Stranger : Neighbour – Paul Fletcher film
LiveElse[W]here, resident artist Leena Chauhan answers questions by E17 Art Trail blogger Amy Wevill about the work she has developed during her residency and the LiveLunch event on Saturday 31st May.
Could you tell us about the work you will be showing during this year’s E17 Art Trail?
As an artist in residence and part of the drawing shed’s LiveElse[W]here I am showing a series of enlarged screen-prints of Clothing Labels that are placed around the The Drive and Attlee Terrace, covering some of the pre-existing council signage. These labels are from the inside tag in (nearly) every garment stating where it’s from and what it’s made from. My prints have been made from my photographs of the residents’ labels on what garment they happened to be wearing at the time. I enlarged the labels to increase their visibility, especially of where the garment was made, to bring to attention its origin and the trajectory of its arrival here. I screen-printed upon these photographs, layering the details tags found inside the differing garments.
A finale for our project and a place to show the works development was theLiveLunch – an event open to residents and Trail goers alike; I made food on site,Cooking with my Mama. We cooked Kenyan-Indian food and served it to the locals whilst sharing my mothers short stories of her time growing up in Kenya moving to England. Essentially, through using clothing as a focus of this project, I am engaging with sense of identity and belonging and where we (or things) are coming from.
How have you been preparing for this year’s trail?
I have been commissioned by the drawing shed to make work for theLiveElse[W]here Project which was being actualised over the last few months. My work has acted as an instigator for developing interaction, thought and discussion. I have been working in and around the Estates getting familiar with the area and the locals; for me, the essence of the work was with the engagement of residents by having a real dialogue as an inspiration for the beginnings of the project itself. The work provoked conversations of “quality versus affordability; high-end clothing labels versus cheap labour; identity formation and clothing becoming a cultural identity; human value versus clothes carrying ‘identity’.”
Being a recent graduate from Central Saint Martins, a self-contained environment with latest gadgets and gismos, was very different to working in-situ on Attlee Estate and The Drive. I have been learning to improvise and adapt with what we have and how we can use what that is. During the Print Screening workshops I organised, along with sterling guidance from artist Joseph Kopiel, I had support from the locals: a person offered a gallon of water to aid the cleaning of the mesh screens; another resident offered homemade foods to help keep our stomachs full, whilst other parents encourage their children to partake in the process – it was moments like these that were charged with awareness and positive energy. Nevertheless, this residency has been a short period which has involved a process of gaining some trust and connections between residents and myself.
Could you tell us about an artist/ artwork that particularly inspires you?
Can I say this I wonder…? I’ve been so very fortunate to work by Sally Labern and Bobby Lloyd who’ve both made vast amount of works both collaboratively and individually. On this journey, they’ve both helped me facilitate my project, ground my ideas and help me develop my thinking with intensive talks and contributions. I got talking to them about the some things they’ve both achieved and details of past projects that have been sensitive in approach. Watching them work, being around them, for me personally has been inspiring. Two women: genuine, real, compassionate who both mean what they say and say what they mean.
How does inhabiting a community like Walthamstow help your practice?
When I started university, I lived near Walthamstow market, a place that reminded me of my home. It was the place I strolled when I had to adjust myself to the privileged others from university; what I understood here was how I wanted to be a positive part of this cohesion. Undeniably, the differences that occur due to class systems set an obvious bearing to our daily choices. This was the reason for which I could imagine myself working creatively amongst the crowds, not disrupting what already is, but in my small way helping to strengthen the identity of The Drive and Attlee Estates, and developing myself and my practice as an artist through this process.
What are you most looking forward to during the E17 Art Trail this year?
I am interested to see the works of my fellow resident artists too, who have been working alongside my project. Most of all, I looked forward to the LiveLunch on Saturday 31st May. It was the first time for me to work with my mother, Minaxi, too. This is a project my mother and I have been talking about for some years! My Mum and I cooked on site, delivering the food, welcoming people whose families come from all over the world – those who both live on the estates and also visitors like us, all of which was very exciting! I guess, she was the centre of my show, as she raised me the best way she knew how, which of course has been a crucial part to the early formation of my own identity and something I wish to cherish, considering family cohesion an important part of social cohesion.
