The edges of people don’t stop at their skin…
This phrase arrived in a poem I wrote over a year ago, before the collaborative/joint exhibition with Bo Jones.
I suspect this post might meander about a bit, but I feel the need to get it straight in my own thinking, and that is what the blog is for… one of the reasons anyway.
I have been brought back to it by the recent posting on “The Museum for Object Research” curated by Sonia Boue, the latest post being written by Patrick Goodall. It’s the bit about policemen’s bums and their bicycles that got me…
I think, if an idea, a theory, or a flight of fancy sticks for this long, then it must be true mustn’t it? if I suddenly find it applies to a new body of work as well as the old, It must be a core part of my work. It must be important. So I revisit it here.
The work with Bo began as a sort of desperate bid to not lose the impetus and productivity, and relationship gained whilst doing our MA. The topic we picked, was the way we linked our work, the singularity and complexity of stitch and pixel. We worked away at it, both collaboratively and individually. We both arrived at different but linked conclusions.
In retrospect, it was enormously valuable, and enabled me to pick apart the very essence of my work right down to the molecular, the grain of thought, the smallest action. The MA started it all off, but to be honest, the two years since finishing the course have been even more intensely, personally educational.
The train of thought went like this… ish… the tale has been condensed in the thinking and telling…
One stitch is useless.
more stitches make things stronger
strength in numbers
the community (of stitches, and in the analogy, of people) is stronger than just the collection of individuals
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (Aristotle)
If I am greater than the sum of my parts, what is the extra bit then?
The extra bit is the bit that rubs off… affects others… memory… genetics… love… pain
The work I did on the back of that allowed me only to use the left overs from previous projects, that lay out on my table, because I’m untidy and hadn’t put it away (thank goodness!). In fact… I am still only using those scraps of fabric now. I’ve got nothing else out since. I don’t seem to be running out of materials… how can this be? These left overs are the memories that affect each other. The “genetic material” (pun intended) of my work can be tracked back now for over three years… I wonder how long it can go on?
The bras have moved in though… second hand, derelict almost… useless. I work on them with the materials that are still on the table. They are also greater than the sum of their parts. They contain parts of the women that wore them… undoubtedly the traces of real DNA have been washed away… but I can imagine them still there. I also imagine the memory and the love and the pain. these bits are rubbing off onto me, I am rubbing off onto them… My DNA as I prick my finger on the needle is certainly still there.
The songs I now write also contain and spread the extra bits… words full of memories real and imagined, some autobiographical (I’m not saying which) but some not. Some are the tales of the mythical women. We continue to rub off on each other… leave our traces.
The edges of people don’t stop at their skin.