29 June 2020
Featured in Deptford X: 2002, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019
What are you reading at the moment?
Reading is quite a chore for me being dyslexic. Having said that when I do read I like to escape into the world of fiction, stories of another time or place. However during lockdown I am unable to do this even though, in theory, I have time. I seem to be reading Money Saving Expert (MSE) an Open University course, learning how to better manage my dwindling income. This I frequently intersperse with podcast episodes of ‘A history of the world in 100 objects’ .
What does a typical day look like for you?
Currently in lockdown I am, as said above, engrossed in educating myself in essential survival and promotional matters. I am also, like most of us, experimenting in the kitchen. This time has been a gift to test out all those culinary arts. I have had weeks of art making at home too but fundamentally I lack routine. In normal life, I have a better routine. On two days a week I work with three artists with learning disabilities who belong to a group called Redstart Arts which I set up in 2011. Once a month we all join another three artists at the Horniman Museum where we are Artist in Residence. On the other two or three days a week I work as an Artist Educator with various London museums/gallery’s developing, planning and delivering creative workshops for special educational needs. For personal artwork it helps me to have focused projects and deadlines even if far away. I feel like it is not for me then, but for the cause.
I am also a mother so keeping house and family is an important part of my daily life.
Describe your studio/workspace
I am very fortunate to have use of a once derelict park hut which I share as one of the volunteer Friends of the Park. The hut is a space with materials for the Redstart Artists to use as well as being a beating heart in the park. It is often busy with the comings and goings of park volunteers, and members of the public. I like the constraints of a space not being solely mine.
Where do your best ideas come from?
My best ideas come from being out and about in nature but also in the urban environment. I gravitate to what could be construed as discarded matter.
I also enjoy happenings that can be captured everyday, often moments appear like short films of a single idea. Last week I was with a friend walking down a quiet dark empty street (near Twinkle Park) suddenly a group of about 10 firefighters appeared out of nowhere. They were walking briskly in single file towards us, the reflectors on their Bunker Gear glowing, the swishing of their limbs pronounced as they moved past us. It was a surreal moment which, when I remember it, it plays back in slow motion.
If Tate called you tomorrow and invited you to make work for the Turbine Hall, what would it be?
Well, I appreciate installations that are immersive, to feel anonymous yet audacious. I enjoyed Miroslaw Balkan’s ‘How it is’ in the turbine hall in 2009 it was a pitch black enormous steel container. It felt like it was filled with darkness. I think filling the entire Turbine Hall with darkness, allowing participants to wander freely could be quite formidable but also stimulating. Participants will wear garments with reflectors. I would like there to be tiny hanging lights that can be directed however the participant chooses undoubtedly lighting other participants thus being the spectator and performer at the same time.
What is helping you the most during this time?/Plug your next show!
I have found this time during our global pandemic a gift (not the actual event I hasten to add). The luxury of idling, a time to recover, get back to being home, walk the dog for hours, and to let go of many of my responsibilities.
FOMO is no longer an issue, which is restful.
I have relished listening to Radio 4, either as a low hum whilst concentrating on written/research matters or for escape. I have enjoyed my daily phone calls with my mum who, against her will, is completely locked down.
I have submitted a short film to The Hearten Project, initiated by APT, Deptford in collaboration with Greenwich and Lewisham Hospital Trust. It will be an exhibition of artworks delivered initially online, and later in both Lewisham Hospital and APT gallery, to celebrate the extraordinary effort and sacrifices of NHS staff during the current crisis. My short film ‘Hours’ was presented as a collaboration with an APT sound artist David Bloor, found here on YouTube
This film was also 1 of 10 winners for the @isolationartschool completion. https://youtu.be/UIF_VpWh6IQ