Process

to capture air

the world is invisible but we can see which way the trees lean. Gaelic saying

*
instructions

wire write listen

find a table
lay it on an angle
upside down
open arms to air

small box – fill with green ribbon

green ribbon in small wooden box

captured grass
held meadow
tomb

*

to capture air

it silts away in all directions
breath mist wire
gravity upturned
box held

to capture air
unable to hold
collapse in a never ending task of disappearance

to capture air
don’t blink
make air flesh
ephemerality leaks through

*

grasp   arrival
(clare whistler)

When seeds open in the ground and act differently. Rumi

bunces barn 13 Context

The context of my MA revolves around my ongoing relationship to a site on the Beech Estate near Battle where I have been Artist in Residence from 2009-2012. Bunces Barn is accessible by foot and has no power or running water. It is a place of solitude, nature, the seasons and the conservation meadows from where wildflowers are harvested for the Seed Bank at Wakehurst. I have positioned myself as a ‘wildflower’ artist using interdisciplinary research and performance to explore the symbol and metaphor of wildflowers in relation to a changing climate.

bunces barn 111st Year Outcomes

From early in my first term I have been working on the thought of making an ‘object’ to find my way of documenting, in fact transforming, the experience of my three years as AIR at Bunces Barn. This object would include many strands of practice: it would be a portable object/installation, involve active audience engagement, 1 to 1 performative without performer, relational art work and investigative and reflective audience engagement. It would also aim to use no technology.

bunces barn 5Autumn 2012

My main quest  has been how to find ways to document and transform the experience of Bunces Barn into objects. Three years of work in nature re-integrated into a sort of record or treasuring. So this autumn I have been concentrating on materials.
I started with the model of a possible exhibition I would like to make. It contained many of the ideas for objects I had come up with over the first year. Lenticular photographs, glass blue globe ( bringing the sky into the space), a wooden model of the barn on a pole with maypole ribbons printed with photographs and poems from the three years and a sleeping bag/bed made with wildflower seeds to lie on to look up out of a window at wire writing ‘ listen to air’ flying from the top of the building. This was my starting point with my main thought being how I could make it.

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All that was put aside as I started with finding the materials. I have been working with wire, ribbon, seeds, jars and words, and writing poems  in various forms to capture the experience. In class I have been using immersive, experiential involvement from myself and others. Looking, experimenting, observing unknowing outcomes, I have been making recipes, doing instructions and conducting experiments.
I have been playing with whether I am performing or not, giving a workshop, sharing and talking about something I am experimenting with (engaging in dialogue), making a mess, throwing out lots of ideas about crossing the fourth wall, when do I ‘begin’ when do I end my ‘pieces’, crossing all boundaries but paradoxically.

I have planned my structures for each event and then recorded what actually happened. They have all been improvised and as the materials I am working with are wayward and never repeat themselves, I have found this is a method I really like, as everything is unexpected and open-ended and without boundaries. I am aware that this research process actually could be the work.

As part of my research into material, air , I had a flying lesson. I was able to fly over Bunces Barn and see its position. I had not known that from above it was like a centre seed with ‘rays’ ( hedges) extending outwards, just like a maypole or a never-ending spreading. A helpful image that relates to my research and interest in open boundaries and wholeness starting from from an initial seed.

Research Question

To try and capture an experience of a place that is elusive and ephemeral and make  into form to be experienced elsewhere, is the paradoxical research question I have given myself for the MA.

Perhaps the thread that pushes me most is the writing, the poetry. This study has been taking place with poet/educator Mimi Khalvati at twelve sessions over the last two years. For much of my ‘raw material’ I have used my nature/weather/writing from the Barn. I am drawn to nature writers, eco poets and writers on landscape including Jane Hirshfield, Mary Oliver, Jorie Graham and Alice Oswald. It is less the specific poets than the use of language and form that I am interested in, and its experiential presence.

Now I look back to see how I have traveled to this point.

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Process

From my first position statement I see I have left behind many of the things I thought I might investigate for the MA. This is a clear way of understanding my process – a mass of ideas and interests and possibilities that gradually metamorphose into core creations. So I have left behind investigating being a female artist performer in my fifties, a study of how a collaborative artist makes work in a solitary situation, ideas about ‘intimate conversations’ based on Joseph Beuys social sculpture, interpreting the collaborations I have made with artists, the Dancers in Landscape Collective and have focused more on my own ongoing photographing, writing and moving in the landscape as a source for the work I want to make.

