After having spent 10 days at my degree show talking about my work, i think it has really got my mind very focused to notice absolutely anything that is remotely toilet related or spotted. Probably more so than when i was actually creating the pieces, because during that time i was thinking specifically about the tasks i was doing, rather than about the work as a whole. During the show, i have had chance to think about my work in a wider context, and i have been thinking about what will happen next – not only for these 2 pieces themselves, but for their development and some entirely new work.

Once i had taken the show down i went to London for a couple of days, and i realised when i got back, that most of the things i had taken photographs of were toilet related or spotty! I just hope i wont notice something similar next time i open my wardrobe!

I noticed this lorry after stepping out of the tube station when i first arrived. I think it must actually be a really hi-tech portable toilet, and was very excited indeed! It made me wonder about giving Bog Standard Gallery some wheels and attaching is to the back of the caravan!…

I was even more excited to spot this portable toilet (it even seems to be the same model and as mine!) from the top of the London Eye!! (It’s just under the second train carriage from the left)…

And to see this spotty building was just the icing on the cake! πŸ™‚

Now that i am back from London i will be working full time for the Manchester International Festival. Having been doing a few hours a week there in the past couple of months, i think the work will begin to become quite exciting now that the festival has actually begun.

This evening i went down to the BBC studios on Oxford Road to do an interview about what i am doing now that i have my first, woo!

The most exciting part of the trip there was either using a yellow microphone or getting photographs of the toilet signs! Actually the novelty of getting the photographs wore off quite quickly as they were extremely boring signs so i think the yellow microphone is the winner!

I think had i been in the building any longer, i would have replaced the toilet signs and put dots on the microphone… πŸ˜›

Something else that interested me today was this article about the portable toilets at Glastonbury…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6236306.stm

I do symathise with these people, as i know exactly what it’s like to have to do that to one toilet in the comfort of an art studio, and it’s not pretty!

I don’t know if portable toilets are topical at the moment, especially with Bansky’s latest installation, or whether i just can’t help but notice them now.

I got far too excited when i saw this in Hampstead Heath a couple of weeks ago (look at the number plate!)…

My younger brother Jonathan is always involved in my work – whether he offers advice, gives his opinions or just helps to create a mess!

I have to say i think he was the best dressed visitor to my exhibition…

I started my day by walking out of my driveway only to get run over by a 7 year old girl on a bike!…At worst she was in trouble from her parents for not looking where she was going, and my feet were a little sore, although i was more gutted that the sequins got torn of my flip-flops!

Luckily my day got much better…

After having a press photographer in the caravan, he proceeded to photograph me open the envelopes with my results…i was absolutely terrified about how my reaction might come out in the photographs, but luckily my results were what i had hoped for so all was fine!

I was ecstatic to discover i had a first – something that i never could imagine happening when i was scubbing excrement off the toilet walls! I don’t think the results have quite sunk in, and i think when they do i will be quite upset because it makes finishing my degree seem very final 😦

Yesterday i noticed there was an article about my work including a photograph on the front of the university magazine. I believe there is an article about my caravan in the South Manchester Reporter today, but i have yet to see it and tomorrow there will be a story in the Manchester Evening News…

When i arrived this morning to open up the caravan, i had a little visitor dressed in yellow waiting to go inside…

Had she have stayed there any longer it would have been too tempting not to have put a little dot on her wing πŸ˜›

Pity she didn’t manage to sign the visitors book!

After having spent over 1 year working on the caravan since it’s purchase a year last April, the feeling of having painted the last dot was quite sad!

After using 34 litres of yellow paint and painting 40 000 dots over the caravan, it’s contents, and pretty much most items of my clothing, along with most things in my room, other people’s clothing, my flat, my flatmate’s car, my dad’s car and my phone (just to name a few!) i feel i am having withdrawal symptoms from my daily dotting and yellowing of everything that i touch! I am such a loser that i cannot bring myself to throw away the remains of the paints i used, because i think complete closure on the project feels quite severe just now, seeing as it has been a major part of my life for so long!!

