Way way back when I first put in a proposal for this commission I suggested the idea of documenting my own journey as I got to know Anne and using this documentation to produce an artists book.
Well, I now have a wad of small watercolour sketches, around 60 photographs, some found images and various versions of the finished artwork. I’ve also got this blog and a video of Anne training.
Have spent far too long trawling through websites looking at other artists books for inspiration, tis time to commit!
First job, listen not watch the video tape and record fragments of speech. Second job open InDesign, organic you might want to be but organic you is not…….. !
18th January 2010
At last up to date on my up-dates!
We all met at the Colchester United Football Stadium to have a tour of the spaces our work will be displayed in and to show our work to each other, Essex County Council arts development and 2012 legacy team and the Colchester United team.
Everyone has created amazing work and interestingly everyone has gone large! It’s all going to make a stonking show, there are two huge charicature esque portraits by Wei Ern Ong mounted onto perspex, a beautiful sculpture cut into stone by Ben Dearnly, a sound piece by Tim Skinner, three large oil paintings by Mark Orbell, a photograph and video work by Marc Burden, a photo-montage by Ron Suffield, an animation by Paul Heard and moi!
I showed two pieces which after experiencing the ‘size’ of artists works will definitely be re-created on a bigger scale!
But after the meeting I had a long think about the two pieces I aimed to use and have decided I want to go with one which I feel is much stronger and will look stunning larger. I really feel the second piece, although successful on a smaller scale, will lose its quality when increased in size.
Have two pieces which I think will work although nothing like I envisaged creating! My original idea was to work with the idea of ‘objects of sport’, the possibility of the baton being an artwork, the swimming cap, the trophy, to work in a very abstract way, but as my journey unfolded and I began to get to know Anne it became more important to capture the essence of Anne within simple portraiture.
Am now thinking about titles for the work.
Anne’s middle name is ‘Olympia’ and realised I hadn’t asked her why & how. She had sent me some press cuttings when we first met featuring ‘Olympia’ as a singer (yes, a singer aswell!) and I wondered if she had created this name purely as a stage name but why the olympic link as at that point in her life she had no idea she would be competing at Olympic level as an athlete.
Anne forwarded me an article written by Symeon Tsalicoglou for the Paralympic Village Pulse during the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games:
……..“My father named me after the famous Greek mountain, which he wanted to go for all of his life. When I was growing up he would tell me stories of this mountain and of the incredible history that was involved. Now that I am in Greece participating in the Games it means the world to me. I want to bring him to Greece after the Olympic Games and take him to this mountain which he has dreamed about all his life.”
Essex County Council have confirmed the launch of Journey to the Podium, 3rd March 2010 at Colchester United’s new stadium.
There will be two launches one to the Essex Strategic Board Conference in the afternoon this will involve all the great and good linked to Essex 2012 then our launch in the evening.
The work is being hung in the foyer, the directors suite and conference suites and the stairwells. It will then tour to The Gibberb Gallery in Harlow later in the year (Nov / Dec 2010)
Have to now prepare 75 words about my approach to the commision and 50 words for each piece – oh and a jpg of the finished (or nearly complete) work – ahhhh!!
Have stored up two or three entries! So…… going back to the end of November 2009 I received an email from George Gardiner, the Partnership Development Manager for Harlow School Sports Partnership. He was contacting the Head of Art at the school affiliated to the sports centre where Anne trains, about the possibility of working with a group of children.
His email: “……. I have informed Mark Hall’s Head of Art that they can no longer be involved in the project due to their lack of even a courteous response to let me know that they were not interested!
I do apologise for this and is there time to get another school involved?”
Anne’s keen to work with her son’s primary school and has been in touch with them. They’re very interested but Christmas is looming with bazaars, plays, assemblies, carol services etc etc, so it doesn’t look like we can squeeze anything in before deadlines for the artwork in January 2010. :(