As always there is the statement, “you need to focus.” Having taken the triptych pieces that I’ve been adding mud and colour to... I could see Anya’s instant confusion as to why they were here...? What followed was a really brilliant, frank and strong dicsuion about my work that I completely needed. How many times have I been told just stick with the one thing and stick with it, don’t get distracted and then I wander off down some other route again. Great question from Anya, “who told you, you couldn’t paint and draw on a contemporary art course?” It’s the thing I think I tell my self and have constructed through misunderstanding good, enquiring and robust critique... did I bring that preconception with me? Did I think I’d have to fight to pant and draw so I have fought myself?
I need to choose the thing I’m focusing on and say it...
I have found it hard to find pregnant women to draw and have given up on this rather too easily. I have become distracted or interested in the Marian ideal and the images if the Madonna. Looking at how my feminist standpoint sits with my Christian faith. I don’t believe they conflict but do not buy into a patriarchal tradition. I could focus on this. The other thing I’m dwelling in is they way I feel about my post birthing and active mothering... there is a place for an interesting study here...
three possibilities: 1 stay with the images of pregnancy. 2. Matriarchal images of Christianity 3. Post-menopausal wow new bodies
But what is engaging me as I’m in the studio today? I need to move away from over thinking processes and move into a place where I am working though well thought through ideas and critically formed ideas. The thing that captivated me in my proposal was the idea of presenting images that are powerful and strong, that showed the bravery in the act of birthing. Time for big paper and charcoal and just drawing, drawing lots until I find what I’m saying about this and saying well.......
Session three: into to DIY arts
Creating new rituals
Pay a fee
Meet the criteria being an artist curator practicing arts
No vetting of members, self identifying
Attendance/contribution? Currently no minimum requirement..
need to really think about the purpose and does it meet the needs. Will need perhaps to be teutonic. The boundaries are clear.
No ‘you can’t” rules.
Roles: by stander/ not active. Just have a profile. There will be planning around noon active members not showing....
Pool of artists and ideas and money.
Grand intention for artists, stamp of approval
CIC structure 8 directors/committee
Volunteer working groups: gathering resources, web and info, member care, coms, practical like set up, ideas, what next, networking, community engagement.
Incentives for membership:
Profile on website
How is camp run?
8 directors: working group. (18-24 mths tenure)
Look at XR model.
What happens when people don’t want to do the jobs.
a rotating chair, will need to be self aware and supporting.
Taking minutes and keeping a “paper trail” with actions.
Needs to be ‘kinda” voting/consensus
Decision can only be made with a quorum
Electronically/ email or WhatsApp quorum. time saving, easier.
Responsibility to keep in touch with emails etc, bulk of work done outside meetings.
What are the responsibilities of each director?
Using decentralised system of the Pirate party... 3 pirate rule... if three agree then do it, being proactive. Have to communicate well...
Expecting the need to change and not being afraid to fail.
Members only access on website
Reputation: reach across geography, press
No’s of projects: happening because of CAMP
No’s of partners: collaborations, quality, legacy
Social impact: feedback: how does CAMP do this? Who has benefited from projects, opportunities and membership. Info collected through review and questionnaires?
If CAMP is member lead then there must be lots of feedback from members.
How many convert from by-standing members to active members.
Encouragement for artists
Sense of belonging
Raised artists Profile
Making good and valuable connections.
How is it sustainable?
Local authority? 2k
Grants/funding (arts council) £33k
Membership 5k a year
What is the best draw on the finances: paying speakers, coordinator 9one and half days a week) . Bursaries, insurance, admin costs, the website,
Money from non members fees £50 tickets per year? Masterclasses £250,
Lots of in kind support
How does the community express itself, what is it’s aesthetic? How does it define itself?
Logo: looks like it could have been made by an artist. Hand rendered. DIY feel but still cohesive, connections, red, white, yellow, (socialist?)
Consistency around colours and aesthetic.
The language is more a call to act rather than a broadcasting.
It’s doing the membership a favour, words like yours, ours etc. Inclusive. Join us/be part of...
Easy to read website
Well matched brand.
Good question from Garry: what is camp offering to me that a.n. doesn’t? What is it’s USP?
Channels and platforms
How does the community communicate and gather?
Members only areas on website
Member to member At talks, social events
Two types of funding: NPO (National Portfolio Organisation) could be the TATE or KARST.. Ocean Studios: RIO(real ideas studio) Bridge organisation funded by Arts Council to be a bridge between ace and perhaps schools or training etc, 4 years of funding. Have to have a fund raiser job doing admin not art! These are well established tract record. You are invited to have a conversation about applying. Built network. Proved and low risk.
