Post archive

INSIDE OUTSIDE: A moment of clarity

Been a while since I blogged, and I wish I could say that is because I have been feverishly creative, but alas I have just been busy.  Not to be too harsh on my or our progress with this project, both myself and Rodney have been busy interviewing people and gathering information from different people within the church.


Firstly a reflection on the method of using the cushions to gain feedback.  I think initially these worked really well, and there appeared to be an excited energy, with the cushions flying around the auditorium, even during the preach. As we have gone on however, it has been increasingly harder to gain feedback.  I take responsibility here, as maybe we could have been more proactive in encouraging people, many people seemed unsure what to do with the cushions, and they even got taken to lost property one week!

This said, we have still managed to gain feedback from different people, including some of the groups that run during the week.  I went along to the single parents group and Sparklers, the parent and toddler group, where people were very open to express their views, both through interviews and statements on the cushions.

I have also been interviewing a number of people who attend the church.  This has been really interesting although like Rodney I have struggled to identify a common theme.  

Today we met to have a bit of a re-group and think about our next steps to collating the information into some form of art intervention within the church.  Although initially I can honestly say I was feeling a bit creatively dry of ideas, after brain-storming I feel more confident that things are moving forward - hopefully in the right direction.

After talking with Rodney, we were able to identify some key points which have come from the interviews.  The main themes seem to be people feeling part of Kerith's community, through engagement in different groups and opportunities to 'serve' within the church, whilst also either being able to maintain their individualism or potentially battling slightly with their desire to maintain this and how this works within the whole community. From this it lead us to think of the concept of viewing people as part of the whole church, whilst maintaining their uniqueness or individualism. 

Although from the brain storming there was one idea which stood out for both Rodney and I, I am reluctant to share too much about this yet.  I think there needs to be an element of surprise, which will hopefully entice the viewer and lead them to engage and question more the reason for the work.

I do like the concept of playing with these apparent opposites of community verses individualism, and how these are played out within Kerith's community.   The idea of using information gathered through the cushions and interviews to share the view points with a wider audience, whilst also maintaining people's anonymity. 

Although I still have a number of interviews to complete, I feel intrigued to reflect back over the ones I have done.  To see if there are any common threads between different people within the church, and also to ensure whatever we end up creating that we stay true to the feedback that we have gained.


 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Overcoming creative blocks

It’s been over a month since my last blog and I’m still no closer to knowing what I’m going to do with the interviews and feedback we’ve received for church project (INSIDE OUTSIDE). I wish I could tease out a common thread from the information we’ve received thus far though but nothing is jumping out at me! I hope Catherine is feeling more inspired than I am right now. I’m hoping to meet up sometime soon.

 

As noted in a previous blog, one of the stumbling blocks has been that it’s hard to be completely objective about Kerith Community Church when it’s a community I belong to myself. As such I don’t have any distance from it although I wonder if I’d adopt a more critical approach if I was an outsider (someone not affiliated with the Kerith) or even if I wasn’t a Christian.

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Reflecting on the feedback we've received thus far.....

Following 3 or 4 interviews I’m petulantly looking to draw themes and connections from what people are saying to me. I'm hoping that this will eventually form the basis for some type of artwork though one thing I’ve come to realise from doing this project is that it’s hard to respond objectively to something that you yourself are part of (i.e. Kerith Community Church). I start to question what sort of unique perspective I can have when part of the very church community that I’m trying to investigate. It’s almost as if I need someone who has no affiliation with the church; to tell me how it really is (like some sort of mystery shopper).

 

Nonetheless the interviews have proven useful and I’ve really enjoyed the responses we’ve had from setting out the cushions around church and getting people to write on them. Incidentally one of the questions we asked people was what would they like to change about Kerith Community Church. It struck me as weird that people were so eager to list their improvements when the feedback from the interviews was extremely positive. Subsequently responses ranged from practical suggestions regarding the facilities and improving the overall décor of the church (new carpets please) to people citing ways we could be more welcoming to newcomers. These questions also sparked speculation over who we should be referring these issues to. To what extent is it the responsibility of church staff or should individuals within the broader church community be taking these issues on themselves?

 

Another completely different question is what role does art (or artists) have within the church? The reason being that the more I talk to people within this community the more I feel the response from us needs to be some form of event or social intervention rather than 'making art'. I need to reconvene with Catherine to get her views on this.

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Launching the cushions.....

Yesterday saw the launch of the cushions, and I have to say at the 9am meeting this was taken very literally.  During the 9am service people were throwing the cushion around the auditorium for different people to add their comments. 


I think the response at all 3 meetings was very positive and by the end of the morning I wasn't sure we were going to have enough space for people to add further comments. People seemed keen to participate and also questioned what we would do with the information.  I think some people felt the cushions in themselves could be kept and displayed.  Although at present we are focusing on gathering the information and waiting to see where this takes us it feels good to finally get the cushions out for others to see and respond to. 


 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Perfecting my interview technique

Like Catherine I also had my first interview yesterday. All in all I thought it went well and has given me plenty to think about in the lead up to other interviews that might crop up in the weeks that follow.

 

I think the most striking thing for me is how to conduct myself as the interviewer. Given that I attend Kerith Community Church myself; and know a lot of people there, it’s often difficult to retain an objective distance without getting personally drawn into the things we're taling about. Invariably I should see myself as more a facilitator for the interviewee and not feel as though I need to give an opinion that might influence what someone else says. I also feel that it would be to my benefit to interview people who I have little or no association within the church so as to get to know more about them. Perhaps veering away from just interviewing my friends!

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: First Interview....

Today I completed my first 1-1 interview with S from the church.  This went really well, and was very exciting to hear the views of other people attending the church.  S was very open and honest, and willing to unpack her views and experiences of kerith community church.   


What worked......
I think getting S to choose 10 numbers at random , which then correlated to different questions was a good idea. This made the interview more random, and less prescribed as I had no idea which questions would come up either.  The interview was a little shorter then first planned, although probably was still long enough, as when S was answering the questions we found this sometimes lead into further questioning or clarification of comments. I think it would work to stretch it to 15 questions although maybe this is something we could ask individuals. 

The voice recorder worked really well, as away of documenting what was said.  I think it felt better then maybe making notes, as was less formal, and after a while i think you forget it's there.

What would I do differently........
I think the interview worked really well, and I would stick to the same format.  It might be slightly different depending on who we are interviewing, in some cases more informal if we know them really well.  

I think what was really encouraging for me, was how open S was to the questions and seemingly un-phased.  I hope that from completing these interviews with different people we will get more of an understanding on people's views of the community but that it will also challenge them to think about their own perceptions and responses. 

Looking forward to the next one!

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Information for Sunday

Blitzed out dates when we could set out the cushions for church. Initially we planned to put them out every weekend though that might have been a bit over-ambitious due to our other commitments. We decided instead to do this every other week.

 

During the service the Site Pastor will explain briefly that the cushions are part of an art project and everyone is encouraged to write on them where possible during the service. We’ll also be there if people have any questions about what we’re doing. It may also help us to identify people we’d like to interview.

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Cushions are good to go!

Here's some we made earlier.....

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: The cushions are good to go!

