The experience of this whole process has been energising.
Interactions between participating artists and poets has been open and spontaneous for the most part. This was the intention of the host artist and author of the process Teresa Albor.
Teresa told me how she had left explanations of the activity deliberately unclear to allow for a range of responses. Some of us had very defined ideas whilst others (including myself) took a very fluid approach.
Resulting activity includes poems, sound recordings, a two minute talk, drawings and enactments and the auctioning of found objects on eBay. Although this performative collaboration has come to an end (it has run for 3 weeks as part of the Ludlow Fringe Festival) I think it feels to all of us as if it is a catalyst for sharing ideas and for making new work.
For Teresa the collating of work and information and the documentation of the process forms an important part of the scheme and she will be developing ways to record activities.
Today Jean Atkin and I enacted a ritual of return. We had decided to do this earlier in the week when the question arose about what we should do with the found objects in The Little Museum of Ludlow.
An important point to mention here is that one of the objects was a very old and rusty wheelbarrow with a very flat tyre! I had demonstrated to Jean the wonderful noises it made when pushed so she decided to film my journey with the wheelbarrow back to its home (a deserted garden in the town centre).
The tyre was so distorted that the only way I could shift the barrow was to take a really good run at it. I pushed and puffed, the barrow sang out its squeaking, noisy call and Jean speed-walked behind in an attempt to capture the ‘performance’!
It was funny, yet serious, as passers-by and seated coffee drinkers watched and laughed. (The noises even scared a very cute little spaniel).
Here we were in the middle of a market town, busy with tourists and shoppers making art about time and place. It felt great. It was the right way to bring this process to an end – with noise and meaning and bit of theatre.
Once back in the quiet and overgrown garden underneath the parish church we removed some of the (biodegradable) found objects we brought with us and I placed them on an old ivy root against the wall of local stone. It felt like an offertory/ thanks giving experience and Jean and I both fell quiet at this point (after much giggling with the wheelbarrow experience!) Jean hastily wrote a poem, I re-arranged the objects so that I might linger with the work a little more. We filmed and photographed the shrine and the barrow in the overgrown walled garden. It felt intuitive and meaningful and right.
Teresa Albor http://teresaalbor.com
Jean Atkin http://jeanatkin.com