I am further convinced that for me making  work comes from research, ideas, collaboration, trial and error, impetuousness, spontaneity, intuitive trust, experience and mystery. I am happy to analyse and reflect after the’ making’.  I acknowledge I am of a different age and experience than the other students, though I often forget this. Each new piece is a new beginning and this MA is such an experiment.

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Research and Influences

Much of my research has allowed me different ways of looking at site-specific work in landscape.

From the gardener at Stanmer Park Nurseries transformed by his forty years of growing wildflowers with his information both practical and spiritual, one begins to find the’ wholeness’, the ‘boundarylessness’ that arises from working in nature, and why themes about the ‘unified field’ written about by Albert Einstein and Annie Dillard became an underlying part of the work. These themes are hard to explore and philosophers tend to shy away from them, though Spinoza told his truth through his ideas of nature and man in his time, and David Abrams, Jane Benett and others continue the thinking today. I am also interested in Elaine Scarry’s writing on beauty and Tim Ingold’s work on the body moving in landscape and Annie Dillard’s meditation on the beauty and ephemerality in “Flying in the Middle of Art”.

I have focused on the work of mid career artists Ilia Kabokov, Anne Hamiton (Oliver Tower) and Chris Dury (Cloud Chambers). The works investigated all use the natural landscape and the human for their work to be completed, and have had an influence on my way forward.

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The presentation at The  Basement at the start of the autumn term was an introduction to my ongoing workshop  ‘ Beauty Will Save The World’, Dostoevsky. Starting with seeds placed in everyone’s hands and poetry, it is an invitation to contemplate  the natural landscape and is a way forward in making a context for my work, and in connection to the MA work.
 
 
 
 

MA Presentation

December 10 2012

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Room layout

At the door arranged a table on angle with Bird noise Book and a ribbon of Bunces Barn photographs leading from the floor over the table towards the centre of the room, a curving line against the angles of the room.

A table against the white wall with all the stuff for my presentation on it ( speech, books, book photos, seed, ) , again with a ribbon of Bunces Barn photographs falling from the top to the floor in a curve. Along the wind another ribbon of Bunces Barn photographs rose up in a curve.

A table against the large windows ( all curtains undone) on top wire, ribbon, wildflower book, jar, round box, underneath the table eight rolls of wire, all hidden.

I turned in front of the desk dropping seed, walked around desk and said: ‘when seeds open in the ground and act differently’
I sat

The context of my MA revolves around my ongoing relationship to a site on the Beech Estate near Battle where I have been Artist in Residence from 2009-2012. ( photo  up on wall of The Lure of the Local Lucy Lippard) Bunces Barn is accessible by foot ( photo of Wanderlust Rebecca Solnit up) and has no power or running water. It is a place of solitude, ( The Spirit of Silence John Lane) nature,( Nature Cure Richard Maybe) the seasons ( An Apprenticeship in Nature Sharon Butala) and the conservation meadows from where wildflowers ( wildflower books) are harvested for the Seed Bank at Wakehurst. ( British Wildflowers) I have positioned myself as a ‘wildflower’ artist using interdisciplinary research and performance to explore the symbol and metaphor of wildflowers in relation to a changing climate.

I sat

1st Year Outcomes

I read:
From early in my first term I have been working on the thought of making an ‘object’ to find my way of documenting, in fact transforming, the experience of my three years as AIR at Bunces Barn. This object would include many strands of practice: it would be a portable object/installation, involve active audience engagement, 1 to 1 performative without performer, relational art work and investigative and reflective audience engagement. It would also aim to use no technology.

Autumn 2012
My main quest  has been how to find ways to document and transform the experience of Bunces Barn into objects. Three years of work in nature re-integrated into a sort of record or treasuring. So this autumn I have been concentrating on materials.

Opened my shoebox model on the floor so it could be looked into.

