BA Fine art – third year.
After the completion of Jupiter Room i was asked to exhibit some work in a group show called Ishihara. This is an exhibition set up by Jason Kerley and Adam Lewis-Jacob who graduated from the Arts Institute last year. This is the first time Ive heard of students sticking around and starting to make something happen in Bournemouth, rather than moving to somewhere where things are already rolling, so I was really keen on getting involved. I wanted to make a follow on peice of work from Jupiter Room which would incorporate unachieved elements from the show. The work is presented as a harvested 'sample' from the shop space, packaged and delivered to the gallery space and presented in far greater abundance suggesting the activity of further growth. To add to this idea of the work staying active a sound peice was added and played from within the structure. The sound was the fluctuating levels of a sort of white noise static that is produced when the lights are stacked loosely in a pile, moving slowly together to find a place of stability. This is something that I discovered from playing with the lights in the studio but was never realised within the shop space. I knew that Ishihara would be a hard place to exhibit any sort of sound peice, as with lots of people talking and music playing it would get drowned out. Because of the nature of the work this wasnt an issue, the sound wasnt obvious, more a discovery by being close to the structure or something searched for after reading the accompanying text. I enjoyed this.
This year is proving to be just as hectic as everyone said it would be, on completion of my dissertation along with the work running up to my December exhibition i was looking forward to a bit of studio time and some playful experimentation. With Organising MA applications and yesterdays big talk on how this is the time to really go all out, i can see my moment of relaxation disappearing. Despite this, there's a real exciting atmosphere in the studios, it feels like everyone is really ready to come together and exhibit and i think there will be some especially high standards of work. After finishing our two person exhibition and having complete creative control I must admit i was a little worried about exhibiting in such a jungle as an end of year show, its the other end of the spectrum to the type of exhibition i usually enjoy. Right now i have a very different perspective, this is probably the only time in my life where i will be in such an incredible position. I have 16 weeks to devise and make work for an amazing space with people who I've had a huge amount of interaction with. I have a studio to make work in and a wealth of people to discuss the making with. This is a really privilaged position for any artist and something i am going to take full advantage of.
We worked it out, and from the first time we sat down together to discuss how we would go about putting on and what we would produce for our two person show, its been five months. Its certainly been the biggest project I've undertaken, especially as between the two of us we've shared almost all aspects of running an exhibition, but its also been the most rewarding and confidence boosting for taking on similar projects in the future. We ended up getting a few people from Poole arts development team on board and they were massively helpful when it came to areas new to us, for instance locating a suitable space and promoting the event. I think we approached them at the right time also, we had enough of a picture in our heads through our conversations that we could write a detailed proposal and talk them through what we were trying to achieve. This meant they could step in at the same point as us and be equally exciting about realizing our plans. Through the council we got in contact with a local estate agent that gave us access to a dis used property that had sat white washed and undisturbed for a good deal of time, enhancing the narrative behind the work.
Making the work went relatively smoothly, Krystle sat at the foot of the mountain that was her slow and arduous task of re-sewing a near square meter of carpet, a situation she seems to strangley enjoy within her practice. I sourced a huge amount of fluorescent tubes from both the art school and the main university but found it a great deal more difficult getting hold of the numbers of plug sockets i was going to need to fill our designated space. It was the decision to make the plug sockets and hand cut the sockets holes, rather than building structures from existing sockets, that really brought the work together for me. I enjoyed how both the lights and the sockets went through a simply repetative process, the lights burning out and leaving black rings at each end and the plugs being hand cut which made each item unique, giving an organic quality to these very un-organic both materials and objects.
Another success of the work was how its existance within the shop made not only the shop itself apart of the work but also the structure housing the work, the audience coming to see the work and even the numerous other empty shops within the area and when these were seen and thought about. Because we had the shop setup in this un inviting manner there was a forced slowing down for the veiwer and this was definatley what i wanted when having the work just a few steps away from a busy street, the work was an enviroment where one would spend time in and think about what has happen both suggestively and physically.
Something I enjoyed about making Tunnels was how the work stayed active, and there are ways in which i want to explore this with Jupiter Room. We had talked about adding a sound peice to the work but never got around to exploring the possibility, i had discoverd that when the flourescent tubes are stacked and compressed together they make this wonderful static sound, you can hear it without seeing any movement with the structure. I'd wanted to record this and have it playing as an atmospheric element to Jupiter Room, what i think i'm going to do now is re-exhibit the Flourescent tubes in greater abundance and sitting in an open wooden crate as if they have been harvested as an ever growing sample from their original environment. I really like this idea that sculpture is not something that just sits stale and inactive as soon as its completed but something that is eternally active by what it gives each time it is veiwed.
Something that has been amazing with this exhibition and sorting everything out ourselves is the creative control over each element, working with another artists has been hugely rewarding also, discoverying what we are actually doing together, Jupiter Room was not a direct collaboration more the result of a running dialogue between two artist's practice and doing this finding out alot about my own practice.
Im currently starting a collaborative project with fellow student Krystle Shard. This is the first time Ive collaborated on a project and it came together after wanting to put on a show together where we devise and make new work independantly but converse regularly and work towards a final result which is considered towards the overall exhibition. What has actually happened, through these discussions, is that were going to install three major works which will co-exist to form a complete environment and therefore one completed installation.
There are a huge amount of dis-used highstreet shops in bournemouth. What we are suggesting is that we have re-opened one of these shops after a certain period of time to discover that the inorganic features in the room have grown in an organic manner during the time they have been left. Ill be using an array of non-functional strip light bulbs that will be suspended in a solid fashion and non functional plug facets that will protrude from the ground beneath the lights. These two features will resemble a stalactite and stalagmite growth like formation. Covering the rest of the floor space Krystle will lay a carpet down and re-sew to a greater height suggesting grass like growth. This will be tallest around the edges of the room and completely surround the plug facet formations. There will be an area slightly worn down at the entrance of the room, and a shorter, clearer pathway through the exhibition. We would like to create an atmospheric darkness to the exhibition using minimal halogen lights to highlight the main areas of interest. Around the bulb structures and the plug facets formations there will also be museum style barriers cordoning off the work. On entering the space we would like to build a small isolated area in which the audience would remove their shoes in preparation for the installation.
Although there will be the chance to come and veiw this installation, I see it as more of an event rather than an exhibition. What we would like to do is take samples of the different areas within the work, box them up and have them delivered to a gallery space. Here the boxes will be opened up within the space and be able to be veiwed and discussed in the knowledge of where they have come from. I see this whole process as a comment on how we make our work as artists, using whatever materials we have access to and then how the way the work is veiwed changes when its taken away from this environment and into the gallery.