In March 2014 the drawing shed put a call out for proposals from Live Art / Performance practitioners to undertake residencies as part of LiveElse[W]here. Based on two housing estates in Walthamstow E17, the residencies culminated in a mini symposium / LiveLunch as part of the part of the E17ArtTrail 2014 and as an on-going part of the ‘communities of Imagination’ project that preoccupies the drawing shed.
The two residencies were awarded to artists Leena Chauhan and Pablo Perezzerate, and alongside artist / LiveElse[W]here co-curator Jordan McKenzie they worked in residence in the drawing shed‘s new project space LockUpNumber11, developing projects that responded to, and engaged with, the diverse local communities. In parallel local people were also in residence in the project space, trying our their own creative ideas and becoming part of a dialogue with other artists and residents about the value of creativity in all our lives and exploring and extending the possibilities for practice in non traditional art spaces.
As Leena and Pablo developed their projects for LiveElse[W]here they also fed their ideas, work and responses into the IdeasFromElse[W]here project blog, a space for artists and collaborators of the drawing shed‘s arts lab project to experiment and share creative ideas alongside working in the project space at Winns Gallery E17.
For his residency Pablo developed Sound Maps comprised of stories and interviews compiled from members of the community living along the Drive and Attlee Terrace estates. The map, essentially a simple graphic representation of the layout of buildings and neighbouring streets, shows different numbers corresponding to specific locations of importance to the stories of the area. Each number represents a “Sound Track” in a “Track List” containing all the stories and interviews. The intent for this project is for listeners to explore the urban environment from the perspective of the stories told by the residents who live there, with listeners going to the estates in Walthamstow E17 and following the map while listening to each track as they arrive to the corresponding spot on the map.
Listen to Pablo’s Sound Maps here:
The Past – This first collection focuses on oral history about the area, detailing stories from recent and distant pasts.
Living Here – This collection focuses on testimonials from local residents about their experience of living in the Estates and the difficulties and joy of creating community.
Home Sounds – This third collection focuses on the music that reminds local residents of living in the area, and how these sounds affected their lives whilst living there.
For LiveElse[W]here, the drawing shed worked with the project’s advisers, LADA, who are keen to support the conversation about the value and role of arts practice which takes risks, may challenge received ideas and can support mutuality of dialogue with local people around contemporary arts practice, diverse creativity, the value of difference, and the culture of day to day life; the intentions for this project are that any artists who work with us will become part of a dialogue which will valuable to us all and extend the possibilities for practice in non traditional art spaces.
Live Art Development Agency (LADA) http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/
E17 Art Trail (under the umbrella of Artillery) http://www.e17arttrail.co.uk/
Click here to see the original call out for the LiveElse[W]here residency proposals.
Live Else [W]Here LUNCH
Live Else [W]Here LUNCH
For LiveElse[W]here, and at intervals throughout May 2014, artists Leena Chauhan and Pablo Perezzerate worked in residence in our project space LockUpNumber11, alongside artist Jordan McKenzie as co-curator – engaging residents across different spaces in sound, film, drawing, tailored-made performance in people’s homes and print. In parallel, several residents took up residency in LockUpNumber11 as a space to develop their own work and creative ideas.
LiveElse[W]here culminated in our LIVE LUNCH on May 31st, 12-3pm, during which Pablo prepared and shared Mexican food while simultaneously sharing family stories and memories, and Leena cooked Kenyan/Indian style food with her very own Mama. Attended by artists, curators, commissioners, local residents, and members of the public exploring the E17 Art Trail, LIVE LUNCH was also a space for seeing some of the work made by the artists involved in LiveElse[W]here, acting as a springboard for discussing the value of performance and visual artists working on estates such as those on which our project takes place in E17.
Feedback from a participant on the day: “When I walked down The Drive in Walthamstow yesterday afternoon after a lengthy drive of another nature, I knew from first glance how worthwhile it had been to be stuck in traffic from the scene that I was to become a part of in the coming moments. There was artistry not just in the wonderful array of colours decorating the area, but in the cohesion of colour and style of people coming together in exactly the way that I would have hoped, as an informal artist’s assistant connected with the work being produced by the drawing shed group, resident artists of this community.