I sat

I made a model of a possible exhibition I would like to make. It contained many of the ideas for objects I had come up with over the first year. Lenticular photographs, glass blue globe ( bringing the sky into the space), a wooden model of the barn on a pole with maypole ribbons printed with photographs and poems from the three years and a sleeping bag/bed made with wildflower seeds to lie on to look up out of a window at wire writing ‘ listen to air’ flying from the top of the building. This was my starting point .

All that was put aside as I started with finding the (materials )objects.( Evocative Objects Sherry Turkle) I have been working with wire, ribbon, seeds, jars and words, and writing poems  in various forms to capture the experience. In class I have been using immersive, experiential involvement from myself and others. Looking, experimenting, observing unknowing outcomes, I have been making recipes, doing instructions and conducting experiments.

I have been playing with whether I am performing or not, giving a workshop, sharing and talking about something I am experimenting with, engaging in dialogue, making a mess, throwing out lots of ideas about crossing the fourth wall, when do I ‘begin’ when do I end my ‘pieces’, crossing all boundaries but paradoxically.

I have planned my structures for each event and then recorded what actually happened. They have all been improvised and as the materials I am working with are wayward and never repeat themselves, I have found this is a method I really like, as everything is unexpected and open-ended and without boundaries. I am aware that this research process actually could be the work.

Interlude to talk about ‘Centering’ a book by CK Richards that I got when I was 21 which my favourite art critic Suzi Gablik also had from an early age. The quote I read:

‘Paradox is at the centre! The dynamic of life and death lies in every instant. On what a tender thread we walk. Centering is the image I use for the process of balance which will enable us to step along that thread feeling it is not a thread but a sphere. It will, it is hoped, help us to walk through extremes with an incorruptible instinct for wholeness, finding our way continuous, self-completing.’

I then put up two drawings, one leaf -like shapes extending out and beyond a centre, the other a continual spiral, to show boundarylessness in form.

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I stood
As part of my research into material, air , I had a flying lesson. I was able to fly over Bunces Barn and see its position. I had not known that from above it was like a centre seed with ‘rays’ (hedges) extending outwards, just like a maypole or a never-ending spreading. A helpful image that relates to my research and interest in open boundaries and wholeness starting from an initial seed.

I did a large movement with my arms overhead then to my center and reaching out in all directions like hedges then brought arms in as if holding a seed)

I then read my poetic interpretation of flying and the dilemma of bringing it into the room.

I am searching for a boundaryless sense and in a tiny plane, as fragile in the elements as its possible to be, ( gliding is more ) the world stretched out in endless directions, yes it is  possible and experiential. I can try and write about it ( poem) journal, I can take a small film, I can ‘fly’ in an element, be human, be present, be embodied and how, how do I bring that back to you?and how do I bring the sky into your eyes, breathe it through your bodies recreate the outside the space  and bring it to you as an offering as a tiny detail held and holding, shaped and slipping, on the skin, through the eye in the imagination to a snippet of wonder , wonder tangible,knowing that to hold, shape, concrete, fix, will undo the treasuring the possibility, the mystery the magic, I grasp, it eludes, but the quest is the journey and life is made for such adventures

Still standing
Research Question
My human instinct to try and capture something that is elusive and ephemeral into form, is the paradoxical research question I have given myself for the MA.

Perhaps the thread that pushes me most is the writing, the poetry. This study has been taking place with poet/educator Mimi Khalvati over the last two years. For much of my ‘raw material’ I have used my nature/weather/writing from the Barn. ( The Poet and the Landscape Andrew Young) I am drawn to nature writers, eco poets and writers on landscape( The West Side Of Any Mountain Place, J Scott Bryson and eco poetry including Jane Hirshfield, Mary Olive, Jorie Graham and Alice Oswald and  Can Poetry Save The World, a Field Guide to Nature Poems, John Felstiner. It is less the specific poets than the use of language and form that I am interested in, and its experiential presence.

bunces barn 2

Now I look back to see how I have traveled to this point.

Process
From my first position statement I see I have left behind many of the things I thought I might investigate for the MA. This is a clear way of understanding my process – a mass of ideas and interests and possibilities that gradually metamorphose into core creations – so I have left behind investigating being a female artist performer in my fifties, a study of how a collaborative artist makes work in a solitary situation, ideas about ‘intimate conversations’ based on Joseph Beuys social sculpture, interpreting the collaborations I have made with artists, the Dancers in Landscape Collective and have focused more on my own ongoing photographing, writing and moving in the landscape as a source for the work I want to make.

