Sunday bloody Sunday

The tall ships have been visiting Greenwich this past weekend as part of the start of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. So given that it’s only a few miles away we decided to have a look.

Greenwich was full up so we drove to the Peninsula by the Greenwich Dome and that gave us ample viewing points. (Click on the image to see it full size).

Tall Ships (2 of 6)

The ships ranges from Thames Barges to four-masted schooners – and everything in-between.

Tall Ships (3 of 6)

Tall Ships (5 of 6)

Tall Ships (4 of 6)

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Over Exposed

We enjoyed a day in Portsmouth yesterday – although Karen got a little over exposed Smile

Portsmouth (1 of 3)Portsmouth (2 of 3)Portsmouth (3 of 3)

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Dad’s legacy

Today wasn’t the best day to be booked into Wellington Barracks and the Guards Museum. It was only the day after the terrorist atrocity at the Palace of Westminster and so much of the area was prohibited to cars and security tight.  But the appointment had been made, parking booked and so we went ahead just leaving home a little early. 

Wellington Barracks (2 of 4)

I parked on The Square and was met my Colonel Duncan – my late dad’s association boss and Andrew Wallis, the museum curator. Dad had left the museum his unique collection of model Grenadier Guards each in a different order of dress throughout the regiment’s 360 year history and I’d been invited up to see the collection on show. Impressive it was too!

Wellington Barracks (1 of 4)

The models were arranged in date order and viewers could walk around them. The setting was excellent and dad would be chuffed if he could see them in situ.

Wellington Barracks (4 of 4)

Colonel Duncan and Andrew Wallis had laid on tea and sandwiches and so we ate and chatted after a tour of the museum. I hadn’t visited it for over 30 years and was astonished at the amount of artefacts and the quality of the exhibits given that this was a regimental museum rather than a national one.

All I have to do now is write my thank you letter – but I will do that tomorrow.

Dad in 1977 painting his solders.

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The Expanded City

Artists are invited to submit to exhibit on the subject of The Expanded City.  This is a group exhibition curated by Goldsmiths Visual Cultures Society and the UAL Curation Society.

This exhibition aims to explore the ways that life in London is organised and influenced by structures of capitalism. How do we, as cultural producers, shape the space we live in, and how are we shaped by it?

My submission:

Peter Mansell M.A., B.A. (Hons), A.R.P.S.

MA Fine Art Digital, Camberwell College of Arts, September 2014-July 2016

Pete Mansell is a 59 year old south Londoner who began studying for a photography degree after a career in health and disability rights. Pete gained a first class honours degree in 2014 and completed an MA in Fine Arts Digital at Camberwell School of Arts in 2016 gaining a distinction. The different facets of, and milestones in, Pete’s artistic journey can be seen at: along with some of his work.

Valid: In-valid
Some people move throughout the urban landscape with ease. Everything is made to make their life based on buying goods and services easier. The expanded city validates them as does their purchasing power.

Other people move throughout the urban landscape with difficultly. Barriers dominate their experience. Special rules and signs apply to them and signify where they may go and what processes they should follow to access what others take for granted – if granted at all. They are signified as different as design norms largely ignore their needs and exclude them, and so special remedial measures are put in place to afford this group limited mobility and access. These special measures are then cited as evidence of societal progress toward equality and inclusivity. Yet in reality they show the very nature of segregation.

Largely excluded from productive economic participation and forced to rely on handouts the very value of their existence is questioned[1] and they retreat to the virtual world, free but imprisoned, although a few “brave” souls make it in this hostile metropolis and are lauded by the non-disabled for doing so and held up as examples of what can be achieved if only other impaired people would try to overcome “their” disability.

These images speak of the experience of being disabled in the so called expanded city and are an act of articulation and resistance.

Movement (81 x60cm, c type print on fibreboard)

Expanded City (1 of 6)

The external physical environment is a hostile place. My thoughts are dominated by questions of access and the avoidance of things like dog shit and broken glass. This often means that I am not concentrating on who I am with or what they are saying and so I can seem distant and uninvolved. These things are not natural or an inevitable consequence of being a wheelchair user.

Special Measures (40×30 C type prints on fibreboard)Expanded City (2 of 6)

Expanded City (3 of 6)

Expanded City (4 of 6)

Expanded City (5 of 6)

Special measures are put in place to accommodate disabled people’s needs. They give the appearance of helping yet offer little in terms of comparative access. Special disabled rooms need to be booked up, special points of access found and special aids hired to enable the disabled person to function. This doesn’t make me feel very special.

Signification (38x18cm C type print, mounted and framed)Expanded City (6 of 6)

Disability is a social construction where some people’s impairments are not recognised as valid in society and so the person becomes an in-valid. This view pervades all aspects of life – social, physical, and attitudinal. But even in our signification our invalidity is defined in ways that imbue us with social values.

[1] Pring, J. PIP Investigation: ‘Horrific’ Suicide Question Sparks Fresh Assessment Inquiry Calls, Disability News Service MARCH 2, 2017 (access here:

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Dying, and dying with excitement

Recently I’ve been suffering with eye infections, colds and the dreaded return of bleeding and so I have felt low and rotten. Karen has not been well either. But in the midst of this we have been progressing with the purchase of our flat in Portsmouth and visited yesterday to measure up.

Spinnaker Quay (15 of 17)

The weather was kind to us and this view is about 200 foot from our flat. We are just opposite a place called Hotwalls and our flat faces Camber dock. We inspected it. The view isn’t bad.

Spinnaker Quay (12 of 17)

It’s just by Ben Ainslie’s BAR set up – this gives you an overview of the area and the red line marks our place.

Spinnaker Quay (1 of 1)

So we’re very excited and dying to get in. Spring seems to be springing, if you take the Cathedrals gardens to be an indicator, and I hope to put our winter woes behind us soon.

Spinnaker Quay (16 of 17)

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Things to come….

A nice flat found in Old Portsmouth. Flat seen, flat liked, offer made, offer accepted. (I won’t jeopardise the deal by showing it yet. That will have to wait for us to exchange contracts).

So my immediate future seems to be furniture shopping. Portsmouth (1 of 1)

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Saatchi Selfie

The Saatchi Gallery is running a Selfie Competition and for once it’s free. So I’ve submitted these images.

Selfie: Remembered1 Remembered

Selfie: Documented2 Documented

Selfie Experienced3 Experienced

Selfie: Interpreted4 Interpreted

Selfie: Defined5 Defined

The aim of my submission has been to offer a set of images that work individually and as a group. I know they break many conventions in terms of working as a set, for example, using different formats, aspects and colour schemes, but I think they do work together.

Anyway, it was interesting and fun creating the set and submitting them and I hope the engage others.

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