Please visit my new site – for Flow Contemporary Arts

I will be retiring this site at the end of 2014.


Carolyn Black

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Cutting with light

Simon Ryder

Cabinet laserBack in the Forest today, and looking at ways of working with wood to make the cabinet for the libraries. I have been researching how the final design might become freely available (under a Creative Commons license) for anyone to use. So this has led me to designing it in the computer, the components then to be cut out of sheet ply – a sort of cabinet-of-change Airfix kit. Well, it is early days yet, so today I have visited Woodford Engineering in Lydney, who can laser- or water-cut almost anything. It is amazing to see how easily light can cut through steel. Thanks Graeme for showing me around today, also for pointing me in the right direction for my fungi hunt!

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Frozen ripples

Simon Ryder

Cabinet fan fungi smGraeme told me where to look, and what incredible fungi they are too! More closely related to animals than plants, the fungi have a kingdom all to themselves. I always think of them as agents of change, mainly because so many of them grow on decaying matter in the forest, recycling vital nutrients back into the food chain ready to be made into new life. But these ones are growing on a living tree and are a great example of the other side to fungi that fascinates me: the outlandish shapes they assume. Almost like solidified liquid, or ripples frozen in time, these fan fungi are quite an inspiration. Something to keep in mind when designing the cabinet.


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Mycorrhizal by design

Simon Ryder

Cabinet gossip smHaving really enjoyed Sara Maitland’s last publication A Book of Silence, I went straight in with this one. It includes a fascinating chapter on mining in the Forest of Dean, but what particularly caught my attention (and obviously that of the cover designer too) was the reference to mycorrhizal fungi in the introduction. I have always liked fungi, not just to eat but because of the wonderful sculptural structures that they create, but I had forgotten about those fungi that team up with trees underground. Most trees work in conjunction with fungi when it comes to their roots, a mycorrhizal relationship as it is called. These fungi attach themselves to the root tips and, in effect, massively extend the root system with their own bodies, pushing microscopic fungal fingers out into the soil which can absorb far more water and minerals than the trees could do by itself. These…

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@bbcglos Forest of Dean: Day one of Cabinet of Local Change with @artnucleus artist Simon Ryder

It’s not too late: – Mitcheldean Library at 10.30-12.30 and Newnham Library at 2-4 TODAY

After today we have another 2 at each library
on Monday 3rd and the 18th JUNE

This is how we plan to work together, but it can change according to the needs of everyone – it is a pilot. The key objectives for the workshops are:

  • that we hear about you
  • you hear about us
  • Simon collects research content for blogging and following through
  • What we do together informs what art Simon makes, which will include some form of ‘cabinet’ that can contain evidence of his time in the Forest

Flow Contemporary Arts is managing and overseeing the project & Simon Ryder is the artist in residence during May & June. We won’t be available all the time but you can contact us by email with any questions and we’ll get back to you.Image

During the project Simon will be blogging about what he learns as he does some research in the forest, which you will be able to read here.

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A day looking at art | Lights Going On

See on Scoop.itinspirational thinking in the arts

Carolyn Black‘s insight:

I know I am biased, but the way Gill from Lightsgoingon understands how we encounter art, and how good public engagement training can assist in that process, is spot-on. It’s all about empathy, what are those that produce work sharing with their audiences? Treating audiences like consumers is no longer acceptable, there are more intelligent ways to celebrate and promote art.

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cultural apathy, a freefall response to #mariamiller – if artists are eggs, should we preserve them for the future?

a playful provocation……one of those thoughts that grows while you drive and listen to the radio…..

Artist and egg discussion inspired by a Radio 4 programme about freezing eggs for fertility reasons, and the announcement by Maria Miller that “our focus must be on culture’s economic impact.” Miller states:40% of tourists to the UK cite culture and heritage as the primary reason for their visit. This generates tens of billions of pounds each year for the UK economy, not only through tickets and entrance fees, but in thousands of pounds spent in shops, hotels and restaurants. All of which is delivering real economic benefits to local businesses and local communities” can someone please explain why this government aims to put all the eggs in one basket and crush them?

It came into my mind that artists are like eggs, and that embryos are the artists creative potential – unborn art. Like eggs, they need nurturing and incubating, kept in the right conditions, supported until maturity, so they can bring forth art.

If I replace the word women [seeking fertility support- those who want to bring forth] with the word culture, and the word pregnancy with the word society [as the conditions in which the embryo/artist is nurtured] an intriguing narrative arises. So I have quoted the first paragraph, and come up with the second.

The words changed/replaced (and some have been sneakily removed!) are:

Egg = artist

Women = culture

Fertility = creativity

Personal = economic

Reproduction = creative

Pregnancy = society

Cancer = cultural apathy

Treatments = government cuts

Storing frozen embryos = supporting artists

Individuals or couple = cities

Embryos = artists creative potential

Fertilize = support

IVF = economic

Educational, career or other personal goals = save money

Egg Freezing FAQ’s

Who should consider egg freezing?
Egg freezing can be beneficial for a number of reasons for women wishing to preserve their fertility for the future including:
Women who want or need to delay childbearing in order to pursue educational, career or other personal goals. Because fertility is known to decline with age, freezing your eggs at an early reproductive age will best insure your chance for a future pregnancy. Unlike the ovary and oocytes (eggs), the uterus does not age and can carry a pregnancy well in to the 40s and 50s. Frozen (cryopreserved) eggs are stored at -196 degrees, so there is no deterioration in eqq quality with time.
Women diagnosed with cancer. Egg freezing offers a chance to preserve eggs prior to chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. Most of these treatments destroy the eggs and lead to infertility. In some cases, viable eggs may be present after cancer treatment. Fertility preserving options vary depending on age, type of cancer, and cancer-treatment plan.
Women with objections to storing frozen embryos for religious and/or moral reasons. Following a standard IVF process, many individuals or couples have excess embryos. The decision to freeze these unused embryos may be difficult because the options for embryo disposition – how, when or if they will ever be used – can be an ethically and religiously complex choice for many.

Artists  FAQ’s

Who should consider artists ?
Artists can be beneficial for a number of reasons for cultures wishing to preserve their creativity for the future including:

Cultures who want or need to delay making art in order to save money. Because creativity is known to decline with age, nurturing your artists at an early creative age will best insure your chance for a future society. Unlike artists, the art does not age and can carry a society well in to the future.

Cultures diagnosed with cultural apathy. Funding offers a chance to preserve artists. Most of these government cuts destroy the artists and lead to non-creativity. In some cases, viable artists may be present after cultural apathy treatment. Creativity preserving options vary depending on age, type of cultural apathy, and cultural apathy-treatment plan.

Cultures with objections to supporting artists for religious and/or moral reasons. Following a standard process, many cities have excess young artists. The decision to freeze these unused young artists may be difficult because the options for artists disposition – how, when or if they will ever be used – can be an ethically and religiously complex choice for many.
(NOTE: There is no intention here of questioning the value of fertility treatment, but rather I question the perceived value of artists in society)

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