Grey pillars were decorated with crimson tape, mounted with coloured lines from which hung dazzlingly produced prints in eye-catching hues, and covering the signs issuing commands to the residents about prohibitions, were prints of clothing labels from all over the world, that were worn by local residents, to draw attention to how much diversity was gathered in this small area. Fate could not have produced a more perfect day for the occasion. A lovely, warm, slightly breezy day compounded the warmth that I felt from people of various origins, artists and residents, people of advanced ages, people young and carefree enough to seemingly live effortlessly in the moment, people of all ages in-between, relaxing together after sharing a lunch that was a culmination of interactions on the estate for this project.
There is a world of art that is glitzy and commercial, that perhaps at times makes a deliberate effort to “be more accessible” that I personally feel somewhat alienated from. The artwork of this project, with which I was engaging today, was so much more than the money-making highly commercial stuff. It was real. It was meaningful to me. Pardon my wide-eyed lyrical reflections, but they are induced only because I find this so rare: it really touched me. I’m writing this partly just to capture, in the way I prefer, something of the experience, for my journal, and partly as a simple act of appreciation that I wish to share with the organisers and artists responsible for what I came to enjoy so thoroughly yesterday afternoon. So, the drawing shed with Bobby, Sally, Jordan, Pablo, Angelique, Esther, Jayne and Will and last and for me personally definitely not least, Leena: thank you, and may there be more of a similar nature to come, and take pleasure from.”
Amy Wevill from the E17 Art Trail also joined us for the LIVE LUNCH – read her blog piece here
Live Else [W]Here Residency Proposals
Live Else [W]Here Residency Proposals
CALL FOR PROPOSALS FROM LIVE ART / PERFORMANCE ARTISTS
FOR TWO ESTATE-BASED RESIDENCIES MARCH-MAY 2014
with the drawing shed
the drawing shed (led by artists Sally Labern and Bobby Lloyd), in conjunction with visual and performance artist Jordan McKenzie, are pleased to announce two new Residencies for Live Art / Performance practitioners. The residencies will be based on two housing estates in Walthamstow, London E17 and will be followed by a mini symposium / LiveLunch.
This residency programme forms part of the drawing shed’s project LiveElse[W]here (funded by Arts Council England / London Borough of Waltham Forest). We are looking for bold, engaging and ambitious ideas that respond to, and engage with, the diverse communities that live on the estates. Artists will have the drawing shed’snew space LockUpNumber11 as their project base which has heating, power and light. We welcome applications from individual artists, artist partnerships or collectives.
Each residency (artist, partnership or collective) will receive a total fee of £500.00 (artists will be responsible for their own tax and national insurance).
THE SELECTION PROCESS IS IN TWO STAGES:
STAGE ONE – STATEMENTS OF INTEREST
We are inviting statements of interest from Live Art / Performance artists whose practice involves some or all of the following approaches: social engagement, site-specific response, working with inter-cultural and inter-generational communities, public intervention. Engaging residents in some way will form an implicit part of each residency. Your statement should give an overview of your practice and tell us why you are interested in working within this particular context. Please provide examples of previous projects / works and up to three web links. Tell us all this in a maximum of 500 words.
Please send statements of interest to: email@example.com
Deadline for Stage One submissions: Friday 21st February
STAGE TWO – SITE VISIT, PROPOSAL AND SELECTION
From this initial call out, four artists / partnerships / collectives will be invited to the estates in E17 for an Open Day during which they will meet the curators, explore the space(s) and have lunch with local artists and residents. The four artists / partnerships / collectives will then be asked to make a proposal based on the visit.
Open Day – Sunday 9th March. Travel expenses and refreshments will be provided.
THE RESIDENCIES – MARCH-MAY 2014
Two artists / partnerships / collectives will each be commissioned to undertake a week-long Residency in which they will research, explore, engage and make works/exhibit in the drawing shed’s LockUpNumber11 and/or on the estates. During this same period, McKenzie, Lloyd & Labern will be making new works alongside the commissioned artists, while three local people will use LockUpNumber11 to try out their own new ideas.
Travel, accommodation and local hospitality for those based outside London can be discussed.
LIVE LUNCH – PROVISIONAL DATE: SATURDAY MAY 31, 2014
All residency artists will be invited to take part in a mini symposium / LiveLunch along with local people, curators, other artists and commissioners, as part of the E17ArtTrail 2014 and as an on-going part of the ‘communities of Imagination’ project that preoccupies the drawing shed.
