Effective protesting for activist Sarah Corbett: pretty, non-threatening scenarios – picnics and cupcakes, or handkerchiefs embroidered with the truth – to engage and draw people in, allowing the conversation to begin.
Craft: invaluable tool to bring people together, encourage them to connect and to encourage close listening. This connection can then be used to ask difficult questions and encourage change. By working collaboratively on something like a stitched project, eye contact is restricted and a safe space for free dialogue created.
Notes from the talk, Eye of the Needle: Art, Stitch, Partnerships and Protest, at the British Library, 13/7/2015
A creative seminar linked to the IN-SITE project, arranged by Francis Knight at the University of Kent, Chatham Historic Dockyard, 8th July 2015
I found the discussion about the role the artist has to offer in public projects particularly intriguing. Possibilities:
- Recorder (1)
- Researcher (1)
- Collaborator (1)
- ‘What if’, expansive open thinker (1)
- Producer, directing the work of others (1)
- An enabler, building bridges and understanding (1)
- One who forces a pause, provoking debate amongst those who think they already have a solution (2)
- Collaborative provocateur, not to get people’s backs up, but to help others think creatively (4)
- Can be an independent, self-appointed provoker working without permission to suggest an alternative agenda (2)
- One who plays – is curious – and invites others to join in the game (3)
- Maker of work that matters to others (1)
- Creator, making work that might not be liked by all, but that gets people talking (4)
- Creating art that changes people’s perceptions of themselves, where the effect on one individual is as important as the effect on general public (5)
1 Tom Littlewood, Ginkgo Projects
2 David Cotterrell, Artist
3 Jo Thomas, Artist and part of Figure Ground
4 Alice Waller, Medway Council
5. Lance Phillips, Physical Folk
Here’s one of my framed stills from Project Survey in the Zeitgeist Summer Exhibition 2015 (see top left). I like the landscapes themselves but the frames are wrong – too heavy, too strident. They need to be narrower width wise but deeper front to back – more box / object-like.
I’m having the usual internal tussle about frame colour. Black’s perhaps more traditional and gives clean lines but it draws too much attention to itself. The work’s not about the frame – it almost needs to be invisible – which makes me think white may be a better option.
Don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but obvious approach is to look at 2 past works:
I’m right, the white frame pushes focus onto the image but I don’t like it – the whole thing looks to wishy-washy.
However the 20mm black frame looks carefully considered. The extra distance between the dark frame and the print allows the image to breathe more fully. Not sure about the pale wood element but this was a practical necessity at the time that could be overcome another way.
Tracey Emin says the process of curating isn’t just about what looks good with this or that. There must be ‘an ethos – a theory – behind it; something you want to change. For Emin, it’s about finding a way to alter peoples’ perceptions of looking at something, to get them to see it in a new way. The example she gives involves her curation of Egon Schiele’s work where her strategy was to avoid the usual approaches by limiting colour and density in favour of making the work feel light; ‘to raise his work up’.
In many ways, this perhaps is a subtle shift in approach to curating but somehow it helps; it gives a clue towards unravelling the mysteries of delivering a good exhibition.
Source: Ben Harding & Richard Bright, ‘What do artists do all day? Tracey Emin’, BBC Scotland Arts Production, 2015
This is an art exhibition by 6 artists who’ve used an intriguing collaborative working process over an extended period of time. The work has passed from hand to hand and interventions been made as each individual responds to what has gone before, dismantling, embellishing, augmenting, obliterating, leaving traces or overwriting.
This project is about the process of working rather than the end result, part collaboration and part creative conversation, part parlour game and part contest/clash/collision. Accompanying Twitter conversations between participants played an integral role as information and dis-information.
Catalyst was shown at Husk Gallery in June 2015 and involves artists Sasha Bowles, Rosalind Davis, Justin Hibbs, Evy Jokhova, Marion Michell and Annabel Tilley.