One year on

This image is from my installation at the MA end of year show in Oct/Nov 2016, based on my Matri-line walk.  This Mini-guide describes the work I presented.

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So I am now one year on from then.  Here’s a summary of the art I have made, exhibited, and sold since then:

  • Actually, some things happened just before the show, which do belong on this list- namely- Retracing the blood line map and matri-line stones, at Loitering with Intent at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, Jun-Oct 2016.  Pechakucha presentation at Walking Women Artists day event in Edinburgh, Aug 2016.
  • Membership of Leeds Print Workshop- sessions doing linoprint and cyanotype.
  • More photography with new digital camera-Pic of the Day project.
  • Participation in Landscape and Arts Network, Fourth Congress of Psychogeography and Creative Timebank, bookbinding workshops and book fairs.
  • Keeping in touch with MA colleagues and friends
  • Work included in show by Vis Comms students in support of Leeds Women’s Aid, April 2017
  • Personal projects- gifts for close friends
  • Two exhibitions of my ‘matriline’ work with a presentation to invited audiences, at Cafe Lento in Headingley, and friend’s house in Roundhay.
  • Hand-made book included in LCA exhibition by Curation Cluster, Jul-Sep 2017
  • Work selected for ‘Journey’ a show at Left Bank in Leeds, Jul 2017
  • Stalls selling my work on consecutive Saturdays in Aug/Sep.  Very rewarding and interesting.

Lots of life as well!

  • Supporting my daughter and her husband with monthly visits to Newcastle to look after their toddler daughter, then spending a couple of weeks around the birth of their baby son in September.  They got married in November 2016, which was also busy.
  • My Mum had to move into a nursing home that year- I visit her about 3 times/week.
  • Organise a monthly conversation event Cafe Feministique.
  • Have an arthritic hip which has been a worsening impairment- due to have hip replacement op in October, of which more in subsequent blogposts.
  • Friends, family, weddings, general elections, holidays, adventures….

Coming soon:

  • Work selected for Rebel Daughter, a women artists show commemorating the centenary of the first wave of women’s suffrage in 1918, at The Point in Doncaster, Jan-Apr 2018
  • Working towards a show of the Matri-line work in Killingworth Library in May 2018
  • Pitching my work to local venues for informal display/selling
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Research reflections

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This is the current state of the piles of books in my little studio room.  I have a structure for my dissertation, an alphabetically listed Bibliography of ~80 references, and the same list arranged by subject.  I still need to do more detailed secondary searching into the source material but I now feel that I have a solid framework to support the actual writing of the text.  So far I have about 1000 words (aim is 6-8,000).  The piles of books are arranged by subject/chapter in the order they come in the essay.  Not sure if it’s too much (or too little)?!

Either way the walking/wandering metaphor for my research and practice development continues to be the best descriptor for the process.  There’s so much information out there, easily available, so many artists doing so many things- the more I look the more there is.  The issue is setting some limits, knowing that I don’t have to put everything in, and that I will need to keep on researching, reading and experimenting right through this year.

I thought I’d got the subject down to a suitable size- three chapters:

  • Human relationship to the earth, especially in times of environmental crisis- theory, philosophy, humanistic geography, how art sits in this terrain
  • Art and walking, mostly contemporary practice, kicked off with a short section on W G Sebald
  • My own walking project- its purpose/s, feminist aspects, and my methodology for ‘catching’ the experience

In terms of research the material I have gathered has come to me in many, many ways.  Very hard to apply academic concepts of research methodology, except (as usual, retrospectively)- my best description is wandering, seemingly lost, in the forest.  Of course, where I go and what I look for is not accidental, but many of the outcomes seem accidental/subtle/just under the surface of consciousness.  Some of the material introduced to us in Karen Tobias-Green’s lectures theorise this very usefully, and I do feel the ‘mystery’ of research as creative exploration, in many disciplines, not just the arts.

So… I need to present this research journey alongside the dissertation.  I can see a number of distinct elements.  To be continued……..