Audiovisual Cultures episode 77 – The Amabie Project with Johanna Leech automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures with me paula blair i’m really super excited to be joined this time by artist johanna leech who is going to talk about the amabie project that she’s been working on and curating throughout the lock time period in 2020 and it’s hopefully going to culminate in an exhibition but it’s all online and you can see it on instagram so i’m going to let her explain more about it because she’ll explain that a lot more articulately than i can um huge huge thanks to our members over at forward slash av cultures for all your really valued supports if you are interested in joining and there are three tiers of membership at the moment there’s to pay what you can which is one pound one dollar one year or whatever um and that’s that’s going to get you access a bit early to the new episodes that come out you’ll get to hear it a day before everybody else and then there are a couple of other memberships there’s a behind-the-scenes membership and a star supporter which will get your producer credit on any future stuff so do take a look through those if you’re able to help out and for other ways to support uh and just help out the podcast do listen right to the end and i’ll give you some other ways that don’t involve a membership um but do make sure you subscribe you hit that button just so that you never miss a new episode and i’ll help us out as well so this one was a lot of fun to record uh joanna is a it’s a very very good friend of mine and i’m really proud of all of her work it’s a really visual episode as well so if you’re listening to the audio only i have put the link to the video in the show notes and do make sure you go and see that um because um uh joanna actually shows us through quite a lot of the work that all of the artists involved have been creating and shows us through the instagram so if you’re able to see that i’d really highly recommend it so enjoy very much and i will see you on the other side

so i am super excited to be joined by my longest serving friend and artist joanna leach hello joanna hello how are we finding you today not too bad thanks just in limbo like the rest of us i think so trying to continue on at least try and do something productive excellent yes we’re gonna talk a bit about your productivity and what you’re keeping busy with and if it’s okay can i just ask you to explain to everybody a bit about your background i mean um i mean we first bonded over our mutual love of dinosaurs and i think that’s something that’s held us very close together all of these many very long years yes definitely and it’s in my artwork you know fascinating sinclair uh dinosaurs from the world’s fair absolutely um so would you kindly just talk us through a little bit of your own arts practice and then we’re going to talk about the really big project that you’ve been working on more recently sure so i’m a visual artist based in belfast and i also work as a program manager for a local cinema and arts center so sometimes a lot of those influences working quite um across lots of different art practices and arts fields and work can bleed into my practice a little bit um so instead of kind of having a sketchbook or kind of doing lots of drawings like every day like most artists would or quite frequently my thing was to collect objects collect stories and um making notes and taking photographs so you know like if you look at my iphone now there’s like 20 000 photographs that i’m kind of constantly referring back to so that that’s my sketchbook so it kind of gives you an idea of what kind of way i sort things in my head i’m also dyslexic so it just means that a lot of the time maybe written format isn’t as easy for me and the visual stands out really clearly because of that so it just means then i can have this amalgamation kind of like my work is almost like a little museum of its own you know you could have a look at my exhibition and there could be stuff that could be historical that i find something interesting there could be local lore and legend um or there could be just an experience or a place that i’ve been to so the working kind of become things where it’s maybe like more social practice where i’m maybe using the objects in a way to perform to an audience where like the object is shown in a way where it tells a story or it itself is quite humorous and you kind of look at it and it gives you a chuckle you know like i always like the work to be familiar to the audience and very much um kind of open for everyone to interpret um so my recent exhibition would have had things like a neon sign that said guns and gold and kind of like a really um particular lovely um neon golden color and that was a replica of one that i’d seen in america and just that ideas of those two words together um is it’s quite interesting and then i had wall drawings including wonderful dinosaur um and then i had stories about the dinosaurs that i’ve done work with and collected from all around the world so i had kind of display tables which had objects as well as stories all displayed together so it’s kind of it takes you on a journey and that’s kind of always say to people like i’m explore um showing you my discoveries essentially and then there was other things like photographs from kind of um attractions or places from around america so that that work kind of stands alone quite well just as a photography as a photograph um but um and then i’ll do sometimes just really kind of scale back drawings so it just it just really depends brilliant yeah and this has a really close connection with the current project that you’re working on so you’re curating this group of work of all kinds it’s it’s cross media and it’s artists working in all different modes and from different backgrounds and all sorts of things so um can you tell us a bit about the amma bay project please yeah so amabe is a japanese yukai and ukai is kind of like a mythical kind of magical creature within japanese mythology and this particular character would come out whenever there was sign of a pandemic or else maybe something to do with um crops and um different times where you know people would have worries about things they could look towards the emma bay for um some comfort so you know she’s a mermaid character and she kind of comes out of the sea and is very kind of mystical and i was just kind of really interested in that with the internet kind of in the era that we’re in now this character made a resurgence kind of through the start of the lockdown and it just meant that there was a lot of people kind of posting pictures of her or a lot of japanese people like taking a bit of solace you know to actually do a little drawing over or stick a little picture up of her in a window and with everything that was elsa it was happening throughout the internet and in the uk we kind of had all the kind of things so like help the nhs and the rainbow kind of became this icon of camaraderie and hope for a lot of people and that came from kids in america he just did it one time and you know then people started to kind of replicate that and it kind of spread like a virus but uh a very positive one and amabe was kind of doing a bit of that it was um kind of trading on kind of um if you kind of had like hashtag a mabe challenge and when i saw that i kind of thought oh you know but what i’m really interested in is i had been to japan last year and um i have connections through flex art studios where i’m based with a really cool art space called arts ongoing which is in tokyo and i kind of met those guys and i kind of always kind of thought oh you know what like what would i do if i went over and did a japanese residency so at this time where you know there’s pandemic i can’t go to japan as much as i would love to and looking at those connections and just i think the event manager in my head of kind of going what can i do you know i can’t go into the studio and you know it’s a really hard time to feel inspired how can i reach out and make that connection between that kind of sense of this viral connection but also bringing it back to artists practices but then looking at the connection between japan and belfast and especially because of flax art studio so they’ve been running for a number of years in exchange and one of the main artists who’s a really good friend of mine um shiro masayama um he is the only northern ireland artist based in japan and i was like me and him were like sharing each other like pictures of a mabe and being like oh you know we should get everyone in flax to make an imabe and then we’re like but why should i be kind of making that quite narrow so we owned it out because we wanted to share it with three artists arts ongoing and various other things like shearer would have a lot of connections um just you know to see if artists in general who are based in japan and uh the isle of ireland um or someone you know who’s still kind of connected to ireland are still connected to japan um what would they do and to kind of make it initially like an instagram that could become an exhibition so it was just to see like what would happen so i think it was something that kind of came up between me and sharon were like hey wouldn’t this be fun to do that and they kind of grew from there

and so um with the irish connection is there was there another mythical form from from irish mythology that you were looking at as well or was it just the mlp

well originally um i was talking to um close friend um martin boyle um and martin was kind of my sounding board and very thankfully and just about the right up and like how i was going to do the call-out and what he was interested in and what i kind of thought was it’d be nice to give people that option if they don’t want to do a mabe so whenever we did the call-out we kind of had it that it was if you could create a mythical creature to protect you what would it be and surprisingly a lot of people just did do your marble and that that’s cool too i mean she’s so beautiful and of course i did one of her but um i did like that idea of looking at art mythology and it just meant then if there was japanese artists who were like you know mommy’s quite a normal thing for them they could choose to do something different or an irish artist who feels very strongly with that now we didn’t get as many kind of ones that are quite irish-based we did also get one that was a beaver which i thought was really cool because um that person was just kind of had their own reason of thinking why he could be a quite an iconic character so it is it is mainly a mob but i think whenever we’re displaying that in the gallery you know it can maybe have a couple of different zones it was originally inspired by the irish connections of saint brigid and it was like the first of february and it was kind of the start of spring and how people would kind of um make woven um crosses that you would hang up on your door and there’s these kind of ceremonies called biddy boys and it was basically like you made like an effigy like this female character who sometimes was dressed in your grandmother’s clothes and again it’s this idea of bringing forth a good harvest and and hoping for the best which a mabe does as well and and i was just like when you look at the documentation of you’re like what’s so bizarre and then it brings in connections with mummers and the idea of going door-to-door connecting with your community and making these kind of woven hats and things they’d have on so there’s one of the pieces is me wearing a mummer’s hat and you know i think that could maybe be a bit of a project on its own and i think mabi kind of took over because i think a lot of artists were making work from home and it was probably a bit easier to do that so i definitely think that that could grow in a different way but there’s only maybe a few that are kind of included within that okay great it’s really fascinating and stuff so um so shall we should we take a look at some specific examples of this and the the really wide range of approaches that all of the artists took because you’ve got animators you’ve got people working in sculpture in different ways you’ve got people here illustrators and comic creators and all sorts of people so um shall we have a quick look at some of the examples sure we definitely had a you know a wide range of people but i think i’ll maybe just start off with the original image that is mainly known about a map so this is one that would have been like kind of in the local um news and kind of documented before so i’ll just share my screen here so you can see

um so you can see this here um which is just a really beautiful image and you can see kind of the three legs coming from the sea a beautiful man of hair and um i just thought this is a really good starting point because it’s it’s also that flexibility that people can can change her into anything that she wants to be so i’ve got the instagram here which is kind of the format of showing it visually online so we have um submission from different artists to despite 25 artists including two young people that have been included and i like that because you know it’s the fact that you’re in lockdown and your children are there so i really kind of like that one of the artists is like oh you know can i include my child’s one or you know someone was actually collaborating with her niece which was really nice so um as you can see this is just a really quick thing and this is just you know like uh shiro playing around with a new app that he’s brought together but it just it just worked so well and it’s that kind of again embracing the kind of online kind of quality of that so just for the audio can we just describe what was happening there sorry um

okay so with shiro’s um video he’s using this app and um can i turn the music on or would that i think yeah you should let’s try

so um he’s just made a little drawing of an amabe which kind of pops up in this app and then it kind of comes and scuttles around the floor so it kind of like moves around on the table which is just really sweet and then um we had some more stuff that was a bit more obscure so this one here i really like because there’s kind of a description here this is by chris watt and he kind of just looks at this idea of um stories of contorted human forms or similar kind of rock faces and the natural forces and the ancient humans and bones and you know um that one there i just thought was just really nice and quite unique um some quite a skeletal image that we’re seeing and um so it says he came up with a concept for the painting after visiting melon head on the very north coast of ireland so um yeah so there’s just this skeletal form that’s it’s almost like it’s embedded in the rocks it’s against the rock faces in a bit of a kind of fetal position yeah there’s a triangle protrading from an eye that kind of an obscure kind of um things in the foreground and kind of makes it quite dream like um really kind of bright neon colors and along with this really kind of strong blue blue and white for the skeleton’s body itself which is really nice um i will just see i could go on and talk about every single one let’s just have we scroll so you can see just like some of them against each other so um this is another japanese artist um which is absolutely gorgeous um sitting on buildings on fire almost yeah so emily um she’s actually just studying um at the moment and she’s studying in london but she’s japanese and she had a couple of versions there’s a couple of versions of this one um this is a collaboration with grace mcmurray and her uh five-year-old niece oh the embroidery little embroidery which kind of has a mermaid she’s got wings um and just like a couple of sequences i like as well it’s like just you know like weak cuts of purple and and blue so paula thought you’d enjoy a bit of embroidery so just really simple one um clinton patrick and again his one is more that kind of unseen unknown character because when you talk about the japanese uk sometimes they’re literally an inanimate object sometimes they can look almost human and sometimes it can be quite bizarre so i like that his was much more free in the way that was represented here we have an artist who bid on ebay for um something that was supposed to be made from a mabby’s hair right it was a brush on the internet so his kind of piece is um and he ordered it here it is in his home and he had done a residency in flax recently so he was over in belfast so it was just really nice to kind of have people’s work so um that was that one in particular was cool like you said about graphic artists yeah i have some graphic artists in here so we’ve got vanilla doran and we have um grace farley and then i think there was and molly henry in particular this kind of one too hmm as you can see you know there’s a real mixture of things um tomohiro tomahiro to also been to flax on a residency t and it’s weird because now that i’ve been in japan i’ve seen these kind of you know this is just outside a shop somewhere but i just love as well that it’s got it’s got the mask on so this is kind of like an everyday image someone who could have stumbled across this kind of um amazing kind of sculpture and then it being put with like there’s a kind of scroll to my bed it almost looks spry painted but obviously done on photoshop or something beside it so it just supposed in the tools i think is is really interesting definitely love these little guys with their masks so it is a real mixture of things so sometimes people made things in their homes some of them have done ink drawings or used like found objects like davies here um using hair um this is the image that i had mentioned before myself the kind of bummer hat on um so there’s kind of two in the series and i had actually taken these quite a while ago back in the america or back in the folk park i think it’s the one in belfast yeah so um is that the ulster folk and john smart museum yeah no one’s else’s [ __ ] transport museum so you can go there and there are often weavers i’ll kind of show you that and then if you want to look up mummers there is um different mummers groups from around think the main ones are in antrim and they still perform wedding ceremonies and do different things when i worked for um belfast photo festival a few years ago as a director we actually had an exhibition um by jim mcginn he actually went around and documented mummers over the years and looked at folklore but also looked at the traditional music he was very interested in traditional music so he has a lot of work that’s to do with those so i think that probably had placed it in my head originally um just looking at that um and then one little miniature performance um

this is just done over zoom oh actually we do have sign for this one let’s let’s try it again

so this and another worker kind of a gif so um what you have here is um she need brennan casuals doing a live performance on zoom to me and she has put in the background um like there’s a big kind of um mummified fish in the ulster museum so it’s in the background and you’ve got the ulster museum itself so she’s put on kind of like a sequined top um a nice long wig and has like a duck bake so she’s kind of wiggling around kind of as if she’s looking at herself you know um which i think is really sweet it’s kind of like just reminds me of the internet it’s like a weird kind of tick tock but an artistic tick tock or something um just really simple um which is nice so um and then we have some ceramic pieces like chris’s um here and then the more irish one um jim rick’s was one of the first ones but this was the kind of ones i was hoping for this kind of amalgamation of irishness as well and so he’s kind of muggy mutant various um kind of characters um and jim ricks is a he’s an irish um oh forgotten the name

he lives in america but he’s an irish i wrote this down didn’t i yeah he’s an irish conceptual artist so um yeah so that’s kind of examples i haven’t got all of the work up and the last one i’ll show you is my piece apart from so i have the irish piece which is the two photographs together and then this one is a drawing that i made and it was just that kind of like cathartic drawing and because i i like tracing things and drawing them over and over again and getting them really simplified but then whenever it’s locked down and you have to like stick it to your window it’s like coming through you know trying to draw it i kind of like that lockdown process i had because then you’ll have people here who yeah maybe you can’t go out and and make things i was surprised we did get as many ceramic things as possible so some of the artists might have changed to video pieces and we also have fantastic one um by amy mcgee and she has and i’m going to use it as the opening piece for when you go into the exhibition and it’s a video piece and she’s made puppets and she tells you dma by story and it’s just absolutely stunning wow really nice so i’ll hope by the date where we do hopefully show it i will have all of them online at the moment that’s just most of them and we also have um this have a video of how to make your own amabe by a japanese artist azuri um and that it’s about 15 minutes long so we have to just kind of uh link over to that and so he makes a little paper and a where the little bake is kind of in the paper and you can make her talk say whatever you like okay so you can see like it’s already such a wide range of work and there’s still more to come yes so you mentioned um a hopeful exhibition as do you have any more detail on that at the moment or um what do you know what can you tell us sure so um pollen studios uh based in belfast um had offered to do the exhibition with us so and um quite a few of the pollen artists all submitted as well so um they’ve been really tight knit with us on the project and with current lockdown methods there are some galleries are currently open at the moment but maybe some of the larger um organizations like the mac and the golden thread gallery and for pollen then um people will probably do it by appointment we’ll have an opening hopefully november 5th which is usually like a late night art where people come out um and we have we’ll have all the safety measures in place and you can basically book like an appointment to come along so i’ll probably put you know some weekend dates in and an evening each week that people can come along throughout november fingers crossed and um if it does get put back because naturally that’s what’s happening at the moment you know it’s kind of part of the project yeah in a way because the project was made during lockdown and it means that if you have to book in for an appointment see it it’s almost becoming a performance you know you’re becoming part of the exhibition by able by being able to come along and of course then with people who especially aren’t able to uh for health and safety purposes and things come out i will have the instagram up and i’ll maybe kind of do a bit more of like um an exhibition online and kind of look at that just for kind of access to make sure and especially for the japanese artists as well that they can kind of see all the work together and for my previous shows i always kind of shoot a video where i can talk through things and just means then that people who can come can still feel connected to it and um do you think you’ll have a lot of the physical works there or will it be you know because there’s quite a lot of sculpture for example um so would it be photographs of those or will the actual workspace and do you think to show so i’ve contacted each of the artists and kind of just had a chat with them and as well like i’m kind of self-funding this and i don’t have any funding for it but obviously i’ve been supported by the arts council for years so i don’t mind you know contributing some especially my own time but also some resources so i have a small budget for kind of contempo temporary prints um for some things and then a lot of the local artists i’m able to kind of go and collect the work but i just kind of ask the artist you know what way they want it shown because some of the video works obviously will go on screens and which particular one the beaver that i mentioned um which is lovely um it’s a gif and i think it would look really nice on on a tablet or on a phone so it’s kind of displayed in the way it was meant to be viewed but yes especially as japanese artists obviously i give them the opportunity if they want to post it they can post it over and i’ll return it but you know we don’t have unfortunately enough budget to kind of get that over um but we’ll be able to reprint some of those so especially like a zoo um which isn’t a zoo and the work that had the um amabe hair object don’t want to lose that on getting it posted over so um i think a print of the two beside each other so like the internet um image of it being sold and then the image of it in the house i think together would look really nice so um actually we will have quite a lot of the artists um are up for having the drawings or the ceramics physically there and then the rest of the stuff then we’ll kind of print um maybe in like a temporary manner or i thought about have mine displayed on the window because i’ve i do often have window drawings so i think it would work really well as a window drawing as well so you know the work will change a bit in the space too

and then i suppose you it must be a factor now you have to figure out how many people you can have in a space and how far apart your things you know that sort of stuff has to maybe be considered now as well in poland’s not a huge space so that’s quite complicated yeah i think it’s kind of um well then again in the millennium court art center that i went to recently it was like one bubble per half an hour so and then it would be frequent cleaning and things like that but because i’m coming from a venue i’m already used to doing that currently for my job and work so i’m very aware of all the exciting terms and conditions and health and safety policies um all over that so i can make it as safe as possible okay well fingers crossed that can go ahead but as you say even if it’s delayed it just adds more time and possibly more overlooking from the email base to help us out hopefully i know come on guys

um that’s brilliant joanna thank you so much for that um do you is um

before i ask anything else um shall we because we had those links of scream but just for the audio and do you want to point people just towards where to see these sure at the moment no worries so to find out more about the exhibition so it’s and that’s spelt

j-o-h-a-n-n-a-l-e-e-c-h and then um you can do forward slice forward slash amabe so a m a b i e and on instagram it’s a mabe underscore project and that shows you all of the stuff that we’ve came in so between the two of those we’ll kind of have all the details we hope that we’ll create a facebook invitation page soon enough so otherwise um if you follow pollen art studios on facebook and they will then have that online i also have a facebook artist like page so if you just search for my name that i spelt earlier on um you’d be able to just kind of like my page and then those updates for things like the events and stuff will come up as well um i suppose just on this i mean how do you feel about exhibitions going online more and more because i’m personally loving it because it means i can see stuff in belfast and i’m stuck here in newcastle so um but how are you personally finding that and feeling about that as an artist i think it’s good and my previous um solo exhibition that i mentioned before um it was in millennium court arts center and it’s only you know about 40 minutes from belfast i think 40 minutes to half an hour away from belfast city center but there’s so many people who can’t drive um you’re artists mainly um i you know i didn’t learn how to drive until i was 30. so there’s just kind of there’s a lot of people here although it’s not that far away and on our transport system isn’t great that actually i realized even when i was doing an exhibition that was just outside of belfast um i did a recorded walk around of my exhibition which was called wanderlust and fantastic oddities so if anyone wants to look up you know what the work that i kind of described that showed a lot of my work was kind of like a little survey of everything i’ve done so far they can look it up online and there is like i have like a ton of photographs really good documentation and then just a little walk around with me with video and then that’s great because i can share that to people and i have artists that i work with in the states and you know even then all the people who are in belfast that just couldn’t get so there are you know three other reasons can have access to it and i think you know i discovered that before lockdown how important that was and i think it continues to be very important because there’s also even times where i maybe go to an art exhibition opening and you’re too busy kind of chanting whoever’s with you having a glass of wine and it’s quite busy and then you’re kind of like oh you know i’ll go back and then i’ll sit with the work or i’ll look at it for longer and sometimes you just don’t get that opportunity so i think the more that arts and things can go online i think it’s great but it doesn’t take away from that actual experience because a few weeks ago i mean i’ve been self isolating um quite a lot and working from home and um i just decided that when the mac reopened i went to see the exhibition at the mac and again you booked into a certain slot and it’s a huge space so you know it’s it’s a bit safer than maybe going to a small kind of gallery space and i also went to the golden thread to see their show um on the same trip and it just is like there’s no way like that buzz and feeling of going to a gallery you know it’s not as if you know all virtual stuff is going to make it worse or people won’t go out to galleries if they can look at it online that you never nothing can change that idea of just the silence of the space the concentration on an artwork the experience of the artwork being out of your house just you know you can’t you can’t it was just such an amazing experience it almost felt like i was going to a church and it was my religious experience like that’s that’s what it felt like for me was getting back into gallery and just gave my heart that little extra beat that i needed that’s you know like i think seeing art um in person will never be diminished essentially what i think yeah now that’s good to hear or is that very romantic romanticized yeah no it’s no it sounds good i totally understand you mean i imagine i’ll feel the same when i feel able to go to a gallery again um but for now it’s just not really for me and um but yes i i know the space as well that you’re talking about so i can just imagine it and it would be a bit i can imagine it would be a bit safer because they are really big rooms that you’re in um but also it must be nice to have peace in them because they’re only letting so many people in at the one time so that must be quite a nice element of it as well you feel like you have maybe a more intimate experience possibly yeah and i hope that’s what maybe the mabae project would be like because then if there’s people like you both of us are saying you know we don’t want to be you know gallivanting around with um everything that’s happening in the world right now whereas if i knew that it was just myself and my bubble going to a place for a specific time we know people have claimed it and you go in see the art and go away and like you said and have that piece to experience and for as long as you want um i think it’s really nice and um if it’s okay and you did mentioned about working at the strand art cinema as well so you’re used to that is it okay if i just ask you quickly about how that’s going and sure you know the cinema experience because that’s quite similar it’s another sacred art space that we need to protect and um how is that experience are you finding of working at a cinema but also people coming to that cinema again

