Week two finds me wondering about connections again; this time with the group that I am working with. The children who make up the group are lovely, enquiring, interested youngsters but they are also tired after concentrating all day at school. I think they could do with running around and letting off steam first. I am trying to find the right balance with them. Last week what we did was ‘too easy’ (in my opinion); this week it was ‘too hard’, next week I’m hoping we can find things ‘just right’. We are making some books individually as well as the piece that I am working on with their input and the processes involved are clearly interesting to them so we are on the right track.
The rest of the week has been filled with ‘stuff to do’ rather than anything terribly creative. I’m am organising materials etc for a one-day workshop at Farnham Maltings on 10 May as well as resources for next week’s Lightbox workshop (no PowerPoint this time!). I am hoping to go to see the ‘Blood on Paper’ Book–art exhibition at the V&A and nip into Falkiner Fine Papers too.
The first of ten workshops at the Lightbox started with none of the technical stuff working. My laptop (with PowerPoint slide show) refused to talk to the gallery’s projector; transferring the PowerPoint to their laptop didn’t work either and finally running upstairs to the conference room with the PowerPoint on a memory stick to play through yet another computer set up to its own projector, didn’t work.
After that things went fine!
The group of children from the Lightbox’s resident ‘Junior Art School’ were great, friendly and interested. The increasing numbers of people drafted-in to help with the non-communicative technology were also great, friendly and interested and more importantly, unflappable. I have to confess to being in a teeny-weeny flap myself (!) but that soon passed as we got down to industriously making paper after having peered at the rather reduced slide show on laptop screens.
There is something very calming about papermaking, maybe its to do with being up to your elbows in porridgy liquid. Anyway the purpose of these workshops is to involve the group and as many other people from the Lightbox as possible, in making some contributions towards a piece of work for the exhibition and also to have some fun in the process.
My own work in relation to the project is growing almost organically. I’m finding it interesting revisiting some older territory in terms of material and content but with different ideas about scale and form.
This weekend I am going over images for a powerpoint slide show for Tuesday. I am hoping to show things which will give the students an idea of the possibilities of using materials without being too prescriptive. Next week is 'week one' of the workshops with my group and officially when the project begins.
The project at the Lightbox is soon to start and preparations are well underway. There have been issues over funding for the project as a whole in these slightly uncertain days but now the basis of the larger project (into which my element of the work fits) has been secured, which means we can all get on with working out in more detail what we will be doing. My work starts with a programme of workshops and develops into an installation / exhibition in the Lightbox in the future, linked with a group exhibition at the Guildford House Gallery in September. The overall project is called Recycled by Design which gives an outline of the remit but is a rather uninspiring title. My own project within this umbrella is based on text, and materiality. My working title is 'Translations' which I hope conveys the sense of removal, change and transmutation which I am interested in investigating.