DAD ARTISTS AT HOME
The presence of Covid-19 hasn’t had a personal impact – I was sure I wouldn’t be infected. Living on the coast and in a town that has plenty of green spaces as well as having a garden has been special as has the time to focus on neglected tasks. However, the primary negative aspect of this period for me has been the social restrictions and the fact that travel, especially to mainland Europe where I work on various projects, has not been possible since March. Time seems to have simultaneously speeded up and slowed down, 2020 feels like it’s over but never really began. Staring at a screen for much of the time is tedious and online contact with family and colleagues is never a substitute.
In terms of Covid-19’s effect on my creative practice, I didn’t want to fill the time with making objects that didn’t need to exist. Instead I’ve been documenting a selection of things/objects I have, trying to see them from a new perspective.
I have also been looking at previous projects and below are 3 images of a 2010 project in Dover – Façade: art in public spaces, which took place in Dover’s former Stagecoach bus depot space and was curated by Sharon Haward, artist and contributor to DAD’s projects.
I’m fortunate to have received an emergency response grant from Arts Council England for several research based projects and also an additional emergency grant to co-curate ‘Your Place’ an online digital platform of five artists’ new commissions, soon to be live on Tempo Arts website. But no live projects allowed.
Hidden Spaces : art and nature
When lockdown restrictions had eased, I spent time in July and August researching and making two interventions in the gardens at Historic Langney Priory, Eastbourne. The Priory is considered to be the oldest building in Eastbourne as some of it dates back to Edward the Confessor. The gardens, some are tended but the majority are wild spaces is hidden in the midst of Langney Village housing development.
My projects were part of Compass Community Arts summer residency for members of The Monday Art Group and participants of other Compass groups. The opportunity to work at The Priory created a safe haven for continuing arts activities which led to the development of a temporary sculpture trail with other works installed in The Cottage.
I was inspired by the various objects and structures haphazardly placed in the gardens and chose to transform, re-define and suggest alternative narratives for some of the objects I encountered.
To ensure the public could access Hidden Spaces it has been included in Heritage Open Days 2020, 11-20 September.
The project has been led by Christine Gist and Fenya Sharkey, director of Compass Community Arts