush, so, I suppose I have to look online. on Thursday evening we went to Kulturforum to see the exhibition "Welt als Schrift", or the World as words/typography, the photograph above is from a page that writes about the book, I know you might not be able to read German but click on the image anyway and take a look. Starting 1890 and ending around 2010 the book and exhibition shows examples of different fonts/designs/posters/ well, all kinds of printed matter really. I found the basement floor a beauty and I think for a graphic designer it might be a small dream with Jan Tschichold, El Lissitzky, Dada and many more. So that was great and on another floor in the house there is an exhibition called Words as Image which is based on work from the middle ages, incredible drawings made up of tiny tiny pieces of text, I thought I had been writing small but these lines were so fine, incredible, it must have taken ages. And also some drawings and decorations of holy scripts made by nuns with little creatures looking like headfoot animals and fine patterns, reminding me of figures from Hieronymus Bosch.

Friday was Mar tin Gropius Bau and an exhibition with László Moholy- Nagy. They showed films, photographs, books, dia's, paintings, collages and sketches for stage settings, so pretty much a bit of everything. The films were black and white from Marseille, Berlin and London Zoo, they had a very quick editing and some amazing images. I also really enjoyed watching a film his students had made in 1945 called "Don't Disturb" were they are just messing around trying out different tricks, cut and paste and incredible colors, lots of fun. I tried to find it in internet but no luck, so no link but you can watch a film of László Moholy- Nagy here.

Then we went to c/o Berlin were I skipped the black and white rather ugly framed exhibition of fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh whom Im sure many people find fantastic but Im not so keen on that kind of photography.

Next doors to his giant prints were some small color photographs from Fred Herzog and they were fantastic. Dias from 1950s Vancouver, brilliant colors and the streets look just great. I kind of wanted to get the book but it was a bit pricy and small somehow a strange format. There seem to be many good shows coming up at c/o Berlin this spring and since I am finally taking the step of moving to Berlin from Leipzig at the end of January, if all goes well, then there's plenty of exhibitions to look forward too..

We had to get back to Leipzig yesterday so I missed out on the opening of Nan Goldin's exhibition but im not too bothered, I think I have already experienced her at her best when she got awarded the Hasselblad prize in Gothenburgh and Boris Mikhailov came up on stage and pulled out a papercrown from his suitpocket and put it on her head, ah, sweet. My head is sore after staying out too late for the dorian concept concert in Connie Island last night, which I really enjoyed(!) and therefore I think I will stop now. Enough fun for a week and back to work, which..I must say..also is fun when it just involves making images and not applying and doing crap paperwork.


Dee Cee

Here is a painted sign that made my heart skip a beat. You can't tell what a lovely yellow green it is, but I can. One day I will get over my hipstamatic app, but right now I'm still just getting more and more excited by it. Wasn't DC lovely circa 1968?

social responsibility

I'm in America now running around... which has meant very few posts but some hardcore recruitment of brilliant guest bloggers...

Right now I'm in beautiful autumnal DC visiting my sister who works for the Hitachi Foundation. Here is quite an inspirational video about their new program to support social entrepreneurs... and a nice picture of the Williamsburgh bridge to boot.


grey saturday

After having spent most of this Saturday asleep I have now finally come alive again. Tonight I am heading to the cinema to see two Truffaut films with the actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, the first one was on two days ago, English title "400 Blows" and tonight it's time for "Bed and Board" and "Love on run". Should be great, I really like being in the cinema at the moment, and I think that's were I will spend a lot of nights this winter, warm, dark and looking at beautiful images, what more could I wish for? Well, maybe a Sunday matinee with two films for the price of one like there used to be at GFT in Glasgow. This week have been busy, Im trying to make images Me and David have been commissioned to make the 14 stations of the cross, "The way of the cross" for a church in London, so I am spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to tell the story without making it too blunt or literal. We have agreed on using everyday objects and try and create some kind of still lives and well, it's fun to do but since I am not religious at all I suppose I have a lot to learn and pay attention to. Anyhow, Im looking forward to see how this one turns out, we have time until March. Sophia, enjoy New York, I wish I was going too! but I'll go to the cinema instead.






