January 1st 2007 was a cold but bright day, an excellent way to start the most exciting project I have ever undertaken. I originally suggested the idea of creating the position of artist in residence at spurn point to Andrew Gibson, Outer Humber Officer Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, after visiting an exhibition of botanical photographs presented in the lighthouse by Adrian Wynn. It was a simple venture, an empty unused lighthouse to be used freely for a year by an artist interested in spurn and its environment for creative studio work and exhibitions.

One of the aims and objectives of the residency project was to inform and educate people about spurn point and some of the work undertaken by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Before the year started I planned exhibitions, events and a website that would occur during the residency also a closing exhibition at Sewerby Hall in East Yorkshire in early 2008 to show the work created in the residency. This show will be followed by exhibitions at Beverley Art Gallery and 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe in 2009.


20 – 21 Gallery Scunthorpe

I have loved spurn since I was a boy living at Paull on the Humber bank. It has been an integral part of my life and artistic process for twenty years, drawing, painting and beachcombing. A passion for collecting took over from the painting and drawing and I started to create collage work, representational at first becoming more abstract assemblages in recent years.

My work is concerned with the elemental nature of existence and the transient form of natural and manufactured objects. Importance is placed with the elemental effects on natural and manmade materials from exposure to the sea. They are evidence of the power of natural forces to change this detritus into unique special objects of great beauty for their own sake.

Special objects? Why? When glancing at the pebbles on the beach, do we find an individual stone so personally exciting or uniquely appealing? Seeing the object through an artists’ eye I feel it stands for itself and should perhaps be displayed individually or as a collection, not altered or used to create a pictorial image.

A lifelong preoccupation with collecting and the nature of sequence and repetition cannot be separated from my work.

The form we occupy today as human beings is only transient and our desperate efforts to halt the process………. A reluctance to accept our own mortality?


The environmental artwork at Spurn relates to the stark environment, the groynes, the lighthouse, movement, the disintegration and destruction, the ebb and flow, the organic nature of the space, homage to the creative force Spurn evokes in me.


Chalk Spiral, Spurn Point

Whilst making the proposal and thinking about the art works I might create I envisaged several permanent or semi-permanent sculptural installations to be placed along the peninsular. After being here for some time enjoying the wild, natural landscape, foreground to the sea and sky, I started to feel differently, the space having a profound influence on my artistic process. It has changed my ideas about sculptural installations in the landscape.

Spurn is an ever-changing landscape, transient in nature, people come and go, the tides ebb and flow, the land moves and reforms. Why then would I want to place a permanent artwork in the middle of the landscape interrupting that movement and perhaps spoiling what many come to see, an incredibly enriching and relaxing world so different from the towns and villages in which we live.

I wanted to create artwork in the landscape that would enhance my view of the scene but be transient and unobtrusive. I started making patterns on the sand with pebbles and detritus that litters the beach. Creating spirals and forms that could last for just a few hours or moments until the incoming tide washed them away.

A photographic record of these sculptures and beach installations was kept, and then exhibited as part of my exhibition of photographs at the lighthouse in June 2007.



A public diary, which costs nothing and is freely accessible to everyone in the world, seemed like a good idea!

I tried to write once a week, including pictures of things I had found or created. I answered questions people asked, used the web space to advertise events, putting on last minute changes and times etc. people have emailed and made comments on the blog, keeping up with the goings on of the residency with positive feedback.



Stratiform 4 - Spurn found object assemblage

Stratiform 4 – Spurn found object assemblage



  • 1st Start of residency
  • 20th- April 23rd Installations, Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax


  • 24th Spurn Walk with the artist


  • 20th Humber Trust NHS team day
  • 30th Spurn Walk with the artist
  • BBC Humberside Radio interview


  • 15th BBC Look North interview
  • 26th BBC Country File interview


  • 1st Yorkshire Post article
  • 7th Holderness Gazette article
  • 9th-10th Exhibition of Photographs in the lighthouse
  • Marine Conservation Society, web article on beach litter
  • 23rd Spurn Walk with the artist


  • 13th Hull Art Circle exhibition at Beverley Art Gallery
  • Driftwood ball winner of The Beaulah Trophy for Sculpture 2007
  • 21st Open Studio at the lighthouse
  • Strandline MCS article
  • 31st Scunthorpe Telegraph article
  • 31st Calendar News interview


  • 3rd to the end of September, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe. Installations
  • 30th Hull University, Hull art circle show in the café gallery


  • 1st-2nd Exhibition of Assemblages in the lighthouse
  • 4th-3rd October Hammonds Windows Exhibition, Hull
  • Yorkshire Life article


  • 2nd Taking the Waters, Ilkley literature Festival, The Playhouse, Ilkley.
  • 3rd Artlink, Hull, Launch show.
  • 6th-7th East Riding Open Studios


  • 31st. End of the residency


Whilst putting up the exhibition at Dean Clough in January the long stratiform images were placed horizontally on the wall. The work I created in the lighthouse became tall and thin and more of an installation than an individual piece, a sequence of panels around the wall. I wanted to explore the variety of shades and tones within a single colour but seeing the all the time as a collection.

Exhibited in the lighthouse with the Assemblages.

Found object assemblage, 6 x 8ft x 2ft panels

Green - Spurn found object assemblage, 8ft x 2ft

Green – Spurn found object assemblage, 8ft x 2ft