The opening of the degree show was on Friday, and was extremely exciting. During the long days that i spent painting so many things i didn’t think the day would ever come when it would finally be finished. I think the part i hated most was trying to rid my skin of the yellow colour it had become quite permanently in the last few weeks. Even today i still have the odd bit of yellow in my hair.

The exhibition continues until the 24th June and is at the All Saints Campus of Manchester Metropolitan University.

The last week or so in the caravan was in fact quite a nightmare! It was one of those occasions when you know there are just lots of little things than need finishing off, but that ends up taking so much longer than you anticipated. I was in a real panic thinking i would not get it finished in time. Especially with the turn in the weather, i wasn’t able to get the roof painted until the last second. I was also getting frustrated withΒ the inability of some people to paint round dots so sadly had to lay them off!

I am now extremely pleased to say that after using about 40 litres of yellow paint and painting about 40 000 dots on the caravan and the items in it it is pretty much complete – well i did promise that i had finally finished painting things yellow – but my flatmate walked in on me very late one night painting something new πŸ˜›

Today was another long day! Mid morning i took a short break from the caravan and went and spoke to the 2nd years about dissertations. After this i went on a bus tour of what seemed like the whole of Manchester to get some more yellow paint. Each time i go to Homebase to get some paint mixed i get told that the machine isn’t working and they are waiting for it to be repaired – this has happened every single time i have been there in the past year! It’s not like i go there too often but i can’t be that unlucky surely?? I think they just can’t be bothered to make paint up for people because even in B & Q the people that mix the paint up always seem to be in a mood over having to do it! I don’t know why because it looks like loads of fun!

So after finally getting some more paint i completed a second coat over everything i had done yesterday with the help of Leanne πŸ™‚ One of the maintenance staff at university was concerned about the amount of clothes that i seem to be ruining with yellow paint so she gave me an XXL overall so hopefully all my clothes will be quite safe from now on!

The painting session was finished of nicely with a trip to McDonalds before i went to do a couple of hours work for the Manchester International Festival.

Providing the weather is fine tomorrow, i will do coat three with another of my lovely assistants!

This morning was an early start – with 10 days until all the work for my degree show needs to be complete, there is lots to do!

On Friday my caravan arrived at university, and looked very happy in it’s new home (along with a random cat that has now decided to live under the caravan when i’m not looking). Most of the contents have been painted, i just need to finish the interior and paint the outside.

My plan for today was to complete the inside, but by midday i had decided to take advantage of the good weather and paint the outside. My progress was a lot quicker than i anticipated and even though i was stupidly using a smallish brush i managed to get a complete first coat on the caravan by 6.30.

The main problem i encountered today was that the caravan ended up covered in flies that sadly passed away by drowning in the wet paint. Hmmm, maybe for the next coat i will make a sign to warn them to keep away. Not a lot i can do to get rid of them now – i will just have to use them as markers for where i will put the dots πŸ˜›

Ok so, one quite entertaining part of my day is where i look at how many hits i have had on this Bog Blog – i am able to see what people have Googled to have found the Blog.

I am always surprised by the amount of people that Google the word ‘Poo’ in a day – i can’t believe there are people that actually do that, and it’s not just the odd one or two either!

…but this morning to see that someone searched ‘Mel is a weirdo’ (and incidentally i just discovered that if you do that my Blog is the first thing that comes up :S) …i am shocked! I am hoping that the Mel in question is not me, but if it was, grrrrr! …I will track you down!!

On Monday 14th May, i did an interview for BBC radio Manchester. This was quite exciting as it was the first interview i have done from inside my caravan! You can hear the interview by clicking here.

Bog Standard Gallery was featured on Channel M News on Tuesday the 8th May.

The past few days have been absolutely manic with radio, newspaper and TV interviews. I have to say i am completely overwhelmed with the interest in my work from thousands of people world wide. It’s such a busy time of year in terms of organising the rest of my work for my degree show, its been hard to juggle all the interviews around actually getting any work done and responding to all the emails i have had from people all over the globe!