I pooped out on Halloween after some lovely and exhausting hanging out with my dad and Luke. So this is all that became of my costume. A pile on the floor... and not even a nice blue floor like this... a brown office looking floor like ours before I changed the hue. But twasn't she a beaut? I'm off to New York on Friday, and so am fixing and fixing and arranging a little studio set to take with me...


Climbing trees runs in the family.

I have been super busy (rushing to catch a deadline, as usual) and I feel like my eyeballs are about to flop out of my head. I should be fine as long as my hand stays attached to my right arm, but before all that I thought I would share this with you all. A pretty amazing image of my grandma in a tree. I think it's perfect.
I have been raiding my family photographs and becoming acquainted with my great great grandparents. I have to say that it was quite thrilling to hold photographs in your hand from the beginning of the last century and especially so since visiting the Muybridge exhibition, where everything is carefully archived and preserved, definitely no touching there. Which is something I want to do all the time, to get really close to bits of history. Maybe because it's a tiny tiny tiny bit like time travel....sort of. Meanwhile we keep our old photographs in a placky bag in the cupboard, so if anyone ever gets the same urge then you are quite welcome to come home with me and touch things people touched a hundred years ago. Next time I will introduce you to my great great grandfather Manuel Pérez and my great great uncle Federico Grandella.


elephant & castle

I'm off to draw from the elephant & castle for a thrilling shadow puppet show Laurie has written in the lovely Elephant & Castle art space Becca has set up. come come...


Drawdio: Turn Almost Anything Into a Theremin

I love people. Playing noises on drawings... just like a better version of Bill Cosby's genius and squeaky Picture Pages from the 70s.... look that one up too.


Three Things for the Weekend

1. A sketch from the trip home from Wales.

2.An image from my new favourite website about taxidermy.

3. A hilarious/endearing/slightly upsetting film of kittens.


Prinzhorn collection

Feel like I just wrote that it was weekend but now it seems to be here soon again, on Friday we are heading off to Frankfurt, a much needed travel in Germany for me since I have not see much of the country apart from Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden... We are visiting the Prinzhorn collection on Sunday, I wrote about it in my dissertation in Glasgow and about this piece here from Emma Hauk, so it will be great to see it finally in real life and not just in library books. Apart from that I am trying to apply for a scholarship and sitting here with my computer when I would much rather be working in the studio and make images instead. This whole application procedure, I wonder if one ever gets used to it and stop spending hours doing it each time.


"How to make a book with Steidl"

The weekend is over, it has been a very good one. On Saturday lots of findings in the sun at a very good fleamarket here in Leipzig, great stuff for images and some things that Im not quite sure what I will use for but that I bought anyhow. Big success. Today we went to a small city called Jena to see an exhibition by Louise Bourgeois, it was a very small place and somehow the sculptures looked much to big for it and the selction of drawings were not so great but I did very much like getting a chance to see "He dissapeared into complete silence" as I find those nine engravings so beautiful and witty. So that made the journey very much worthwhile, I would really have liked to meet her and it makes me angry that actually it was possible to go to her studio and I missed out on it because I did not know about it the one time I was in New York, well, anyhow, it might not have been so good to go there either, not always a great plan to meet your idols I suppose. Then we hurried back to Leipzig to go and see the documentary"How to make a book with Steidl" about Gerhard Steidl and his journeys across the world. Seems to be an incredibly hard working man, but what a great job. Paris and Chanel for meetings one day and the next Robert Frank in Mabou which seemed great, I loved the scene where Robert Frank is searching through his polaroid trying to find the most suitable one for the last page in one of his books, sweet, I found it very interesting and funny seeing this man with all his books and strong will.
Now I just got back, have made a fire to try and heat up this place but it seems like a lost cause tonight, crazy that it's getting so cold again already, if it continues this way I will spend my winter days in the library, studio and cinema and not at home..

