I have been making some watercolours over the last couple of weeks. In the hope of slowing down my brain and enjoying the process of making art again. It felt like a really regenerative process and really allowed me to take in/reflect on the work i had made in the past few years while also looking forward to what im going to be making next

And recently in the last few days ive been turning some of the thoughts i had during making the watercolours into sets/ideas/thoughts for the film im making with jen.

The memorial hall

The structure was ready made by the architect team. We are now building the detail of the interior.

The eventual form will be a digital grave , we will be able to maintain the content for the rest of our life, as an artist last will. Also, the spaceship looking hall is an extension of the video work Space Warriors.


A animated gif of a crossroad of white guts on a black background. The guts are pulsing, like they are either breathing or in the act of digestion.
Gif from Surface of Scum, a character generator computer game made by Sammy Paloma & Uma Officer

I’ve been thinking about guts. Or rather, I’ve been thinking about thinking about guts. It’s more of a hunch that there is work or attention needed in that area, both of my life and my art. Guts have appeared in my work for at least the past 5-6 years, if not longer, and yet I feel like at some point they became a kind of stand-in for an unfinished thought. When it started I think the thought was around unseen processes happening in the background (like how wallpaper can function like an engine to the actions inside a room even though u may not consciously notice it). But it’s evolved to take on digestion, and waste, and mess, and desire, and grief. And in a funny way, guts were also always there almost as a reminder to myself to actually listen to my own guts. But there’s some other stuff there too – appropriately – beneath the surface of the image of guts. The guts of the guts. And this post is a kind of note-to-self to feel into that. To get on up inside those guts again. Sorry not sorry.

La Mort

A greeby-brown, browny-green ink painting. A wet looking expanse of brown-green, in the centre of which is a dark-green bubbling bog. Out of the bog can be seen three hands, one foot, and the head of a person who's gender is unclear, wearing a crown on their head (with their tongue hanging from their mouth).

A little painting I did vibing with the 17th Century Tarot de Marseille Death card, taking it’s iconography of harvesting the dead to the site of the bog. I enjoyed making the inks as boggy as possible.

The Bog is a Thin Place; A Sanctuary, A Portal & A Home

A watercolour painting featuring a pair of Simpson-yellow arms with black chains around the wrists. The hands have long and gnarly bright green nails wriggling their way towards the sky. The chains around their wrists also extend upwards towards the sky.
The arms are splashing out of a boggy, bubbling hole in the ground. This hole of green bubbling sludge is surrounded by brown earth blooming out at it's edges.

I love that phrase u sometimes hear about Halloween/Samhain: “the thinning of the veil”. From the idea of thin times it’s only a small leap to that of thin places. In Shetland witch (or heksi) folklore it is said that the stretch of sand that runs between high and low tide is the undisputed territory of the devil. Folk magic loves a threshold, a space between spaces (oh so liminal): a beach, a fog, the meeting point of two rivers, a keyhole, midnight, a crossroad. A bog. To get lost in a thick fog whilst traversing a bog might just about be the perfect setting to summon the dead. My sense is that these thin places and times are potent precisely because they can function as temporary sanctuaries, a home for those pushed to the margins. Not unlike Doom Patrol’s Danny The Street (DC Universe/HBO) a roving sentient genderqueer street that goes where it’s needed and provides a home to for us misfits.

I took a break last week and dissapeared to the country side, it was magical mostly because i had very limited internet access. there was a lot of cows, rhubarb and ants (so, so , so many ants)

It really made me slow down and in that process I returned to drawing and watercolours. I finished a major project in November last year and havnt stopped since, so it was nice to decelerate and return to a more normal pace of life 🙂 :), Ill post some of the watercolours soon.

Bogs present and bogs past

I was just in Cambridgeshire, spending a week at Wysing Arts Centre. This was a huge amount of fun, and I’ve got a lot to reflect on from my time there that I plan on writing about here. But, one of the things I was really intrigued by (and had a great chat around with Rosie Cooper, Wysing’s director) was the history of the fenlands in the East of England. Now, this is something I am by no means an expert on, but it struck me as interesting to be in a famously dry part of the country, but up until the 16/17th Century was predominantly an area of wetland known as The Fens. Some amazing things came from the fen drainage, in terms of making the area incredibly fertile ground for food production (the East of England produces around a third of Britain’s fresh vegetables). But also, a huge amount of things were lost, with the drying peat soil releasing millions of tons of CO2, and with sea levels rising this area is incredibly vulnerable to flooding. Also, there’s something here about ‘productivity’, about fen drainage as an immensely violent process of enforcing anthropocentrism on the land, and it’s peoples (something that was fiercely fought against by the Fen Tigers in an inspiring period of history of working class guerrilla warfare). This idea of inefficiency is one I feel a strong sense of (admittedly ambivalent) kinship with. I often feel lazy, which I know is my own internal able-ism, but this makes it no less hard to battle with. Still, I persist to be at peace with the pace of my own rhythms, no matter their own circuitous and non-linear patterns of productivity.

A photograph of me and my girlfriend, Maria, with adorable matching black raincoats, smiling like a pair of fools, utterly drenched by the rain. The green of a field and some trees can be seen in the background.
Me and Maria, caught in the rain on our way to the closest shop to Wysing, in Bourne (which incidentally had great home-made curries in the freezer section)

On the first day at Wysing we went for a walk through the woods to the local shop, where we got drenched in rain as lightning and thunder crashed about above our heads. Brief expulsive rain storms happened proceeded to happen pretty much every evening we were there too. It felt kinda like the wetlands were trying to claw their way back to the soil by tooth and nail. And with rising sea-levels, it seems certain the East of England’s rich arid grave of bogs past will return to wet.

