Friday, 30 May 2008

where to start?

I find it quite difficult to know where to start, at the moment I feel quite clear (for an artist!) with my intentions - so I'm in the position of retracing my steps...

The ideas around the project are extremely exciting, - I am really enjoying it - if not actually physically bubbling over with anticipation of what the outcomes could be.

I have spent two days sort-of volunteering, sort-of getting to know how the project works at HH. I have met staff, several clients, and spent time gardening, sowing and digging. The whole experience of working there is in fact, therapeutic, calming and grounding. I have found it both a humbling and fun experience. It has lead to many different trains of thought and most importantly challenged my preconceptions of people with mental health problems & acquired brain injury - preconceptions that I didn't realise I had. I feel very privileged for the experience - which I find a rich source of thoughts, feelings and ideas for artwork (and life!).

For the outcomes of the project I have in mind both video works and a collaborative photographic project. There are threads bleeding in from the other projects I am doing at the moment - one working at the Histopathology lab at Derriford hospital in Plymouth, where I am using microscopes to look at and create images from body tissues and samples. During my time at the hospital, I am hoping to return to ideas of visual pattern, structure and repetition. To create images that use aspects of the basic composition and forms of the human body, informed by the histories of Fine Art; particularly the aesthetics of Arts and Crafts Movement. I am looking particularly at William Morris patterns and wallpapers, - attempting to make cellular reproductions or replications...

The other is a collaborative project with artist Newcastle based artist Paul Grimmer, and is very much influenced by health care environments and relationships. Together we are interested in attempting to provide a perceptual augmentation and sensory respite for individuals engaged in the appreciation of the arts. We aim to re-open or refresh the eyes of viewers through nurturing, care and self-affirmation.

You can find more about both these projects on my blog.

For this project my ideas started with the concept of suspension, along with Artworld staples such as, transformation and ideas around mortality. I know these are just initial and almost obvious starting points - and in some way may have negative connotations if you relate these ideas to clients. I am aware that there is the potential for a tight rope walk throughout the project - and that there are issues that require super sensitivity.

I feel it is possible to produce beauty from trauma and difficulty, that this can be universally conveyed and understood who ever you are.

I hope this is something of an introduction...

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