Having spent most of the weekend trudging along the South Downs as part of a Trail Walk, we decided to recoup this afternoon at Catherine’s flat and put the finishing touches to some of the cushions we’d been working on. We now have 7 cushions in total and are hoping to have them ready for this Sunday. The plan is to have them left out randomly in and around the church auditorium. During the service individuals will have an opportunity to find them and write on them if they want to. At the end of each service we’ll collect them in and set them out for the next service. Over the course of a Sunday there are 3 services (at 9am, 11am and 7pm).

 

Though I was still feeling a bit jellied-legged from the walking weekend, the opportunity to do something mildly creative was a welcomed distraction. Generating the cushions by hand as taken us a lot longer than we thought. We had hoped we could bosh them out in one day but we hadn’t foreseen that the Dylon Image Maker would need 24 hours to dry! Even so, the end result has been well worth it. The cushions look fantastic and I’m really glad we’d done them ourselves.

 

Both of us have also been feverishly sending emails to identify people at Kerith who’d be willing to be interviewed as part of our research. I’ve got my first one on Thursday; I think Catherine as one on that day too. I don’t suppose either one of us has particularly good interview technique so we suggested that rather than having a set interview format, why not have all the questions printed out on cards that the interviewee can then pick randomly on the day. At least this way it offers the interviewee a certain degree of control over what they’re being asked as we won’t no either. Evidently we’ll have to see how this pans out on Thursday before deciding whether we do this for all our interviews.

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Making the cushions

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Questions to feature on cushions

Texts that might feature as part of our cushion idea....

 

 

 

 

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Questions to feature on cushions

Texts that might feature as part of our cushion idea....

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Questions to feature on cushions

Texts that might feature as part of our cushion idea....

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Meeting with Sue Ranger (Events Manager) and Gary Scull (Facilities Manager) at the Kerith centre.

After talking through some different ideas of how we could collect information and feedback within the church, we were keen to focus on what Simon said about a ‘beautiful truth’, and rather then carrying out a conventional questionnaire we were keen to use a more creative approach to gaining feedback.   After a brainstorming session we narrowed this down to a few possibilities, and our initial ideas were around installing some form of massage board for people to write on.   We discussed several different options of how this could be presented either as large scale; free standing blackboard, or through using magic white boards that could placed in and around the building.   

 Meeting with Sue and Gary was very helpful, as they were able to come from a very practical standpoint, asking for more information about the project, helping Rodney and I to formulate our ideas in a more comprehensive way.   They also encouraged us to think about the management of collecting information, and how this would be maintained during the week and Sunday services.   For example thinking about using photographs, as particularly with the blackboards the information could be rubbed off easily, and therefore may not be documented.   Although on leaving the meeting we still had a lot of questions to think about, the general response was positive. 

Although we were exploring ways of collecting information I think we were still very focused on what we would do with this information, and on reflection probably jumping ahead to ‘making an art piece’ rather then thinking about the information gathering as a piece of art in itself.

We spent time exploring the building, and questioning the space, and how this could be used to display something in response to the feedback we received.  Ideas around building tents and a more intimate space for people to enter were initially at the forefront of both our minds.

After thinking through the information gathering ideas further we came up with the ideas of making cushions.  For me, and I think I speak for Rodney as well, this project has always been about the desire to make art as much as exploring relationships and the sense of community within Kerith.   I feel we are slowly more able to focus on the individual processes, although without stifling further creative ideas.   I feel excited by the information we may receive and how we can respond directly to this, endeavoring to communicate and share this with the whole community.   

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE: Meeting up at Catherine’s house to talk through ideas

INSIDE  OUTSIDE

 

Meeting up at Catherine’s house to talk through ideas

 

Following out meeting with Simon from the church we were both brimming with ideas! We talked about our immediate audience; primarily those in the church, and how any potential art work might be received (remembering at this point we still have no clue as to what we were gonna do).

 

We questioned how the work could be publicised and how one might access the work without someone there to explain to them. Suggestions included postcards, maps, set of instructions, signage, spider diagrams etc. However; at the same time, we didn’t want to be overly prescriptive!

 

Catherine and I also brainstormed different ways we could generate information about ones sense of community within Kerith (e.g. observations in church, installing a suggestions box/ message board, meeting with people outside of church). Subsequently we worried that approaching people to talk about church with the intention of making an artwork might seem disingenuous. It would be much better to approach people we already knew or individuals who had already flagged these issues up as a concern. In addition we spoke about charting different people’s timeline in the church to identify where they are now.

 

Results of Brainstorm

 

-          Observation Ideas

1.      Birds-eye view of the auditorium

2.      Selecting people to observe

3.      Drawings/ diagrams (obtain a floor plan)

4.      Do people sit in the same place every week?

 

-          Message Board Ideas

1.      Charting people’s connections/ relationships in the church through diagrams

2.      Chalkboards/ magic white boards left around the church

3.      Asking a variety of questions

-          How was your week?

-          What was your first experience of church?

-          When did you know you were a Christian?

-          What did you think of the service tonight?

-          Prayer requests?

-          Top ten conversation-starters during the service

 

Our decision was to start gathering feedback from individuals in church from now till Sun 5 August with the view of formalising ideas for an art work thereafter and having the work installed for September.

 

 

INSIDE/ OUTSIDE: Presenting our proposal to Simon Benham (Senior Pastor at Kerith Community Church)

INSIDE  OUTSIDE

 

Presenting our proposal to Simon Benham (Senior Pastor at Kerith Community Church)

 

Our meeting with Simon proved to be a fruitful one as he was receptive to our interest in doing an art project within the church exploring the social dynamics of  its community. We explained that we primarily wanted to explore how different individuals within the church upheld relationships with one another whilst also highlighting how this group might be viewed by those outside of its community. As a means of information gathering we suggested holding conversations and interviews or devising a survey to gain feedback from different people/ministries within Kerith.

 

Suffice to say that we couldn’t state with any certainty what the resulting artwork would be or look like - at this point we were still at the ideas stage. However we did make some suggestions of possible artworks to Simon so as to consolidate what we’d spoken about….

 

….. Initially we suggested creating an installation inside of the church highlighting the views of individuals and groups who are using Kerith in some capacity, but wouldn’t consider themselves to be part of Kerith’s community. An accompanying installation may feature at a later date that explores the views of those outside of the church. Our intention would be for this outside installation to be erected away from the church (perhaps in Bracknell Town Centre).

 

 

Simon’s response….

 

Whilst our proposal to Simon was a little sketchy he was at least excited about it’s possibilities and was happy to act as a facilitator in bringing these ideas to life. He asked about stipulating a timeframe for this project to coincide with other events/ activities happening in the church’s calendar. As way of publicising he also suggested linking it to his weekly blog or having a feature in Link magazine (a quarterly magazine published by the church). Simon also exercised a few words of caution about managing the project and how we might explain our activities to others….

 

-          In our meeting Simon spoke about presenting a ‘beautiful truth’ and conveying our message in a visually interesting way. It’s important that the artistry of what we’re doing is not hampered by its Christian themes citing a lot of what’s coined as ‘Christian Art’ as being boring and uninspired. He wanted use to consider the quality of our work and our production values as whatever we did would be representative of the church.

-          In explaining this work to others it’s important that we draw distinction between the Kerith Centre (the building) and Kerith Community (the people). Simon warned of the dangers of using the word ‘church’ as it has the wrong connotations.

