Forest Flashpoints

‘Forest Flashpoints’ is an essay in Grizedale Arts book ‘Adding Complexity to Confusion’, P120-122, published by Grizedale Arts in 2009.  Download Forest Flashpoints to read my essay which sets up a virtual dialogue between Andy Goldsworthy and Grizedale Arts’ approaches to making work.

Andy Goldsworthy’s balls of snow have been insured by Hiscox, the specialist art insurers, against events that could happen but are not desired, such as ‘being vandalised or run down by a car – anything other than it just disappearing in front of your eyes, which is the point of art’…

Grizedale book cover

‘Bird of the Devil’: Hobby Thrush (Hobi albicans)

In 2006 I contributed to Edward Summerton’s book ‘Bird of the Devil’ with Hobby Thrush .  Eddie had invited people including Michael Marra, Sandy Guy, Norman Shaw, Laura Hird and Neil Mulholland, to write entries to accompany a series of strange birds he had created though altering book illustrations.

That year at work, there had been a rash of Spam email, all from senders with highly dubious names. I chose the names which had aspects of nature in their titles, in order to make my contribution and return their ‘virus to nature’. ‘Bird of the Devil’ is a Strict Nature Reserve Book, Published by ET4U Denmark. ISBN 87-991279-0-8


Three Points of Contact Artist Residency

Three Points of Contact is a new roving residency and evolving network that creates the opportunity for curators to work together, bringing international artists into contact with UK artists at contrasting locations.

The residency sets up as an experimental space in each participating gallery, where the artists can research and develop ideas through collaborative experiments, dialogue and public interaction.

In the pilot year, the three month residency started in York at New School House Gallery and York St John University (13–23 Nov 2012), moved to The Glasgow School of Art (3–14 Dec 2012) and finished in Penzance at The Exchange (15–26 Jan 2013). The residency is also online at . Images of the residency can be viewed at A film of the Glasgow leg of the residency, shot by Christopher Quinn can be viewed at

Three Points of Contact was devised by Judit Bodor, Blair Todd and Jenny Brownrigg. It was funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Three Points of Contact Residency (2012), Mackintosh Museum, the Glasgow School of Art

Three Points of Contact Residency (2012), Mackintosh Museum, the Glasgow School of Art

Convocation: Colm Cille’s Spiral

‘Convocation’ sees a group of scholars and artists on residency on Raasay, an island off Skye, responding to the legacy of 6th Century Irish monk Colm Cille. This is part of the Derry~Londonderry City of Culture project ‘Colm Cille’s Spiral’, led by Difference Exchange and Kings College London. To read more on ‘Convocation’, the Scottish knot on the Spiral please go to . ‘Convocation’ has been curated by Jenny Brownrigg at The Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions and is in partnership with CCA, Atlas Arts and University of Glasgow. The residency takes place August 2013, whilst a subsequent exhibition runs 12 Oct – 1 Nov 2013 at Mackintosh Museum, The Glasgow School of Art, with an event at CCA Fri 11 Oct 2013 2-5pm. The work will go onto be presented at London St Gallery, Derry~Londonderry, 30 Nov – 15 Dec 2013. ‘Convocation’ is funded by Creative Scotland ‘Creative Futures’ Fund and by the partners involved.

Photo: Emma Nicolson

Photo: Emma Nicolson

The Phallocentric Playground

download here ‘The Phallocentric Playground’ short story, by Jenny Brownrigg (2010). It was published in gnommero, an ongoing publication assembled by Sarah Tripp and Eona McCallum. gnommero presents artists and writers responses to Italo Calvino’s series of published lectures, ‘Six Memos for the Next Millennium’. The second issue carries works responding to Calvino’s memo on ‘quickness’

Gnommero cover

TAap in Glasgow

‘I awoke in the night with a fever

And the sky was the darkest blue

A still small voice was calling me’

 ‘We Have a Dream’, with the voice of John Gordon Sinclair, 1982 Scottish World Cup song (a gift to me from TAap)

 TAap listen to the ‘still small voice’ and obey. In December 2012 they made their home in the east of Glasgow and worked flat out. Performers in the Necropolis by night, scavengers of charity shops by day, TAap became frequenters of the Barras, wearers of lampshades as hats and purveyors of discarded wedding dresses. The material they brought back to their studio was gulped in and spat out at a furious pace as TAap language adorned strict cenotaphs and embraced old ladies two-stepping across the pages of a Glasgow ballroom. Their feverish ectoplasms of creativity splurged over all surfaces. Their ink-cantations filled the head space and hair space of their fellow studio dwellers. In their final act, the wider group they had shared this time with was drawn together in an immense gaffa tape mural, and portrayed as ‘The Last Buffaye’. It was a mammoth offering in and to the Mackintosh Museum that all had lived in. Then they TAaped three times and were spirited away into the darkest blue yonder, taking their labours with them but leaving their calling card of a useless bag of single net curtains and other spent detritus.

‘And I started to run, run like hell

And the voice kept getting louder

And louder and louder crying’


The three TAaps heard during their last Glasgow performance proved significant. In July 2013 they returned to the East of the city with a third member, a Priest, his ability to TAap out new meanings from other realms completing this furious synaptic triangle. Stranger flights of TAap logic now swooped and crowded the air.

During December’s frenetic foraging, TAap had discovered an unquenchable painting oasis of Glasgow cityscapes in amongst the furniture, bric-a-brac and well thumbed books of a central charity shop. Humbly priced, these paintings were flying out to all domestic corners of the city, yet their shop numbers magically never diminished, pouring out from a seemingly in-exhaustive source. TAap had heard the ‘still small voice’ through the black felt tip pen of (another Mackintosh), Finlay Mackintosh, the origin, scratching his co-ordinates carefully onto the reverse hardboard of each of his labours. Over the subsequent months, in TAap’s distant mirror of Cornwall, the voice kept getting louder and louder.

Others may have just stopped at acquiring the object of the painting, but for TAap there is always a direct route to be taken to a further experience. TAap followed the voice and contacted Finlay Mackintosh. In July they found the walls of his Springburn flat feverish with paintings. An incantation of place names rise up from the work. Elmvale Street, Springburn Park- a liturgy of locations. TAap invited Mackintosh in his own front room to look at his work from another dimension, through the rolled up telescope of his own drawing. Council flower beds become floating islands in green seas. Earthbound cars are the flying vehicles of the future.

They then met up the next day to break bread and draw with Finlay Mackintosh and his friends outside Blackfriars pub, as punters strolled around the Merchant City Festival. TAap invited Finlay Mackintosh to their side. They await his answer.

The TAap heart is a collective heart. The TAap mind is a collective mind. TAap teems with the swirls and eddies of darkness and joy. TAap will heal you as you heal them (TAap’s motto).

August 2013, Jenny Brownrigg




11_Last supper Richard Ballinger