top of page

Ken Artspace : Final shots and some reflections on the work

Updated: Jun 24



So, this sequence of work came out of short runs of watercolours I started back maybe ten years ago. Initially, I was trying to capture the messy aspects of heart transplant. This began with going to a dissecting room and making watercolours of fresh frozen hearts in Belgium. It was a process I had to get involved in to counteract the cleaner video work I was making around the Process of Incorporating the Transplanted Heart project based in Toronto, Canada. This started a period of practising watercolours endlessly to make a whole set of work on different topics, all moving to get more competent over time. These works gradually became a counterpoint to the longer very intense video works I was making which could take a year to accomplish. They gave a quicker reward and I very much liked the material nature of them, the physicality. So, I began to make some almost every day.


The format has pretty much stayed the same working on a quarter sheet of Hahnemuehle 600 gsm paper, moving occasionally to larger works on half sheets, and full sheets, and very occasionally joining several whole sheets together. Many of the works have included other materials than watercolour. These have depended often on collisions with other sets of work I have been involved in at the time, so stitching, felting, scratching, printing, and embossing have all been encompassed into the work.


They often start with how I am feeling on the day, a gut feeling, of a sense. So, they are a direct reaction to my state of mind. Since at the time of making there are often many works around me on the walls the works sometimes start with a reaction to something I  have done before. Maybe something I feel could be improved, a variation I am interested in. From the start of the process, I am most interested in the works where something unexpected happens and the work goes off in new directions.


The content does in some way frequently reflect my interest in the medical biological world and scanning, MRI or CT, does enter the image language. Heads are therefore represented in different planes and sometimes all at the same time, coronal, horizontal or in the sagittal plane. The head becomes a space for theatre, a location for a flow of consciousness. The ideas can reflect matters of the medical, subjects I have noted and researched after hearing about them on the radio, or after discussing them with science friends and being in the lab. Other influences to the work are myriad but one I can't help but pick up on is ceramics and the simple glazes and imagery of South Korean pottery and celadon ware, "green ware".


I enjoy producing them as they are quick, the way I can be inventive, and the ability to test colours. I like their feel and their flexibility. The way they can be adjusted easily. The way one can afford to take risks easily and inexpensively. A lot of ‘chance’ comes into play and one is always reacting to what happens on the paper, how much the paint bleeds, how it puddles, and how it reacts with the paper surface, smooth, or rough. With the use of a high-quality paper at this type of weight, the work can take a lot of abuse, erasure, and scratching. I like how I have pushed the use of watercolour into new realms beyond a traditional English, landscape vein, using stencils and print and dry point lines.


And I do really like working on the watercolours as I rarely have to wash the brushes. I still have the same colour to work with from one session to another, just softening the brush with a little water. Onwards.



KEN Artspace


16 Windmill Row, London, SE11 5DW

Open: Thu-Fri 11 am-5 pm, Sat 11 am-4 pm

M: 07931 541 417E: kenartspace@gmail.comW:


Hear about the work at

Read about the work at Catalogue. 

See more work at the website: 

Current exhibitions and projects: 

All images: courtesy of the artist Andrew Carnie   

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page