Laurie's debut

Past, Present and Future

It could be argued that the restoration of a building is a worthy act only if it enhances its usefulness to society - a sentiment which the charitable organisation World Monuments Fund would endorse. Stowe House and Gardens is an excellent example of just such a useful site and in working to repair the house, conserve and restore its interiors such as the Large Library, those involved never lose sight of who they are doing it for. It seems appropriate then, in the collaborative spirit of Plats, that I leave you with the words of the chief executive Jonathan Foyle who through his work as a historian and broadcaster, is a passionate advocate for understanding our past with regard to the role it plays in our future

The Large Library

Realising the idea of returning a library to its original form is rather hard. Stowe’s Large Library, it transpired, was not originally one room but two when built in the middle of the eighteenth century; it was united, furnished and gilded and stocked as a library during the 1790s in anticipation of a visit from George III, whose fondness for books is today manifested at the heart of the British Library. But the king never arrived at Stowe, and the fortunes of the Temple-Grenville family waned in the coming decades, leaving the library without furniture, its great ceiling beneath layers of white emulsion paint, the plasterwork failing. Two hundred years on, a panel convened at Sir John Soane’s Museum to discuss the evidence for the original decorative scheme upon which the ceiling’s restoration depended. Carefulness in the discussion and recording of decisions was vital because it would be the very last time to share forensic information. The ceiling’s paint was stripped in order to fully repair and replace the cracked and failed plasterwork, over which an entire oak trussed-roof had just been rebuilt to replace a leaking and sagging twentieth-century mono-pitch. The talented historian Michael Bevington, Stowe’s Classics Master, presented excellent documentary and visual evidence for the development and usage of the room. Paint analyst Patrick Baty had taken over 600 samples of the paint and gilt finishes; Cliveden Conservation brought observations made during the stripping process whilst experts in the field of decorative history helped guide the process. The result was a reasoned and clear understanding of the reinstatement of the decorative finish. The gilding process was time-consuming but it has revolutionised the impression of the space, which can be returned to its rightful place amongst great Georgian interiors. And the work is not yet finished. The original 1790s gilding was applied with the expectation of being highlighted by sources and levels of illumination that have since disappeared. In July, our Stowe Scholar Laurel Peterson found an inventory of 1839 amongst the Stowe archives in the Huntington Library, California, which describes: "Three ormolu Chandeliers and glass Lustres, with Chains from Ceiling." In the quest for authenticity, we have arrived at gold upon gold- a library fit for King Midas, if not George III. The library is open to public view from next year.

Revealing the history and culture of Stowe

Thorough academic research is essential to understand a building before restoration work is undertaken. Through the Stowe Scholarship, co-funded by Yale University and the Paul Mellon Centre, Laurel Peterson, a PhD student at Yale, was the chosen scholar for 2010. She spent a month in England and a month studying the Stowe archives in Los Angeles with archivist Cathy Fisher. Laurel writes -