I am further convinced that for me making  work comes from research, ideas,  collaboration, trial and error, impetuousness, spontaneity, intuitive trust, experience and mystery. I am happy to analyse and reflect after the’ making’.  I acknowledge I am of a different age and experience than the other students, though I often forget this. Each new piece is a new beginning and this MA is such an experiment.

Research and Influences
Much of my research has allowed me different ways of looking at site-specific work in landscape. From the gardener at Stanmer Park Nurseries transformed by his 40 years of growing wildflowers with his information both practical and spiritual, one begins to find the’ wholeness’, the ‘boundarylessness’ that arises from working in nature, and why themes about the ‘unified field’ written about by Albert Einstein and Annie Dillard became an underlying part of the work. These themes are hard to explore and philosophers tend to shy away from them, though Spinoza told his truth through his ideas of nature and man in his time, and David Abrams, and others continue the thinking today. I am also interested in Elaine Scarry’s writing on beauty and Tim Ingold’s work on the body moving in landscape and Annie Dillard’s meditation on the beauty and ephemerality in ” Flying in the Middle of Art”. -And her classic nature work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek first read when I was in my early twenties.

Held up the old book called ‘A Thing of Beauty’.

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I have focused on the work of mid career artists Ilya Kabakov ( Looking up,Reading the Words 1997), Anne Hamilton ( Oliver Tower 2006) and Chris Dury ( Cloud Chambers 2000-). The works  investigated all use the natural landscape and the human for their work to be completed, and have had an influence on my thinking.

Presentation of Work
The presentation at The  Basement at the start of the autumn term was an introduction to my ongoing workshop  ‘ Beauty Will Save The World’, Dostoevsky. Starting with seeds placed in everyone’s hands and poetry, it is an invitation to contemplate  the natural landscape and is a way forward in making a context for my work, Audiences/Participants can watch and get involved in my experiments and hopefully experience moments of beauty, magic, timelessness, poignancy, a thought to the natural world, weather and air, and an invitation to consider ephemerality and disappearance.

I said
To hold a world in a grain of sand
and a heaven in a wild flower
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour
William Blake
End.

When seeds open in the ground and act differently, Rumi

Reflection on presentation

December 2012

Clare Whistler

I was pleased by the use of no technology( not plugged in technology).

The presentation section contained discreet performative elements, ie seeds, movements while I talked, sitting  and standing, putting up pictures of book titles that opened bigger worlds, pastel diagrams, bird song from book, shoebox model.

I might have had piles of books as well, but too much to carry in. I could make a table of books for the next time. I also had the photographs of Bunces Barn set up as ‘ribbons’ around the space, I might do that with slightly bigger photographs.

My thought is to combine the two sections as one and include the ‘material’ elements into the talk.

Seeing the model for the first time since September, I was interested that that was still what I would have liked to make. I feel that is unlikely now as would not have enough time, but maybe I could talk about it as an elusive possibility.

I would also use the seeds, labels, flower books in a combination of the two.

I would end with the globe of wire in my mouth and the extending wires, and maybe continue that out as far as I could, even to outside,

I would add a few more ‘material elements within the talk but keep it an undefinable event. Staying unclear about my role, others roles, whether it is rehearsed or improvised, whether I can use real elements to ie opening the window for air, using soil, water etc, though I think that is unlikely.

I would still like a huge ‘listen to air’ in wire on top of the building to be seen at the end of event.

I understand that the undefined, non-contextual area is what I am looking for. It is not a lecture performance or a performance lecture, its not a university lecture, its not an artist’s talk, it is unboundaried.

I imagine more tables covered in ‘experiments’ either to be explained, with instructions, to be interacted with or to be imagined.

