Busy working. I'm not going to write much but I want to post some images of what I am doing at the moment. Ideally I would like to have a bit of time to step back from things but I'm not going to have the chance to do that. Most of the things I am doing right now have that feeling of being an endless or impossible task, like emptying the sea with a teaspoon or spinning gold from straw. Some of this work is for the exhibitions coming up in Guildford and Woking in September.
I am hard at work now finishing off work for the 'Recycled by Design' project. The group show starts on 20 September at the Guildford House Gallery and my solo element goes from 16 September at the Lightbox (my home-from-home). I have just begun to be able to relax into the work again after all the competing bits of this and other projects. Sometimes you have to turn off the editorial / organizing voice in your mind and just work things out through doing them. It is a huge relief to find that it's possible to do this even though the deadlines are hanging over me. I am very happy to be involved in all the things that I am involved in but it can get rather stressful. I'd better confess here that I am involved in another project or two straight after this one. This year has been more like a fun-fair ride than a calm meander through things; although I think I described it as 'free-fall or flying' at one point.
Yesterday evening was the launch of 'Contemporary Art in the Surrey Landscape' which spotlights various art projects through Surrey and for which I had made an installation in the courtyard of the Lightbox Gallery. The launch went well, I think and it was good to see what everyone had been working on. Some of the individual projects will have their own openings over the next few weeks throughout August and September. There were speeches and thanks, the odd glass of wine and a chance to meet the other artists. Jonathan Parsons (one of the artists featured in the project and also arc coordinator based at Aspex) talked to me about some positive developments for networking locally.
The last few days leading up to the launch had been good for me. I enjoyed installing the work at the Lightbox. It was good to see everyone again and they were all really helpful. It was also good to be working in a public place because all the other trails of 'Storytrees' had been installed through woodland. Although eventually they get seen by people it isn't necessarily when one is there oneself. I enjoyed seeing people reading the stories and talking about them.
Because of the funding situation the stories I had used for this installation had had to be drawn from my own research rather than direct contact with people. It would have been great to gather them in the same way as I had with the rest of the 'Storytree' project however I was really happy to have had the opportunity to do this installation. The stories I chose were partly from the oral history museum at the Lightbox which has a great collection of anecdotal descriptions of Woking in the recent past. I concentrated on ones about the landscape and how it was used; to play on, for crops, for industry and combined these with excerpts from the Domesday Book about the manors of Woking and the Woking Hundreds. The last set of texts I used were lists of plants found even today in the area.