It’s been a very busy few weeks since I returned from Cushendall in January. Happily so. Partly to remind myself, here’s an overview of new, ongoing and upcoming work:
Artist Meets Curator
26 to 28 April 2013, 12-5pm
Preview 25 April, 6-9pm, with reading by Holly Corfield Carr 8pm
Artist meets Curator is a new collaborative project in Bristol bringing together artists and curators in temporary spaces throughout the city. Their first project in April is an exhibition of site-responsive sculptural work by artist Gemma Wright in the Edwardian Toilets on Park Row, Here more concentrated, sparser there.
Artist Meets Curator have commissioned me to read a new work for this exhibition at the preview event on the 25th April at 8pm.
After my site visit to the gentlemen’s urinals, I started excitedly researching Edwardian tiling patterns and I’m taking cues from Wright’s own research into Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (1972), architecture and origami for the story itself. Now it’s just over a month until what has to be the most strange and brilliant event you’ll see in a public toilet for a long while.
Riffing on the idea of invisible cities and storytelling, I produced a 24-line short story printed onto three origami fortune tellers. With audience members, we opened and closed the fortune tellers according to the number of cities we had ever lived in (4, 8 and “50 million” apparently) and then collaboratively read the resulting ‘visible’ story, surrendering the temporarily lost lines. The readers read the fractured text beautifully and, staggeringly, we won all £225 funding collected during the event for the project.
There were so many excellent projects presented that afternoon and it was an honour to pitch our work to such an energised, engaged crowd. If you want to get involved or attend the next Spoon Fed in June, you can find more details here.
Factory Nights Publication
Rednile Projects have recently published Factory Nights: Discovering and Activating Spaces, a catalogue showcasing the unique commissions and collaborations developed from their Factory Nights programme run between 2011 and 2012. I’m not exaggerating to say that working with Rednile has radically changed my practice – and my life. Being invited to attend the Factory Night at the Historic Wedgwood Institute in October 2011 gave me the opportunity to work along visual artists for the first time, and resulted in a commissioned residency at the original Spode Factory with sculptor David Booth and ceramic artist Sun Ae Kim that ran from November 2011, during the British Ceramics Biennial, to July 2012. It was such an invigorating and challenging experience barely summarised in my brief report for Rednile (above) published alongside an image of David Booth’s dramatic concrete interventions taken during our pop-up exhibition in the China Hall in July 2012.
After almost three months of sniffing and wafting and living with the risk of accidentally imbibing the mystery scent I had received from perfume and poetry collaboration Penning Perfumes, I performed my responsive poem Gliss at the Milk Thistle on 27th February, alongside the other participating poets, perfumers and at least one taxidermied fox in a bow tie.
It was all terribly glamourous and the Milk Thistle generously closed the synaesthetic circle of confusion by providing cocktails inspired by the perfumes that the poets had written poems about. There was even one perfume produced especially by Elizabeth Moores of Papillon Perfumery in response to a poem by Bristol-based poet David Briggs. Blimey.
Other upcoming events include Write Club Presents… at Spike Island next Sunday and Word of Mouth at The Thunderbolt on the 3rd April as well as some rich new collaborations, including a new poetry sequence written with a young US-based poet, ekphractic responses to artwork in Bristol and working with The Collect on a new performance work.
I don’t want to give everything away right now so I will return to writing my new story for a derelict public toilet. As you do.
As you were.