like i think from i kind of had to make it kind of you know oh welcome back to the strand covert video um just to put out on social media just so people knew the experience and i mean like as far as any kind of covered procedures and things like we have every every box ticked and more you know we’ve changed our screen in times where it is and people coming in and out of the building and there’s um like special cleaning that we have like a fogger machine that antibacterializes the seats and everything never mind then you know just having cleaning stations and cleaning more so we we have that all kind of ticked so i actually have been to a few screenings while two screenings since lockdown because i know the strand is as clean as it can be and also we’re a small cinema and we’re in a rural space we’re not the city center so we’re never super busy anyway and then with we’re not particularly busy but it just means that you can book exactly where you’re sitting you’re socially distanced and so i was able to i went and saw tannen and um the other event i went to was a global film screening um which we’re doing at the moment and it was with green book and then we kind of had a discussion on kind of black lives matters and um different things like that so if yeah just give me that buzz because you know we’re kind of you know a vintage cinema um designed in 1935 so that kind of encompassing kind of red curtain feel and you’re sitting in half back seats and the experience is just so lovely and just being immersed in the film because i just thought no matter how many times i’ve watched inception um boogers for nolan i’ve forgotten half the time what happens in it and it’s because i just kept on watching it at home a few times or maybe had a glass of wine can’t remember the ending very well so it meant that with tenant i had that full attention span i went in no one not it it’s christopher nolan and you know there’s gonna be questionable things about it too but it’s gonna be an amazing cinematic experience so i did feel like i kind of said there maybe it’s because of my previously religious background but that kind of i’m that ultimate buzz of being like in your synagogue you know it’s like you know the room itself and the space and and just being spread out and and the feeling of being feeling safe because um people around you are further enough away and you just get to switch off and fully enjoy a film and i notice so many more things in green book than i did watching it at home because i missed it and the first kind of cinema release there was a few times with things i was like oh oh that’s not and i was like doing the talk afterwards like i was like i was noticing things more and i’m supposed to know more about the film so yeah i disagree if you’d like you know the experience of being innocent is never going to take away from watching those you know films on on netflix and whatever yes it is great that those um platforms are there so in the global film screenings i’ve made it that you can go on to the strands website and you can read like a resource about your green book so it has the recording of us doing the talk it also tells you that you can watch green book on amazon prime so i’ve kind of make packages afterwards and make it accessible to people who can’t go so they can still feel like they’re part of it so they can watch green book from the link and then um obviously they would need to you know pay for that or have amazon prime but then i would recommend and give links to the films that we mentioned in the talks because you always forget when you’re listening to something like that brilliant so i have resources of different films that are good to watch like moonlight um and then i have a connection with belfast which talks about frederick douglass who um you know would have been one of kind of the main people to kind of abolish slavery and he had been the belfast and that connection i had read an article about it in 2012 so i was able to like place that too so we’re in the strand we go beyond film sometimes and with special events then i can still bring in an online audience or i just give people that chance to go what was that film she was watching and then i can tell them about the original grain book and how it really was for americans um and you know recommended documentaries and stuff so um i think you should get get out there and support your local spaces if we can all stay open you know they’re closed in the south at the moment so um it’s good to support those spaces but uh not you’ll never get over that kind of cinema experience or um my partner was telling me oh we were talking about vr and he said you know you can get vr which makes you be in a cinema and then it projects your netflix film oh yeah but you have to wear a really heavy headset and you can’t it’s the smell of it too it’s other sensory things it’s the way the light is it’s the way the sound kind of almost hugs you because it’s um soundproofed and it’s all of those things you know it’s when the lights go down it’s like oh you know give a ticket you know he had all those things like um like i think uh there’s uh i was gonna say um mark cousins always talks about the romanticism the cinema but in the way he kind of describes it you know um like on how he he likes it i think he’d say like sitting in the front seat is it in a front row i like sitting in the front i like just ignoring if there’s other people i like feeling like i’m there by myself and it’s just for me with the big screen exactly well if people go to this round you might be um very small amount of people there and it will fill it likes your own screen if i could get your feedback probably exactly but the feedback you know from customers when i did that covered video and i got a couple of voxpos was one of them was like a guy who was a film student and um he was just desperately back he’s like i’ve been three times this week it’s like oh it’s so lovely and then you know it’s weird because the family audiences haven’t really came back so i think families have got so used to being in lockdown and getting to schedules i think you know i’m hoping there’ll be a time where those guys are able to come back and enjoy themselves and that bit of you know your parent as well okay you might be watching a kid’s film but you know your kids are going to be quiet hopefully beside you for an hour and a half enjoy it you know take the time for yourself to watch a movie and and enjoy it yeah it’s just worrying with so many outbreaks and skills at the moment so it’s very worrying to take children anywhere i think at the moment that’s one of the things but yeah we just have to find a way to help cinemas survive i think if we can yeah um and i think well the strand is spoiled because we’re supported because we are a charitable organization we’re supported by the arts council so loyalty burned

well just compared to maybe some of the other independents um who you know like my wage is funded by the arts council because i’m doing all this outreach and whenever it was locked down i was doing online videos and events and supporting artists and pain artists so we can kind of do that and we’re a bit luckier than some of the other spaces that might just be going on on solely the income they got in the door

right um is there anything else you would like to say put out there or anything before we go well no i think we’ve already talked about it so i had mentioned my website so if people want to see my work because they can save the exhibition at millennium court which kind of encompasses all of that and yeah keep an eye out for the amabe stuff you can get um most of a sneak break you get on the instagram at the moment there is most of the work there and so yeah so um just thanks so much paula for having me on the chat it’s been really good brilliant yeah no thank you for doing it it’s brilliant i’ve been following the project with interest and it’s such a lovely idea because it is just that idea of care and something looking after you but also a collection of people who are all spread out they’re all dispersed coming together to work on something like this it’s a really beautiful things it’s a lovely thing to be able to highlight and put out there really so thank you very much for showing us so much of the work it’s wonderful no problem

this has been a cosy pea pod production with me paula blair and my very special guest johanna leech the music is common grounds by airton license under a 3.0 non-commercial attribution and is available from episodes release every other wednesday and you can get those anywhere that you find podcasts but also you can subscribe to my own personal youtube channel if you find pea blare you can see the full recordings now that we’ve been doing the video versions as well do please share and subscribe to help other people find the show be part of the conversation with av cultures pod on instagram and iv cultures on twitter and facebook we’re always happy to hear from potential guests so if you’ve got an idea for a show or something that you’re working on that you’d really love the world my tiny bit of the world to hear about then please do get in touch i’d really love to hear from you and if i’ve invited you and i haven’t heard back from yet i’ve got an open door policy so there’s it’s never too late and um everybody’s really busy and stressed so don’t worry about it um i’m always also happy to have suggestions from listeners about topics that you something that you think you’d like to hear us try to cover i do try to make those and i do keep a list um there are loads of suggestions that have been in the past i haven’t got to yet just because i haven’t been able to access this stuff and that is partly where your support comes in so even if you want to send us a dvd or access to something that you’d like us to see that would be really helpful so i do wear all the hats in the making of this program and um so if you could support my work and you there are the memberships and patreon as described earlier on but you can also drop me a fiver at buy me a coffee dot com forward slash p e a blair or you can give any amount so like a pound or something if that’s all you want to give at paypal dot me forward slash p e a blair and just anything at all really really helps so huge thanks for joining us i hope you really enjoyed this i loved making this episode keep well stay safe and as ever be excellent to each other and i will catch you next time


Audiovisual Cultures episode 61 – Alone in the Beauty, Together with Dr Laurel Jay Carpenter automated transcript

