... whether you're having fun or not, I think. I'm startled to see that it's over a month since I posted on this blog although I have managed to keep my 'daily drawings' more-or-less up-to-date. Things have been a bit tricky in the last little while, with Michael being very ill again, but hopefully we're over it now as we have a diagnosis and a treatment plan and Michael is responding well. Phew, because it was touch and go there for a while.
Anyway, from an art perspective a few things have sorted themselves out in my mind, the first of which is the progress of my PhD. You may remember that I am - allegedly - doing one. But if you're wondering what happened to it, I put it formally 'on hold' while moving over here, to give me a chance to settle into being in a different country and completely altering my life. Despite my good intentions and the intentions of my colleagues at UWE, however, things are not really working out. The sheer distance to travel to see anyone is a huge block to face-to-face communication, and electronic communications via email and the post-graduate forum have failed to take off not least because my UWE email ID was rescinded as soon as I put my PhD on hold! The consequence is that I have exchanged very little apart from vague Christmas greetings with my colleagues at UWE in the last year and I have had to reconsider my options. I should add, at this point, that I'm not criticising my supervisory team: it's obviously very hard for them to keep tabs on a candidate so far away, especially when that candidate wanders off for a year and says, 'see you when in 12 months' time'! So what's the answer? Well I think the answer is to move my PhD to a local institution, and Southern Cross University in Lismore is the likeliest candidate. I have explored the possibility with them, since I have links with Tim Mosely and Associate Professor Jan Davis, and the signs are encouraging although I obviously have to got through a formal application process. I am sad to be losing that link with UWE, which is a great place for visual arts, printmaking and artists' books but hopefully the professional connection will survive the cutting of PhD ties!
Meanwhile, if you read this blog and are interested in book arts in all their variety you might be interested in a new forum on the 'Ning' network called "Artist Books 3.0", set up by Robert Heather in Melbourne. Check it out and join us if it's up your street! I know that on-line networks aren't for everyone, but I find them incredibly useful (although I withdrew from Facebook about a week after joining up because it was such a pointless waste of time!!! Obviously I'm not sufficiently cool...), for a sense of community and as a source of information.