FURTHER CONTEXT AND INFORMATION:
the drawing shed’s LiveElse[W]here residency opportunities, set up for Live/Performance artists to work alongside artists Sally Labern, Bobby Lloyd and Jordan McKenzie, are structured to offer artists a supported ‘try out’ space to develop ideas in the site specific location of two very different housing estates in London E17. The freelance fee of £500 offered is for the artists to create a space for their own practice in this context, and we anticipate that the word ‘social engagement’ be interpreted broadly in both the making and the sharing of work. Travel expenses and hospitality is not included in this fee and will be paid separately within reason. Initially we are asking artists for a show of interest only rather than expect proposals for ideas, as we respect that this takes a lot of time for artists!
Artists Lloyd+Labern have been based and working on The Drive and Attlee Terrace estates on and off for four years where they have developed diverse projects, co-producing contemporary arts projects with local people whilst also introducing to the estates’ communities diverse parallel projects, like these short Live Art residency opportunities. Over the months, local people will be using the same new project space, LockUpNumber11, to try out their own creative ideas whilst being part of the conversation with other artists and residents about the value of creativity in all our lives.
the drawing shed’s ongoing project work around Stranger : Neighbour involved sixteen culturally diverse local people aged 14 to 74, in a live art writing project which included an Arvon City writing course at William Morris Gallery at a token cost for equality of access, a typing pool open project space, and a Twitter based performance!
LiveElse[W]here is an opportunity to be part of a pilot project co-curated by artist Jordan McKenzie – see: LockUpPerformanceArt (LUPA) on the estate in Hackney where he lives, a monthly performance platform until 2013, where artists came to try out ideas in a garage and other spaces on the estate. Jordan followed this with a DIY project (Look At The E(s)tate We Are In)
(supported by ArtsAdmin and the national Live Art Development Agency (LADA) et al) hot-housing for a week with artists and locals, ideas and creative practices in social, public and contested spaces.
the drawing shed is working with the project’s advisers, LADA, who are keen to support the conversation about the value and role of arts practice which takes risks, may challenge received ideas and can support mutuality of dialogue with local people around contemporary arts practice, diverse creativity, the value of difference, and the culture of day to day life; the intentions for this project are that any artists who work with us will become part of a dialogue which will valuable to us all and extend the possibilities for practice in non traditional art spaces.
Artists will have access to LADA’s extraordinary Live Art resource during their ‘residency’, as well as the mini symposium which will take the form of a LiveLunch with local residents, and will be part of the E17ArtTrail 2014. the drawing shed anticipate developmental opportunities for practice to lead on from this pilot project.
Live Art Development Agency (LADA) are advising on this projecthttp://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/
E17 Art Trail (under the umbrella of Artillery) will join the LiveLunchhttp://www.e17arttrail.co.uk/
For more information about the drawing shed, please visit:http://www.thedrawingshed.org/
Some[w]Here Research – 9 ELMS – Wandsworth
the drawing shed’s new project Some[w]Here Research is underway, opening up new imaginative spaces through engaging residents across the Wandsworth estates of Patmore, Savona and Carey Gardens.
Together with performance artists Jordan McKenzie and Daniella Valz Gen and designer-makers George Williams and Nozomi Nakabayashi, the drawing shed will be working in and between the three estates’ public spaces, activating these outdoor spaces within and across the estates through the visible process of making a series of mobile structures. Exploring the history of the area, including the old soap box factories and go-kart culture, and learning from older people living on the estates Some[w]Here will explore the platforms from which stories are told and conversations take place across the estates, cultures and generations, with the PROJECT BLOG – www.somewhereresearch.wordpress.com – providing further space for residents to share and explore old memories and new ideas. Rethinking, reworking, reusing, retelling, remaking.
Surveying the scene on Thessaly Road
Beautiful garden path on Savona
Whose in goal on a sunny afternoon
Out and about – all things mobile
Over the wall to Covent Garden Market
Watching Battersea Power Station changing before their eyes
Rethinking, reworking, reusing, retelling, remaking
the drawing shed worked on a project Some[w]Here on the three housing estates Patmore, Savona and Carey Gardens in Nine Elms, London referred to locally as ‘the island’, the land-locked social housing area opposite the now infamous Battersea Power Station site, with the new American Embassy being built on its flank, to be surrounded by an insulated, ‘double skinned’ layer of privately owned flats for a new richer community.