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hello and welcome to the official cultures the podcast explores different aspects and areas of arts and culture production I'm Paula Blair and I'm really delighted this time to be joined by artist laurel J. carpenter he talks very generous state by her practice many thanks to members at Petri on dot com forward slash AP cultures and your continued and much appreciated support please listen to the ends to find more ways to be part of audio visual cultures for now I enjoy the discussion with floral okay certainly I am laurel J. carpenter the U. S. visual art performer currently based in new castle in the U. K. we're meeting at what's probably a bit of a strange time free is that fair to say %HESITATION then fair how much would you like to tell the state where you're not at the moment sure sure so I came to Newcastle specifically to study with Sandra Johnson who is my PhD supervisor here at north I'm really university and I submitted the thesis January third which was its own funny time right after the holidays and trying to manage those personal time scales with this overwhelming time scale of submission and now I'm awaiting my five which is coming up later in the month so I thought I'd feel more free right I wouldn't really expect instead of post submission I I had visions of traveling I haven't been enough to Scotland I haven't been to all the local medieval towns and I was really looking forward to getting to I haven't even been to jerk can you believe that never mind so I was expecting to catch up with all of that and hi Sandra slow time because a different consistency than I expected and it's really funny because of course as an N. body its practitioners interested in theories of embodiment it was in me of course I was having this other experience of %HESITATION I'm really shifted it's not the funny story is I was like a whole raft up so I was going I went to the woman who I buy bread from who I know pretty well trouble this week the relationship and I could feel her eyes widening as she kind of recoils from my insistence kind of conversation and I recognized it and I kind of shifted and wrapped up the conversation it took my breath and went and then the next week when I signed the deal was I like acting weird and she said he had honestly she's like yeah and I saw the moment that you realized it and try to rectify it so there is some different energy that I'd feel and I'm also churning with having means for it there is a slight mocking us I think today it felt a little bit yeah and I just felt I expected to just feel like the kind of cascade of relief and I didn't know I felt like I'd given my child away I was happy to give my child the way I felt very comfortable with the babysitter or where I have the additional layer of so getting ready for the five I'm also performing for the five estimates over two days which the graduate school of thought was unusual and tried to negotiate away from but I'm convinced them and it's appropriate %HESITATION it's a three hour outdoor performance I don't think I could have managed both in one day and it's one afternoon into the next morning but you know for me also then it sets the visa and state which is a moving target and if I'm not in school full time or don't have a full time job I can't stay so the completion doesn't just come with a sense of relief it comes with a sense of unknown and anxiety and the question mark of the future so I'm trying to manage all that but it definitely some of those issues might crop up again as a top three some of your work sure I suppose and we can start and the present and then see where that takes us okay and maybe think it's what your accounts even during a practice based peach state that's right which is a very different experience from doing it yes the eight state and it's really fascinating to hear that there's a performance part of your life then the device if it is a performance in a way which we don't think of heights sure you have to be a specific version of yourself that's right you have to find it somewhere because you may not feel that pop to your heart's content are fine but so the performative elements mean you're planning out at the moment so we don't need to get too much into not nice you want to say maybe we can think about it some of the performance of work that has been integral to your PhD and hopefully that'll open night to your work more generally it is easy for me to take kind of backwards chronologically because the piece on the performing for the five has been performed before it's already that's a little unusual I usually don't repeats sometimes I construct performances that are meant to be interactive so those feel incomplete until it's happened several times but this peas so part of what I did in the PhD is explore the contents of the research through these opportunities I had to redo work and I used it I was just %HESITATION experiments so this fees which is called lineage which is made in collaboration with my long term collaborator was a Norwegian artist trace along and our collaborative duo is called long and carpenter we've been performing together for ten years we made this piece for the Prague quadrennial last summer so it's an outdoor piece the overview of my research just to summarize my title my thesis is this is she and it's an exploration of this really specific slippage of selfishness are you experience sometimes but not even office definitely not all the time in my own performance work that was really different than what I had been reading about with dominant theories of character presents and persona so it wasn't quite any of those in literary theory and theatrical theory and it definitely didn't exist so much can visualize which is the lineage I thought so I spent the time exploring with the work and really finding with the working with the writing what those three outcomes or techniques and their links to a scale of connection that goes from micro to me so to macro personal and I was testing through the work of finding it but then this piece which was most recently presented we did it only a couple of months before my submission due date so it was a lot you know a whole brand new work to contextualize and get into the content of the thesis so I'm glad to do it again to see it again but here's the Segway it tries to incorporate intentionally from the three aspects of this scale the way that I'm thinking about it is the micro is about presents it's about a funneling flow of focus it's about immersive miss there is something in the way that we engage of fairies slow snail pace walk it's thirty meters that we get to in terms of the distance and when we first did in Prague took five hours gonna each only going half the distance because we start together in Minnesota five hours we walked fifteen meters without stopping so it's a very slow engagement so that really creates this immersive experience then it's duration also it has a certain kind of intimacy and what's within just kind of being in it for that long and connecting with whomever might come across in the kind of long term collaborative intimacy sometimes longer and I don't try to reach towards the public in direct kind of internet connection which is just I contacts I use that a lot I like not connection the unspoken bonds she is not the last so part of it hitting all three parts of my investigation was to see if we can really incorporate and then it has this big beautiful make thirty meters the shared dress in glistening saffron I mean it is partly rich orange and then we walk slow slow slowly slowly and then the dress extends and its connect so it's almost like a train it's beautiful in the sparkling sunlight and it's very noticeable and when we hit our endpoints the train becomes toxic and becomes a banner which is certainly a representative of a protest banner and was certainly related to feminist content and we need to movements and there's text on the train that's poetic and political those definitely also investigate the spectacle and how that functions in performance and what offers in terms of maybe a character in in that exceeding the norms is also a resistance so how can spectacle be re claimed to still be a way to resist and there's something really fascinating going on with a simultaneous separation and connections for sure it's not as our work and then she can have like we all we do is look for ways that we long to communicate but let's connect that's been the ten years of our work and it's interesting we first met and she was actually my student from university she was a little bit older she had done other degrees but she came over specifically for the glass department at Alfred which is widely recognized in another part so I can say that there's a strong into a traditional French but she came over for the glass and really found her way to turn the car it's interesting performance video and so I worked with her on her honors project she one of the big awards from her own efforts I was just lucky to kind of witnesses but then some time after that that she went back to her very remote region islands and that's where Alfred university is also very remote and isolated super world it's supposedly six hours from New York City really it takes eight hours however you try to get there and it's the poorest county of all New York state hospitals are closing right so it's a very specific locale which is very similar to where she was and someone that knew us both well listen I'm kind of more friendly capacity said need to having the same experience like two women artists in your remote locations trying to make sense of where you are you should more it was from not that was the criminal minds like that we should talk more and it almost immediately we were really committed we came up on the carpenter and we you know I'm good with all the promotional stuff I used to be a PR to underwrite space so I was like yeah let's make a website and it was really fast that we developed our first three pieces which we developed in tandem call the needs trilogy hunger thirst and shelter so those are kind of devised along in the same thinking process pretty much at the same point right off the bat although it took us a few years to get them all presented and the rest is history as they say when it's taken out it was interesting now to reflect on how we just so sure right away and neither of us had really collaborated before I definitely so we actually met my very close friend also from Alfred university Michelle and auto is a well known social practitioner and she is collaboration line in her teaching and her artwork today said I sat with her and said how do we collaborate how do we start she gave us some pointers and then we started skyping ends so it's going to send you think there wasn't a lot of you know it's funny yes the certainty was certainly intuitive I don't know why we were so sure some of that is I don't know we knew each other so there was a base level trust to their interests have developed and overlap in some places but the rest of her we both maintain a solo practice today says another collaborated another Sirius cooperators who's a social scientist so sharp so the work is closer to the plied philosophy okay she's much more interested in philosophical deep research and she's a W. this follower she really knows that work well and she was a philosophy double major or minor which is the focus that we have to U. S. education she was able to be %HESITATION the hardest full time that was a major focus but she also carried a philosophy sub focus that's certainly propels our conversations but our solo works really don't seem the same at all I mean they're both performative hers can be more installation which I've really left in my folder part of my career there's quite a few aspects we can get into I'm quite keen to ask if I could have breaks sure thing yes it's okay to talk about that yeah for sure so I call this cultural garment fascinating yeah because I feel like cost you carries the routed with theatrical connotations it carries with it the idea of a character ians there's something about it is it the way that the government talks through and has conversation with space dot com's remotely understanding and working sculptured body I toyed with wearable for awhile might even not sometimes I use that but I definitely feel like sculptural governance is what because it's both something about that terminology haven't really thought through this performance it's grounded and that's maneuverable like a garment you can imagine offer on wearables only in one position and it kind of has its own I mean I never show them alone but it has its own entity and has its own identity in some ways it can stand I feel very connected to them as separate from me in a way that's hard to feel in performance work so it is my making that then I get to step back from ends the U. S. of the holder right I'm a viewer of that work in a way that I can never be of my performance work something about making it feel complete on its own a hole on its own it seems like the size of a lot of the works because they become very basic home I go my whole career they say find one thing and you say your whole career I've done that and this may be frustrating looking at images of all of the documentation of a lot of your different so the works where other people started joining yes so that was the first really big dress piece so that which was also when they went back to school in the U. S. education is a little different so I had studied my undergrad I was an English literature students and I didn't think art was serious which I put in a and I wanted to be an attorney I was serious about that's always going to change the world I want to be on the Supreme Court then when I got to undergrad I took a law class and was so deflated because I realize my way was not through paperwork I think some people thought I was going to change the world through paperwork and I have a terrible memory so I was never gonna be able to remember all the precedents which is so much right you have to know and I was like oh no this is everything I've been planning for my whole life is over but I love to language and language was easy for me and I was interested in the play of language the rhythm the psalms and those are still the authors that I love the most the ones that movie with the minimum that the cadence of the pacing in the image and not a very anti plots you can ask any of my friends are like a she won't like that has too much fun but I was also always a very strong trend I could draw away from the hole but I never took art classes even really three university a couple dabbled a little but then I came out and I moved to New York and I was looking for positions in parts of me and I want to work in a gallery and that's how I found my way to peace so those words the supporting arts I've stayed in Boston which is where I grew up outside of their less than a year but it was through that job search that I stumbled upon experimental artwork so my very first job out of the inning wasn't movie yes in Boston which was founded in the seventies by Maryland or something so right had a very amazing awakening to the language I didn't even know I was looking for you know I wasn't okay renderer and I was in okay actress but I really wasn't interested in acting and but that's what I did because it was the only choice through high school and university and I did set design but there's something to functional and I you know just didn't click and then mobile yes of course everything clicked and I was like what insulation and sound art and performance so I was P. R. I think the company the publicist there part time very first job and then my parents were moving out of the country and I was like so I have to figure out what I'm doing my brother was in New York City my university roommates and I'm going to go to grad school at Columbia University come be my roommate got a apartment so I wound up in New York sooner than I would have maybe found my own way then and then started working at performance space one twenty two as the PR director and that was my only seconds away from the my first kiss yes to my first it's one twenty two being a PR person is such a great education because you have to talk to the artists when the idea is still in its infancy because everything has to be done really really have to get the press interested it's nine months ahead especially for magazine articles right that's a six month eight month lease so to get them interested in Karen Finley or demanded a loss or whoever is coming they have to kind of have something to give you and then I would take those ideas in this fledgling kind of %HESITATION snippets of information that they have and be able to put them together into a press release and then watch that develop an altar that conversation I was having with the reviewers and the press people and which that public forum it becomes which I really support but I mean that's the last kind of public discourse in art right not review where or preview it's more like previous relationship and then I would watch the performances every nights I loved it I lived there it was great and then not was how may sound my way and I this is my workouts I feel like take these good rendering skills take this love of pacing in cadence okay language wasn't quite my form that I knew I had an inclination towards those things but I had this kind of visual skill the spatial awareness %HESITATION which kind of start to put that all together and it was again it's always community right community is everything so my first friend in New York Christy marker hits kind of a downtown experimental dancer she was like you're an artist just make this installation for my dance of the all kinds of funky you know like broken down T. you know like lower Manhattan funkeys spaces and all mustard factory I mean it was the beauty of New York in the early nineties and the hard parts to when I moved to New York just in the midst of the aids crisis just in the midst of the culture wars and then I'm trying to do PR for all these artists who are the ones carrying this conversation and this weight on their own practices forward right but then there was so much political amazing work bubbling up through those cracks and I just felt like we got to see it all was great so did installations for many years just and then it took a few years in the old days artists submitted our slides to the slide file I need hope some curator would go through these huge filing cabinets of slides in these Manila folders and hold it up to the light and see something and our curator didn't follow me in this life I'll just from my installation work which was dense and clattered found objects driven and because the found objects I'm sure had a kind of tacit performer in there right because that was all domestic I love the domestic in Hannibal she just was like you could do a performance I don't know she thought I was a performer just couldn't see that potential which is likely to a performance for this opening and I was like ninety four or something we'll take a few years to start and then yeah I need performed installations for many years which comes from that movie S. tradition sure then it wasn't until graduate school should I go back to so far we so far pretty fabric but again I'll be coming back so when I went to graduate school here's the way which was after I'd been in New York for many years post September eleventh I was there for that you know I've been in New York for whatever thirteen years or something my thoughts okay I'm ready to have the next challenge and I was always interested in teaching and I in fact I had one of my day jobs Parsons school of design and after I had stopped and I was an administrator and my friend there had said you know I keep giving you a call class but you have to get your terminal degree if you really want to teach so is that a bit as I left and when I got to my MFA program it was from New York to world Connecticut so it's wide open spaces and a chance to meander and I had a gorgeous studio it was in not space not I decided to separate installation performance and look at them independently and slowly kind of installation fell and performance stuck it out and it came from intuition again the very first recipes which was called red cross stitch so it started kind of in two points one was the sites there's a very locally known hills site there were people going daily walks and has been memorial services and people have become engaged and married it's special to the place and stores Connecticut I loved it there either so I feel a connection to the site and then I was seeing glimpses literally like visions of a woman wearing red walking through forests D. feels like the driving and I see glimpses and I'd be in the studio and I catch a glimpse those were completed for me the site and those images and because the site was local I decided that the image had to be built locally so this the days before the internet support much internet is and I was posting of flyers and putting ads in the little local penny Seaver papers for anyone who wanted to donate a red dress and here's a drop off point or you can mail it to me or I'll come pick it up from you here's my email I received about a hundred red dresses and those were the dresses that became one impossibly long red dress size stitch them completes bodice to him again kind of a train and it took nine months which I thought was interesting in terms of not just station period and stitch them all together and there was you know so the community generated a lot came with very beautiful hand written notes about the connection that people had to the dress and why they were willing to offer it to me because they knew they'd never get it back instead she permanently into this impossibly on red dress and some of it's very moving and I have them together in a binder of all the letters you know it was an elderly woman sent her mother is bogged down from military ball she went to her father the first Christmas infant dress from a mom and one woman whose daughter had taken her own life and she was very funky and she left Tory a most and she had this kind of funky our girls dresses and got one and wanted to meet with me and say you know you remind me of her she would office projects I'm so glad she is a part of it and so then I wore the dress so beautiful day near Beltane near may first which is important to me the time of the year that's most fertile I started just behind the hill cross viewers came at the valley of the crafts and stood in yeah I could feel the anticipation the dress unfurled behind me just a little at a time so as I moved %HESITATION a little more revealed tonight came down the question a little revealed but it was all so if you actually hate crop so the grass is quite tall and then very resistant when it was a lot of friction so it was really hard work and I've never measured each war we need to the dress I know it's a hundred or approximately a hundred dresses and I don't want to know those specifics and kind of name it frame it but's it's heavy we're in a minute you know altogether if it's in this really big crate and I can't lift it by myself so it's a big heavy dress elements in the process of the peace being performed such you know I had plans as a performer you know I had been a performer I knew understood about duration testing the limits I definitely don't consider myself an endurance performer I don't tests beyond my limits and I kind of don't break whatever that foundry is but I like to go up to the limits as much as I can but it's usually time based like on him long and slow and I can get there but I'm not like Aston heart rate on loans so I had plans to like highly dress up on top of me and keep going but I had heard after the fact that huge controversy broke out in the viewing audience and I knew a lot of people there like my parents came up and friends from New York came people from Boston that I knew came and then my own supervisors were there my chiropractor Colin and so it was a lot of people thought they knew right it was a lot of people who donated dresses what I find is most interesting that comes out of that controversy of whether or not they should come in and help me some people were like she's suffering we have to go stop the suffering immediately and that's both of my supervisors were very serious practicing Buddhists so they were like no the suffering is a big part of it right so it wasn't even about the work it was just that everybody's own perspective chiropractor didn't want my back or as the Buddhists were like through this process is the only way right so the work allowed everyone their own space of ownership which of course comes from the way it was developed right everyone in fact wasn't everyone did write those letters I was carrying that history it was the heiress but to hear my mother tell the story of everyone trying minutes is very interesting right she's like who are all these people cleaning a piece of my daughter and her work so people were invested eventually two people came out and helped lift a part of the dress and then everybody rush to see so you know we changed from the sponsoring this acts I was trying to offer right and I think usually like it was this you know I mean it was the beautiful Hillcrest the beautiful blue sky all the beautiful dresses I just wanted to embody that image as an offer and then it became this parades which are things that are more no so I will and initially was kind of disappointed like move just became something comfortable right this is a way for everyone to understand the experience of the parades now the little kids are there and everyone's happy and it's a celebration but you know with time I thought but of course it was there so it could only unfold the way that it you know they needed to be part of it it's so cool mind to put limits on what the offering is like you have to offer and then the way that it's accepted it is the only way so that was an important piece for me because it was the first dress on the love comes in many long dress pieces but it was also the my very first experience of what I have come to terms with yourself their son to remember so clearly being behind the Hillcrest and then taking that first step up and the viewers are down below and there was something that shifted in me I mean it didn't feel like me it was the self more than it once all of them it was kind of collective identity it was all of us together it's funny it feels even message me describing it from back then whereas I've come to really define the alter cells from these three strands but that one that I really felt like my first memory of experiencing really strongly really clearly and it's flickering right because I remember struggling with the dress the other interesting thing is one of the reasons I think it seems to us like it was struggling so much was because that very world military count old beautiful vintage dress which had kind of an under skirts anyway it's just everything really well I mean I knew it was long and happy but that was one of the first ones after me and I could hear ripping I don't know why that dress can't live right at the top right from close to my body what will I do you know when I had a whole harness and everything so I thought I was just gonna walk forward and let work lined it forward but the ripping sound really alerted me and made me fearful and so that was where I flickered in and out of I was this other cellphone %HESITATION I was afraid laurel worried I was running my own performance but then it was the power of kind of the viewers and energy and the power of the dress tugging the words but the ripping sound made me reach back and yanked the dress which was much harder my arms are not as strong as you know my core so I think it was that I was trying to go between them and and my own kind of uncertainty in the event since they were unfolding I think that's what alerted the viewers first to like %HESITATION you know I wasn't so sure I was struggling they had to come it's theirs too they had to come help whatever my intention was whatever you know and all I did was walk down the hill past notes going to disappear into the forest kind about the horizon so wasn't even thought I had a purpose but they were going to come out sports wherever I was going like what was I doing who knows what they were gonna come out leaving it that suffering it sounds like they had real emotional investment and every individual piece of closing this on one thing and have become a community that's right yeah right all of the stories and all of these past people yeah all the center of the pipe these clothes that's right so people must have felt compelled to go well these are precious objects where it's that's right if it had been just one lone tree end of anonymous fabric could might not have I think that's right yeah it's really fast and that's the power of found objects and that's what I loved about I was making more installation work it's the history and the patina liveliness of thought beautiful curious thing I mean as much as I make performance I still love those things I think there's something fascinating about garments that they contain performance they seem to have ghosts of past performance of socks and because they've been worn and they might be stained from a body that occupied the missile war so it's fascinating in that sense as well as you carry more than just a bit of fabric that's right so much more and then the other Norman I think about a lot is when they made a lot of dozens of white shirt sleeve I say this also with their coats men's business shirts okay from the charity shops and those to the because they've been warned before so even before I wore it had that seem like energy I felt that same connection to it so it wasn't about me who had performed and it was about that they were however performed and lives even though they were deconstructed and reconstructed and it was all kind of funny it still carried that and then it's all the people and all the orders and all the things that suggest in terms of both embrace and contain yeah I like that too I like the abstracted guard before that not just a and that's the difference I think even though costumes can be abstracted of course or somehow altered beyond expectation there is still something about its functionality even if they're meant to constrain or something they still function towards not constraining sure makes me think of reading about your piece in Hexham is something where you use different clones I use the red gloves into pieces point out in touch yeah thank you an idea of some kind and quality part of the body thanks so it's in that specific part of the body where it's been very Jastrow expressive part but a part that's external Indian part of he and the idea of you touching your face while wearing the gloves and then discarding them and I feel like there's something there %HESITATION great gathering of the community of things that had belonged to the anonymous other winners yeah and then they change it they go straight when you work with them your doctor and someone comes part of something where you're performing and then the idea of you making it part of your phone to the performance yeah but it still embodying previous people so I don't know there's about those Hexham pieces is so unlike red crest where no one could reach as much as those clubs have the energy and it was certainly inspired by that same sense of you know I was moved by the sight right so I was interested in the tanneries in the history of hex %HESITATION and that's what blows first came from because the curator said in other news B. tennis there's a famous old glove in one of the museum exhibitions I was like wow and I've used arms and I've used loads of kind of parked his gloves before so it wasn't unknown to me but it's I love that feeling of thank something's going on me now I love you I'm a very serious vegetarian leaning towards speaking and I only use leather gloves so like what's that I don't know what it was like I was certain of the history it had to be those old used leather gloves still the ways that I's activated them then didn't allow the people to come through now wasn't the direct people right so wasn't like these are the donors of the dresses and these are just people who are coming to Hexham MP right so it was different their intentions were different like the viewers of red crest came to see that performance where is the viewers at the Hudson county were coming to see that he happens to be there you know there were some specific viewers but it was a lot of tourists just people coming to see the site maybe we weren't able to reach for the material to become enough of a bridge for us to meet but it's also the way that I use the material so instead of putting the dresses on display and you know what was done about that offering a set offering you know four times right at the start time image that everyone to be part of whereas the gloves it was all about hiding my identity or casting the room with the points you know as much as the object has power the performance and the gesture is the power as well you know using these big words power and offering spectacle and beauty but I do feel humble in those using that terminology I feel like I'm just privileged to be able to embody these words these opportunities for whatever short time I get to write I don't feel like I'm the origin of those terms but I do feel fortunate that I get to step into them I mean those are the terms that movie those senses of on kind of the big spectacle extra personal so you know we're on just a speck and there's this big other thing happening those are the words that move me unlike you know other performances that are subtle and saw small I feel like my intense maybe that but it comes across in the kind of this visual display looks like bigger splashes here and I like that tension but I also feel like wait I don't fit physically you know my gestures or make my hair is big my body's big on deck so like I can't fit in those subtleties visually even though I think I'm interested in them emotionally or intentional so I kind of have to do the big word big image that terminology for it to have space for me but then I try to find that place of you know in all of my work is silence I mean sometimes they use %HESITATION but very rarely never language or never spoken maybe only once a month carpenter so like all I have a quiet intentionality but still I'm comfortable carrying I think this is it I'm comfortable carrying the Baker and I feel like you know I have that capability like I can carry that image for wording you all can actually come out and see it like all of you come on rush up to the dress I can do it an interest in those two things I don't really want to do it on one of those very typical loud and since I am single introvert like I can go DES alone in my flat I never want to see a person but %HESITATION laut personable and kind of comfortable even though I need to be alive so I feel like that's in my work to those two things alone in the beauty yeah that's the title of my number one of the beauties perfect I was thinking if I just off the back of all of that idea of taking up space and this is a very feminist notion of the minutes trying to reclaim space and take up space because we've been shocked into corners we have to be as little as possible so it's pretty interesting talking about fitness and not taking up the space yeah so many of your garments they elements of your performances do you take up space for sure overall yeah even if it's your discarding things because not just thinking about the gloves but I remember your pace and being in a few years ago where %HESITATION needles yes that's right so so it's really fascinating you mentioned you were you sign because that was a very even decided peace talks if you're quiet enough you could hear them draw that's absolutely true you definitely one of the few yeah listens very yes yeah you came up right to the end those pins to hear me that piece was developed be an exploration of sound so I think there was no way to avoid some songs and I show this to write so I personally did made vocalization I mean I don't never use something usually not I think that's interesting that tension with the content of the homework because I invited people to make some right what does the lover's telephone with the ten K. so I wanted kind of commotion otherwise I wouldn't have anything to show Shane but I wanted that tension it's funny I just redid one of the very few pieces I have ever read is that he's brought it to also moments I think I did that in December mid December and my submission was early January I mean it was it was so crazy so I think that I didn't want to miss the opportunity to go and not whole festival is about sound inside how to hear our performance so it's like well it has to be tested but it was a different floor was a very different settings when I performed it much longer but the floor was wouldn't it didn't quite want all depends a lot so I found this kind of was a lot bigger so I had to add to some gossips to my address so I had this kind of black stripes down the side of my white dress and I found this black glass square %HESITATION very clean so that became kind of the target in the landing zone of the hands and the pins were I mean for a pin dropping right but so much louder than that other piece and I thought of you I did as I performed a racially but no one else did it was mostly sequential work so I was up on the balcony and installs performance through the whole evening some people were able to come up with the brakes and the other people are performing down and I would try to keep the same performance intention where I was noticing the difference between intentional and involuntary or inadvertent sounds but it was harder because I kind of knew the waves off like now it's a performance and now all the viewers are gonna start chatting because it's a pretty yeah the waves were more standardized but I would perform through the other performance work and usually they were had some of the noise it was about how much you know the whole thing was sound for the very young Finnish artists were performing and they were jingling battles and there were making vocalizations in that piece was really loud and then it suddenly stopped and I didn't have a chance to recognize that before the pencils like lots of that silence and then look I mean you could hear it everywhere and I was like wow this was my piece that was everything this unexpected harsh and look he couldn't really hear that yeah I feel bad that they were like oh no we didn't notice the organizer is a lot of the people that I mean they're they're like oh my god your pins are so loud I was like that's so funny so it's about the size of the thinking you might need it just as extensions if you prefer the status taking up space and some high because remember the precarity of course it's been going on to my second full of me should I am I to go should I get out of the way but I want to hear them so we went to St just my experience as appearance somebody who will speak about checking in getting close to you because I think there is this barrier often that the years of live performance will just not tradition they feel like I'm not locating crucial next year very UK's Thompson I wasn't expecting the viewers here to really there's a comfort in the perimeter yeah that's that the walls and I think that's what I really like I contact because I think it gets people and I've done pieces where you have to hold hands with other things so it's about because I'm very comfortable with coming right up to me okay I'm happy for them I feel like it gives me a purpose it's just a show I'm not comfortable you know but it's again looks like my terminology that I think many people would argue with it's about Hawaiian body I mean it's not how I understand but I like the idea of feminist notion of taking up space and that's definitely what lineage I mean that's part of the subject matter yeah we are re cleaning our voice and we are taking up space thirty meters right I mean you have to navigate I mean people can get around and we're careful about that especially here with risk assessment and awareness but it takes some consider it like you have to get around us when we're out that full extension and even just navigate like what's going on we're connected but which gradually taking up more space and then the tax on the train that was revealed in its batteries here is a silence broken so it is really about stepping into yeah it's a fascinating conundrum I think for two years as well as if you have something like that that is so clearly it's connected and yet it's so long they're supposed to connection and the distance from the performers so there's this question of are you going to talk shit or you like to go up and make it that way talk time with yeah you're looking at it and you're exploring about happy with people yeah could you sort of think well even if the artist isn't happy well they're ten meters away what are they going to do I think I stopped working there so long yeah yeah well I have to say I would not even know I didn't know until I receive the photo documentation how much people like reading a hat we're trying to keep the taxed on revealed until the end although of course the wind blows and you can see it coming that is purposeful but people were like reading ahead like a story unfurling it and checking up everybody had their hands all over and I had no idea I could feel the dress moving but but also kind of gusto like a parachute around us I mean it was definitely a on the move but we tried not to look back in control we had and I like this and that's the quiet immersive flow like I have one intention as a performer and that's to walk head very slowly what a luxury I'm lucky for five hours for three hours for eight hours I got to do one thing I mean months and lists right I mean I feel like all the work that I do in the studio in the office all the applications all the grants and all of it is for those few amazing hours where I get to do one thing and just be in the space that is everything to me as a performer that is everything to me but I think that of course doing that one thing would be different if I was a tough game the other thing if I wasn't carrying that visual if I wasn't alone in the beauty it's all about but I got to be there of course there's all this other worlds that is emerging because of this really you're taking up time as well as space for sure and as you say it's a luxury it's a privilege and a way to have the time to be able to take the time to do that I don't know if it's maybe %HESITATION but connections to the idea of this plan is you know a lot more than that is so there's that and then %HESITATION this notion of man meeting so these three studies when cities are getting ready faster than the flat nose Hey it's the feminization of thought of trying to be a woman who can do that that's why I'm interested in this because it's quite a privileged position to be able to be in yeah and he did this and then the product was not yeah so you can see that you're any images of it on your website you know it's very busy square that you're doing this yeah because it was a big country yeah this is busy the writing so you know people have to as you were saying negotiates with the safety and the space that you're sure Carmen this taking up yet but there's no idea of the time the eagles take to make that movement I made that could otherwise be done in seconds that's part of our our that's right it plays without purposeful why is it taking so long what are they doing yes exactly yeah I like that curiosity when I was younger and stronger I could push gestures that are a little bit more tougher right although I never did a like I said I never was an endurance performance you know I'm not an athlete like I was never pushing those and I'm not a dancer I was never pushing those kind of physical limits but I was stronger I could do things differently and now I feel like %HESITATION the one thing I have left the one thing that's just in my son's so it really can be slow which is much harder for ten days she is fast in her body that piece was harder for her because it's for the five of us in because it's March in northern UK we're shortening it to three hours but it mostly was her doing five hours for that short distance was just really very physically harm which you wouldn't expect right you know standing is hard sure but everybody in retail everybody who has a job workers stand that's what's so tough in the moving forward really is you're moving a little bit soon muscles are engaged but I just think it's the mental and the physical and it's you know when it's trying to gauge the distance and that's trying to just it's just a lot of holding on me just trying to hold on to it so that relates to a different style but I feel like that's true base that she's doing this where is I feel like I can just I mean it's not like super simple and I have to pay attention but going slow is for me I mean it's nothing thinking a very soon a sinister movement you've written quite a bit about this as well yeah I am very interested in it because I feel like just the world is to foster excellence for sure let me tell you that was a big part of my teaching yes which you know I have to say comes from the of all of it Smith when I went to graduate school and about first red crest piece is when I first met marina Abramovich the university of Connecticut such an unexpected place gave her an award of some type of fellowship so she came and she did a workshop with us just a few of us when it was a very small program it was a two year master's program and there were only four or five of us in each year and I was the only person no there were other performers at other times but it wasn't a lot there was a preacher enough video maker and sculptor and whatever very few of us she's all the documentation and she saw the book of all of the red cross students still she gave me one of the biggest compliments I ever had she said you're not like other Americans your true performance of this I take that with a grain of salt more so because I was the PR director performance space one twenty two but I do know what to say because when I was making work in the nineties and New York no one even knew I was an artist because I was making visual art performance and the European tradition and all of my closest friends and people I greatly admire Sallie Mae and Jennifer Miller and Holly Hughes and Karen Finley timer and they make performance are what we call performance art in New York at the time and its tax base it's definitely text and the people didn't even know I was performing I mean and it took me time to grow into it but even how people don't know they're like the New York scene doesn't know me no that is changed when I left New York and went to grad school and then got the teaching position then New York the Bushwick seen angry space developed in reclaiming of the seventies visual art performance is being engage their novels like in both ways I feel like %HESITATION I just missed the communities I didn't fit with the community that was my time the most money and then I miss to the new community of younger artists and that is definitely an undercurrent of fleece my career maybe not of my work but like trying to find the place that I fit and I think that's interesting in terms of the long and carpenter work we are trying to come together but it's impossible to come together and it's a struggle to connect and even though of course we recognize all the ways that we're privileged similar in our privileges are race on education or angel and what you know and yet still the differences make it such a challenge to find a mutual space a space that allows for both of us and we're certainly invested in exploration you know and then of course we're in it together in terms of building the work but if some of that wasn't there they learn interpersonal relationship I can be hard to get to in the work where is that how other collaborators that were just like yeah board even though they may become from other disciplines so I work less regularly with %HESITATION dance practitioner and scholar and musician and composer so our works feel like today's the night we understand our work and our working methods like where both visual artists whereas with these other collaborators with their backgrounds and who are differently gendered like today's eleventh women in those other collaborators both men but they're something of like we just speak the same language or just able to leap over the differences to come to a togetherness in a different way it's very similar really interested in that tension and maybe it is because we are so similar that discrepancies feel huge shift of perspective she and I are working on a book that will be my first publication of our ten years of our collaboration so I think we're really thinking about our practice in a new way and I've been really thinking about our relationship and our practice and our collaboration in a more significant way so it's still juicy to me right it's still like a stuffed on earth there I'm interested in this it's a very hard time when you come to the end of the PhD princess and then one sentence and in another sense it never really so it's nice if you have an overlap something like that but when he came before yeah and only going to continue on and you're going to mark this ten year police that's the end of it it's right it's that's yeah in some ways because I come to the PhD is such a poor person so long practitioner it has been funny when because it does feel more like the PhD was a soldier like I went on this weird trip and it was an intense trip was like suddenly I'm climbing Mount Everest but it didn't feel like of course I didn't move but it didn't feel like %HESITATION I moved house and I have a whole new life it just felt like I went on a trip and I hope that trip changes the immediate propelled me to move house but in terms of where it falls in my career and how much career I've had before the PhD is short even though I felt I mean I certainly felt it's right then I did it through menopause so doing that PDP menopause may say I demand an additional letter I'm one M. P. H. D. and I was like in you know what all the new mothers can also happen and I said that to someone and she said oh no don't do that because then it'll be devouring everyone with an M. P. H. D. will be lesser you know what is our world right well I don't want to H. D. even though of course I understand I was engaging through my own stuff in a way that was unique in so many ways like in the research and my body in the place that I lived in my lifestyle so that intensity definitely felt like I was on holiday this was a vision quest of some sort but it doesn't feel like it's life defining maybe it'll shift my career a little and I think it has you know on my engagement with research is different it definitely ended up new ways of theoretical research for me which I was interested in just not to this I just never was able to get this down but I already feel like my olds needs and the demands of my life job searches but also just life peace and life structure I can already feel them coming back the soldier this is winding up but I'm buying my tickets home and I think what I define as Holmen AB has changed it's still a different place it's still place I'm heading to that isn't so sure place I thought that totally through but there is something there ask me again in a year yeah very different it's transient people do say I talked to a lot of artists who are of my generation including my very close collaborator the dance artist Robert Bingham who has come over he spoke I developed a %HESITATION symposium and he was one of the speakers so he was invested in this process and I knew him he was a visiting artist and long term lecturer also where I taught and then he laughed and he had more of a visiting contracts you didn't have the tenure track contract like I did so he always had the trouble with the contracts but he finds like I'm done I'm going back to get he got his PhD and so that was the first inkling for me like %HESITATION I can leave this position and maybe do something else and he said it took him a year to understand how his brain had changed and the agility of his thinking he didn't even recognize until a year after he had completed everything so perhaps the store space right can't see no it does change you think psychologically as well as mentally and emotionally it's a massive thing today fingers crossed absolutely relieving at a time when you're as much as anyone facing on certain things first like so much of the world yeah they but feeling it seems very positive it does not really test the quality of work and then three years or so that you've been here as well as what you've done before so then there's going to be thanks to come fingers crossed all I can do for all of us really that's what I feel like you know like let's all just keep moving into our future let's keep bringing our values to the forefront as much as we can there's a lot to resist yeah and let's keep doing it together hello thank you really good practice for me yeah it's good for me to talk about the work so thank you for the opportunity very welcome thank you so much for your time thank you you've been missing two audio visual cultures me Paula Blair and my very special guest the world J. carpenter and huge thanks to a deal to retain a new castle for accommodating our interviewee this episode was recorded edited and produced by Paula Blair the music is common ground by air soon licensed under creative Commons noncommercial three point zero license and is available for download on CC mixer to Oregon if you like what we're doing please help make production and distribution costs with a regular payment celebra pay dot com forward slash P. E. A. Blair or make a one off donation J. pay pal dot me forward slash P. A. Blair episodes are released every other Wednesday subscribe on your chosen app so you never miss an even race you can find the full back catalog on you J. Davis at audio visual culture style wordpress dot com or follow eighty cultures part on Instagram the navy cultures on Twitter and Facebook for more information and useful thanks thanks so much for a lesson on catching next time

