May 17 to May 24
May 10 to May 17
May 3 to May 10
Last Thursday evening I arrived in Kingston upon Hull, and as I walked along through this port city I was struck by an architectural mosaic on a run-down building. It is vast, over a million pieces of Italian glass mosaic. My brother tells me they are going to demolish it and I want to save it, later in a bar a local tells us it’s been saved for now and listed.
It had been the front façade of the Co-op shop, it represents the fishing trawlers that along with transport vessels once filled the harbours in more plentiful times. Across the centre “the success of industry” is written and the masts by chance spell out HULL.
I see some beautiful Victorian architecture and find myself in a stunning Minster hosting a beer festival, but I’m told much of the cities architecture had been bombed. Later I read an overview of this heavily bombed city, 95% of houses damaged 5,000 destroyed, 14 schools or hospitals, 8 cinemas, 27 churches, 42 pubs, several oil and flour mills, 280,000 square metres of factories, 1,200 people killed. I think about Mariupol the film footage we see and wonder what it’s ‘overview’ will turn out to be.
February 15 to February 22
February 8 to Febuary 15
December 14 to January 4
November 2 to November 9
October 12 to October 19
September 7 to September 21
7 September to 14 September
August 3 to August 10
The studio walls are covered with drawings of simplified figures that look like soldiers. One drawing has a figure standing on a fire in a pointed hat and has the word sorcerer written on it. Another figure stands on a prone figure, it’s limbs used to hold the other down, it has the word silencer, maybe it was the week for words beginning with ‘S’. I think about the word safe, make a pointed hat to try on an unfinished sculpture, and then take a test portrait on my phone. Now the words shape shifting connect to the idea of changing feelings into form, ‘I see feelingly’ a phrase from King Lear the last thing to flit through my head.
July 27 to August 3
The studio becomes a place to ‘act out’ and ritualise experience.
June 23 to June 30
The last few weeks have had a sense of waiting, stillness and tension. I want to go forward, want to press play.
May 25 to June 1
May 11 to May 18
April 21 to April 28
April 13 to April 20
The Cure. Speedwell removes excess mucus, soothes internal tissues, is used to treat coughs, asthma, pleurisy, and used as a blood purifier. A tea made of speedwell can be used to clear sinus congestion, help eyesight and ease sore eyes. It relieves tension, especially the neck and shoulder areas and helps relax the muscles. Use it externally to treat skin rashes and inflammation. It contains chlorophyll, minerals, vitamins, protein and antioxidants.
The Affliction. In Yorkshire we called it Birdseye and we never picked it in case it caused our mother’s eyes to fall out, or the birds pecked each other’s eyes out.
The miracle. The plant’s Latin name Veronica means “true image”. Referring to a cloth miraculously impressed with an image of a deities face.
March 23 to March 30
In 1999 I exhibited two glass sculptures on tables inside a circular white plastic screen. One was a solid glass casting, a simplified human trunk, an arched spine and pelvis cut off where the legs and head normally continue. On the smaller table a head-like shape with an interior shape meeting the outside made from two blown glass pieces. They represented two separated body parts, the head with the lung and the torso. I didn’t know why I did this and it took a lot of motivation to develop and make, but now looking back I understand how I am connected to it, how we hold thoughts, contortions, expression in our body. I titled the work Severed Installation.
Three years later in 2002 my sister was suddenly taken ill and was on life support in intensive care, unconscious for five weeks. We often sat with her, terrified she wouldn’t survive. Through my brothers determination the hospital tried a new ventilator, bought in from a different hospital. Instead of the in and out rhythm of the first machine, it relentlessly and noisily pumped air in, and her body did recover. Later I connected the incident, the body and the breathing machine, with the Severed Installation and now I am connecting both to scenes from the pandemic. However difficult the incident, making connections makes me feel better, less out of control.
When we were children I would go to sleep listening to my sisters asthmatic wheezing. The yellow tablet she was given before bed, placed under her tongue, was always removed and placed in the hem of the curtain when my mother left the room. They formed even little peaked yellow stains along the curtain edge.
March 9 to March 16
The Three Graces by Antonio Canova. Victoria and Albert museum. I enjoy the backside not the frontside, it seems to have a different energy and physicality, different people. Missing friends marble and flesh. May 17th public galleries and museums should open.
March 2 to March 9
This week the word resuscitation has been on my mind, maybe an optimistic thing, the resuscitation of plants, people and buildings.
February 9 to February 16
February 2 to February 9
December 15 to December 22
Bells ring out good news and bad, they can warn us, welcome us and commemorate our lives. Bell ringing lead to working out with dumbbells, they seem serious and frivolous. This Cluster of Bells from 2002 was originally included in part 3 of a commissioned site specific exhibition which moved across three sites, the works had to change and respond to each place. As I worked with them sometimes strung about in groups or alone, one version using moving light became a frenetic shadow play, they started to speak about the frustration of silence and not being heard, swinging shadows still unable to create noise from the static bell. I moved this cluster again last week, high up in a stairwell between two paintings of climbing boys and they took on a new story.
November 10 to November 17
October 6 to October 13
September 29 to October 6
September 22 to September 29
‘You are the only one, you are a diamond. Poor me, I cannot visit you, even if you are ill. I
am lost, poor me.’
The love song Aka Si Rekisho, taken from the book 99 Georgian Songs. It was one of a
diverse group of songs chosen by Water Aid before the pandemic, for an event called Sing
for Water. It was rehearsed and learnt by many groups of singers over zoom during lock
September 8 to September 15
Concrete, breeze block, stone, cement, wood, metal fixings, wire reinforced glass, metal frames, putty.
The building has 24 windows, 270 panes of glass, each pane and it’s 4 puttied edges are in various states of disrepair. The wire glass is patched and taped, it’s holes stuffed to stop bats and birds entering.
2 x 14 panes, 2 x 10 panes, 3 x 8 panes, 16 x 12 panes, 1 x 6 panes, x 4 edges.
1,080 lines of putty on the inside.
Putty, boiled linseed oil and chalk powder.
Plus points involved in fixing the windows might include the calming affect of focused repetition, a slow progression, the feel and smell of putty, a sense of caring for, stopping the deterioration and therefore keeping the space useable.
Counting and listing the job makes it imaginable, which makes it manageable. It becomes both a process and an idea.
September 1 to September 8
July 28 to August 4
July 21 to July 28
July 14 to July 21
Emma Woffenden trained extensively in glass making techniques, her work evolved using these transferable skills taking a language of glass form into other materials. The sculpture centres around fragmented or whole human bodies in response to different spaces. The use of drawings, photographs and short films within the installations decompress and explore how the real human coexists with the sculpture. She exhibits and lectures internationally and is represented in over 20 public collections in the USA and Europe. She has been supported by the Arts Foundation, Crafts Council, Arts Council of England and Creative Scotland.