I've started a new load of collective works called 'Vanishing Manchester' highlighting destruction of/ threats to Mancunian heritage sites at the hands of property developers and 'regeneration' projects, including mainly, sites that have been demolished in recent history or have at some point been threatened with destruction and uncertain future.
To see the full project as it progresses, go here.
Last week I returned from my latest voyage to Romania.
My stay this time was shorter and involved a detour to the village of Cuptoare, outside the former industrial dystopian-looking town of Resita, where-in resides my friend and artist, Nuri FY, who I first met on last year's Borsec residency, who had kindly invited me to visit her there, so I travelled from Manchester to London to Luton to Bucharest and then travelled far west on the night train out to Resita.
While staying with her, her husband and dog Ibu, she taught me how to make pictures and dye with the 'batik' technique.
I moved onto Borsec, taking a bus via Lugoj and Targu Mures, arriving during a thunderstorm and was welcomed at the old Vila by Mr Martin and this years residents, Maria (Italy), Mihai (Romania), Mykola (Ukraine), Radu (Romania), Woytek (Poland) and Adrian (Romania). We were joined the next day by our organiser, Florin, but in the meantime we had a presentation of our work at the Casa de Cultura.
Also, an old friend appeared while I was walking through the storm up the hill to the Vila to guide me...
The next day Maria set up her tent in Spring 10, chosen because it's a popular destination for people collecting the special water from there, and often people arrive in cars with big bottles to collect the water.
Together we set up the tent with Maria, which has travelled many lands and transported from place to place by courier. Maria collects folk songs from around the world so we heard some there and heard more poetry from the others and songs from Mykola.
Friends turned up to see Maria's tent from the Vila, the Tourist hut, some of Adrian's friends from Bacau, and even one of our canine friends...
I meanwhile, set out to Vila 31 to finally accomplish the project I wanted to do last year, but couldn't for lack of battery powered fairy lights in all of Borsec...
I also returned to Hotel Transylvania, which looks a bit more smashed up and rather more overgrown than last year, but remains it's old self. I also called in Policlinica and me and Maria decided to be pioneers and visit the old Statuinea on the main road that heads towards our villa.
I also called by the quarry to see what was left of Nuri's mural from last year...
Me and Maria went up to see what we called The Tim Burton House, which is being renovated, which is good because it's such a nice house, but also, we want to be able to explore it.
We went there and Maria hung up her hammock and asked me to sing the Oldham Weaver for her while swinging in the hammock. I don't know what the owners would have to say about that nonsense.
Last year I had Grey Lady, this year this one was my cat, who I decided to call Denevér.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.