Throughout September I have been putting together work that I have made or am making, along with work created in or from the workshops. This work has become a collaboration, between my own practice and the creativity of the women that I have worked with.
The work I am using that comes from the women has all been given with consent to be used as part of the project. Some of the women can be credited in name, but all must bear some level of anonymity due to personal circumstances.
For this reason and many others I have felt from the start of the project that it is imperative that the work be seen by the women who have been involved. I intend to do this in several ways.
Firstly, I have ensured access (and funds) for those who are able and who want to, to come to the FiLiA conference to see the work and participate in the conference.
Secondly, I plan to produce two further organised exhibitions of the work. One in Aldershot and one (which may take a while to organise) in the prison in which we worked.
My work has to involve dialogue, and it has to (for me) create a cycle. The dialogue initiates the work, the work creates dialogue which in turn feeds back into my practice…. a cycle. This includes ensuring the work is shown in a variety of places and spaces, with a variety of audiences and views.
I decided this week to combine my interest in ‘place’ of exhibition, with my interest in the different ways I can combine the physical ‘pieces’ created in the workshops, with my own performative practice. I decided to run three very short, impromptu exhibitions in Aldershot. I set up work in three spaces, uninvited. There was not a planned audience. There was barely an uninvited audience, just a few shoppers, passers by and some refuse collectors. A security guard came to look at one point, but even he couldn’t be bothered to walk down to where I was to say anything. about me blocking access.
Does an audience need to be invited?
Do we need to be given permission to access something or to engage with something?
Does work need an audience for it to develop for an artist? Do we need that validation? Is that what social media has become? Our audience? Our proof that something happened, even if only in pictures?
These are questions to consider for my practice going forward, but for now I DO feel it important that the collaborators in this project, the women involved should have the opportunity of seeing what I have done with their work, where it will be and how important this project has been for my own practice. It has not been a ‘selfless’ gesture of good will. It has been a process that has given me a huge amount of joy, emotion, education and space. It has formed the basis of a whole new path for my Art practice and for all of that I am incredibly grateful and excited.
Here’s to many more conversations. But next, I need to finish preparing the work for another place of conversation! The FiLiA conference 2017!!!
Look out for my work there which will include four projected video works, a moving archival installation (me!), some photographs and plenty of banners!