Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
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By: Sophie Cullinan
fail to plan you plan to fail
# 72 [15 June 2012]
Plan for World Domination is over.
Long live World Domination.
# 71 [7 June 2012]
In between my squabbling children I have been trying to snatch the odd moment to do my work and I am questioning what it is I am making and why. In the barage of noise within my personal environment is my work trying to compete?
exhibit A - BLUES - sound like bagpipes.
exhibit B - FRUITFLOWERS - mongolian throat warbling
exhibit C - WORN - vacuum cleaner
In a house where it is impossible to hear your own thoughts I can only conclude that my work is a personal protest against my own life.
In the interests of research into this I thought I would share with you the wonderful juxtoposition of two art related presents for my recent birthday:
Pres. 1 - a book 'The Creative Feminine and her Discontents' by Juliet Miller (very good - please read it)
Pres. 2 - Two teatowels by Yayoi Kusama (very good at drying dishes - please do them for me)
I am a gemini.
# 70 [30 May 2012]
So, Strained Fruit is happily singing away up at the country park. All that is left to do now is my ACE evaluation form. How I hate forms!
I am imagining that this will take nearly as long as the project itself. However I have grabbed the nettle in both hands and have tackled the nastiest bit first - the budget - big swot that I am, and thankfully all seems to be neatly balancing out - phew.
Now for the rest of it....
# 69 [15 May 2012]
I am now going to go against the purpose of this blog - I am going to talk about something that you should never talk about - for WD you need to be forever sunny, forever successful - I am going to talk about rejection.
Despite my obviously BRILLIANT ideas, over this past weekend I have received no less than four proposal rejections.
In addition to this, I have a project that they just haven't replied to so I must suppose, after all this time, I can add this one to the pile.
I am quite good at 'water off a duck's back' but honestly. At what point does all this make you question what you are doing? I think I have good ideas but if no-one else does then am I wrong? and what about following your own path and doing what feels right?
I have come to the conclusion that the main problem I have is that my work does not fit into a neat little box and, generally speaking, people don't like this.
Or maybe it's just a load of old rubbish and I should go and get a 'proper job'.
So, apologies for cross pollination, but here are a load of balls.
# 68 [7 May 2012]
Finally got to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern today - having failed a couple of weeks ago due to massive Damien Hirst queue slowing ticket office down.
Brilliant - if you haven't seen it GO!
The last room is the best - magical. But I also loved the phallic boat and shoes and sofa and clothes.
As someone who has made the odd proturberance in my time these were very compelling. Such a shame (of course I understand why) that you can't touch them - I would love to know if they are squishy or not. So much art needs touch too but how do you get over the practical problems of this?
My children loved it all too, particularly the luminous sticker room. Confidently expecting a 'sticker-fest' in our house soon.
# 67 [2 May 2012]
During my car journeys today I have been pondering upon the complexities of autobiographical work and problems therein.
What do you do if you want to make work about your life or aspects of it but don't want to have that 'airing your dirty laundry' feeling.
It would be easy enough if you were an author - nom de plumes are 'de-rigeur'. But what if like 'Belle de Jour' you are unmasked? What is the equivalent in visual arts - Banksy? Did Bob and Roberta Smith try to hide his identity to begin with or is it an elaborate joke?
Currrently listening to old Blur I am reminded that a lot of autobiographical music emanates from the ends of relationships - what if the work you want to make comes from the core but you don't really want the others involved to know your thoughts?
Do you have to rewrite the enigma code?
# 66 [30 April 2012]
I have just come back from the AN workshop on Crowdfunding. It was a very interesting day. I heard about this type of funding last year when I was trying to get the funding together for GYO*BYO but at the time that i needed it individuals couldn't apply so I didn't look into it any further. The whole crowdfunding scene has moved very quickly in this time and there are now lots of organisations offering this type of opportunity.
Above all it seems that the whole idea behind Crowdfunding isn't that it is just about the money. It is much more than this and has a very holistic 'benefits all' ethos. It seems ideal for some of my Mulptiple Participat Projects waiting in the wings.
I really like the idea that everybody benefits and also that it seems to work on merit - my only slight worry is that I don't have a large enough address book to help me along the way. It seems that you do in at least the first place need to be good at drawing on your network to get the ball rolling. Having just been calling all these people up in aid of my RNIB marathon run I am a bit loathe to be asking again.
The key to it all seems to be to demonstrate how it is not the same as asking for donations - it really is a two way transaction and having read some of the current projects looking for funding I am looking forward to thinking up some inventive 'rewards' to entice prospective investors.
Not sure that my trademark 'sock works' should neccessarily be prominant in this process. Freshly washed holes anyone?
# 65 [25 April 2012]
I have been somewhat negligent over the past few weeks about both planning and blogging. In a great efficiency drive I am resolving to TRY HARDER!
I do have a good excuse (miss) in that it has been the school holidays (no work opportunities there) and I have been a bit tired having just run the London Marathon, but really it is just not good enough - again and again I tell myself 'how can I conquer the world like this?!' and still I do not have a reasonable answer.
As usual it is a case of 'feast or famine' as my mother would say. And I have a whole load of stuff up my sleeve waiting to happen - I imagine it will be all happen at once - the proverbial three (beautifully painted) buses. However carefully I plan, these things come in a burst followed by a lull and then a fret (repeat). Perhaps I am an artist version of Bruce Nauman's 'Clown Torture'.
It is in this time - when one project is about to come to an end and the possiblilites of others are tantalisingly hanging around, that I never know to what extent I should look for, apply for or plan new work. It is just not good to have to turn things away but there is only one of me and my time seems to flash by.
Friends seem to think that this is the way I like it - 'flying at 50,000ft by the seat of my pants' - it is just the way that I have always worked, but I'm sure there must be another way. Somehow, for my own sanity, I must find it.
# 64 [19 April 2012]
Two minute posting:
Too much to do - madness ensues.
Many exciting projects on the verge of starting and need one hundred pairs of hands.
Very excited to find that I am on the a-n Crowdfunding day in Milton Keynes......
# 63 [14 April 2012]
Today youngest child and I have been wildnetworking at Sudborough Green Lodge Cottages, with Fermynwoods Contemporary Art.
There, in the middle of nowhere, artists can go to stay and work. They also do schools workshops etc. I have been taking my children (and sometimes their reluctant friends) to help recreate the garden space over the past year or so, where they have a 'garden working party' to help with the improvement work.
It is an amazing location and an amazing site and every time we have been there something interesting has happened. Once there was a swarm of bees that had alighted onto a garden bench, we spent the afternoon waiting (slightly nervously) for the 'beeman' to come. The next, whilst shifting rubble my friend saw, at the very last moment, a nest of field mice hiding in some weeds which were about to be scooped up and thrown onto the bonfire. Over the time we have been doing our very small bit in the way of rubble routing and earth shifting, the whole place has been transformed. It is very much ongoing work but the results are rewarding and inspiring.
Today we were weeding out prickly stuff from a 'slow growing' lawn which was progressing nicely on the more sheltered side of the house. As always there were other interesting 'workers' of great variety - usually artists, and we always leave feeling uplifted. Whilst we all weeded, my son gathered a small collection of unearthed treasures - he has eagle eyes.
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