Audiovisual Cultures episode 53 – Costume and Clothes-making with Amy Jones automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audio-visual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of cultural production I’m Paula Blair and I’m delighted to be joined in a session by Amy Jones to talk about her work as a costumer and designer and maker of bespoke clothing many thanks to supporters at /av cultures please listen to the ends for more ways to donate and get in touch for know I enjoy this really illuminating discussion with a mate my name is Amy Jones and I am the founder of the art wear Emporium which offers a bespoke clothing service specifically a sustainable clothing service as well and then I am also a freelance costume designer and maker I it’s important both financially and then also in terms of inspiration to have two main areas that I work in and I find one often tends to influence the other quite a bit and stops me getting sort of in a rut in terms of design really because I find with a creative subject such you’ve got to be able to give it space to grow and in true self space to grow as well otherwise you can suddenly end up you’re a design hen on a chalk line and you’ve been very sort of restricted for a long time I’ve always been drawn to period clothing and vintage clothing in general I find that often inspires the modern pieces which I design and then also sometimes depending on the production that might be designing or making for you can really go to town and do some sometimes really authentic sort of period stuff as well it’s all of course it’s a bustle dress really fun stuff like that do you have a particular specialism or a favorite area so we could may be taken to first all your children equally I suppose irrespective of what I’m designing what I’m making the core aspect which really usually interests me is the textile and yes it tends to be what informs the design really there’s nothing I love more than going to fabric warehouses and feeling all the way along all the different fabrics and holding up and seeing how they move and they drape and nine times out of ten it is the textile which inspires what its gonna turn into for instance next year I’m planning to move into a van and live in a van and have my studio still I’m learning to drive it’s a little bit scary but before I’d even thought at the size of van I wanted or anything like that the first thing I saw was the fabric which I wanted for the upholstery right it’s just up in the box up there and everything is like I’d be perfect you know figure out the fact I cut dry you know I’m not sure if this is the way of life me know I found the fabric it must be right it starts from the fabric yes whether it’s how it feels or how it looks sometimes both I’ve been known to walk past even charity shop windows sometimes there can be a mannequin with the top way in the shop and it’s something about it the catches my eye one time it was a silk top and it was a really unusual color combination it was a that kind of slightly pink slightly brown mink sort of color that you get combined with a copper oxide green mm-hmm and it’s a color combination I don’t see very often but just it’s literally just out the corner of my eyes let’s go investigate for that then it’s both how it looks and how it feels as you say yes and there’s something about with what you’re doing with the costuming it’s so bodily as well as the tea not just with the ham yeah that’s actuality it’s how it feels actually on the body it is yes and often I’m I’m not really much of a fan of the two dimensions as you will see I personally as you are now on my work table I’m working on designs for The Snow Queen which Northumberland theatre company are taking on tour from the end of November and it’s unusual for me to actually put full designs down on paper to communicate to someone else usually I’m just communicating to myself it’s a quick sketch on a back of an envelope and let’s get on the stand really I prefer to work in three dimensions really to sort of hash out the idea rather than try and work it out in two dimensions I find I can I can work better with the fabric because I like to sort of it sounds a bit strange but collaborate with the fabric really like I make some decisions but actually it makes certain amount of decisions as well and I find that’s one of the things that stops me getting too much you know design rut as well I’m not actually fully in control of the process but that’s okay really and you sort of start moving the fabric around and it sort of says no I don’t want to go there and it doesn’t feel right oh let’s go the other way then and then it you sort of see some lovely folds and it starts to sit how you want it to sit and sometimes it alters the design from initially what you had in mind and you think Oh you can do this much better than I can you know what you’re about and you know and you learn from the fabric as you work with it as well the banshan to think about this um so you’re working on costumes for a theatrical production I am yes but you also make this book closing yes so you’re dating very much as people’s identity in their presentation and that sort of thing and how much is there a collapse between how people perform themselves and their everyday life and people having to wear costumes that are very maybe from buoyant or have to have some sort of meaning and a theatrical performance do you find there’s a slipperiness between those or do you think they inform each other a bit maybe I’m just going too hard on that similar thought process that goes through both with the bespoke clothing it’s more sort of in terms of day to day life or or an event that somebody wants it for where’s obviously with theatre side things it’s a character that you’ve been given rather than your own character but I would say there’s a similar thought process that goes through both even though the outcome is often very very different one of my tasks as a designer is to whether it’s getting out of the individual because it’s a spoke contractor in the two of us or digging information out of directors which is not easy often because they don’t even quite know what they want until you put it in front of them they go yes or hmm maybe not in everything so yes it’s teasing out that information really out of either party really to distill what they want from the garment which will portray the character how do you go about designing costumes would you’d be doing it for the whole cast or is there a team of people doing it but this particular production I’m doing it’s quite a small production so I am the entire costume team right yes I have the option to have some freelancers come in if I need extra pairs of hands but basically I’m a one-woman ban on this one which was a little unexpected there’s a little bit of a miscommunication at first between myself and the set designer and everything and both of us were pretty sure that she was doing all the design and I was doing the making for the costume and not so that’s or change the dynamic but in some ways I prefer that there’s just a bit more consistency in terms of you’re not having to wait for the designs to get to you and everything before you can crack on with the making of them so timewise that helps quite a lot yes it’s quite a small cast it’s only four actors and there’s probably about eleven twelve parts between them so the challenge is because Northumberland theatre company tend to tour around small rural areas and its small theatres which they’re all usually at community centres so you haven’t got big wings and spaces for people to change and everything so they tend to the actors who aren’t in that particular scene they come off the stage they’re at the sides of the audience and they just change their sit down watch whatever is going on and then go back on again when it’s their time to come back home it’s interesting how you take that into account with the design process because you can’t have them stripping off at the side of the stage you know it might somewhat distract the audience so yes they will have to have a base costume and then transform in terms of what they’re adding on for that particular character which they go not so that must be a big thing to factor in is how quickly can they get out of something and into something yes indeed and they haven’t got anybody to help them either with it in fact the snow Queens dress is the one which is the biggest challenge with that because I’m intending it for it to be three costumes combined into one and you lift layers of it and you change into a different character just get that sort of magical aspect and everything so it’s gonna be quite weighty but in terms of changing everything she’s got to be able to get in and out of it herself and relatively quickly as well I read a few years ago that the RSC get around this problem by using magnets Oh which is very handy and I’m going to Nick that right here because corset tree lacing would take too long hooks and eyes would take too long velcro is very noisy zips can get stuck buttons can take too long as well so you have to have something which will hold the dress how you want it to sit nice and fit it but you can literally peel it off and take it off straight away so it’s finding those kind of solutions really which work well with the design which is often the challenge yeah and being a maker actually informs the design process I find I find of for quite a few years I’ve strayed away from being a designer because I haven’t felt that I’ve had enough knowledge in terms of making process and it is true the more you make the more you learn about different shaping techniques what works what doesn’t and just at that point I’m feeling more confident to get into the design side of things because I’m feeling I’m going to design things which will actually work rather than someone gives you this crazy sketch an intersect well how are you gonna get in and out of it we’re just putting there in and staying the rest of time in there so these sort of practical aspects have to come into it well yeah yeah and it’s something that audiences wouldn’t really think about very much no and no it’s really nice to hear some of the details of is autumn indeed in a clever way so that can be done I suppose in another saying that would probably be with both theatrical costumes and everyday clothes is durability yes very much so I mean I had a design meeting last week with the director and the production designer as well and they said please make them durable because we’re going on tour with the ease of slip right double stitching all around I did some work first Scottish ballet at one point apparently a ballet dancer can rot through elastic in three weeks it literally disintegrates into powder just because they’re sweating so much into the costumes so when you’re working on a ballet production if you’re a hoarder of assistant there’s a lot of repairs that need to go on quite often so that was quite interesting would you stay on the big send for the full term of a production if you’re the maker and the designer than if you need to do repair sure to somebody else usually it depends on the size of the production quite often you have making wardrobe and you have running wardrobe so the making water up to do all the making and the designing and everything and then as the run starts they hand the whole lot over to running wardrobe and they have to do the repairs and the cleaning and make sure it’s all organized ready for the run basically the production which I’m working on the moment it’s quite a small company in this case the actors and the stage manager are in charge of their costumes for the run and it’s quite small cast as was that’s quite manageable I’m taking that into account in the design process all of the actors will have basically cotton t-shirt and leggings or con Titian trousers underneath that will be what gets washed regularly and there I have two sets of that just in case they’re doing a show one night in a show the next night or a matinee and an evening just depends so there are two sets each so you can get through that and then everything else kind of goes on the top doesn’t need to be washed really so that helps in terms of work during the run and in terms of durability as well if you’re not having to put something through the washing machine every night it’s going to be more durable as well it’s quite a bit yeah and as the cast and size and things get bigger and bigger and bigger you know that’s why you meet armies of people you know it’s great watching stuff like Downton Abbey for example when the credits come up it’s three pages of costume goodness it’s like a smaller army up and going to get inspiration from things like that I do yes yes the two that I watched most recently I found inspired me quite a lot work one called Gentleman Jack all right yes I don’t know if you watched it it was beautifully done and actually they did a historical period which you don’t see very often you’ve got the Regency period Jane Austen all the dresses which are kind of just under bust and then flowing down it’s a classical style but this is just after that and the waist lines have gone down again and you’ve got these big leg-of-mutton sleeves and these full skirts but you haven’t quite got into crinoline yet which is more Victorian it’s about Ben right in the middle basically of that century just before Victoria comes to the throne it’s not actually a period which visually I like very much but since watching that it was beautifully done the cut and the fit and the choice of coloring and the locations and the dressing of the rooms it all works really really well someone really paid a lot of attention so it’s and then the other thing was it’s the red princess or something like that was a Catherine of Aragon in the years before she married Henry the 8th you really see a sense of different age groups and different cultures coming into that because she came over from Spain so she’s wearing a Spanish farthingale which is a very different style to what was being worn in Britain at that time and that really made her stand out but then you have the grandmother patriarch of the whole family and Margaret Beaufort and she’s very much in old sort of more immedi evil styles of pre Tudor style more sort of long robes so it’s nice seeing the differences of nationality and then also the differences of age come into the costume as well something I’m watching now is also Regency but the old woman in the play she’s wearing more late 18th century so with your fitted bodice and your full skirt rather than the waistline I’m coming up to underbust I think it makes very well-rounded production because you even as you get older you tend to gravitate more to what you wore when you were a young woman or in your middle years I’ve noticed that we’re doing bespoke as well people find a style I suppose somewhere between 25 and 40 depending on if they have children if their figure changes because that will often change their style in terms of what they choose for themselves but if their figure mostly stays the same for the most part they tend to have fixed on what they like for themselves around about 30 I suppose then that’s back to that question of identity and feeling at what point of your life do you find I mean I do and holding on to that yeah and I feel like we I suppose socially we have this sense of when you get older you’re supposed to dress like an older person but if your body his age but you still feel like the younger you yes dress like that you know is that something that you well my target market is mostly women who are 40 plus you look at the high street and go I don’t feel very comfortable wearing that now it was fine when I was in my twenties and even in my thirties just about but no it feels too young the necklines are too low the hemlines are too high it’s just not what I want to wear but then they look at the brands and they find actually the styling is virtually the same it’s just the price tag is higher and then you look at M&S which is fine for when you’re walking the dog where you’re in the garden but it’s not what you sort of yearn to wear in terms of something that you feel looks really stylish on and it sort of leaves them in this kind of no-man’s land really they’ve got the money to spend and the urge to spend it as well they actually want to buy nice things to wear but there’s just nothing that’s really grabbing them and often the women that I’ve come across who are like this they’ve got the kind of thing of that the high street doesn’t really cater to you know they’ve had a few children Fitness might have gone by the by for a few years because being focused on various different things but they’ve still got an attractive figure it’s not but they’re acknowledging that’s not the figure they had in their 20s so I suppose identity kind of comes into that a bit more the other thing I’ve started recently well it’s in the melting pot it’s gonna hopefully be coming out soon is a wardrobe streamlining service which particularly with women who have got mostly more into their 50s and their 60s they’ve accumulated a lot of clothing and still when they’re going to go out for the day or go out for the evening the bedroom is strewn with clothing and and like I have nothing to wear and my aunt was getting this problem a lot she’s very petite but very curvy a lot of change over a small area basically and nothing really quite fits it’s all too long in the leg doesn’t come in enough at the waist and she’s been spending money for years on clothing and nothing quite works and so she decided to take a stand against this and she said Amy I’m not going to be buying clothing anymore I’m gonna get you to make it I’ve got a patron and quite a challenging one as well but yeah she comes down from Edinburgh for a few days and we have alterations we have alteration holidays and she sits usually where you are sitting now and I’m on the sewing machine or at the cutting table we try it on we do the fitting we do alterations and put it back on and everything as I said I did this wardrobe streamlining service with her to sort of trial it out really it took the best part of two days and she tried on every item of clothing she had and we talked about it in terms of why she bought it what she likes about it does it fit as it is if it doesn’t fit is it just a case of a small alteration and then it’s a very useful item to have in the wardrobe or and I suppose this is where identity comes in more is it relevant for your life as it is now because you might have bought it when you know you had an office job and it was important to be you know sort of clean lines very smart and everything but in her case she’s retired now and everything and I’m saying is this relevant for your life now when would you wear it within your day-to-day life that you have as we speak now and quite often she was just mmm I don’t think it has a role anymore and there was nothing wrong with it I hadn’t worn out or anything but it’s just not relevant anymore so we had Keith Chuck and alter different piles and it worked out very well and and even now when I talked to us she said you know it’s totally changed she’s been able to group things in terms of outfits in what goes with what and she could just go to the wardrobe have a little rifle through and pick something out and it’s a lot less stressful so that’s a side of things which I’m wanting to develop because I don’t think she will be unique in terms of needing a little bit help with that sometimes you just need someone to be ruthless and say that looks horrible on you check it out there was a bit surprised at first but I imagine I would probably need something

you just need somebody to go that’s not working for you no this is something you could do if you don’t want to lose it but yes it might be time to say goodbye yes or do something to make it then fit in yes really old wrinkles or something I’ve been trying to learn to do lately myself because I’ve got so many cause well it’s more my sisters had a lot of fluctuations in her weight and I’ve had a lot of her clothes because said have you hit her anymore but they don’t quite fit me either I’m so I’ve been trying to do things to the your elastic waist so that they don’t fall down all the time yes I don’t like wearing belts and just little things like that it’s a really useful just having ideas for what you can do but yeah possibilities that just because something’s come off the rocket doesn’t mean it has to stay like that no it doesn’t know I’ve had a few things which I’ve sort of dramatically reworked sometimes for myself my mum found this beautiful Nicole Farhi wool and silk skirt in a charity shop and it was all cut on the bias and it flowed really nicely but she bought it for me when I wasn’t there and it fit my waist okay but it didn’t quite fit my hips really and it never did I never quite satin the zip always rippled and everything a bit and I sort of hid it with things there because it was a nice skirt to wear but the fit wasn’t quite there and it was because it was a mass-produced item there was no seam allowance there was nothing I could let out to make it fit a bit better and they ended up not wearing it really and it was a beautiful piece of fabric and I thought right all my clothing has to earn its place in my water it has to work hard and anything that’s lacking gets everything also if I’m because I make clothing I make for myself as well as often I am my my best form of advertising really has me walking around and stuff so I’ve got to the point if I want something new something has got to go I’m not prepared to make that sacrifice then I can’t have something new because otherwise you know wardrobe you can just spread and spread spread and and I live in a very small flat and I will soon be living in an even smaller van so large wardrobes is not an option really you’ve got to have those key items work well and you know in fact most ways you don’t even need a mirror you know you can just put it on go I suppose then that can take us on nicely to the issue of sustainability because that’s something you’ve been working really hard towards yes we’ve been thinking a lot lately about clothing West I’ve become very fascinated by artists who use textiles and sculptural work sort of things oh there’s an artist called tau Lewis she uses scrap denims and bits of clothing that people have thrown away or from thrift stores and charity shops and stuff and she use them to make really huge handsome sculptures and welts and things yes they’re really incredible and that they usually have some sort of message about clothing West there’s a beautiful quote that she did that’s a seascape that’s a coral reef and Wow so it is really gorgeous message if I was going west and polluting the oceans or things throw away and using discarded clothing to do that yes so there’s that issue of clearing out your wardrobe but what then do you do with the waste the things that you don’t want you know can they be used or something else and also how do we cut dine in the first place so that’s a really good scheme that you have for yourself so I’m not allowing you things yes I am done with all of these things yes definitely she have tips for people for how to do bad you have to be ruthless about it if you want if that’s the route that you want to go and not just think oh well just one little extra t-shirt won’t make it you know too much because it’s never just one it’s two it’s three it’s four it’s a dress it’s a jacket at the code and suddenly your wardrobe is bursting at the seams wardrobe organization I think helps a lot I think there’s been a number of people who do channels on this on YouTube fitting things into small spaces usually and everything when you have got a lot of storage but I think it’s also quite good in terms of outfits as I did with my aunt when we went through our wardrobe putting things together so you can literally just go to it and you know what you would wear in that combination because 9 times out of 10 we tend to gravitate you know we’ll have more than we actually we’re really but we’ll tend to gravitate probably about a maximum of 10 outfits I think regularly so my tip would be sort of be honest you know divide your water what do you actually wear what do you wear regularly what it’s always in and out of the wash and put that to one side and then honestly look what you have left and yes there’ll be some pieces in there just that you think oh yeah I’ll wear that for an occasion so yeah should definitely have that it’s very useful dress but it’s not something I’m wearing all the time but you know if I have weddings that come up it’s a failsafe one I know that’s going to be a good one but then you might have various items of clothing that I’ve just been sitting there for quite some time that you just don’t really wear them in which case send them to charity and someone else might instantly fall in love with them and it’s just the piece they’ve been wanting for their wardrobe I believe there’s also a scheme in this particular city there’s a few cities it goes on in you can donate I think it’s linked to one of the charities I think it’s shelter or something like that and you can donate clothing dye to them and they divide it up basically clothing that you’d wear interviews quite a lot and people who are homeless who are looking for jobs and everything and they get an interview but they think you know I’ve got nothing to wear for interview you can go to this particular warehouse and you can look through what they’ve got and put an outfit together and borrow that for the interview and I thought that’s a really good way of repurposing clothing that you might not wear anymore rather than just putting in charity shop I think the West End refugee service might do something something right well yes yeah I think the last time I was here I saw you had him an amazing skirt that was put together from those scraps ah yes my approach is sustainability I see bespoke it’s very much a sustainable practice because you are only making what a person Commission’s you for at that time you’re not making excess stock which is just going to sit there not be sold and have to be repurposed in some way I very much see that as a sustainable practice but in addition to that I am still making clothing and you still get a lot of scrap and waste from that as well so it was probably about two years ago I was noticing how much I was doing a lot of making so back to back and I was noticing just how much there was in terms of offcuts as I’m making you was end up with quite a lot of off cuts but a lot does get thrown away and I was making a lot of items in Jersey fabric and that time as well and I thought there must be something I can do with this and at the time I thought I’ll shove it is your back and put it to one side and have a think because I know there’s something there but I just haven’t you know touched on it yet and then I had an idea of making a zero-waste textile basically so all these pieces would be put together and you have to line them up correctly so that they all stretch in the same way in everything it’s quite arduous work really there’s quite a lot that goes into it which explains why the fashion industry doesn’t do it really because they would have to charge so much for it whereas that’s one of the advantages of doing a spoke being a one-woman band you know I can take a bit more time to do these things and then I can charge accordingly because the joy there is it’s completely and it changes all the time depending on what I’m making on what new scraps I’m making and so that goes into the mix and it’s just this ever-changing organic textile and then when I go to take a pattern piece to cut something out of it’s like the dress you saw for example again it’s that sort of I’m influencing the design process a certain amount but so is the textile and I tend to fold it in half to where I’m gonna lay the pattern piece lay it out cut it out and then it’s quite you get a little thrill really when you take the paper off and everything unfold out and you see just where which colors have just that’s where they’ve hit in terms of where they’ll be on the body I don’t tend to try and control that okay at all as you know not at all I don’t even place anything in particular I just see where it’s gonna go yeah and actually I think it’s one of those things if I did try to influence it it would look a bit contrived where is because I don’t and I make a point just stepping back and that’s just how it’s gonna be you get some really amazing results and I’m planning to do the same with a fabric which is non stretch as well so I can make coats and jackets from that as well that’s what my next collection is going to be and it’s called a where the idea of being aware of the waste that is produced and putting it to good use not just discarding it and not taking responsibility basically for I think it’s all our responsibilities it’s all our duty to take responsibility for the waste that we all contribute to producing because we are the consumers all these things are being made for us all the waste is being generated in order to provide us frankly with more variety than we really need yeah I think yes I think particularly in this our generation and everything we have gotten used to far too much choice much more than our parents had and I think a lot of us are reluctant to give it up really I didn’t come from a very wealthy background so choice was always limited anyway and finance was always limited to so in a way I’m not an atypical consumer it’s always been a bit frugal and because it’s been frugal for so long that’s just life really I think if I won the lottery tomorrow it wouldn’t stop me you know going to Vinci sails and all that sort of thing I won’t have to worry about the rent and that would be nice but a lot of things I do which minimize waste they’re more intrinsic to me and my identity rather than something I do because I haven’t got the money I think it’s so drilled in now let it go I understand that that’s Queens and that’s really important to remember those roots yeah hi successfully you might become it’s really important to remember where you come from I always think about my mum when she was a child she only ever wore things that my grandmother made for her you know and that was so normal and that’s really not that long ago in history that no that’s what everybody did yes and I it is too easy you know that I suppose society of fast fashion yes I mean I’m looking straight across at TK Maxx at the moment Sports Director I’ve decided to advertise them and the whole high streets right in the streets you know you can go and get three t-shirts for a tenner or somewhere you know as I often know you gonna wear them as you say and and who’s had to pay a price along the way exactly are you to have that cheap accessibility sure as hell not gonna be the big company that you’re buying it from they’ve made sure they’re covered that’s it yeah it could be some kid in Bangladesh sure yes wherever it’s really important and that I suppose that’s really why I wanted to talk to you so much was because you’re edging into that but it’s also fascinating from a design point of view not only of the scrap pieces all coming together and make a new fab yes it’s very enjoyable to work with and it very much ties back to a textile being the primary influencer for me really in terms of what I make and how I make it’s always the fabric the catches my eye and everything so it’s it’s very nice to be making a textile which is completely unique yeah as well I can’t even recreate it again yeah you know once that section of it is gone I can’t remake it at all that’s also something else which is quite key to my work as well a genuine unique quality I don’t think I ever really repeat anything exactly even for myself there are a few styles which I’ve repeated but I change things about them or I change them according to what textile I’m using quite often as well and then I suppose that carry Sir Ian – who has even made four that’s a different body every time and even that body will change yes yes there is an aspect of discovering the wheel each time in some ways you discover a bit less the more you do it I would say that’s one of the things with bespoke it’s always new it’s a new person it’s a new body it’s a new fabric it’s a new style which keeps it interesting but sometimes it can be a bit challenging especially when someone is determined to have something made in a fabric that is not suitable for it and you’re attempting to talk away from it you cannot make that garment in that fabric and it work it just won’t I can’t force it to do something it won’t want to do it’s very much like an oncoming tsunami you’re not gonna win that one if it’s not gonna do it it’s not gonna do it you will have to adjust or go to higher ground whichever is broken I suppose on that oh thank you northern sustainable fashion revolution that was very illuminating I was one of the featured designers and then I also went to a number of the talks and found out some very worrying things about viscose fabric production yes I have now since that lecture which I went to wish Louisa Rogers did I’ve actually stopped buying this goes altogether even though it is basically a natural product because it’s made from beechwood might often the chemical processes that you have to go through in order to make the fibre into a quality that you can actually spin it and all this sort of thing it’s very very toxic both to the people who work with it and to waterways where the excess sort of chemical products tend to be disposed into and they are trying to refine it and improve it but it’s on those things that it’s a slow process and I imagine it’s a challenge to find chemicals which will do what your old toxic chemicals will do but without being quite so toxic you still need them to make a certain effect upon the raw fiber itself so I can understand the industry having problems changing into more sustainable practices and with that in mind I just decided maybe I’ll just rule out this whole side of fiber altogether and I much prefer a cotton Jersey anyway and we’ll Jersey and silk Jersey sort of thing anyway the sight of sustainability which I’m trying to build more in my practice is the fabrics which I sauce because at the moment a lot of them that I’ve got are remainded fabrics which I’ve I have been given or I’ve found in fabric warehouses but as they ran out I’m wanting to replace them with fabrics which I know for sure are sustainably produced and across all their levels as well because quite often they’ll talk about the fiber going from the field and being made into yarn and that’s you know well considered but in the process of it going from being yarn into a fully formed fabric sometimes that area of the process can have been completely ignored in terms of sustainability and toxicity to both water and individuals as well animal cruelty can often come into that side of things well getting it so it ticks all the boxes all the way along the line to the point that it rides with you my goodness it takes a lot of research proving quite challenging and I’m coming to the conclusion that’s the easiest way to ensure that a lot of those boxes are ticked is to go with small production houses there’s one that I discovered just earlier this year I went to a future fabrics Expo event in London with a friend who’s another girl who was one of the featured designers in the northern sustainable fashion revolution in order to sort of discover any sort of new fabrics which are coming out and everything which are more sustainable because sometimes it can be quite hard hunting on the internet actually find what you’re looking for in that side of things and I came across the company well it’s a type of fabric called Bristol cloth and it’s all made within 12 miles of all the production areas are all within 12 miles of each other so it’s not being flown here and there and across the country and all that sort of thing or even internationally and the farm based outside of Bristol and they provide the raw fleece and then that is spun into yarn and it’s taken to another company which diet with all’s of natural vegetable dyes and then it goes through a small weaving company in Bristol and they weave it into the final cloth and it’s beautiful stuff so I’m more going down that route trying to bring us many new sustainable fabrics in because also the more we buy them as well the cheaper they’ll get at the moment they’re quite expensive yeah especially if they’re being made in this country it’s got to be made with the wages in mind which are applicable in this country rather than what is in the Far East which is obviously cheaper so yes it is all quite expensive at the moment you know some 95 pounds a meter that’s a lot both for me and for me to put onto my customer but the more that we buy it the more that we endorse it then the cheaper it will get that’s of a route in terms of my textiles which I’m wanting to move towards possibly even getting undyed textiles as well dyeing them myself that’s the other side things which I’m looking into but I’ll have to go and do some courses I think on natural dummying and fixing and all those aspects of it to make it viable so it’s interesting to always be increasing your training as well I’m not sort of I’m a designer and a maker and and now I’m done with all that learning stuff and everything no no definitely not I will probably be learning until the day I drop it’ll probably be what the Paris’s is in her it’s a setting yeah because the more we learn about how all the systems work yes the more horrifying it is and you know what do you think how can we break it but unless you say it’s perseverance like anything I am afraid that the core problem comes back to the core problem with everything whether your subject matter is the environment food fashion jobs whatever it is the problem is there are too many of us yeah and that is what makes all these industries so polluting because they happen to produce so much quantity in order to keep themselves both economically afloat and keep up the demand there just are too many of us really and it’s the problem irrespective of the subject area when you stop having babies standard yes yes when capitalism has its benefits but it’s the whole system in place on a global level yes and it’s that that is partly behind driving people having so many babies because it’s marketed it is such a great thing and then you have to buy all these many things for your babies and all this amount of time yes you do and then they will become babies will become workforce and the cycle will repeat yes so nothing smaller I suppose thinking about prices and stuff because you know obviously there are so many people who can’t afford very much and that’s where fast fashion has got its niche because it’s like fast food you can have these things with handing over very little money but if they only last a few weeks because you’re having you aware of them all the time and they don’t really survive the wash I mean it’s assertive quality of clothes are you the first couple of times you wash it it’s already you can already see the wear on it yes but it’s so difficult for so many people to go that extra mile to pay the extra money to get something that’ll really last for years yes yeah it’s a cultural difference as well really because we’ve been brought up with so much choice and yes it’s been too cheap for too long really people think well that’s what it costs on no it’s really not if that same t-shirt that you’ve just had three quid for was made in this country if the textile was made in this country and the T shows cut and put together and finished in this country you’d be paying significantly a probably about five times more for it it’s a false economy really in that respect it might be nice to talk a little bit about your marketing and how you market your work because you mentioned earlier that you often are doing it by wearing it and you’re in a lot of the photographs of your work and my first encounter with you is during the late shows and it does something rather beautiful you have a couple of dancers in your clothes I did yes one of my other passions is Argentine tango and for that particular event I thought it would be a nice way to bring people in also designing dance wear is a little bit different to designing day to day where you have to take different things into account and everything in terms of comfort and movement so it’s a slightly different aspect to clothing as well my marketing is a little bit patchy in places like many creative types it’s the side which they either are not interested in or don’t really know how to go up out starting with I would say I’m sort of a mixture of those two things I do wear my own stuff so yes I am very much my own advertising I permanently have business cards on me and a lot of building my businesses profile over the last few years has been people saying I love what you’re wearing where did you get it and I go I made it this is me I do everything it’s helped to spread the word I mean I open I started the art way Emporium in 2012 when I was working as a costume technician for Cumbria University and it’s the most steady wage I had ever had and I had enough space and I thought right I’m gonna do this I’m gonna make it official in terms of HMRC you know I’m gonna be a real person but you know tax and all that sort of thing it’s taken a long time to grow it in that respect and also with the advent of social media coming up as well in some ways I was reluctant with some of it I was mainly using Facebook for quite some time with it I just recently ventured onto Instagram so many people have been saying to me all you have to get on Instagram and everything and I thought I’m gonna have to bite the bullet aren’t I that means I’m going to have to get a smartphone Oh shuddering at the idea still to this day nobody has that number for that smartphone yes no it does not exist it is merely a mini computer because there is no other way I can get onto Instagram so I have to have it it serves its purposes but it is not going to pervade my life and turn me into someone who is constantly absorbed by a screen because that annoys me somewhat number of times you’re sort of sitting on the metro these days new look in front of you and it’s a lost long line people absorbed in various different sized screens with headphones in makes me want to sort of throw little things if they notice they seem so in a trunk so you’re not gonna get them out of it at all but yes I am starting to get into social media a bit more and Instagram hasn’t been as horrible as I was expecting it’s being in some ways it has in fact helped me to connect with a whole range of people around the globe you know people sort of following me from you know America and Australia and China Wow you know I wouldn’t really have come across people in that same way without that and various things I started using Twitter a bit more as well and I thought how does this hashtag lock work because I was trying some things that’s like oh this is how it all works and that’s how I found out about the future fabrics Expo event that I went to in London I found out about it through Twitter and through the company who launched it called the sustainable angle and this is interesting oh when’s this oh my goodness it’s a week away I’m not gonna be able to afford the train fare and everything but it turned out quite cheap and I got on to my friend Hannah as well I said shall we go for it and she said yes surprising usually she did this a bit more about decisions like that’s like no we’re going we’re going to London next week oh my goodness this is a bit sudden really but no it was very interesting event found out a lot more there I had a chance to network more as well yes it’s just finally getting to that point that it’s tipping over and it was a couple of years ago I felt it really sort of start to change where a friend that I know very well her daughter-in-law to be specifically asked for me to make her wedding dress and that was the first time that it hadn’t been someone directly connected to me it was one step removed and it was someone specifically asking for me I didn’t have to do any sort of promotional marketing to get it and everything and I thought oh this might be just starting to change a little bit and about eighteen months ago I managed to secure some funding as well because problem I was having was I was working in the bridal industry very hard time and then I was doing hardware Emporium hard time as well and it was though it was a rocket kind of hovering just off the ground but it didn’t have enough you know propulsion to really get it to fly I just got it off the ground but it wasn’t gonna go anywhere until I could plow the full five to six seven-day week into it really to get it to really move a family member said you know well I’ll fund you for two years and so you don’t have to worry about the bills or anything and you can plow over time into promoting it and taking on more commissions because you’ve got the time to do so and then I could save that money and then once the funding runs out then I can start living on it so I always have at least a year’s worth of income kind of in hand while I’m working on making the income for the following year I mean it’s still a little bit on a knife edge but it seems the only sort of viable way that I can live doing what I want to do as well rather than having to sacrifice so much time just to make ends meet which I think it’s a problem for my generation is kind of having quite a lot yeah at the moment the amount of time that has to be ploughed into just being able to make ends meet