It has been an exciting time getting used to revolving a day round interview slots and has definately been a great learning curve. It is also fantastic to be meeting and getting to know so many people along the way. The past week has probably been one of the busiest weeks in my life and the motivation i have gained from the huge interest in so many people has been amazing!

This afternoon i did an interview with Spin 103.8 a radio station based in Dublin and this can be heard below:

Below are some photographs from when Channel M did an interview inside Bog Standard Gallery later this afternoon.

Tune into Radio 5 live on Sunday 29th April at 11.30 pm to hear more about Bog Standard Gallery!

P.S. The ribbon is going fast!

Follow the link below to join the group!

http://mmu.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2406456468

So…people are asking me what i am doing with all that red ribbon that Bog Standard Gallery was wrapped up in before it was oficially opened. I have decided that i will give strips of the ribbon from the opening of the worlds smallest art gallery, to those explain why they should get a piece! Or to those who offer ££s, or amazing photographs of toilet signs from somewhere i have not yet been! There is 6m of ribbon…and i will cut it into strips of 5cm – so the supplies are very limited! I may even sign the strip for you πŸ˜›

Be imaginative and let me know by sending a comment to this page!

Today has been an extremely busy day with the press for Bog Standard Gallery. I have been doing a number of interviews all day and it is quite exciting!

An article in The Daily Mirror this morning described me as odd, and obsessive but i guess that was to be expected! The article can be seen by clicking here.

And there is an article on the Manchester Metropolitan University website too which can be seen here.

The BBC news online also have an article which can be seen here – and i am on the homepage, woo! (or should it be, loo?!)

On Monday morning at 9.10 am i have a live interview with Andy Burrows on BBC Radio Cambridge and you can listen to that live online or anytime afterwards by clicking here.

And then on Monday at about 2pm i am doing an interview with Dublin’s Spin 103.8 and you can listen to that live by clicking here.

Well this morning i was determined to sleep in a bit but i was so anxious to go and see the article in the paper about Bog standard Gallery that i got up early and we to the shop up the road to get a copy. To my amazement the guy in the shop that sold me the paper, recognised me straight away and asked for my autograph! I asked him what the article is like, and he said he hadn’t read it yet but would do with his lunch. I was really pleased with the article on page 3 of the Manchester Evening News because they didn’t portray me as being a weirdo and were actually quite nice about it!

Today it took it easy after my lack of breaks over the past couple of weeks and was walking down Market Street in town. The MEN guys in yellow coats were handing out copies of the MEN so i took a copy and started walking away. Then i heard a voice saying, “Come back!!” and when i turned around the MEN man was beckoning me over. He couldn’t believe he had spotted me from the paper and said he was so excited that someone famous from in the paper actually went to their stand to get a copy and then asked me to sign the paper for him!! This i did and then i took a picture of them…

This evening was the opening of Bog Standard Gallery’s first exhibition! She was wrapped up in a red ribbon…and then opened by Mary Griffiths, Curator of Modern Art and the Whitworth Art Gallery.


is the opening of the JNF exhibition and then the exhibition will be open on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday next week.

This morning was a very early start. I had to get to the studio in time to print a couple of things off and stick them up before it was time for the Loovre to go on it’s journey at 9am!

Getting down the stairs with a portable toilet takes some doing and three strong men! Once at the bottom of the stairs we were greeted by a photographer from the newspaper. After positioning the Loovre out on the street i had to stand inside and had some photographs taken – very embarrassing indeed, especially as at this time of the morning there were lots of people arriving at university!

Upon arriving at the exhibition venue the struggle was then on to get the gallery out of the van and inside the building!…

Once inside, i touched up a couple of bits of paint from the move, removed the bubble wrap and swept the floor.

After wrapping the portable loo up with a big red ribbon, i am all set for the opening of Bog Standard Gallery tomorrow night!