Both life and death have been getting more attention than the virtual world recently.
At the end of April I lost an old friend to a sudden heart attack. David Johnson first came into my life in the early 1980s as my brother's composition tutor at Napier College. He was a composer, musicologist, performer, teacher, arranger and a square peg in a round hole (a bit like me). We didn't always share the same outlook on life but friendship isn't really about being the same. It's the differences that make it interesting. To see the worth in those differences while recognizing the similarities is to find a friend. I'll miss David's singular opinions and his impressions of characters from the Goon Show. His obituary in the Guardian describes his public life at least as well as I could. This photo was taken in December 2007 (hence the Christmas party hat) and is the most recent photo I have of David. I may post more when I dig out the pre-digital archive.
As I said life has been active too. I share a studio with Astrid Trugg who recently gave birth to a baby girl. This has inspired me to do something I've never done before - knit baby things. Bootees are currently on the needles and two little hats are already finished. Not sure about anything larger as I'm so new to this type of work. Photos to come when the set is finished.
Also happening recently in real life were multiple successes on the the science communication front. The ICMS talks at the Science Festival were a sell-out - whoever thought you'd have to turn people away from maths lectures! The season of maths films finished on a high with an active panel discussion and a nearly full cinema.
I've been busy in the studio too - the new collections of scarves and pots keep growing so I never quite get round to sending them to galleries. Hopefully there will be news on that front soon.
Coburg House opened its own gallery last week. All the artists in the building were invited to submit one piece to display. The result was a very eclectic mix of work showing just how exciting open studios weekend will be when it comes around in August.
Also planned for August is Alba As Astra - a collaboration with Writers' Bloc which will be on display in Transreal Fiction for that month. The show will consist mainly of photographs supported by text will explore the boudary between documentary and imaginative story telling in the context of a possible abandoned Scottish space programme. Work on this is hotting up at the moment.
The downside of August is that I'm expecting to have my hip replaced towards the end of that month - if the waiting list really is 18 weeks. Recovery could take up to three months so I'll be unable to get about or deal with stairs for a bit. Plenty time for blogging and knitting but I won't get into the office or the studio for a while.
I have also been asked to write a regular blog column thing for The One magazine's web site. That should start in a few weeks and will probably address science/art issues from a personal point of view. There are ideas rolling around in my head about body modification as art and as medical necessity that might well be explored there. Watch this space...or indeed that one!