Bookmarks Book Fair : 24 March

Made a book for my travel journal…

Art, Space + Nature Blog

MA and MFA students of Art, Space and Nature recently exhibited a selection of artist books at the Bookmarks Artist Book Fair on the 24 March, at Edinburgh College of Art’s sculpture court.  A selection of handbound books with handmade papers, illustrations, photography and poetry were exhibited at the Book Fair, reflecting on travel, physical mark making and the incomprehensibility of the universe.

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Outlandia and all its Forest glory

As part of my course I get to do a few cool things, 1) to combine music with pretty everything to do with art, space and nature 2) allows me to live in Edinburgh, And 3) I get to go on some cool field trips.

Welcome to Outlandia. I will be here for a few days on a field trip – exploring, thinking, writing, making, wondering, and best of all having the freedom to do what ever inspires me.

Firstly I’ll explain what Outlandia is before I get into what I have been up to today.

Outlandia is a field station near Glen Nevis and is about a 20 odd minute walk uphill from the Ben Nevis Centre that was designed by London Fieldworks.

It’s basically a shed in the middle of the woods – My kind of place!- where artist go to retreat/do residencies and to just generally be inspired by the surroundings – And Oh My Gosh are they magnificent! I had planned to do lots of filming and sound recording when I got here but I found myself just writing and taking in the view with my thermos of tea by my side Typical British) with the sun shining on Glen Nevis opposite me. It was hard to do anything but gaze in awe.

I’ve been to the Picos Mountains in Spain a while ago whilst on DofE but I didn’t really experience it in the way as I did today. I think I may have been to young – and also underknowledged of nature at the time – to fully appreciate and understand what was happening around me. The view is truly breath taking.

I am here with my other lovey course mates who, again, were in as much awe as I was. The peace and silence. You could sense every bodies wonderment. It was lovely. I captured a few of them in their ‘moment’ as we entered the field station for the first time. I would recommend anyone to retreat to a place like this. It’s good for the soul.

So my initial ideas before coming to Outlandia involved filming lots of things and recordings lots of sound. And although I did manage to get some of this done, I felt that writing myself a letter each day would do me good whilst I was here. I have lots of thoughts you see. It felt good to sit in the woodland without a care in world writing something no one will ever see or read, it was just for me. Then I thought that I will film and record sounds from the spot I sit in each day where I will write my letter and maybe this can turn into some kind of work or could just simply be for my own peace of mind. Either way I think that their is something quite poetic about it. Something that you would read about an author in the 1900’s who walked for miles and wrote a poem or a song. Its odd thinking about song, coming from a music background. Originally I thought I would be inspired to write music but weirdly I have just been wanting to write things down. My thoughts. My feelings. What I’ve learned. What I want to learn. Who I’ve met. To ask how. To ask why.

Today seems like a blur, in a way. I have so many more new thoughts and ideas. Good thoughts though (not necessarily good ideas 😉 ). When I got back I started to design myself an Outlandia patch for my camp blanket that has patched from all over the world where I  have visited. I found that the only patches they sell around here are patches that say ‘I climbed Ben Nevis’.. and well I didn’t.. I walked to Outlandia. So I thought I’d design myself a patch for this adventure. Updates on this soon I promise – I’d really like to get something made! one of a kind!

Ah man, what a day. I now lay here in my bed in the hostel contemplating my day and wondering if I’ve even written everything down that I feel I need to write. It had just been one amazing day. One I wont forget. I feel like such an artist when I discuss things like this… but man, I’m so inspired. Scotland is an amazing place, I’m ever so lucky to live here.

Tomorrow a couple of us will leave our hostel in Fort William at 7am to walk to Outlandia near Glen Nevis. It should take around 1h30, but maybe longer if we stop and take photo’s, film things, record sound. We shall have our breakfast at Outlandia and it shall be lovely. The weather is forecast to be a lovely day again too. Now I shall sleep.


T x

Well I ended up in Scotland…

Its been a while, and in that while I finished my degree at The University of South Wales, graduated, went to Geneva (and forgot to document it..), had an artist residency in Cardiff, got a place at Edinburgh University to study my postgrad and then moved to Edinburgh…. It’s been one heck of a summer!

I’ve been living in Edinburgh for a little over a month and a half now and it has just been crazy. So much to do, so much to see, SO MUCH TO LEARN. My course has pretty much hit me hard in the face (in a good way) and I’m getting into the swing of things. So much to update you all with and so little time (I am currently on a field trip) BUT I will inform you all in a nice big post when I am back in my flat in Edinburgh. (It feels weird calling it home sometimes haha, I’m not used to it!)

For now I will keep you updated on my adventures in Glen Nevis!

also – It has nearly been a year since my last post.. which weirdly was my first time in Edinburgh when I said that I was going to live here someday! Haha! Crazy Stuff.


T x

Welcome to Scotland!

SO here I was, sitting in my front room of my house in Newport, and I suddenly came across this MA course in Architectural Studies. I got so excited that, to be honest,  I didn’t really know what to do – I just wanted to apply! Maan, y’know buildings are so fricking amazing!