Our project Some[w]Here explored through the metaphor of the Go Cart and the Soap Box, both migration and the fluctuating gifts of memory in relation to early street play (imagination, resilience, survivability) and the first days of work (alienation) for current residents who have come to live in the area from all over the world.
It was this critical friction of an artist-directed discourse between older estate residents, men and women of 68 – 98 years, that informed the content of the work: contemporary go cart inspired objects and mobile Soap Boxes, built on the streets with architect-makers George Williams and Nozomi Nakabayashi whilst live/performance artists Jordan McKenzie and Daniella Valz Gen made provocative interventions, and we as lead artists created quieter works as individuals triggered by this multi-layered approach and the ‘unfixed’ organic methodologies of the collaborative works we make.
Both this very accessible ‘public’ work and the disruption of the streets created the rupture in dominant ideas that flowed into these quieter individual responses. In this liminal space, and in the case of Nine Elms, a physical in-between space too of an echo chamber within which we found a ‘Point of Resonance’, creating performative and film-based works as individual artists – like the project’s poetic body piercing.
Following our summer residency in Bury with The Public Typing Pool, we were commissioned as part of Bury Light Night, October 10th 2014, to make a new research work, Artificial Sunshine. We flooded the street and exterior of Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre, Greater Manchester, with a ‘Smog of Black Light’ from 8 large UV floodlights located behind metal barricades (an aesthetic and safety choice). These mirrored the spectacle of the world’s first 8 electric streetlights that marked the beginning of Blackpool Illuminations in 1879 and now in 2014, purposefully uses the spectrum of light invisible to the human eye.
Wearing black ‘festival’ wristbands printed in UV ink, a cross-generational public shifted the barrier of the spectacle by activating the work itself in an extraordinary series of intimate encounters with both the artists and UV light, as the public themselves became the work. Each person was invited to wear a black wristband or presented with sheets of paper to hold into the black light, printed in UV ink with numerous short texts and only readable standing within the work itself, illuminating information often obscured or hidden from the public gaze – historical, political, scientific, imaginative, poetic.
For its first iteration in Bury we immersed ourselves in the ‘smog’ itself, with texts gathered from widely random threads of inter-web searches fed by daily news briefings and reports. These ranged from current scientific research on the health implications of light pollution and interruptions to circadian rhythms (our new city LED street lights impacting essential melatonin production, pernicious effects of light pollution on animals) to media or state blackouts on information about war or terrorism, international and domestic to scientific work exploring the universe with references to astronomical ‘perfect black bodies’, new stars, life in space….
Through the metaphor of Black Light, we investigated emergent collective and imaginative threads of resistance – acts of civil disobedience, scientific cooperation – so as to engage with how we hold agency or take responsibility for a new ‘civil society’. From UV exposure of human debris to the making visible of big ideas, we explored both individual and collective actions, experiments and explorations – such as the democratic naming of a new galaxy after the amateur stargazer who spotted it earlier this year, 10 billion light years away from Earth.
The artists – through the metaphor of BLACK LIGHT – investigated emergent collective and imaginative threads of resistance in forms of the social, the scientific and acts of civil disobedience in exploring how we hold agency or take responsibility for a new ‘civil society’.
THE PUBLIC TYPING POOL
THE PUBLIC TYPING POOL
Residency: TEXT FESTIVAL BURY, MAY 3 -AUGUST 9, 2014
As part of Text Festival 2014, the drawing shed, aka artists Lloyd+Labern, set up THE PUBLIC TYPING POOL: a selection of old manual typewriters in Bury Sculpture Centre for a residency spanning the Laurence Wiener exhibition; Over the months they invited the local Bury public to take part in a number of events, interventions and opportunities to slam the keys, copy those carbons, make new music, write a love letter, settle an old score, make overtures to a community, create the only page of a novel, type out an apology, make a flat plan sculpture, write a poem, type alone, write together.
