In Loving Memory of a dear Friend, a “sister”, Alison M. Hoult
b,1964,d.1998 (Notts, UK)
In Loving Memory of a dear Friend, a “sister”, Alison M. Hoult
b,1964,d.1998 (Notts, UK)
I’ve only ever seen one obviously group-authored blog, that of The Bookmark Project in 2011, a n0c0 initiative involving approx. 10 to 12 professional Nottingham artists and writers. I spent some time trying to fathom what on earth the real world version of the project was about.
Although in the Study at the gallery there were clear signs of bookmarked books (slips of papr, often scrap, inserted into books, to state the obvious!) it wasn’t clear at all what the aims of the project actually were and I had to assume a research group with unseen results. There were plans to make a zine apparently but I must have missed sight of that in the real world (although there was something else a bit later and I missed that too!) I checked the group blog fairly regularly for signs of life and new posts, but it remained very inactive after the initial few posts.
I guess Wayne Burrows was the lead blogger as it appeared he was the only author posting for quite sometime but eventually there was a post or two by Aaron Juneau. I maybe gave up checking and missed any newer posts but the blog no longer exists so I couldn’t check. Wayne Burrows currently has a fantastic blog full of information about the official/profesional Nottingham art scene with some fantastic articles and examples of his poetry and other works.
It can be extremely difficult, even with a tangible real world group to bring people together in both online and off-line activities for collaboration. Building trust and keeping momentum and interest while overcoming barriers and obstacles can be impossible.
(I think it’s f***ed off friday!)
At one time I trained (basic level) in community and group work skills aiming at that time to eventually become a community artist. The way that term is used in contemporary practice appears very different to how I assumed a community artist would work at that time and during my time as an art student so I gave up that aspiration because it’s not what it should in arts employment sector. Oh and because I would be expected to work as much as possible for nothing (while unable to work!) while people in paid jobs took credit for any group working success – but probably not any failures. I was offered my bus fares refunding but wasn’t fit to catch the bus that far and hadn’t had those I’d had to spend already refunded, while “training” didn’t tackle essential areas of group work skills training (although I’d some training before you would expect coverage of specific organisational procedures, safe-guarding procedures, any necessary record-keeping etc). Materials were provided for a community group including expensive cartridge paper but no good drawing matrials just HB pencils and chalks and one set of marker pes for a whole group with squeezy bottles of poster paint with no brushes and quite a poor range of materials for the funding budget. The trainees (incuding group participants) weren’t (well-if at all) consulted about how to use the budget, and once it was gone it was gone (that’s the local authority for us!) – of course you can use paint without brushes but no-one seemedto want to …they maybe resolved all those things after I left by moving…
This post has lost focus and turned into another whinge so i’ll sort it out later, post anyway, scat-cat-snail! leaving by moving, nice cuppa tea…
Well, never mind don’t worry – I’ve managed to do next to nothing for about three hours while I’ve stood at this console as if travelling at speed of light to some far distant future that never arrives – lost inthe holo-deck maybe. Everything’s fine while I stay in, as far as I’ve known before – and it doesn’t stop me going anywhere I have to go I just wish i could get out more!(lol, the house or the holo-deck?) Apologies reader if you fail to undrstand my meaning, I have strange ways with my writing that I don’t usually intend – but then we’re all open to misinterpretations in how what we communicate can be read / misread.
I’m willing myself back to n0c0, to write my part of the Rights of Nature review I told the girls I’d contribute to, but not getting there any time soon until I get my lift. I’m not really wanting to do any kind of review from the online pics cos it’s just not the same – and I’ve a feelling at least one or two of theirs will be marketing selection experience rather than in person conversation with the work – which is fine, but I’d rather immerse for as good a while as possible for the full sensual experience rathr than the flat, distanced observation – although that’s better than not at all.
I do wonder though at the integrity of exhibitions and how much is based not only on local authority push and pulls but also the profesional connections and influences driving artist’s career ladders and propelling their so-called success.
I read on one of the missionary sites of a mother with next to nothing being asked if she had made a rag rug on the floor herself and that being immediately being packed into a bag and offered as a gift – but the recipient should have refused, if she had any manners and if her work were truly charitable and good at heart. Ok, a rag rug is not a painting – but may well hve taken a lot longer to make than many a painting I’ve seen – and to remove what may have been the family’s only floor covering seemed obscene. The “charity volunteer” shouldn’t have taken anything. The lady who “gave” her rag-rug away was given a tin-pot heart pendant during the visit. I was sickened by pictures and descriptions – not for the reflections of poverty but for the potential truths existing behind such smokescreens as “charity” representation.
It occurred to me that the acquisition of paintings and sculptures might make some people their living – and in some cases good profits – while the people who made the work receive nothing as a result. Institutionalised art revolves around a fairy-tale stepping stone circularity of falsehoods and is not as high and mighty as it might appear.