-          It’s important that we don’t baffle or confuse those viewing the work. We must be sure to give some explanation as to what the work is and what it’s in aid of as there’s bound to be questions from church members.

 

Overall, Simons input gave us a lot of food for thought. Catherine and I agreed to meet up again separately a week later to decide where we go from here.  

 

 

INSIDE/ OUTSIDE: An art project exploring notions of community and fellowship in collaboration with Kerith Community Church.

INSIDE  OUTSIDE

 

An art project exploring notions of community and fellowship in collaboration with Kerith Community Church.

 

At the start of the year an opportunity arose to do some sort of art project with Kerith Community Church – a church that both myself and my friend Catherine belong to. Incidentally we were new Christians when we first started attending here although the church itself has been running for 130+ years (it was orginally Bracknell Bapist Church). Subsequently we were keen to do a project that primarily reflected our own experiences of being in this mondern church community. We were motivated to do something that appealed to our interest in pastoral care and reaching out to people (both in and out of the church). We also started to consider how these ideas might be relative to the church’s mission statement….

 

-          Kerith is a place filled with a regular people just like you

-          We are a diverse community and offer something for everyone

-          Kerith is a safe place where you can come as you are, ask questions, seek answers, and explore what it means to have a relationship with Jesus.

-          We are working towards building a community like a peach.

1.      Easy to get in to

2.      We are open and transparent about what we believe and clearly communicate the bible.

3.      We want you to come as you are, but not stay as you are.

-          Serving the wider Bracknell Forest community with practical help and support…. We are inclusive and will help anyone who needs help if we can possibly do so regardless of race, religion, age, gender, marital status or disability.

 

Initially all of our ideas seemed to fall into one of two distinct camps. The first being stuff we could do inside of the church (hosting an art exhibition or artist residency, creating an installation within the church building). The second was undertaking some sort of project outside of the church that would communicate what we do to the broader community (undertaking public surveys or setting up a church bulletin board within town). As a result there were inherent problems with both sets of ideas. For instance, if we did something in the church to what extent are we still reaching out to the broader community? Likewise if we did something outside of the church how could we ensure that it’s not about evangelism?

 

We came up with the working title INSIDE/ OUTSIDE because we wanted to cater to both those in the church and those outside who had no affiliation with Kerith Community Church whatsoever. As a result we identified the following aims….

 

-          To initially work with people within the church exploring their connections and relationships before expanding this to the wider community.

-          To reach people who are and are not part of a ministry to exploring the concept of community and their experience of this.

-          To identify how people feel/don’t feel part of Kerith community.

-          To have more of an understanding of how people are or aren’t connected to others and in turn their possible feelings of isolation.

-          To chart connections/relationships through some form of art intervention.

 

We know that initially we’d have to start by doing some information gathering, perhaps by surveying different people within the church or by staging interviews. It’s with that in mind that we’ve scheduled a meeting with Simon Benham (Senior Pastor at Kerith Community Church) to present some of our ideas and see where we can go from here. Here’s hoping!

 

RAP6 - Summary

What Worked Well….

 

I feel that the concept is strong and a lot of scope for further development.

 

 I like the aesthetic of the maps which were hand written – they feel like artworks in their own right. 

 

 I thoroughly enjoyed generating the maps/ instructions for others to follow. It was a lot of fun trying to alter my patterns of walking and challenged my conventional view of the town.

 

Whilst I originally intended to organise a callout for unwanted artworks, I later decided to make the artworks myself. It was interesting to think about what would happen to these art objects once they were left in the public domain. This marks one of my first ventures into art as intervention although it has encouraged me to think about who my audience is and how I would like my work to be seen.

 

Even Better If….

 

There needed to be clearer instructions as to what the artwork was and its purpose. Incidentally this issue was resolved (in part) by including a sign outlining that the works left behind were part of an art trial.

 

The maps/ instructions were overly complicated which deterred people from participating. If this project was undertaken again the information available would have to be simplified so that it was more accessible. Furthermore it would incorporate some sort of graphic or map illustration to help people get their bearings in case they got lost.

 

How could this project be publicised more effectively?

-         Postcards

-         Web invitation/ E Flyer

-         Printed Balloons

-         Posted invitations

-         DVD invitation

 

I need to think about how I could collect feedback from those participating. Perhaps it could be a written note, perhaps a feedback form could be built into the packaging. This needs to be as easy as possible to ensure a good return.

 

Need to also think about how the work will be documented if repeated.

 

23.03.12 - Jesus is the "Great Rock" or the "Stumbling Stone" that we stumble over.

 

21.03.12 - The Remains of the Day

 

12.03.12 - Dream Holiday, Package Holiday, Dream Location, Travel Pack, Travelling Without Moving, Dreaming Away, Exotica, Holiday Exotica, (Not Going Away), Dream Place.

 

29.02.12 – Auto Monuments/ Moving Museums/ Social Darwinism.

 

‘Once the house is finished, you die’ (Damien Hirst citing an old Japanese proverb)

 

Roadside Architecture

 

24.02.12 –

- Wearable technology/ Cute Circuits.

- Look into different ways of marking journeys using technology.

- Boomerang

- Paul Auster, Leviathan (Book)

 

Things to put in boxes….

-         Broken plates/ glass

-         Xylophone

-         A box inside a box inside a box…..

-         A bag inside a bag….

-         Cut up artworks jigsaw

-         Pass the parcel

-         Contained smells

-         Pin-hole camera/ photographic paper

-         Plaster

-         Box with a hole in the bottom

-         Stone collection

-         Wet fabric

-         Perfume box

 

21.02.12 –

 

The Space Between

 

Making shoes as a means of tracing journeys (think about what technologies already exist to do this). Subsequently how would the footwear alter experience of place? In addition perhaps I could try navigating the space using crutches or a wheel chair.

 

100 Miles and Running (NWA song)

 

Warehousing – Prison slang for overcrowding the prison

 

Notes from The Art of Travel

- John Ruskin (19th century critic of tourism)

- Spend a day on a bus or in an airport terminal

- Boxes that facilitate the holiday experience

- William Hodges (First coined the expression 'tourism')

- Casper David Frederick (German painter of landscapes)

- Notions of the sublime

- A Rebours (or Against Nature) is a novel by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans. It describes one person’s attempt at retreating into an ideal, artistic world of his own creation (links to imaginary travel).

-  A Journey around My Room by Xavier de Maistre (influential book)

'The soul cause of man's unhappiness is that he doesn't know how to stay quietly in his room' (cited by the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal)

 

13.02.12 -

 

Marcel Dinahet (artist who makes sandcastles)

 

Possible source materials for scanning: Fridge doors, note boards, walls, post its, notes, letters, postcards, found notes, envelopes, picture frames, carpet patterns, wall paper patterns, ceiling textures, mats, door mats, carpets, drains, road markings, street markings, bottom of bird cage, tiling patterns, foot prints, animal waste, shadows....

 

Peter Beards Scrapbook (Photographer who uses collage)

 

The Open Road - Innovative travelogue by Claude Friese-Greene, providing a vivid record of life on the road between Lands End and John O'Groats in 1924.

