Thursday, 21 August 2014


Just getting a proposal together for this piece and found the words I wrote with it some time ago now.

This started with the idea of a ticket, a letter, a scrap of paper with some potential, the paper holds the figures thoughts.
Then listening to Caitlin Rose – Dead Flowers - Docket
her song seemed to some up what I have been thinking about but not been able to put into words so well. “I got a docket in my pocket it says all I ever want to be is free” 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


I know I need to get on with the business of the day but thinking of Barcelona last night, out of instinct I soaked white beans and this morning boil them for breakfast, while still warm coat in an intense garlic, lemon, chilli and parsley dressing to have with ripe chopped tomatoes and peppery rocket from the severn project .

Simple, pure and intense.

As it was then and hopefully will be again.*

As Miro said "for me to gain freedom is to gain simplicity"

"Keep it simple silly" ... Grahams words when we first met which I seem to have developed into a catchphrase for him as he has the ability to cut through to the truth, I think of it like chess, he can see the quickest simplest path. For someone who has to walk down all the paths just to see, I think after a bit of said meandering I finally found the right man!

*2 more shows and then hopefully by January I will be able to give self that time again to move this work on.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


I have always felt insecure about painting from memory tainted by imagination, the picture of Graham and I on the hill was done from a feeling, from memory of colour and space. If I had the courage and the talent to do more I would as its something else, a path to being a painter possibly. I like to stick to reality as even that gets pretty intense when you start to let colour in.

It was painted in Barcelona  about the time of doing the 'Imaginary Sculpture' painting, I am going to keep at as my memory of our trips up the hill after work, a couple of tinies and some crisps and we would sit and stare at the light changing colour. The disk in the sky is the moon.  I wrote in my sketchbook then

"we are up north now, and Graham thinks too suburban which is true, it does feel a long way from 'town', it's next to Sant Pau and Sagrada Familia of which both we can see from the terrace. The terrace is why we are here, it was imperative actually on our search, while its interesting seeing the non touristy area I think we could have lived without the terrace and kept the park and the promenading*. But as I have said before the grass is not always greener but it is different and different is good sometimes.

Being here makes me appreciate where we were but it also has it's advantages. Round the back of Sant Pau is park guinardo and I am sitting near the top in evening sun with a warm breeze filtering up through pine, apart from the hub of the city below and the expanse of ocean just beyond it you could be deep in the country and after a day of painting in the attico it feels amazing to be up here.

I feel slightly cautious up here on my open but at this time of night its mostly older people taking their promenade, they just must be a bit fitter up here as its a hell of a hill. There are flats at the bottom and to get to those there is a series of escalators and lifts. Imagine taking an escalator up park street. If park street was here it would have one. Molly's not allowed on the escalator ( although on monjiuc we did resort to putting our bikes on them, Mid day mad english people biking up the other hill in Barcelona, intact we often find ourselves up a hill**)

I am sitting by the water spout and dogs come and wait by the tap for their owners to press the nozzle. Molly's not really got to grips with drinking from a tap, I don't think she correlates drinking with cooling down so her panting and odd wining is louder than the ambulances and city down below. She is wining occasionally as sitting down on walks is not really appropriate.

At the crown of park guinardo is an old settlement and you can see north, south, east and west. Its like another part of Spain altogether, a little village. To me it feels quite warm, it's actually really comfortable and at 7pm it's finally cool enough to sit in the sun, but I have seen 3 joggers go past in the time it has taken to write this. I think its time for a beer!

Went to the bar with the terrace and view and watch the city turn from yellow to orange, to pink, to pinky blue, to night."***

* The attic was painted green and orange and red, it was hot and intense and away from the tourist areas which gave me solitude and maybe while not comfortable, it gave me the space away from the shared studio to experiment. It was further to bike to the studio and for Graham to come and walk Molly at lunchtime so the practicalities dictated that I stayed in the flat and gave me a chance to paint instead.  It provided the kind of atmosphere that is potentially perfect, not to comfortable ( i.e. herefordshire is just too nice, its wild and it may work later but its too 'known' too content at the moment ) the Bristol studio is too busy, too much business and too many visitors ( although it does have doors!? ) this was the perfect type of solitude to work, not something I would want to replicate long term but to dip into oneself further now and again to see what comes out is needed. You need the valleys to be able to see from the mountain.

** smile to myself as now we live on one in England

**Graham arrives hot and panting up the hill on his bicycle at some point within that change of light, we drink cold lager and the owner is enthusiastic and we order too many plates of little fried fish and calamari.



Not having children I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about my place, where I should live, wether I 'fit in' anywhere so going back through a sketchbook tonight it makes me smile at myself when I adamantly reveal an important idea... that later I forget... then implement... and then later wonder what I am doing contemplating living in the memory is truly terrible.

I wrote this at the Miro foundation after reading "in the summer of 1956 Miro moved to Mallorca. there he was able to work freely in the studio his close friend the architect Josep Luis Sert had designed for him" note to self read"find property search agency to find me a plot to build a studio, that space to 'work freely' no restrictions, would really like to try work live for a bit, rent out flat straight away before we get reattached"

I find his work difficult to respect. I watched people when I went to the museum and wrote down "people are laughing, is it out of joy or confusion...a little of both". But there is something in the gut of his work that must have filtered through as now when I look at  'Primary Angel' I think I should probably call it " After Miro' it has so much of his work in it.


