“a liberating breeding ground for ideas…”
June 9, 2010, 4:00 am
Filed under: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Collective

 A lovely review of DDDDC’s basement project by Nathan Williams at Guardian Cardiff. Check it out here…


Final Show for the DDDDC Collective
June 8, 2010, 3:33 pm
Filed under: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Collective

On Tuesday 25th May Theo, Amy, Ian, Fran and Louise celebrated the end of their Basement Residency by putting on an excellent show in Milkwood’s upstairs gallery…here are some photographs of the evening. Posted shortly will be a record of what each artist achieved in more detail. In the meantime, check out this wonderful piece about the Basement Project by Guardian Cardiff;

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May 24, 2010, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Collective

The five current residents will be opening up the basement tomorrow- Tuesday 25th May, and presenting a show in the main galleries of Milkwood. A really exciting collection of pieces is predicted so catch the exhibition whilst you can.


intermezzo – 23rd April 2010
April 25, 2010, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Collective

On Friday night (23rd April) the basement dwellers opened up their door (or rather, took the door off completely!) to the public, allowing a glimpse of their creations so far. The basment has acted as a fully-fledged studio for the five artists over the past two weeks so it this was an optimum chance for Milkwood visitors to see ‘work-in-progress’, whilst enjoying the Printmaker’s show in the main gallery upstairs.

It was a great pleasure to see such an exciting collection of projects evolving, along with the literature and the precedent images that are influencing them. The artists have employed techinques in both two dimensions and three …as well as in digital form (with added sound effects!) To follow are some images of the fantastic pieces that were on display.

Amy O’Driscoll


Theodore Griffiths



Ian Wilkins


 Frances Smith

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week two- louise holt
April 23, 2010, 11:36 am
Filed under: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Collective

A Stranger is a Friend You Never Met Before

Update on Louise Holt, by Theodore Griffiths

Louise has been working on knit-based interventions within the surrounding environment with the end aim of gauging reactions of people when they see something that they wouldn’t expect to see normally…

Here are some photographs followed by what Louise has to say about her project…

“The last photo is of a random guy who liked what we were doing and asked to have our picture taken. He said,

“A stranger is a friend you never met before”

I liked that and it started the project off well. It was really great just putting that one installation up because I had so many people stop and chat to me, asking questions and enjoying it. I think this project is going to be more about the reactions of people and the pleasure they get out of seeing something ‘pretty’ and a bit silly but also about making them look at their surroundings a bit more.

People really do enjoy seeing other people being creative and I think everybody that walked past had a smile on their face. Right, off to knit some more…”

Unfortunately, we will miss Louise at the Intermezzo but look forward to working with her in the run up to our final show at Milkwood Gallery.

23rd April 2010

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The Fall
April 20, 2010, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Collective

‘The Fall’

by Ian Wilkins

I have recently watched a film by Tarsem Singh (Googly Films) called ‘The Fall’. Shot in 18 countries around the world, this film is visually stunning and remains an absolute must for anyone who needs a serious dosage of visual inspiration. The cinematography is breathtaking, and the story plays on the mind making you think about your own imagination and the idea of fantasy blurred with reality.

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Week One- Ian Wilkins
April 16, 2010, 4:51 pm
Filed under: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Collective

Thinking about the basement as an ‘art-tomb’

by Ian Wilkins 

This is the first residency in which a collective group of artists have been given the chance to make work in response to the basement space. Our immediate aim for the first week was to transform the basement into a more comfortable environment for making work – the usual furniture moving and comfort accessories materialising as the first few days progressed. Once we had settled and begun the standard musings over ’what to do’,  I began to think about the ways in which the basement would impact on my current work, but also how it would influence on the group as a collective experience.

I have become increasingly more interested in the hidden aspect of the project and the casual revealing of work as people become aware and step down to take a look. My initial thoughts regarding the project were hinged on the idea of a basement being a place where objects or social practices are concealed and revealed at various points. This idea then led me to think about my working method, particularly regarding my use of appropriate material and their alteration.

A few weeks previously I had picked up a book on Manchester University’s autopsy of their mummified collection held in their natural history museum.  The photographic documentation of this event combined with a series of compelling radiographic prints captivated me, with this book remaining in the studio for a number of weeks. The means of appropriation has become a consistent working method within my practice – I enjoy sourcing inspiration from objects and books collected whilst on my everyday travels. It is often the case that my encounter with such material is because of my interest in graphical image and that certain objects display imagery that I find visually interesting, or that suggest an ambiguity regarding its meaning to contemporary society.

Charity shops, boot sales and other second-hand sources are therefore ‘hotspots’ for finding hidden visual treasures that feed my imagination and evoke response.

As soon as I was invited to the residency at the gallery I instantly thought back to the book I had picked up entitled ‘mysteries of the mummies’, drawing an analogy in my head between our hidden project within the basement and that of an Egyptian tomb. This book has now been subjected to customarily methods of play and intrusion, using photomontage and pen and ink drawings to begin to form ideas that will later be realised in more carefully thought-out compositions. 

As a printmaker, my time is currently split between the basement studio, and workshop back at Howard Gardens. Already drawings and simple photo-collages that completed in the basement are already feeding their way into the print workshop transforming into more considered compositions.


Returning to the use of the basement – I was recently questioned regarding how the ‘group’ were making a response to the basement project. My answer was based on what most people experience when they find themselves in a particular place and time, within a collective group of people…

A sense of cohesion within a peer group, away from institutional rules and restrictions, with a sense of complete freedom to feed off each others own enthusiasm and enjoy making art.


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