Another project successfully negotiated. Private View well attended and great fun. For a while now I have been coming round to the realisation that I work best in collaboration. It was such a buzz to see my collaborating poet so excited about seeing our work finally assembled in the fish tank and great to see young artists taking time to really look and read and consider it.
October 2009 when Rowyda and I had begun our collaboration seemed a long time ago. We had begun with an e-mail correspondance in which we discovered a shared interest in heritage,memory,loss and secret keeping. We had exchanged ideas, photographs and poems and visited the British Museum together. From New Year onwards we had worked together on the goose bones, looking at the idea of the artwork as a fabricated museum object and the concept that museum objects are displaced, far from the cultures that created them.
Now it was done and there was a sadness in that although we pledged to try for another collaboration later on.
As all the works were artist/ poet collaborations the poets had time and space granted to them during the Private View to read their poetry. It was a new experience for many artists not used to long poetry readings and a lesson in repecting others creative work even when it stopped the party in its tracks for a while.
This year I have done projects in London and in Kent and I have noticed that artists who only work in town take for granted the freedom of approach that they are afforded when making work. The constraints of the counties is subtle but corrosive. Courage is needed in the face of incomprehension and active dislike of work deemed unremarkable in a London gallery.
How long ago was that urinal?!
It has also underlined for me the sad fact that work done in London is still viewed as having a greater ‘art currency’ than similar work shown in Kent. One of course knows that, but it still feels like a betrayal.