On August 15, 1848, a forty-day sale of the contents of Stowe House commenced. Since the early eighteenth century, Stowe had been recognized as one of the grandest country houses in England. The home of a politically prominent family, it had played host to such figures as Louis XVIII and Queen Victoria. However, the second Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, was forced to sell the vast majority of Stowe’s contents, from ancient Roman sculptures and paintings by Rembrandt and Reynolds, to eleventh-century illuminated manuscripts and Sèvres porcelain. Two days were devoted to selling the contents of the wine cellar alone. The list of objects in the sale catalogue from this monumental event tells a story of Stowe and of the passions and interests of the family who lived there. This summer, in conjunction with the restoration in progress at Stowe House and supported by a fellowship sponsored by the World Monuments Fund, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, I spent three months seeking the stories that Stowe has to tell. After the sale in 1848 (and subsequent auction of the entire estate in 1921) the contents of the house were scattered worldwide. My research took me from studying William Kent chimneypiece designs in New Haven, CT, to examining an ornate astronomical clock at the Wallace Collection in London. I spent two weeks living at Stowe, which has been a public school since 1923. Experiences such as eating meals in the state dining room-turned-canteen and listening to a violinist in the music room gave me a taste of what life might have been like during the house’s heyday. Discussions with those who have long studied Stowe illuminated its quirks and treasures. The heart of my research lay far away from Buckinghamshire, at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. Along with auctioning off their furniture and paintings, the family also sold their archives in the 1920s; Henry Huntington bought the estimated 350,000 documents, paying by the yard. Stowe came to life as I delved into boxes of receipts, read family correspondence or paged through an 1810 engagement diary. A menu book detailed the food prepared by the French chef, a tailor’s receipt listed the clothes that were worn and a sketch of members of the family performing a play gave a vision of daily life. Every object, every account book and every room provides further knowledge of Stowe. As restoration of the house continues my research will contribute to the development of new visitor interpretation. By bringing the pieces together we can discover not only the stories of this magnificent house but also those of the long eighteenth century.”


Hospital drawings

Just to follow on from a piece earlier in the week on chronic pain visualisation, I found some drawings which were from a series of mine several years ago now, about patients on a surgical ward at the Royal London Hospital. At the time there was a written text to accompany the work which was exhibited in London but it seems to have gone missing. These remaining visual studies might however, be of some interest


Finkers, moodlers and yellow bellied hops

As it will soon be time to begin working on the proofs of my forthcoming novel and approve the cover design, the agent who is working with me suggested that now could be a good moment to draw together the various threads of the narrative into a concise form, explaining to readers just how it was that the characters made their first appearance on a clear, bright morning, just when a new idea seemed to be on the rise. Unusual events were thought to have occurred at Pode Hole, while the finkers themselves were known to be encouraging in their ceaseless promotion of a single ideal that ran like a sinew through the old systems of value which were then beginning to loosen and snap. Consequently, there was much to be heard about liberty, along with the scatter flown tales of the fennermarsh people, though, to the surprise of most, the first of them to encounter the elusive meedler vong was Amos Cloot. This was, for Professor Quiller, as much of a surprise in her own mind as it was to everyone else. It seems appropriate that it was Oscar Sollermon who said hum ha, in his room at the School of Thought, attached to Ayscoughfee Hall on the river Welland. And no less so that it was Cordelia and Thelonius Greeling who uttered a ha hum in unison, as each of the two sat at their table in the warmth of a spoongrease dinner shop, among numerous shovelling hands and handled forks. At the same time, a girl from Terrington St. Clement caused an occasional lurch for the worse in a finking brain. A quickening lick with a following kick of its own triggered means, thought blue eyed Basil. Odder than not, it might have been a means of giving them ease, although none took much notice of meedlers who were well in need of more than could be given out. And being funny peculiar more than ha ha, it was recognised as language of a sort, in the long held kelter of half remembered thoughts, offering a fleeting impression to whomsoever was curious to know. More urgent than this, the finkers were minded to push the notion of daring to its absolute limit with a look at the how and the what of a life, long lived through, a continuing curiosity in whatever could be learned from the hurtling, endless search for knowledge. There were however, some of a scowling persuasion who were less than eager to remember what each of them had earlier known. In the mind of my protagonist, Woller, it seemed that Agnes Mortimer was someone who would understand how it could be when some things were taken too late and some taken too soon, in curious places from words hauled on in, sudden time quick from the loose bound scrawlings of an earlier gone boomercumlingo. The occasional confusion which ensued was encouraging for those who would follow in the wake of Joller the swoondler. With a calling shout from Colonel Haw, the moodlers and the boomers took a clattering whack on a leaping span over the slow moving water below, without giving much thought to Meemo Leem who was a bogglegone searcher for the zing, the zong and the morfiner juice given out clean by the medicine men; along with the collected works of Doctor Mungo on the mattering means and the question of whether or not a smile was the one and only thing it could be. One for the joy making fakers to wonder about too, thought some. Cornelius Karp was long gone on the inside of his own mind and keen to know more about Orange Orlando, though this was something about which no one other than Milo could tell him – or so he thought. And then there were the curious thoughts of Samuel Amerson Averson who was of the opinion that a whole new way of thinking had become possible, bring into common usage the methods with which each and all could resolve the problems of adapting themselves to their environment in a new, conscious way in what he hoped could be the pursuit of a better made future for all those scattered across the wider region. The common interests of the fennermarsh people would be well served through what he conceived as a finking association independent of the cultural elites of Gosberton Clough and Tydd Gote. And so a suggestion was made that there would be more of a need among the chin rubbing, head scratching searchers to find an easier way to move through the hurling burl of life as it was lived in a time and a place as peculiar as could be seen. Where a jump, running man and a girl in a pair of pea green shoes could spark a fizz and a zizz from the other.