it does surprising how how well rested you have to be to be creative and the number of people who think well you could just go and do it just like I go and do my office jobs not so much if only in some ways it would be much easier but some days you’re just not in the right mindset for it or you’re overtired and you really can’t be creative when you’re overtired either or there’s just other things buzzing around your brain which you boring things like admin laundry or you know things you just need to get done and out of the way before you feel you can relax and process and concentrate on that sometimes I need a little snooze in the middle of the day I call it a creative snooze and just sometimes I need to knock out my conscious brain and let my subconscious sort of work through things I sometimes do that when I’m trying to work out how to do a design I’ve got it in my mind but not quite sure how to translate it into three dimensions because it’s a bit complex and I find that can make a big difference yeah what about the NIA Mart where Emporium because there’s a suggestion of wearing art and you see being quite bold but saying I make art that people wear yes well I decided on that after in fact art where is is a area of clothing it was very much inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and William Morris and all that side of things I think he was the one who famously said you should have nothing in your life that you do not know to be beautiful or believed to be useful and I thought yes actually people preferably boats if you can get both in the one item I would have thought at the time when he and all the guys were doing their thing and everything their wives were sort of exploring different sort of sides of fashion much more it’s not talked about a lot for that I would say that’s very much the root of art where as such at a time where bespoke was the norm you had everything which was made to measure for you and everything and you get some beautiful historical textiles from around that time too both made in this country and then also imported but I decided to adopt it from the point of view of doing bespoke and the idea of making something which is unique and really stands out because a lot of the women who I was talking to at the time it was not only that stuff didn’t fit they were just bored with what they were looking at nothing was really grabbing their attention in the way that you know you’re walking along you get those little boutiques and you go that’s nice anything they weren’t getting that wow factor anymore they weren’t getting some that returns their head either for the cattle for the textile for whatever reason yes I wanted to bring that into the design of the samples which I do and often I use samples in order to inspire people in terms of what they might like for themselves it was a few years ago I made a dress one of my collections and my mum was the inspiration for it she often used to say oh you know when you’ve got parties going on in summer and it’s nicer weather and everything sure I never know what to wear everything’s almost to strappy and she doesn’t want her arms out or it’s too short and she prefers something long it was always sort of a pain really and I thought right if I was going she didn’t Commission me to do this but she was the inspiration for this design I thought right summer dress which covers your arms is a nice neckline to show off a necklace a bold necklace because she likes a bold jewelry it’s full length but doesn’t feel really formal because it’s full length and I came up with a design which I called the pick up dress because it’s very long dress and then you pick up areas of it and then you sew them so you get loads of areas when you get loads of interesting ruching details as well which for an older figure if there’s anything that you want to draw attention away with that particular figure it’s a very good technique to you so you can have a few extra rushes around the stomach area if they’re just like all we don’t like my tummy or anything or if they say haven’t got as much of a curvy bum as they would like you could put a few more rushes around it’s just like I will invent you a bum dress you have more bun and it would see ya which then and a lot of its to do with illusion work as well because if you make your bum look more curvy it makes your waist look more narrow as a result so yes or playing with that it’s really interesting a lot of designs come out of that too do you find it’s quite an empowering thing to give women especially back a better control over how their body can look to other people through the clothes yes very much so yes especially if they’re a bit tentative at first when you sort of help them and guide them along and then they turn up for their first fitting and they see the item of clothing on the stand and they go oh it looks even nicer than I thought it was I was a little bit nervous at one point but actually it really really works yes I know I knew it would yeah I think it empowers them quite a bit more when they can have an influence over what they choose for themselves and guiding them into choosing it for their lifestyle as well they often seem quite relieved at the end of it to be just like Oh finally got something I know it’s gonna work and I know it looks nice I mean I don’t have to keep glancing in the mirror and thinking does it actually work or does it not so yeah it’s very satisfying when you package something up for someone you’ve been making for them for usually quite some time it takes quite some time to make something completely from scratch and everything and all the fittings involved in the finishings and all that sort of thing but they go out the door with it and they’re happy with it and in some ways you’re relieved to never have to see it again as well because usually you’ve been looking at it for far too long and you like it into theory but you’re just tired of looking I need something new you just come into my head where do you stand on pockets and women’s clothing her pockets are saying they’re eating I have a mixed relationship with pockets obviously when you’re doing menswear they’re often quite key and when I’ve been doing menswear as well the men often say and I want the pockets nice and deep probably got pocket bags down to your knees you know but actually a lot of the women which I’ve made for they don’t like pockets they don’t like the line of it I think most of them would agree that they’re very useful but they don’t like how it’s sort of distracts from the eye and takes away from that smooth silhouette with some things iin dup sort of bullying them into having pocket it’s really in some ways because especially with most of classic tailoring it doesn’t look right without them something’s missing you won’t believe what a transforming effect belt loops have on a pair trousers yes tiny little loops and it doesn’t look like a real pair of trousers until you’ve got the belt loop astonished strips of fabric and an even if you don’t wear a belt with them yes yes they really do need to be there strange thing that unless you’re doing sort very like Spanish style Matador trials which I quite like you don’t need belt loops for that I think that’s my dream is to have a really massive skirt so I can just pick deep pockets and say oh right the pockets are hidden away somewhere mm-hmm well that’s actually quite interesting you should say that that’s quite a period feature yanked when you get 18th century dresses and they’ve got the under skirts and then you’ve got the bodice and then the skirt goes down the back they would have had little pockets on the inside and everything and it was tied in it wasn’t sewed in but yes so they did have pockets one point there’s this dress at Betty Davis worse and all the buddies it’s a party going but it’s like a shirt off the top hmm and this big skirt get a wide long skirt yep with really deep pocket and she’s just like so boss you know she’s just so yes yes fine Janine’s she got this really gorgeous figure at the top and then this makes Carla hands in the pockets and she’s boss and everybody yeah I think I know the one you means yes definitely that would be my dream mmm your dream dress yeah well it can be arranged it will be to your measurements and in the fabric of your choice because I said for that it must be fascinating working with so many different body shapes as well and trying to work with them rather than against them yes about what you do too because I just find I’m quite short in the torso not quite long in the legs yes and I need a different size and my bust the UN standard sizes yes and hips and waists and things and it’s just awkward I give you shine earlier to try and get closer fit because we don’t have standardized bodies no bodies I know it’s ridiculous having standardized sort of clothing sizes really I know everybody feels yes and it ends up the women place a lot of store on a number yeah a number that doesn’t really mean anything you notice it a lot in the bridal industry the boutique which I was working out which I just left a couple of years ago the sales girls they would measure the bride’s and everything and then it’s so right well you’re coming up as this size for this brand and the look of horror on the face of the bride’s you have to say no it’s American sizing it’s American sizing the number seems big but it’s the equivalent of this in our sizing but sometimes some Brides would get really hooked up on it so no I want the smaller dress so it’s not gonna fit you you know and there’s not often very much room to let things out okay well you would want to be uncomfortable surely if you’re wearing something and you’re everybody’s looking at you you need to be comfortable showing that should matter more than than the number which is on the time which no one will ever see you I could cut it out they never know what they will remember is whether you look as you said whether you look comfortable in your dress and everything and and you enjoying whether it wearing it or you know everything is digging in and you can’t wait until you can get damn thing off because it’s a presentation yeah silence how you feel in your body and then how that exceeds right well I’ve kept you quite a bit so is there anything else you would like to talk about maybe just to add that the art where Emporium will be featuring on wardrobe of tomorrow which is a new sustainable fashion marketplace which has just launched at the end of August yes and they’ve got various big names on board Stella McCartney’s one of the main ones really she’s also believe she’s one of the main backers as well for it yes for people who are interested in sustainable fashion and want to incorporate more of it into their lives but the idea of doing extensive amounts of research to find something puts them off this is an ideal site to be able to go to and you can shop by categories as well so there’s categories a limited edition bespoke artisan vegan upcycling so various different things so you can choose a category and you can shop by that and they have betted all the designers which they put on their site so you can be confident you’re buying something which is genuinely sustainable which is I think it’s a good move in towards making sustainable fashion more available not something that you have to spend hours and hours of research attempting to hunt down the art world Emporium we’ll be featuring on that in due course I’m not sure in the next few weeks put it up that’s fine look for links by the time this of be coming oh yeah it should be in a few weeks time so I’m quite well match up yes yeah it’s just wardrobe of tomorrow calm great and if anybody wants to look at your website yes that is www dot the art wear Emporium com doing it and that’s got my current collection on and in a few weeks we’ll have my new zero waste collection on as well fantastic and you mentioned you’re on Instagram Twitter Facebook is it if people search for the art wear Emporium they’ll find you they will find me yes brilliant yeah we just can’t thank you enough spending a lovely afternoon I’d had the deep gorgeous studio yeah overlooking Newcastle city centre and it’s not pouring with rain which is an advantage you’ve been listening to audio-visual cultures with me Paula Blair and my special guest Amy Jones this episode was recorded and edited by Paula Blair the music is common grind by air tone licensed under creative commons attribution 3.0 and available for download from ccmixter org if you liked the show and find its content useful and interesting please help cover production and distribution costs by donating to PayPal where it /ve a player or libero paid comm /p e a Blair this will help keep the podcast ad free episodes are released every other Wednesday please rate share and subscribe on your chosen listening platform as this helps others find the show for more information visit audio-visual cultures and follow av cultures on Twitter and Facebook thanks for listening and catch you next time you


