Friday, 17 May 2019

Masking Fluid Drawing

Matt Antoniak at Workplace Foundation

"Scribbles, doodles and throwaway marks made by customers testing out pens and pencils at an art materials store in Newcastle upon Tyne have been secretly hoarded behind the counter by Matt Antoniak whilst an employee over the last few years.

Black Cactus

Rescued from the recycling bin these miniature works have been consistently archived and documented by the artist and given new status through his diligent and precise recreations in paint on canvas. These recent works shown for the first time at Workplace Foundation see an increase in scale, the monumentality of these paintings purposefully challenging the authoritative register of modern art.

Antoniak’s earnest endeavor is sharply contrasted by the unintentional artlessness and bathos of the subject matter and naivety of the imagery. Through such strategies he seeks to evade moralistic traps of art and high-culture and move towards a wholly aesthetic liberation."

The walls of the gallery have been liberated by Antoniak. Opposite a bright blue wall there is a orange/red wall, and the remaining two walls have been given a grey wash. This has the effect of making the gallery space seem homely, warm and cosy, whereas it is usually cold and can be a little intimidating. The whole exhibition is very inviting and welcoming, picking up on seemingly insignificant or throw away marks, and by enlarging the expressive and playful marks, it allows us, the viewer to take pleasure from the joy of free mark-making, colour and play.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Preparing plate for hectograph

Fellow artist, Mirela Bistran and I are going to do some experimental hectograph printing. The initial stage is to make the plate using gelatine, glycerin and water. 

We have left the (rather smelly) concoction to set overnight in the cool environment of my NewBridge Studio, and are hoping to do some printing later in the week. Watch this space!

Monday, 13 May 2019

Reimagining the Artist-led Bookshop


NewBridge Books and Good Press came together within the Ways of Learning exhibition at BALTIC 39 to "reimagine what the future of the artist-led bookshop might be in an age of forever changing reading habits, and unrelenting digital presence.


Both independent stores have faced their fair share of challenges over the years. Unlike big chains, NewBridge and Good Press have strived to curate and support unique collections, exposing audiences to a greater variety of titles and self published work." 

NewBridge Books offers a selection of diverse, original and hard-to-find national and international contemporary art publications, fostering critically-engaged creativity in the region by providing both a resource and outlet for artists, writers, critics and researchers. The shop and social space is unique to the North East of England providing a platform for independent publishers and artists who self-publish. NewBridge Books stocks a variety of artists’ books, zines, writing and magazines as well as hosting a programme of regular events and exhibitions related to print culture.

Good Press is a volunteer-run-informal-organisation dedicated to the promotion and distribution of independently published printed matter with a focus on visual arts and writing; occasionally music and artist objects. All of the publications you find in-store and online are either self published or produced by an independent small press, gallery, group or organisation. We always have, and continue to operate an open submission policy. We will only refuse a submission if its content is offensive or harmful to others, or if the publication could otherwise be purchased at a larger scale retailer.

It was fascinating to hear about the origins of both organisations, and the ways that both have developed organically as well as in response to external forces (mostly the need to relocate due to rental agreements ceasing). The imposed change of location has made each organisation think carefully about the role of the bookshop and the aspects that are central to its existence. 

As Rebecca Huggan (Director of The NewBridge Project) reflected on the history of NewBridge Books, I was introduced to some projects that happened before I was in Newcastle, and this has given me ideas for things that could happen there in the future. 

There are currently many NewBridge members that write, use print, make sound, perform and produce publishable material. I am excited about the opportunity to transform NewBridge Books into a space that these activities can take place and the outcomes disseminated to an audience.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Talk Over Print

I was delighted to be asked to contribute to TALK OVER PRINT, a recent publication produced by Foundation Press.

TALK OVER PRINT was a collaborative publication made for/during BALTIC Self Publishers Market, April 27 2019. 

TALK OVER PRINT is a collection of thoughts, both from those sharing books at the market and from self-publishers invited from outside of the northeast. 

Contributions by: Holly Argent (Women Artists of the North East Library), Steven Appleton, Giles Bailey, Elsa Bajracharya, Paul Becker, Holly Birtles, Jessie Churchill, Craig Pound (Dizzy Ink), Freya Dooley, Theresa Easton, Peter Falkous, Marc Fischer & Brett Bloom (Temporary Services), Barry Fox, Annalisa Furnari, Cath Garvey, John Harrison, Samuel Hasler, Ann Jarmolowicz, Pete Kennedy, Robin Kirkham (An Endless Supply), Annette Knol, Leeds United, Leonard McDermid, London Centre for Book Arts, Olisa. L.Osanakpo, Paper Jam Comics Collective, RISOGRAD, Riso Soup, Sabrina Schmid, Rosalie Schweiker, Helen Shaddock, Cherry Styles, Richard Swan, Julia Vogl, Matthew Walkerdine, Fritz Welch, Thomas Whittle, Andrew Wilson, Megan Winstone.

Monday, 29 April 2019

The back and forth on soundcloud

marginendeavour recently created an audio work in response to Caitlin Merrett King's call for works to be part of a podcast. Our contribution to the podcast is a reflection on our collaborative process and explores the potential of the spoken word; emphasising the rhythmic, layered and repetitive qualities within the narrative.

The audio file can now be listened to via soundcloud

Friday, 26 April 2019

marginendeavour feature on Group Show Series 2 @ The NewBridge Project

Group Show is an art podcast series curated by Caitlin Merrett King covering topics like work, collaboration and criticism.

Series One was conceived of as part of 12o's S/S17 curatorial residency as an exploration into expanded curatorial practice. Each episode includes a mixture of interviews, sound commissions and regular features covering artist-led activity around the UK.

