i made myself a cup of tea and felt it was time to add a post to this blog. we’ve published the artist call out for the art trail today and i’m experiencing some interesting emotions as a result.

when we attempted the trail last year we invited those who we knew to take part. we were finding our feet and testing out how it was to mount an exhibiton of work in retail outlets centric to a food festival. we were critisised for not publicising it very well, which i took as a compliment, as the work displayed was of such a high standard. we had deliberately not done much publisicing of the event as frankly i wanted to find out if it was possible to do, which obviousy it is, however i wanted the space to find out for myself.

now a year on and we’re exploring working with an idea for artists to respond to this year. it was quite difficult to find an idea to base the call out on. in the end it became quite simple. in belper there is the east mill. it’s a 100 years old this year. historically it’s increbilbly important. contemporarily it’s quite awkward as there’s a bit of a dilema about how the building gets used. i found this dilema quite interesting. in conversations with christine, we explored the mill dilema and the notion of contemporary history.

the outcome of the discussions and thinking and talking and eating cake and drinking coffee is a working title or re/relevence. we’ve arrived at a call out where we invite the artist to go back into their legacy of works and either remake or simply recontextulaise a work for exhibition in the trail. for me it’s an opportunity for an artist to explore a subject that might otherwise be too big to think about.

in the process of arriving at the words i’ve been party to conversations in which suggestion have been made that the style of the words is “chatty” and this will not attract artists who are on a national footing. once again my research has taken me to a point where the formal word is king. i considered this king ship for a while and got upset as it presented itself to me in a manner that implied my own practice wouldn;t get very far. i drank more coffee, spoke about it and got beyond it.

the trail is a research journey for me and those involved in it’s creation. we’ve deliberately not applied for funding, so that we can find out for ourselves what the trail is. it would be lovely to think that once we’ve done our research we can acheive some funding that helps to support our efforts.

one other thing i currently feel in touch with is the difference in how this trail has a certain mental manifestation that is different to the work i am making in my own practice. by this i mean that i am aware that my own work will be viewed and interpreted by the person viewing the work and i am happy about that. with the trail, it’s a little more less open to interpretation, we’re going to exhibit works in retail outlets around the time of the food festival and this year we’re exploring contemporary history, recontextualisation and something else that probably will come to me once i’ve had more time to reflect.