For a while now I’ve been considering my future as a Fine Art graduate and what that means for me. I’ve broke the news to my family, that becoming an art teacher isn’t on the cards for me just yet. Much to my grandma’s disappointment, she has no idea what to tell her sister what I do now. I then tried to explain to her my new venture in life, my future career goal- Public Programs Co Coordinator. She had no idea. So for the purpose of this blog:
To coordinate, and develop in collaboration with gallery staff, public programs and events;
To coordinate Gallery customer service on a day to day basis with volunteer staff;
To coordinate gallery public program advertising and social media.
Coordinate a program of events and activities relating to the exhibition program including workshops, lectures, and floor talks; 2. Coordinate Gallery functions such as openings, bus trips and morning teas. 3. Coordination of the day to day activities relating to the volunteer staff and front desk, including mail-outs, visitor surveys, and merchandise sales.
Now I’m fully aware that it’s going take a very long time to even get anywhere near this position. But everyone needs a goal. So here is mine.
I also what to mention a fantastic video I saw at Tate Britain. From the time I spent at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Australia I knew then that I wanted a role within the gallery. And the idea flew back as I watched this video showing Artist’s in Residence walk around the gallery with a group of school kids in tow. I wanted to be that person asking the kids to write down a certain word that described how they felt looking at a piece of work. The video emphasized the notion that art is play. The quote I took with me is this-“art is ideas and thoughts just beyond language.” And I wrote in my notebook- I SO WANT TO THIS JOB!
So here it goes again! For the third and final time it’s the start of the new term. As usual, I’ve already had a small breakdown. Third year is bringing with it all that I expected- stress and a lot of pressure. If I’m honest, I’ve been feeling a little bit deflated by the whole thing. As much I know I am passionate about my interest in the home. Making work isn’t as fun as it always was- there is a lot more pressure now. I just have to get over that though and get making and enjoying the last bit of my degree! Easier said than done I know.
So after my summer of reading; lots of reading, where I am I with my practice now? Before I started writing my statement I felt really confident in knowing where I was with it all but when it came down to writing it in just 500 words what my intentions were for the next half of the year, it was really difficult! Here’s what I wrote:
I have a clear understanding that my practice revolves around the home. I am aware that the passion for my practice derives from the study of the domestic; the human habitat. Like theorists George Perec and Gaston Bachelard I acknowledge the privacy and comfort the space entitles us. More recently I’m considering the home as a fragile space that cannot be untouched by time. I’m beginning to see the house very much as an object of time. Exploring histories of homes and considering the layering of lives that have formed there. My work seems to be focusing towards the time when a house lays empty; void of human presence. I’m interested in the movement of one home to the next. The gap in between when the house stands empty.
A house seems to appear empty when it goes up for sale. When a house is for sale it becomes just that; a sale. It is no longer our private space. It becomes a public space. Images become available on the internet. However these images again lack human life. Their belongings are there, but the photos don’t show any people. I’m really interested as to why these images don’t include the people. Likewise in show rooms and adverts in home magazines, again people-less. Artist’s like Michael Raedecker and George Shaw are well known for their ability to create human presence without including any figures in their paintings. It’s this notion I want to portray within my practice. Exploring this further I’m applying to gain some work experience as an estate agent. I’m unsure of how work will progress; I intend to explore in 2D the collaging of images from newspapers/magazines and then allow work to accumulate through documentation of working at the estate agents.
When one moves into a house we never consider the previous occupants; we just focus on making the place our own. Like artist Lisa Selby, it’s interesting to me to think about the choices we make in the possessions we chose to take with us and the ones we leave behind. Working with found objects like Selby is a way in which I can see my practice developing. I hope to manipulate found objects, be it by deconstructing furniture items and recreating them into something new or, stemming from a previous piece, breaking down these objects- sanding them down, to reveal the bare underneath, therefore removing the remissness of human touch. As a starting point I may well find it useful to consider the making process I experimented with in this talked of earlier piece- covering found objects in a thick layer of magnolia paint- again a process that removes the remissness of a time gone by.
Another artist whose work really intrigued me at the Venice Biennale is Bill Culbert. Using found objects from the home he completely throws them out of context when he cuts through them with huge bars of industrial lighting. There is something about Culbert’s work that I feel is crucial to where I want my making process to progress. It could be his use of lighting? Lighting is essential within a home. From an experience I had with an abandoned cottage over summer I saw the affect lighting has. I recalled- without lights, without objects, the house became eerie; it didn’t possess any qualities of home.
So there it is. There is a lot there, maybe too much. There is a lot going on in my head, which is good but need to figure out, probably through making, what I’m really getting at. I’m excited to get some work experience in the estate agents and see where that takes me. I really hope I like it! It’s career option number one at the moment.
There’s also a few other notes than didn’t quite make it into the statement so here’s a little bit about descriptive sounds that I’ve been thinking about. It starts with an amazing quote from George Perec- the master philosopher of home.
“I would like there to exist places that are stable, unmoving, intangible, untouched and almost untouchable, unchanging, deep rooted” George Perec. These spaces don’t exist. “spaces are fragile: time is going to wear them away,”
When you leave a home it’s going to change, it only stays the same in your memories; something which Bachelard considers when he recalls his childhood home. We can all probably recall our childhood home; however it’s only in this memory that that room still exists. Those furnishings, wall coverings have all gone. I began to think of description when considering this. During a sound workshop way back in 1st year I recorded voice clips of peers describing their room back in their family home. I really like these descriptions. I feel my practice could be greatly influenced by these recordings. The use of description could be played out into a blank setting of a room perhaps. This would allow the listener to create their own image of the rooms described. Work relating to this would be Susan Hiller’s piece Witness, a piece I really enjoyed at Tate Britain back in 2011.
Finally getting round to the long forgotten blog posts I’ve been meaning to do all summer. I’ve had the exhibition guide from The Whitworth’s Michael Landy’s show in my laptop bag the whole time, so I feel it’s only right to write about it. I had a few hours spare in Manchester all those many months ago so decided to take a trip to The Whitworth Art Gallery. I always enjoy a trip to The Whitworth. I always come away inspired. It’s a great space to exhibit work, wide open spaces, and I always seem to go alone, so it becomes a real adventure for me. The last time I went I saw Mary Kelly’s Multi Story House– a piece of work that has always stuck with me. I can remember walking into the house itself, the house full of light and full of text. It was a very personal experience. It’s probably a big reason why I continue to enjoy works with an interactive experience for the viewer.
Michael Landy’s; Semi Detached is the piece that really stuck with me from this particular visit to The Whitworth. Though only a photograph of what was the original installation at Tate Britain back in 2004, the photograph still left me in awe as it showed “the installation of a monumental and meticulously rendered sculptural replica of the front and rear facades of his parents’ Essex home.” Michael Landy had made the exact replica of his family home! Every nook and cranny accounted for. Each crack in the paint work noted. The detail was incredible. The photograph shown at The Whitworth shows Landy’s parents stood in front of the installation. The piece has been re-named Semi Detached- John and Ethel Landy. I wonder how different the piece has become with them stood in front. Before, the house could have belonged to anyone; with the occupants stood outside we learn a great deal more about the house. They stand proud outside their home, owning the property. It becomes a lot more personal.
What also intrigues me about this piece is what is going on inside? Landy has created the; “replica of the front and rear facades of his parents’ Essex home” but what’s inside? I guess absolutely nothing. Just the fact that I’m pondering this makes me want to create this interactive experience. I want to peer into those windows, through the net curtains. Or walk down the sides of the house and see the empty shell beneath.