Anyway, back to my story of how I got to Scotland, I spoke to my lecturer about it and he said that I should go and check it out as there was an open day. So that’s exactly what I did. That night I booked a plane ticket from Gatwick airport as I was going to be in London the day before for an architecture talk to Glasgow Airport.

Whilst booking my flight and buses to London I thought to myself HEY! Why don’t I go and visit Freyja (one of my friends from school who has just started uni in Edinburgh)?! That got me thinking well I might as well check out the university while I’m at it eh?

Guess what? I found this amazing looking course called Art, Space and Nature – sounded like it was right up my street ! After a few emails I managed to get in touch with lectures from both uni’s and arranged to meet up for a chat.

Thursday 4:30am is when my mini adventure begins. I got up and got to the airport for my 7:20am flight to Glasgow. It felt really weird that I was flying there haha! But I arrived in Glasgow  just before the hour of 9am and then I hopped on a bus into Glasgow City central. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to Scotland and the place looked amazing plus the uni looked like just what I was looking for! but then all my hopes and dreams of studying there started to fall apart. Some of the students were awkward to talk to, a couple of the lecturers weren’t very helpful and the pathway leader pretty much slated my dissertation and told me that I would never be employable as an architect and I should just stick to music.

So yeah I come from a music background, my current degree is called Creative Sound and Music, but within my degree I’ve been able to explore using sound within film, sound installation – and of course your typical singer-songwriter style songs that I am also a fan of, but my time in Toronto has made me interested in building, space and all the uses sound has with it. I don’t want to be an architect! I just want to study it and make it relevant to MY music practice!  Silly man!

I got on the next train to Edinburgh where I met Meadhbh! Meadhbh goes to Dundee university so I messaged her and Liisa (who goes to uni in Edinburgh) to say I was going to be around at the end of the week. I havent seen either of them since Toronto so I was quite excited to meet up.

Meadhbh and I went for a bit if a wonder, got some food at a cafe called Urban something – can’t remember exactly but they had really good vegan and vegetarian food! After that we popped into the National Art Gallery and  then we met Liisa at a pub called The Tron. I wasn’t meeting Freyja until later as.

After a lovely catch up Meabhdh and I rocked up to Freyjas top floor apartment (student halls) had some couscous for din dins then went to a couple of pubs. one was called Captains and there was a guy playing the bagpipes in there. And the other I can’t remember the name of but it was pretty cool. There are sooo many pubs here!

Friday 12:30am (ish) I met Freyja and one of her classmates at a cafe for Luncheon / breakfast. I’d been doing some dissertation work in the morning whilst Freyja went into uni. The cafe was called Billy Bongos – the food there was soo cheap and sooo good- I had pancakes… After that Freyja took me on a little tour of her uni and a few of her favourite shops including the notorious Armstrongs that everyone around here knows about! It’s such a cool place, it all cheap old vintage retro clothing. Yes I bought something ha!

At 4pm I went to the Edinburgh College of Art where the lecturer set me up with a meeting with one of his students on the ASN course as he wasn’t able to meet up anymore. She gave me a little tour of the department, showed me some of her work and went through any questions I had about the course and Edinburgh. She was awesome. I loved it there. I didn’t feel intimidated like I did in Glasgow. I love the fact that Edinburgh is so quirky and there are so many interesting people! I WANT TO LIVE HERE SO BADLY! I can’t wait to apply…! 😀

I have fallen in love with Edinburgh.

J Xx

The End is Near

Well what can I say, I’m kind of a bit emotional at the moment.

This past week I’ve had deadlines in every other day, then I have an exam next Thursday and then I’m done for the summer! A mixture of relief, stress and the fact that I will be going home in just under 3 weeks makes me a little tearful at the moment. I just can’t believe how it has flown by so quickly. I have met some amazing people here and we’ve become so close in just a short amount of time. Luckily I have met some exchange students who are on exchange from different area’s in the UK, so when we all get back in September we have planned to meet up. The others who are from the USA, Denmark, Finland and Brazil, I know that now I have an excuse to go to all these places but I’m really going to miss them all. I have 1 more adventure to New York City next weekend for the week then its pack pack pack for the last few days.

Toronto? I’m going to miss you but I’ll be back.

Home? I look forward to seeing you very very soon and sleeping in my own bed

Emotional speech over.

J Xx

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to my dearest mother! (and all you other lovely mothers out there!)

Today I couldn’t spend mothers day with my mother as I am in Toronto but one thing she told me to do was go out an by myself chocolate. Now, at first I said well there isn’t any chocolate here that I really want and its kind of expensive… little did I know that I would somehow coincidentally end up at a chocolatier’s shop in the Distillery District.. so I bought my self this lovely roasted white chocolate bunny – I probably should have just gone for milk chocolate but I thought as it was roasted it looked pretty cool. So here you go Mama, Happy Mothers Day! I shall enjoy this very much with a cup of tea.

J Xx

P.s. Hope you had a lovely day, will call you in the week as I went to the Aquarium too x

Suuushi tiime!

