Here is a blog about a project I’ve been working on for a little while. I’ve been trying different platforms to show this work and so thought I’d see how it faired here.
So far it exists in the following
Over the past six weeks (this now being the seventh) I have been writing, making and publishing a new slogan or statement everyday. I’ll get into the origins in a moment, but to begin with these slogans were a kind of shouty statement when I felt disgruntled. As the project has progressed I’ve tried to make the slogans topical.
For example this slogan was posted to coincide with the publication of the Chilcot Report.
As mentioned the origins…
…of this project began about a year ago. I had a brief set design job for a young theatre maker based in Manchester. He was making (and is currently touring) is a one man show about his experience with depression. The show has a political slant to it as he was keen to make a point about the mental health service in the UK and the drastic cuts the current government has made.
The design remit was to create a low budget set with blankets. One of the reasons I got this job was that I had an idea to use blankets as the base for trade union style banners. Each banner represented a chapter in his story.
It was great to make pieces for a show that was quite close to some of the work I was already making. It gave me a chance to try out some techniques I had wanted to explore. Particularly for this publicity banner/poster.
It was this piece that set me on to thinking about making a series of banners with slogans for exhibition.
So then, the trajectory
January I started writing things and made some cartoons/plans for the banners.
Life and politics and so forth got in the way.
I began thinking about how this writing could be used as research development for a short film I’d had in mind. And then how this short film could be r and d for a theatre/live art project I really wanted to make about politics and mental health.
To keep it all in perspective and realistic I needed to plan these projects out in steps.
By the end of March I knew I wanted to get an exhibition ready for Autumn. But then again life and politics and so forth got in the way.
Then there was the run up to the EU Referendum.
And then there was the result of the EU Referendum.
And I thought I’d never make anything ever again.
What was the point?
I might as well roll over and die.
A couple of days after Friday 24th June I had a meeting with my mentor. (I won’t do too much back tracking but I was lucky enough to be selected onto a women’s networking mentorship scheme as part of a political think tank). Not knowing how to behave at that point because I was so utterly devastated I almost cancelled the meeting.
I’m really glad I didn’t.
My mentor is a brilliant woman and gave me some excellent advice. She also made a point of encouraging me to carry on and that this was a rather important time to be making artwork. (This is pretty much exactly what my mum had said but I guess I needed to hear that from an outside source).
I took the advice on board and began putting together these slogan designs with Adobe Illustrator. These would be the design pattern for the hand stitched banners. I liked how much these looked and thought about posting some on Facebook. And that’s when the project changed.
Slogans Are Not A New Device But They Are A Useful Tactic
This project was launched via Facebook and Twitter on Friday 1st July 2016. A couple of days later I made a new Tumblr page.
As much as I liked the banner idea these pictures worked so much better digitally. I put together a basic template to make new designs with. It’s a quick easy way to write something new and publish it daily. And that’s the main point. I aim to publish a new piece everyday. I’m yet to write one for today but this weekend was a three part short slogan story:
Slogans 43, 44, 45
So then, what next?
I’m enjoying the discipline of having to write, make and publish a new piece of work daily. If anything it’s doing my brain good to be active and is preventing that slump you get when you’re not earning any money.
Aside from that a key concern is finding a bigger audience. I’ve attempted to ask the few followers I have if they would like a commissioned slogan. So far I made these two for my mum.
They were a nice challenge as she specified they had hearts in there, so I had to go away and work out how to make them. Which I rather enjoyed.
Then I’ve considered approaching various campaigns or even selling the designs on line as poster designs. There is even an idea I have in mind for a site specific geocaching project.
Before I do anything like that just yet it might be time to seek some feedback. Which is where this blog post comes in.
It’s all very well getting positive comments from parents, partner and friends but the project is at the point where it needs some commentary and feedback from elsewhere.
So dear reader, if you’ve managed to get this point in this bit of writing and you have an urge to leave a comment please do so. It would be brilliant to find out what other artists may think of it. Whether it’s worth pursuing? Should I consider funding to take it to a more productive level? Or if you just think its stupid and stinks overall as a concept. Any comments would be great.
Thank you for reading,