Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
Page 1 of 17 :
list in reverse orderReverse order:
This project blog »
Ideas? Technical issues?
» Feedback to a-n
By: Rebecca Strain
It has seveal meanings some of which being:
a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network
in Geology; a major range of strata that corresponds to a period in time
in Astronomy; a group of celestial objects connected by their mutual attractive forces
# 169 [20 November 2012]
How life changes...
The exhibition in Estonia went really well and last week I did an on-line temporary exhibition as a suitable venue was unavailable within the timescale in the UK.
The timescale refers to the fact I am leaving the UK after 12 years to go back to Ireland. I came here first to study art but after 3 years I was rewarded with a 2:2 and not much hope of success in the arts (not that a 2:2 means failure but the spirit which which I was left was not one of hope). I couldn't go home with my tail between my legs. I was too proud. Now after 7 years practicing as an artist and a two year Masters Degree I have achieved a distinction in Fine Art and now it is time to go home and share all I have learned with the people who made me who I am.
Ireland is suffering badly from the economic crisis. There are less people, less opportunities, smaller art audience, fewer paid opportunities, more competition from the many artists and graduates who have been struggling to find a means to survive. How will I survive in all this?
Well, I have been applying for every opportunity that comes up, which makes about 3 in total but I will persist. I also think that by being there, meeting people finding out the lay of the land I will be better equipped to make successful applications. In the meantime the one luxury I have is space and a roof over my head.
I've been kindly taken in by a friend during this transition from the UK to Ireland. I am very grateful but I have not made anything for two months. After the intesity of the MA making for 10 hours per day every day I thought it would be a welcome break but in fact I am nothing without making.
I have had some opportunities to deliver workshops with schools and BA students which has allowed me to do a little making but it is not the same.
On Saturday I fly home. On Monday I intend on acquiring same to make and get up and running. This is all I can do for now. Make and reflect and make and hope that it is enough.
# 168 [1 August 2012]
Day 13 of paper making.
# 167 [23 July 2012]
another 10 hour shift at the studio.
For most of last I was in at 7.30am and left at 5.30pm. I tore paper, people came to visit or stopped as they walked by. They asked;
'how much do you need?'
'what will you do next?'
'how do you feel when you are doing this?'
On Wednesday we had a peer critique. I avoided talking about my work and just continued tearing, and on it went until Friday when I arranged collection of an almost broken washing machine to be brought to the studio.
This morning I arrived again at 7.30am and tested the washer. It didn't work. I continued tearing but all day I felt this sense of doubt and panic about what I am doing. Maybe it was the arrival of the washing machine which signified the next step for the process. I wasn't so concerned about the fact it didn't work, perhaps part of me felt no sense of urgency to get it going.
It began to occur to me that perhaps the tearing of the collected paper was something separate to the work with the washing machine.
# 166 [21 July 2012]
I moved into Studio 4 last Monday and I have tried to spend all day every day there since.
On Monday morning at 9.30am, after only fiding a hammer to taker down the boards around the sink I was confronted with a dilemma. My good friend and work colleague had a family emergency and needed support. I offered to take over for an event that would happen on the Thursday. It was my last day of work for ExLab a project I have been co-project-assisting on to help fund my MA, which coincidentally was happening in partnership with my friend and colleagues department at the university.
It was also the group critique with Marcia Farquar from Tuesday to Thursday So I spent a few hours on Monday and all day Friday in the studio.
Tom Hall was also in Studio 4. He is one of the tutors on Fine Art. He was making a sculpture from cardboard. He said he once had a talk by a sculptor who carved in marble and he said you should steep you hands in urine everyday to keep them in the best condition for sculpting after this he said he use cardboard.
Interestingly, in the afternoon when I was quite tired from the event the night before and the clean up this morning Tom asked me where I had gotten the paper. Without much thought, except for maybe informed by the latest piece of text I had produced in response to Cultivate2 I responded. I told him I'd collected all this paper over 6 or so years because I found that I had no control over the decision to keep or throw it away. I explained that in life, much of life just happens, we have no control over the body and circumstances we are born into and we have no control over our inevitable death. because of this we make decision making a high priority but actually it counts for very little in the end because we may set out in a direction but there is no guarantee things will go to plan.
I showed him evidence of this in the papers I had kept where a decision could have changed my life, but I will never know about that now and is it worth worrying about? i showed another example of a decidion i made that probably put me where I am now, but i will never know which was the right one and if there is no right decision the could we be happier by relinguiching all decisions?