 

Ways of developing House/ Home work -

  • Only asking individuals to draw either a house or a home.
  • Determine how long to spend on each drawing.
  • Getting them to spend more time.
  • Getting other people to just draw their home and charting it over several years.
  • Getting people to draw all the places they've lived and asking them which ones they considered their home.
  • Ordering them by date made and who made them.
  • Is the house/ home argument really that important?
  • Draw the place you feel most at home.
  • Moving houses.
  • Could be shown as a slideshow.
  • It could be that I ask some people to draw houses and others to draw homes.

 

10.12.11 - We must suspend the popular notion of a map as an accurate and factual document

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17.12.11 – I was thinking about making a series of walks to visit people or places of personal significance to me. I keep thinking about the functions of walking. Walking can be cathartic or a means of remembering or commemorating a significant event or experience (i.e. pilgrimage). Oppositely walking could be a obsessive or neurotic activity.  

 

22.12.11 -

 

Ways of recording where I am: photographs, collage, rubbings, found objects, written notes, using a key, drawings, doodles, tally, written description of place, written lists.

 

23.12.11 –

 

Draw somewhere that feels like home

 

Draw somewhere you feel at home

 

Draw what home looks like to you

 

Draw a house

 

 

 

 

 

28.12.11 – In regards to the photomontage work I’ve been doing recently. I feel that I need to work that reflects my continued interest in interior space and the way we move between one space and another. For me the work has some similarities with Abraham Cruzvillegas’ ideas concerning auto-construction, particularly notions of redevelopment and building on what’s already there. In addition they also remind me of Robert Rauschenberg’s assemblages. Invariably I don’t see them as stand-alone, flat images but rather I see them as parts to a much bigger art work.

 

I recently felt as though I had too many ideas running at the same time. I need to reflect upon my practice as a whole and start to prioritise these works.

 

01.01.12 – It would be interesting experiment to map my movements around my house over the course of a day. The map need not be a realistic layout of the house, but more of an abstract response to how one moves around within a domestic space. It need not even include a layout of the room but merely my movements within these places.

 

-         What other information could be included?

-         Could incorporate a key

-         What relationship does it have to drawing?

-         How could you indicate the amount of time spent in each room? Maybe this could be conveyed using a key.

-         What’s the name of the person who mapped his bedroom?

-         What is a ‘Robinsoner’?

 

 

 

Photomontage of domestic setting

 

Photomontage of domestic setting

 

A-B (stills from video)

 

'Walking is seen as contrary to the spirit of the modern city with its promotion of swift circulation and the street-level gaze that walking requires allows one to challenge the official representation of the city by cutting across established routes and exploring those marginal and forgotten areas often overlooked by the city’s inhabitants.'

Coverley, Merlin. Psychogeography. Pocket Essentials. 2010

 

A-B is a ‘walk’ that I undertook this summer from my home in Bracknell to the APT Gallery in Deptford. The journey was approximately 35 miles, and generated entirely of photographs taken at frequent intervals throughout the walk (the resulting animation is made up of over 20,000 images in total).

 

 

Lagoon by Jera May (as featured in Wonderlust)

 

25.08.11 - Sleep, sandman, sheep, pillow, metronome, hour glass, candle, pendulum, clock, counter.

14.09.11 - I make a journey. You make a journey. We make a journey together (Quote from Sphere).

Using silver magic to transfer photographic images

01.10.11 – Being myself/ By myself, the colour of longing, anchors of objectivity, tangible gravity, what does it profit a man to gain the world but lose his soul? (notes from a Field Guide to Getting Lost)

04.10.11 – Things to make and do, packrat, scavenger, reusability, odds and ends, salvage, flea market, part-exchange, reconstructable, assemblage, spare parts, everything must go, art exchange.

 

05.10.11 – Initial notes for Elbow Room video

What is the video about? What do you want it to convey?

It’s a video documenting my typical day; the modern shelter.

What do you want people to take away from it?

A sense of claustrophobia and discontent. I want it to feel insular and   to convey as sense of detachment from the outside world. I want it to be a comment on modern living and notions of domestic space and how we live and interact with this environment.

How might personal experiences have an influence on this project?

-                 Feelings of restriction / containment

-                 Wanting to move away

-                 Boundaries/ territorial space.

What do I need to do now?

-                 Take photographs of rooms

-                 Make photomontages

-                 Map layout of house (upstairs and downstairs)

-                 Plan route/ storyboards/ screenplay

 

  06.10.11 – Part-exchange, revamp, reusable, utile – an obsolete word for utile, serviceable equipment, hand-me-downs, half-way house, art povera.

15.10.11 -

Tips for Art Proposals

  • Do you research, think about what the gallery is offering
  • Visit the space, familiarize youself with the curator
  • Go to shows at he venue that you're applying for
  • Read the gallery mission statement. Reflect back to them the things that they want. Familiarize and incorporate their language
  • Look at the website, look at past/ current shows in their archive
  • Make sure you have a good, coherant artist statement outlining what we do
  • Don't be discouraged, persistance is the key
  • Offer an education element to supplement the exhibition (e.g. artists talk, symposium, creative workshop)

Notes on A-B

  • Works on two levels as the visuals are interesting in themselves (whether or not you know they're stills).  
  • Transitions from day and night and vice versa (lightplay from overhead street lights, moving cars, light boxes....)
  • Changes in speed
  • A sense of movement/ travel
  • Relative to walking
  • The variety of different spaces
  • Could incoporate different camera angles/ perspectives
  • Greater diversity of speeds (slow, fast, standng still)
  • Could be storyboarded
  • Could include some sort of spoken word narrative
  • Is sound or audio important?

21.10.11 - I have this idea to produce some type of book. It could be a travel log or a diary.

A-B continued....

One of the interesting things about this work is that it could be likened to some sort of epic journey or pilgrimage. For instance, consider the encounters with other people, things that I've witnessed, the passing of the day and night. How could I produce another artwork that expresses the transformative effects of a journey like this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

03.09.11 – An evaluation of my practice dating from 18.04.11 – 01.09.11 (reviewing previous goals/ targets).

 

What’s worked well? What goals have been achieved?

-         I have been able to recognise opportunities on a local level to exhibit my work and promote my practice.

-         During these past months I have enjoyed working in collaboration (particularly in the context of Living-Water).

-         I frequently use a notebook to document ideas and thoughts and recognise the importance of undertaking research. This has helped to identify other areas of interest such as Psycho-geography, topography, notions of public and private space….etc.

 

Which goals have been difficult to achieve?

-         I have struggled to use sketchbooks and generate a body of work in support of some of my ideas of video. I take notes continuously although rarely draw anything. It should my prerogative to be drawing regularly as a means of communicating my ideas.

 

What can be improved?

-         Need to treat the sketchbook as a tool and to be less precious with preparatory work. Think about what a sketchbook might include other than drawings (e.g. rubbings, newspaper clippings, photos, collage, notes….).

-         Regularly update contacts list.

-         Allocating time do research/ self-promotion.

-         Identify individuals I can borrow equipment from.

 

Font 2011 (Video/ Sound Installation)

 

Within my current practice, my interest lies in notions of ritualism and the connections held between physical action and transcendence. Through my involvement with Living-Water I’ve become increasingly interested in holy wells (or sacred wells) synonymous with British folk lore though prominantly sited in regions of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and parts of Cornwall. Historically water was seen to have healing powers and thus wells became popular sites where peole would go to drink, bathe, or even making wishes. The visual appearance of these holy wells also varies considerably from a hole in the ground to an impressive complex of buildings. Although in the last hundred years, increasing numbers of wells have been abandoned, filled in or built over.

