This is a very long overdue blog post documenting and reflecting on some of what I got up to throughout October and November during my residency – a busy couple of months!
I created this for the Last Bus exhibition, a project entitled ‘A Stone’s Throw’. I exhibited the book upon a shelf with a selection of the stones I had collected whilst making journeys through the 6 towns of Stoke-on-Trent. I plan to carry this method of working in this format forwards – making pieces directly relating to my experiences here in Stoke-on-Trent, documenting the ephemera I have collected as I explore my surroundings here.
AirSpace studio artists also held an open studios event where we welcomed 50+ members of the public into our studios. I felt like this was a good opportunity to share what I had been getting up to behind the (usually) closed door of my studio, and I had some insightful conversations with visitors.
Interim Exhibition @ AirSpace, 8-15th Nov:
I exhibited my interim exhibition ‘Ebbs and Flows’ in the resource room at AirSpace. This gave me some experience of curating my works in a set space which will be useful to draw upon as my solo show nears. Amy and I decided to curate one of her pieces into my show due to similarities in themes, we felt it would fit into as an additional work. I felt like I made progress from my degree show with this exhibition; managing to keep a concise theme running across the pieces I exhibited – the individual pieces working on their own as well as as a whole.
“Ebbs and Flows considers our relationship to the natural environment on a personal yet often disjointed level.
In Landscape/Soundscape, the horizon line acts as a sound wave; a point for notes to be plotted upon a music score. In this way, artificial sound is applied to a landscape, dependent on the visual data within the video footage. I have used this method to translate visual language into audio, juxtaposing computerised sound with naturally-derived visuals, building on research into the creation and deconstruction of sound, alternative musical notation and graphic scores.
Watch Landscape / Soundscape here.
No Walking Required (Amy-Lou Matthews) challenges the assumptions we make based on sensory information, asking the participant to take an artificial journey of manufactured sounds. Playing with sensory deprivation, blackout goggles remove visual stimuli whilst sound effects mimic a walk through a natural environment. The piece suggests a dialogue with Landscape/Soundscape; a similarity in the intention to build a human element into nature via manmade systems.
Fault Lines addresses the gap between tangible and intangible, physicality and thought. The sculptures are created from the negative space between hands held together – a gesture reminiscent of begging, pleading, holding, protecting or encasing. The resulting forms resemble mini ‘mountains’, the creases and grooves of palms and fingertips are personal to the maker’s own hands, appearing as though ridges and fault lines upon the earth. Fault Lines sees the mind as a mountain, the forms acting as a way to discuss the earth as well as human experience.
Finally, I am investigating the duality of language by compiling words and phrases with double meanings, particularly those relating both to the earth and to the human condition. Dualities is an ongoing collection exploring how language acts as a bridge between natural states of being and human states of mind.“
REFLECTING & EVALUATING
I thought the sculptures worked well in the space and displaying them within the plinths with acrylic boxes was effective, lending an element of museum-type display and perhaps even changing the way the sculptures inside were viewed as objects. I got lots of feedback on these plinths and how they were made which I’ll be carrying forwards when I think about display mechanisms.
The liked the visual aesthetic of the video but I wasn’t 100% happy with the audio – I would have preferred a more natural sounding instrument, but not being musical myself, it was left to computer-generated sounds. I aim to continue working with this with moving forwards – eg: collaborating with a musician to create piece of music from sheet music I have composed from visuals in nature. The notion of collaboration interests me particularly cross-discipline (musicians and scientists for example) this residency has really enabled me to see this as a viable possibility for a method of creating work in the future.
I am also drawn to the possibility of the human voice and sound and exploring language again – thinking of future work.
After conversations with Glen we decided that the video projection looked best displayed in a small format, close to the ground. This was a curatorial decision I wouldn’t have made on my own so I was pleased with the outcome – it felt like I was trying something different out, and after pairing it with a drawing on graph paper for scale and interesting composition, I thought this would be the type of curation I would aim towards for my solo show. Not just going with the set up that is the easiest or most immediately obvious, but considering scale, the relationship between pieces, and how display affects this.
I had positive feedback on the vinyl text on the wall, despite this piece essentially being an ongoing collection, an ‘in progress’ type work, remaining an idea to be concluded almost. But visually, I liked it and felt it helped to pull the other works in the exhibition together conceptually. Using the vinyl was a new material for me and it achieved the clean aesthetic I was after.