The whole time I have been here in Toronto I have kept telling myself that I have to have sushi whilst I’m here. There are so many sushi places around town and I have never had proper sushi so it seems like the perfect excuse to try new food.

After going to a free concert with my lovely friend Zviko, where we heard a very good pianist play Haydn, Schumann, Villa-Lobos and then, to end the hour long peformance, some Gershwin – it was all very delightful – we wandered around the streets of Toronto as we were heading back to uni and passed one of Zviko’s favourite sushi restaurants.

I was given the menu, not having a clue what to order, so I waited until Zviko got her food to order mine. I’m not entirely sure what it was she ordered but it was the onion ring shaped things that I think were either squid or octopus and something with prawn – they were called red dragon rolls.



Looks pretty good eh? Well I ordered Miso Soup, Chicken Teriyaki and (it hadn’t come yet but..) beef and mushroom rolls. So I didn’t go all out fish.. but I don’t really know whether I’m a fish fan that’s why I was always dubious to have sushi but I tried Zviko’s sushi and I loved it. Even the squid rings were actually pretty good! I think I am in love with Sushi now…


J Xx

Mini Adventure Part 1 – Ottawa

The last couple of weeks have been a bit hectic. I’ve had assignments in pretty much every other day since I got back from my mini adventure and haven’t had time to look back at what such a fantastic week it was!

Going to Ottawa I wasn’t really sure what was even there as everyone kept on saying that there was nothing to do there except skating on the canal so I didn’t really have any high expectations of it. But I was proven wrong.

When we got into Ottawa we went to find our hostel, our converted jail hostel. Not even sure what to expect, we walked up to our new home for next couple of nights and signed in. Little did I know that this place would be one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in. Although a little creepy as our room was a jail cell with a barred door and jail like bunk beds it was more than adequate to our needs. When you go to a hostel or hotel the one thing I find is that people always comment on the shower, all I can say is that these showers were pretty damn decent.

We only had one full day there so we made most of our first evening. Our first meal in Ottawa was at a Mexican restaurant called Ahora. We were recommended the place by the hostel staff. If I’m honest when we got there it looked a bit shady but you walk in and go down some stairs to this basement type area where we were greeted by a fully decorated Mexican themed restaurant. First impressions aside the food was amazing and the place got packed as we waited for our food. Mexican food is one of those foods where you just can’t go wrong!

After our feast of dinner, we went to meet a girl who is friends with the girl who’s room I’m renting out at the moment in Toronto. It was last day/evening of Winterlude so she took us to the ice sculptures that they have displayed around the park. The craftsmanship in these sculptures were insane!

The next day we walked to the Civilisation and War Museum which turned out to be the most amazing museum ever! The best part had to be the children’s section. It was like another world- I would have loved it if I was a still a kid! We were in the museum for about 4h30 and still didn’t have time to finish it as we wanted to go and see Parliament and go ice-skating along the Canal.

For dinner we went to Dunn’s and had a burger. We just needed comfort food as it was so cold out and we had been walking around all day. It was our last night in Ottawa and quite frankly we were a bit sad as there was so much we didn’t get to do, like go to the National Portrait Art Gallery. But after dinner we headed back to the jail house and rented out some skates to take down to the canal. I’m not that great at skating so I found it a bit hard but I kind of got the grips of it.. very slowly.. but it was so much fun, especially as it was night time so the city was all lit up around the canal. The final thing we did that night was to go and have a Beaver Tails. This is a Canadian pastry delicacy where you get a slab of pastry covered in sugar and cinnamon (or what ever you chose from the list, but that’s what I had). It was deeelicious!

So the next morning we planned to get up early and go for a walk to see everything we didn’t see the day before… but the ice hockey was on.. Finland were playing and as two of the girls I was with were Finnish, we watched it with out breakfast. Luckily there was time to go and walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral Basillica in Ottawa before we headed back to the hostel, picked up our bags and headed for the bus station where we would get our 11:50 bus to our next destination…

Montreal here we come!

J Xx

Reading Week!

Packed my bags!

Packed my bags!

ITS READING WEEK! (aka half term)

The last 6 week’s have flown by so quickly and atlast it’s time for a well deserved break.

Today is family day which is a holiday in Canada (and maybe the USA too but I’m not sure) so most things are shut around town as people spend the day doing family stuff. But I’m currently sitting on a bus with my headphones in listening to Johnny Flynn and writing this post. With me is one of the other exchange students, Linda, and a couple of her friends from home on our way Ottawa! With all our busses/ trains and hostels book already, we are heading to Ottawa where we are staying in a converted jail ha! Then on Wednesday we are going onto Montreal until Saturday. As none of us have been to Canada before it is a first time for everything for us – we have decided to be proper tourists this week!

We are on the motorway right now. The scenery is really lovely at the moment, there are trees and snow covering the landscape. It is really quite beautiful as you can see the mountains in the distance covered in snow. I’m quite excited to get to Ottawa and go ice skating along the canal and then go and get Beavertails which apparently are waffles haha and are the best waffles and pancakes ever!

I probably won’t have much time to write another post during the week so I will say goodbye and after my trip I will update you all!

Au Revoir!

J Xx