As part of a new installation, Font looks to prompt debate on how we relate to water on a day-to-day basis, particularly in an age where there is a constant supply. Viewers are encouraged to interact with Font; whether it's splashing around or simply watching their reflections in the water via a live feed. Whilst these practices may seem outwardly primitive or inane it’s hoped that they would in some way encourage our revelry for water and its supernatural possibilities.

 

 

Installion view of Font at Turbine House

 

 

 

27.07.11 – Setting up the camera with the TV looked good. The TV is quite old and keeps cutting out, but I like this about the work. It gives the work an ephemeral quality that I couldn’t have predicted.

 

The camera needs to be placed at the bottom of the barrel. In addition is it appropriate to incorporate a sound element using the contact microphone?

 

23.07.11 –

 

Different weaving materials: Wrapping paper, wallpaper, coloured paper, magazine/ newspaper cut-outs, cables, wires, plastic bags, cereal boxes….

 

Splicing two books together to compose an alternative narrative.

 

Tracing images from the screen.

 

02.08.11 – Thought about using the abandoned church as a venue for some sort of art event. Inside/ Outside seems like an appropriate title. Subsequently what is it that prevents people from going to church and other places of worship? How could these types of interventions encourage others to use discussed spaces such as churches?

 

10.08.11 –

 

Notes from Living-Water Installation

 

What’s worked well?

-         Barrel suits the aesthetic of the venue; it seems like part of the existing space.

-         Visuals are intriguing and change due to water type and lighting conditions within the space.

-         The audio alongside the video creates an immersive experience.

-         All equipment works correctly and the camera fits well inside of the barrel.

 

What needs to be improved?

-         Barrel water needs to be cleaned. As a way of resolving this issue I could use an alternative container or install a water filter. However installing a filter may affect the sound element of the installation.

-         Camera needs to be adjusted and is prone to moving within the barrel.

-         Audio needs to be adjusted.

-         Barrel leaks (could be a possible hazard).

 

*As a general observation this particular installation needs to be monitored throughout the exhibit. It’s essential that invigilators are fully briefed on how the installation works and how it’s to be maintained.

 

What would I have done differently?

-         Set the installation outside if possible.

-         Use something other than a barrel (preferably a container that has a tap).

-         Use a projector in preference to a monitor (this was how the work was originally intended to be shown).

-         Try to incorporate multiple contact microphones and amplifiers.

-         Experiment with different materials or substances that could be added to the water (e.g. sand, bath salts, shards of glass, ink, oil, soap, coins, fish, salt, glitter, magnesium, florescent dyes….).

 

11.08.11 - The contact microphone has the effect of amplifying sounds in and around the barrel. This was not expected although gives the work a different dimension in terms of the viewer’s interactivity.

 

12.08.11 – The private view for Living-Water was a real confidence-booster and affirmed to me that this is what I need to be doing. I need to be getting my work seen wherever I can! Subsequently what do I want to get out of this?

 

21.08.11 – People have the capacity to live in 2 worlds at the same time (enthusiastic dualism).

  

 

 

07.06.11 - In regards to Tangent I’ve started to think about how it might be developed further as an artwork. There’s definitely scope for it to be taken/ pushed further. Primarily I could attempt to traverse greater distances or to travel to more exotic locations; maybe I could even go abroad! Alternatively I’ve started to consider the viewers experience of watching the film. What’s paramount is placing the viewer in the position of the walker. This is identifiable with the first person perspective of the art work. In addition I have started to think about whether this could be a 3D experience by altering the footage to appear in 3D. Subsequently will this heighten the viewing experience or detract from its central themes? What considerations are there for presenting work in 3D? How would I go about doing this?

 

09.06.11 - The barrel might be unclean (i.e. bacteria). It also stinks of whisky! I want people to feel comfortable with interacting with the work. They won't do this if they think the water in the barrel is contaminated. I also need to think about how the camera will be weighed down inside the barrel (e.g. scuba weights, insulation tape, wall hooks....etc.).

Walking as a sort of resistance against the pace of the modern life.... The possibilities of chance, potential of wondering.

12.06.11 -

  • Walking as a type of provocation
  • Flaneur - Walker/ wonderer (directly opposed to the bustling industriousness of the city).
  • A form of discovery, subversion, satire....etc.
  • Walking; in particular drifting or strolling, is already in the culture of our time a sort of resistance.

21.06.11 – I hope to present Tangent in Bracknell, perhaps approaching Bracknell Regeneration Partnership about acquiring a shop space for Easter 2012. It seems fitting that if I’m exhibiting the work in Deptford I should also look to exhibit somewhere in Bracknell (the work documents a journey between the 2 places).

 

23.06.11 - Tried out the camera inside the barrel. It worked! The cables were able to extend through the house so it shouldn't be an issue in the exhibition space. I've drawn a diagram to show how this works.

Is it suitable to keep the camera submerged for long durations of time (potentially overnight)? How will I protect the camera from direct sunlight?

28.06.11 – The barrel shape creates a sort of circular frame. I’m not sure if I like this. I don’t like the idea of the frame.    

 

 

Images taken using underwater camera

 

 

Living-Water postcard idea

 

 

 

16.04.11 - Stand and stare, the things we notice when we stop moving.

What was the purpose of formulating a time plan? The purpose of the time plan was to help me manage my time more effectively, to allocate time for my creative practice. It was also to generate a sense of urgency in what I was doing; to give myself deadlines to work towards and to critically reflect on what I was doing.

How well do you think it worked? Initially I would say it worked because it reminded me of deadlines which I've subsequently met. However I would say that I’ve not allowed myself enough time for critical reflection. In addition some of my original targets have changed due to the nature of my practice and so any time plan needs to be adaptable/ changeable.

What has been achieved in this time? Given that I don't have an immediate peer group for the work, I've made a concerted effort to journal all my thoughts and ideas through notes and sketchbooks. I would also say that in treating my art practice like a job I've become more self-assured in what I do and in endorsing myself as an artist to others.

What could've been improved? Unfortunately I feel as though I have given myself too many targets, so I need to think realistically as to what can be achieved in any given timeframe. It may also be useful to disclose targets to someone else so that I'm accountable for what I do. In addition it’s important that targets are flexible to suit the nature of the work.

17.04.11 -

Possible titles for group exhibition include: Water boarding, Breathing Water, Waterlogged, Sink, Deep, Immersion, Water Board, Deep Blue, Drink, Splash, Lagoon, Watering Hole, Spring, Quench, Undercurrent....

Lately I've been reading a lot around the subject of Holy Wells and how different cultures have integrated these sites into their folklores. As a consequence I've been reading about other religions - particularly Paganism, and feel as though I'm leaving myself open to spiritual attack. I pray that I would have discernment in being able to negotiate my way through this material and am not impressionable to it.

Notes for Contrails artwork....