Chouette’s Hispaniolan paintings caused me to wonder over the Haiiti exhibition works and how assured the origins of some of those paintings in the Kafou exhibition might have been. How, in the art world and the world in general, it’s a cut-throat-dog-eat-dog kinda place with a lot of friends of friends of the higher ranks working their circles. How easy it could be for vulnerable people in developing countries living in poverty to have their work stolen or to have gifted the work in goodwill and token payment to feel less obliged and then roped into produce more work for low pay or no pay perhaps to some compassionate charity charlatan for profiteers along the way to prosper by such thefts. … my wonderings continue…
Most people have never heard of most artists or their work, however renowned, reveered and admired they are amongst the small prcentage of the population with an interest in contempoary art. It’s not an industry myself nor my closer artistic acquaintances aspire to be part of, though we like to visit when we can and take a look.
What also came to mind is how there are people who will make any painting or drawing they are asked to re-create because they are poor artists needing the money (ie. too greedy to refuse). Or perhaps in some cases there is no way of ever obtaining a lost or destroyed original but an image remains and an “original” work can be re-created. It’s disappointing though then for such work to be misrepresented as the “original artist” and an ethical gallery would have clear contextual information relating to such work. I saw at least one such example during the Kubin exhibition that I was pretty damn sure was drawn by a former acquaintance of mine from looking at the drawing. The picture was made with a modern pen and couldn’t have possibly been a genuine Kubin and I felt let down by the gallery.
That experience led to me to question the believability of almost everything I’ve seen there since. Maybe the gallery just can’t afford to deliver on hosting international artist’s work most of the time enough and have to “cheat” by misrepresnting local artists work by other names. Some of the Kafou paintings could have very easily have been painted by another friend of mine, they were very much her style of painting and palette. At the Thomas Demand artist talk I had an overwhelming sense of watching an actor delivering a script, not as the artist, simply as the “front” for whatever lay behind; similarly there was nothing believable about Francis Upritchard other than that she didn’t mind men taking her out for dinner – i’d seen on ebay her hand-printed wrapping paper and hand-made cards but nothing to suggest she was an artist in the way represented. In fact the exhibition looked like it had needed a lot of last-minute help. the show would have stood public scrutiny better without any of the alleged sculpture in the gallery spaces.
The later Tala Mandani exhibition was another dubious exhibition and one painting in paticular carried a symbolic motif that may have been attributable to one of the associate artists. Manadani means citizen apparently, but it’s also an anagram of ‘andiman’. (handyman). In researching this artist there were two quite similar but essentially different ladies pictures came up in search results and only one academic institutional reference and of course in academic institutional circles constructs can very easily be arranged.
It may seem clever to those potentially involved and somehow conceptual but it’s essentially fraudulent and bogus and I’m not sure if special rules for artists and creators of literary works stretches so far as to allow such potentials …
These things are perhaps at the root of exactly why myself and some of my associates have such difficulty accessing essential welfare having attended courses and workshops at a public gallery in good faith, while well-off people with other incomes cream their rich-pickings and we’re all assumed to be playing a similar fiddle and can starve for the privelege. “It” happens time and again history repeats itself over and over. i’ve always believed you can never be a successful artist until you’re dead and gone and someone else profits and the art world is a not-so-pretty meaningless notion.
I should be more careful what I say really but I have a tendency to open it wide and choke on my bootlaces.
Of course, a painting is a painting is a painting and there’s not much in it other than the acrylic or oil /pigment… Seen one, you’ve seen ’em all some people say and the same saying goes for artists, along with “ten-a-penny”. But behind-the-scenes-smokescreens and deception is deception however you paint it.
Is it any different to having a user name online that doesn’t connect to or reveal your true identity? Well, it is when white English painters are making work that’s presented as originating in other countries by artists of other cultures.It leads to wondering about how the funding’s used and how much is syphoned off as having paid international costs that might never have occurred. Council representatives might never know their apples from their oranges. The potential great rock’n’roll swindle in not so fine arts… “they” call Nottingham Contemporary “NottCon” which suggests the opposite. We call Nottingham Contemporary “n0c0” – whether it’s it’s a con or not we’ll probably never know.
Of course all the above reasoning is just supposition and conjecture – but art work carries the trace of it’s creation, a thread of soul however weak or strong of it’s creator and it’s making. I fail to understand how desperate / greedy an artist would need to be to agree to such deceipts and would never wish to work with one nor any gallery that uses such method. I am not a wannabe anything, I simply AM – to be is all there is worth wishing for – similarly, local group associates – but we’re in the main unqualified, non-professional outsiders and whole-heartedly prefer it that way for all the above reasons.