Audiovisual Cultures episode 46 – Arts Education, Practice and Disability with Dr Jacqueline Wylie automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audio-visual cultures support casts and examines aspects of signed an image based cultural production I’m Paula Blair and today I’m in East Belfast and I’m just about to go and meet Jackie Wiley who’s an artist based in East Belfast my creative exchange studios so very lucky she’s gonna let me have a look in her studio we’re gonna record a chat about her work we’ll probably pick up on themes we touched on before to do with craft and value around art and issues around gender and disability in eard thanks so much for everybody who’s been sharing and engaging on social media and huge thanks to our patreon members please stick with us till the end to find out how to do all of those things tonight I’ll hand over to my tart with artists Jacqueline Wiley how do you like to identify it’s a tiered approach when they meet people using like face so to say oh I’m an artist and some people okay and then some people inquire you’re so I give them more information and it’s a bit like the Northern Irish thing I throw my castle which is a very sectarian very partisan area and so when I meet people I’ve got that Northern Irish thing where I say I come from Don gammon and they go oh I know done gallon we’re in zone or they say what school did you go to so I don’t think I’ve come from that I usually test and then sometimes I go through an entire conversation and nobody’s really inquired I know I did whereas if somebody’s interested I say I’m an artist and they say oh do you paint them so to most people I just say I’m a visual artist okay and then recently I finished doing the PhD so now I’m dr. Wiley and so I’m still getting to grips with when do I drop that little bomb in the conversation because I was an older woman I do find that people’s relations can be quite dismissive no taxi driver well what’s that what does that mean I said I’m a doctor philosophy what’s that what’s that he was pretty aggressive about it that’s all yeah I tend to be a bit out there so it’s like when to use it when is it useful like when I’m applying for jobs and things like that and dr. Wiley and when I’m doing art and I want my work online or four things I’m chuckling why lame for me but most of the time I’m Jackee so it really does depend on but yeah basically I’m a visual artist because I work conceptually it’s very ideas based and he’s socially engaged practice so it’s very much responding to issues around gender any age and disability those are the sort of topics and the ethics no my PhD was looking at social media my how are you social medium I’m really interested in the ethics of social media use so that’s the simplest way of describing what I do so there’s quite a lot of various we can think about because a lot of what you do seems to fall between fault lines of or at least it pushes up and twelve lines between arts and crafts yes you do quite a lot of knitting yes and you work yeah exactly and that appropriate nail for net talk that’s netted by my mum today all right that’s nice I like my school uniform was gray so I sort of see that lovely that salute like school uniform grey it’s lovely very good tensions I like that okay yes everybody usually compliments my mum’s tennis thank you you can see that because we don’t really think of knitting as an art form I think it is if I grew up my grandmother my mom’s mom used to knit beautiful dolls and all sorts and I thought think they are works of art I’ve still got many of them and the clothes and things that my mom does you I think their artworks so do you would have challenges then when you incorporate netting into artwork thinking your website you would suggest that you pinned with netting yes yes I call them lifted paintings I do large uniform they’re also like a series they’re all the same size so they usually like 86 centimeters by 86 centimeters I love the sort of size of a piece of knitting that I can do in about a month this time until I start getting border but I was just really interested in the fact that certain practices were gendered like high art you know the sort of ideas around the history of certain materials like oil painting was seen as high art and bronze casting to them textiles were seen as feminine but if you go back in history they weren’t it was men who did textile wow it was very noticeable I was knitting I’ve always knitted and I remember on my foundation art course she just not liking the fact that I was asking and I did a piece a small square like a Josef Albers square that’s what started it all admitted to small netted square with all grace she is blue and she just said but it’s not art is it because I put it in my sketchbook and they didn’t like the fact that I was doing this and then I was being pushed to apply to go to our College and they said well you all do textiles won’t you and I felt that the women were being pushed into doing if you were interested in art you do textiles a lot of one more hat we thought they didn’t have that kind of ego they didn’t feel confident enough to do fine art and I said I wanted to do fine art I even had a cheater saying about how it was a real shame I wasn’t going to do textiles because it was a real loss it was wasting my time for endo died also studied archaeology one of the essays that I did was on textiles and I really loved the fact that now they’re starting to I think I have a book somewhere about Coptic knitting I did a project in the Walker Art Gallery those four artists went in to look at the collection I make work in response to what was in the collection and I said can I look at knitting and the curator said we don’t collect netting and I was all like oh you don’t collect you don’t value it no no no it was too valuable in the past then they would attract them and remake them so then I started looking at shoddy and I just loved that word shoddy you know because something seems as shoddy material but it was actually valued so it was recycling I’ve always been interested in the history of textiles the way we value materials and how that’s changed in the past and so yes it wasn’t seen as our fine art practice and I got that very much when I was at foundation and then looking at works paying tank it was all the modernist stuff the kind of Jackson Pollock in France applying Sola which I think was at Stella Frank Stella Sol LeWitt nor leases we worked so I started making knitted pieces that killed or referenced painters one time in university I had a tutor come when he said they had to do a tutorial he said but I’m a painter I can’t talk about textile and I said can you not respond to it as a painting anyway oh I think I’m sort of sat back he was too I said respond to as if it was a painting and then he could talk about what I was doing the mark making and the way it was constructed and the shape of it yeah it’s like there was a block there when I find something like that that’s what I liked Wario aiya and so somebody said there’s a bit of a performative element to what I do because I’m making work that it’s deliberately pushing expectations and I quite like that I mean that’s why I like doing the research in social media because I’m in the 50s and they don’t expect me to know anything about using a mobile phone and using social media a few times people have said oh oh you’re on Twitter and I’m like yeah and Twitter oh you’re on Instagram and how many followers do you got and then I would say how many followers I’ve got but you’ve got more followers than I have you know that sort of thing and I like that even thinking about social media because I know you’ve incorporated social media and your Twitter followers and artwork that is displayed there must be a tension between feeling pressure to use social media to push your persona as an artist and your works very social media but also you’re crossing that boundary and you’re using it as art practice and as a platform do use it for all of those things or didn’t you know this is what I ended up writing about in my PhD thesis because I started off interviewing people who were using social media and I tried to get a wide range of Ages because I started focusing into digital natives and digital immigrants so I’m a digital immigrant because I remember a time before the Internet and the for social media and now we’ve got digital natives who’ve grown up with it and I kind of found in a couple of articles there was like a cutoff date of our own 1980-1981 when someone born after that time is it digitally yes they’ve never known anything like life without it and so even if they choose younger people do actively choose not to engage with it and that’s what was interested in the people that I interviewed some people are engaging with it some work and it wasn’t an age thing necessarily and then I got people to talk about why they were getting involved in it and like as I say some people didn’t like the fact that they were showing too much of their work whereas other people were very happy could see the line between using it to promote what they were doing and they would show teasers of our performance or an event they were involved in they wouldn’t show the work itself because then they were concerned about people not coming to an exhibition or not coming to a performance and so I ended up looking a lot at performance on my first interview between that about it and I find that was a really interesting parallel talk about how performance artists feel about how important it is for people to be there and the present when the performance is happening so I thought there was something like that happening with social media and I just felt that it was a whole new genre are a place and a platform for making art so that’s why in my research I was trying to identify artists who were using it so it divided into the yes artists were using it to promote themselves and I will do that and then there are artists who are actually using it as a ground for their work it was a artist who now I can’t remember seeing what border bumping and he made work about the mobile phone and the fact that when does a mobile phone pick up when you’ve gone you might go into France like he went to France but the mobile phone thought he was in Germany because it depends on where the what he called the tars are when it comes to Sicily call it border bomb pack and I like that that was art about the mobile technology itself so I sort of set out to make work about social media so that’s why I used the Twitter so I sort of made long letters of my Twitter profiles because I thought each day would be different because people would on the follow me knew people would follow me so the ideas each day it was a different piece of work and I turned it into a large text piece as well and put it on the wall and so it embodied something it was in ephemeral because I took screenshots of the people I was interviewing at all their Twitter profiles and like they’ve changed their profile pictures to change what’s on them I brought up issues about archiving Kaiser’s work archive I set out to make work about being on social media so then doing the PhD finishing it was incredible because I had far too much I had interviewed it people so I was analyzing their responses and then I’d done the literature search so I was talking about theories about social media and the internet and ethics and identity and place and then I also have my own practice so my own practice got almost written out of it it was so new and emerging I don’t think the PhD gives you the space to make work and to think about it and then make it again do you just have more time to do that so I did talk a little bit about my practice and I felt it really helped me I describe myself as a participant observer and the ethics really interested me towards the end of the PhD looking at tinder like dating site the dark aspects of social media I started looking at pornography because the legislation was changing and I was really struck by the fact that film the example I used was a film can be passed by the board classification as not x-rated but if you take a snippet of a picture of a film and then put it on social media that can be and so that effects artists you know what they’re sharing plus the fact that what you share on social media on the Internet is gonna be there for us like he told sterols she talks a lot about it’s gonna open live so those sort of aspects the fact that people sharing information that in ten years time or in a hundred years time how is that information going to be used I’ve been meeting people on dating sites and so I was making art around the conversations the online conversations taking screenshots so then it brings up issues of consent to use people don’t know that I’m copying it I then met a guy I’d met on a fetish dating website he was into robber so I met him and I’ve taken photographs of him no known him for about two years and on and off have the sessions with him dry stomping and I’ve gone to clubs in Dublin and in Cork it’s a whole world so I’ve really enjoyed it yeah give me Holies and then this year I’ve so been meeting people because I’ve moved here to Isabel fast and a meeting people in the community there’s a lot of loyalist band members here and I’ve become friendly with someone who’s in a lot of the bounds so I’m taking photographs and that’s what I’m gonna do this year take after him in all his regalia there’s a parallel there with the dressing up well I can’t I know there is well because some of the people that I meet on you’re into both I’m do you think then that’s there’s a sacred life he was telling me about when they join the lodge they go through initiation social culture at all homo culture homosocial so it homing social otter it’s all men all boys together my idea yes very majestic find a pin point over to something else yes but I would be very adverse to you exactly because a lot of no religious I think will be charged so I thought that that was very interesting my social media gives me a way into this but so I did last year I got a sign-up ground for a new camera which is brilliant and for new equipment some of the money was for some courses so I attended courses at Belfast expose so that’s been fantastic like I used to take photographs and if they were blurry I would check oh that’s a rubbish photograph and then they were saying no no I know a bit more about what I’m doing and I am able to appreciate now what to me what’s a good photograph you know what am I trying to achieve with my photography because I’ve been taking photographs since I was 14 yeah but I always used it more of a sketchbook kind of way of working my way into a subject taking photographs and then using motifs from the photographs to make work and so I never thought of them as works all right so then I’ve been printing things on juillet you know fine quality you know getting into the printing some of the courses were full Photoshop because of course I say because I’m a digital immigrant I mean I never learned how to use Photoshop or Lightroom or all that so so so I went on a couple of courses so now I feel a lot more comfortable I know how to size the photographs and how to added them and what I’m trying to achieve with them no I know I’m doing constructed photographs the ones I mean I’m meeting people and taking photographs of them they’re paranoid constructed photographs and then I’m also doing a lot of documentary photography because I’m going out and following the parades and taking photographs and the bonfires and all that sort of stuff and so that’s what I’m trying to do now because I want to do a photo book that’s the direction and kind of interested in so doing them not as like necessarily trying to print them up big because I have done that last year I printed some of these photographs really big like a old size and showed them in exhibitions just to test him to see how people responded to them but I really like the fact that you can build up a kind of narrative in a book because we looking at a lot of photo books now that’s what I’m realizing that’s what I think I really wanna do so there’s a course in Dublin core reading image so I’m applying for that but I’m also just trying to see where the work takes me yeah I think after the PhD after the level of theory and philosophy and so just to be back in the studio and just making work and as I say read em looking at some formal doing poetry and that’s tyre I tend to work the reading informs the ideas it’s been very much like after the PhD that was my goal for like five years and now it’s very tempting to put in another big project but I actually think I needed just time making new work and reading and like bought a house in East Belfast so it’s taking time to get used to living here does it feel like I’ve moved around a lot yes that was something I was going to ask because you were faced in Manchester for a long time and how was it firstly being under with an Irish person moving there and then having a life in Manchester and then coming back yeah well that’s why I think part of that High Line describing the work I’m doing documenting the bond because I sort of see myself as part of an Irish dysphoric I left school anyway 79 80 and that’s why at University there’s still the troubles so we were just encouraged to get out in Northern Ireland I went and I lived in Wales for about four years went to university there and studied archaeology history and archaeology and then I spent about ten years being an archaeologist I wasn’t an artist originally and I travelled around living in tents and then squats digging I had no plan no big career plans and then I ended up moving to Manchester partly because my partner I met him at university and his parents were in Manchester but I applied for a job in Macclesfield which is your side side so I lived for two years in Macclesfield working at the silk museum through the text is a studied archaeology and then did an MA in building conservation and that was my big passion was architecture and I think in another life if I’d been a boy an architect would be encouraged to go to school but this was a girl it was yeah I think you can take the only careers advice I got at school was take seven years to become an architect by not time you’d be married with children so I went okay then and so it was partly my not being persistent and not having but I come from a working-class back and I wasn’t encouraged to go I’m the only one in my father he’s going to use yeah so they think I’m a bit of a ball isn’t it but that’s a digression so I moved to Manchester to work as an archaeologist I’m and I ended up at the archaeology unit and the University worked there for two years that was great and then I did my MA building conservation and so a Goren recording all buildings and doing research documentary research and I loved it but I’d always had my interest in art but because it was not valued you know nobody encouraged me to go darn funny if I did apply to do foundation in Belfast and got accepted but I wanted to leave Northern Ireland so I went to university instead of going to taco so I like it so I worked there and then I did my art degree in stoke-on-trent I’d started doing a foundation course there as a mature student just get are died of my system and then got sucked in just again I was gonna do some pottery twice around certain classes and do some textiles and sewing and stuff and then got sucked in and then ended up no wonder my friends had to stoke and I went to visitor and talked to the tutors and they said you want to bring your portfolio I never soul encouraging and I took it down and I applied to a couple I got an interview at Goldsmiths I got an interview Chelsea didn’t get offered a place and then still controlled offered me a place so I thought just go I’m thirsty just get on with it just do it so fast knowing mm-hmm and I loved it and then I had a studio in Manchester at rogue studios yeah but I had part-time jobs so it was always very part time and I felt like I’d hit a point where it just wasn’t really again very far I’d always had the idea of doing the PhD and about 2000 I went down to London and talked to somebody at Goldsmith’s and they said yeah they would be interested in me doing and then that would have been about tax past I was doing a lot of knitting then just doing these big knitted pieces and then I started her by 2011 did a project with two of their artists it’s a very large building the B themt are in – oh oh yeah yeah we started doing this research a friend of mine ours friend is really into astronomy so she was talking about sundials so we started saying she said it’s a there’s a name for it but you know the bet in the middle of the sundial because the Sun hits it that’s what’s made my thunder it meant that a certain day and we took the summer solstice so wherever the Sun allowed that every year we marked the ours so we decided we would do this on social media as well so we had a Facebook page a Twitter page we had about 400 people following us on the day Guardian reporter turned up one was following us he said oh I find you I find you and the newspaper had done an animation of the damn thing they’ve done well and then there was a school a primary school were following us on Twitter I had never had anything that went viral yeah yeah so that was the kind of or intensive why I put together the proposal for the PhD to study this well what is happening on social media and then got it except I applied to Manchester because I was really quite happy just to stay there man to stand on it that didn’t get offered a place thank God for offered the place in Belfast because it’s a fully funded page thing so I moved I’d been in a long-term relationship and I had finished and so it was like a good time to move yeah like we’d split up for about five years before that and we had a lot of friends in common and go to openings and he’d be you know he’s an artist as well he’s an artist and a writer and we’d bump into each other and it was just so like just the idea of being in Balthus I my dad was ill so I came back to Belfast and was able to spend more time with my family so work died but yeah it was a big risk I thought long competed but I’d been coming back to visit my family regularly and I noticed that Belfast was becoming this sending interesting place to be are nice okay well why not and a husband a fantastic experience for me I have any access to a library again because I can Manchester I didn’t really have access to stuff and going to conferences I’ve never done that it was a whole world of going to things and then visual arts Ireland has been amazing so yeah they are so much more active in Manchester you just worked away in your studio and he doesn’t a small to stuff and you didn’t get to meet arts council people because guards casanova’s covers such and it was like up to Cumbria and it’s a huge area I had read some articles about high per capita artists here get more he’s bored it’s because there’s fewer artists I’m sorry it’s a brisk unlike now I’ve committed to staying here after finishing the PhD so it was five years doing the PhD with Corrections at the end and finishing at all I’m so we’re trying to make sense of it now like where do I fit into this art psychology I can now you make a living because it’s difficult at the minute I’ve got very little money coming in and I don’t have someone supporting me and I know that traditional model is I need people who come from middle to upper-middle class families and their parents will support them you know until they get with a gallery or get some kind of income and like I don’t have that kind of thing it can be very discouraging at times you know very worrying the end of the PhD I just ran out of money come here that’s because you end up having to get the extensions as my supervisor so I said well maybe I can get a part-time job and they said no no I’ll give you the extension because they only give you the extension on the understanding that you’re working full-time on the PC so if you’re doing like more than 16 hours a week they will give you an extension tonight it’s like trying to sort out five years later five years is a long time in the arm world things have changed and even the attitudes towards social media because when I started doing the research it was very sort of utopian oh isn’t this great but people understand now the problems with social media but that’s why I think the research that I’ve done is so relevant because looking at that ethics by designed and delivered a short workshop to some primary school kids here locally just getting them to talk about what social media platforms are they’ll do they know what the age limits are yeah because most unlike Facebook you have to be 50 I think that’s 18 no you know some of the higher or with parents concern no some of them did some of them I’m surprised that I’ve some of them were very well informed and if people strangers approached them trying to make Francis and what TJ and others were saying I want to talk to my mommy and I would discuss this with them who this person wasn’t what would you do if you’re being bullied who would you talk to I’m like a little bit more saying of yet they were being bully you know people have experienced bullying it’s a big important issue and then what’s happening is like some of the adults don’t understand yeah how important to say and I was kind of arguing that a lot of artists like teaching when I was doing PhD weren’t seeing the students activity on social media as part of their practice mm-hm and I was arguing that it that you need to engage with what these students are doing and saying usually it’s another aspect of the fact you know when you’re at our College we talk about you doing your artist statement and your CV but no they need to be talking about what is your social media the classical nine you still would say I remember a girl she was a girl in time and she was a curator and professionally inferring ambitious but she was posting pictures of herself like one time slumped on the you know with her friends like very very drunk mm-hm surrounded by heroes and I thought well if my potential employer so that they were so you know it’s it’s like managing yeah your profile and it’s not something that I’ve had to be very aware of like saying living in Manchester and working away there nobody knew who I was nobody knew I was doing yeah no I on social media I’m chatting to people across the globe and they do know who I am that’s what I liked about it it’s the access that you have to people is amazing but then you have to be responsible and careful because I fallen out with people and people have disliked comments that I’ve made on social media and then that affects them when I’m applying for things they don’t like something like maybe being critical of something on social media I have to learn to be a little bit bit more diplomatic with my opinion especially at night when I’ve had a glass of wine I know know personally in my practice it’s not just about making the work it is about establishing relationships with people curator salaries what came out of this thing on Tuesday when I went to the VA I talked was I don’t really know where I am and this trying to maintain relationships with people I don’t think I’ve been very consistent or I’ve had like a clear idea of what I’m supposed to be doing there’s probably been opportunities that I missed out on but I never saw it as a career choice I was just going from one interesting thing to the next and I did the Aces scheme got funding from Arsenal Northern Ireland that was like 2015-16 and that was really good yeah and I was saying then one of the best pieces of advice was like I was just doing a big project and then a we won and they said no you’ve got to stop doing that you’ve got to be more strategic and they were saying you need to be looking at which gallery so you want to be with me but I’ve got galleries I’d like to be with but I’m there’s no way I’m gonna get it you can’t think right you got to be more clear about where your work fits and don’t be approaching galleries that yeah there’s no way they’re not going to show you a kind of work but you need to be more clear about establishing relationships with people who are interested in the kind of art you know the way that you work working at them and I’ve not been not strategic yeah I suppose you’re right there that kind of person or you’re not and I wouldn’t be that sort of strategic person it’s just well I need a job so whatever comes along please but some people just seem to have the knock but yes they do they don’t pay they can really see how it works whereas I feel sometimes there’s like social cues it’s almost like a form of autism or something I go to openings and I can see there’s there’s a lot of subtle social cues going on yeah and I feel a lot of it goes over my head and I think a lot of people feel the same way as I do I’ve talked to artists who’ve like maybe being really really successful and have had a run of really big shows and doing really well and then six months later or maybe two or three years later saying you know I was really depressed and it was so much stress and so much pressure and you only see oh look they’re at a big opening and they’re drinking champagne at a nice suit but they’re saying yeah but couldn’t pay my bills and I’m supposed to be like yeah it’s a performance and I I think that I sometimes let myself down because I don’t do the performing and then I allow people to have prejudices about me and act on those prejudices and I think I’m beginning to realize yeah I need to manage that side of things a bit better I mean no it takes time I don’t think there’s easy answers to any of this sort of because you’re still trying to be inauthentic you know be the person yourself my art practice is only just a subset of me I’ve got my family and I’ve gone interests that aren’t nothing to do with art where some people just live hungry and that’s it’s thanks everyday I’ve never been nothing the person is saying I’m actually volunteering interests they’re doing a research project I’m learning Irish have been doing some Irish lessons and I got funding to do research into census returns during the war like Irish speakers in East Belfast Protestant Irish speakers and so I’m trying to do a day a week doing that see I did census research in the eighties well that was all on microfiche going through like card indexes and stuff worse this we’re doing it all online an excel sheet spreadsheet so it’s good for me to update my research yeah you’ll keep that – like this is so I just hope that something will come out of it as long as I can keep earning a bit money to take over it’s a crazy time at the minute with the branches and everything so uncertain especially here and in academia because a lot of the funding is European the universities are going tomorrow we get funding here in the studio we get some arts kinds of money and it’s been frozen last couple years and that’s an achievement even the fact that it’s frozen yeah because a lot of other organizations that she had to deal with cars and we’ve constantly because I’m not writing or the studio wraps and so we have to talk about how do we keep the cops teen and how would we deal with if in this round of funding if we get a cut because we’ve everything’s pared back as it is and it is quite scary climate with so many of the studios and art spaces having their funding entirely pulled when you’re thinking well he’s gonna be next and what about next year there’s still no Stormin and there’s still no budget and lot of practices because we’ve got that double whammy like you see we’ve got the banks of things bad enough but the fact that’s Donna that’s one of the big ass but you know that you’d asked of like coming back to northern I’ve I felt very much like I was like 1819 when I left yeah and I just walked away I was like this this place yeah it’s just horrible the fact that came back I gotta come to terms with a lot stuff that’s happened I don’t understand a lot of the politics because I lived in Manchester and I was used to working in a diverse work environment and we were getting training in gender awareness you know all the new legislation coming in I’m not used to living somewhere so white yeah so this is how I relate to the politics you know issues are an abortion issues around came our age well friends of my name I’m just about my I’ve gone to weddings and stuff and then to move here and people are still arguing over cakes a bit of a step back yeah because living in England I myself I just feel so frustrating that things are still so behind here when I come back yes I’m constantly monitoring yes what’s going on exactly I’m feeling this sense of urgency and when I find more and more that MPs over in England are taking seriously here they’re starting to listen because they can save I think if one good thing comes by the practice of actually is that the DEP you’ve had a public platform and people are seeing them from what they are yes a lot of MPs especially in England are becoming very sympathetic with what people are stuck with over here yes they see this I will you get the politicians you vote forward but that’s the problem it’s it’s not really that easy over here because people are voting for certain reasons and there’s power military involvement still and people are not voting because they’re sick of it all and you know so it’s a very narrow slice of the population that’s actually casting a vote it’s a very complicated scenario yes that’s not really gonna change I need something because recent in the last couple of weeks about the community worker in this area yeah and that was UVF involvement and I think it’s actually challenging a lot of people aren’t happy yeah happened and how it happened it’s revealing to people that a lot of it was around drugs that people were in debt because the paramilitaries are selling drugs to people so like you say it’s there’s complications and I’m beginning to start to understand talking to people yeah we’ve got a long way to go there’s a lot of attitudes here which haven’t been shot like in England people who have been challenging stuff but you’re talking about – that things that have been happening over the last 20 30 years you’re not just like a groundswell it was here you feel like people just haven’t got beyond the basics and I feel it’s more similar to the Trump phenomenon the people are voting for him and I feel like can you see the same person and I guess because I find him totally repulsive but there’s a whole big section in America you really like that convinced like don’t you believe in the accept him and they think that he’s doing a good job and that’s what’s really scary because it’s the same here it’s the DEP I’m looking at these people are terrible both there’s a big section thing it’s trying to understand that and finding ways it’s very gently paying them to thicken slightly a wee bit questioning a tiny bit face up Kelly I lived in a nice part of Manchester I mean I’m still a rough place to live in there was high crime risk but there were a lot of artists and musicians in the air and I loved controls and so it was a very sort of bohemian area and where’s here even just the street environment nobody really looks after the street yeah people don’t seem to put a lot of effort into the environment they live in and don’t seem to understand the connection it’s a lot of the house feels like there’s a collective depression and there’s a collective trauma yeah I agree I with the place and it does pass down and not a lot of younger ones we’d incest all the troubles that’s in the past it’s not gonna do with us but it is and whether they realize it or not this is sort of harshness and kind of quite a brutal attitude where people got sealed off and protected themselves and then there are little communities and they have to do that to survive but it can be quite like to an outsider it comes across as quite harsh and judgmental but I can see why the origins of it I mean the good example was when the Khans water they spent about eight million doing up along the river is beautiful when I first moved here it was like a building site and I didn’t know what they were doing and now I walk along it regularly and it’s great it’s a lovely mean take but two years ago they started building a bonfire in the middle and the ballpark’s just ruined the place and they also they’re doing no the last you see when I was a kid they were just sticks and bits of furniture and you could stand round them neither and these pallets that they build the one hand when I shall or I come from was like 500 feet high or something right it was over on earth but yeah he’s a dream Nicholas di and so when it started to burn it was so hot we all had to move really for it so I just try and take photographs couldn’t even go I need these what about so had two

yes modest culture and you know if you stop them from tanging you’re denying culture I want to breathe so I’m sort of doing the photography by going to the marches and marching season and taking photographs it’s part of like normalizing yeah I think it needs to become not but it’s on the margins

because one of my little bug bears is when they have the period last year I went along and it was an evening period okay bye I took photographs and then when they went and I just thought yeah this is your environment arrested in this whole conversation right gentrification yeah because people talk about gentrification as a bad thing but I actually think that anything that makes an environment I don’t agree with pricing people I do work yeah which is what’s happened recently with the cultural quarter you know a lot of people are moving here it’s a lot of artists moving to East Belfast quite a few see you groups have moved over your life I think there’s a lot to be said for improving people’s environment making that feel safe because it does affect issues aren’t depression there is a reason why there’s like really high suicide rates yeah yeah there’s a really high depression and it is partly an environment it’s also the fact that there are no jobs and no security since I’ve come back I’m sort of trying to come to terms that sort of stuff living in Manchester’s living in a big city so you can kind of feel almost like a bit above a lot of that stop filming your logo he Mian on please enjoy we’re here I feel a wee bit more the interview I’m living on an interface ooh two very different cultures we’ve been side by side and every night again but when that community worker in my camera boy second name is when he was killed recently finally a lot of people came from short strong came over so brought the two communities together which is quite good so we need more good things not that somebody has to get killed something a few felt and she isn’t talking about being a member of the studio group it’s not really important as a practitioner and you said before by fitting may be quite isolated in Manchester yes high important is the studio environment working yeah it became more important to me when I first graduated and because I studied in Staffordshire you know still contract I moved back to Manchester so I haven’t been at college there and so I didn’t really know people know stuff so for the first year I thought oh I don’t need a studio I can just work my work is all about knitting in the domestics and why do I need you do and then I have all these big pieces working everywhere that was like tripping over stuff I applied and got into rogue there were two men she do groups in Manchester then can’t remember the name but it was a panting core it mainly painters and then rogue was the fact that it was mixed with sculptors musicians it was a bit of a mix so I went in there with almond knitted pieces and I got a studio there so I was there for like 15 years and the end the shoe do really did work it was somewhere to go to work if I was at home I’d put the washing machine on and do domestic things whereas here all I can do is like get a book I think about things and it’s and also for manufacturing I really likes cutting up big bits of wood and Nathan frames and stuff was really mourned so the space is really good but I do like the fact that you come in and say no normally it’s quite quiet here normally people put their heads even because there’s only about 12 of us and it’s quite small so it rogue I got friends with people so when I went to openings I knew people and curators would come in and we did a open studio every year it was like an open weekend so we have this mound Friday night party loads of people drinking and then over the Saturday and Sunday people come in and I would sell a lot of work it was really good I would say limited pieces but I also sold works on paper until the last word a lot of art and that’s what I want to work on now is having pieces mounted and you know in an accessible piece that you use many price pieces yeah for me it was really good because then it was an indication of what people liked it made me feel like I was meeting my audience yeah and then of course the social media came in and that’s what I liked the fact that you had this link with your audience because book to that listen you didn’t have that unless you were exhibit and then you go to an opening and then you’d meet people it was harder to network I did some studio visits but I got into The Hobbit I he was working part time so I spent half the week working and a half the weekend to see you and I sort of got out of the way I was induced you to visit I was exhibit but after doing it for about 10 years as I say I think I lost a wee bit of momentum about 2005 I started so I’ve had about maybe six or seven years after graduating felt like okay I’ve done exhibitions so well what was the next sort of stage and then start doing the PhD and then now it felt important to get our studio I was very disappointed that I didn’t get a studio as part of the PhD and there’s a lot of criticism yeah and I think they missed a trick there because when I was doing my degree we worked in with the ma long the PhD locked I could go over and just have like a week tutorial with something used to in these days I find not really valuable yeah and I couldn’t believe that they didn’t want us in there but they were missing ion so there was some reason why that they didn’t want that so I got a studio I was at Pollan I had a desk clerics a tiny space but we have a big space that we could use for performances and stuff and that was great because we ended up doing several performances together as a group I learned a lot from yeah it really really did that trying to really kept me going but I had put all my stuff in storage when I knew from Manchester so it had been in boxes so then I got it all moved I moved my studio decided I was going to stay here this is where all these boxes are still boxes from like open the boxes and finding things that would be books something and it’s been quite sort of emotional really I’m trying to process all this stuff but like I need the space but this is good here because it has the heating and it has Wi-Fi and I need that I think before if you repeat it you just need it black must be yeah I went to see you guy beacons studio yeah when I was tiny dog going yeah I read his biography it’s in there somewhere and that was really interesting and he just had this just mess and everything was lived on top like he be working on something throw it aside words because I do the knitted pieces I have a croquet area and have a piece and I’m trying to do more paint and getting back into doing that again same thing I’ve got a lot of watercolors and I’ve gone chalks and parcels and things like that you see years ago they’re all here on the past or something I think it’s really important to have a studio practice yeah because it changes you know what I say sometimes I’m working on photography so because the minute I’m working on 11 laptop like trying to add it photographs I’m gonna crash the memory thing so that’s a lot of the time is spent on that I very little time actually making under the minute it’s a lot of its admin yeah stop so the Internet’s really important emails yeah so have you changed awhile from when I started it’s so being part of this GT groups really important because I feel I learn a lot about what’s going on elsewhere and I think it does carry a certain amount of credibility when you’re talking to curators you’re applying for things and you say you know that the fact that you got space that they can come and visit yeah yeah I think it’s actually on the board yeah yeah and I suppose then you file your own website and hash to do your website so I need to do a wee bit more work and make sure it’s all linked up and then what I also set up I said I set up a patreon but I haven’t done anything with it because I need product I need to be a head what is a dimension turn off for what am I trying to sell here and I’ve also been selling a lot of stuff on eBay for years I didn’t do that’s my little side hostel because I buy things at car boots are example but some other stuff in there