  • Movement between one place and another
  • Transition ephemeral beauty
  • Ephemeral
  • Drawing attention to something otherwise unnoticed
  • Quiet
  • Understated
  • Does there need to be a brief overview of what contrails are?
  • Common feature of urban skyscape
  • What do these marks signify?
  • Ominous

18.04.11-

"Dragging your feet"

Perhaps my work for the APT group exhibition needn't be a video but a performance, story or gesture. It would seem fitting to relate it to my current focus on holy wells and pilgrimage. I've been particularly interested in how the supply of water is taken for granted in places where it is plentiful/ limitless. By contrast, how do people use or manage water elsewhere? Tied to this is the somewhat primitive idea of retrieving water from a well or spring. However this remains common practice into other cultures where water is scarce or subject to severe weather conditions. How could these ideas be adaptable as an art work?

AQUAPHOBIA

HYDROPHOBIA (COLLOQUIAL)

CHINDOGU

Adding different things to the water to alter its opacity.

20.04.11 -

Water (Key Themes)

  • Healing
  • Water in association to dreams/ dream therapy
  • Sanctity of water
  • Christian appropriation of holy wells
  • The origin of holy wells
  • Factors attributed to the disappearance of holy wells
  • Water in relation to the body
  • Water - radioactivity/ chemical composition
  • Votive offerings

21.11.11 - Excursions, Strolls, Wanderings, Detours, Nomad, Nomadic, Meandering, Trajectory, The Long Way Round, Motion Blur, Free Time, Pilgrimage, Slow Motion, Circuit, Bound.

It would be good to use a black and white monitor as part of the live feed for the wising well so as to give it an otherworldly/ abstract feel. In this instance the viewer’s interpretation of the video would be somewhat ambiguous as opposed to being immediate.

Holy Wells, Wishing Well, Living Water, Sacred Well, Pool, Wish, One Wish, Well, Portal, Threshold II

20.04.11 - Started work on a new video for an exhibition entitled Wanderlust, at APT Gallery in Deptford. My main objective with this work is to identify how contemporary culture has subverted our sense of place and time. What I'd like to show is the importance of recreational time when you're free to wander without restraint.

In the video, why do I use photography as opposed to just videoing my journey?

24.04.11 - 80% of the world lives underwater

Water is a simple fluid, integral to life as we know. Water also constitutes 70% of the human body.

ANTROPHY, GENTRICATION, TRANSPLANTED

28.04.11 - Following on from readings of Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit, I've been really encouraged to learn more about the origins of pilgrimage and the way in which certain artists have staged artworks that are events and vice versa.

Considered walking to the same place, adopting the same routed documenting my findings. Subsequently what discrepancies would there be every time I undertook the journey (e.g. weather, traffic, lighting conditions, human traffic....). It would have to be at the same time everyday (from the same start and end point).

Retracing old routes

29.04.11 - Having walked the first leg of my journey as part of a new video work called Tangent, I started to reflect on the value of walking as a means of discovering features in the landscape that would be unseen by car or public transport. Walking also gives you the autonomy to veer off on tangents, discovering parts are not immediately viewable from the road or public walkway.

01.05.11 - The use of stones as markers of time/ location. Similarities to Land Art and King Minos' labyrinth.

02.05.11 - AFTER THE VOID

03.05.11 - I NEED ART LIKE I NEED GOD (Tracey Emin)

09.05.11 - The land in between

25.05.11 -

"If I'm not making art then I'm not being the person I'm supposed to be."  Tracey Emin

I'm beginning to understand that for me, when I'm not making art, I'm not happy with myself. Over the last 2 weeks I have not been in a position to create anything and subsequently my mood's been distinctly low. There seems to be this distinctive link between making art and my own sense of emotional well being which seems relative to my interest in creative therapies.

26.05.11 - Started using underwater camera which proved to be difficult to position as it was weighted on one end and designed to stand vertically. Subsequently the image quality varies a lot depending on the lighting conditions primarily.

Points to consider....

  • Does the video camera have to be situated in a barrel specifically? How does this change our understanding of the work?
  • How do you propose the camera should be weighted down within the barrel/ container?
  • Where should this work be situated within the Turbine Room space?
  • Should the underwater camera be in close proximity to the monitor? Is it important for participants to be able to view their interactions with the water?
  • How can the camera be protected from damage during the exhibition?
  • Does it matter that the camera can be seen by others?
  • What happens when the camera is used in different aquatic environments? What happens when different substances are added to the water (e.g. coloured inks, dirt, oil, sand, bath salts....etc)?

 

Performance of Trisha Brown's Walking on the Wall at the Barbican Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

21.03.11 - In relation to an upcoming group exhibition at Turbine House in Reading (a disused water mill) I've started to think predominantly about wells/ springs. Linked to this is the sanctity of water, both in terms of supporting life and its healing attributes. There's the medicinal value of water associated to drinking and bathing in water as well as a means of relaxation (e.g. roman baths, floatation tanks....). I've also thought about the value of water in places where it's scarce or where there is limited or no irrigation? Subsequently, how much do we take water for granted, assuming they'll always be enough?

22.03.11 - In considering wishing wells (and ultimately water in itself) as being sacred; and how people would throw coins into the well, I've been reminded of the work of John Newling. This is most notably because of the themes of exchange and transaction in the context of religious belief. In the Christian faith this could be attributed to transubstantiation typically seen as part of the act of communion. By comparison wishing wells are a means by which people exercise hope for an exchange of coins or items of equal value. It then becomes about discerning a currency of exchange/ transaction.

In addition, where are there references to wells and springs in the Bible?

23.03.11 - I've found it difficult to strike a balance between the actual making of the artworks and critical reflection. At the moment it seems that the majority of my time is spent pondering what I may or may not do. I would rather have more restraint; deciding on an idea and seeing it through to completion. Over the course of the last 3 months I had numerous ideas for potential artworks, but most of these have not extended beyond sketchbooks or preparatory notes. I feel that it would be suitable to list and prioritise my ideas on paper so that it was clear what I should do next. It may also be useful to group ideas together whereby I can start to identify collective themes (e.g. water, ritualism, transit/ transition, a sense of place....).

25.03.11 - Refer back to Boyle Family. What are the differences between the work I'm undertaking as part of Ominpresent and their own project Journey to the Surface of the Earth?

Dear God, I pray that you would grant me even more opportunities to implement my creative gifts/ skills. I long to be an artist would become a powerful witness for you ; conveying my faith through my art practice and my encounters with others.

27.03.11 - I revisited some sketchy footage I'd taken on contrails left by planes in the sky. I had initially been intrigued with their resonance with drawing and mark making (i.e. sky writing). Invariably there are all sorts of environmental issues related to this regarding noise and air pollution. Whilst there is interest in some of these things for me, I'm primarily concerned with this notion of transition; to be able to board a plane and escape to some remote place. There is something quite romantic in plane travel. Additionally looking at these contrails again reminded me of their ephemeral beauty and wondered whether others would appreciate these marks/ lines in the sky (particularly in the context of drawing).

....There is a certain lo-fi appeal to this work. The quality of the footage is distinctly grainy and; in its unedited state, contains scenes where the camera shakes or that the planes are continuously coming in and out of focus.... Interestingly this raw unedited approach only adds to the realness of the work, it gives the footage a certain degree of authenticity.

