Who doesn’t love a bit of technology

‘Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination.’

Daniel Bell

Working towards an enlightened existence on social media, Caroline and Jo battled the foibles of setting up various accounts, making them talk to each other and all work in perfect unison.

So… 5 hours later, three new media platforms in play, slow to grinding halt Internet speeds resulting in artists encouraging devices to develop relationship with routers by placing them in physical contact.

On the plus side, plenty of hilarity ensued, beautiful homemade cake and refreshments digested and three new shiny accounts to play with. We just need to develop the relationships between them… Our thoughts… start with dinner and see how it goes!!!

Watch this space… Logo, branding and general promotion action is on its way.

So, this is also what artists do all day.

The business of being artists

‘To be truly experienced, a work of art needs to be felt, more than understood.’

Michael Craig Martin, Drawing the Line.

We discussed various lines of enquiry including opportunities at various sites including St Albans, Highgate, Berkhampstead and a now concrete booking in Harlow.

There was a great deal of conversation about the way organisations require (or desire) different types of communication from enthusiastic artists approaching them. Sadly, these can very much directly conflict each other dependent on the personalities behind the door. What was agreed upon however, was the benefit of ‘leaving a calling card’ but something that would give enough information, be engaging and of course creative. We have all gone away with tasks and this will become the focus for our next meeting.

We also discussed our online presence and what we need to do to develop this. It’s all very well having a website, but no use if the authors of the site are the only ones seeing it. So, development of social media accounts and timely sharing of information and images are called for.

In amongst all the business, we fortunately still had time to share where we are at creatively. You can’t have a meeting of artists without visuals!

Janie Graham talked about her research into workhouses in Hertfordshire and the link with her new work.

Work in progress

‘Work in progress – Charles Dickens’ second novel Oliver Twist is a gripping tale of life on London’s darker side, the workhouses and the dark alleys. A scathing attack on injustice and oppression. This maquette illustrates Oliver Twist’s brief apprenticeship to Mr Sowerberry, the undertaker.’

Having explored the inside of St Albans Abbey, Caroline Lumb was intrigued by the colours from stained glass windows and natural sources that are thrown onto the stone work. In this image she has experimented with monoprinting to capture this ethereal light.


Mono printing

Jo Howe – continued exploration of mark making

Mark making

Mark shared his latest work, Runes from the performance ‘A Brush With Silence’ – at the Round Church in Cambridge.

A sneak preview of new work ‘Narrative Spaces’ for forthcoming exhibition. Mixed media on paper.

And experiments with lettering and printing on linen, a work in progress  utilising words from ‘Welcome to The Black Parade’ by My Chemical Romance.

Development of practice – exploring pathways

Caroline shared her ongoing experimentation with the St Albans Abbey site.


‘One of many visits to St Albans abbey resulted in me taking numerous photographs. My initial thoughts were to investigate the gargoyles as I have been working with casts and portraiture over the past couple of years.  However on this particular visit, the lighting inside the abbey drew me to explore the perpendicular and horizontal elements of the architecture.  The resulting images gave me my palette to work with and the upward motion of the building abstracted the viewpoint.  Working in the studio I have made a first attempt to capture this on a 10”x10” canvas using acrylic paints.   This I see as a starting point – I. Now have many more canvases of various sizes that will be used in the following development.  What will the outcome be ?   I wonder.’

Initial response


Jo spoke of her response to ‘The Boke of St Albans’ being so loosely connected to the St Albans community. It is becoming a journey of creating a new book, starting out as a personal project but with a mind to develop into a community tome. Jo is exploring book structures, mark making and the idea that ‘no mark is wrong’. This is the start point for a work  ‘signatures’.

Exploring marks

Exploring marks


A festive revisit to the gallery space.

‘Thoughts are the least

silent things I know

they jostle and nudge

and vie for position

single spies, battalions

exploding bladderwrack

long linked lines of

genetic information

multi – tracked

as a cream slice.’

Sarah Lidell, Thoughts

Now that the space has different exhibitions installed, we felt it really useful to have another look at them and how they were being utilised.

Gallery shadows

It was useful to see how adaptable they could be and consider possible alternatives with the use of light and structure in different areas.

Transient spaces

Transient spaces

We reconvened for the obligatory coffee and cake in the cafe.  Because it’s the Christmas season, brussel sprouts would have to be on the menu!

Sprout cake

We chatted about the spaces and how they would work for our ideas. We also caught up on where we were with the work. It was interesting talking about Janie’s ideas and how they can lead down various paths depending on what else surfaces through her research. Exciting how this research is leading her to develop work with new materials.

Janie Graham – Wire soldier

We also considered where else we should be applying  to show new work as a collective. Lots of thoughts came with this and plenty of new leads to follow.