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Process of seminar presentations

Autumn 2012

Some Examples

Seminar 1
Model Box
Information for Model

Trying hard to see how I can have the floating glass globe held up by soundless air without technology! It would need power – is the globe empty, or does it have some wildflower seed in it, or is it made with an area to put your hands in to feel the seed – and then re health & safety are there special gloves to wear to do that – covered in the names of all the 30 wildflowers.

the easier part is the ‘grass’ – either real or a patchwork of all the photographs printed on astroturf, velvet etc, under a window or an opening that can look at the sky. A telescope/framer to look through, positioned so the person has to lie on the floor to look up through to the sky up to the top of the building where there is a wire flag – ‘listen to air’
Or it could be a sleeping bag made out of  material holding endangered seeds

The barn, a little house, a dovecote beautifully made in wood, each ribbon unfurling is printed with the elements of the barn work, Dancers in Landscape, Footage, Edward Thomas, Bee Event, Judith Alder etc. The whole structure is on wheels so it can travel in the space following the light – affected by weather, time of day. Each ribbon can be rolled and unrolled, maypole like, attached to the trunk or hose

Lenticulars as/like a timeline all around room with time,weather,seasons,flowers. This is a technology that needs no power, have done the research already.

I am putting in everything ( Plato) as I want to cover the ideas first, take all the things I have been thinking of, knowing it will dissolve into what it will be, a process of elimination but I want to try them all.

Working on the strands will take masses of work

Poems into some sort of form with or without photographs, on a wall, in a book, on a ribbon, in seasons, same with the photographs.

relationship / embodiment / nature / beauty

Three glass globes

First one engraved ‘To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower’ Blake
Second engraved ‘Gather ye rosebuds – while ye may,Old time is still a-flying: and this same Flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying’  Robert Herrick
Third half filled with seed
or grow the words with the wildflowers

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Comments from others

spacial, open ,alive
glass ball being blue, like bringing the sky into the space
transparent like the sky
calming, spacious
the huge photo on an angle is sliding away
with the figure don’t know which way is up or down freeing and liberating
‘falling upwards’
symmetry
a flowing baroque  garden
– the wire looks like neon, very avant gard, could wear a white coat, perfect bean bag,so detailed, surreal
shadow from the ball same as figure in photograph – an amazing coincidence  total luck
use of light and shadows
natural processes
interaction
a plan with nature
the time of day like a garden
using the weather
responding to weather like a garden

shoe box may be better than the real size!

what I like
the words  listen to air
the old world
the bringing the sky inside
the angle of the photo
where is up and down
lying down
looking
listening
‘it takes you there’

Seminar 2

October

richard Davies  bunces 1

Photo: Richard Davies

Task 1
I lay down on the floor awkwardly, lying by the radiator, looking up at a flat ,grey sky ,clouds all over, and tried to look at the sky deliberately, trying to find a freedom in the sky , just giving direction to outdoors.

Stand up and write on the window vaguely aware of the tree opposite, immediately found that the breath which I hit out at a staccato rhythm, hardly made an impression on the window – maybe it needed to be colder, maybe the glass has to be old, maybe there has to be some air coming in, not just closed off windows – I got closer to the glass, spit the breaths out and wrote fast and close, enough to see the letters for an instant, I hardly knew what I was writing, my eyes so close.

I broke away to the second task, I did take them as tasks, placing the materials as important, so first one inside/ outside and view to sky, then breath to write against the sky to include the outside world – to capture or not capture air

Task 2
The wire. I had put the table in the centre, it became a table of making, a recipe place, I started to unroll the wire and write ‘listen’ in it as long as the table – with people watching it was harder, but it was a workman like approach, concentrating on the job at hand not trying to ‘show’ anything, doing it larger was awkward also I had no scissors, I had forgotten things like that, so when I had written it I was at a loss as what to do with it – I tried to hang it on the window so the words were seen, but I could not attach it and the task was the thing not what I did with it

Task 3
I think I was meant to do ribbon next but felt the need to involve everyone. I started to move the table and all came forward and now I wanted to replicate the photograph, the angled pose in the box last week, it took everyone’s strength.All improvised I lay down and put my legs up the table and began pushing upwards, once in position I put my arms overhead – total trust, all tension, all were helping to create this gravity in air holder of the sky, a relief to quickly come down, but I enjoyed the interaction.

