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Ideas

“Banality wrapped in the glow of fascination”

In January, this year, over a three-week period, I began receiving tweets from artist Alice Thickett who was based in Hong Kong at the time. Short and somewhat cryptic, the words, making up sentences resonated something unknown, the strangeness of a foreign land, at times humorous, and other times poetic.These words will inspire and inform a new piece of work, a visual narrative of displacement, reflection of place, and imaginary travel in the format of a video piece. The work is at present unmade and will develop other the coming months to be shown in a group exhibition, ‘It is always happening outside the frame’ in the Autumn. The exhibition will feature a selection of artists making artwork inspired by an outside influence.

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I’m yet to mention a project I began working on whilst out in India with fellow Nottingham based artist Alice Thickett. The idea stemmed from Alice, who taking part in Project India from the UK, asked me to send her a series of short texts whilst I was out in Mumbai. We decided upon the medium of Twitter for this project due to the limitations of word count. These short tweets, created by myself, cryptically reflected upon experiences and encounters of both the project and city of Mumbai whilst I was out there. The 17 tweets I sent to Alice are as follows:

1. 5 arrive in Mumbai. Organised chaos. Adjust. False start but moving forward…

2. With fresh eyes heading across the tracks, first sights, everything shifts  

3. Spilting up 3 abstract stories: 1. Failed persuasion against Vastu, 2. Seeing the ‘other’ side of the city 3. The high life.

4. ‘Corruption spreads quickly in Mumbai’-taxi driver

5. Working with limitations, transforming space, jarring elements. Contemporary vs Traditional

6. Nothing is straight forward, but it’s on the cusp on something

7. Down alleyways, back street corners, open spaces, shopping malls, from dizzy heights, the city continues its constant juxtaposition

8. Explore respond dialogue explore expand create

9. Around corners, down darkened alleys, inside old buildings, up creaky staircases, behind large wooden doors, art awaits.

10. A small calm space hidden within a maze of traffic, stacked housing, colour, noise and people.

11.Traffic, horns, beep beep, bicycle bell, sweeping, birds circling, birds squawking, fans spinning, air conditioned hum

12. Dialogue, ideas and words exchanged. Re-thinking, re-evaluating and continuously evolving.

13. A space within a space, hidden. Turned inside out, revealed. Secrets of the space/// secrets of the city unravel..

14. Tying up loose threads, and still weaving across the city

15. The city coast line; in the evening’s people gather in flocks to sit and stare out to sea

16. Circles, rummaging through the cinematic past, connecting, ending, closing in

17. A taxi journey in a previous land. Two lands merged.  Distance.

In exchange, and as a development to the concept, I too received tweets from Alice in Hong Kong during the month of February. The text we have both sent and received will be responded to, becoming two separate artworks created by the recipient artists. These artworks will hopefully be shown in an exhibition at some point this year which will be based around the concept of responsive artwork. I will not reveal Alice’s tweets, but the ideas process has began to make one, or several pieces which respond to and take influence from her words. As a complete stranger to Hong Kong, Alice’s words act as my only guide, this strangeness of place will be reflected within my work as a narrative of displacement unravels…

So I haven’t been too active so far with this blog, unfortunately things such as working and job applications (basically the boring parts of life) have kind of got in the way over the past week. There are some posts in progress regarding some recent exhibition visits and also future projects. The next exhibition I’m working towards is looking to be at the end of March. This exhibition surrounds the curatorial theme of ‘testing ground’ (again more on this later). Ideas and plans for future works are currently scribbled across colour post-it notes on my work desk, but I’ve been thinking a lot about multiple screens, juxtaposing images, miniature cameras and CCTV cameras…

Speaking of CCTV.. I leave you with a link to Michael Snow’s 45 minute experimental film ‘Wavelength’ (1967). Set entirely in the same room, an anonymous apartment, and with only one camera, the film consists of a long slow zoom which explores the scene and events which unfold within. Wavelength challenges the function of film and the cinematic relationships between illusion and fact, subject and object, space and time.

Wavelength Film