Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hospitality: of Art and Almshouses

Read Aimie Purser’s text for Inscriptions

Pdf version


The Almshouse Tempera Project publication available to order

Inscriptions, a 68-page publication detailing the work of The Almshouse Tempera Project is now available to order

Naming the Readymade, a Centenary

January 15th, 1916, Duchamp’s letter to his sister in which he first names the “readymade”

Translation of Duchamp’s letter:
15th January approximately. My dear Suzanne, A huge thank you for having taken care of everything for me. But why didn’t you take my studio and go and live there? I’ve only just thought of it. Though I think, perhaps, it wouldn’t do for you. In any case, the lease is up 15th July and if you were to renew it, make sure you ask the landlord to let it 3 months at a time, the usual way. He’s bound to agree. Perhaps Father wouldn’t mind getting a term’s rent back if there’s a possibility you’ll be leaving La Condamine by 15th April. But I don’t know anything about your plans and I’m only making a suggestion. Now, if you have been up to my place, you will have seen, in the studio, a bicycle wheel and a bottle rack. I bought this as a ready-made sculpture. And I have a plan concerning this so-called bottle rack. Listen to this: here, in N.Y., I have bought various objects in the same taste and I treat them as “readymades.” You know enough English to understand the meaning of “ready-made” that I give these objects. I sign them and I think of an inscription for them in English. I’ll give you a few examples. I have, for example, a large snow shovel on which I have inscribed at the bottom: In advance of the broken arm, French translation: En avance du bras casé. Don’t tear your hair out trying to understand this in the Romantic or Impressionistic or Cubist sense—it has nothing to do with all that. Another “readymade” is called: Emergency in favor of twice, possible French translation: Danger \ Crise \ en faveur de 2 fois. This long preamble just to say: take the bottle rack for yourself. I’m making it a “Readymade,” remotely. You are to inscribe it at the bottom and on the inside of the bottom circle, in small letters painted with a brush in oil, silver white color, with an inscription which I will give you herewith, and then sign it, in the same handwriting as follows: [after] Marcel Duchamp.
[Francis M. Naumann and Hector Obalk, eds.; Jill Taylor, trans. Affectionately | Marcel: The Selected Correspondence of Marcel Duchamp. Ghent, Belgium: Ludion Press, 2000, 43–44.]

Inscriptions – Project Publication

Proof copy of  The Almshouse Tempera Project’s forthcoming publication: “Inscriptions,” images and texts detailing the work of the project – published version available soon.



Currently working on The Almshouse Tempera Project publication; Inscriptions, this is how the contents page looks at the moment;

Discussion Day – Report

Report on the Almshouse Tempera Project’s Discussion Day held at the University of Nottingham, Wednesday 24th June. The aim of the day was to bring all the project participants together to discuss how their work and thinking was progressing and to focus attention on to the forthcoming exhibition and project publication.

The morning session, Looking Backwards, Looking Forward commenced with a presentation, by Derek Hampson, detailing what had been achieved to date, including the many talks and workshops delivered by the project. He then focused on the forthcoming exhibition, outlining his suggestion for the exhibition’s title, Inscription, and the reasons behind it. Following this each of the project participants gave a short presentation on how their work for the project was progressing.

The afternoon session, Translations, was organised around a talk by photographer Andy Lock, on photographic representations of architecture. Andy’s talk included a number of his own images of architectural structures, particularly council houses. Of particular interest to the project was his work using the Albumen Print, an early photographic process which, as its name suggests, utilises egg white. Following Andy’s presentation there was a wide-ranging discussion.

The day concluded with a discussion around what participants might contribute to the exhibition and project’s publication. A practical end to what had proved to be a day of thought-provoking interactions. Many thanks to all who participated.

Project Talk – the Role of Drawing

There will be an open Seminar/Workshop on Drawing, 4.00pm-5.30pm, Tuesday 6th May 2015, @ University of Nottingham, Sustainable Research Building (SRB) Seminar Room C10
Location Map the SRB is No. 17 on the map next to ‘North Entrance’

This session will feature two short presentations by members of the Almshouse Tempera Project, Jonathan Hale and Deborah Harty, coordinated by Derek Hampson

Unlocked-for-editing: Tools for transformation;
This talk will ask how it is possible for a designer to discover something new within the act of drawing. Typically, a half-formed idea of how a space could be reconfigured is roughly sketched out on paper using what Maurice Merleau-Ponty would describe – as he did with spoken language – as a process of ‘coherent deformation of available significations.’ By drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of what he called expressive or ‘speaking speech’, I will aim to shed some light on the creative potential of sketching as a tool for the design process.

Jonathan Hale is an architect and Reader in Architectural Theory at the University of Nottingham.

Drawing through the threshold
Deborah Harty’s recent research is centred around the premise ‘drawing is phenomenology’: an investigation into the phenomenological potential of various drawing genres and processes. Harty will make reference to various positions being taken within this research and introduce new starting points and thresholds generated as a consequence of her engagement with the Almshouse Tempera Project.

Deborah Harty is a Lecturer in Fine Art at both Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University and a co-director of TRACEY drawing and visualisation research: