Bird box

Mini artwork on a station platform.

I’ve made an artwork in a bird box as part of Isobel Smith’s project, Art at Glynde station. 

Local artists are given a bird box to work with. When complete, their mini art works are hung on wooden walls of the long shelter on Platform 1, on a mural painted by the Baron Gilvan.

My birdbox is called Soil Microbes. The viewer looks into the bird box through the hole covered by a lens. Inside, on a background of green lined graph paper, are colourful shapes of bacteria floating in their own micro-world.

I’ve been reading about the web of microbes in the soil as part of an interest in organic gardening, earthworms and the other creatures in the soil. The garden birds, that may live in this garden centre bird box, are part of the soil food web, which begins with an unimaginable number of bacteria, moving through to fungi, arthropods and worms.

The bird box bacteria are represented as if they are under a microscope, through the distortion and uneven focus of a lens (a magnifying glass) so it feels as if we are looking into another world. The graph paper gives the impression of measuring and gathering data and evidence. It’s a nod to idea of basing decisions on findings and evidence.

Thinking of the techniques of scientific visualisation, close-up scientific imagery is often coloured or tinted to make the content clearer, hence the multicolour microbes in the bird box. The colour also gives it a sense of play and fun and looks like a 1980’s fashion fabric design.

I’ve had my eyes tested on large like machines, which look like they could be in the film Metropolis, at the opticians and I bought some cheap glasses to help focus on close work. I found a 1960s microscope from Glynde fete brick-a-brac to look at finds from the garden, though I have yet to master it.

There is physical movement required to focus on a subject – leaning into the bird box, moving a book forwards and backwards or twisting the rings on a microscope.


Gun Girls

Gun Girls.
A short film by Victoria Harwood and Lucy Newman. 1997. 5 mins.

Gun Girls is showing at the ICA on Saturday 14th Feb 2017 as part of the London Short Film festival programme, White Trash Girls, Gun Girls & Riot Girls.

“All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl.” Jean Luc Godard

What is it about?
The pursuit of free will. Its visual, fun and from the female point of view. Sci-fi, low fi kitsch. (The guns are water pistols.)

Two androids are sent to Earth on a mission. The mission is aborted and they become Gun Girls. Gun Girls have a brief taste of Earth life before their battle with El Pimptronic, their former alien controller

The Geffrey Museum (fire alarm went off)
Trafalgar Square, The Mall
Tooting Bingo
Duxford Air Museum
Heathfield, Sussex
New York
Heathrow Airport
Camberwell, London
Royal College of Art
Charing Cross club
Kings Cross, London

Trashy, control, robots, rebirth, girl-power, dysfunctional domesticity, earthlife, recreation, poses. 

We saw

Pepi, Luci y Bom – Pedro Almodovar
Harryhausen animations
The Avengers / Captain Scarlet / The Man from Uncle
50’s Sci Fi
Faster Pussycat Kill Kill Kill – Russ Meyer
Comic strips
Daisies (but afterwards)

We looked at
Jeff Koons
Carnivalesque ideas
Kitsch (in clubs) and parody.

Mostly analogue. Low fi. Super 8, cardboard, silver paint, silver foil, cotton wool and face paint.
Props from boot fairs.
Stop motion models.
Early photoshop and After Effects.
Special effects are real – explosives and firecrackers.
A mix of methods and techniques.

An empty London. Round the back of Covent Garden and Denmark Street. Low security at Heathrow. The towers stand in NY. British seaside resort. Fun fair.

A store of film costume of Shuna’s.
A mix of eras. 1950s sci fi, 1970s Pimptronic, 1960s domestic, 60s spies.

Messing about with costumes and super 8 cameras. The shots then the storyboard. Applications for funding. Self funded. Vic organising locations. Telecine in Soho. Sound at the RCA.

80’s dancing disco scene
A cooking scene – a mess of food and food processing – not quite the Semiotics of the Kitchen.

At the time
Shared house
Vic  – working in film wardrobe depts and theatre and production design, pre RCA
Lucy – scanner and graphic designer in multimedia, post RCA
Charles Barker – painter – writing films



Express Myself



During the working day, I often spend hours talking through graphic design jobs on Skype. I enjoy use the pictoral emojis. They are funny, expressive and functional and have a lot of admiration for the animations. So I have made the video This is how I express myself. The emojis and omnipresent icons in our digital lives are our modern hieroglyphics. Over the past few years, we have become so used to using them.

Express myself. from Luce on Vimeo.



Love / Hate

Digital print.
Part of Common Sense limited edition publication by Empty Space



Gardening is a new subject for me. It seems that part of this activity is to nurture some species and discourage others.  The garden centre offers delights to be loved and cherished,  as well as methods of killing, hence the pages in the Common Sense book, described by Empty Space’s Tim Copsey as a Night of the Hunter mash up (from the 1955 film). The Love-Hate hands are from the warped character of the preacher in the film who dishes out his terrifying and fabricated sense of justice.






Local badges (Holmfirth)

This set of badges was made for Holmfirth Arts week. Each one connects with a story or event from the locality.
I was inspired by the British Museum collection of metal badges.



Selection of badges for Holmfirth Art Week