The Irregular Buletin
the drawing shed co-authored The Irregular Bulletin a contemporary arts project using its iconic PrintBike – a mobile pop up printmaking studio activated by it’s sponsored Brompton Fold-up and artists Bobby Lloyd, Sally Labern, and Joseph Kopiel. Space Studios and Arlington were our funding partners. Arlington provides temporary hostel accommodation and services for homeless people.
The artists consistently led and supported the workshops with Arlington residents, creating a community workshop atmosphere around the ideological concept of ‘The Irregular Bulletin’ – inspired by and rethinking the work of avant garde artists and drawing from popular culture and radical forms of poetry, [lending a contemporary take on William Burroughs Cut-Ups, John Cage ‘s Rules, Corita Kent’s Open Studio ethos]. Here the ‘making and re-making’ of rules allows us to work with whatever is brought into The Creative Space in Space Studios: Studio5 by residents taking part.
Corita Kent, John Cage and William Burroughs were working and active during at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the anti vietnam war campaigns in the 60’s. Sister Corita’s community screen print workshop with a pop up community cafe open to everyone and this became the hub for discussion, art making, teaching, the making of new rules, and shared community actions.
the drawing shed’s exhibition of The Irregular Bulletin at Arlington on 18th and 19th July 2013 as part of The Creative Space project, took the form of placards carrying screen printed image and text created with residents as both a personal and political take on the world, alongside a pop up café during the Private View in partnership with City Dining, and the more thoughtful and profoundly beautiful series of ‘lost prints’; These are created from the residual traces left on each screen as the prints are pulled. Some of these prints on A1 archive quality tissue reflect the fragility, resilience and endurance of participants and The Irregular Bulletin as the contemporary form chosen by the artists.
PrintBike itself was transformed into a huge lightbox; The Irregular Bulletin format mirroring the ad hoc lightbox created by a resident during a workshop, and showed a series of hand screened multiple prints on foolscap tracing paper.
Paper Stencils as multiple objects of the vast number of prints created throughout this project flooded over one wall of the Creative Space itself so that visitors can get a live sense of Space Studio’s Studio5 as The Irregular Bulletin space.
the drawing shed’s original proposal to Space for the Arlington Residency
“the drawing shed will take up residency at Arlington in Camden each Wednesday for a 6 month period in January 2013. In the Creative Space Studio the drawing shed will be using PrintBike, its fully equipped mobile print workshop powered by a Brompton fold-up bicycle, sponsored by Brompton, to create new work with residents, with content influenced and inspired by the work of (Sister) Corita Kent – the radical nun and avant garde artist known for her work in the 60′s around the civil rights movement and anti vietnam protests in the US. Kent’s extraordinary images were drawn from a collision of capitalist marketing on the streets and political community actions on the streets, capturing the dynamism of the struggles and ideas of the times.
Corita Kent was a passionate teacher and set up a screen-print workshop inside the convent which was open to everyone. Kent also created the ‘irregular bulletin’ – a multi-authored publication that took various forms from posters to papers, placards and political community protests, to happenings and performances.
the drawing shed will develop and deliver a project with residents called The Irregular Bulletin with an emphasis on cutting things in, rather than cutting them out. Using PrintBike, the drawing shed is joined by artist Joseph Kopiel, a highly experienced print-maker who will be part of the pilot phase of this project. Later in the year we anticipate Joseph Kopiel will join us, funding permitting as part of a professional development residency with the drawing shed’s lead artists to develop his professional art practice alongside a workshop programme at Arlington.”
“Consider Everything An Experiment”
“The Irregular Bulletin project opened my eyes to my abilities and possibilities – it got me motivated to go out and do the creative things I’m doing. If it wasn’t for the drawing shed I wouldn’t have done my screen printing course, so it’s helped me do the things I found that I enjoy!
The Irregular Bulletin gives me space to be myself – get stuff down and into print…maybe in future I might do an Irregular Blog!
When you have peace and some space, your mind works wonders!”
” I’m very glad to be back here, I feel okay here, it’s a good space for me, I like to be around people who think like me.”
“I’ve discovered that I have an interest in art… and talent! …. I take inspiration from other people and I gain knowledge from looking at the artists ( Corita, William Morris, Cut-out poetry-William Burroughs), and i develop ideas from things I see around me. I think a lot so I reckon I’m a conceptual artist!”
