Reviews and More

Eamonn Murphy displays his artwork at Chester Arts Festival  20/11/2016

Whilst visiting the Chester Arts Festival, I came across the work of Eamonn Murphy, an artist who is works in a range of media. The artwork that particular caught my attention was his vector graphics printed onto brushed aluminium. Similar to Devin Miles work (, who specialises in printing pop art onto circular ground aluminium sheets. The aluminium catches the light, giving his work that added dimension. Eamonn Murphy makes detailed studies of impressive architecture. He recreates vectors of certain elements and shapes chosen from the architecture. The end result is a bold and impressive piece of work that appeals to my own interest in architecture. I have genuine adoration and for his graphic style, composition along with the techniques used.

Devin Miles.

I first came across Devin Miles at Chester’s Watergate Street Art Gallery ( about 4 years ago.  I was fascinated with his technique of screen printing pop art onto circular ground aluminium sheets. This inspired me to screen print my own artwork onto a one metre square Galvanised piece of steel (


As an ambitious first ever attempt at screen printing I was pleased with the result. Both Devin Miles and Eamonn Murphy inspire me to have a go at working with this kind of media.

Peter Aitchison


Also displaying at Chester Arts Fair, Peter Atchison is a fine art photographer. His pictures reflect a well-travelled photographer who is able to capture the riches and diversity of life in splendid detail and colour. He seems able to get close up and personal with his subject matter in a manner that does not seem to intrude. He does so without the use of zoom lenses, giving the viewer a crystal clear peek into the grit and drama of everyday urban life across the globe. To achieve such wonderful pictures, Peter interacts with people from all walks of life and in all kinds of situations, gaining their trust and capturing their personality, nature and cultural behaviours.

Elisita Kemp

Displaying at Chester Arts Fair, Elisita Kemp is a photographer who specialised in dance and human form. After learning to dive, Elisita took her subject matter under water. Here she captures the stillness and quite experienced in this subterranean environment. The performers float weightlessly and dance with the water and light as if they comfortably inhabit an ethereal world below. Beautiful images that capture the elegance of dances in a very individual manor.

Observation of Chester Arts Fair environment and safety

It is clear from speaking to many of the exhibiters that it takes a lot of effort to prepare for and event like this. Some are more practiced than others and some have found the process stressful and exacerbating. Although it’s obvious that a lot of time and organisation has gone into this event, it is not the ideal location. Since this is a temporary two day arts fair, this is not a purpose built gallery space and as a result throws up many display layout issues. Each stall comprises of purposely built, portable interlinking wall units. These temporary structures, when erected, create narrow walkways or corridors. As the viewing public navigate the displays, a chair, wheelchair or pram, or anyone who stops to take in the artwork, quickly becomes an obstruction. The artist themselves are constantly moving to keep the movement of public flowing. There are also awkward spaces and corners where the odd display is placed. These spaces are not so well trodden and I sense some disappointment in the artists as much of the traffic passed by without an exploratory visit.

Each stall is labelled with both a number and the artist’s name. With the aid of the programme, it is easy to find any particular artist. It is then up to each individual exhibit to display information on themselves and promote their own work. Some were better prepared with stationary than others and the quality of their stationary varied noticeably. In an environment like this, low quality poorly designed business cards appear cheap and amateurish when compared to others.

Chester Arts Fair have developed an app to assist with bookings and finding out information about the event and individual artists. The app is supposed to be able to scan each picture, enabling you to record items of personal interest and to find out more information. This feature was not greatly successful and I quickly reverted to taking notes and selecting business pamphlets and cards.

Each temporary stall houses its own lighting track and each stall is limited to the amount of power consumed and, in turn, lighting available. Adjusting the position of the lights is also limited to the location of the lighting track and the adjustment of the light itself. These limitations can prevent the artworks being illuminated to best advantage.

Safety considerations.

Along with the above, power must reach all the lamps and power outlets, whilst meeting safety requirements. This includes an assessment of available power to consume, the safety from electrocution, meeting wiring regulations, avoiding hot spots, fire and tripping hazards.

