Tomorrow is the last workshop at the Lightbox with my group of youngsters. We are going to spend the two hours just making paper. Each sheet made will be part of the final installation in September. I am looking forward to being able to start actually producing work again myself. It's going to be interesting to see how the processes involved in its making will modify the final forms of the work. The whole project has been based for me on translations and alterations which I find fascinating.
A bit of background to the work:
I have been aiming to make some work that will respond to the light and spaces at the gallery as well as the overall theme of recycling and reusing. One of the pieces that I am making with the children and people who work at the Lightbox is a book whose pages: handmade by everyone who takes part; are impressed with textures made and found at the Lightbox. One of the other collaborative pieces is a long 'Landscape' made of hand cast paper. Its shape is designed to catch the light streaming into the building. Complimentary to these and using the same forms are some pieces made of found pages from discarded books.
I'm posting photos of some of the books made in my Lightbox workshops. The last session with my group of kids is coming up on Tuesday and we are going to spend the time paper-making. The books and other things we have made together over the term are to go home with children and they are going to leave me with heaps of handmade paper. I have found this project very interesting and I have met some lovely people. The children; and I hope other people from the Lightbox eventually, will have contributed quite a lot to the work to be exhibited in September.
The dates for the exhibition are 16 September until 30 November. At the time of writing there isn't any information on the Lightbox website about it but it's a while off yet.
The last but one workshop session with the Lightbox group went well. I think everyone has finished their book or books. I was too busy helping with bookbinding woes to take many photos but I came home with one that has little to do with their individual work but a great deal to do with my interest in stacking and accumulating stuff. I'll post some more of their work next time.
The last week at the Lightbox is going to be paper-making. I am making some pieces for an exhibition in September at the gallery and am working with the children and others, to make a 'Lightbox Book' and also some horizontal pieces that I am thinking of as landscapes.
On a completely different note, I was browsing some design / art / craft blogs out there in Blogger etc away from our little a-n blog enclave and was very impressed with their openness and supportiveness and also with their creative nature. Maybe we could all communicate a little more with each other. I know I am often struck by something said on one of the other a-n blogs but feel too self conscious to comment very often. I might be slightly influenced by the fact that one of the blogs; 'Found Object' featured my work yesterday!
Anyway some blogs to look at if you feel like a break from our slightly earnest tone:
I think I was feeling a little negative when I posted my last blog entry. Today I am trying to make definite arrangements about the work I am doing. It always makes me feel better when I don't feel as if I am on a runaway train! The projects that I am working on or due to work on are all converging a little alarmingly so I need to sort out the details and then things will be fine. However I am really looking forward to a holiday!
Yesterday I found out that Surrey have used one of my images or in fact a detail of one of my images on a flier about their Contemporary Art in the Surrey Landscape project which is pleasing. The project will be launched at the Lightbox on 31st July and I am due to install some work along the canal-side for the event. More info (though not much) on: www.surreycc.gov.uk/arts
Follow the link for Visual Arts.
Everything seems to be in some way linked to the Lightbox for me at the moment. Tomorrow I am there again for my penultimate workshop with the kids at the Junior Art School and I hope to be able to post some pictures of their bookbinding. In fact I have loads of photos of their work but it seems unfair to single out one person's work as they have all done so well.
It has been an interesting few days; some bits very good and other bits that make me feel I should review the direction that things are moving in. What has been good? I have enjoyed the opportunity afforded by clearing out my workspace for Surrey Open Studios, to see work in another context and to see it make connections. I have begun to think about making new work again instead of being so stretched by the 'stuff to do' that I can't look ahead. I am pleased with the work that the children in my workshop group have made; it's coming together now really well and they have made it their own rather than being too much like my work. I ran a workshop for the public as part of the Open Studios and met a really nice group of people who were fun to be with and enjoyed the day too. I have liked meeting people and discussing my work. I realize that I have missed this aspect of 'being the artist'. What has been bad is the growing thought that I am getting very bogged down in the kind of working practice that gets me to enable others to do things rather than making meaningful things myself. I worry about the two extremes that I lurch between. On one hand making consumable artifacts and on the other being involved in work where the value of the artist has to be measured in 'utility'.