My art grows around me. My flat is filled with objects I have made over the last few years. There is always something going on, something new developing. But this creativity in the living-room, due to M.E. my only possibility, has its drawbacks. How do you evaluate your practice? How do you get your work seen? How do you connect and communicate with other artists and art-professionals?
Hands not working, so I poured my art into writing, each word turned, charged, tasted, sniffed, sequences laid out in line and prised apart again, ever so slowly, until tiny, concise feats of beauty emerged. SUPINELY SUBLIMELY started life as a mini-blog and now it’s a book! Material existence matters…
Here’s how it begins:
When the pain goes I half suppose my flesh marked, transformed. A growth of lichen, say, with its warm turmeric tint; a layer of cool, silvery fish-scales; traces of the glacial burn of chain-mail melting into skin. Best of all a delicate, graceful articulation of relief on the site of its worst excesses: once the sharp, piercing jolts give over to prickling, tingling sensations (as if the top of my skull were open or at least porous), the tiniest, downiest feathers could unfurl in the round, a bit like a peacock’s crest – thin stalks topped with trembling blowballs.
But there is nothing, not a wound, not a bruise, not even the flushed tone of a limb pressed against the mirror, straining elsewhere.
You can order SUPINELY, SUBLIMELY directly from Palewell Press. Enjoy!
COUNTER_FITTERS at @GeddesGallery opened yesterday, sans moi, alas, but my work is there, beautifully installed with that of 16 other artists, by Sasha Bowles, Rosalind Davis and Evy Jokhova. In the days leading up to the show I tweeted daily, posting tiny texts (without images) in response to each of the ten pieces which had been selected by the curators. It was an interesting exercise. I discovered new aspects, unexpected narrative trails, and an overtly strong bias towards the poetic, in works & words, which started to annoy me a little (self-referential and critical must be a winning combination). I have a longing for something much rawer…
Peering at photos of the exhibition I see my work altered, uncannily so, to my great pleasure. I will try and trace stories, about place and placing, relations with neighbouring pieces, with environment, ponder absence and presence, the passing of time, languages of wear and tear.
I had hoped to be able to go see the exhibition but ill-health denies it. Melancholy mood today, but below is a link to the A5-booklet Small things which brings together the various strands of my Twitter project (texts and pictures), and a piece I wrote about heirlooms, inspired by photos of the evocative spaces which until not too long ago were inhabited and worked in by Mr. Giordino (see link to history in previous post).
I wrote Zitronensilber (a bit of the old, a bit of the new) as a way of having a voice outside my artwork, a kind of in-word presence during tomorrow’s artists’ talk which I will also miss. I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am of my seemingly perpetual there-in-spirit only, but know I need to find other ways of engaging with artists and audiences. Said text will be laid out in the show for people to take home. It bears my @marjojo2004 tag – who knows, maybe it will start a conversation.
Small things – 10 pieces, 10 texts, + 1
Friday 26 and Saturday 27 February 2016, 12 – 7 pm
26 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DU
Art-life continues after all: time for starting over, time for looking back. I am delighted to have been invited to contribute to this upcoming exhibition at a glorious space:
at Geddes Gallery
curated by Sasha Bowles, Rosalind Davis, Evy Jokhova
Hermione Allsopp, Helen Bermingham, Sasha Bowles, Rosalind Davis, Janes Hayes Greenwood, Justin Hibbs, Evy Jokhova, Nick Kaplony, Caroline Lambard, Alex March, Marion Michell, Michaela Nettell, Freddie Robins, David Ben White, Alice Wilson, Ben Woodeson
25 – 27 February 2016
Preview Thursday 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition open Friday and Saturday 12 – 7 pm
26 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DU
To coincide with the show, and leading up to it, I have started a little twitter-project, painting word-pictures of selected pieces, see under #Counterfitters @marjojo2004
Art-in-the-world-wise it’s a good year for me. Two exhibitions, one near, one far! Definitely time to celebrate. (Please hold while I squelch underfoot a niggling quibbling mass of worry-worms – what if nothing else comes?). Done. And back to celebrating… I was chuffed when five CatAListers (SashaBowles, Rosalind Davis, Justin Hibbs, Evy Jokhova and Annabel Tilley) asked me to join their new collaborative project Catalyst 3. Did my bit in February, well before my exhibition in Lisburn came into focus. Can’t wait to see the end-results.
Catalyst is part parlour-game, part contest/clash/collision, or shall we say: cooperation? The rules are simple: One artist starts a piece – absolutely no constraints, and delivers to the next in line by the first of the following month. Each consecutive artist has a month’s time to transform or expire. As the piece passes from hand to hand a chain of interventions ensues, an interplay of endless possibilities: to build up, take away, change, erase, append, dismantle, embellish, augment, obliterate, leave traces, overwrite. All media are allowed, and here they span painting, drawing, stitching, crochet, collage, assemblage, video installation, 2D, 3D, side by side, under and over.
Catalyst is an exercise in trust and daring, a tug of war as media, ideas & styles, egos & ambitions meet and enmesh. At every stage questions of authorship and synergy arise. In the end a coming together, a joining of forces, a feast of creative conversations. Each artist’s individuality threads through and interweaves with the other artists’. As they delve into one another’s work, they raise their game, explore new processes, revel in associations & connotations, all of which feeds back into their own art practices.
Catalyst means pressure, pleasure, purpose, pain; suspense, surprise, exhilaration. There are no rules. All the while the clock ticks.
Catalyst @ Husk Gallery
with Sasha Bowles, Rosalind Davis, Justin Hibbs, Evy Jokhova,
Marion Michell & Annabel Tilley
PREVIEW FRIDAY 19 JUNE 6 – 9PM
Exhibition continues 20 – 30 June 2015
Tues to Friday 8am – 6pm | Saturdays 10am – 5pm.
Tuesday 30 June; Artists Talk & Soundclash from 6pm
With: Justin Hibbs, Ben Lancaster, Peter Liversidge & Martin Herbert
Husk Gallery, 649-651 Commercial Road, Limehouse, London E14 7LW7
The exhibition at R-Space Gallery in Lisburn came to an end on Saturday, and my work is travelling back to me. Toes have been dipped into the wider world, lines have been redrawn, learnings&reflections are ongoing. One splendiferous strand will go on twisting and curling: Joanne Proctor and I want to continue our collaboration, albeit at a slower pace. Yeaheah!
Robert Martin, gallery-director, had put us in touch in March. We took time exploring each other’s work on-line before we decided what we wanted to do together and how, and in-spite of feeling pressed for time – the month while the show was up – went for tactile&tangible (as opposed to mediated by the computer-screen). Snail-mail served us well.
I started us off with a photograph of two plaits and a poem about a sibyl. Mysterious parcels travelled across the Irish Sea – the unwrapping of contents suspense- and delightful. Gifts of a kind, offerings… Sometimes we made new pieces in response to what we found, sometimes we worked right into a piece. Cooperation means you have to raise your game, look with two sets of eyes, yours/hers, respect and marvel in what you receive, and find the courage to intervene in another’s work, which has an aspect of competition, even demolition. You also can’t be too precious about your own endeavours, deliver them with generosity and breath held. Egos may clash!
It’s been a gentle ride – getting to know and being attentive to each other’s processes, ideas, media, materials has been a joy; at one time though, when my trembly hands failed to comply with my very clear instructions and I felt I spoiled a delicate piece, anxious too.
Will be exciting to see where we go from here.