Safety is a priority and a well-considered risk assessment is essential. All fire exits must be well labelled and kept clear and fire doors must not be propped open. The temporary stalls must be erected in a safe and study manner with no exposed sharp components. Tools and equipment used for construction of the event need to be cleared away before the public gain access.

Grosvenor  Museum Volunteer work 11/03/17


The Grosvenor Museum had its 12th open arts exhibition on the evening of Tues 14th March 2017.

The exhibit was a selection of submitted artworks from the public. Prior the exhibition, the public were invited to submit their work. The Grosvenor Museum is not a large building and has limited exhibiting space. The response was successful and overwhelming and these candidates had to be whittled down to those who were accepted. Following this the museum needed to organise the collection of the rejected artworks to their respective artist. They were looking for volunteers and I was happy to help. I arrived early and unfamiliar to the environment and uncertain of what I was expected to do, I arrived to a long que of people already waiting to collect their work. There was only one other volunteer who turned up. We had a very brief introduction to staff and a quick explanation of the job in hand. Each candidate was to sign and hand over their paperwork. From the information on the paperwork, my job was to locate and collect and hand over their artwork. The theatre had been used to store the work and each work was placed under a letter of the alphabet corresponding to the artist’s surname.

The doors were opened and we were thrown in the deep end. The first two ours were relentless with no let up. Locate, retreat artwork and hand it over to the artist, being careful not to damage anything.

I covered 10:30 am till 2pm and I enjoyed it immensely. All the staff were warm and welcoming. I was impressed at how organised the paperwork and artwork were. I enjoyed all the snatched glimpses of the work and meeting all the artist. I was interesting to discover why some of the work had been rejected and there was lots of good humour. I felt there was a community of creatives who seem to know each other and found myself somewhat reluctant to leave once my shift was over.

Many of the rejected artworks made their way to the Funky Aardvark craft gallery on the rows at 61 Bridge Street, where additional spare display space was found.  Funky Aardvark is also a wonderful and vibrant place to visit. It occurs to me that I would very much like to be a part of this and have expressed an interest in volunteering at the end of my degree course. I also made certain that the Grosvenor Museum staff stored my contact details and invited them to ask me to help with any other projects.

NLTSG External Client.

NLTSG ( National Long Term Survivors Group) is a registered charity set up to provide support for people who are living with HIV and AIDS. Set up in the 1990s, it was initially for those who had lost close ones and were, themselves, facing an uncertain future.  The group was aimed at people who had managed to survive for longer than 5 years, before effective treatment to manage HIV was available. Today it is aims to support newly diagnosed people along with those who have lived with HIV for many years.

With the increase of social media, the organisation was looking for a revamp in their logo. They were after a modern design that would suit a number of scenarios and could be produced in high resolution for large poster formats. Through my connection with members of the organisation I became aware of their design competition.

Taking on-board their objectives, I submitted a proposal for a new logo.  Out of seven applicants, the trustees of NLTSG overwhelmingly voted for my design. They particularly liked the fact that it looks new and different to the existing logo while still keeping the colours and general style of the old one.  They also appreciated the professional way I had written up the proposal.

I am continuing to work with the organisation to help with any design requirements they need.  This is worthwhile and rewarding voluntary work and I am pleased to be involved.

Old Logo


New revised design


Some ways the new design may be used


How the new logo looks on social media.



Life of Pi. 2012 Film Review.


This film was released in 2012 and may be an old film to review but I have my reasons. This is a well told story of a family, who own a zoo and embark on a journey, moving from India to start over in Canada.  Their journey turns into a catastrophic sinking of their freight during a storm. The apparent lone surviving young lad is stranded on a lifeboat in the specific with a few remaining animals.  Events quickly whittle them down to the young lad and a Bengal tiger. An unlikely paring, their survival depends on their ability to build trust and an unexpected relationship grows. This is a visually stunning and dramatic film, where much of the realistic and believable effects are created using CGI. What I find different about this film is it has a good storyline and life lessons of survival, strife, love, fear, boundaries and dependencies are told through the magic of metaphors.  The films explore a learning of the deeply hidden and sometime unacceptable self within.


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