Project Grants: no invite required. Individual, groups, immunities, educational establishment, artist led projects, libraries, small museums... Up to £15,000 and an over £15K to £100K. Still having to prove track record, established practice, public facing,
(the Clipper, raised money through community shares... potential for risk or dividend. Owned by Nudge) lots of people involved.
Introducing the live project
CAMP: Contemporary Art Plymouth.
Artist talks, community, travel bursaries,
TASK: to identify new rituals. How does it work, for members for shared experiences.
It is a community interest project... CIC. Key factor is that it has a group interest.
If your a CIC or limited company you have to publish accounts and be registered on companies house.
For CAMP the community interest is the members and not just making money, providing a service. Different profit margins and interest to the established art world. Still working for profit but it goes back to the community. Can still have paid employees. Working to be transparent and accountable. Different to a charity. More hands make light work etc, relationships, co-operative. (Worries in room about the nature of co-ops, too many cooks, too many meetings?)
One of its missions is to develop people’s skills...learning from each other...
Their are 8 directors who are currently not paid and 5 working groups.
This project is free labour for CAMP! But also live learning project for us!
Using Community Canvas tool... https://community-canvas.org
Trying to be a “mesh” network.
Looking at all there is to do, how is that maintained and managed?
Who does that work? How to do that without dropping some of the “balls” like purpose and values?
It is a parasite/symbiotic organisation. Using other’s venues and networks to grow and perform.
Net work for contemporary art, not arts.... broad network for producers, curators, art writers artist, creative practitioners.... there’s no list of not members.. paid membership of £60 and by self selection... no expectation to contribute but there is opportunity.
FOCUS FOR NEXT WEEK: continue to look at space on CANVAS (rules, roles, defining success, brand), looking for new rituals, address challenges
Today I have been using red earth given to me by Donna. She has dug it up from near her home in Torbay. the black is Bideford Black that i dug out of the cliffs near Green Cliff, Abbotsham.
in the piece shown I wanted to focus on the hands. the sense that she is grasping the cloth around her. i need to resolve the head. I do not want to over work it.
I have pulled out a large wooden triptych that I made some years ago and been covering it with the red earth too. No images there yet, just the beautiful colour orange/red
Art eco market model
Artist led side: is often free and DIY anyone can do it
Collection commercial side: is paid but have to be invited. This is the artist establishment.
a.n. Website chris Brown (2008)
A game of making a new network and new peers...
board of the Local level... residency’s else where might help access to small funded spaces, regional galleries get networked nationally and internationally
Renegotiate on a different level... pathways through the post art school route have no recognised best route like you might if you were say, a dentist post training!
Use one of two tactics, financial or benefits arts practice often mutually exclusive...
How to stay avant-garde? what is local?
Talking about myself as an early career artist at 55 having practiced for more than 30 years isn’t the right categorisation... questions need to be asked around what is professional context. Could be mid career? But I am not receiving funding or receiving or negotiating regular invitations or have work with National Portfolio Organisation like spike island, art dealer etc... though I have run an arts spaces have not had work recognised through bursaries and or prizes.
Look at William Powhilda
Exposure, reach, opportunities,
My crit notes 26.11.19
Debs Critique notes 26/11/2019
Derek: Have you got any closer to getting someone to draw whilst giving birth?
Donna: Something about the two painting with the umbilical cords add a link with the knitting. Those two really work as they are very intimate. (Referring to the tow conjured pieces done for the Chaiya award)
Anya: Black drawing with words on is very heavy and overwhelming.
Zana: Very Archival and very human.
Anya: The one with the most paint on is a merging of different styles.
-Iconography in the gold halo.
-The woman being bathed in paint.
-Background relates to post birth.
- Could you put it on canvas?
Zana: The works has movement and a stillness at the same time and a finished and unfinished feel.
Derek: The darker piece with writing on is intense. There is no more room to add so it feels finished.
Zana: You have worked into that piece more. Was wondering why is it so dark and heavy? What is the connection to modernity?
Anya: There is a confusion with the detailing of the face. The decision of whether to add in the face or not.
Zana: Funny how Chris says to separate them out as we were just talking about intersectionality and hybridity in the seminar.
Anya: Like the one with more paint on it as it becomes more fun and perhaps slightly kitsch.
(You asked if the blood in the paintings could be problematic. It was discussed that it depends on the audience and where displayed).
Zana: Wondering what would happen if you used actual blood, milk or earth in the paintings.
Jamie: embedding them into paintings rather than referencing them i.e. blood.
Donna: Sensitivity and intimacy in sections of the paintings/drawings. What would happen if you just took these sections and took away everything else?
-In what is going on there are moments of sensitivity about the moment.
Anya: Crouching picture is alive. You can feel the tension in her legs. Wondering how you can keep that. Drawing people from life would help.
Zana: Complications would be good to show. You seem to be showing idealisations notions of birth. Yet birth and death are so close.