Open space

I will be catching a train out of London to spend a couple of days in the fen country which sits between Cambridge and the Wash. A strange place of wide open space, which leaves the visitor less than sure of their bearings, being as it is, a flatter land than most which was sometime earlier than now, the sea; the hardened edges being created over the years when the water still seeped through in a tidal creep to the softer fringes of reeds and sucking mud. To think about the where of their own physical being in such a landscape, can make a person so minded as to hold one of their arms straight and level against their chest with the other arm in almost the same position, just below the nose in a curious measuring guess at how much of them would have then been under the brine, with only the shine of their glare as an indication that there might have been a disappearing someone deep in there and almost lost. It can be a measure of a persons own worrying at such a sinking way to be gone which catches a shivering hold on the body before the mind moves on to a different, less concerning thought. As the visitor starts to think about what the land was, all thoughts on the matter can quick enough conclude that what it is in actual fact is flat and without expectation. Dykes scar the land from the north to the south and from the east to the west, to the edge of the marshlands which slide wide into the Wash close to Gatt Beacon, entering the channel through to Western Point, past Herrion Sand and the mooring buoys silent out along Freiston Shore. A wilderness of watered land, a created past earlier than the earliest reckoned moments, a line of clodders, slodgers and yellow bellied hops. A land that runs at the call of the stationary engines which hum and pump water wherever and whenever there is water to be pumped, to be sluiced and to be pushed, roaring through in a sounded crash of dirty white foam, down and then off around the channels and the cuts, moving way out into the sea at the Wash. As a person leans back as far as it is possible to lean without falling over and down, the mind wonders at the how of the skies and their eye boggling size which seem to be, by a clod bound starer such as most of us are, raising a hand against the sun, to be without an ended top or a sided stop, weighted fast as they are onto the flat fields below. A wondering gaze holds what could be seen as less than a care for convention or a more usual notion of rural splendour, leaving some of the visiting sort with the opinion that this is a good way for it to be. And if it is hard to mark a recognised edge in a line of sight out in the fields, there is less of an ease in establishing a defining sense of place in the towns that are scattered across the fen land. The earliest communities were established by those who saw only a need to raise the most basic cover over for the people there were to be got inside, out of the flattening wind which hurtles its way in from over and across the eastern fen. At first these communities were rare, though slowly each one increased in size, encroaching on the surrounding settlements in which most of the people continued to live, even to the outer reaches of the fen land, over the mud to the sea, through the shallow cuts interspersed with white salt flats, marshes and open water sounded with the crying of geese. The muddied flats were scoured by the wind which hurtles across the fen, over the land from Fosdyke Wash and the Moulton Sluice - the high old tide of the sea coming in quick through the running creeks, under swinging ropes on the Langrick Ferry, reeds bending under wet slogged boots, over long cloddered earth and the low hanging damp, seen raised to the level of Gosberton Bank, though the channel through Dowdyke is long gone.

le Elephant

Just to make sure you all know to pop round to the lovely Elephant temporary studio/event space taking place the first two weeks of November... Filmscreenings, workshops, talks and lovely people working and chatting.... Or more officially:


A group of artists and friends are taking up residence in the Elephant and Castle shopping centre.