Series Two was produced at The NewBridge Project, Newcastle for the Practice Makes Practice residency in March 2019, and features music, sound pieces and interviews from studio and associate NBP members.

Series 2 episode 1 features an interview with Rebecca Huggan, the Director of NBP, sound pieces by Gobscure and marginendeavour and a chat between Tamara Micner and Yael Roberts who is currently on Collective Studio based at NBP.

David Foggo and Helen Shaddock work collaboratively as marginendeavour to explore our affinities with text and design. Our contribution to the podcast is a reflection on our collaborative process and explores the potential of the spoken word; emphasising the rhythmic, layered and repetitive qualities within the narrative.

Group Show Image by Eva Duerden (12o)

LAUNCH - Friday 26th April

The first episode can be listened on




Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Unintimacy - Friday 26th April - 7pm-12am - The NewBridge Project


Friday 26th April 2019
The NewBridge Project
Carliol House, Market Street East, Newcastle, NE1 6NE

The launch event of the latest series of podcasts about collaboration curated by Caitlin Jean Merrett King. Episode 1 features an audio work by marginendeavour, collaborative duo David Foggo and Helen Shaddock

Join us in the foyer of Carliol House for a night of performance, film and music which has been co-produced by various artist through collaboration. These collaborations are made up of partners, friends, lovers and family, formed through both closeness and distance, admiration and mimesis, love and care, desire and lack.

Unintimacy has been co-curated by artists Caitlin Merrett King and Grace Denton. The duo will kick off the evenings events by presenting new experimental performance works made together but remotely between Glasgow, and Newcastle. The event will feature films by Harriet Plewis & Rhodri Davies | Cherry Styles & Laura Robinson | Competition & Sophie Soobramanien | Sophie Chapman & Kerri Jeffris | Alex Sarkisian & Bahar Yürükoğlu | McGilvary/White | Yeah You | Georgia Lucas-Going.

Following the screenings local radge pop band GGAllan Partridge and, NBP house DJs You F***in Wot will play a collaborative DJ set. Dancing is widely encouraged!

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

FringeArtsBath Festival - 24th May - 9th June 2019

I'm delighted to announce that I will be exhibiting at Fringe Art Bath Festival 2019 in the exhibition 'Telling Spaces' curated by Vicky Vatcher.

For more details take a look at the website, which is constantly being updated

Monday, 15 April 2019

WordPower: Language as Medium - available now

WordPower: Language as Mediumthe publication that my work features in, is available now, online and in print through the following channels:

Direct: Our short print run of 100 copies have almost sold out. Available at £20 + P&P (Postage only available to UK mainland, USA, Canada, Australia and some parts of Europe - delivery can take up to 10 days)

Amazon: BOOK I and BOOK II (can post to any worldwide destination in 48 hours) Note: This is a general release edition - no poster artwork included

View online: BOOK I and BOOK II

Friday, 12 April 2019

Beginners Mind

Beginner's Mind

In this BBC radio 4 radio programme, 'Suryagupta, chair of the London Buddhist Centre, explores the Zen Buddhist concept of Beginner’s Mind, which encourages the viewing of the familiar with fresh eyes.

She discusses the first time she discovered the benefits of Beginner’s Mind, at a retreat in Wales. While meditating, Suryagupta became fascinated by the sound of birdsong, feeling as if she was hearing it for the very first time. This meditation encouraged her to experience life anew, through help from texts such as Suzuki Roshi’s classic title Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Suryagupta considers the obstacles that can hinder Beginner’s Mind, such as pressure and the burden of expectations. She suggests that attempting to return to the simple and spontaneous innocence of the child’s mind can help us overcome these obstructions, in order to experience moments of revelation and wonder. She concludes with a quote from Henry Miller, who celebrates the benefits of sharing these discoveries with others. In doing so, we can connect deeply with one another, and experience an interdependence that is freeing and refreshing.'

I found this way of thinking to be hugely helpful in my studio practice and in life more generally. In the arts there are no answers and so it can be difficult to get a real sense of achievement because the artistic process is always evolving and has no set end conclusion.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

The latest from marginendeavour - 3 potential Eyesore billboard designs



Kelly Richardson - Pillars of Dawn at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland

Kelly Richardson's current exhibition, Pillars of Dawn at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, (NGCA) features a new video animation and a number of large digital prints. The landscapes that Richardson has created are empty with no sign of animals or humans. The trees are formed from thousands of crystals that glisten in the twilight.

As we enter the gallery the invigilator explains how the artist has requested that the gallery be dark, and therefore he will close the door. This is no surprise to me, especially given the content of the work. As I watched the video I was bothered by the fact that I could see two of the digital prints in my peripheral vision. These distracted me, preventing me from devoting my full attention to the video. They also lit up the space and made me conscious of the other people in the gallery. I turned around to find that the invigilator had opened the door again and light was pouring in again. I wanted to feel immersed in the landscape, and yet the clinking of the coffee cups in the cafe and the warmth of the gallery felt too comfortable. Perhaps if there was a gentle breeze of cool air, and with no distractions from noise or light, it would be more engaging.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

WordPower: Language as Medium

I'm excited to announce that I have just ordered a copy of WordPower: Language as Medium, a new two-part publication exploring works by a selection of 100 contemporary artists who implement the direct use of language and the written word in their process. The publication includes a certain Newcastle-based artist, Helen Shaddock!

Reflecting on the shift from representative forms to simplified modes of visual communication, WordPower features practices ranging from socially engaged and participatory approaches to sculptural, conceptual, performative and new media formats.

For more information, and to purchase a copy for yourself, please visit