The #opensignapse sessions have been really uplifting. As expected, the conversations went in unexpected and illuminating directions. As Stuart said, Shelf Lives the kind of project that 'turns left at the traffic lights'. To be honest, I don't really know how to work any other way. It's very motivating for me to share my working process with people I respect and trust. I never really understood why artists can be so secretive about their process. That what draws me into the studio every day.
The studio got thoroughly trashed this week as I was finishing the props and models for Thursday's live action shoot for the new show :
Shelf Lives at Jaywick Martello Tower 2015
The shoot was intense and great fun. Eileen Aldous and Stuart Brindle on cameras and Mandy Medlicott and Al Forman acting. I've never directed cameras and actors at the same time before so I was really lucky to have such competent people to work with. Here's the text that accompanied the work on show at the #opensignapse events :
Like all my work over the last seven years or so, this project addresses a really simple question :
What objects are important ?
For me that means found and exchanged objects, tools and gifts. It's interesting how these objects move through time. Most of our stuff is lighter than we think, and floats away. But the few objects that remain become heavier and heavier with meanings.
The next question (because I couldn't sustain this work every day if it was just about me) is how all of us share and exchange all these objects through time. That's top of the agenda in my line of work, it's the marketplace where I set up my stall.
If there can be a real job called 'artist' anymore in this galaxy of spin, then it's about making objects that don't float away. I happen to think the artists work is really important, once all of us have clean drinking water and the rule of law, of course. Artists must maintain the autonomy of these objects. They must help us all to resist the temptation to turn them into products or totems. Artists help all of us to choose wisely about what we keep, what we share and what we allow to float away.
It's our stuff, all of it. The prints of William Blake, everything in the British Museum, the suitcase of photographs than my father left me, the object you will pick up from the ground as you pass by because you were thinking of a person you love.
The next #opensignapse invitation only session for supporters and participants will be Saturday 10 January 2015.
You will be able to see some rough edits of the live action footage and the studio based animation will be under way as well. And of course the painting as well because I can't really help myself. It's the painting which is driving the visual ideas on this project, which is just as it should be.