Local artist and recent RCA graduate Rebecca Davies, who has been creating work based around the Elephant community, is encouraging a creative reaction to the upcoming modernisation of the area.

'The Elephant', a temporary space in the heart of it all is to play host to workshops, screenings and talks all inspired by the regeneration.

Fundamentally 'The Elephant' provides an opportunity for locals to voice their opinions creatively.

The project runs from November 1st- 12th. Unit 215 (first floor, next to cafe nova), The Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre.

For more details of events, please visit:



Curiosity could be described as an innate basic emotion, a drive to know new things, it is common to human beings at all ages from infancy to old age. And in its development as a sense of wonder, it is curiosity that makes a human being want to learn and pursue knowledge in science and the arts. Curiosity, combined with the ability to think creatively, can eventually lead to a deeper, more abstract way of thinking which is essential to our continued development as sentient beings. It was while thinking about such ideas and in particular, the question of how to extend the reach of the Society for Curious Thought, that it occurred to me that sometimes these things are less complicated than might at first seem the case. The ultimate goal of the Society for Curious Thought is a world of curious thinkers and so, with a slight reconfiguration of the language used to set out our original core values, these can be given a new, more urgent emphasis. A wider society of curious thinkers could foster curiosity and intellectual discovery in pursuit of a better future. We share with each other our various societies and our planet, as individuals and as a wider community; our common interests are therefore well served through also sharing knowledge, developing mutual understanding and promoting cultural exchange through the essence of curious thought. A society of curious thinkers could provide clarity, offering informed opinion and curious thinking through values such as liberty of conscience and freedom of opinion on matters of a practical, speculative, scientific, moral and theological nature. A society of curious thinkers could become a community of the mind whose vital function would be to discover and articulate the functions of tomorrow, an independent association creating a fertile ambience for new knowledge in which the best of what is thought and imagined could flourish. A society of curious thinkers could foster engagement and open discussion between members of diverse communities and continuously consult with individual and collective intelligence on an experimental basis; enabling people of all creeds and religions to create a new dialogue in order to present information and ideas, to promote values of co-operation in a conscious and creative way throughout the world and so make a significant contribution to international understanding. As a supercategorical socio-cultural movement, a society of curious thinkers could encourage people to think in all directions, to reflect on their own inspirations, aspirations and experiences, to how we live now and in the future, to enable people to effect change for a better world.


In response to Seeing how it feels.

What an incredible project... There is something about faces and the subtlest elements therein that resonate in profound ways. That's why we can read faces in the simplest abstractions...

This image is from Adam Hahn's beautiful portrait series of people with Macular Degeneration and how they see themselves.

I find the thought that facial expressions could transcend culture and socialization is fascinating. Or from what little I've read of Paul Ekman's research into faces. This is an excerpt from a Malcolm Gladwell article 'Can you read people's thoughts just by looking at them?' in the New Yorker:

In the nineteen-sixties, a young San Francisco psychologist named Paul Ekman began to study facial expression, and he discovered that no one knew the answers to those questions. Ekman went to see Margaret Mead, climbing the stairs to her tower office at the American Museum of Natural History. He had an idea. What if he travelled around the world to find out whether people from different cultures agreed on the meaning of different facial expressions? Mead, he recalls, "looked at me as if I were crazy." Like most social scientists of her day, she believed that expression was culturally determined-- that we simply used our faces according to a set of learned social conventions. Charles Darwin had discussed the face in his later writings; in his 1872 book, "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals," he argued that all mammals show emotion reliably in their faces. But in the nineteen-sixties academic psychologists were more interested in motivation and cognition than in emotion or its expression. Ekman was undaunted; he began travelling to places like Japan, Brazil, and Argentina, carrying photographs of men and women making a variety of distinctive faces. Everywhere he went, people agreed on what those expressions meant. But what if people in the developed world had all picked up the same cultural rules from watching the same movies and television shows? So Ekman set out again, this time making his way through the jungles of Papua New Guinea, to the most remote villages, and he found that the tribesmen there had no problem interpreting the expressions, either. This may not sound like much of a breakthrough. But in the scientific climate of the time it was a revelation. Ekman had established that expressions were the universal products of evolution. There were fundamental lessons to be learned from the face, if you knew where to look.

