Thursday 30th May, 2013
I have yet to select one piece, I find many of the pieces interesting aesthetically, and find many of them interesting conceptually but the two interests are not necessarily part of the same piece/s. A dilemma.
Wednesday 8th May, 2013
The week before last
I received my invitation to Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing. This is all the information I have so far about the show. By choice, I might add. I like the image: Misfit by Thomas Grünfeld, 2005.
I read the artists’ profiles for the Art and Kindness Commissions. (Go to each commission to see the artist’s profile). They made me laugh, think, and feel a real sense of belonging.
I’m reading T.J. Clark’s The Sight of Death and am considering his approach during his time at the Getty Research Institute in 2000, returning to observe the same works and giving himself “over to the process of seeing again and again.”
I’ll be at the gallery during installation to begin looking at the objects in the exhibition. I’m expecting the unexpected, (and hoping there is a camera obscura.
Wednesday 3rd April 2013
My initial proposal
(but it may all well change… such is the nature of art making)
“I’m very interested in people, very curious about people’s psychology, whenever I am on a bus or the tube or in an airport, I’m always thinking who are these people? I look for subjects that say something about people’s values, about what makes people tick.”
Vanessa Engle, documentary maker (Walking with Dogs: A Wonderland Special, BBC2, 2012)
A Moment of Your Time
As a visual artist I am interested in the social relationship between people mediated by things: objects and places. I initiate and develop projects using language, dialogue and memory to explore this theme. Through a participatory practice I aim to create space for meaningful connections between people. The resulting art works, often print, audio or installation, are motivated by my aspiration to substantiate collective moments, experiences or situations.
The proposal I would like to make for the Values commission is based around investigating the role of the gallery as a meeting point. A gallery and the exhibitions it curates draw many different people yet little dialogue goes on between strangers when they are looking at works in a show. Often people occupy the space in a silent, private, disconnected way. Some common interest – values, curiosity or wonder has brought a disparate group into a public space, yet most often everyone leaves having no notion of what they may share with the people they have spent an hour or more with. I would like to develop a project, currently titled A Moment of Your Time, which demonstrates the commonalties between the people who visit CURIOSITY: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing.
I would select one object from the exhibition that says something about my values and philosophy of living. I would then like to trace a large-scale outline of this object onto one wall somewhere inside Turner Contemporary, defining a space for visitors’ answer to the question: what does this object mean to you? They would be asked to answer the question in 140 characters (26 words) or less.
I would spend time during the residency talking to participating visitors, and collecting information about each person – a portrait (photograph), their name and contact details. The portraits will later be printed, and visitors contacted to take part in an event.
During the final weeks of the exhibition I would collate all the most commonly used words or phrases, which would then determine a series of headings organised on the walls of the Clore Learning Studio.
The event would involve participants collecting their portraits, taken during Part 2 of the project and attaching them under the words relating to their responses during Part 1. I would also ask a second question: is there anything new you would like to add?
Through a discursive and accumulative process people will get the opportunity to engage in expressing and revealing their values, and I will visually demonstrate the ‘weight’ of the commonality between visitors through the words they use. This idea of a kind of ‘twitter without the technology’ is about using an object from CURIOSITY: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing to encourage staff and visitors (and myself) to review, reconsider, reject and/or reaffirm values and beliefs through collective participation.
I am also very interested in how A Moment of Your Time is a dynamic play on audience development and evaluative processes. Drawing the participants back to the gallery in this way has the potential to turn a moment of discreet communication and connection into a longer lasting relationship between individuals and Turner Contemporary and People United.
One other interesting pause for thought: A Moment of Your Time is an experiment but like any experiment there is an element of risk (which I embrace) – values as well as uniting people can provoke division.
I am optimistic about discovering a common language…
Wednesday 20th February 2013
I’ve also been thinking a lot about how/if art changes people/society and wondering if I could pinpoint a moment when an artwork changed my life/thinking…
Then I thought about the word influence rather than change and the concept – art effecting social change – seemed more manageable somehow. It gave me room to think about the change being subtle, incremental but no less effective.
And I have been thinking about how photography and moving image have enabled new world views, and then thought wouldn’t it be interesting if there was a camera obscura in the show (I’m waiting until the week of installation to find out – to keep my curiousty going) and how this object could get people thinking about things linked to values – family, history, power, representation, ethics, sharing, community, social responsibility, humanity, environment…
Then I went to see the Ansel Adams show at the National Maritime Museum.
Monday, 18th February 2013
I was invited by Carol Tulloch, Reader at TrAIN to do a seminar as part of the PhD student programme at the V&A on Monday. I revisited my Artquest/Parramatta Artist’s Studio residency, Sydney 2008 and the work I produced following it as Carol had asked me to talk about being an artist-in-residence.
Then I talked a bit about some ideas I am thinking about for this residency. I decided to do a little experiment and asked everyone to select an object from one of the museum galleries that ‘spoke’ to their values. Everyone went off for 45 minutes.
Some of the words that came up in our dialogue: chance, reframing, fragments, generosity, hospitality, harmony, family, appropriation, progress, exchange, memory, place, time, knowledge, beauty. Someone even chose a WunderKammer Cabinet of Curiousitis.
I chose Thomas Gainsborough’s ‘Show Box’ the closest I got to a camera obscura, which is an object I’ve been thinking about a lot.