Viral texts blog part 1

It is the start of 2nd week of ‘lockdown’ in the UK and now finally feeling able to begin to respond to what I and millions of others find ourselves in. Last year I created a work called Wildedges which was based in a walled Somerset Orchard. One of the reasons I was drawn to this location was the fact it was contained and defined very clearly, which gave me the security (through clear borders) to develop my ideas. I have always responded well to limitations, and now in “lockdown” I find (so far) that this curtailment of choice is really helping me to make certain decisions I normally would struggle with.

So now as I consider a new work, Viral texts, as always the first question is where? Last Autumn I experimented with using my front garden, as a exhibition space, which leads to the street. A few weeks ago I decided to re make and re paint the white fence that is between the garden and the street. It is clear now as I look at it that it is a perfect frame and limitation for this next stage of work. In Wildedges I used a series of banners, white text on black background, planted in the ground near certain trees in the orchard. I wanted to give the trees a voice, but I also wanted to show how similar their needs were to ours. Each banner started with, I need or I want or I am, and then a statement. This was in the spring, this Autumn I put them in changing juxtaposition in my garden over 10 weeks.

Now I want to rewrite half of them and build up a series of statements putting one banner up a week, so after 10 weeks they will all be there. The street is usually used a lot by the local community, but now of course many fewer people will pass, which is one reason I want to build it up slowly.

I will continue to add to this blog as the work develops with text, images and maybe some short films.

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