A successful Lonely Earrings Collection Day event at Victoria Baths Manchester Heritage Open day, Sunday 9th September and despite being in competition with the Paralympics closing ceremony and possible last sunny day of summer, stories, much interest and beautiful earrings themselves were gathered. We meet some interesting and interested people, a good reminder to ourselves how invaluable networking is, one person was a fellow Rogue Artists Studio Member who we’d never met before.
An unexpected aspect of awarded Arts Council England funding, is the positive effect on our identity as artists, validation, we should be doing this. It would seem (for us anyway in part) that it takes a well established high profile Arts organisation, and being paid money to have a substantial confirmation of our skills and experience.
Also to throw in some realism, can now pay bills and clothe the kids!
The above references some rather lean periods of paid art work. We have strove to remain artistically active in various ways, (sounds promiscuous) sometimes invited and in the case of this project’s beginnings, uninvited, we continued to present our art to an audience, for our own sanity. And of course working leads to more work and even paid work. Action wins over inaction every time!
I am the Campbell part of Sagar and Campbell.
I’m hoping the informal nature of blogging fits with my own nature, being dyslexic.
We (sagar and campbell) have worked together as public, community and glass artists for about 10 years. This project is the most exciting to date, as it seems to be the culmination of our previous learning processes, skills experience, and importantly the reasons why we work creatively.
Also it is a project that we created from scratch (and much hard but much fun unpaid work, i.e. blowing up about 30 3ft white spherical balloons) rather than through winning a commission.
And a delightful new phase as the project just won Arts Council England funding! Fitting that this blog about the Chandelier should start now from winning the award.
The project has a long and wonderous history on another blog,
http://thesummerhouseblog.blogspot.com, (do have a nose for pictures etc). It charts the beginning of our informal engagement with existing sculpture, the Glass Summer House, which we were commissioned to make in the new St Marys maternity Hospital Manchester, women’s courtyard.
We decided to install mini ‘pop up’ exhibitions inside the Summer House. We were looked upon by staff and patients; a bit like being goldfish in a bowl! We chatted to people and found out that they were interested in what we doing, and we found out what they wanted from looking at the ‘yard’. The chandelier was inspired by these conversations, and wanting to create something that they and others could participate in.
That all sounds simplistic, but its a ‘in a nutshell’ describiton, only the process took a longer time, over a year and the inspiration and ideas too…..like Grayson Perry described ideas ‘as timid creatures, glimpsed in the corner of an eye – they had to be reassured before they would come close……’ this one took a while to catch.