September 14, 2018

The Self-Identity Artist Commission celebrated its half-way point with a private event to show work that has been made so far. In this blog Sarah Cole and Annis Joslin share some of the stories from the event.

A Deliberately Messy Business

A big day – about forty people were invited to come and see what we have done so far. Given that we have only met with the group seven times and are very much only at the beginning of a creative process, the amount of material was considerable. The space was also large, which created opportunity to site videos in a new context and create different ways for people to encounter the work and enter in to meaningful conversations.

Needless to say, the JHJH women were completely on task and understood how to navigate a complex social and multi-media arts situation as if they had been doing it all their lives. The audience could roam around, weave flowers in Keeley’s hair, spin candy floss around the head of a doll, pick at avocado stones, repair broken plates with plasters, tread on or around broken egg-shells, view drawings and photographs, make paper aeroplanes, listen to a poem around the camp-fire, watch a giant pylon morph in to the legs of women smashing plates, observe the shrill voices on helium of everyone singing Gloria Gaynor’s eponymous I Will Survive, listen to headphone with female voices speaking aloud of their dreams for the future and shoot nerf guns at cups bearing deliberately cruel words.

At the end, a crutch was turned in to Neptune’s spear using sellotape and broken crockery, to burst giant balloons and shower the group with confetti that bore writings of generosity towards each other. And then the audience were invited to join in with singing Lean on Me around the camp fire with Annis on her ukulele.

20 July 2018, Sarah Cole & Annis Joslin

People United Artist Commission: Self-Identity in association with Joining Hands, Joining Hearts and Optivo

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