stop with like knitting I’ve got so many like oh if I see in all glassware so then I’m thinking I set up an Etsy site so I’m thinking of trying to sell some new stuff on there and some work in Manchester with a gallery from COMSOL I never sell work through them but like here I’m not with the gallery and and that’s how I think things have moved on so I look want to just sit here waiting for somebody to come and buy I need to get my turn sounds don’t you need to survive you know you’re not just making things for people that go isn’t that lovely and interesting and then move on you want things that people can actually have in their home we kind of do both and this is what they were talking about so if you’ve heard this ecology I make large pieces last yeah a knitted piece that was my degree work I had to take it off and just really start taking it off but that was it feet by 8 feet and there was three of those so they’re in there so that’s my degree show work in the box like saying the photography is a good example like I will do small prints and I will saw those quite cheaply but I want to make big prints I like the G like prints um museum-quality yeah and I do see the distinction between not making most of those knitted pieces were as I say bike 3 feet by 3 feet 8686 but I’m working on halfway through one which is going to be like a really really big one and I was working on that all the way through the PhD so just doing a wee bit every okay I need to get that finished yes but that would be wouldn’t the domestic piece it would puffed me her a big solo show so I want to do a series of those like big pieces and I’ve got here a lot of my work was this is all acrylic wool I’ve got here Aran well like really have spawned are so I want to make a couple of pieces you know what’s real really really nice wool so yeah I saw would see a distinction between making work that’s small domestic that people could buy I’m not fitting their homes and then bigger pieces that I would want to me you know really push the scale and you need to be commissioned sometimes I think doing the PhD also made me realize I really enjoy working on projects that maybe last the 18 months or two years rather than like sometimes you do pop pop things yeah people said would you want to put a piece of work in a group shelf and I actually feel dumb not and yeah I would much rather develop a body of work around a vein and then do like a solo show and that takes as I say two or three like say I remember kima home talking about week on writing tutor and they’d worked with that artist for three years yeah I supported that artists and about the war and that’s the kind of relationship that I’m realizing yeah yeah and it takes time to build the relationships it takes time to make the work and the work is a research process but just becoming it so in a very fast-moving world it’s not valued that much it’s trying to slow and I think as I get older I a lot more I realize I jumped about and I’ve tried to do different things but actually I’m looking back now on the things that have sustained me it’s nice the things that I’m really probably are to say the projects that I worked on like the PhD yeah I’m the show what the Walker got my bench might be a teen month because we did that work we put in the proposals me an artist sat on the CEO role I came up with this idea and then we approached them because it was for the biennial you know they have not agreed two years they are looking for proposals so we came up with the proposal so the idea was that the work would be there we worked over 18 months and I edited catalog to go with yet so that was a lot and we were fundraising and so that was like a really good project but then I got a video laughter as I got chicken I got chicken promise

and then realized that I would do these big projects and then just be so long oh all forget having chicken boy had chicken looks twice now it wasn’t yeah so I know the signs you know you can get shingles it’s any assistance during the PhD I was terrified that I would go the nice thing about the phd’s you can get up and work when you want to work or you can work that at night yeah you’re your own boss we’re saying zan I was doing that show well I have my job yes I’m trying to juggle using my annual leave to go and do and as I say bedded in the catalogue which I was really proud of and it really pushed me and I learned a lot from it it’s always kind of projects I’m really interested in otherwise I could just sit in here and Potter about and do things and that’s nice as well but I think I do like those big projects until now it’s trying to set what’s the next goal really but I would love to be doing postdoctoral research good find a project that I could work but like you say it’s so narrow I’m doing or put together a proposal and get funding here I don’t think anybody’s ever got a PhD because you’re either lucky enough to just get in their position that means you don’t really have to think about it or you end up having to drift because that chance never really came well I noticed the difference of some of the people I’ve seen the PhD with the proposal was written by one of the members of staff so they were animal obviously the student took it and yeah they didn’t do their own project but the member stopped sort of invested in it and they used their tutor worse it was my proposal I wrote it and they said oh we’re we’re interest I applied for one that they’d advertised they said oh we were also interested in justice back from cellphones and it was this battle that one that they accepted so then they just have to find somebody to supervise me I never felt that they really born to what it was I was in Germany and then I think then you wasn’t getting any teaching whereas they know a few people who got a better he’s marking helping with marking dissertations just that wee bit of experience yeah and if you put that on your CV loved a lot of talks about my work I like talking you know I really enjoy doing tutorials yeah and I’d love to do teaching on the foundations of course if I could gala but I just know that it’s loads of people going for a limited no more jobs that you pick weird ideas and the students heads things you don’t have p.m. to the pant I seriously worried I’m seriously would you probably leave here and you’ll be stocking shelves and Tesco’s when you leave here so just enjoy enjoy do what you can don’t think there’s gonna be a job but the end of it there’s not really enough for that but then the universities need the money coming in so they can’t be on us for those things I feel like I have total impostor syndrome hello yeah I totally don’t feel ever found I always felt like I got in you know I was getting one old-world every time I went in there and I would come up with these wacky ideas and nobody else was coming up why is nobody else suggesting these things I mean I am actually very creative very unique for what I do and I don’t value what I do why are they gonna value it because when I applied in the first year for that British console China program and I have three weeks in China oh when I got it it was really funny because I was sat in the department and oh [ __ ] into check me for your application no unfortunately you know you’re not successful he was like yeah we are pleased to spend three weeks in China and I was totally scared I realized now I had three weeks there and then it took me two or three weeks to get much back into and then I to do my vibe I thought it was a bit naughty of me to have done it my supervisor said at one point I hope we’re not gonna have to have the talk about gathering about I had had all those years of just saying mushy do working in an office and then suddenly I was like do whatever I want I’d like to have the free time to be able to apply for things cuz I’m finding it now you know there’s opportunities last year I wasn’t applying for a lot of stuff because I thought but I don’t know if I’ve got a job I won’t be able to do and now I’m justifiable yeah because last year I thought I would find I would have found some kind of part-time job but does it say yeah I think okay just now just apply for I want to do it yeah and apply for loads and loads of stuff and don’t worry and I was clearly stopping myself from doing things yeah she just did anyway cuz partly I made a kind of promises up when I did the PhD you got to start being saying it’s up to this because I don’t have the pension I said okay you do use PhD but afterwards you’ve only got a proper job because you’ve got to be saving money for your pension I’ve still not I know I haven’t got a lot of money put aside and you know you do have to be practical yeah but then at the same time you can that worrying about money stopped you from doing things it’s a really tricky one and you have to of your life that’s why you never know what’s gonna happen and when so we have to take every day I have the same fears well this is it everybody though I’m talking to people and I go oh yeah this is quite reasonable and then when I talk to her mom she’s in her eighties and she’s so really worried well at the same time I think I know one of my previous managers sort of said okay because there was a full-time job coming up I said I could do that and it’s great money she said yeah but six months time like in the middle of January and you haven’t get up really early in the morning you’re just and she’s right I do tend to let myself get sidetracked into proper jobs but I just want to try and keep this going as well as a possible but like you say it’s important to look after physical health and mental health there can be quite a lot of jealousy yeah I think artists are all nice and we’re all in this together but so no do you know people do gang up on each other there is bullying people resent yeah somebody made a joke I got this Daniel and they said oh I hate the fact that you can afford to have us do you know what were they coming from but I’m doing that without a lot of yeah I’ve got holes in my jeans and my socks I haven’t had a holiday yes I know my sister Suleman going away and I just said I just feel like I can’t go because I would be worrying about the money but you need to have holidays there’s a lot of stuff I could have but I’m not so I’m sacrificing a lot to do this it’s almost like they’re questioning your commitment or something when you strip it away it’s they’re commenting on themselves but they’re just you know but it’s hurtful at the time so sharing the flap last year and I had problems with someone who was very narcissistic I got a lot of abuse and that really undermined me a lot and I’d ask this person to lean and it was a real real real shock I learned a lot about okay I need to be not relying on other people’s opinion of me and be my own assigning board because there are people who will chip away at you you saying earlier on about the studio what was really important that rogue it was a big old mill and I never work so the December January February they write up because I had these big windows she’s lovely but there was like ISIL is I just I had water running down the inside at one time that’s why I’m paying a be next yeah because I have heating and I have the Internet and I’ve been much more productive having this dedicated space yeah it’s not having a studio would be a real big thing it’s very important and so that’s why it’s important to have studio groups here and yeah host because the wars talk of maybe having one big building in the center there was talk about the Arts Council funding some more I don’t know how feasible hours or how far I’ve gone but yeah a lot of them have moved I qss have moved oh yeah here and I’ve got the vault have you been to the vault haven’t been to vote didn’t December they had a tabletop yeah sale I brought some pieces of art and I also had some ornaments and odds and ends and collectibles and stuff was just trying to clear it though something very many entities as a car boot sale I sold my last food so I applied for a couple of residence season I’m going to apply for a few more doesn’t think like last year wasn’t really ready I don’t know an IV I can go I’ve got projects I’m working off so being able to go somewhere I’m working those in network with people working really good but so for a few months there I was like I had the flu in January I’m not really I was fine I was like I have no energy I couldn’t even like watch TV or read a book this is a low point it doesn’t get much lower than this but I survived I could tell yes the flu making you feel depressed and I’m menopausal so I have all that that’s been great journey it’s really important for me to find role models and interestingly that vai event that went and you see the woman who was leading it commented and the fact that it was all yeah do you know we feel we need that direction yeah careers cuz the path just isn’t the area and I do think there’s still easy the male model is a lot easier I know talking to people individuals it’s still

huge thanks again to Jackie for being so generous with their time and ideas you’ve been listening to audio-visual cultures with me Paula Blair and Jacqueline Wiley if you find the show and in particular episodes like this involving travel and interviews please support production with a small regular membership fee on forward slash a V cultures that will also give you exclusive extras or you can donate to PayPal or with slash Pei Blair be part of the conversation with AV cultures on Facebook and Twitter please be it share and subscribe on your chosen platform to help others find the podcast thanks awfully for listening catch you next time


Audiovisual Cultures episode 36 – Hard Craft with Sarah-Joy Ford and Juliet Fleming automated transcript

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Hello this is Audiovisual Cultures, the podcast that explores sound and image-based cultural production. I'm the creator and host Paula Blair. This time I'm delighted to be joined by artists Sarah-Joy Ford and Juliet Fleming to talk about their collaborative exhibition entitled Hard Craft at Vane gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne and that happened from the fifteenth of November to the fifteenth of December 2018. Thanks to Sarah-Joy and Juliet for giving so much of their time to talk through their work in detail and many thanks to everyone at Vane for accommodating us in the gallery and giving us some tea while we chatted. You can get more information about Vane and its exhibitions at Do you enjoy the discussion.

<SJF> Hi I'm Sarah-Joy Ford and I'm an artist and curator and a researcher. I work in textiles, mostly quilt-making and dealing with feminist and lesbian histories and how quilt-making can be a vehicle for exploring those.

