On Friday afternoon I took myself off to Lewisham Arthouse for an exhibition called Why Do It Together When You Can Do It Alone, followed by a talk Getting There, The Highs And Lows Of The Journey.
The talk was predominantly aimed at post grads, but I attended because I felt I would benefit from hearing what practicing artists had to share of their own experience. I’d like to make a career out of my photography and art, and the more exhibitions and talks I attend, the more I will learn and develop.
The discussion were by Effie Paleologou (artist and educator), Sunil Shah (artist, curator and writer), and Jack Lewdjaw & Karanjit Panesar (artists, co-directors of east bristol contemporary).
Points of note from the discussion
- Maintain critique groups, continuous critique can be the difference between success and failure
- Work with others, whether this be traditional collaboration, lighting, make-up or friends
- Ideas can flow and develop with external ideas
- Find your own voice
- Think about how the quiet voice can find a space
- If a resource is lacking in your community then make it happen yourself
- Answer open calls
- Money will be tight, is there a way to work alongside others
- Collectives aren’t for everyone, but ask yourself is there a group relevant to your practice
Points of not from A Rumour Reached the Village
A Rumour Reached Thhe Village was one of three collaborative pieces by different groups of artists. I chose to focus on this exhibit for three reasons. The artists had pulled together a cohesive piece of work which stood apart from the other two, because Sarah-Jane field, an artist and OCA degree student was one of the artists, and time constraints.
My initial impressions
- Packing crate used as platform, circular nature represents, earth, nature, community, inclusion
- Creates packing stamps signify humanities impact upon nature
- Perspex sheets partially cover some of the work – what we present outwardly v what we keep hidden
- Organic and man made items – village/rural/cottage industry
- Use of technology reminded me of remote cultures where tech becomes a source of information and connection – links back to rumour
- Rumours can bring hope, excitement, interest and suspicion
Opon first viewing the objects, photographs and text appeared disparate in nature, but stillness and consideration brought me a sense of cohesion. I began to imagine a small African village in which different roles and activities were played out for the overall good of the community. One home may be making pottery, another sourcing the plants used for medicine, the bottles could have a medical use. One of the homes may have a TV or computer in which everyone gathers around. A community forms in which each of the members have a role.
“A Rumour Reached the village is a collective enquiry that began with a role-playing game set in an imagined community riven with accusations of witchcraft. Over three months, six artists exchanged challenges and responses, out of which common themes emerged: loops and circles, colonies and growth, architecture and story telling. The culminating installation is a settlement of images, objects, moving image and living cultures, questioning the stories and materials on which communities are built. ” (Why do it together when you can do it alone? p2)
Collaborating with other artists is something that I would like to do more of. It was one of my goals for the year ahead, and I have achieved it in a small but significant way. Collaborative working forces me to step out of my creative comfort zone, I’m forced to think outside of my self-created box. I’d really like to collaborate with other artists more frequently.
A Rumour Reached the Village was created by Sarah-Jane Field, Michael a Lahat, Rowan Lear, Eva Louis Jonas, Joshua Phillips and Christel Piikaer Thompson