Figure of 8 by Janetka Platun

London is often described as a cold, unfriendly place. Figure of 8 questions this perception and looks at how a sense of connection in society can be encouraged and made visible. The project explores how territorial and interactive relationships, in the darkness of a frozen stage, can act as a metaphor for how we live our lives and find ways of belonging.

Janetka Platun, 2013

Janetka invited eight non-professional skaters to participate in Figure of 8 and explore with her the theme of belonging through their own experiences and journey’s connected to the ice rink. Each of the skaters was given a GPS device to record their journey between their homes and the rink, and were also invited to come together at a workshop held at the National Theatre Studio to explore a number of questions such as:

  • When you travel to and from the ice rink what route do you take habitually and why?
  • Are there areas you pass through on your way to and from the ice rink that you feel more comfortable / safe in?

Using the stories and experiences gathered from the skaters, the GPS routes and research around belonging and connections, Janetka created the stunning image Figure of 8.

Thank you to: Reece, Amanda, Natalie, Tracy, Martin, Gloria, Peter and Kayla and all their families for taking part in this commission.

 Extract from Janetka’s Blog

It’s a peculiar practice being a freelance artist. On every project I approach people I’ve never met before and ask them to go on a creative journey with me. Mystery and trust play their part. It’s always a leap of faith for everyone involved. But somehow it works.

Read more of Janetka’s blog.

Funded & supported by:

The Artist: Janetka Platun

Janetka creates work to interpret the lives of people through alternative archives, photographs and installation. For this commission she will be working on a site-specific installation that explores interpersonal relationships and how we find ways of belonging.

Some questions revealing a bit more about Janetka Platun

  1. The Beatles or Elvis Elvis
  2. What is your favourite word, and why? Elliptical, because it's concise but ambiguous.
  3. Where do you feel you belong? I'm a first generation immigrant, where I belong feels complicated. It's one of the reasons I'm interested in this commission.
  4. Who's your favourite artist, and why? Ilya Kabakov, because it's all there in his art.
  5. Can you recommend a good book? 'The Summer Book' by Tove Jansson
Skaters in Central Park (Belonging 1)
Workshop at the National Theatre - Image by Janetka Platun
Workshop at the National Theatre - Image by Janetka Platun
Workshop at the National Theatre - Image by Janetka Platun
Ice - by J. Platun
London by J. Platun
Ice Hockey 2013 by Janetka Platun
Brownian motion by Janetka Platun
Brownian motion by Janetka Platun