March: Practicing to Share!

Debrief 2018 Susan Merrick and Melissa Mostyn – Performance and Film

Last year I worked with the insightful Artist, writer and film-maker Melissa Mostyn. We spoke long and hard about the workshops we ran last year and what it meant to work with survivors of abuse, to consider Deaf women and men in this position, access to support and art, and access to debate in these areas. We also talked about access to the art world as parents and carers, fitting in work, practice and exposure to other work within lives filled with other responsibilities.

I asked Melissa to be the first Artist that I worked with this year, so that we could continue these conversations and consider how we each develop our work, support each other and other artists who may have restrictions on time or resources or both. We met in Aylesbury, Melissa’s place of residence, in a pub near the town centre market. We shared our ideas around working with other projects and with each other. How it can work, what does work and what is difficult. We talked about remote working on projects and the pros and cons of this. We spoke of the isolation at times of not having a shared artist space, or living away from bustling art spaces/towns and cities. We talked about David Bowie (there is a statue of him in Aylesbury!) and antiques, about Grayson Perry and Art Galleries, about writing and being inspired. I bought some victorian zines for girls and covertly photographed people in the square.

This time is so valuable. Not having shared studio space with otehr artists, not living with other artists or even seeing them regularly…. we have to find other ways of practice sharing. And as my title suggests, this takes practice.

‘Practicing to Share’ is about my development as an artist now and going forward. Spending time with other artists, communicating with other artists face to face and perhaps remotely.

Listening, looking, watching, talking, describing, playing, walking, sitting, drinking, eating, exploring, questioning, debating, challenging and supporting.  This is Practicing to Share.

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