Event: Twitter: #un_civil
Exploring the [un]civil in contemporary society, Lloyd+Labern worked with a group of artists and writers to construct a score for a performative text work using Social Media Twitter for Neighbour : Stranger, a collaborative live art writing project. Opening up a space in the commons of the ether, the work was a call and response that extended the enquiry beyond the physical space of the Gallery, where the collisions of experience, ideas and form could take place, and the poetry of this work hit the discomfort of the prosaic and bounced up into a mile high space. Screened in real time in Bury Sculpture Centre, exhibition visitors and artists were invited to join us in the ether, or on the typewriters in response to the emerging conversation.
the drawing shed artists Labern+Lloyd were in residence at intervals over the months of the Laurence Weiner exhibition, creating several new works in collaboration with the Bury public and through provocations with local artists. Inspired by scientist Dr Elodie Briefer’s research on the SkyLark’s song and its split-second nuanced changes in recognising both Strangers and Neighbours, the artists made a number of new visual works using the Typewriter and its Carbon Copy investigating the [un]civil in times of austerity and migration.
The Public Typing Pool – Call Out : for Typewriters:
“Iris Murdoch wrote on a Bijou Erika…..Allen Jack Kerouac an Underwood portable, William Burroughs a Remington or whatever he could get his hands on. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn used an Erika Ten Portable, Françoise Sagan a 1950’s Smith Corona Portable, George Perec an Underwood 5, and Anne Sexton a Royal Quiet Deluxe…. Ginsberg loved an Underwood 5 or was it a Remington No5?
The Public Typing Pool will work with local groups and will be open to the public to enjoy throughout May, June, July and August! Do you have an old Olivetti Lettera 32 / 22, or a Remington or a majestic old Smith Corona ….all makes, sizes and shapes are welcome!
Bury Art Museum is making a Call Out for old manual Typewriters – if you have one you could donate to create the Public Typing Pool as part of this project to launch Bury Sculpture Centre. Your story about your typewriter can become part of the artwork…!”
Man walks into The Public Typing Pool at Text Festival in Sculpture Centre Bury; he speaks to no one and sits down at one of the manual typewriters donated by a public call out, and he writes for 40 minutes:
‘I Loved Her’
He then gets up and walks out leaving the typed sheet, the copy and the carbon. Beautiful.
Neighbour : Stranger
BLACK LIGHT – CRITICAL SHELTER©
BLACK LIGHT – CRITICAL SHELTER©
BLACK LIGHT – Critical Shelter©
the drawing shed 2014 -2018
Sally Labern and Bobby Lloyd are lead artists of contemporary artist-led organisation the drawing shed based on two housing estates in East London. They propose to work with a small number of partners to create a number of iterations of BLACK LIGHT- Critical Shelter© – a new research arts project that works with a ‘smog’ of Black Light as a further development of the artists’ Artificial Sunshine work, Bury 2014.
BLACK LIGHT actively engages its audience in the work itself through a humanist enquiry, illuminating critical information often obscured or hidden from the public gaze – historical, political, scientific, imaginative, poetic – with a particular preoccupation with climate justice and migration.
As we entered the UNESCO International Year of Light in 2015, BLACK LIGHT drew upon photonics as inspiration to rethink the hidden. This is in the context of technology which moves humanity fast forward into new worlds, and may appear to be only future-oriented, but in reality is bound up with the permanent crisis of contemporaneity.
As a starting point, and following our Text Festival Bury residency 2014 with The Public Typing Pool© and our Twitter based performance #un_civil, Labern&Lloyd were commissioned for Bury Light Night, 2014, to make a new work, Artificial Sunshine, Labern&Lloyd’s SkyLark project 2014-15 http://www.thedrawingshed.org/sky-l-ark-artangel-open-100
Mirroring the spectacle of the world’s first 8 electric streetlights that marked the very beginning of Blackpool Illuminations in 1879, this on-going creative enquiry purposefully used the spectrum of light invisible to the human eye, Ultra Violet, the same light emitted at the beginning of the life of all stars, of all known biological life.
The artists flooded the streets with a ‘Smog of Black Light’ from the Fusiliers Museum across to Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre in Greater Manchester; Set squarely behind metal barricades (an aesthetic and safety choice), 8 huge UV floodlights echoed the culture of 1879, contemporary festival and protest.
Thousands of the cross-generational public wearing black ‘festival’ wristbands printed in UV ink, shifted the barrier of the spectacle by activating the work itself in an extraordinary series of intimate encounters with both the artists and UV light, as the public themselves entered and became the work.
Each member of the public audience as they entered the street was invited to wear a black wristband or presented with sheets of paper to hold into the black light, printed in UV ink with numerous short research texts, and only readable by standing within the work itself.
