I’ve just returned from Forms for Encounter and Exchange, a 10 day group residency at Laughing Waters in Eltham with 15 or so other artists. The residency used a series of artist talks, workshops, excursions and general banter to explore artistic strategies of exchange, generosity, hospitality, and reciprocity in contemporary art and society. We each made an offering of a workshop or talk to the group; mine was an introduction to human ecology and an invitation to observe and reflect on our human ecology over the 10 days as a microcosm of the wider human ecologies that we exist in and exchange with beyond the residency.
The residency was primarily developed by Dr Marnie Badham of the VCA’s Centre for Cultural Partnerships for as part of her pedagogic interest in residency as form, along with visiting ‘keynote artist residents’ Ted Purves and Susanne Cockrell (San Fran artists and California College of the Arts faculty). The great artists involved were Abbra Kotlarczyk | Adam Douglass | Adva Weinstein | Amy Spiers | Asha Bee Abraham | Danny Butt | David Brazier and Kelda Free | Gretchen Coombs | Hartmut Veit | Jason Baerg | Jen Rae | Julie Tipene O’Toole | Kate Hill | Marnie Badham | Margaret Summerton | Polly Stanton | Sarah Fuller | Susanne Cockrell | Tania Cañas | Ted Purves.
We’ll be doing a show and tell about the Field School this Wednesday evening at VCA – all welcome.
All photos here by Abbra Kotlarcyzk from her beautiful Field School blog.
The story of the city is written not by the historians or the tourist bureaus. It is written as its people interact with its places through the simplicity of everyday life. We give the city its personality by exchanging smiles, stealing kisses and slamming car horns; We construct its sights and sounds with our street art and busking; We draw the lines on the map with our paths to work and our escape routes. Our stories build the city, brick by brick, paragraph by paragraph.
The People’s Wangaratta tells some of the stories that connect the people of Wang to the places that are meaningful to them in the simplest of ways. All places were marked and described by the people of Wang for the people of Wang. This is the people’s Wangaratta. Take yourself on a tour. Bring your neighbour.
Commissioned by Hello City as part of their Wangaratta Project, The People’s Wangaratta was a participatory art project that mapped people’s relationships with place in the city. Following on from my 2014 Die Insel project I carried out in Berlin, this time a colour coded key was added to the map, to which people were encouraged to contribute their stories, memories and dreams. Everything on the map was collated and printed as a fold-out map, and made freely available in Wangaratta. A map of Wangaratta’s everyday. A map by locals, for locals.
A PDF of the map is available here.
Thanks to Marc Martin for production support.
For the last six days, I’ve been sitting in my makeshift home in the National Museum of Singapore talking with people about what home means to them as part of the Singapore Fringe Festival. The conversations have been amazingly intimate and profound and I’m so grateful and touched that people are sharing so much with me. I’ve been trying to write reflections on the conversations up at www.wheretheheartis2015.tumblr.com but what I’ve written there is merely a tiny fragment of the fascinating, meandering and moving conversations I’ve been having each day. Six days in, six days to go. Here are some photos.
Photos 1, 6 & 7 by Ngiap Heng Tan.
Artlink Magazine recently invited me to write a bit about what I’ve been up to as an artist profile for their Sustainable? issue. The magazine is now out and about and looks a little something like this…
Where the heart is now has it’s very own website. It’s currently a holding site, but once the project goes live in January, I’ll be updating it regularly with reflections, memories and images from the participatory work, which will take place in the National Museum of Singapore as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.
Have a squiz at wheretheheartis2015.tumblr.com
I’m very excited to be developing a new work, Where the heart is, commissioned by the 2015 Singapore Fringe Festival. I’ll be creating a makeshift home in the National Museum of Singapore this January and exploring the concept of ‘home’ with anyone who comes along.
Home is where you lay your hat, the comfortable place we return to after a long day. Home is also a fantasy we carry in our hearts and minds. In our globalised and dispersed world, many choose to leave our homes for study, work, love, or simply for space. Some create a new home away from home, some remain homesick, nostalgic for another place and time.
Where the heart is explores this more abstract, imagined version of home. It examines the feelings evoked by returning to our hometowns and family homes, and experiencing the changes and the sameness in their place.
More details are available at the Singapore Fringe Festival website and there’s a facebook event page.
With huge gratitude to Arts Victoria and Moreland City Council for financial support, I’m happy to announce that I’ve started putting together a second iteration of In Passing!
If you missed it last time, In Passing is a participatory art project that will bring diverse groups of women together in the suburbs of Coburg & Coburg North to highlight and unpack experiences around gender, power and public space. In Passing first occurred this time last year in Brunswick with 100 women participating across eighteen ‘salon’ events to examine these issues through the familiar and light-hearted form of a pass-the-parcel game. After much positive feedback, the second iteration of In Passing in Coburg will involve 20 similar salons across the month of October this year.
I’ve just put a call out for 20 Coburg (North) women to act as salonniéres and host an In Passing women’s salon at their home, and already 9 people have put their hands up. To participate in In Passing or to stay up to date with this project, check in at www.inpassing.com.au.
If you haven’t already, I’d love you to have a look at the Die Insel website. It’s chock-a-block full of the stories I gathered during my 4-month residency at Berlin’s ZK/U, with pretty pictures that show the various outcomes of the residency: Die Insel map (see previous post below), Die Insel (Andenken) interactive digital installation, Die Insel walking tour, and Die Insel audio stories. The only thing missing from the site is documentation of the Unsere Insel exhibition, which contained maps drawn by Moabit residents, but you can see those images if you scroll down to previous posts here. You can even continue the mapping on the Die Insel pinterest page.
As a whole, I can say that the ZK/U residency and Die Insel project were incredibly rewarding for me. A great opportunity to experiment with various forms of engagement methods and artistic outcomes, and I’m pretty chuffed with myself for learning some html and documenting the process and outcomes so comprehensively through the Die Insel website. Have a look yourself at www.dieinsel.tumblr.com.
The Die Insel Storymap is a window to some of the stories that connect the people of Moabit, Berlin, to the places that are meaningful to them in the simplest of ways. All places were marked and described by the people of Moabit.
The printed Die Insel Storymap will be launched at the ZK/U Openhaus on July 24-27, then will be freely available at the ZK/U, Quartiersmanagement Moabit West, cafés, bars, galleries and most other places in Moabit too.
Take yourself on a tour of Moabit. Bring your neighbour. Share your own stories.
Die Insel Storymap Graphic Design: Marc Martin
[Click on the image above for a printable pdf]
For the June Openhaus, I read some stories that I’ve been gathering as part of the Die Insel project – stories that local residents have told me about their connection with particular places Moabit. The audio will soon be available, but in the meantime, here are just a couple of photos of the story telling.