I can’t believe its been almost 2 months since my last post.
The last 7 weeks have been an intense whirl of events, meetings and new opportunities. There has only been time for doing, action. The dust however has now settled and I’m carving some time out for thinking, reflecting, research and writing. Blogging here has always been an invaluable way of organising my thoughts, and of helping me to think more analytically about my practice and activities, and this is what I need now.
I wanted to start this process with a summary of the last 7 week’s activities. Firstly, an update on my a-n Re:view bursary (http://new.a-n.co.uk/news/single/a-n-awards-over-2…)
I’ve had the first of my peer review sessions with each of my three designated artists: Andy Abbott, Caroline Hick and Sarah Spanton. Each meeting was a half day, one to one meeting with each practitioner. Having the opportunity to have a focussed discussion about my work with three experienced practitioners working broadly within in social practices in Bradford and Leeds (where my own practice is based) has been incredibly rich and intensive experience. I expected the process to be valuable, but I didn’t realise how much. At this point I’m actually feeling quite overwhelmed by all that was offered by Caroline Sarah and Andy in the way of critical discussion, questioning, suggested areas of research and funding – and feel I need time to really reflect on and assimilate before meeting again with each of them for my second session. I don’t think I had anticipated just how much the process would give me. In my application I had allocated myself a 3 month period in which to have 2 sessions with each artist but I’m now realising I should have given myself longer – as I need time to digest and follow up, so I can really maximise my second and final sessions. Another thing learnt – give myself more time! I’ll be posting more details of the content of the sessions in further over the next couple of weeks which I hope other artists will find useful.
Just Do(ing) It, Again: The Politics of DIY and Self-Organised Culture conference: Bradford, Saturday 5th May http://www.brad.ac.uk/music/whats-on-workshops/
An exciting, galvanising day, which there was so much to learn from.
Ivan Georgia and I trialled our first gift circle (http://www.shareable.net/blog/charles-eisenstein-g…) at the event as part of the Wur collective http://wurblog.wordpress.com/– we were delighted with how it went and in particular the open-ness and generosity in which participants approached the process and the subsequent discussions afterwards. It couldn’t have gone better and we need some time now to talk about what we want to happen next.
Popup zine shop, Bradford Baked Zines, 13 – 18th May
When our zine collective Loosely Bound were offered a space in an empty shop unit by Fabric to run a temporary popup zine shop, we felt it would have been a wasted opportunity just to run a shop. We didn’t just want the event to be about selling, or even specifically about zines, but to have a wider focus: as an exploration and celebration of self publishing and DIY culture in in Bradford and beyond. The opportunity to have a city centre shop space meant that we could potentially engage and involve a wider audience: so as well as stocking a wide range of self published zines books music and other material, we ran a programme of events which included workshops, talks, discussions and performances: we had a zine library which people could drop in and browse, and the opportunity for people to make their own zines. It was an all-consuming and fairly exhausting process organising all of this in such a short time (basically a month): sourcing stock, organising the events, staffing the shop, marketing… but there was so much support, interest and enthusiasm, it was a joy.We collaborated with other individuals, groups and collectives in Bradford who are active in DIY culture in the city and it felt very much like a collaborative, collective effort, fuelled by goodwill and conviviality.
Documentation of the week can be found at http://bradfordbakedzines.wordpress.com/
Part Two of this post tomorrow..