Since my last post, virtually all my time has been taken up with the Artist as Mother as Artist project. This was a jointly curated exhibition (and accompanying events) with Sam Rose, and we were over the moon to receive Arts Council funding for the project which allowed us to dive straight in and begin work. So, for the past 6 months I have been curating, marketing, planning, talking, photographing, emailing, promoting, posting, sharing, making, changing and developing! It was a very intense period but overall, the project was a resounding success, and I am now in the process of completing the ACE evaluation form.
Although Artist as Mother as Artist has had to be my priority (as it was a time-limited exhibition with confirmed gallery dates), I have also continued with my a-n Re:View bursary mentoring which has focused on my project, tell me about your mother…. Aside from meeting with CVANEM co-ordinator Elizabeth Hawley who has provided me with invaluable professional development advice and guidance, I have also had two very insightful meetings with artist and lecturer Nick Mobbs.
With Nick, there were specific things I wanted to discuss – firstly, my artists’ statement (especially regarding this work), and secondly, how to move the project forward. We talked about other people’s statements and how these are structured, and it was a valid task to research artists’ statements, particularly those who work in the same sphere as me (participatory, installation, mixed media, interactive, collecting, mothers, using data, sourcing data from others). Also, arranging the information clearly, comprehensively and succinctly is fundamental (which sounds obvious) but it’s easy to forget basic details which make your work engaging and accessible.
Regarding the project itself, an interesting observation that came from our conversation, was that audiences only really get to see one ‘side’ of the work – the side that includes interacting with the installation. The other side, almost exclusively accessible only by me, comprises of the conversations, the connections and the beautiful encounters I experience from the private and candid stories revealed from within the wooden box. Nick and I talked about ways to share this hidden part, discussing at length the idea of a book (text/image based publication of some kind), which could include collaborating with someone, to inform and contextualise the content. We considered the project in general, with its human connection – people reflecting on their relationships with their mothers, and the interest that this holds for others. There could be a performative element to this side of the work, and we talked about other artists who’s practice might be useful to research – Traci Kelly, Sophie Calle, Belén Cerezo, Rebecca Beinhart, Poly-technic (Kate Geneva and Steve Pool), and Luis Jacob, as well as the project that Heather Connolly and Rhiannon Jones organize – In Dialogue.