Seeing how it feels

I will soon be speaking to an artist who is working on a project with people who suffer from chronic pain. The study will involve each individual patient having their own consultation recorded for research purposes, the results forming part of a larger study on facial pain. Because pain can be a distressing and isolating experience, it ought to come as no surprise that it can often be hard to describe in words. The intention therefore, is to create visual images of how each person feels in order to help others to understand it. The resulting visual images will represent their world, in which some of these people have been living long term. The aim is to work with patients to try to discover a visual language for their pain, using photographs to act as a springboard for dialogue between patient and doctor with the aim of improving patient care. For each patient, the study will involve a consultation with a clinician which will be video and audio recorded; the patient might be given an opportunity to refer to visual images as a tool during the consultation. This could involve an image resource of around fifty images of pain shown to the patient twenty minutes before consultation with each patient then being asked to look through the cards and select those which might have a particular resonance for them. Subsequent to this, the video and audio tapes from all of these separate consultations will be subjected to close analysis by researchers to evaluate whether having images of pain to refer to during a consultation makes any difference to the doctor - patient dialogue. The same team also worked on a similar collaborative project several years ago in the hope of creating work which could be cathartic and help people gain a sense of control over their pain, through making real what is invisible to others. In a previous series, photographs and accompanying narratives written by patients were found to share common themes, while at the same time offering unique perspectives. One patient wrote about how hard it was to explain pain to clincians so they could understand it, even though for each individual, gaining the understanding of their doctor was a vital step to getting them to believe in the existence of such pain. Creating visual representations could help others to believe its reality. Many of the photographs showed the visceral nature of pain, making it easy to see how it would be difficult to find words to describe how it feels. Other photographs were more subtle and illustrated the effects of living with pain through images of water running over the rim of a bath, showing how pain builds up until it overflows. Another participant wrote that pain was like an apple which was rotten from the inside, with a core as the centre of the pain coming through to affect the skin.

Life imitating 'art'

I am convinced that this tree and wall are very much influenced by one another.

Walter Potter duels

Museum of Everything ♯ 3 has an incredible collection of Walter Potter's work... I love boxers and wanted to share the series of boxing vermin, but the best I can offer are the fencing squirrels. Not too shabby.



