A Touch of Clamp (2017-)

A Touch of Clamp series (2017-) was inspired via my collecting old woodwork tools, many of which are now technologically redundant. This is particularly so of wooden clamps/cramps, the specific application of some of which seems to have been lost.

The series is also about moments; though here moments of tension (well actually compression!) held in the action of the wooden clamps/cramps – themselves caught up in a longer moment: namely that of becoming obsolete or superseded in regards to their original function. So each is reassigned a task that may or may not relate to its action or name.
In employing these items to try and say something via their embodiment of moments of tension, I have used puns. An established poet friend said this ‘should not be done’. But I couldn’t help it! The pun is a form of linguistic tension, isn’t it?

Clamp lamps (2020-)

Upcycled woodworking clamps.

Writer’s Block (2019)

Exhibited: ‘Writer’s Block’, Art Makes Me Smile, The Heart of Art Gallery, Shipley. 

1st March - 14th April 2023.

T.B.Continued? (2021)

Exhibited: Bones and Skulls, Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield, ​28th April – 27th May 2022.


[clamp and badger skull]

This simple piece tells of the attempts to protect domestic cattle from tuberculosis through the act of culling populations of badgers (Meles meles), which have been identified as asymptomatic reservoirs for the bacillus.

​In The Modern University, a clamp holds a copy of Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968) by the revolutionary educator Paulo Friere. Sadly, the highly marketized, curricula homogenised, league table driven, modern UK university, offers little or no space for the sort of radical innovations that Friere argued are fundamental to developing the truly liberating, capacity-building education that would enable us to create a better world.

The Modern University (2018)

Joe Hill was framed 

​Joe Hill was a labour activist, songwriter, cartoonist and member of the Industrial Workers of the World organisation. In response to being banned from ‘soap box’ speaking, he noted that the Salvation Army were allowed to perform in public, so wrote and performed rousing unionist lyrics to popular hymn music (including The Preacher and the Slave - in which he coined the term 'pie in the sky'). Joe became such a thorn in the side of the establishment that in 1915 they framed and executed him for murder and he was condemned to face a firing squad. When asked if he had any last words, he said 'fire!'.

Egging You On (2017)

[woodwork clamp, goose egg]

​Put simply, EYO references the finely balanced relationship between technology and nature. But it also offers another layer - given that this type of clamp is no longer used (going extinct) and the egg has been blown, and is therefore empty - plus the temptation offered to we 'intelligent beings' to just to tighten the clamp!

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