There is one room in the shop that is niggling us. I couldn't sleep last night for ideas bursting into my head about how to tackle it, that and the conversations I'd had throughout the day kept me buzzing.
I met an artist, Paul Matosic, who is creating an installation in Derby Museum Art Gallery to open on 28th March. We talked about lack of funds, ignorance of councils (and one particular councillor, mentioning no names….) and also – and this is the bit that gave me insomnia – do self funded artist intitiatives give the funding bodies and the government and the councils a reason to take a hands off approach because 'the artists themselves are more than capable of providing the cultural input'? Are we compounding a complacency, are we our own worst enemies!!!!!!!!??????????
Rock and a hard place……
Spent most of the day at 2 Cheapside clearing up a bit and trying to suss out the heating….no luck. Blue fingers. Think I am spoiled at Banks Mill (where my studio is) where the heating is great…. over the moon about the space though. The ghost clothes I am planning to hang in the ground floor space are going to sit nicely I think. They will be right next to the big windows and whilst I sat there today sketching I noticed the constant flow of people going passed. It is such a prominent spot we cant help but be noticed. George (Harris) came down and sighed a sigh of contentment and satisfaction about how happy he is with the space.
Mostly all settled on where we are going to hang. There may be room for more work but how I am going to find the time to make more I dont know. I am making 100s of beeswax cast keys for Connect 08 (at the Collection, Lincoln) and my mold is crap so this is taking up so much time. The ghost clothes are very labour intensive which feeds into the theme of the installation but theres little time for anything else but threading popcorn on to metres of cotton and knitting wire into garments. Experimenting with stitching sheets of wax together is good fun but ………….tick tock tick tock
Forgive me it has been almost 2 weeks since my last blog……
Took the family to Brighton for Easter to visit old friends. Putting some distance between me and Derby makes me realise how much work there is to do for noparking. I've also got heaps to do for the group show i'm involved in at the Collection in Lincoln. I've squandered too much time and now I'm paying with free floating anxiety!
Seeing Brighton again also highlights how little there is going on in Derby in terms of art. Experiences are limited. The fun to be had is at the all new shopping centre…. Culture is considered as a separate entity, an outhouse that is sometimes visited but not quite integral to the house.
For a while though my complaints are quietened whilst we develop the show. Today there is Excitement. I collected the keys for the shop from the landlord. The space is now a working space not some abstract notion in our minds.
Its Friday already. Meeting last night. We are a truly clever collective. Despite the wine and hilarities we get the jobs done – and no-one falls asleep during the grown up bits.
Julie (West) has made a plan of the building so the curating (collectively, obviously) is underway. The plan is a work of art in its own right so we are going to use this in the interpretation in some way.
So far it has just been us, the artists, discussing and planning. The wider picture is starting to emerge as we work on publicity.
We have been approached by at least 7 other people to place work in the show and word is getting round that the building is going to be used. All this was up for discussion last night and we agreed the show is now formed. As it's site specific to add to it would almost be cosmetic and not integral.
There's a bigger issue of how we are received in Derby. Although NO PARKING has no political agenda we are making a statement by merely occupying the empty shop. Opening a can of worms so to speak…………
Not much has happened this week. We get the keys – fingers crossed – to number 2 cheapside next week. Meantime I have been having fun with the piece thats going in on the ground floor. I was getting cross with the lack of space in my studio so if we get in to the shop next week I will be able to let rip.
It would be good to get the publicity and invites out the way, also getting to the bottom of health and safety and licencing for the opening will help the cause. I wonder if the infamous Alleged gallery ever bothered with public liability………….