It has been one of those times when real life intrudes and it has been impossible to work for a while. I've had an awful cold and things have just tripped me up. However it has given me the chance to think about approaches to the Lightbox project. I find it very interesting to use materials that have already had a function. Even after, for instance completely pulping a book and making it into something else, it always seems to me that there is a ghost of its former self still present.
One of the projects that I am working on this year is a materials-based one with a focus on recycling and reusing. It is organized by Surrey and aims to twin artists / designers with groups within Surrey. My group is centred on Woking and I will be working at the Lightbox Gallery http://www.thelightbox.org.uk/
This is a fabulous place, designed by Marks Barfield Architects who also designed the London Eye. http://www.marksbarfield.com/search_results.php
I am really pleased to be given the opportunity to work here and make some work in response to the light streaming into the spine of the building. I am hoping to involve everyone who works there into making a contribution to the piece. Lynn and Michael, who I have been meeting with to discuss the project, have been very positive and I feel optimistic about it. I start towards the end of April with a programme of workshops with my group.
Although I do occasionally feel I should move away from being so materials and process based in my approach to work, I can't help but find the world of 'stuff' very interesting. Everything carries with it a history and narrative. See my previous blog for more eloquent musings on this subject.
Looking through the other blogs I saw that Alinah Azadeh in her blog; Unwrapping the Gift, was referring Lesley Millar's 'Textile Routes' which is where I came across the quotation that I have used for the title of my blog.
'How do we choose our specific material, our means of communication? Accidentially. Something speaks to us, a sound, touch, hardness, softness, it catches us and asks us to be formed. We are finding our language and as we go along we learn to obey (its) rules and limits. Students worry about choosing their way. I always tell them "You can go anywhere from anywhere."' Anni Albers quoted by Lesley Millar in 'Textile Routes'.
Its one of the most interesting things about the a-n project blogs, the connections you find with other people.
During the last couple of weeks I have been meeting people to discuss projects. It has been fascinating and reminds me that not all the creativity is concerned with the medium, so much of what makes things work is a creative connection with people (often the people who commission the work). Whether something works or not can often be down to this connection. I was struck by Stuart's comments in his recent post in his blog; 'Project me' which reflected on trust / autonomy in the context of working with institutions who often demand or need predetermined outcomes.
Despite some very interesting talks and potentially some very interesting projects coming up, I am desperate to just have an uninterrupted few days of making.
While making work, one can make leaps of intuition which would take for ever, or maybe not happen if one had to pre rationalise or pre determine everything. Which isn't to say that you shouldn't think about it!
The purpose of this blog is to chart and give form to the year after my Papertrails project. Last year was so full, so prescribed and so organised that I often wished for a less regimented schedule. This year I deliberately opted for what I thought of as a breather; a calm period to assess and evaluate and build on the work of the project. This year is actually being far from any of those things. At the moment it feels utterly full of competing things with no time to weigh anything up. Welcome back to the real world!