Thursday 31 May 2018


 I exhibited some new work in Bristol’s The Island gallery as part of the third group show from the MFA in Cardiff School of Art & Design. This show was entitled Things I Wish I’d Known, and I think having a title and theme for this show helped us to bring it together a bit more than what we’d been previously doing.

The blurb for the show was as follows:

'Things I Wish I’d Known is an art exhibition featuring current Master of Fine Art students from Cardiff School of Art and Design. The group show brings an honest exposure of things we wish we’d known; exploring the often eschewed aspect of development and personal growth as an artist. Within the show, there will be a variety of works in different media from both local and international artists.'

My statement responded:

'This show marks a departure from my usual practice of work based on 3D computer games. It is the first exhibit of my exploration into both sculptures, via 3D scanning/printing, and into photography with the accompanying supporting image.

As an artist who typically utilises and manipulates software for developing games, I imagined that transitioning to 3D model software would be somewhat similar and easy to pick up. I was very wrong. My prior experiences creating digital worlds did not prepare me for the inherent difficulties with this new toolset. Ultimately, I went through 7 different pieces of software until I found one that was both easy to use and had enough complexity for what I needed to achieve.

The end result is a number of printed copies of a shell casing. The original object was a friend’s family heirloom; a relic from the 1970’s conflict in Northern Ireland, fired from a paramilitary weapon. The act of duplication is to try and describe the importance of passing on family stories, but also how intergenerational trauma is still an issue in these post-conflict communities. There are a few copies that I have modified to try and point towards what it means to have an unfaithful copy, referring to misinformation and especially important regarding the conflict in Northern Ireland.

A recent photograph from the area is adjacent to reference the graffiti sloganeering of kids contextualised via post-conflict paramilitary glorification.'

Overall, I’m relatively happy with how my work holds up in the context of the space. I arrived to set up the show with two images on paper and a box full of 3D printed replica shell casings. It wasn’t until a few of the other pieces had been displayed in the space that I decided to use a plinth against the wall for my tiny sculptures. My initial thought was to present these on the floor, but the floor was pretty messy, and I felt that they might get lost amongst the splashes of white paint down there. Perhaps if I had more of the shells produced (like 200 or so), it would have worked better. But elevating them on this plinth worked well, and brought them nearer to the double image I had included.

I had the photograph printed off and tacked to the wall via map pins. The image itself was on a standard A3 portrait page, with the image composed towards the top of the page. I intentionally used this typical format and wanted the white space to draw the attention down towards the 3D printed pieces. In retrospect, this was probably too much, and somewhat unnecessary. Perhaps even the image as a whole was superfluous, but at least this was a good experiment to do.

In the future, I’m not sure if I will do much more 3D printing, with a new focus on reinterpreting 3D topographies as before, but I think documentary photography or video might play more of a part in contextualising my scenarios. The next group show is in Penarth Pier Pavillion and will be followed by the MFA show in Cardiff School of Art & Design in September.

Included below are a few more images I took at the exhibition.

Friday 4 May 2018


A few years ago I decided to make some box art for an old favourite of mine, the DOS game SkyRoads. I was using the emulation software Boxer, which displays your game collection on digital shelves with the big box art front and centre. It was about this time that I realised that my virtual copy of SkyRoads didn't have a cover, and after a little searching around the internet I discovered that, as the game had not received a proper commercial release, it never had a physical box.

So I made fake box artwork for this game as a bit of a fun design project in an airport waiting lounge, and after uploading the results to this blog I promptly forgot about it. That is, until recently talking about SkyRoads with a friend, after which I  googled it to find out some piece of information. When the search came through on Google, my faux-artwork was right up there at the top of the page. From this, I decided to do a little bit more digging to see if it had appeared anywhere else.

I was pretty amazed at what I found next: someone had edited and printed out my box art to fit their copy of SkyRoads (including the yellow sticker). I wonder if they knew it was not the real artwork and just my little afternoon project? Will there be any long-lost boxed copies of SkyRoads appearing on eBay with extortionate prices? Who knows?

You can read my original blog post here.