#GlobalMixup lands at Camberwell Arts Festival

Exhibition:  June 6-20th
Evening View:  Thursday June 16th 6-9pm

Workshop:  Sunday June 19th 2-4pm

The Mixup is 41 artists from six global cities getting mixed up in each others’ creative process – with groups of artists from Beirut, Cape Town, Istanbul, LA, London and Medellin. Every artist works on the start, the middle and the end of a piece and all 41 pieces are worked on by 3 artists.
Stay in touch by joining The Mixup Facebook Group.

We have had local shows in London, Cape Town and Medellin and now the first global show is coming to Camberwell Arts Festival – download the brochure HERE.

The work is coming in and is looking wonderful. This is a personal favourite from Cape Town’s finest: Atang Tshikare, Andile Dyalvane (whose solo show #Camugu is hitting NYC end of June) and Alexis Aronson.

The show is on at the beautiful Lumberjack Coffee which as well as making delicious coffee and being a beautiful venue for art is a non-profit social enterprise working to bring employment and training to the local community.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that all the parcels arrive in time… still waiting on Medellin and Beirut…. Then the show is heading to Istanbul’s Space Debris

What talent! (update on #GlobalMixup)

The Mixup is a global collaboration project – with almost 50 artists from 7 cities getting mixed up in each others’ creative process. In each city 5-10 artists each start a piece of work, which gets swapped with a second artists to work on, which gets swapped again for a third artist to finish (like the old game consequences/exquisite corpse).

So let’s start alphabetically – in Beirut – where Saba Sadr has gathered quite a bunch.

The bombings last November shook the city up and meant a delay to getting going – but they are a determined bunch – and now there is no stopping them…

And our favorite pic of the #beirutmixup #globalmixup

A photo posted by saba sadr (@sabati20) on


Further south, Cape Town was quick off the marks – hosted by the combined creative force of Nkuthazo and Atang – they have already had their local show.

I was first connected to such a talented bunch through ongoing collaborator Andile Dyalvane who has his New York solo show Camagu coming up in June – before what looks like a Global Mixup show back in Cape Town in September.

Maybe it’s sadly inevitable that a global project these days encounters bombs – and I was in Istanbul last week when the bomb hit. Obviously we didn’t all get to hang out quite as planned, but I did love spending time with Elvan Ekran (in her fancy new space), having my fortune read in Turkish Coffee by talented painter Berkay and (of course) lots of time with city host Seyhan (boss at Space Debris).

Sad to see such a wonderful vibrant city shaken – but they still have that twinkle in their eyes – and Seyhan will be hosting the global show in July.

We had our second round of #mixupproject today ~ on its way to completion 🎉🎈 #istanbulmixup

A photo posted by @spacedebrisart on


LA is also all wrapped up, and hosts MP and Lara are in the final stage of planning out a local show – scheduled for April 22. This is them a few months ago.

Final exchange of the #lamixup Can't wait to see the completed pieces. #globalmixup

A photo posted by mpknowlto (@mpknowlto) on

As per incredibly talented host Federico (who is also a musician), Medellin is quietly getting on with making brilliant work – and their local show is coming up April 5th.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 14.51.22

Meanwhile, in sunny Stockholm artists are all based in Huckleberry Tattoo in the south of the city – and the main man is apprentice tattoo artist and illustrator extraordinaire Rob Ekblom.

The other artists are also looking great but so far i’ve only had a little glimpse of their work on Instagram.

Back in London – we had a great opening show and co-host Rosie Cooper and Erica designed a pretty amazing workshop where artists of all ages could come and put their mark on prints of work-in-progress mixup work from some of our 50 global artists.

'His teeth are a funny colour because he forgot to brush them' #mixupworkshop

A photo posted by Rosie Cooper (@roseannecooper) on

We are now looking forward to the Camberwell Arts festival in June – where we will have all the global work here to enjoy. In the meantime you might have seen Claudine‘s beautifully coloured animals all over the promo materials for Apple Pencil.


For full list of artists head over to www.themixup.org – and follow progress via #globalmixup or The Mixup Facebook group.

The London Mixup – show and workshop

The Mixup is 50-artist global collaboration where groups of artists in 7 cities get mixed up in each others’ creative process. Each of the artists starts a piece, then another artist works on it, then a third artist finishes it. In London, the 7 artists are showing their final work at The Pigeon Hole cafe in Camberwell – opening on Thurs 25th Feb and up for the following week.

Starring: Amanda Holiday Claudine O’Sullivan – Erica Parrett – Matthew McGuinessNick WilliamsonRichard WatkinsRosie Cooper


On Sunday 28th at 2pm come and experience the process first hand at an interactive workshop. You will get to see prints of work-in-progress pieces from around the world – Beirut, Cape Town, Istanbul, Medellin, LA and Stockholm – then you can use the provided materials to get creative. All experience levels welcome for a fun and stimulating few hours over coffee and cake. Mixup artists will be present to tell you their stories so far.