He went out for a smoke.
i continued taking the papers from my suitcase and sorting them into piles on the ground.
Then he came back and asked 'are you sure?' i said no, I am not sure. He told me about control; he could get a haircut, put on some new boots and then he had control. I presume he meant that he could control how he feels about his outlook rather that face things unprepared.
he said that I showed him pieces of paper where I had relinquished control, like the Sheffield Hallam folder that I didn't pursue because I came to AUCB and that the decision to relinquish decisions was still a decision I had made.
Now he said it is like your paper. This looks out of control and by sorting it you are taking control again.
I said maybe and we both got on with working.
# 165 [11 July 2012]
I have been called raw. I have been called considered. It has been written that I have a transoppressive approach yet I am committed to strenious practice and training. It is undecided as to whether I am a sculptor or a performance artist.
I could be like Rebecca Horn and be both. I think I'd like to be like Gina Payne, Eva Hesse with a little Sophie Calle and some Pierre Armand and hang out with extroverts, cool kids and maniacs.
If I go to Japan it may cause some problems but may give me the discipline to make and the grace to perform with a little more class.
# 164 [13 June 2012]
It's seems I have been forgiven.
There is this small matter of the final phase of the final phase of the MA to consider - what is the plan?
Originally it had been the show in Estonia that I am co-curating with Sandra Jogeva but it's not that straight forward to be in two countries at one time.
It's quite important to figure this out. If money was no object I would go there in July for three weeks, come back hand in my work, be there for the various assessments, fly back for the opening of the show return after a day or two for the opening of the MA show fly back again for the rest of the Tallinn show, fly back to the UK for my results then fly to Tallinn to take down the show.
But in fact I will probably just make a hasty exit after assessments, put up the show, unfortunately miss my MA preview night (boo), take down the show in Tallinn - fly back to do a few days invigilation and then take down.
So it seems that the Estonia show will not be part of my MA hand-in which means I could have applied for funding. On one hand it's dissapointing that all the work involved will not be part of what I hand in, but in another way I can have a bit more fun with it as there is not so much pressure on.
In my head it looked very complicated so I made a diagram to explain to myself how easy it is.
I am sad that I will have to go through the pain of flying to Tallinn for such a short time but I will try to go back for longer again soon.
Now that that has been decided the next step is to plan what I will be doing between 14th June and 14th August in great detail. It is 61 days. A lot can be achieved in that time. What will I achieve?
# 163 [12 June 2012]
luckily I was brought up as a Catholic which means it is never too late for me to repent and seek forgiveness.
Dear a-n blog,
it has been two months since my last blog entry these are my art blog sins:
I have spent too much time on other things and not thought about my blog
I have tried to curate because I was invited to do so and not because I have a burning desire to curate, I was flattered at the invitations and i have found myself tied up in activities that I had not expected to be involved in
I have not read the book I checked out of the library because I have been too busy in meetings about meetings and browsing the Internet, jumping from link to link without discipline
I have written things and not shared them on my blog
I await a suitable penance.
# 162 [8 April 2012]
It's springtime; the human instinct compels us to procreate to ensure the survival of the species. Artists making art now question the fruits of their creation. Creating new perceptions rather than new life our activities are called into question by the worst critics - ourselves.
Of course there is the option of procreation and artistic creation but the point is that now is the time to review the value of time spent making functionless objects or experiences verses time spent nurturing new human life.
# 161 [7 April 2012]
'I have an unquiet mind' Nazereen in Brick Lane.
I am not happy.
It seems as though I have a puzzle in my head where many strings are knotted and I must untangle the right one to get to the prize.
Edward deBono would say to being with the prize and work back. Now the prize is a piece of work that represents the best MA work I can do at this point in my life.
It is complicated by the many commitments I have made to other projects. They are taking up my time and the space in my head and in my days and nights. It is making me tired. Exhausted and unable to dedicate time to what I want to do.
Time is flying away. What it achievable? It seems that I will loose my days to the things I have distracted myself with.
I'm tired. I need to rest an quieten my mind.
# 160 [27 March 2012]
I've just finished reading Edward de Bono's book on the ideas or language, thinking, design and perception.
It has taken me some time to get through it.
In the process I have broken my washing machine and been to visit a victorian camera obscura.
On Thursday I will share my research with young people in the area as part of schools workshops at AUCB.
Page 1 of 17 :
list in reverse orderReverse order:
This project blog »
student of Fine Art