During a research trip to Chongqing, China, I will explore how we gesture with our bodies when we write or draw, where the languages of drawing and writing meet and diverge, how the gestures change with the scale upon which they enacted and how the disciplines differ and find parallels when performed in Chinese and English.
I would like to thank the Arts Council for funding this project.
Find me on Twitter Jayne Lloyd @Golcar
W0budong opens a week today. I think everything is on track, including packing work and equipment up ready for transportation. The other artists have been fantastic, it’s been great to see photos of their work in process and to work on this with other people. I’ve had a good response to the mailout and quite a few visitors to the website – just hope this translates into visitors to the exhibition.
The discussion on the website continues to be a source of inspiration and can see it really helping me to reflect and develop new work once the exhibition is over. We’re planning to use some of the ideas and questions it has raised as the starting point for an artists discussion on the Sunday of the exhibition. The website as a whole has become a record of the process and exhibition as well as a way of publicising it.
Getting very excited about the exhibition now, especially as some of the other artists involved have started to send images of works in progress http://w0budong.wordpress.com/news/ – can’t wait to see how it all comes together. It’s so much easier to keep the momentum going when there’s a few of you exhibiting.
I’ve also finished the flyers, with a bit of help (having a graphic designer as a boyfriend can come in useful), and put together a reasonably long mailing list of studios, artists and galleries in Manchester to send the flyers out to.
Organising an exhibition in a city that I don’t live in or really know has been tricky at times and somethings are a bit of an unknown. The mailing list being one of them. The other difficulty, a more practical consideration, is transporting everything up there. As I don’t drive I’ll be on the train with my 2ft poles for my sculpture, among other things. Still I’m sure it’ll workout and all be worth it…
It’s been quite a while since I updated this blog and a lot has happened since I last wrote. I have been running workshops at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, giving studio talks and performing work developed in China as part of a group exhibition. Perhaps most excitingly though is that I have begun to organise the exhibition that will mark the culmination, for now anyway, of this project.
Mainly through this blog, I have made contact with four artists who all in different ways explore writing in their practice and who have all either visited or been influenced by Chinese language in some way. Excitingly they have all agreed to be part of the exhibition I have called W0budong (a phonetic translation of the mandarin for ‘I don’t understand’). Examples of their work and a new piece that I have developed for the exhibition are on the exhibition website I have set up http://w0budong.wordpress.com/. There is also a lively discussion on there about writing and mark making that anyone with an interest is more than welcome to add to. I’ve found that it’s really helped me to think about my practice.
I am now entering the slightly more administrative phase of exhibition planning – drawing up mailing lists, working out logistics, revisiting the budget and completing forms for the exhibition space. I sometimes find that this takes up more time than making the artwork, but should be worth it when the exhibition comes together!
Layering up enlarged letter ‘a’s copied from notes, letters and postcards people have sent me, I notice, not just how much variation there is in the way people form the letter, but also the movement in their gestures and in the layered drawings.
I’m trying to make a series of 15 or so for my open studios later this month and considering seeing if I can get some prints of them done to sell.
Inspired by Tim Ingold’s exploration of the letter ‘a’ and the differences he describes between handwritten text and type, in particular how we enact a sense of ourselves in our handwriting, I’ve begun isolating letter ‘a’s in found texts – notes, letters and postcards that people have sent me. It’s fascinating how in one short note someone can form the letter ‘a’ in so many different ways.