A generous look at dark emotions

From the wonderful Reflections on Darkness project – my contribution takes a look at the value in dark emotions – looking favourably at sadness, fear and anger…



My main fascination with this blog is finding more generous perspectives on darkness. I enjoy playing with concepts anyway, but darkness is such a beautifully rich concept, and we miss out on beauty if we limit it to the bad side of good vs. bad.

With this in mind, last year I offered up four new metaphors for darkness. Each tried to add some texture to how we see the dark, and loosen up the “Light as Good / Darkness as Evil”metaphor that dominates. I proposed

  • Light as Noise / Darkness as Quiet
  • Light as Plutonic / Darkness as Romantic
  • Light as Public / Darkness as Private
  • Light as Toil / Darkness as Rest

This year I want to look at the virtue of dark emotions. Where darkness is “the partial or total absence of light” and the absent light can be thought of (from a metaphorical and iconic perspective) as “all the more joyous emotions of the mind, all the pleasing sensations of the frame, all the happy hours of domestic intercourse”. Classifying emotions isn’t straightforward but one meaningful study holds that there are six basic or fundamental human emotions: Joy, Love, Surprise, Sadness, Anger and Fear. So life in the light would be full of Joy and Love, with an unexpected dose of Surprise. And the dark life would abound with Sadness, Anger and Fear. If we take this as a starting point, can we find value in the dark?

Continue reading A generous look at dark emotions

Into Pieces – by Hannah Kendall

Wonderful classical composer Hannah Kendall has cut six of my poems into pieces for a new work.

Into Pieces will be premiered as part of the CoMA national festival of contemporary music on 4th March 2016 at Kings Place – performed by London Sinfonietta & Contemporary Music for All, and conducted by Gregory RoseI will be reading the poems that inspired each of the 6 movements.

You can buy tickets here


The short poems are all taken from my last book Most Things Move: Peace, Night, Memories, Love, Seven Years and Autumn. And the title is taken from a line in Memories:

Memories are wine glasses,
Window panes.

With time
They shard
Into pieces.

Their shape changed forever,
Their weight forever the same.

This is what Hannah has to say about her work:

Continue reading Into Pieces – by Hannah Kendall

Six reasons to be excited about #LondonMixup

I recently wrote about The Mixup, a global collaboration project involving 50 artists from seven cities around the world. The way the project works is that 6-10 artists in each city work in three steps to co-create work – where each artist works on the start, the middle and the end of a piece – and each artwork will be worked on by three artists. Much like The Airmail Project.

When the project is done we will do a series of global shows. Here are six reasons to excited about the London leg:

1. ROSIE COOPER – the painter

Along with being a formative force in the whole project and the London co-host, Rosie is a wonderful painter. I’ve always enjoyed her very considered, typographical landscapes. She also did precision finishing of one of my favourite Airmail Project pieces.


2. MATTHEW MCGUINESS – the murals

I met Matt as he was transforming the Camberwell Post Office from dump to dynamic large scale story of community life and have been hoping to collaborate since. But I have only since discovered that before his murals came collage – and the whole project is a kind-of-collage.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 22.28.01 

3. NICK WILLIAMSON – the engineer

There is no one who does more interesting creative projects than Nick. He works at the interface of design, engineering and art – often collaboratively – and has had his handiwork on view in some of the worlds great art and design institutions. His work is normally objects so interesting to see where he goes/takes us.


4. CLAUDINE O’SULIVAN – the pencils

I was captured by Claudine’s work at first sight.  She has a distinctive style that manages to capture dynamism and life in her subjects – and look at those colours. Very chuffed she is joining in.


5. AMANDA HOLIDAY – the questioner

I met Amanda at one of her openings, as part of Camberwell Arts Festival – where Airmail Project was also showing. We had a really interesting conversation about the down-sides of the process – how at each stage work can get worse as well as better. This made me want her to join in even more and she said “Of course, although I might get a little crazy and want to tear up others’ contributions“. Could well be true for all of us.

6. ERICA PARRETT – the fabrics

Erica is one of Rosie’s favourite artists – they worked on some projects together at Dulwich Picture Gallery where Erica was artist in residence. So when the project started Rosie set about getting her on board. Luckily she didn’t take too much persuading, and I have taken to her use of fabrics and forms quite strongly.


I’m excited to be participating alongside such a wonderful bunch – here is my first phase of the project – a self portrait.



#BeingBodies Progress

Being Bodies is a yearlong creative meditation through the body. About 20+ creatives are responding to a body part each month.

Here is a little taster of some of the wonderful work that has been flowing in

We have also had some video

And a monthly dose of embodied electronica

Thanks to contributors so far: Sarah Lowe, Richard Watkins, Tamsin Kendrick, Seyhan MusaRosalind MaroneyLara Salmon, Dan Rudd, James Watkins, Donna McDowel, Amy Acre, John Kerswell, Pete SandbachSkin Deep Artist and Kate Sagovsky.

Excited to see what else will flow in – check out full collection at http://beingbodies.tumblr.com