The countdown for our Graduate Artist-In-Residence Janet’s exhibition is now on! Find out how her last minute preparations are going…
I write this during what was going to be the week prior to install and I guess would have, in a normal world, been my busiest week. As such, it’s been fairly calm as I’ve already got my first ever artist talk out of the way so I don’t have to be anxious about that any more.
Also, my list of works to complete and things to do for the exhibition; blogs, posts and blurb to write, websites to update, photos, invites, etc, etc, is slowly getting shorter, although I still seem to keep on adding to it every day.
Sadly, recent pandemic restrictions now mean I can’t work in ArtSpace Arcadia Gallery during the exhibition, which is a shame and really disappointing. Nevertheless, it feels necessary, as visiting the gallery means I and my family would be going outside my area and I should limit that if I can.
However, it does mean I can redirect this time into creating work that interacts with the exhibition window space digitally, to reflect, somehow, in some yet to be known way, that space and this time. We; I and members of ArtSpace, have yet to work out the mechanics of this, perhaps I will be sending them postcards printed with QR codes to stick on Arcadia Gallery’s window. Maybe it will be something else.
It does feel very strange to be making and promoting an exhibition right now in the middle of what is the worst part of this pandemic, as it is an event few people will get to experience in real space. This is one of the reasons for making the soundwalk available throughout 2021 and 2022. Nevertheless, I designed that soundwalk to be experienced alone so it is perfect for socially distanced exercise over the coming weeks and months if you do live within the local area. It will be live from 26th January to mark the opening of Library of Litter.
As for installing physical work in the window and gallery. This is my long awaited chance to see what I’ve been working on for over a year displayed and shared online, and I’m really excited, and anxious, to see it.
Unlike making work during a fine art degree where your work gets picked over and fed back to you – for better or worse – there is very little of that afterwards. And, even when opportunities for crits did occur last year, I couldn’t take them up for one reason or another, so this is the first real chance I’ve had to share what I’ve been doing. So it is for these reasons I’ve continued with the exhibition, as well as for reasons of giving out something different to experience in Coventry’s outside spaces.
Much of what of my work for the last three months has been devoted to creative solutions to showing work during a pandemic and this has sometimes threatened to draw me away from the original reasons for making the work. Nonetheless, I find the first threads of ideas returning again, and again; to my essential fears of dislocation from our ecosystem and environmental support. I am drawn to moments when I see familiar things in my environment behave in unusual ways. Surprise, or wierdness of a thing, when things are perceived as being strange in a place, demonstrates the revealing of an unmediated reality.
One of these moments happened recently during a socially distanced walk in early December, in an oak wood where there were surprisingly large amounts of acorns on the ground. Normally, these would have been taken for food, but, apparently, 2020 has been a mast year – mast being the crop of trees and shrubs. Last year being one of those years when, as a species survival method, the oak trees en masse produced a bumper crop of acorns. Some of which will be overlooked by herbivores, and instead of being consumed will make roots and grow.
I was fascinated by the uncannily, long, and vibrant bloody red and pink, impressively aggressive and vigorous tap roots of the acorns which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, although, most probably, it’s just that I never looked. I have used my painting of an acorn and its tap root in an augmented reality piece for outside Arcadia and the satisfactory feedback I’ve had so far from family is that it looks creepy.
So, here are a bunch of links and dates:
- ‘Library of Litter’ Exhibition at ArtSpace Arcadia Gallery Window, City Arcadia, Coventry: 26thJanuary – 7thFebruary
- ‘Ground Level Interference’ ECHOES soundwalks: to be listened to in various locations between ArtSpace Arcadia Gallery and War Memorial Park at the listener’s design and pace. Live from 26thJanuary on Coventry ArtSpace website and social media and on www.libraryoflitter.art
- Online PV with tour: 28thJanuary, 7pm
- Online Workshop – Investigative technical soundwalk workshop for paired participants. Date, details & eventbrite to be announced.
- Production images from ‘Tap Root’ Augmented Reality floor piece. (Printed vinyl, watercolour & Eyejack AR)
- Production AR image ‘WIP_untitled’ (Printed vinyl, watercolour & Eyejack AR)
- Production images of ‘Other Creatures’ Homes’, cast interior of Knopper Oak Gall. (Resin & galvanised steel wire/pins)
- ‘Library of Litter’ title graphic.