Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fellowship…… what happens when you need to explain what you actually did

16 November 2014

I am ready to write and share what I learnt on my Australia Council Fellowship 2013-2014. This will not be in sequence. I will not always be able to reference people's names due to confidentiality. I will have changed some of my ideas already since finishing this first year and I hope to keep changing my ideas into the future. Some of this material will be explored after the actual finishing date as there was not enough time to squeeze in some follow up interviews.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who I met, talked with and will continue to talk with. 

This was one of the best things that ever happened to me and my arts practice.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Tomorrow I start a new job and as part of this new job i will not be able to continue into the second year of this fellowship. Therefore I find myself with the peculiar challenge of condensing my learnings from the first year (which was intensified across about 9 months). 

I agreed that during my  fellowship i would keep a regular blog. I did write regularly but this was mostly on paper in situ, on a train, plane or bench somewhere. This writing was not for public consumption, and it was rough and sloppy and not at all formulated for a reader other than me. 

Well I am back now and tomorrow I start this new job. I spent the first three months exploring desk top research, then I attended and presented master classes and at conferences and talked with Australian practitioners. Then the major focus for the first year was a three month stint away from work. I went on the road for three months, two months over the seas and one month on home soil - although home is a strange concept currently – as we have been moving locations either nightly, weekly or fortnightly now for months.

One of my major challenges while I was away was my ability to think clearly, focus on what I was learning as I was learning it and document it via writing -  which I felt comfortable enough to share with my colleagues and friends. This was an impossible task. I was learning so much at such a rapid rate combined with complex living circumstances, we (my partner, 1 year old child and I) moved from city to city (13 cities in 8 weeks), babies get sick in foreign countries (3 emergency +  5 regular medical incidents), venues, festivals, organisations, artists, shows, exhibitions, statues, food, street theatre, fashion, galleries, museums, people, castles, planes, apartments, books, websites and markets.

So I decided that rather than trying to reflect and write while on the road I would commit to that unraveling, unfolding and clarifying process once I got home. Anyway now is that time. If you would like to join this reflective conversation please do, its more interesting talking to people, rather than yourself… right?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fencing ideas

I found this fence, I will post a few images of it, as it was chain mail but so incredibly beautiful I would love to learn how to make them myself.

It got me thinking about topic issue I grappled with the entire time I was in Paris, practice versus spectacular... Well it seems this is a perfect example of both existing... this very practical yet this fence was truly gorgeous.....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fellowship Journey

In November of 2013 I commenced a fellowship supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.

This fellowship is focused on the intersections between Community Engaged and Socially Engaged Arts Practices. I have attended and presented at Conferences, interviewed people, talked with artists, watched videos of artists talking, read books, and have now just started on the overseas travel component of the trip.

I will be away for 8 weeks during which time I will make regular posts via Placestories!v=stories       here is the link to my work.

I will also work out how to embed that material onto this blog as well.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

time to think

I have been missing the regular task of writing - I do a lot of it at work and also in a thought documenting kind of way, but in terms of improving the way I talk about the work I want to make - this is one practice place.

So I have been knee deep in something I do as my day job, but it just dawned on me today when I was happily at work for 7 hours on a sat that in fact this thing I am making is totally part of my new practice area. I have essentially researched, consulted, talked, thought, invited, programmed, curated, managed, logistics-ed a conversation piece together.

I have been talking about the importance of conversation since 2006 when i considered this a main part of my work.

This work is called Changing Habitats

I have focused on unpacking one key question Are children and young people democratising culture? i realise now after more and more research how problematic this question is.

speaking of one culture - goes against my beliefs
Using the word democratising - confuses people

I like that it is a question that is based on people's own opinions, confusion, experiences and understanding of the world and the words used.

then I have put together a program of physical spaces, visual experiences, oral experiences, interactive experiences, conversations and
discussions, presentations, meetings, lectures, food, performances, music, art, literature, physical activity, humor, etc etc etc I think i just started salivating - how funny!

Anyway what is amazing about this - is A) i get paid to do this as my job and B) i am able to bring my arts practice to my day job and C) I have tried to democratise my arts practice by having so many people have their input into my work, to take criticism, to share things, to let people's opinions be important to me, rather than think that somehow I hold all the answers as the producer, curator and facilitator.

Being engaged in other people's thinking and vision is important to me, as it is also important for my work to explore contemporary arts practices, social, cultural and other trends that I see around me and start to ask some questions about. I also think it is the nature of my work to turn up the heat on some questions or lines of enquiry and also to relax on other areas...

This has meant that I have done some preaching to the very staunchly not-converted and that has been hard and good for me simultaneously. It also means that when this baby gets placed in the raft and set off down the river (so to speak) I will in fact be letting 200 other artists tear my ideas apart, re-shape it in their own minds, tell me where I have gone well and where i went very wrong, challenge each other, pat each other on the backs, begin new conversations with new people and hopefully feel the confusion of learning and exploration kicking in.

I am not sure this is my best piece of work, but is a fully integrated moment across a broad range of my interests, skills and experiences. I hope the time with this little 2 and a half day process, in turn gives me some of your ways of thinking and i am not stuck down in the basement washing dishes but that I can also engage with people and see what you all think.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

some reflections from week 2

So Monday and Wednesday's is the undergraduate class and Tuesday all day us the master's class.
Also on monday night there is the Portland State University Masters of Fine Arts Monday Night Lecture Series, then there are a bunch of other meetings and things I can attend as part of the Master's experience.

Having the time and space to think about my own arts practice and new ideas I am having everyday is such a privilege and yet I think this is what I am supposed to be doing on a Fellowship. Again big thanks to Brisbane City Council.

So what is making me think this week.

Firstly Paul Ramirez Jonas was the guest at the lecture series and his work was amazing, great to listen to and very engaging ideas...

Paul got me thinking about "going with reality" when a project or an idea is not working go, with that is happening, stop resisting. This has been my learning also from practices such as Yoga and Midwifery. The concept is to stop pushing or pulling and just let go, breathe, let things flow, go with reality.

 I saw Harrell speak at PICA on sat about the People's Biennial and i was struck by his project which was documenting people's photos that they kept in their wallets. This is a dying art form, as now everyone has phones that show photos more easily. So I started asking myself about NOSTALGIA and what this means to my generation, or that of my collaborators and how cares, if we are yet to have a real sense of the past?

Today we went to a major gallery in town for a project the students have coming up later in the year and i was again totally surprised when the collection director said that he was worried that some of the students work might "embarrass" a painting. I feel like i know what this means in terms of not destroying a painting and I also understand that an art work could be presented in a way that reveals its integrity, but embarrassing it... I am still working on that idea.