headertop_0a

Seminar 3

October

The wooden box and the green ribbon. I showed around the box, reminiscent of my grandmother, tiddlywinks, its an old box crafted with care by hand, a beautiful circle with a capped top which is quite worn. The green ribbon is vibrant and so thin, my action was to fill the box with all the ribbon, I had thought no further than the ribbon as grass, filling a box with grass as an object of memory, of carrying place inside, seemed simple but harder than I expected, I had not practiced. I do not want to undo the material, like the wire, so it was innocent and unknown, my task was too much, there was lots of ribbon on the reel and all could have waited a long time – a sort of magic too, and I took my surprise, drew everyone in and taking the lid carefully screwed the lid on the box with the ribbon inside  also still attached to the reel lying across the table.

green ribbon linked to shut box by continual reel
captured grass, held life, held meadow, a green life line disappearing
a) into a gentle held place
b) into a tomb
c) a never ending timeline
d) a green line captured, preserved grass
holding close something that could die
a use of colour to invoke nature
‘I am a blade of grass’ Walt Whitman
I am unspooling my green life line into a holder of grace
It was the image of beauty I was seeking.
why does capturing a pile of ribbon in a shut box have resonance?

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I thought I was not performing and thought it was boring as the tasks were more difficult than I expected.
NOTES

World created with wire, all futile efforts disappear, breathe on window, wire in words, heavy to give me no gravity, matter of fact and simple but magic at the same time, the surprise was that I had no idea I would put the lid on.

Seminar 4

November

Plan
move table, lie out materials in piles, ask everyone to ‘find’ a way to be the image, look at all ways
3 minute write on that
choose 3 words
what I learned from last week, I made a poem it is distilled, I want to make more words and imagine them against the sky
read first poem, second poem with ribbon, 3rd poem, put ribbon in box and go out door
comments  after everyone experimented with wire
break off the air, this air is now mine, capturing the air from mouth and body, slipping away because I tried and it kept slipping away, air inside lungs, all the way down, captured air all the way down

its human instinct to capture something that elusive, the paradox
‘wanting to capture something is the most interesting thing’
‘raining the air’  ceramic fragile, try opposites, heaviness, tomb, earthy,water – heavy – learn about it by investigating its counterpoint
‘you learn where you live by going away’
Or by digging in deeper? poetic sense
hovering title
dealing with encountering materials
this research process is actually it

Seminar 4

November

plan  get out a table for Mai, get my sheets out, get my box and ribbon out, think they threw poems off first, the worlds is invisible, my poem taken apart, write wire ‘listen’ undo wire onto table, small box fill then unfit – do tomb, take wire out in the hall to refuge point, took the wire and filled the cabinet, then asked the others ‘how to capture air’
Mai let the wire completely undo to the ground
Harriet surrounded an area of air wanted it to be hers
Hollie tried to do the stairs it kept moving away, falling down
Emily put the wire through her mouth and head, Claudia stretched it out
Ellen put it round her lungs and tied it, air on the inside,
Back in all write in wire your thoughts then pile them on the table
I tried to read Edmund de Waal article as they rolled wire up
my writing
did I even look at the box trying hard to hold onto the words, I undid the round domed world in a state of tiredness and risk, the green ribbon came out in a clump, I hold it up spaghetti like and dropped it on the table, trying to undo it with the one hand not holding the box, it felt like a rehearsal for the real thing, I have been dashing through things because I have some much material and like to experiment
needing a thread to lead me, on a non linear way just the idea of a web, the link the ever going line of life

to fill a room with gold wire
to fill a room with vibrant green ribbon
to write on grey satin ribbon theta slides away
Comments
wire alive like light and air, it has ‘liveness’, looks like its moving and insubstantial, sense of space, it has resistance
the ribbon slipping – not graspable or controllable
distant symbol – a green ribbon can have imagination
paradox is how we work, the less we are given the more we engage

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Seminar 5

November

walk around room, notice everything, stop and start as a group
use the tape to outline our object, which is an obstruction,
I tied wire to a bit of fishline unrolled the tape then added the wire keeping it on my finger like a ring and kept moving it as everyone moved around.