Anya: How do you show more than the ideal birth?
Donna: Writing piece read thus morning had fear in it.
Anya: Felt really exposed during her C-Section as the father could see internal organs. There is a real exposure during birth. And every individual has their own experience of birth.
Donna: piece with the unbiblical cord and placenta has a fairy tale aspect to it. (You explained that it could be because those images were conjured in your mind).
Zana: Saw the umbilical cord as an anchor.
Anya: Really doesn’t understand the knitting. (You explained you brought them to show you were still thinking about it, but the material may not be right. Maybe catgut would be better).
Jamie: Suggested the knitting could be hung off the wall as an extension of the umbilical cord.
Anya: Not everyone has given birth, but we have all be born. Although we don’t have a conscious memory of it. The women are the main focus in these images although there is a baby in them.
Donna: in the one with the most paint it could be just bundle of cloth the woman is holding.
(You had questions around surface and whether the paper worked).
Derek: Suggested stretched canvas.
Donna: Panels rested on the floor. Canvas can be problematic a one feels they must be more finished.
Anya: some of the works show the Marian ideal – wooden panels might suit that idea more.
(The group all agreed they liked the problematic paper as the texture and quality was raw and related to the images and you were questioned if the quality of paper mattered to you).
Anya: board could be reworked into.
- What do you want to capture? (You mentioned you wanted to capture the fact that giving birth is a major life event and that we should be promote this as an act of bravery rather than hide this event or be ashamed of it. Women shouldn’t put themselves down in talking about this event with language like “baby brain” “silly mummy” etc...)
- Be careful to not take away from other viewpoints. (For example, People who hate their scars).
- Your earlier research of it being over medicalised was interesting. Could this feed into the work in some way?
- Documenting giving birth would be interesting to do but also could be a different way to Reid the event for those involved.
Donna: It would be interesting to draw more people to whom I don’t have a family or friendship connection, as I have drawn lots of friends etc who have been pregnant, would the outcomes would be different?
Donna: The spaces were you exhibit will perhaps determine different outcomes and have an impact on the work produced in matters of sensitivity. A hospital would be a much more sensitive space to exhibit in than in a gallery.
Derek: There is no reference to the partners watching the birth or surrogacy etc..
Zana: what about questions around egg donations and not knowing the mother. (Zana told a story of a friend who couldn’t produce eggs so had an egg donor and they have no idea who the mother is).
Kieran: Miracle births (Talked about a friend who had cancer which meant she wouldn’t be able to give birth but defied all odds and had a baby).
Anya: So many stories. Everyone has their own story but it doesn’t mean you have to focus on all of them.
Kieran: Interested in the idea of a diary to document the stories of the people you draw.
Anya: Think about consent/ ethics of exhibiting work. That the person you draw can chose to remove the work at any time during an exhibition.
Kieran: what would you give back to the person you draw? (You said you always allow them to have an image of their choice).
- Maybe you could knit with pregnant people or group to get a conversation going.
Anya: Hates the material of the knitting works.
Zana: The material doesn’t seem related to earth or body.
Anya: Scale of works maybe slightly bigger.
Zana: Like the small ones as well.
Lizzy: Small one has much more of an intimacy to them and the large ones have more of an impact. Couldn’t take my eyes off he lager ones all morning. Think you really captured the relief and joy in the faces whilst showing pain.
These three iPad drawings are sketches for ideas about the actual piece but I possibly like them in their own right.
At my tutorial it became very obvious that I am try to say too much perhaps in each drawing and as I had begun to make a piece with an under lying written background it feels right to explore maybe three ways of looking at the representation of women in pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. The three obvious views are those from a primitive view, a traditional view and a modern view.
Working in my sketchbook I have been thinking of the words I might use in the same way as I have been working on the charcoal pice begin last week...
these pieces enable me to separate out some of the thinking around the drawings and what I am trying to say. Having found the gold painting in my friend house that I had produced so long ago it feels interesting to be working with a traditional view and to question it more vigorously.
To begin the work I have produced three pages in my sketchbook using words and different materials. I really enjoyed mixing up the pigment form Fremington Quay for the mud/earth primitive painting, and painting the words with a rigger paint brush but I guess really they should be painted with my fingers... I wonder if the image of the woman should be a body print...?
I have begun to work into this drawing with paint. I am planning to add an element of Gold. This is a picture worked up from a photograph that Jo sent me of her daughter who has just recently had a baby. Jess sent me the photo to say this is what Postpartum mum’s look like. She was expressing milk and had a blood stained towel on her lap, she was possibly feeling that she looked exhausted but I could not help noticing that she actually looked quite delighted I want to use this image for the traditional painting of the three births images...
I don’t want to over work the infant as I like the unformed nature of the current drawing...