Artists Notes :
Residents will use text and screen printing in particular to transfer expressions / visual / fluid text stories of ‘residence’ informed by identity, culture and personal experiences; workshops will be a social process, and build upon an expression of flow between imagination, ambition and the commonplace in all our lives.
The Irregular Bulletins will be created over the 24 weeks, divided into 4 X 6 week projects, and will focus on celebrating difference. These ‘bulletins’ will be created in a number of formats that will be decided with participants and may therefore include:
- News Paper – Bulletin – Headlines
- TEXT – ‘From the Street to Poetry’
- PORTRAIT ‘Self’ – Photocopy, photograph to cut out to make stencil
- and PRINT, screen, mono-prints
- a story, a Platform, a Stage
- Signs Placards Protest
- stories, lost and found
- experiences, real and aspirational
- identities, real and imagined
- imaginative platforms – digital soap boxes, tenuous physical structures, screen printed soap boxes…!
- OF ME / OF YOU
- Overprinted on existing old T-SHIRTS – SLOGANS, like Westwood t-shirts, carrying ideas, poems and image: transformation, sublimation, transliteration
- protest – STORY – individuals – RULES: made, Broken, aka John Cage and Corita Kent – Rule Number 7 = WORK (artwork or work ethic?!) BasicSeven #7
- I AM…..and I AM NOT…..
PAPER – POSTER – BULLETIN
- in the building, in the streets – TEMPORARY LOCATIONS – Concrete Poetry, Visualisation
Groups of residents may work with an introduction to text where we shall start with famous quotes referring to Freedom, Liberty, Equality and HOME etc. cut up, play with and add to, aka Sister Corita, from graphic influences around us.
Print-Making workshops will:
- Stimulate a process of a shared enquiry – ongoing throughout the 24 weeks
- Enable participants to gain practical skills – and use these to lead and enter into a dialogue together and with others
- Create a counter culture of enterprise, making products not-for-sale: t-shirt, poster, and all forms of The Irregular Bulletin to be ‘free’ etc
- Create dialogue between texts – inspired by sharing with the local residents PeopleLikeUs Collective in E17 who have created the most beautiful ‘open source’ poetry in the form of tweets, here at Arlington we shall use existing texts and poetry/texts created by residents.
An INDIVIDUAL and Collective FOCUS
Possible work with disposable cameras – to personalise the images and content, ‘snapshots’ will provide additional source material for the print workshop activities and underpin positive image and self esteem.
For the end of project group show we have an idea to create a focus of the The Irregular Bulletin Art works in the building – like the Sister Corita Café – we can use the Arlington Café and residents’ social spaces by working together with residents.
PrintBike is a fully equipped and totally mobile resource; It is powered by a Brompton Fold-up Bike, donated to us by Brompton and needs nothing else but the activation of artists’ and participants’ imagination to transform materials into great projects using strong ideas and a passion for skill sharing. Throughout the project, artists Sally Labern and Bobby Lloyd will join Joseph Kopiel for each of the sets of 4 X 6 week sessions. the drawing shed are more than pleased to be able to add value to this project by raising grant funding resources to underpin the delivery of The Irregular Bulletin project.
Future Developments …. Arlington and other homeless organisations
We are proposing that later in the year The Irregular Bulletin project, with Space and Arlington, will create an opportunity to make connections with residents through other homeless organisations as part of a drawing shed project on the wider dialogue of cultural exchange around the issues of Homelessness, Mental health and Work; it will offer a space for an exchange of voices and explore participants’ own text through The Irregular Bulletin format, to share and disseminate ideas developed creatively with Arlington residents, with another group outside the Arlington building /area, but with others whom they may have things ‘in common’ and things ‘in difference’.
During March, April, May 2013, the drawing shed developed research as artists in residence with UCL Bartlett around a pilot project called #BasicSeven7, creating ‘platforms’ (performative happenings, screenings and physical stages) to explore and exchange ideas around housing and mental health and the importance of ‘taking [creative] agency’ in shifting the balance in how and what it is we value in ‘Home’. #BasicSeven7 is develop in its research stage over the next months as we fundraise beyond its developmental stage.
the drawing shed has been funded through HoeStWard, a local LBWF Councillor-led fund to develop this piece of work and is focusing the political framing of #BasicSeven7 around partnerships in Hoe St and beyond. Artists will be joining the drawing shed over the summer and autumn of 2013 in its new project garage ‘white cube’ space for a series of residencies for #BasicSeven7.