For its first iteration in Bury we immersed ourselves in the UV ‘smog’, with texts gathered from widely random threads of inter-web searches fed by daily news briefings and reports. Ranging from current scientific research on the health implications of light pollution and interruptions to circadian rhythms with our new city LED street lights impacting essential melatonin production; the pernicious effects of light pollution on animals and climate justice, to media or state blackouts on information about war or terrorism, international and domestic, toscientific work into the universe with references to astronomical ‘perfect black bodies’, new stars, life in space and …. http://www.thedrawingshed.org/artificial-sunshine-bury-night-light
Through the metaphor of BLACK LIGHT, we investigated emergent collective and imaginative threads of resistance – acts of civil disobedience, community organisation and scientific cooperation – exploring how we hold agency or take responsibility for a new ‘civil society’.
From UV exposure of human debris to the making visible of big ideas, we explored both individual and collective actions, experiments and explorations – such as the democratic naming of a new galaxy after the amateur stargazer who spotted it in early 2014, 10 billion light years away from Earth.
BLACK LIGHT will have its starting point on the housing estates in E17 held within purpose built ‘critical’ shelter structures some of which will be carried and reconfigured in other settings; The shelter, which holds an ideological form, will become an active, participatory work-shopping space where we shall create the imaginative and critical response to framing spaces within which we can explore the tipping points of climate justice and human migration and the urgent need for changes.
UV ink will manifest as part of the structure of Critical Shelter, with image /texts screen-printed for example onto large sheets of black / white / transparent / paper / material, which will be used to ‘paper out’ the venue spaces at each setting. Each time the installation of work will mutate and develop to suit its space, its new audience and its multiple ideological drivers as set by the artists’ ongoing and deepening research created by an active participatory project at each venue.
THE VENUE SPACES
Possible Venues currently being researched include:
- Housing estate
- Museums with growing relationships with their local host communities
- Scientific Institution
- Gallery project space
- Street festival of light
- Bird Observatory
- Immigration Removal Centre
So that the work is fully located within a contemporary arts and science context, the drawing shed will work with, and is in the process of researching:
- a creative producer
- a ‘critical’ shelter partner
- an arts and science organisation
- a scientist
- a leading anthropologist
- a significant cultural partner of a major new gallery
STRANGER : NEIGHBOUR 2013-14
STRANGER : NEIGHBOUR 2013-14
STRANGER : NEIGHBOUR– Artists Labern+Lloyd in Residence at Winns Gallery, a ‘scored’ live art writing Twitter Performance, a Typing Pool, two writers, a three day writing workshop at William Morris Gallery and an inter-generational and culturally-diverse group of 16 Waltham Forest residents! #WOW
In November 2013, visual Artists Bobby Lloyd and Sally Labern from the drawing shed, inspired by their ArtAngel Open100 project, Sky.l.Ark, set up an exhibition and project space in Winns Gallery E17 entitled: “Stranger: Neighbour & The Lost Print”. With an enthusiastically received public Typing Pool of fabulous old fashioned typewriters and showing a series of trade mark screened ‘Lost Prints’ on archive tissue alongside a build up of carbon copies, Labern+Lloyd made new work in the space around the theme of Stranger : Neighbour. This references the split second changes in the skylark’s song, unheard by human ear which delineates recognition of stranger and neighbour, of threat and territory, of warning and welcome.
Throughout October 2013, the artists and writers Jacob Sam-La Rose and Nichola Charalambou led public inter-generational writing workshops in LockUpNumber11, the drawing shed’s new project space on The Drive estate, London E17 (courtesy of Ascham Homes) and in The Mill community centre and Walthamstow School for Girls E17. With national literature partner ARVON, the artists and writers also led a three day intensive writing residency in early November where participants worked individually and in groups, using pen and the ubiquitous exercise book and moleskin!