2 put my wire against the thick black curtain so it glowed and laid the reel on its side so one could look through it and frame the gold tape and wire, then I blew on the tape from the side breathing in and out so it moved when you looked through the reel – a jewel of a piece
3 words grasped, contrast, arrival
4 sorted wire, made a gold tangle into a globe put it in my mouth, all had to attach wires and move away to the ends, until they arrived, I raised my arms in photo
Comments maypole, garlanded.

Seminar 8

December

I took my boots and socks off. Found the book and gave the labels out and instructions while I set up, opened the curtains, did not do projection.

Took the book and buried it under the table, then I started to put my different wires out, 2 wire, 2 written ribbons, 3 small ribbons, took them around the room in a fan shape, got mine ready, then told each person to roll up their wires and put them in jars, while I was undoing the green one, they sat down and I undid the green on till the roll ended then I went under the table and pulled the ribbon in, quite methodically and then not so much, putting it all inside the box and doing it up, put it on the book, then arranged jars ( better this first then the green), then handed out envelopes, opened the window and went out the door – did not come back in till someone came to get me, ungraspable –

Read their letters, not as helpful as I thought now labels -which really worked
labels very poetic and personal

the conundrum
the duality of intellect and intuitive
the community and the singular
collaboration within that
age  second half of life
where does one go that’s new…
student or teacher
maker or curator
leave art or stay
make it all one

I am a borderliner  that’s why the wildflower
I am a wild flower

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Seminar 10

December

Took off my shoes and socks, barefoot
give out labels ‘ write something that will be buried in the ground’
I set up other table, wire in a line underneath, ribbon, box, ribbon, book, wire

collect labels in the book, still talking but gradually going to silence
face window, raise arms, ‘the world is invisible but we know which way the trees lean
turn around bury the book under the table, lie head on table ( a benediction)

take the green ribbon, unspool it over the front of the table in a forceful manner.
take the wooden box, sit and start to put it in the box, playing with a single thread, a pile, large stretches and then try and get it in and try and put the lid on not easy, go around behind table, try to get lid, on succeed with difficulty, bury it under the table, lie head on table.

Take grey ribbon, undo slowly and read poem as it falls to ground

stand behind table take wire and write listen to air in it, hang over front of table.

Give instructions about attaching the wire then put the globe into my mouth, all unwind  I raise my arms.

Most people wind their wire back but 2 just shove it back muddled and tangled –

Seminar

March 2013

Lie down head on pillars

I want to tell you 3 wildflower fairy tales
I think of all stories have been shared then written then read
that a story changes and adapts to each telling
I am not a storyteller as such, I draw things together from other stories, waylay them, juxtapose and thread link them together
do you want the mythic, the magic
fairy tales are always more complicated than they seem
maps of place drawn from experience, tales, myths( which deal with religious matters), legends( heroic tales with an ounce of truth) fiction ( not meant to be believed but may contain truths) ( Sara Maitland)
and does it all start with ritual?

Fairy tales meld, weave and tangle wild like flowers

I lay three books on the table
I ask you to lie down with heads on pillows, close your eyes

a story is just a murmur of air, invisible and flexible

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Final Show

I spent much of the spring making my wire books. Evenings at home I truly enjoyed the crafting of the words and objects, a long process where I could really ‘make’ something. These wire books came into the presentation and since then it has been finding ways to contextualise them. How to present them became a project in itself. I wanted it to be in a white box art gallery situation with podiums and labels. This grew into a new direction for the writing. Using the Observer’s Wild Flower Book I had been making all the wire words from, I began to organise them into ‘found’ poems and a fairy tale, these have become integral to the wire books . Both need to draw the viewer in and the whole exhibition Room 2 is about focusing in to the objects and the words and for the viewer to follow, it needs attention.

How Collection Vaults appeared:
It was a flash moment of decision. There was a room available,  I wanted to show abundance, the unboundaried the materials, and this idea came in an instant. Fill the space with the ‘materials’ , wire, wildflower books, seeds, ribbon and wildflowers themselves. It is my way of  showing the process to the objects and an explanation of my artistic process at the same time.

Sometimes there is luck in intuition
I had no idea what flower petals squashed on a wall would do, and that is my favourite piece in the installation.

Essay 1 pdf [click to read]

Beingawildflowerlooking atthesky

Eassy 2 pdf [click to read]

listeningtoair

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