Went back to the flat in redland today to do a 'changeover' for airbnb as Suzie is away. It was sunny and quiet and I sat. I imagined/remembered a room full of people, shadows left over from a rowdy meal where things got times. I know in the garden is the remains of a rose given to me after one of our miscairrages, I planted it out, it died but I know the remains are there...sad times.

The flat is peaceful and has flickers of life left but mostly it is not ours anymore. The studio, the worklive holds more, more potential, a white space for thought, a place where I can fit in. Not the corridors of houses designated for family making, cake baking and walks to school.

So back in my white box the business swirls around me but I make a space for order, for thought as I look at work for my show with Byard Art. A moment caught between the noise. I see my 'Family Tree' painting and realise its not a family tree at all its just about parents and me.

The orange pair of leaves is them, as strong and intense in colour as the land. But I am a leaf. They are leaves.

In my sketchbook I wrote about another painting similar to this also a "Family Tree"
"The family members, the leaves float away, become fish or birds or sails. But ever practical there are yellow structure lines suspending a future 3d reality."
Obviously still confused wether they are paintings of sculptures or paintings.

And then I go on to write about a painting that I never painted it was when I was in the tamar valley which must have also been in my mind, the colours I remembered and sketched them out "It's blue sky's and a green bottomed boat with a red sail on blue water backed by green fields all lit by a late day orange sun" 
Then trying to understand the tree painting. The leaves shimmer like light on moving water, or sun haze on fields.
"Its about sailing and flying and swimming and dying"

There is a sculpture called parents as well which was never finished.

I did the original drawing for the paintings in Miro park, then called just 'Tree' and 'Flower'

I wrote this poem when I made the painting, the colours in the painting set off the words

Friday, 1 August 2014


press release for upcoming show in cambridge....

B Y A R D  A R T
14 King’s Parade, Cambridge, CB2 1SJ, UK
T: +44 1223 464646  E: info@

New works by Carol Peace
18 September – 26th October

Returning with an exhibition of recent works on show at Byard Art, Cambridge, Carol Peace, sculptor, reignites a connection to the place that helped her be where and who she is today. 
Carol went to Long Road Sixth Form College on the bus everyday from Shudy Camps, a little village just outside Cambridge.  The art teachers at Long Road went above and beyond to help Carol on her journey to become an artist. One teacher in particular made a conscious and very timely effort to try and get her an interview at Winchester School of Art even though she hadn't done a foundation course, which you need for art school. 
The inspiration for starting the Bristol Drawing School (founded by Carol Peace and partner Graham Woodruff) may well have started at college in the 'fill a sketchbook' week. "Everyday somewhere new, from a forest in Norfolk to a day in a massive room filled with tremendous plaster casts, those teachers could set a spark." 
Carol remembers her time in Cambridge and explains that "One evening a week I would go into King’s College and sit in a tiny room with the chairs stacked up on weird platforms and tables so we could all see to draw the model. I remember one summer night the window being open and drawing away to the sound of singing and the organ from King’s College Chapel. It’s that kind of inspiration that gets under your fingernails, in your blood."
After school with no outlet for expression, Carol metaphorically kicked down the doors of her loving family; all that support, all that love, and threw it right back at them, stole their car and stormed away into a more turbulent side of Cambridge.  “A misunderstanding, a standoff meant I learnt what it is like to have 'no fixed abode’, you can’t do anything, and you travel in a loop. No job, no money, no home and so no job, and then no money and then no home.”    
But although she had ‘no fixed abode’, she had a structure from her family upbringing, her schooling; “the foundations they had laid were in my bones.” And so Carol was able to start her own business in the King Street Run making lunches and Sunday roasts. "I broke the circle of poverty because I was never really there; inside I was rich, educated and inspired." 
During the exhibition Carol will be donating 20% from the sale of the piece ‘Bird Bath’ to The Big Issue Foundation. “Sometimes we need a hand to be the best we can be, the Big Issue believes in a ‘hand up and not a hand out’, its about igniting a belief in yourself, sometimes hopefully, it may just need a spark” 
Throughout the months of September and October you will find a fabulous collection of over 30 sculptures on display at Byard Art, directly opposite King’s College Chapel.
There will be an opportunity to meet Carol in the gallery and discuss her collection at the Preview on Thursday, 18 September from 6.30pm–8pm


Exhibition: Travel, new works by Carol Peace
Venue: Byard Art, 14 King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2  1SJ.
Dates: 18 September–2 November 2014
Opening hours: Monday–Saturday 9.30am–5.30pm; Sunday 11am–5pm. 
Exhibition preview: Thursday, 18 September 2014, 6.30–8pm. All are welcome.
Information: 01223 464646
Admission: Free
Access: Wheelchair access to the main exhibition space at ground floor level.

For further information and images, or to arrange an interview with Carol Peace, please call Jessie White on 01223 464646 or email