A lot can happen in three weeks!

New Immortals A4

Three weeks have gone by since we achieved the  amazing target we set for our Kickstarter campaign, raising £2500 towards the cost of putting on The New Immortals exhibition. Since then it has been a period of full-on planning – getting together with the artists who are making new installation work for the show, meeting with the team at Phoenix, drawing up plans for the gallery build, defining the size and proportions of individual artists’ spaces, talking to the technicians who will do the build, costing materials and drawing up the final plans. It’s been great to be able to finalise these plans at last, now that I know that there are sufficient funds to pay for all the materials we will need to construct the gallery lay-out that we want. So I’ve got a bumper shopping list of £1000 worth of timber, MDF sheets, paint and screws all ready to order next week!

It has also been a period of intense activity putting arrangements in place for the events programme which will accompany the exhibition. We’ve got a great range of events planned including a symposium in partnership with Brighton & Sussex Medical School, an artists’ talk and networking event with Blue Monkey Network and artist Anna Dumitriu, a book launch for Murray Ballard who is one of the artists taking part in the exhibition, and events in the gallery every Saturday throughout the show including a drawing workshop with artist Angela Smith and some really interesting guests dropping in to our informal Saturday Lab gallery events. The first two Saturdays, the 20th and 27th of February are going to be run in partnership with scientists from The Centre for Regenerative Medicine, part of the University of Brighton, as part of Brighton Science Festival, and I’ll be meeting with them next week to talk about the sort of things we’ll be doing in the gallery for those two Saturdays.

It was exciting today to get the first drafts for the exhibition flyers and posters which are looking great and will be going to print next week!.Details of the gallery events are already appearing on the Phoenix website too at so do have a look there for more details and put some dates in your diary for a visit if you can!

This week I’m hoping to put some finishing touches to my new video, In Praise of Renewal, working with film-maker Sam Sharples on Monday to complete the final edit. After that I’m looking forward to freeing up a bit of time to concentrate on developing the installation parts of the show. Time is going very quickly now! Watch this space for another update later in the month.

The New Immortals Kickstarter campaign – a big push for the last few days!

phoenix screenshot

With 25% of our Kickstarter crowdfunding target achieved, support for The New Immortals project has been heartwarming and very much appreciated. It is an amazing feeling that people care enough to back our project and I hope it’s as good a feeling for those of you who have pledged to it, to know that you’ve done something really worthwhile by supporting artists who are making challenging and thought provoking new work.

With eight days to go and £1800 still to raise please will you help spread the word far and wide to people you think might want to play a part in helping support artists. Here is the link to our New Immortals Kickstarter campaign: – please feel free to share it and to invite others to join us in supporting the artists taking part in The New Immortals exhibition.

Thank you!



mouse - life's too short

The New Immortals Kickstarter campaign launched this week with a target of £2500 to raise in 20 days and a range of suitably tempting rewards in place for New Immortals patrons, from a simple public thank you on this website for donations of £2, to limited edition artworks, personal tours of the exhibition, individually selected gifts and the promise of eternal gratitude for donations from £5 to £500 (or more if you wish!)

If you feel you can support artists by pledging an amount, however small, please visit our Kickstarter page at


1.J.Alder_In Praise of Renewal_dual screen testImage above: Judith Alder. Still from new video work, In Praise of Renewal (working title).

It really has been a waiting game for weeks now. No final decisions or definite plans for the exhibition can go ahead until I know whether my funding application has been successful and whether I will be able to go ahead with Plan WB (With Budget) or will have to reformulate with a Plan WOB (WithOut Budget), so it’s a case of gritting teeth and sitting tight with the clock ticking and the exhibition date coming ever closer.

The good thing is though that I have at least  been able to get on with developing my own new work for the exhibition, and two amazing things have happened. First, I was incredibly fortunate to be given a grant by the Artists Benevolent Fund to enable me to realise some ambitious new video works, working with film-maker Sam Sharples and composer/musician Clive Whitburn. Then, just in the last couple of days, I received the very exciting news that Brighton Festival Chorus have agreed to perform the choral piece which is to be the soundtrack to one of those videos. This is really an amazing development and I can’t wait to hear the outcome!


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For two weekends Blue Monkey Studio in Eastbourne was the venue for The New Immortals Bring and Buy Sale. Visitors were invited to bring books with the words, mortal, immortal and death in the title, immortal superhero figures and cuttings and excerpts from articles about anti-ageing remedies and life extending miracles of science and medicine. In return I offered for sale my New Immortals badges and stickers, handmade concertina books containing excerpts from The New Immortals conversation events, my framed collages and even some bottles of “Water from the Fountain of Youth” which I thought were a bargain at a fiver a bottle!

The sale resulted in some great acquisitions including “The Big Book of Death” and a superb Wonderwoman doll complete with headpiece, boots and alternative costume. It also raised the first £100 towards my target of £1000 which I need to raise as match funding for a grant towards production costs for The New Immortals exhibition next year.


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I’m delighted to be taking part in the Blue Monkey Open Studio+1 event this year. I’ll be showing some new work made especially for this event and I’m also going to be running a Bring and Buy Stall. However, this is not just any old Bring and Buy Stall – I’m asking people to bring very specific things for The New Immortals project including:

  • books with the words “Mortal”, “Immortal” and “Death” in the title
  • immortal superhero figures
  • magazine, internet and newspaper articles or cuttings about rejuvenating or life-prolonging myths, miracles, remedies, therapies and treatments

Anything brought can be donated as a gift, or as a long loan to be returned after The New Immortals exhibition.

I’m also hoping that people might like to buy some of my wares such as New Immortals badges and stickers, little books containing excerpts from conversations from The New Immortals events held last year, sketchbook collages bringing together ideas from my research, Water from The Fountain of Youth collected in Florida in 1936 (it’s not real…) and some of my Everlasting Cake.

I am  currently fundraising for The New Immortals exhibition to enable me to pay participating artists and to fund the technical support and production costs involved in this ambitious exhibition. In order to have the best possible chance of receiving grants from funders, I need to raise a percentage of the budget from other sources. To this end, all sales of my work at Blue Monkey+1, and from a crowdfunding campaign to be launched later this month, will go towards this match funding, meaning that every £10 I raise from sales of work could potentially be topped up to £100 by Arts Council England.


Saturday 18th July*, Sunday 19th July, Saturday 25th July, Sunday 26th July, 10.30am to 5.30pm.

Blue Monkey Studio is at the end of the yard behind numbers 46 – 52 Commercial Road, Eastbourne, BN22 3XF. Entrance to the yard is between nos 45 and 46 Commercial Road.

*Unfortunately I won’t personally be in the studio between 12 noon and 5pm on Saturday 18th as I’ll be leading a Blue Monkey Network Walking Tour of exhibitions and Open Studios, but I will be there all the rest of the time to meet visitors and run my Bring & Buy stall.