Ironstone Prize 2016


Every 2 years the local Banbury Museum holds an Open Exhibition.

I usually enter 3 items and one is accepted. Mostly the work selected is fairly traditional, well-crafted paintings, drawings and sculpture with some occasional exceptions.

I submit work for a few reasons

  • It is my local art show
  • I like to gently challenge the way entries are restricted by the means of display
  • I want to offer more conceptual work and encourage others to do so
  • I don’t mind being rejected!

This year I struggled to find work which may be acceptable as I recognise curation is important and creating a cohesive show is essential.

I was going to submit a couple of edited video sketches made in the first term ( Michaelmas and Number three )

However, one used background soundtrack  of Sibelius’ Finlandia during the video recording (it was important for the work that this was not an overlaid track but part of the performance).

I didn’t have the original CD used during the performance and so there were copyright issues…not picked up incidentally by YouTube.. so after much searching the studio I couldn’t use it an acknowledge the source ( A lesson learnt to record the sources of material used…or beware!)

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 16.28.28

Then I decided to edit the video piece The Reading Room as I thought

  • It was too long for the audience
  • It was too site specific for this location

I edited it down to about 5 minutes and I realised, too late, that it therefore meant nothing!

Don’t change the work for the venue!!!

I also submitted Ordnance Survey ( re-made after it was stolen from the Trig Point)

The curator, Dale,  was very interested at submission and helpful with providing a plinth which served as a make-shift Trig Point for display of the laminates fixed on to the chain and padlock. I also submitted a couple of Images of the Scopes for context. I couldn’t take photographs during the submission so here is a reminder



They weren’t really geared up for viewing video submissions without me taking in my own projector for viewing and the other video sketch, Michaelmas was labelled a month before the making cut off date….Daft..

Lots of lessons learnt and this time none of the work was accepted.

When I returned to pick up, though, I did get some feedback despite this not usually being given…

They were fascinated by the work which provoked a lot of discussion, especially as it relates to local history…..but they felt it was not appropriate for the exhibition, only as a Site-Specific work, rather than a piece with documentation from Periscope images.

Good to get the work seen if only by the panel and cause a discussion

What was also interesting is that I happened to have the Flash Drive in my bag when I went to teach at the Care Home, got into a conversation with one of the Staff and lent her the stick.

She was fascinated by both pieces of video and ‘got’ them without any real explanation… A useful crit. from an unexpected viewer….

Maybe I’ll unleash some other work on them next time….things may have changed by then…



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