This is one of the images from incidents I activated in my studio in Cardiff shortly after visiting the Tannery at St Fagans with the Rhod Group. This incident may lead to working with Penny Jones’s dog as our show progresses!

“Getting down and dirty” identifies my infatuation with job specific process – materials,tools and methods. The imagery and processes represented in my posts will form the backbone of my research into laying down a proposition that will make itself available for manipulation by, with or in spite of the artists within the group !!                  David Shepherd January 2012

Tannery kid


Dragging backwards and forwards.Soak in water. Lime bath treatment loosing the hair and removing the flesh. Stacking and layering the hides. Scrub House. Brewing the mixture. Lasagne. A decent amount of tannin. Remember now – green salted, dry salted, and dry. Cats eat bits of flesh. Enormous sandwich in the tan yard.Polythene sacks.The dogs. (Story of leather – Sara Ware Bassett)

Llusgo yn ol ac ymlaen socian mewn dwr. Triniaeth bath Calch colli gwallta chael gwaled a chael ar y cnawd. Stacio a haenu y chrwyn.Prysgwydd House. Bragu y cymysgedd. Lasagne. Mae swm gweddus o tannin. Cofiwch awr – gwyrdd wedi’u halltu, halltu sych, ac yn sych. Cats bwyta darnau o gig. Brechdan enfawr yn yr iardlliw haul. Sachau polythen. Y cwm. (Mae stori lledr Sara Ware Bassett)



Progressing Imagery (with lime mortar).       Throughout the duration of the show (and beyond) I will continue to work on three other sites in Cardiff in between visits to the Tannery. I will endeavour to relate to the renovated architectural aspects of the building by working on my own garden wall. The preparation of lime putty will mean that this will occur at a later date!



Progressing Imagery (with lime mortar and more)     When the Clothes Rack was erected in the Gallery (with the hanging devices) it immediately became a depository for all sorts of paraphernalia as well as coats and clothing ……. it was always in my mind that it would operate in this manner and it will remain one of the focuses of my attention as things progress …………….


Work in a Cardiff location as I prepare to pack ‘stuff’ to take to the Tannery.

Down Dirty

Working in a Cardiff location with some of the 500 bath towels that are part of an ongoing event at Melin Glonc ……….


Amongst the chaos and wild dynamic of the first day – working collectively with the group and Peter I was able to isolate moments of a very personal selective nature!

Window Rack

This window is particularly interesting from both inside and out particularly with the rack placed very close to the wall ! I will spend some time working with this on my next visit to the Tannery

Peter with Rack

It has always been part of my process to capture incidents that are constructed directly through the lens of the camera … so I will be posting snap shots that represent documentation and material for future works as well as more considered ‘compositions’


Installation at the Mill

The statement below is from my website and describes the essence of my work as an artist … hence the inclusion of the archived work above that is an incident from my current work as Artist in residence at Melin Glonc. The wet dirty towels are in the Tannery show …………..


An arena for identifying images derived from “job specific” activity that interfaces with the past, present and (future) by way of a reclamation and re-presentation process.

Home studio with curious cat


Studio work













Zed is dead/ Zed wedi marw

Mike Murray….

Initially I really liked the idea of creating an open source object, like for example: ‘Open cola’ www.colawp.com .  Before visiting the ‘Tannery’, I thought it would be interesting  to look at ideas around the fetish.  Having read up a bit about Freud’s ideas on the Fetish a few years ago.  I thought I’d start researching it properly and I found this interesting video on youtube : http://youtu.be/t1PCXuBfEB0

I started looking at different objects that have a clear link to Tanneries, so I started studying my wallet with my trusty watercolour set, experimenting with ideas of the fetish.  Then found my very old but in very good nick, large leather suitcase in the loft and started looking at that and I found two cheerleader pom poms in there.   The juxtaposition of those two objects gave me several avenues of ideas, none of which felt right.

Then, I started thinking about the practicalities of installation and realised that a digital projection might be a much more interesting avenue to explore.  Therefore, I’ve started experimenting with 3D animation software ‘Bryce’.   This is an ‘open source software’ which is free to download from the internet.  Every year they offer developed versions, now at Bryce 7.   The internet also offers a host of ready made objects for this program in which you can import and manipulate as you wish.

My title comes from the film ‘Pulp fiction’, Zed’s a character on the film who is a police chief by trade, but in his spare time has his own gimp locked away in the basement of a shop…. you all know the film.

In the last month I was very sad to hear that a well known small record shop had to close its doors on the now almost desolate Bangor High Street (N. Wales).  This is the shop where all us locals would buy our albums and tickets for local gigs.  It was the place for youth/ music culture.  It such a shame how edge of the City retail outlets are killing our smaller Towns and City High streets.  Is Bangor High Street to become a place to visit only at night, whilst intoxicated?

Yesterday was the first day of install at the Tannery, I brought a range of things to experiment with.  One thing I was particular intrigued by was this large yellow strip of double sided sticky plastic or ‘fly paper’.  Jake Whittaker had brought a stack full of old records in which I started to experiment with. Some of tried throwing the records onto the sticky flypaper which had wrapped itself around the beam of the Tannery space, but alas it stick by the act or lobbing the records, they therefore had to be more conservatively ‘placed!’.   The same thing was attempted with Penny Jones coloured card, again ‘placement’ was the only effective cause of action.  In the end the strip was cornered off with Roger Lougher’s hazard tape. 

Prior to all this, it had crossed my mind to use fragments of Mari Owen’s green plastic bucket.  The bucket was completely in perfect working condition before we had a kicking ‘competition?’, to see if we could get it through an old window opening.  Determined to get it through, my ego completely left me and with one final boot, it smashed into pieces.  Sorry Mari – selo tape could be an option?

Rhôd at the Tannery:


The Tannery was open –
7.30pm Fri 09/03/12
11am-1pm Sat 10/03/12 with Pecha Kucha in the Tabernacle 2pm-4pm
11am – 3pm Sun 11/03/12
Location – http://g.co/maps/bj284
The Rhôd Artists Group are developing a collaborative work and research project at The Tannery, Machynlleth from Monday 13th February to Sunday 11th March.
Mike Murray, Dave Shepherd, Jason Pinder, Penny Jones, Jacob Whittaker, Mari Beynon Owen, Samuel William Aldridge, Elizabeth Waterhouse, Kathryn Campbell Dodd and Roger Lougher.
The title of the exhibition is an ‘exquisite corpse’; the sum of each artist’s own title for the show they would ideally have liked to curate within The Tannery if curation was not shared with 9 other people.
The process will be mostly undertaken behind the closed doors of the gallery where it will offer the artists an opportunity to work in a site-specific way, interacting with each others work and allowing the project to change and develop in situ.
You can follow the groups’ postings here as the show progresses and the artists curate the show and discuss their particular interpretations of the processes.

The exhibition will open with a closing event on the Friday 9th March when members of the public will be invited to the gallery to see the current position of the work. This will be followed by a walk and talk around the show on Saturday 10th March in the morning and in the afternoon a discussion with the artists using video projections.
There will be a skype event on February 29th when the group will discuss the show with each other and any who wish to join them.

This is an edit of the webcast Skype conference from the Rhod group.

All of the actual meeting has been edited out leaving the conversations about connecting.

The full version is available here bambuser.com/v/2411810