Tuesday, January 3, 2012

making work in 2012 personal

Semi natural habitat for a feather. Roisin Markham 2012
I've taken Christmas off did you notice the social media blackout? The only thing I've really done is doodled a bit. Did you take a good break over the festive season? How did it effect you?
When I put down the paint, the pencil, the textiles, snip the thread, turn off the computer and only pick up a camera to take happy snaps well what happens is I create some space for myself. When I give my brain stopping time from physically making work... I start to dream of work, I think about ideas in new ways, my associations are different and my musings more measured.
This holiday season I think I've had some insight around the theme of what is the texture of my map? a question I have been sitting with since the summer and meeting Con Conway. More on that in a while.
Themes of identity are an important component in my work. The elements start with oneself, to family, to community, clubs, associations and then into the landscape of geographical community and national identity, race, belief systems and before we know it themes of displaced diversity, economic migration and cultural contexts.
We are all different, we are all the same. Roisin Markham 2011
For a while now I have been wanting to make a project and arts residency around the theme of identity with people living and working in Gorey, Co. Wexford, it is the town near where I live. In the last two years I've been building relationships with people and groups in the area. I've been thinking about how to start? How and where to establish a project - where to make that space? ...space for people to question what it means to live, work or study in Gorey.
How do we relate to the people around us, the geographical location and what exactly is our cultural context? 
Space, questions, time and people to explore, share and realise what is the texture of ourselves and cultural identity in North Wexford. I'm not necessarily talking about transformation. I think we have to have reality and acceptance and then see where that takes the conversation.
blow in, outsider. Roisin Markham 2011
My involvement with Bluedrum's think tank during the summer and the follow up in November lead me to think about a cultural compass. So in November during the session in Dublin I shared what I had been thinking about - how to bring the conversation back to a local level while maintaining a bigger cultural vista and being relevant? My thoughts of a cultural compass had pivot points around identity linked to four directions; rural, urban, national, local. This is specific primarily in an Irish context however our European context would be considered also. Research is forming around a project context and framework to explore the texture of our maps both socially, geographically and culturally.
I have a larger project in mind for this work., Gorey would be the Irish hub of the project. Initially I'd like to have two other pivotal sites in Europe and develop further research in other locations. The work may or may not be artist lead but always context lead. It would be very exciting to develop a unilaterally project working with other artists where we would pool resources research, methods and critically our work with others would inform the development of our arts practice and the further work of the project. Each of the artists would work in all three locations over a period of time. We would migrate, integrate, communicate and make space for new ways of work bringing different elements to each cultural location.
So this idea of outsider, insider that arose during the summer as a direct result of my mini installation in the studio it comes to mean more then just feeling it - I want to express it clearly.
I took a long walk on the beach New Year's day 2012; I came across all this stuff that I questioned "does this really belong on a beach?" Because the stuff is often found there, the stuff has developed a semi-natural or associated habitat with the beach. Feathers on the sand, fishing nets not in the sea, wood where no forest or trees are near by. They are blow-ins to the beach, swept up on the shore. There they remain until nature or someone changes something. It becomes the habitat, we accept it as is. It seemed very symbolic to me. So I do what I do with a camera not touching observing. Editing with the lens. The picture of the stones the reddy brown stone is from a red brick not natural to the area but shaped and curved by the sea and thrown up the beach with the rest of the stones. Notice the circular space near by.
...so the clarity I got in the last few days Con, the texture of my map... I've known for a while the work starts with me but now I now where to start.


Sherry said...

thanks a very visual and thought provoking post! 'Dream of work' sounds like fun and something I should try.

Ballygarrett Art Studio said...

Thanks Sherry. The 'dreaming of work' happens like a download a processing of events and accumulation of unrealised work... but there are ways to make space for that to come in during normal waking hours. maybe its time to run a creative visualisation course again...

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