Project Japan 2019 – First step

first step

First step: Latex and interweave.


Based on my experience last year, I knew I would not be wearing clothes with pockets very often during my residency at Atelier Outotsu, Osaka. In the heat and humidity I would wear the lightest clothing; my Pocket Remains project would be on hold. I saw this as an opportunity to think about where Pocket Remains sits in the bigger picture and to test ideas stemming from similar interests; combining site specificity and the recording of daily, lived experience.




Over the past year I’ve been exploring the use of latex as a medium to capture trace. I decided to test it out as a way of recording the short journey from Atelier Outotsu to the local train station and shops, as a dotted line of floor textures. First steps from Outotsu entrance to the stairs…..





Project Japan 2019 – Woodcut days


Throughout August Myamoto Shoji has been giving Monday classes on Japanese woodcut. His work is exquisitely beautiful whilst at the same time, funny. The work which is mostly centred around food, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

I used to enjoy woodcut as a foundation student several decades ago, but these classes have been quite an insight. We’ve been working with japanese woodcutting tools, paper and watercolour as the printing medium. Application of paint with a brush rather than ink with a roller is the first big difference. The possibilities for nuance and delicacy are ever present, but as a novice, seeing the way forward and applying paint ‘just right’ takes a lot of practice!



Having an interest in pocket objects, I decided to explore the periphery of a couple of tissues. This is consistent with previous work, eg Puddle Drawings, 1SSUE 41 and my most recent graphite powder drawings. The colours and techniques are largely ‘borrowed’ but they gave me a place to start.



Project Japan 2019 – Etching days

Over the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting in the print studio at Outotsu with  soft ground etchings to transfer the trace of pocket objects; gloves, pill packets, tissues, kitchen roll, hair, sweet wrappers, that kind of thing. The results remind me of x-rays. This has also been a great opportunity to explore different inks, different printing and wiping techniques, and different printing papers that I haven’t used before. I’ve been taking full advantage of the expertise around me. I’ve found each day here completely absorbing and learned a lot.

I specialized in printmaking in my first fine art degree decades ago. It’s very different returning to these processes with an established practice and philosophy on making artworks. As I’ve become more interested in transforming objects, what qualifies as a ‘good’ print for me is governed on different terms to those I was conventionally taught. This has been extremely thought provoking.



I’m also surrounded by other members who are exploring diverse interests with confidence and ambition which is inspiring and motivating.

Rie with one of her wolf etchings.

Finally, there is nothing I can compare in my experience of printmaking, to etching on the roof top in 36 degrees celsius, gazing at the distant mountains whilst gently agititating a copper plate……



…. not to mention afternoon tea.



Project Japan 2019 – Mirror


Art Spot Korin Gallery, Kyoto.

Pocket Remains : Heather Parnell. More…

Pocket Remains: Archive 1. Papers, pen, boxes.

Pocket Remains: Archive 1. Papers, pen, boxes. 220cm x 90cm. 2019. More…

Pocket Remains: Archive 2. Latex and graphite powder on paper, boxes. 180cm x 90cm. 2019. More…


Pocket Remains: Archive 3. Paper handkerchiefs, thread, boxes. 200cm x 90cm. 2019. More…

Pocket Remains: Archive 4. Charcoal powder on paper, boxes. 40cm x 60cm. 2019. More…

Pocket Remains: Archive 5. Latex, plastics, thread, boxes. 40cm x 60cm. 2019. More…

Pocket Remains: Hers and His. Plaster, paper handkerchiefs, box. 40cm x 50cm. 2019.

Blank Paper. Paul Hazel. Film. 7minutes. 2019.

Gene Pool. Paul Hazel. Film. 10 minutes. 2019.


Project Japan 2019 – Installing the exhibition.

On Monday at 1pm on July 29th, Paul and I installed our joint show ‘Mirror’ with help from curator Masahiro Kawanaka and Matthew Fasone, an artist we have collaborated with in exhibitions and 1SSUE in the last year.



As sometimes happens when you get to a gallery, I changed my mind about the configuration of the 55 boxes I’d brought across from Wales.  It took several hours and a bit of maths to hang everything. Paul’s films turned out to be rather more troublesome in ways that are beyond me but it all turned out well in the end.



Project Japan 2019 – meeting Yutaka Moriguchi

Left to right: Ritsuwo Kanno, Professor Yutaka Moriguchi, me.

I had my first meeting with Artist and Arts in Health professor Yutaka Moriguchi on Sunday July 28th. Our first day was an initial introduction but also an intense downloading of information, interspersed with a visit to the Outotsu exhibition at Nishinomya City Museum.

The world it transpires, is a very small place and Outotsu exhibitions are truly a combination of emerging and established artists. Yutaka knew several members of Outotsu and as she admired a green circular print in the gallery by artist Takesada Matsutani, Ritsuwo Kanno, Outotsu Director and curator of the exhibition joined some dots; Takesada Matsutani is one of the invited exhibitors who currently has a retrospective show on at the Pompidou Centre. If you happen to be in Paris, go and see it!