Post written by Claire Paterson, winner of the Steven Campbell New York Scholarship

Mark Leckey exhibit at MoMA PS1 in Queens

Monday November 7th

Went into the ISCP this morning and got settled into my space, starting to create an environment for the photo sessions, which begin Wednesday.

In the afternoon I travelled out to MoMA PS1 in Queens. My flat mate Giles works there, and has spent the last couple of months setting up the Mark Leckey show that occupies most of the floors of the building. I was bowled over by the amount of hard work that has clearly gone into assembling such a vast and complex show.

Mark Leckey exhibit – ‘The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things’

I’m interested in some of the ideas that Mark Leckey explores. Leckey has an obsession with primeval myth and the initiation of transformations, and the part of the exhibition that I was drawn to most was a dark gallery filled with black-light images and eerily illuminated objects. Leckey wanted to imbue these stationary objects with ‘animist energy’ and create a ‘composit of random meaning’ like a surrealist exquisite corpse – something I’ve been exploring recently in my own work.

James Turrell’s ‘Skyspace’ at MoMA PS1

At dusk, I was fortunate enough to stumble across the ‘Skyspace’ on the 3rd floor: a site-specific installation by James Turrell in which he’s removed a slice of the gallery roof, leaving the space open to the elements. I was able to sit and watch the sky change colour above, with its edges rimmed by ethereal artificial light from inside the gallery.

Tuesday November 8th

Today I went searching around thrift stores in Brooklyn, looking for objects and props to use in my collaborative sessions with models.

Housing Works thrift store

Later on, I joined other students at the ISCP to watch the US election.

Wednesday November 9th

This morning I met up with New York figure model Celeste – a very talented Shakespearean actress, who also does aerial performances and puppet shows, amongst other things. The photo session and collaboration was great fun, with a lot of improvisation and an inspiring back-and-forth exchange of ideas (images to come soon!)

Thursday November 10th

The Big Reuse resident cat

This morning I went out to The Big Reuse in Brooklyn to seek out more objects and props for possible use in my next collaborative sessions. One of the main highlights of my trip was petting The Big Reuse resident cat, who lives in the warehouse, sleeps on top of stacks of books, and enjoys cuddles from the staff!

In the evening, Executive Director at ISCP – Susan Hapgood – was good enough to host a gathering for ISCP residents at her home, before taking us around various openings that were happening in Chelsea, including a Paul McCarthy show that I’m planning to return to during the day at some point for a proper look around.

Andreas Gursky opening, Gargosian Gallery

Friday November 11th

This morning I met with figure model Z, having tea at Lula Bean cafe in East Williamsburg and discussing our collaboration, before heading to the studio for our photo session. Z brought along a mask and costume elements he wanted to use in his myth-making session – and because he’s a figure-skater, he was interested in creating particularly graceful poses.

John Aslanidis, Sonic Series opening night at the Australian embassy in Manhattan

In the evening, I went to the Australian embassy in Manhattan, where John Aslanidis – an ISCP artist from Sydney – was having an exhibition. It was interesting seeing many of John’s paintings gathered together in the one space. When viewed from a distance, the colours of the Sonic series really seem to thrum, the painted circles showing the ripple effect of sound-waves, so that his work seems to exist ‘at the threshold between music and painting’ ( Discussions with John last week have led me to want to explore the influence of music on the myth-making process – and during my session with model K on Wednesday, I was able to use some music files John sent to help influence and determine poses.

Saturday November 12th


G and I visited Mr Picker today, one of the artists who’s contributed work to the collaborative myth-making process.

Mr Picker’s metal triangles on my studio wall, used during my collaborative session with figure model K

Loved seeing Mr Picker’s art collection, which included an original Joseph Beuy’s print and a Hans Bellmer piece. I also enjoyed getting the tour of his inspiring Manhattan apartment, which is packed with his own paintings, sculptures and found objects.

Mr Picker showing his book collection. In the background is his work Flora, with the caption: ‘Flora liked springtime best because she comes in colours everywhere.’


In the afternoon, Mr Picker took us around some of his favourite sections of the Met, which is right by his apartment. Was enjoyable to see the links between certain Met pieces, and Mr P’s eclectic interests and the themes that appear in his own work.

Mr P showing us around some of his favourite swords in the Met
One of Mr P’s favourite sculptures – The Demidoff Table, by Lorenzo Bartolini

Sunday November 13th

Quiet day in the studio today, sorting through photos from my modelling sessions with C and Z. Looking forward to next week – already got lots planned!

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