Saturday, 12 November 2016

Reflecting on my journey and a time for niceties

I begun writing as part of my practice around January this year, and it was a completely new venture. It felt scary to put into words things that have been in my mind for a long time, and I was aprehensive about showing it to anyone. I felt vulnerable. Was it too personal? I did not want to be self-absorbed or self-indulgent. That is not me, and not what I want my work to be. 

When I plucked up courage to share my texts, I was genuinely startled by the impact it had. People responded from the heart. My text spoke to them and they opened up to me. New relationships were formed, and a different level of understanding reached. I was encouraged to produce more and push what I was doing.

Having worked independently on these personal yet universal texts, I thought long and hard about how they should exist for an audience. I wanted to involve a visual element, and produce something visually inviting, almost luring the viewer into a false sense of security. Once I had decided upon creating a publication, I approached the independent publishing house, UnstapledPress. I had been impressed by the work they had done as a relatively new venture, and was interested in their independent art practices. I proposed a new way of working for them, where we would work togther to produce a publication. The texts would remain largely unchanged, except for some slight editing, but we would work together to produce the visuals and form of the book. UnstapledPress were keen, and we began the long, complicated ambitious task of designing and printing a four colour risograph publication.

A couple of weeks ago we launched the publication at NewBridge Books. We worked together to produce a series of collages which were displayed in the bookshop and I performed a number of experimental readings. It was a huge success.

Out of curiosity, and as an attempt to discover more about how people related and reacted to the text, I decided to invite artists, musicians and others to respond creatively to the tests and diagrams in the publication. The results were exhibited last night at the closing event in the PH Space at NewBridge.

Once again I was overwhelmed by the responses. Artists were keen to be involved, and over the period of a couple of weeks I was sent a variety of artworks from a wide range of artists in the UK and abroad. Works included drawings, collages, sculptures, performances, sound and videos.

I would be deceiving you if I said that the process was easy. But then again, the most fulfilling things in life are often the most challenging. With an hour till the opening I found myself at a local printers collecting one of the artists prints to be exhibited. But it all came together in the end and would not have happened without the incredible help from a dedicated group of artists. In the course of 4 hours we managed to install a group of artworks that had not been seen together until that day (I received about half of the works yesterday). 

I want to say a huge thank you to all the artists who contributed their work to the exhibition, the group of artists who dedicated yesterday afternoon to helping with the install of the exhibition, those who helped with the performances, the documenters, those who kindly lent me equipment in order to be able to show the works, Kuba and the team at NewBridge for their support, and UnstapledPress for all their collaborative work on the publication and launch. Without all of you this publication, launch exhibition and closing exhibition would not have happened.

Finally I want to thank the many people who attended the exhibitions and those who have purchased the publication. I hope that you enjoyed the events and that the publication is something you value. 

I will be sharing photographs from the exhibition on my blog shortly, and more information about each of the artists involved. 

The publication can be purchased in NewBridge Books and online

Please do get in touch if you have any comments about the publication or want further information.

Thank you!

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