I had a mini pop up exhibition a few weeks ago. I used the same to put up the Patchwork Stories quilts and really think about how and IF I want to change and adapt them.
Following this, I feel like the quilts are perfect, just the way they are. My current next move is to back the quilts. I am also thinking about edging them with a black outline and sew series into the seams...but like everything about these, that plan might change!
With a focus on the Patchwork Stories project, how can artist-led participatory projects use personal story in a way that lends power and respect to the participant?
In early March Ting and I travelled to Ispra, Milan to run Built on Stories at the New Currents in Science conference at the EU JRC. We made collages in response to the topics discussed at the conference, creating a space for participants to talk to each other in a non-academic space. Below is a short film we made, reflecting on our experience and what we learned.
*a short piece of writing that I did nearly 3 years ago, during my foundation year.
The thoughts and feelings of that split second
The absence of the light is a necessary part
The room is rectangular, the door in one corner and the window covering the far wall. There is a bed under the window, covered with sheets that speak of childhood. They are well worn and well loved from countless cycles through the washing machine. A shelf runs alone the wall between the door and window, home to old mugs, used moisturizer and odd earrings. On the opposite wall - a chest of drawers; dark brown with a crack along the top covered by a child's scarf and topped with books. Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Jess of the Dubervilles ...teenage fiction mixed with books a girl once thought she should read. The room smells of clean nothingness; it is empty of life. It speaks of a child, now grown up and gone (at least for now).
The sun moves slowly. Lazily creeping up over the windowsill until it fills the room, shining through the corn coloured curtains and bringing a beautiful glow to the room. There is a gap of several centimeters through which a beam of solid sunlight shines. Dust motes swirl in the still air, moving amongst each other and dancing dreamily.
In the centre of the window hangs a heart shaped crystal that throws rainbows haphazardly across the walls. Photos of people now 5 years older, postcards from holidays forgotten, love notes with the same amount of meaning are all caught in the rainbow traps. One falls on the end of the bed, a hollow left by the body of a cat; the rainbow highlighting a patch of dust that glitters in the coloured light. The door is pushed suddenly open and air gusts in sending the duct motes from the bed post darting up to join others across the room. They are dancing at last; dust motes swimming in a rainbow.
A girl comes in. She throws her jacket onto the bed and kicks off her shoes, one lands under the radiator another next to the bed. She stands for a moment before she moves to the window and throws the curtains fully open. The sunlight streams in, rainbows bouncing off the dark red of her hair. A small girl barrels into the room, hair is flying. Her fringe sticks to her forehead as she drags a suitcase into the middle of the room, dropping it abruptly. A look passes between the girls, it speaks of love and excitement, the connection sisters share. The girls grab hands and dart from the room, off to find a third girl, off ready for the fun to begin.
They leave the door of the room open this time. The room smiles; no longer dormant.