29.03.11 - Does the wishing well specifically have to be barrel-shaped. Surely it could be any pool/ container if water (e.g. a rock pool, a bucket, a pond, a fountain etc.). I'm finding the barrel logistically quite difficult when it needn't be a barrel at all. I need to give over some time to revisiting the space and thinking about how different objects could be exhibited there. My focus has shifted from being primarily about the superstition of making wishes; throwing coins, to the sanctity and value of water. Are these different ideas or are they compatible?

31.03.11 -

  • How does our cultural perception of wells differ from others?
  • What effect does dropping coins into a well have on the chemical composition of the water   (associations with alchemy)?
  • How do wishing wells operate as object of spectacle or as tourist attractions?
  • Are there any stories associated to individuals stealing coins from wishing wells?

01.04.11 -

Contrails (possible questions)

  • Where do they come from?
  • Do they pollute the environment?
  • What is the history/ origins of sky writing?
  • Do people follow or document these occurrences?
  • Do these contrails in the sky mean anything or are they random?
  • What is the distinction between contrails and chemtrails?

03.04.11 - After conversations with friends it feels as though if I am to set up a camera within the wishing well, it would be better if it was a live feed as opposed to a pre-recording. This would allow me to position the well elsewhere (maybe even outside), away from the monitor or projection.

05.04.11 - In relation to wishing wells, I've been reading articles from the internet that discuss the healing power of water crystals and how water can transmit feelings/ mood such as love. Whilst I am not sold on these ideas personally, I do think that its good to reconsider our relationship to water. Especially as we (as human beings) are 60-70% water.

07.04.11 - Being in the world, but not of the world itself.

a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording....

 

Images of a contrail left in the sky

 

03.03.11 - Thought about doing some rubbings as a continuation of the Omnipresent work. What surfaces would be suitable? What relevance does it have to this work?

06.03.11 - Considering how I can use rubbings of specific features of places I've photographed as part of my work with Omnipresent. Particular objects include drains, brickwork, pavement slabs and road surfaces. In addition I've also started to think about the way we move between surfaces with a specific focus on walking and driving, shoes and tryes!

07.03.11 - Thought of using latex to make moulds of tyres. Subsequently can latex be coloured using pigment? Also thought about doing rubbings of fences/ road markings (repetitive forms indicative of video frames/ units of time).

08.03.11 - Is it a sense of place that I'm trying to evoke or is the work more relatable themes of transition/ moving between different places? Increasingly seeing the rubbings work as forming part of a series of images; cataloging different everyday features of the town (road markings, brickwork.... etc).

10.03.11 - Maybe the rubbings are themed around either ones movement between spaces or phycial objects that signify boundaries/ restriction (e.g. fences, walls, no access signs).

14.03.11 - I thought about changing the working title of Omnipresence to one of the following....

Wherever I Go (There you are)/ Everywhere I Go/ Everywhere I Go (There you are)

It has become increasingly difficult to update my blog on a week to week basis. I think that it would be better to update it once a month whilst incorporating more images.

16.03.11 - Thought of making collages out of things I've found.

19.03.11 - I'm unsure of the development possibilities of the rubbings I've taken. One possible idea has been to adopt more of a mixed media approach by experimenting with different drawing materials and incorperating photographic images. Unsure where to go with this!

 

 

Example of paper weaving using magazine images

 

Preliminary sketch of paper weaving idea

 

Images taken at Turbine Hall, Reading (potential exhibition space for the summer)

 

I’ve recently found it difficult to manage my time, and to set aside time to make art work. Whilst I’ve continually been thinking about it, I’ve missed opportunities to journal my thoughts/ ideas either through this blog or through my sketchbook. This critical reflection; relatable to what I’m doing, needs to be a habitual part of my practice.

 

On a positive note, I’ve recently been invited to be part of a group exhibition at the Turbine House, near Forbury Retail Park in Reading. The theme of the exhibition is still undecided, although I hope to survey the space next week. One idea that’s been banded around has been to base the exhibition around the theme of water given the local history of the site. This at least has given me a target to work towards in the lead up to the summer.

 

Since the start of the New Year I have identified 2 streams of thought relating to my current practice. The first primarily relates to work that I'm already invested in regarding omnipresence. This is still on my heart to develop although; as noted in my previous blog, this work is still up for discussion as there is no definitive timeframe in mind. Initially I had envisioned this work taking the form of some type of video although when I reflect upon these ideas I start to see an expansion into other mediums such as photomontage and collage using the images I’ve collected.

In addition, I'm also interested in the work of Yves Klein. He's an artist I've long since admired primarily following his theories concerning transient states and his exploration of Christian themes such as transubstantiation and the trinity through his appropriation of different colours (pink, gold and blue) identifiable with many of his works. Consequently this has inspired a number of drawings which investigate the relationship between these colours; particularly blue and pink, and what they symbolise.

 

 

Uncanny - Peculiarly unsettling, as if of supernatural origin or nature; eerie/ surpassing the ordinary or normal.

Increasingly when I think about the theme of omnipresence I start to consider contemporary notions of reality and experiences of the uncanny. Which other artists relay these concerns through their work?

Other ideas have included re-enacting scenes from popular films as well as continuing to develop other videos which draw from this theme (omnipresence). It would also be useful to revisit texts from Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist's Eye. In addition do these ideas have any relevance to faith, prophesy or providence?

 

 

I had the opportunity to show a little bit of the Omnipresent video I'm currently working on. It's still incredibly sketchy but thought it would be good to show to others as a means of gaining a bit of objective feedback. I also showed them Daedalus which featured in my last exhibition. Subsequently it was interesting tp see how their reactions varied between the two art works. With Daedalus for instance, their reaction was good-humoured and far more immediate. However with Omnipresent there was far more uncertainty. Granted, this particular work is far from completion although their reaction did encourage me to question the thinking behind this work. More specifically what themes and concerns have informed Omnipresent? What is it trying to communicate?

I increasingly think of Omnipresence as a long term project with no real duration in mind. It would seem to be ongoing!

Following from this I thought that it would be useful to revisit some of my preliminary notes regarding this video to refamiliarise myself with it's principal themes. For example, omnipresence, transient states, being in one place but wanting to be somewhere else.... Incidentally which other artists are preoccupied with these themes? It would be worth conducting a bit more research before continuing to develop this art work.

In addition, showing the work informally to friends has definitely helped me from being too fussy or too precious over what the resultant video might look like as the process of making art can often be very insular. Some of them commented that the video was too fast; there was no time to focus on what they were watching. Subsequently it might be worth experimenting with different frame rates although I personally did not perceive this to be a problem. Whilst I feel there is a danger that trying to accommodate the opinions of others can often dilute the potency of the original idea, I'd be keen to find other mediums by which I could share my practice and gain that all important feedback! The most immediate way of doing is through this website, but what other ways are there? Perhaps posting videos on Youtube or Daily Motion maybe?    

I also thought about incorporating some type of audio to accompany the video but perhaps this will only be something worth consideration once the video is fully realised.

