From Evan Lavender-Smith’s Old Notebooks

(could also be read as writing prompts) ~ Memoir beginning with detailed narrative description of subject’s rich and fertile childhood slowly disintegrates into list of difficult books he read as an adult. ~ Academic essay, after Moretti, quantifying the extent to which Jackson Pollock’s paintings influenced late-20th-century hairstyles. ~ Story about a mother who develops … More From Evan Lavender-Smith’s Old Notebooks


I’m on holiday (=recharging) …; using An Absorbing Errand  by Janna Malamud Smith as a guide back into the world of creativity. True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self; but the Point is not only to get out — you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand. Henry James from … More Recharge

Roses; epilogue

My rose text is done. Strange how one can work for weeks on a text which ends up at 567 words. But that’s how it is. For me, anyway. I have written this text on commission, it’s going into an exhibition catalogue. The text is written to a series of large-scale rose-drawings, pencil drawings in … More Roses; epilogue


Here I am; reading, thinking & writing about roses, and then suddenly this poem comes along – almost as on demand … Hothouse A rose, rose. A violet, violet. A jade, jade. No. The architecture of each, a refusal. Rose is not rose nor violet violet nor jade jade. But each is what it is, … More Hothouse

Reading to write …

How to write about art … Since he applied paint thickly, and then repeatedly scratched it off the canvas as his work proceeded, the floor was covered with a largely hardened and encrusted deposit of droppings, mixed with coal dust, several centimeters thick at the center and thinning out towards the outer edges, in places … More Reading to write …

Ars Poetica

ars poetica noun 1. a treatise on the art of poetry or poetics. . 2. Among the first known treatises on poetry, Horace’s “Ars Poetica” (also referred to as Letters to Piso, written about 19–18 bce for Piso and his sons) is literally translated as “The Art of Poetry” or “On the Art of Poetry.” The work … More Ars Poetica


The mellifluous, impenetrable language of theory is often thought of as a sign of sophistication. But it can just as well serve as a way of covering over underlying inconsistency or lack of substance. It all depends on how it is being used … And I must admit, I’m not very happy with the way … More Sophistication?!

Apropos voice

Grappling with Jacques Rancière, trying to get a grip on the concept of the “ethical regime of art”; in which artistic images are evaluated in terms of their utility to society. This is linked by Rancière with Plato’s banishment of painters from his ideal community. Rancière associates this “regime” with the antique idea that defines artwork … More Apropos voice