A brief break at Christmas and then plenty of work to be getting on with in January.

Lets see what 2019 has to offer The Gallimaufry Collective.

Seasonal greetings.



You can’t just throw your hat into one ring

‘Interpretations of interpretations interpreted.’

James Joyce

This is an interesting time in the process of setting up an exhibition. We are awaiting further communication from the gallery about our proposal (a further response is due in January). The necessary balance with other work and commitments (you can’t just throw your hat into one ring) meant it was not at all surprising that two members of the collective were unable to make this meeting.

We discussed our research resources and shared how they were or were not inspiring us together with the lack of forward momentum. It was though, interesting to note, through these conversations, that both artists were being drawn particularly to the historical aspects of the location and starting to move away from our original impetus, which is the beauty of research… who knows where it may lead.

A great deal of the discussion centred on our process as artists. The desire to continue mark making when that feels the last thing we are able to do, be that due to time constraints or disengagement.

The pressure we place on ourselves to create ‘a work of art’, even when life serves us other challenges to distract us from the practice, we both agreed was palpable. Creating, in whatever small way, is such an essential part of our daily life, it should be without chastisement that our produce is irrelevant or judge it on technical ability or aesthetic reasoning. Every mark has its place, even if it just allows us to stop, look and see for the briefest of moments, and go through the process. It may be that this documents the time they happen in or, they could offer the insight onto a new path. Only time and reflection will tell.

These are a few images that illustrate just this point. Both artists are working by just looking at the subject and not the pad. When the subject has gone, so the marks are complete.  Jo adds one colour later, the  colour from the subject that she finds most memorable.

This is a quick, responsive and rather liberating process for both artists.

Caroline Lumb – Paddy fields

Caroline Lumb – Wild elephants

Caroline Lumb – Mountain range

Jo Howe – Swans

Jo Howe – Leaves on water

Jo Howe – Fire


Meeting up

‘To look is to learn, if you listen carefully.’

Per Arnoldi

We’ve just had a brief catch up today –primarily to ask ourselves a few questions:

What source materials are we collecting?

Janie has trolled through some of the local book shops and found a good range of books etc –

Caroline has been visiting buildings of interest

Jo has begun to explore The Book of Saint  Albans

What have we been working on / achieved since we last met?

Mark is currently snowed under with commissions. Always in demand!

Janie has been awarded 3rd prize in the New Maynard Open Exhibition. Well done Janie!

Jo has moved house and is revelling in her new canal boat. Jo is also preparing new work for  a group show early next year specifically with the visually impaired gallery visitor experience in mind.

Caroline visited the Renzo Piano exhibition at the Royal Academy – wonderful!
A visit was made to Cambridge to a seminar on Art & Communication – up lifting!
Caroline showed a new piece of work created by layering – a method that she is keen to take forward to future work – this prompted a good conversation and sparked ideas in another member’s mind to do with 3 dimensional layering – the artist already works in this manner but the conversation expressed it in a different way and trigger new thoughts.

Janie loaned Caroline the book ‘The Art of Looking Sideways’ Phaidon….interesting !

It’s the little bits like this that are fruitful and we left with our creative thoughts rushing ahead.

“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Our next meeting with be on the canal boat – whoopie !!!

Welcome to The Gallimaufry Collective

‘It is a constant idea of mine that behind the cotton wool (of daily reality) is hidden a pattern that we – I mean all human beings – are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art.’
Virginia Woolf, A sketch of the past.

Proposal, planning and coffee

The artists in this collective first met in 2015 as part of the highly successful exhibition at both Rugby and Parndon Mill entitled ‘Paper. Scissors, Stone’ Since then four of the artists involved in that exhibition have been meeting regularly and have formed

The Gallimaufry Collective.

They have started planning a new exhibition and this website / blog will take the form of a record of the collaborative development of their individual work. Each artist will focus on their own specialism and a particular line of visual research that interests them. They will be meeting regularly both to challenge and support one another’s perception, ideas and techniques thereby building a cohesive body of work.

Who are the artists?

Janie Graham

Janie is known for her work with books – illustrating the content in a 3D form.


Caroline Lumb

Caroline is a mixed media artists who is also interesting in tradition drawing techniques.


Jo Howe

Jo is a contemporary artist who brings forth new narratives and broad interpretations


Mark L’Argent

Mark is a professional calligrapher who produces modern innovative pieces.


The collective have so far met once on this particular journey. They have been working together on a proposal for an exhibition,  – just submitted – the outcome of the submission will determine the direction for the next steps.

As soon as an outcome of the submission is known to the collective we will be blogging about it and will be able to give you much more detail!

We are very excited about this new venture and hope you will be too as it unfolds.

Please join us on this journey of discovery and sign up on the contacts page to receive notification of when we post the next blog.