A super cute animation made by young people from Great Fen Greenwatch (a volunteering group for 12-18 yrs), Huntingdon Youth Centre and Great Fen volunteers.

So I’m now thinking back on my past obsession with depicting moments of spillage, which were always ways for me to talk about grief and the impossibility of controlling it. Grief as almost being definitionally a thing that exceeds all attempts to bracket it off, a thing that whether you like it or not will bleed out into every part of your life, colouring all.

‘The Pedal Bin of Cups (Grief Card #4)’ 2021, watercolour, pencil & fluorescent pen on paper, 56x76cm (image credit: Chelsey Cliff)

some new character developments

today i have been developing a character that could represent chaos, Chaos is often personified as female within mythology, and usually defined as the anarchic mix of elements that existed in the Universe. Being born of no mother, father or matter – chaos is self-knowing about everything that happens in the Universe and beyond every moment and is ”omnipotent’’.

an image of a computer generated figure, the figure has two faces splitting/ mirroring out of the centre, the figure is wearing an unusual and blobby headdress, not unlike a medusa head of snakes.

I am thinking that in the film the character can be splitting and morphing, i have experimented with this in previous works, but now rather than being a distortion i want to imagine how chaos can take shape in a bodily form 🙂

And i have also been creating some characters that blur representations of mythological figures

a feminine centaur with an elf like face and ears, the skin is grey and slightly reflective, the centaur has grey hair on its head and along its abdomen. the figure is sitting in a body of water with its hands gesturing as if waiting.

this was an experiment with a centaur figure, me and jennifer have always loved using a horses in our work and with this work we are interested in blurring the line between human and animal.

Anima Sola, or, Prayer For A Lost Soul

Two images side by side of the Anima Sola, which translates as Lonely Soul. They are both variations of the same image depicting a white woman with long black hair flowing over her shoulders, with her hands in shackles attached to chains. These chains descend into roaring flames that surround her body, concealing the lower half of her body. Her arms are reaching upwards, in a gesture of someone asking for help.

“Anima Sola, also known as the “Lone Soul” prayer, is a Catholic prayer that is recited after an individual has died. However, it can be said for someone who is facing major life changes. According to tradition, this prayer was recited by a monk named Gregory of Sinai in an isolated monastery in the eleventh century. Animas Solas became a common prayer in many countries during the 15th century:

O Lord, I am so lonely and despaired.

I cry out for your help.

My soul is empty and restless.

Fill it with your glory, O Lord!

Anima Sola

Alone, I am lonely. Alone, I feel lost and afraid. Alone, I have no one to talk to. Alone, people do not understand me. Alone, there is no one to listen to my troubles and worries.

God, please help me find someone who will be my friend and companion for life!

Anima sola, anima Christi,

per quam tibi nos reconciliamur.

O Maria, Mater Dei et hominum,

terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata,

tu ades cunctis in periculis nostris.

Oh God,

I am alone in this world.

It is you I must rely on, and only you.

Oh Lord, I call to you for help.

Alone I am,

and yet not alone.

I am surrounded by a thousand angels,

who wait for me to join them in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I wait for them as well.”

I came across the phrase Anima Sola through a recent edition of Phoebe Hildegard‘s newsletter (if ur into TTRPG’s, necromancy and Spiritualism, it’s VERY good, big recommend). I find the Anima Sola prayer super interesting. Firstly, as a tradition borne of the living working on behalf of the dead, (and specifically the ‘dead in need‘ too, something a lot of contemporary necromantic traditions generally shy away from) I find it to be, honestly, very moving. Secondly, it’s an unusual prayer in the sense that it puts the person intoning it into the shoes of the ‘lost soul’; to say the prayer is to experience their destitution as if it is ur own. On the one hand, this obviously makes it a potent prayer for those who’s experience of loneliness and despair does align with that of the anima sola. But also, it could in turn be a kind of declaration of care, and potentially even of friendship: as those performing the prayer could even be saying, “friend, let me take that load off you for a minute, I’ll help u carry ur burden”.

The Digigrave

The Digigrave is a “spaceship”.

A spaceship which offers a different perspective of reviewing ourselves, to escape from those who’s addicted to grand narratives of groups, categories, ethics, or families. It looks like a Taiwanese traditional tomb, and also recalls the memory of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall built during the 1980s. It’s part of the sci-fi story Space Warriors. According to the story setting, Digigrave carries alien species to come and save the earth – or the island under martial law.In East Asia, during the last decade of the Cold War from 1984 to 1987, CTS, one of Taiwan’s only three official TV stations at that time, produced and broadcasted a very rare and weird sci-fi series, Space Warriors. It was basically copied from the Japanese series Super Sentai in late 1970s with modifications. At the same time, it also referenced the Gavan, the follow-up series of Super Sentai, and was mixed with some local elements. CTS eventually discontinued the series due to low ratings, inconsistent production quality, overt criticism from parents, and the import of the Japanese original on VHS and satellite television. Unfortunately, the sci-fi did not open the people’s imaginative thoughts about the universe and the world, but rather, the series, combined with illogical fantasy and Chinese Folktales and even martial arts elements, subtly implied nationalism, Confucianism, patriarchy, and other values, which was a very strange and unique experience during the martial law period.