<JF> hi I'm Juliet Fleming I am an artist and curator and director of gold tops from this gallery space around the corner from thing and my work deals with female experience the twenty first century using symbols like Peter S. as embodiment of what they get here activation and Fabian and you cast upon Tyne this call hard craft would either V. like two expenses a collaborative exhibition you me it's in designs quite a few of the works together is not right we started working together about two years ago and we've been working on and off making different things and then this year is the year of one hundred years of pop the fridge in the U. K. and it seems like the sort of option moments to look up the research different elements of the suffrage movement and responds to it without books and here is what how crap you've got a mixture of textiles and ceramics and there's a bit of copper work maybe we could think is followed by the idea of materials associated with women and labor associated with women and the idea of reclaiming those as materials and objects of protests and activism yes I mean %HESITATION working textiles and my work is always kind of based on the history of women in textiles this association between textiles and embroidery and femininity and how that was a kind of shift in the kind of sixties and seventies to feminist artist be claiming these kind of domestic craft is something that instead of being seen as a private thing in the family home that was kind of placid and didn't hold any meaning they we re claiming those methods as vehicles for political expression and in the way that textiles is an awful being completely pushed aside and marginalized and masculinity discourses that pile say women pushed aside from history from politics so it made so much sense Hey put this modernized integrated media and to be the voice of women who also felt pushed aside and not legacy has always influenced my practice and you know at the time when people like Judy Chicago when faith Mingo when they were away can it was a massive thing to bring ten thousand to a gallery space is really destructive an unusual and that's not so much the case now let go on album is on the table at the moment you can see it coming into the small canonical narrative of the final but he still got the history life you bring of textile workings the gonorrhea brings with it the history of oppression and marginalization in protest it's still holds out we just need to figure out a way to work with it that knowledge isn't brings this history in both a lot reflects the shift in politics now thank goodness well less tax totals you can see the labor that goes into it you can see the stitching so the actual work actual crafts person ship is actually visible in the finished product often as well yeah but I think you know it's interesting to you people often invest a lot in what they think is hundred labor or specific kind of domestic labor actually if you take the works here there's no hunt stage apart from along the bottom of the bonuses hunt blanket stitch in the tussles a handmade Benton's attacks because I use a lot of industrial equipment I use digital southwest city my embroideries and we'll send off footage to prince if things are not really part of what my what does it situates itself not hung crossed narrative but actually is it was a very forward thinking I'm using industrial equipment so it's six again in between two different spaces but it's interesting whatever you do you ever quit minis like I use huge scale massive equipment and it still holds six quantitation of hunting butchering envoy to behave in high and it's quite a colourful exhibition there's very clear relations and a lot of it's embedded in research on the suffrage movements hundred years ago and so there's very clearly a serve the purple white and green from that of the S. P. N. things but there's a lot of tanks and lighter purple sent those kinds of softer colors as well maybe pastels may be Juliet would you like to say something about the color when we first started working to get the I just skill chef that new bridge projects hosted as part of that practice makes practice program we talked about the colors that we wanted to work with clothes that we enjoyed working with the time and lots of those came out in all the support that we made together entirely collectively when we were thinking about this project we wanted to reference that those colors that we use dead within the works in the works different expansion changed the often I've used of oranges and pinks and Reds in my practice rest their joys use of pastels and light colors soft pinks in her eyes and I think we just sort of drawing on those items for this collaborative exhibition as well as having those notes to the suffrage movement territories been talking quite a bit about our tax I work kitschy flashlight a bit more for us the way so you work with ceramics and firing and that sort of thing as well yeah similarly a marginalized medium of ceramics as textiles and different artists who are collaborating using both ceramics and textiles within that practice and that's becoming sort of a more used work or way of working the Carolina Chandra's a big influence of mine have tufting and hoped use of that and then the associations %HESITATION so supplements run next to the US to see them a ceramics I think there's a really great interesting but personally the way I work the two larger parts of been like hand built in the hand built elements of them together using some scratching and there's been lots of layers and lots of layering of colors %HESITATION as well as different places and it sort of adds to a similar way which I work where I am there in different ways of working as well as different media and then with the couple Lexi referencing the ones the glazing is different as of the first ones %HESITATION pastel soft colours because they were slips and it was a thin wire firings which achieves a circular appearance where is the stone with firings a stronger higher holiday which can produce more interesting glaze situations and chemical reactions thinking as well abate the idea of domestic space and domestic materials there's quite a few banners or pendants and the exhibition as well and those would be to take going to be March twelfth proposal here one of P. eve made things to go away with on marches which I talk about it but that is well said maybe the quoting process and applying it to protest banners yeah I guess I've been busy this year yes wants me to do stuff which is nice I hope people still meets do things after they see it at all of my works do you teach your phone kind of like a bonnet making history and the closing history Indian and my %HESITATION J. season not one thing or another not quite something but have made more kind of like straight bonus this year and it's been really interesting like collaborating with different community groups and things to make them which is a little bit different to me and it's nice that it prompted it it's always been an influence but not necessarily something that I had actually like taking them out on Monticello I was commissioned for their perceptions project and I worked with the LGBT foundation in Manchester and Republika internationally women's football team so that was kind of like trying to find a way that people could interact with it and have a safe because a bomb is usually quite like a singular message and it's not struggles was trying to find a single message that represented in this case not just one group of people two groups of people and not it's because when you commissioned as an officer if you're expected to bring your practice with you at night trying to negotiate doc boundary between both the ship and community practices really hard I'm did it kind of during workshops and made patches like same patches are just part of the same visual language of protest in bringing you know shifting test cells into public space patches long meaningful way of doing not protests replaced so we kind of made pot she said that each individual person and I have the right and say I made the digital files and stitch them or not said that they had one on the bonnet and want to keep it at home felt like you know that they had if they wanted to represent it's not a different angle on it they could but these bonus I think it took a long time talking about making them and how do these tons and I had like %HESITATION we knew we could put all these different things on them and like the ponds we originally did really busy day and then when we were making that and we just kind of put the cot images dot one kind of like didn't want to put anything else on them and not so I think it's interesting about the kids the plan is but they don't say anything that's what is interesting though as well all in protest Gooch's they meet together and it makes it exciting different because there is no message it leaves that space VA and %HESITATION say for me they represent a little bit of a space of potentiality you could just put yeah right tests on it let it day and taken out when I'm on the site that was a possibility and it leaves us face each person if you're not gonna fix maybe trying to think of my work well it's not like put their own message into and not sweat the sweat so a little bit different from kind of the community what I've done stations about maybe even making the text very very small and following the outline of the cat so even if you were to take them out much is he wouldn't be able to see what they meant to representative but it was only upon closer inspection that you see something get those took about maybe adding there's a different date or thinking about in twenty twenty eight twenty full suffrage was achieved a hundred years previous and whether you know it will that be the same amount of funding available for that date is it going to be as well advertised and will that be yes I'm not finding that for something that truly is representation of achieving suffrage rather than this selfish because it was nice that they did to me this is the reason for that I think notably Israel it because even though there's not far below language the images of the cuts are very low does it's fair to say because they've got these little flower garlands on them but you've got something else and there as well if you'd like to so does the flowers are taken from different %HESITATION uses Serra joy found with associations with the suffrage movement in different applications violets and other flowers and then some of the of the small did she printed pieces were the clitoris is that I'd made previously and they were things I've been again similarly without layering coming through they were photographs of ceramic works I taken a year or so ago if I was still using them within my practice in this one she's in different ways so we print them off and cut the margin place them in among flowers may have a similar they don't feel out of place that differently they have the infinity is one of the you know that's something that's always been talks about described in terms of female sexual pleasure and an association to plants and flowers and unique symbolism so it did feel like the right space for them and I definitely see the clitoris asses twenty first century version of female empowerment so it seems like the right time and space to be using that symbol but yeah they were originally ceramic works the identity graph and used the original piece of a similar size actually to the ones that ended up coming out this is been taken down with large pot side mate sometimes it feels like the month he made it work then you come me show is so you need to always be making something use a very high feeling of production and close to production in order to be an artist a value to us as to which I think is something that isn't very positive for lots of different reasons and some enemies to think about I think one thing I could buy the clitoris images as well as that it's not just the external part it's optional internal organs so what's the whole thing I'm not externalizing of something that's hidden away and sites you know and so few people instilled so little is known about the whole organ on there still so many assumptions about the small tiny you know it's a iceberg metaphor Tanzania nine tents under kind of saying I mean do you think there's even people who wouldn't even realize what the ship is constantly talking about something and doing something that I go what this issue pretty flowers is like a and is very few people who couldn't see the association between the shape and what is a loss of my practice previous to this was very much around that education of people in the sort of humorous fun way and I made with sex ed videos and things like that which were pretty vague P. G. the %HESITATION so very informative and talking about the legs the long time you get to decide in the two bulbs which city the site of the actual opening and it's still so few people seem to really understand to know much about the house and about how often previously they thought that maybe a vaginal orgasm was totally separate it's for publishers okay when in reality that is the pictures that assuming the season was this to create that reaction and still be productive Johnston I think there is a big association between a personal understanding and a feeling of liberation and I think that's still some way to go with us if we don't mean to be towards by whoever parents teachers schools universities it's not going to be continually talk about positive relationships and sexual education you know it's never going to really become resolved I think surgery the cops iconography or symbolism there I think there's quite a lot to read into that but I think probably most recently the idea of reclaiming the idea of the Pepsi and recent times because of comments that president trump has made in recent years so there's quite a lot of kat imagery here would you like to expand on that yes Sir I mean there's always been a kind of long standing it's a station with women and Cox like kind of sorry this is what it is and I can go to aspen that ends a longstanding thing but is also being as well as a familiarity is being used as an insult to the qualities that Cox hub is not affectionate enough cool you know cold days to be nieces insoles for women say %HESITATION I came across these postcards which even the reset treatment of cats and I initially thought they would probably suffer it say like pages of kittens saying I want my face as I that's cute the four day night feminist cafes Heston like hundred years ago that's crazy and then you realize that they were actually on T. suffrage propaganda and I just thought that like miss reading was really interesting because in the context of the women's month ches and how that symbolism in the woods as well as the infantry that comes with it with pussy I just think it is a really interesting power law like the way that we read these things differently another interesting thing about the anti suffrage pace because it cost too often used as a domestic symbol and there were tights women and not way so in a lot of the propaganda it was depictions of men struggling to run the home without women in the women abandoning them and they're always father struggling with children it is usually like at Mount Everest caught in the background or caught somewhere in the image as well which is kind of interesting I've been kind of working with kat imagery in my own practice as well because I'm kind of interested in like interspecies relationships and feminist vegetarianism and ones that I kind of quit interspecies relationships so I made some what about a woman %HESITATION Edith all right he was the very very little known first with a lesbian magazine in the state which she types on how tight my it while she was at her job because she had nothing else to Dave in fifties and it was called vice versa and she just distribute today she wanted awaits me other women and she made this incredible magazine which is like getting reviews of popular coach %HESITATION and I try to put like a lesbian spin on it and she also writes songs and might be appropriate coaches songs and put less been everything and she was this incredible woman and no one's got a clue who she is that was a project %HESITATION on by the lesbian herstory archives in New York where they were at the yeah they were documenting video documenting the lives of women and being involved in the lesbian politics movement in the state and they got this fantastic clean home video interview with her and when she's %HESITATION to and she just lives in the house full of cotton so many of them and I will rescue caught it's just so funny and joyous to watch because she's you know these people respect and how is this political form of what he did %HESITATION this quite what she's wants to talk about hot in her contract with a cap ornaments and that they want to hear the songs she was singing in the fifties and she's just I write one about my cat and I just love the and that she %HESITATION they she was kind of like pot them even though it demanding you know she dreamed about marriage equality she never had thought for herself she didn't have upon and she died at the age of all these cuts and it was interesting to me I like to take yeah we we have this habit of having very positive narratives of gay history in and then once it's kind of like look at this progression narrative I just find it so interesting how she cuts not sure it doesn't end up in headline trying you know with a partner in getting married in white took says it ends with %HESITATION I like creating this week it quit hiding with will have hot animals and greatness is quite an interesting round yeah it's really hot in my consciousness but then it was interesting to you bring that into contacts with suffrage history an archive is well the thing importantly thing at least one of the pay he says it's a quote that's not that's relating to the a very well known suffragettes he was gay and had a same sex relationship but that's the same as what we've realized in this centenary year is high many stories were not hearing because you know we're not hearing about the disabled suffragettes or did people of color you know or the working class stories as much it's you know the pine Kirsten it's always the dominant narratives even if it's fired a soul you're both still taking night does Heddon more press histories of things yeah I think there was a law if lesbians have for jasmine lesbians will always be an Apollo is inquire with men have always been a pot is gave us companion women's campaign and I they also often left out at the normative I did used to sexism intensive day gain clear me of men on had to censor schism within feminism and they get pushed aside even that act that the full front voted days things like Ethel Smith you right the much of the women she's been battles quit now and as I keep a Kobe based in Manchester he was part of the suffrage movement and did a lot of campaigning in favour Himes who the T. P. this is an S. that responses that's not quite collection at pet personal tape is at LSE and she had pun at the you know how we feel about that relationship is documented still three poems in this off five days live this whole incredible life together she was an actress and lack of pre tape drive king and she was a chauffeured to the punk because everything how the field is working is the next on their high end Swiss and I'm B. let's try that and they were that way king and said via and Russia they were prisoners of war evilly Anissa photography and said B. F. doesn't push you when she died of influenza quite young that their homes continue to campaign throughout her whole life and I think it will say the opposite the women involved in the suffrage movement involved in say much more than not like it says on the quote there is two women chassis from that and I'm not actually Chris about punk K. Hessel brunches suffrage was sort of on life in a new disease and the pieces of women's bodies that that's often an artist that gets left his name himself which is %HESITATION these narratives around in a real disease and the maltreatment of prostitutes and women not having autonomy I've that body that forced examinations and and those kind of things and not as tasteful as like posh ladies in green purple and white so yeah I do think that would be more you often get into their homes I've got like three sentences in a book but now it's kind of done this substantial recession nine days diaries from her whole life and I see and Nunes threatens to just fall and I see you bring not narrative in the case %HESITATION throughout history that queer women being at the front of campaigning for people's bodily autonomy and not just the right yet I June the aids crisis last winter that whole time supporting and campaigning in the same way for bush my mother's rights that was that and always complaining but you know it seems this is not just marginalizes tree it is too specific not universal life isn't for everyone you know not yeah it's a bit frustrating in a way I was thinking by the ceramic vases as well I'm thinking if I eat them as vessels and women's bodies as vessels J. yet you want to say anything about it sports we did not live they make their collaborative work that we envisage together that you said you didn't want the textile looks much more ceramic work that's a good thing to touch on because I think I've had a conversation with a friend about that when you came to see the show how you know that's a very traditional way of envisaging the female form as a vessel and I think that is not necessarily narrative that we wanted to go down but it was more the way the ceramics were used by the suffrage movement as being here they had a different table sets and all the different sort of works that they may need to and I think as a form of protest and of a form of reading was because it highlights that long standing view of women as vessels I think of course when creating the works were about the celebration of the symbols that we use with enough practice as well as like a symbol that we gather that the that person hours to be gathered from from the archival research and use the sort of form as a pilot as a celebration rather than thinking negatively about hours within the company %HESITATION with his vessels I think it was intended in a celebration of difference specific elements I think it is interesting to kind of see those ideas come to the forefront and whether that was devised ways taken from the work because of the seats each individual person's experience of the works so I think it's something to be thought of I think it's important that idea of when there are groups of women the carrier were expected to carry or be vassals for other people's problems as well as their own you know just like what you're saying sorry joy there's a lot to mine I defy ideas while maybe that connects to the lesbian history of all of those things so much is coming to light you this we were there idea but you've been a reduced from history it just feels like the works are communicating or attempting to articulate things along those lines Juliet and Serah choice kindly showed me round the exhibition where we discussed specific pieces and more detail beginning with the ones incorporating the present arrow shaped I think you're talking about the looks of this rooms of referencing malicious I think that the different association with that because these were very much taken from the ones that we used during suffrage suffragettes marches you can see they were used in the research and you can see them being used to help they each represented a suffragette who had been imprisoned throughout the fight for suffrage and then the ban is obviously at this point in time they on you know you probably couldn't take the one month you have to have extra copper pulls out its but the jump is another you know that something people do often uses maybe a slow going on their own closing as part of that wave protests and I think this whole room kind of does that entrevistas coming to talk on the dated December eighth in the people she's just left the people's history museum on Saturday and she's talking about kites in my presentation in process and how the US who is being used as a vehicle people using their bodies to present political messages no it was a show at the fashion test house museum in London it was the ship out today and not import political importance of Tatius it out definitely draws on not a little bit I like the way it from a distance and he didn't really see the tax you just see a cute cats and then if you get close up to it you see the tax then and then you see the slave so right those are actually but like pets and I rose on the slave so you actually think a kit kat %HESITATION I want my vote %HESITATION okay there's something I really like that idea of drawing and I think you're saying that as well surgery but did post cards as I say okay cast so I kill oh wait there's something going on there that's not very nice I work this is hitting me in the face there's something not quite right I think that's the thing about feminism and feminist %HESITATION the I've always being invested in is its ability to resist constantly reshape reform and re claim things that has been previously negative into kind of symbolism for involvement not so it's a great about it and in the same way quicker Aug quit coach it does not as well you mean like the would quit was the season in so and it's been we claims and like a lot of my practices about that process it re claiming but doing it slightly differently you may like taking something and I re framing and picking different elements from different things and remodeling it into something else just an observation from may by the arrows as well the objects we were looking at a quite large they're like spears almost yeah in Noam because the water but six foot tall yeah I guess I was trying to go for something of a similar size to what they were carrying and then things but they're they're ceramic on top in the very top heavy but then there's a very simple wrapping around of the ribbon which is then cut into the same so chevron hours during my work in my practice I use it all of chevron's in trying to your neck shape age and I've been kind of like melting some of those different symbols together and taking on that prison hours and if using it with the clitoris as you know a metaphor for the previous situations for female sexuality and sexual pleasure and the negativity does often surrounded S. and possibly sometime still surrounds it and the kind of push forward for more sexual empowerment and education okay we take a look at the other gallery yeah when you come in this space when I came in earlier and I haven't been in before I just sold a quote that the Bacolod while because it's a beautiful objects quite glossy and shiny and then when you go up in the start to read the details on that got it there's quite apart from message and that is something quite regal about it today because it's quite a light purple and assertive ships that have been used yeah I mean I ease lavender lilac could is the law he's the kind of comes again I was talking about light retaining %HESITATION to insult so I was talking about how lesbians being kind of pushed out and I wanted to the women's movement say Betty free day and he right the feminine mystique I have some sort of compensation something she code that's been the laughing the menace of the women's movement the kids they were taking away from the real issues talking about relationships between men and women in domestic space and saying that it was you know putting the attention from my women needed the help the group of women who originally called themselves laughing diminished took on that name intend up from like sliding events and saying no this is going to be a collaboration with all women like we will have to be you know it's the same it's the same impression that affects the school and they eventually became the lesbian avenges so I kind of like take one not pasta %HESITATION nothing death thing is it comes from the system is being rejected from what we think is not much nice great anyway but also focus on the clinical side most lines have since been marginalized yeah you know it goes on and on I mean it's kind of cool regal fights because it was saying about the class numbers hit their high walls ready privilege %HESITATION walls from pipe which company and that's why I'm even strive it is in the will actually came from privileged families because they were bitching of slow and drawn in by saying about the code is in the office hi there what about how much they love hunting and killing thing and then I have not come cheap people and they would you know if she wasn't going to see if she had to work for a living eventually but I think them's Vincent so if with a family because we normally from that class you wouldn't work as an actress is something anyone that but she was great privilege and it left in this big house in Scotland and shop things I think that's interesting and every time I sometimes our history and made K. policy but we're not sure yet she shot stuff and she was probably a bit of snow but still alive as investments in the initials it's the same kind of central image on the table cloth as well say the initials it comes right now is when Adelina died in Serbia very high and asked for her stuff back from the house right and on the list eventually the stuff she wanted back with that bad and on the bad this call for evidence shows in Indonesia there was a wood carving tools such as wild as she asked for some might just say %HESITATION and rocketed by this imagined memory if these two women not carving out their existence and making themselves present in this domestic space that no one's ever gonna see but ended up in an archive and I owe these people really invest in this tiny moment this one thing on the list of stuff that was in the house this opens up this whole space reimagining this well that they've built together so yeah it was kind of thinking about creating this whole domestic imagined quite a massive which is pretty much all of my Protestant kind of does that a little bit in different ways but it's really kind of obvious and the influx these are on opposing walls so the quotas on one wall and pretty much adjacent to it on the facing wall listed table crossing them between we've got the plants with the fast works make up quite a range color should there Seattle six white soft oranges there's more dialects and soft blues with the marking so if you've got the confederacy midges secretly oximeters so we could talk a bit about the axis while and there's more of the arrows and female symbol the double female symbol to the double headed axe the upside down why and the double linking female simple old Serra choices and then the upside down chevron and cancerous on mine and then the prison hours are on the final respects of claims that sweet into a twelve if symbols thirty if you want to open the library so the double headed up to the hospital in my way because it's in these pieces as well and I used it these at all it's just kind of traditional lesbian symbol that kind of turned up probably around the fifties but I think it was that before that I get asked about the law and having a conversation with Phyllis Christopher everybody's trying to explain where it come from it's kind of one of those things that no one's really sure it came from and it just turns up on stuff you know some of it site link to South Bay and I'm is in the lead choose in this kind of all these different everyone's got a different take on it but it comes up especially like I've reset channel if seventies and eighties lesbian archival material and it turns up all the time and not but that's why I kind of like about it when you use the Kennedys histories and stuff you don't have an S. no one's gonna see nation there is no matter what it says this is what I this means this and this means not like it's a very open kind of thing that turns up at the last I'm not a site in these pieces and %HESITATION saves a north coast all in that does this amazing oral history project about lesbian simple but I in the forties and fifties and they took it's about how women have tight teas at the new school stuff on there right that could be covered by water the like kind of like to do that a little bit way not mixing up the time lines a little bit and kind of like cross pollinating the kind of symbols from different times and I'm refusing this one fixed and not site with the lab and I did anyone can actually probably tell you something to say I thank Hon I'm left name but it's up to the real pastries thing is well it's maybe there's no fixed point of origin things profile button there's no rack origin I suppose maybe that's the curse on the bonus of having no fixed origin is that it can be Canadians buy things that's really fascinating and then with one of the larger pots the picturesque symbol I think I discovered it maybe two or three years ago when there was a school shooting about French sex ed classes with three D. printing processes as a way of teaching people and everyone was just shocked that in their workplace like and then people continue to be shocked I didn't know whether I was only getting this kind of information because of you know my search history or something because as I continue to talk about it people seemingly still don't know and like you said you know it's still there is a lawsuit that is hidden and very available information but unless you get kind of shown it you don't see it and prison hours those %HESITATION in the recess room there on loads of different bits of imagery so they're in the March and the using the ones but they're also on some of that sort of mock prison golf you can see them in station invoices into the closing dresses in the a prince of the wiring and then chevrons are big so there's a positive very clear similarity between the chevrons and the ones our heads and the prisoners we took the Andrews asking the panelists because originally we were talking about maybe having them all having a V. pointing downwards then we thought maybe be nice too in the the other two bonus we have one representing each of us and then one representing them suffrage movement so the central Katz was originally going to be Sarah joys cast hang but she wasn't she was unplayable so we end up using stock cats and then we have C. B. and says he wakes Phoebe is there a joint tenants cat and Pacific is mine and my partner's can passed on the last been flocking to the US one this call at the office phones paying for them than white lighter color yeah the little named little east Lothian five exactly no it does yeah but if you've got a good life yes and then it it specifically the W. S. P. A. is not but I think nine days we just associate the green light to park phone with suffragettes yeah I was not sure the well yeah I mean we've done pan suffragists and suffragettes anyway kids yeah the W. S. B. U. A. suffragettes and they were very different to the subjects you came before them and I think people don't really like to take a fall days T. movements in two groups of women because it was a really stop contrast between those that using military tactics and those who would I think people want to like gloss over a little bit this civil disobedience and like you know the kind of blowing stuff off and I it's funny how we fetishized in some ways and I'll cook check but like a lot of the things that they were doing fit into terrorism narrative now but I didn't contact terrorism there you today they were just just a little bit disgruntled the post office and then we'll sources is out today yeah in Kenya in a way and I it's become marginalized and sanitized and I'm kind of hoping that in a way the fact that we had this posh on investor I had high hopes right talking about different kinds of numbers to it in different kinds of histories and in our suit quite fell short of my expectations so I'm kind of haven in a way we've got tons head that there is a ten unit got off before the next son of this week the maybe people would have got the cells together and like we can learn because I was thinking that they have a problem with with these continue anniversaries I'm kind of dates and all kind of chronological way of doing history in remembrance and it's a little bit like I say in the foot well I got what it yet but what about next to any kind of especially when you think means it's feminist well he's quit well you know I feel like I've always go to like new right myself around a day or none of the history of something trauma and called it something that such a base in the local and not something like a lot especially for queer histories and women's histories change of law which is often what we celebrate on mock and memorialized through doesn't really work for those kind of pastries and thoughtful and that Narine things down I'm not really sure what the answer is it just doesn't say a hundred percent comfortably for me having to fit into these kind of technologies if government when actually they were all fat ass radicals and then do the ads to the two year color sentences deep red and orange and pink yeah I regionally I think when I was studying online was using a lot of very sort of muted colors it was lots of you know terror I was still using ceramic cloth terracotta is of the sort of problems and possible some things and also found objects in very very different from one company doing but what changed was leaving university kind of discovering how the all wheel seemingly works at the moment %HESITATION has worked in the past and feeling like of the the very clear gap between you know the the fifty sixty women who are studying ways and the two or three or four who are continuing to practice office wall a vast majority of the men who is studying a role continuing to rice's office that's a generalization but that was what it felt like at the time I definitely think there was a lot to finish season of people who are speaking to who simply felt similar when I was jarred by this and I felt like the work had been previously making it was very very subtle and it wasn't about you wouldn't have a feminist sort of tenderness and then as I left and to sort of discovered all this my what became a bit more became louder and with that the call this changed and they became out of you know what what could produce was me his force be with you and it was a ceramic double ended dildo that I created for shows I had out workplace gallery and it was about me and my personal feelings feeling kind of undermined in the workplace so it felt very resonated with that and then not just kept going on and on while at the time I was creating another fine example when thing that's when I noticed all this knowledge that definitely beyond their own selfish but I'd only just discovered around female sexuality people sexual pleasure and positivity and the organ itself that it felt that that needed to be pushed out civil needed should be out there and spread more units or live a twit doors we see like choosing Cox and things like that and you know that now he doesn't need to continue and also that does need to be in the narrative and the clitoris that's the sort of simply can score on the inside of twelve known to know which is kind of really sad but then if you keep doing it and then hopefully they'll be a continuation and growing I'm standing on the ledge do you both feel that you have to be ambassadors for the sort of things that you do you like do you feel the need to feel pressured to do feminists worker cleared as be in work or anything like that I'm just drawn to it you know when you start to feel something and you feel empowered by that feeling how could you not to teach make work about that it just feels like the natural progression of your practice for me yeah I mean I think all of my what kind of %HESITATION to ethnographic and not not just how it is on hot yeah same thing it's just kind of well I mean John T. you and I don't feel pressured to do it but like I said I just feel like I'm constantly explaining myself making excuses and trying to like open up the door for people to view it and make them feel comfortable and not people just aren't used to encountering what maybe like isn't relating to that personal experience you know this is a few artists that would position themselves as lesbian or may have it jaws like when I tell someone it jobs and then I %HESITATION that's me I'm interested in the space of bumping up against things and people and it's not quite working in China situate yourself in this very specific voice and you know I mean total us not universal so no one's going to be interested in it I think it's to say %HESITATION defiance you know people don't like the word lesbian people you know if they're going to be anything that could be quick and identifies but eighth and yeah it is just a kind of I'm just gonna make well I want to me because it's what I'm interested in what makes my work speak because it is the %HESITATION to know fate I thought so what it does is it brings in a personal and the collective in kind of negotiate stays and now I'm just trying to find my wife working but do you have to explain a lot okay explain my tiring because you feel like you you have to educate people yeah I'm the rest as well as the yeah I think it's a good thing and a bad thing I think that people think that all right yeah he's not the test cells in the Connery we let women in the out both the comic money but we let them in so it's fine and we've done it and it so it definitely is a judgment around that it's boring for it's been good and insight for textiles in particular do you feel like that and craft unit Crofton I hate the words I did see policies crafted in both a biography or community what people see it as something that student finishing move with finishing not now but you never do that so I I start painting and I think there still is a is still the most nice medium you have got these different set of expectations I think it's still a feminist work here you're asked to explain itself why do you feel the need to do that like is always the question because again I think is this that you know we still got this idea of universality and it's a white man exactly it's a diesel yeah and human I think that is still a problem in people I like it is in DC like that as well yeah show yeah I absolutely concur I think that was the you know one of the things about that was really what we had to reset from the material I'll cover research this does a bit of that underlying explaining and research that was undertaken as well as the hand of the comes of the exhibition because there are lots of subtle nuances the coffee into an A4 sheet that need to be addressed and the information thing people still want to know the information I think that it's having it available in this kind of way that mean this vein and this way the space walks but perfectly for that and it was really great to show the work we've been doing for the last two years which didn't fit in with this exhibition specifically was nice to have it that because the phone it you can see like solicitations which doesn't quite fit it was nice to be able to show that yeah yeah it's a beautiful objects it's not in the in the images online for the exhibitions it wasn't overly surprised to see this table as well yeah this is the kind of fight over the stuff that we may move in that did this I was gonna stab us it didn't take the school of the downed opnieuw bridge not so in math and made by some of the criticism I get in my way because it is so complicated on it so you reset space and like I've got a story about every little detail every piece what about Maggie's online dot doesn't necessarily communicate across like you get at in Paktika animation but you know you can't necessarily read all that so it's quite nice when we took him out of sight labor of explaining this yeah and you can come in here and recognize the images recognize that our roads that quotas the cops like you can see and that's really nice to me because I felt I thought something I've struggled with it my way and also just you know having the space to do it we have this room so we could do it I'm thanks to the LSE lots that suffrage time line that you can download for free at that images that will set a bad apple online you can download them that copyright free and %HESITATION save me my PhD is around that's been archived and it's really good to to be able to kind of raise awareness and I show them all the archives in contemporary all and also that you con like this leads online archive site that's been history all five of the films and stuff one line that you don't have to get to New York to reset in an archive so that's nice to like help out here the people in to do a little bit I thought labor he's about acticin the way you've worked was how much extra interesting stuff like when you're talking about %HESITATION quotes going into all the details but if this is because when they lived in Scotland and the dog at the bottom it was a hunting dog and the car at the top at night because of the way we've worked I noticed some of those things that was really great to have those extra elements and extra things well you see much progress in the buff yes and it's really interesting about your practice do you think there's a bit of anti intellectualism coming through in those criticisms I'm quite and inquisitive person and I love that there's so much detail behind what you're dating you I love that there's discoveries to be made in their stories behind things I think there is yeah I think people are so used to like the way that museums and art galleries now this oppression this responsibility to explain and yeah and is part of why the discourse of anti intellectualism and I think the other thing is there's this separation between different groups of people looking at my west Seneca made this quote that weighs five minutes only for the simple reason if different that's being cases from different films and television programs and it's interesting to see the different people in countering it and some people can go through the whole thing and just pick out every single light when it came out what the phone lines and they've got the access route into that very specific visual language and someone else to look at but I want some light and then it and the symbols like the lap race at someone else instant news what that is and to me that's what's interesting about how people encounter things on different levels with that rain context and knowledge and Mike it's okay sometimes thought might not be for you thus the someone else not to if you have people he thought language belongs here and I think not the silence if not understanding another people's language is really interesting and we don't think of the intensive lesbian culture particularly if you think of quick coach at what came on like pops up you have to not drive queens I'm interested in sight coal like wealth and visual material and the language that really is a language that we need like the difference between different people encountering the workers must it not so I find fascinating so it's like trying to find a way the balances between shattering and I think people access that language and %HESITATION said Hey there's a little bit this is how it is right yeah it's funny that idea of it's not universal only a select few people look at this you know and it's like well is that he's been left Titus do you have any I think you know similarly some of the different symbols and things when someone does recognize is really great because you have already right next in conversation and those don't really inquisitive Aktion and it was on a conversation either way it is a positive thing I think there is a really interesting relationships to the symbols on a language that is forged between people who understand it but it's not so exclusive this hopefully this conversation could hinge kind of rectify that so while it may sometimes seems that is very close and very specific to certain people I don't think that this would be the case I think it's available information it's about the motion only but that's done in talking to the people about just where the news other people can kind of find that information for themselves a service ticket or significant set of that process and fragments rather than one piece so it's in several parts into stocks and three Martin yeah this house around okay that we only have access to a small medium build could take the opportunity to talk about a great symbolism practicality yeah yeah I I think you know you smoke is intense though that they were great I love thought what you encounter something with the material and not demands that you do something or ends up influences is nothing not to K. nothing it's like he's invited and I like how this must be it six because I guess with separating intensive time like this is %HESITATION just stuff that yeah you have to date see the kind of sketches I'm not dissimilar doesn't use a sketch with property this is my life it's got specs yeah and then I'm really bad with haven do you want to talk about the events that %HESITATION alongside the exhibition of it say this is screening tonight which will be nice in cooperation with the knife %HESITATION which is a feminist film archive connected and they're gonna mazing collection of old phones say it's kind of taking up all the themes if using craft in using domesticity in bringing out into public spaces a protest toxic but how that was adopted by lesbian activist says a lot of office %HESITATION is a film about section twenty eight with lots of banners in and stuff it's a really nice way to see how people to cook tucks the fridge top tech and is a phone booth seventeen reusable what do lesbians do it bad that's cut from two films because it's kind of cutting the domestic space with a school in public space and night that's what the suffragettes dead yeah it's a nice way to see the similarities with kind of seventies that's been a physician and then on the fifteenth of December two two four Helen I'm suppose he was the pro bom dia PC's medium she is coming to talk about dress Impreza in place I'm talking about some of the collections at the people's issues in so she's also has been very busy this year do you both want to cloak stuff to your website social media or anything all the information about this exhibition on by anal gallery about a month and then my Instagram is at Judea Fleming J. U. L. I. E. T. F. L. E. am I NG my website the same but with the U. K. I do you pay for things on my ends from two separate joy for on the website she surgery for adult cold I will pay for a day since if one doing papers and things will be on that today I can't thank you both enough for taking the time to show me around everything and explaining everything so beautifully thank you so much thank you yeah if you find this useful or interesting and would like to support the continuation of this work become a member on Petri on dot com forward slash AP cultures a monthly pledge from as little as one dollar look at you access to extended show notes on previous one of two nations and pine sterling are gladly received at PayPal dot me forward slash P. for their for details on hi my name is used and what resources we need to see the website at all the official culture stopped wordpress dot com follow AP cultures on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates the music used is from common grind by air tone available under creative Commons licensing at stake CC mixer don't work you can also support on Patreon thanks so much for listening caption next time