Our pop-up show is almost here
The big day may have come and gone, but keep in touch as we’re always up to something new and exciting.
At uni today attending the networking module for my MFA . We came up with the idea of curating and putting on a show. James suggested we could use his storage space in his office in Holborn, but he did not know how much stuff was stored there and clearing it up might be a mammoth task. We took him up on his offer and arranged to visit the following week.
Looking forward to checking out James' space as I love construction/building materials and a large part of my practice is repurposing found objects and recycling in my work.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the meeting at James' office to take a look at the space we plan to use for the pop-up networking show. I had to go to work instead. I have been freelancing as a project manager producing an annual report for an IT company based in Liverpool street. We were doing a photoshoot of the office and I got distracted with the view outside! As well as the stunning views of London with Canary Wharf in the background, I could help but think of the people who lived in the block of flats opposite who had probably spent thousands of pounds on their flats only to be watched over by us.
I loved seeing all the pictures of James' space our group shared on our WhatsApp group. There was a similarity between those images and the ones I had take earlier that day. Some words that come to mind... buildings, construction materials, mess, chaos, grids, squares, plans, man-made, cages, buiding site, incomplete, framework and network...
.... all that clutter... so much I could do with all that plastic and bits of building materials...
For this pop-up show we will need to initially clear this space before we can decide what we can do in it.
Over the next few weeks we met at Jame's office clearing the space, brainstorming and thinking about the pop-up event. and of corse clearing and cleaning (which actually took up most of our time). George put together a list of names which he place on out studio wall for us to review and pick our favourite. Unanimously we picked:
The Junk Punk Bunch (name of our group)
Stuff™ (name of the the show)
Junk Space (name of the pop-up gallery, named appropriately as it was a junk space when we first arrived!)
Hanna volunteered to design our invite and George helped her with the logo, by making a real life Stuff™ in wood. We also picked the date of our pop-up show/event: 16 May, from 3 pm to 7 pm. We needed to thing about who we could invite. I will be inviting some friends, but I doubt any would turn up as I live outside of London. But I will try and convince Frank (my husband) and my two girls to attend.
The next thing would be for me tho think about what I want from this show and what I plan to exhibit. I thought initially I would bring some of my sculpture pieces which I make with found and recycled object to exhibit, but on second thoughts the space and the junk we found provided so much scope for me to work with. Some of the things we found, like the cage with cubby holes would have been perfect for an installation, but James needed it to go on site of one of his projects (I didn't mention that he's an architect, hence all that amazing clutter).
Last week I discovered the orange Ikea chair which we were going to remove and place outside in the courtyard and I thought this could become my centre piece. I could invite people to sit on it and contemplate the space and the work on display. In my view the whole space Junk Space is the art, this space was storage for James' work and every time we pick something up, he has a story to tell. The exquisitely made leather bags and armchairs made by a charity working with drug addiction in Italy, or the gold leaf table that we had to be very careful moving, or the model of the villa he'd designed for this or that millionaire. It was like entering some long lost tomb full of treasures.
Some questions I asked myself:
How am I responding to this space?
For me Junk Space has become alive, it invites you in to explore every nook and cranny... this orange chair a symbol of hospitality.... inviting visitors to come into this immersive space.
As there is an interconnecting relationship or exchange between my art and this space, I think about 'site-specific' art and how my work becomes the exchange between myself and the space, between the viewer and the viewed. Nick Kaye mentions in his book Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation that "... a definition of site-specificity might begin quite simply by describing the basis of such an exchange. If one accepts the proposition that the meanings of utterances, actions and events are affected by their 'local position', by the situation of which they are a part, then a work of art, too, will be defined in relation to its place and position. " (Kaye, Nick. "Site-Specific Art : Performance, Place and Documentation". London: Taylor & Francis Group, 2000. Introduction, p1. Accessed May 7, 2022.)
As this pop-up show is 'site-specific' how do we extend the longevity of our work?
Once this show ends, our work ends. We are of course documenting the process and our work as well as the final event. The show and our experiences will live on in images, videos and blogs. We could possibly have a show back in our university studio documenting the process? Could The Junk Punk Bunch take this show somewhere else? or do something similar in a different location? The more I think about this project the more questions I have....
What does networking mean?
So working with my peers on this project is in itself networking. We have been exchanging ideas, information, brain-storming and negotiating what we can and can't do allowing all of us the space to thrive and explore our own ideas.
As for the second meaning... linking computers... we could live stream the event, so anyone anywhere could access the show from their computer or smart phone. We will need to use social media as a tool for networking. Note to self: should also do a few posts of instagram etc...
What impact has working as team and collaborating had on my work?
Sharing ideas and collaborating means that my work is a product of all of us as a group The Junk Punk Bunch. I am responding to the space but also to what the others are making. If I was part of a different group my work would be totally different.
Rob set up the computer screens so that he can show his game/interactive work. One of the screens was not working so I placed on of my sculptures in front of it and his installation became the backdrop for my piece (see image above). I also then wrapped the screens is hazard tape that we found clearing up. As everything is still in a state of flux, this could all change for the actual show.
I have also been inspired by George's collage work and have been play with our images of Junk Space and the images of the demolished homes and streets of Cairo.
Kaye, Nick. "Site-Specific Art : Performance, Place and Documentation". London: Taylor & Francis Group, 2000.
Scholte, T., The Perpetuation of Site-Specific Installation Artworks in Museums. Staging Contemporary Art. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2022.
TED Talk “Olafur Eliasson: Playing with space and light,” presented by Eliasson at an official TED conference,7 August 2009,
Rob's installation with my sculpture and wrapped in hazard tape
Monday 9 May
My ideas are coming together nicely. This morning, I painted a large sheet in studio and the we met at Junk Space for final preparations and planning. Initially I was going to shred up my painted sheet, but after showing it to the group they said I should keep it in one piece and then James suggested I hang it from on the wall outside. So if it was going to hang on the wall outside, it needed something else... a word or message and James came up with OCCUPIED, which I thought was brilliant as we have occupied this space and for four hours it will be transformed and become a creative space where we can engage with the public and each other.
I also started to wrap and weave the orange chair in strips of white cotton sheets. My now white chair is occupying centre stage in the middle of the gallery, as well as my red sea monster occupying space by Rob's game.
I showed Charlotte my photo collages which she liked and thought it would be a good idea to print one of them out quite big A0. We tried to use James' large format printer in the office above but we couldn't get it to work.
OCCUPIED - the reoccurring theme running through my work in this group show.
Promoting and marketing
I plan to design and print a postcard to give out at during the event and a show catalogue for the group.
This morning I shared the first post on social media and Hannah set up an instagram account for The Junk Punk Bunch @thejunkpunkbunch. She will also be preparing the press release.
Tasks for this week:
Playing around with images of the orange chair and one of my images of demolished buildings from Egypt.
Been very busy working on the artwork for our show catalogue and getting everyone to send me their writeup and approve final artwork. You can view the catalogue below or download the pdf.
I have also completed the spray painting of OCCUPIED on my painting. Looking forward to installing it on the wall outside the office.
Received the printed show catalogue this morning together with the postcards I will be hading out during the show.