Continuing with my work on the many branches of feminism I am interested in gender, the trans* community and the many ways that gender is restricted in out society. I have been reading Whipping Girl by Julia Serano as well as several websites and online articles. I want to make a piece of art, exploring the things that I am learning but I feel scared. I don't want to speak for anyone else. I can't speak for anyone else...in this case the trans* movement, since I have no idea what it is like to be trans*, or even really what it's like to know/love a trans* person...But I also don't want to be help back by that. I want to make this art!! So, after my tutorial with Chara Lewis and discussion about how to make art with care and intention I decided to do that. To just have a go.
I am trying to find a way to wear a pair of my steel testicles. Ultimately I would like to take a series of photos of myself wearing a bodysuit made of beige tights and including my balls; I would like to develop the body suit into a sculptural piece - examining the links//disparity between the body we are born into and the way society//we see our gender.
As a part of Unit X I have been joining in with a few of the school sessions run at the Whitworth Art Gallery. I have been to two sessions run by a drama and theatre practitioner called Paul. The sessions are aimed at students who might not ordinarily go to art gallerys; they focus on different ways that we can interact with the gallery soace and try to make the gallery a fun and non-imtimidating soace. I really enjoyed wirking with Paul, he is great fun and make the workshop exciting for everyone. I am running a series of workshops at the LGBT cnetre 'creative cafe' in June and it was great to see the kind of things that I might be able to incorporate into my sessions.
Since I am using Pacthwork Stories as my main Unit X project, I have been joining in with some of the activities of a group putting on a Thursday Late event at Manchester Art Gallery. We had out pitch on Monday. I am not really involved with the planning of the event, however I have been to all of the meeting and am planning to make a piece of work in response to some of the things I am learning.
The group have written a manifesto for the event.
- WE ARE BROKE / / BROKE is a collective which aims to make artistic comment on (the function of) modern design. Design loves a depression; we feel modern, 'everyday design' is capitalising on our current economic climate. We aim to challenge modern attitudes towards this recession-born, disposable 'everyday design'. The great depression gave birth to the 'make do and mend' due to a lack of resources (and finance). We now have a greater responsibility to be sustainable due to out over consumption of those resources.
"Faced with a crisis that threatens out survival as a species, our entire culture is continuing to do the very thing that caused the crisis, only with an extra dose of elbow grease behind it" - Naomi Klein 2014
Great design can be born from times of austerity as demonstrated throughout the 20th Century with the House Proud exhibition. Why are we over consuming cheap and unsustainable design in an environment where we simply cannot afford to do so? We aim to examine where these standards went and how being 'house proud' has changed over time. -
I've been volunteering once a week at the Seashell Trust in Cheadle Hulme for 3 months now, along with three sixth form students I run an after school art club for the college aged residential students. The hour each week goes by extremely quickly, most of the students have very short attention spans meaning that the turn over is very quick. Most weeks we do painting, a few of the students simply enjoy putting their hands in the paint but it's great getting to see them getting more confident each week as they get used to both us and the activities.
I've made a few changes to the lay out of my blog as well as some additions to my exhibitions page. I hope you like them!
Last night I went to the Stirred Poetry open mic night SHOUT. Stirred is a feminist poetry collective that hold monthly poetry workshops and performances in the 3 minute theater. I went to the event not really knowing what to expect and left having performed a poem. I had a simply amazing time! and Dani and I have decided that from now on we will have to go every month.
I am in the process of making all of the fabric given to me into a giant pom pom. My current ideas are focusing around my identity as a woman and where that has come from. I am planning to shape the pom pom into a rough fetal shape before hanging it inside a beige pair of tights to represent a caterpillar cocoon. Personally I have always identified as my birth given gender - female. However I am becoming increasingly aware of the trans* community and I would like that to become more a part of my practice. I want to explore my own identity, looking at my femininity and how that has developed organically/or been influenced by those around me while also being sensitive to and developing my understanding of my own cis-privilege.
On Wednesday 18th March I was invited to attend a Pssaph concert at the Burgess Foundation by Tim Williams, percussionist/Artistic Director and Jen Langridge, cello player for Pssapha. The group performed two pieces, a contemporary composition by Daniel Kidane as well as a piece from the 1920s. I had a wonderful time...but was left feeling a little lost. I felt how I image many people feel after viewing a contemporary art exhibtion for the frist time. Excited, confused and more than a little out of place.
However it was a great experience and has made me think a lot about how it feels for people who 'don't get art' to venture into a gallery. A very useful train of thought for the upcoming MAG Thursday late.