This Feedback session happened during week 3 of the lockdown on the eve of the announcement that we will in fact be in lock down for a further 3 weeks (at least). This had a heavy influence on the experiences we were bringing to the table when discussing each other’s work.
This platform did however give us all a welcome break from our lives. I know personally it was great to speak to people about not only what effect the lockdown was having on me but also my creative practice.
Due to the lockdown and social distancing guidelines this session was held online, a first for me. We shared images and texts through an online platform. All but one of the artists uses sculpture in some way throughout their practice, so this format was challenging but in fact I came to realise reflects how most of us interact with art works on a daily basis, not only under current restrictions.
Up first to share was Patricia Pisanelli. They began to explain the images we could see on screen, how they often don’t plan the objects through drawing and let the material lead the way. They are interested in nature vs material and the process of transformation, often using processed food as the material itself. Their objects fall within a domestic sizing so in turn become food like or body like. They were interested to know what connections the very different works had. Monsters with human quality’s sprung to mind often grounding themselves within unnatural environments, looking for a way to escape.
We then discussed the work of Alexis Zelda Stevens. She began to explain her process, how she forms lists of words as directional tools for her dance performances, and how this is now moving into her sculptural objects. She is interested in hidden power dynamics, with the works, often completed by human presence. Materiality and the structure of Alexis’ new installation lead us to talk about the nature of assemblage: to achieve the desired look is it important to leave materials untouched so they can look accidental, or can this be achieved via the placement of the altered materials in its final installation.
Campbell McConnell started off by creating a mental picture of the internal life within the game they are currently playing. Collecting wood or spending an entire day fishing all sounding very idyllic in our current situation. They began to explain how they have been doing the ‘30 days 30 works’ challenge and the works they shared were part of this. Mythical shopping lists would be one way to explain them “wolf bane, mushroom spore, wizard boots”. We began discussing how this could be brought into the real world and how the constraints of lockdown could give others the time needed to collect everything on these magical shopping’s lists within their own homes. This could then be shared with Campbell once we can do so again, avoiding online platforms as a sharing tool.
Ending this session seemed to me to be a difficult thing to do, we all had so much more to say and I’m sure could have spoken for hours about our lockdown experiences with fresh ears to explain our over-told stories too.