Art Ideas (2002) – Weekly Diary

When I started writing a daily art diary in 2002 I thought it might be interesting if I also wrote down ideas for art projects I had no intention of actually doing.  I did this for a few days and then packed in as I found I had a big enough workload anyway.

To put this in context, and to go back a good many years, I actually stopped painting at the beginning of 1977 and didn’t really start again until the early years of the next decade – this isn’t quite true as I still have a few quick sketches from this period and I also did hundreds of drawings.  However, during this period I wrote down page after page of ideas for installations, art environments, “happenings”, multi-disciplinary pieces, theatrical works etc. etc.  I actually constructed some of these as well as quite a bit of sculpture and assemblages.  All of this work has been lost after a number of studio moves  Most were destroyed after a few weeks to be honest.  Although I still have thousands of written ideas which I would like to publish at some time – not here though!.  Other artists have since realised some of these ideas – by coincidence and totally independent of me of course – particularly in the Brit Art era.

Anyway, after this long preamble, I thought I might do a weekly daft art ideas post, initially based on the 2002 notes.  Below is the first one.


  1. I woke with ideas, which have crossed my mind before, for sculpture made from air currents*, directed heat or cold, ionised streams, sound or light etc.
  2. Sculptures made from tights stretched across a variety of structures. Similar with giant condoms.
  3. Giant bags in framework collecting water from dripping pipes. Giant coloured balloons continuously inflating and deflating. Stretched membranes which collect detritus. Netting collecting wind blown debris. Make collectors from sticks and similar natural materials.
  4. Pits in the ground which accumulate rubbish.
  5. Floor composed of squirming mass of invertebrates.
  6. Fungus or lichen covered wall – made to grow in distinct patterns.
  7. Bacteria in petri dish.
  8. Sculpture on a dung heap.
  9. Paintings in strung in vertical holes.
  10. Objects assembled in a JCB shovel.
  11. Paintings on giant underwear,
  12. Sound emanating from loudspeakers buried underground.

* I actually made an air sculpture in early 1980 using an electric fan and an aluminum box I constructed myself – I dismantled it almost straight away.  I also started a heat drawing using a horticultural heating cable arranged between wooden panels.  However I didn’t properly finish it as at that time I had no means of showing my work.


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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