This suite of prints is a personal response to the daily news stories and media comment that nestles within my daily routines: lives observed, the political debate I overhear whilst using public transport and the unexpected exchanges in the everyday
The sixteen images for this project are conceived and formatted to incorporate two basic elements: a ‘stage set’ or background layer and an ‘actor’(be it an object or a figure) My intention is to allow the subject to breathe; to create some mystery and space for the viewer to construct their own narrative from the suite.
This idea is to be extended in a tangible way three times during the Re-form exhibition. Once at the initial hang and twice at the Cultural Quarter Lates on Friday 29th November and Friday 31st January. LPW members and visitors are being invited to participate in an informal dialogue as they curate and hang the prints afresh. These iterations will form new relationships with the space, the exhibition and subsequent audiences.
The block hang format of four pieces was configured and the initial iteration was curated by Yasmin Colvin, director of Leicester Print workshop. Her curatorial experience was evident as she considered the whole, thought about space and focus, identified a theme of observation throughout, highlighted the variety of drawing styles and appreciated the balance of layers in the most recent prints.
The second rehang took place at November’s Cultural Quarter Late. It was a lively evening, well attended, with visitors to the exhibition participating in a range of live events.
As an artist it was a privilege to engage with people as they carefully considered the work, more than one person commenting that they were looking more intensely and reflecting more deeply than they would have had all sixteen prints been hung on the wall. The visitors’ dialogues and debates about their chosen narrative, their composition, their choice of images and how they collaborated with each other was revealing. Backgrounds and life experience were varied: an architect, a forensic scientist, arts educators, performing arts administrators, a geneticist etc
One interesting interpretation proposed a key person/ subject at the centre narrative and the other images comprised their view of the world. Others included a humorous crime fighting narrative, a narrative about losing control and one where nature(a tree) was at the heart of the works.
Reflecting upon the evening one of the comments that chimed with me was about how a perceived time pressure (there was a queue of people waiting to participate) had resulted in instinctive choices being made.
I was left pondering if the block format was swapped for a linear hang how would this affect people’s choices and narratives?
This will be tested on 31st January Cultural Quarter late
compositions with the arrows indicating the direction of the participants narrative.