 

During the weekend I went to see Magic Show at the Pump House Gallery in Battersea. The exhibition comprised of 24 international artist's with new commissions and an archive of historical posters, curious props and offbeat ephemera from the world of theatrical magic. Notable art works of interest included Susan Hillers' Studies for Homage to Yves Klein (2008). The work featured numerous images extracted from the internet of 'levitiations'. Hiller suggests that they express a collective aspiration for the poetic and the imaginative. The title also alludes to the work being a homage to   Yves Klein and his infamous photomontage Leap into the Void (1960). I immediately started to think about my own Daedalus art work which draws from similar subject matter. Similarly I was also drawn to Bruce Nauman's Failing to Levitate in the Studio (1966). In the late 60's Nauman devised a series of mental excercises, including one in which he attempted to levitate between two chairs. Subsequently, whilst I enjoyed the exhibition; and was intrigued by what I'd seen, I certainly felt challenged by the exhibition as some of the themes (e.g. spiritual possession, communicating with the dead....) were contrary to my own spiritual beliefs. I hadn't originally perceived this as a concern.

 

Recent still from Omnipresent ( a work in progress)

 

 

Previously in the Poetics of Space, Bachelard describes how inhabited space transcends geometrical space. In this chapter (House and Universe), Bachelard goes to great lengths to describe how our personal experiences inform perceptions of home and the house as physical structure.

 

‘Psychologists generally, and Francoise Minkowska in particular, together with those she has succeeded interesting in the subject, have studied the drawings of houses made by children, and even used them for testing. Indeed, the house-test has the advantage of welcoming spontaneity, for many children draw a house spontaneously while dreaming over their paper and pencil. To quote Anne Balif: “Asking a child to draw his house is asking him to reveal the deepest dream shelter he has found for his happiness. If he is happy he will succeed in drawing a snug protected house which is well built on deeply-rooted foundations.” It will have the right shape, and nearly always there will be an indication of its inner strength…. If the child is unhappy, however, the house bears traces of his distress. In this connection, I recall that Francoise Minkowska organised an unusually moving exhibition of drawings by Polish and Jewish children who had suffered the cruelties of the German occupation during the last war. One child, who  had been hidden in a closet every time there was an alert, continues to draw narrow, cold, closed houses long after those evil times were over.’

 

(Bachelard, 1964, p. 72)

 

In the passage above Bachelard alludes to the teaching of renowned psychologist Francoise Minkowska who endorsed the house-test as a means of deciphering expressions of houses lived in by children. Upon reading this description I wondered as to the wider possibilities of this methodology as an artwork. Invariably the passage above identifies that Minkowska conducted the test with children initally although could the same test be conducted with adults or specific groups? Has it already? Subsequently it would be interesting it delve deeper into the findings of Minkowska and how we can begin to interpret the results of these tests. How reliable are they?

 

 

Selection of images taken at Core Gallery (27.11.10)

 

 

During the weekend I had the opportunity to hire a studio space at the Core gallery. I thought I'd only need the space for one day and that the opportunity to work in a bigger studio environment might help me generate new ideas. Over the course of the summer, I'd become increasingly interested in omnipresensce - the ability to be present in all places at the same time. Incidentally I'd already started some work in response this theme although wondered how the idea might be developed further.

One idea I'd thought about prior to entering the studio was to treat the body as a type of prop or statue   that could be transported around the space freely though without evoking any sort of physical movement (see image above). Drawing upon the the theme of omnipresence; and being in two places at the same time, my first act was to map out a grid on the floor of the studio to identify a uniform pattern of where I'd stand within the room. Sectioning the room I started to photograph myself standing rigidly in each square of the grid before moving to the next position. Subsequently the use of the grid format reminded of previous work given it's associations to games/ gaming.

In hindsight I feel that if I were to hire this space again I would ensure that I visited the space at least once prior to starting work there. I would look to make sure that I'd noted it's dimensions; mapping out windows, doors, lights.... etc., and that I'd taken photographs of the space from various perspectives. However, the use of the space did spur new ideas relative to Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space. For instance, I started to think about the way in which items of furniture are arranged within a room; as well as the orientiation of the room itself, according to an alternative system of aesthetics (such as Feng shui). I also started to consider the increasing number of people who've traded in their real spaces for virtual ones in MUDs (multi-user domains) online. In an account taken from Sherry Turkle's Life on Screen, one MUD user describes the distinct advantages of building your ideal apartment in cyberspace whereby all elements of your environment are interchangeable.

'.... an apartment with rooms, furniture, books, desk, and even a small computer. It's interior is equisitely detailed, even if it exists only in textural description. A hearth, an easy chair, and a mahogony desk warm his cyber space. "It's where I live", Mike says. "More than I do in my dingy room"....'

(Turkle, 1995, p.21)

Whilst I don't know where this will lead I still thought these different ideas were worthy of note.

 

 

Following on from my previous blog, I started to think about specific places and environments that are known to incite an emotional response (e.g. tombs, memorials, relics, churches, places of worship etc). Here are a few ideas and questions that sprung to mind….

 

Sacred sites are where you go to emotionally engage in the world.

 

Does art only serve the discoveries of the individual or can it effect or inform a wider community?

 

The power of art is to bring people closer to God.

 

What venues/ environments serve as a postmodern equivalent to the church?

 

The problem with the church is that it’s turned inwards. Subsequently art also has become about art; self-referential, as opposed to anything else.

 

What sort of discourse still exists between art and religion?

 

Just rereading Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space having been interested in the bodies relationship to interior environments. I'm particularly intrigued by the way in which certain spaces command a specific type of behaviour or mindset. In siting the house as an example, Bachelard writes that 'inhabited space transcends geometrical space', explaining that a house that has been occupied is not an inert space. In addition, I'm also drawn to the way in which Bachelard describes the verticality of the house differentiating loft from attic space (one being aerial, the other terrestrial). Psychologically how does our transition from one space to another effect ones ability to imagine?

 

 

Whilst I've enjoyed being part of this exhibition at the Core Gallery, the difficulties in commuting to and from Deptford during the working week  have encouraged to think of other  art spaces that are closer to home. Given my past experiences of working in disused shop spaces for instance I wondered about appropriating a venue like this for some type of art event/ exhibition . Consequently what value might a project like this have within the local community?

 

Taken from Sisyphus: The Absurd Hero (at the Core Gallery)

 

 

 

 

Sisyphus: The Absurd Hero

The Core Gallery, 21 - 30 October 2010

In Greek mythology Sisyphus was subjected to the ceaseless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain only to watch it fall down the other side and to repeat the task for all eternity. In response to the myth 7 exhibiting artists present sculpture kinetic works and video exploring themes of futility, circularity and the absurd whilst displaying an immersion in the process. The artists through their works strive to reflect the futility of Sisyphus’ task and indeed man’s unending search for meaning with honesty and humour (cited in Core Gallery press release).

 

As a participant in this exhibition I have been very fortunate to present my work amidst such a varied assortment of artists, each responding to the plight of Sisyphus in very different ways. A notable example is Joo Hee Hwang’s vast installation who’s specific interest in the myth resides in the notion of a world within a world, the reality's we create for ourselves. For Sisyphus, the mountain became a world within itself, a new reality. Although; because the installation is so much about immersing oneself in an altered environment I couldn’t help but think about a personal line of enquiry into virtual realities specifically multi-user domains (or MUD’s) such as Second Life.

 

In addition seeing my own work, Daedalus in the context of this exhibition has offered new incite and opportunities for reinterpreation. More specifically the artwork’s associations with dream and sprituality drawn from conversations following the show.  

 

Recent still from Omnipresent ( a work in progress)

 

 

Recent still from Omnipresent ( a work in progress)

 

 

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