On Saturday 9th November 2013, 1.30 – 3.00pm, the drawing shed‘s Lloyd+Labern, #WOW festival micropoet @herbieherb and Jacob Sam-La Rose, led a TWITTER PERFORMANCE using the hashtag #StrangerNeighbour. This was open to the writing residency participants, with the local community and ‘public’ joining in. With the core group following a devised ‘SCORE’, we moved between exploring themes of home, stranger and neighbour – through the discomfort of the unknown, the comfort of the known and the merging of these two assumed places. Ideas, memories and observations were shared and then collided, tweets at odds, even dissonant, then echoing one another and ending in a respectful, slowed down rhythm. It was an extraordinary event, where people came together at Winns Gallery Lloyd Park E17 to sit around the typing pool, whilst others typed and many tweeted amongst the noise of machine but no human voice. In the silence that seemed to permeate the space despite all the ‘sound’, the ether emerged into a community space of the imagination.
As an integral part of the project, the drawing shed also commissioned filmmaker Paul Fletcher from e17films and Walthamstow International Film Festival (WIFF) to make A SHORT FILM in response to ‘Stranger : Neighbour’ – which has led to a poetic response, using QWERTY from the typewriter keys and references to Hollis Frampton’s ‘Zom’s Lemma’ (1970).
Finally at Winns Gallery, the drawing shed introduced an ’emergency shelter’ as an intervention into the gallery space, a physical/ideological object they are using in all their project work, both on and off the housing estates, and in settings across London and beyond the UK.
THE IRREGULAR BULLETIN
IdeasFromElse[W]here is an arts laboratory project led by the drawing shed lead artists Sally Labern and Bobby Lloyd and co-curated by artist Jordan McKenzie. From the project base in Winns Gallery, E17 (and throughout Lloyd Park), from June 16 – July 13 2014, artists and the public came together to collectively engage in the sharing and exploration of art-making, performance and creative ideas.
Informed by the likes of Allan Kaprow, multi-disciplinary artists and makers from across Waltham Forest, the UK and as far away as New York, joined us in opening up, challenging and extending the processes of devising, making and presenting art, with this ‘festival of ideas’ incorporating live art performance, film, live writing, dance, text, print, sculpture, sound, and new media. Provocations, invitations and responses from artists and public participation continually informed and adapted the project from the Winns project space as well as from the drawing shed‘s project space LockUpNumber11 on The Drive estate E17 and the ARTS LAB PROJECT BLOG – www.ideasfromelsewhere.wordpress.com – which continues to develop as a document for experimentation, dialogue, and evaluation of this arts lab and the process of ‘thinking through making’.
The IdeasFromElse[W]here project space at Winns Gallery was open to the public 11am – 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday, from June 18 to July 11 2014. On Mondays and Tuesdays during the project, resident artists used the project space to play, experiment and develop their own work. At these times the artists also had exclusive access to the William Morris Galleryarchive, library and research resources.
Over 50 artists and practitioners were involved in the arts lab, including
Katy Baird Nadia Berri Sarah Buckle Laura Dee Milnes Ben Faga Film Direction Simon Foster-Ogg Joseph Kopiel Sally Labern Bobby Lloyd Leah Lovett Jordan McKenzie Justine Pearsall RARA Annette Robinson Phil Sanger Single Action Group Site Space Steakhouse Live Daniella Valz Gen Carrieanne Vivianette Ed Woodham
In the run up to and duration of IdeasFromElse[W]here we invited Cara Courage to ask questions of and write critically on the process in the role of ‘Thinker in Residence’. This role ran in parallel with Cara’s research into the drawing shed‘s projects for her PhD studentship at University of Brighton Doctoral College, looking at grassroots urban arts interventions and the affect they have on people and place in an investigation of the phenomenon and theory of relocalism.
In addition to PrintBike, by popular demand the drawing shed brought back The Public Typing Pool, striking up letters and conversations in exchange with users of The Public Typing Pool concurrently installed alongside Laurence Weiner in the new Sculpture Centre in Bury, greater Manchester, as part of Text Festival.
Alongside the daily art-making and performance that developed organically and spontaneously throughout the month, programmed events included Film Direction’s screening of ‘A-Z of London: 26 Raw Films’, People Pavilions with the public joining RARA to build human pyramids in Lloyd Park, and performances from Single Action Group, Steakhouse Live, and Site Space
Over the course of the arts lab, artists contributed to zine boxes which were auctioned at ‘JUNK, A FUN[D]RAISER’ at Winns Gallery on Thursday 10th July. A fundraiser to support the drawing shed‘s future projects, the evening also included film and live art performance, bringing artists and the public together to celebrate the arts lab in its final few days.