When I was invited to write for Plats, aside from being pleased to accept the invitation, the most immediate effect on my brain was one of confusion. With so many different subjects on which to scrawl down a few words, it was hard to know just what to concentrate on, given the time and the space in which words could indeed be scrawled down. And then after a good deal of pondering on the matter, it all of a sudden seemed an obvious enough thing not to complicate matters but instead, begin by writing about something that influences my life in myriad ways - the corner of south east London, that I currently call home. This might at first glance appear to be a strange decision as this is not somewhere that has been neglected by the media, with journalists coming from as far afield as Manhattan to wonder at the current goings on here, a correspondent for the New York Times asserting that, "The coming of Deptford has been predicted for some time. It won’t be an easy ride. But with the unpolished location comes that most heady of urban ingredients - an edge." What might however, be considered an edge to those from elsewhere, could be thought of as something more prosaic to the people who were either born and raised here or who moved to the area in search of a lower cost of living, a job or a course at Goldsmiths College – the New York Times again, "art students with asymmetric haircuts, a boisterous concoction of blue-collar aesthetics and intermittent hipsterism." All of which is not without interest, it just seems to lack a certain curiosity about the notion of change and what it means; though, yes, of course, all the markers of urban renewal are much in evidence and these are hard to ignore. As is so often the case, the arts are in the vanguard in the form of galleries, studios and cafes such as Bearspace, the Deptord Project on the high street ( a former train carriage ) the Laban Dance Centre, which was designed by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron; and the Art in Perpetuity Trust (APT) gallery and studio space to name but a few. And earlier still, the Albany Theatre, a community arts centre with a tradition of radical community arts and music has its roots in a charity established in 1894 to improve the social life of Deptford's deprived community. In addition, the local council has plans to regenerate the riverside and the town centre northwards towards the river. Much of the area along Creek Road has been redeveloped, with the demolition of the old Deptford Power Station and Rose Bruford College buildings. Amongst all of this however, there is still a sense of continuity which is an essential element when the developers move in. The high street is one of London’s only remaining authentic thoroughfares, with fishmongers, butchers, habersdashers, ironmongers and bakers lining the street; not to mention the Chinese, Vietnamese, African, West Indian and Turkish shops, restaurants and cafes that are also to be found. There is a market too on Deptford High Street which, as well as being one of London's liveliest, is also a genuinely local affair catering for local people. That much of this will change as gentrification gathers pace is a given as this has been a recurring pattern in the social fabric of London for two thousand years, the city continually changing and slipping though the clutches of whomsoever would seek to pin it down. And yet, there are other patterns which continue to reassert themselves, such as original street plans emerging from demolition sites and used again after a thousand year long interruption. While this might seem inexplicable, it is nonetheless welcome, demonstrating as it does, that no matter what plans are drawn up for imposed rather than gradual change, sometimes the essential character of a place will survive against the odds. The question of where character comes from is an interesting one, reliant as much on imagination and perception as on ( supposedly ) more objective criteria. With regard to my own experience, I had a vague, peculiar sort of understanding from reading about Deptford long before moving here, most notably from the diarist John Evelyn who with the ( soon to be ) Peter the Great as a guest for about three months in 1698, writes about riding horses drunkenly through the streets in the early hours and firing their pistols with abandon, leaving bullet holes throughout the house. There are also references to the area in Gullivers Travels, one of which mentions "a very decent man from Deptford." That this man was the captain of a ship ought not to come as a surprise, given that Deptford's population has been mainly associated with the docks since the sixteenth century – and there are still echoes of Jonathan Swifts novel in Albury Street, where houses once popular with sea captains and shipbuilders still stand. Consequently, it is no accident that close by is the church of St. Paul's, designed by the architect Thomas Archer as part of a commission for building new churches with the intention of instilling local pride to encourage people to stay in London rather than emmigrate to the new world. In the current context, this could be seen as a reminder of the transitional nature of societies across the globe and the continual waves of immigration, emmigration and change in communities like this, in which the local become universal and brings the world to our door. It seems appropriate to leave the closing words to Giuseppe Tomasi Di -Lampedusa, who wrote, "If we want everything to remain as it is, it will be necessary for everything to change."

Welcome guest blogger Simon Marriott!

Welcome to the lovely Simon Marriott, man of many masks, founder of the Society for Curious Thought and our guest blogger for the week.


Ok, one more update

Hello again, since I am not in London it would make me very happy if one of you guys would maybe like to have a look at this show for me as one drawing I made is in it. If you did go then maybe you could tell me how the place looks and if it's an interesting show.. it should be open from now and until 19th November, "Center for recent Drawing", Highbury Street. Bad timing from my side since I was indeed in the city two weeks ago..

I would like to congratulate Tormod Borgen Rogne, newly crowned world champion in whistling at the VM in Tokyo.
Click here for his webpage, and above you can see a small sample of his whistling, luckily for him he can whistle better then he can make music videos, although the kissing of the flower around 2:00 is a hit, if you don't fall alseep before. On his webpage I recomend turning on all the songs in the competition section at once for a pure whistle experience.


The Ross Sisters

I got an email from my sister who is now in India, she is doing yoga and thinking about escaping the yoga center and tour the world with these three sister, maybe she's a few years too late for that but anyhow, the video is brilliant and kind of creepy..