The process of developing my own practice through the Artist Teacher Scheme with BCU since July 2015 has raised interesting questions, most particularly about context. In my last critique I placed site specific work meant for the Brindley Village war hospital site in an interior ‘exhibition’ context and it was duly interrogated, read and given meaning in that context. Placing the objects into another setting gave them a different meaning and a lost connection to their ‘base’. This disparity has got me thinking about how to explore this friction in the actual work. In July we have a space allocated at New Art Gallery Walsall to exhibit outcomes from this course and from the outset I have pondered on how to ‘rupture’ that process in some way through a discomfort in the boundaries placed on gallery set work. So how can I make place specific work that is understood out of context of place? How can I challenge the ‘don’t touch’ interaction that is not problematic when people encounter work left in public places? These are my thoughts in trying to form a direction for the remaining six months of the course.
And so an idea has formed- why not explore the process of displacing a material part of a place, removing the context, and seeing how that can change a response to a place.
Another element to my practice that is fundamental is collaboration, the possibilities generated from allowing the un-known to unfold from the interaction of others is exciting and a way of working that I find more invigorating than solo practice.
During 2015 and through using Twitter to share work with others I have been privileged to get to know the work of other practising artists who share my slant on the world. My new idea is to find out if they would like to collaborate for the next six months in exchanging work along these lines:
To produce work in any media that responds to a specific and unseen place; to respond to material qualities in work received from another artist
Jan: select a significant place and choose something material to that place to post to next artist in the circle. Provide some clues on location but no photos of place itself.
Feb: respond to received object in any media, exploring suggested qualities or processes inspired by your package. Post everything together to next artist.
March- May: repeat last months process with whatever is received next.
June- all work returned to original sender and re- located at significant place/ document work in situ electronically and post all work to me for exhibition.
July- exhibition at NAGW and electronically online.
Ideally I would like this process to push drawing/markmaking practices to explore beyond the obvious as well as to possibly allow new ideas about responding to a place to emerge through having the collaborative input of others who are essentially ‘blind’ to the place itself.