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Friday, 9 April 2010

Exhibition Diary - The End

Why I chose to do it…

‘I somehow felt I owed the installation more - it's meaning and the way in which it has to be handled to be 'known' deserved intimacy with the audience. Therefore the next step was always going to be a setting in which the individual visitor is 'given' the installation along with the time, trust and openness due - to both artwork and audience.

I wanted to know if this would change anything, would it work? Would stripping away all else, so there is just the work and the visitor, allow them to connect to it (or not) in an uncompromised and more personal way?’
Did it work?

Yes, people’s connection to the work seemed stronger, more personal - as was the reaction of those who felt they could not find a connection to it. The contrast between having to explore and respond to something as a group as opposed to an individual is vast, I think there is a place for both, depending on the work I make. For The Family Event I am really glad that through this exhibition, I eventually got it to where it needed to be, ‘The Family Event July 2009’ was an amazing day, for so many reasons, but the installation and the participatory environment I had created around it did not quite sit right - here I felt they merged, and the seams were hazy, which is good.

Family is a word for a group of people ‘A group of persons sharing common ancestry’ but what that family actually is is perhaps found less in the gatherings they hold (when thy are a group) and more in the minds of the various individuals within it – when they can think about their memories, feelings about the relationships they have to the other members of their family group…..things they might tell an artist in her lounge one day.

To see all images from the exhibition

1 comment:

  1. Last night I watched Kirsty Young's TV documentary about the British family in the 1970s under pressure from all kinds of social and political change such as feminist/gay liberation, wide availability of the pill etc. There was some archive footage of feminists calling for an end to the nuclear family and a contributor saying the nuclear family only really existed in its 'ideal' form between c1951-1971. As a teenager/young adult in the 1970s I heard lots of discussion about the negative effects of the nuclear family and remember Erin Pizzey setting up the first women's refuge and realizing that the darker side of family could be a political issue.

    Bringing up my own children I also struggled with the isolation that comes from living and caring for other human beings in such a small unit.

    So I was interested to read Naomi implying at the end of her diary that the form the work takes is something to do with a deep need for sharing.

    I suppose the family unit has to be our most intense social experience as we are growing up, for better or worse. For most of us it provides the pattern for much of what we then feel and know about how to be with others; and as part of this it also informs our experience of isolation, whether directly, or perhaps by contrast later on.