Before another week engulfs my attentions I am making it my priority, on this captivatingly fresh-fine Saturday, to share key creative developments here on my casually updated blog. That I am foolish, goes without saying. That I am foolish for penning the experiences I have have recently encountered, before another day elapses, down in the depths under Scarborough’s Art Gallery, at Crescent Arts, where I am now installed as one of the resident artists, rather than bracing the sullen winds against the backdrop of dazzling skies, is a moot point.
My residency at Crescent Arts http://www.crescentarts.co.uk/ began two months ago. My connections with Crescent Arts, however really bore witness to our mutual affability and shared cultural interests, pursuits and social and political rights when I participated in Monica Ross’Anniversary – an act of memory: solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights http://www.actsofmemory.net/, at Scarborough Library on 29th Oct 2011. I have yet to see the footage from the recital but I will attempt to recall aspects of my experience surrounding the event as follows:
I signed up to participate, choosing, as a coward is apt to do, a short, simple passage. Never underestimate the power of precision, for Article 5, my chosen article, is affectively pithy: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Memorizing this Article raised questions relating to rote learning, something I haven’t really done since school, but I believe that method certainly stood me in good stead. However, I did have to look this up just now – now there’s honesty for you, but I must stress I do not take the Rights or Ross’s tour lightly for all that my memory is seive-shaped. I might add, that Monica Ross knows the entire Declaration of Human Rights by heart. I arrived at the library at the time allocated for the recitals to begin, having completely overlooked the information posted to me which I later noticed infomed particpatants of a run-through prior to the performance. So it was feet first for me, and my Mother, who accompanied me, and recited Article 3. The performance began with an overview of the project, if I remember correctly; how the recitals would be recorded and certain interjections that would take place. The audience/particpants were told that Eric Broadbent, Scarborough’s Labour Councillor, would say a few words to begin. Unfortunately, I fail to recall all that he said – I think he recited a poem – what struck me as rather alarming at the time was his short plea to Scarborians to be aware that the BNP was gaining some ground in the area. Having mused on this further, I feel safe in the knowledge that such a minority requires little attention from me, at least. The recital began with Ross, who prior to reading tied her lustrous, thick hair back in a pony tail. I later learned that Ross is refraining from having her hair cut for the duration of the Acts of Memory tour, which continues into 2013. The particpants walked to the front, in Article order and recited. Incidently I met Madeline today in Gibson’s on Ramshill, where we were both investing in our daily bread. I introduced myself to her, for I recognised this pretty, unassuming lady immediately and remembered her striking recital in Flemish on the day. She explained to me that she shirks away from the resposibility and commitment of being directly involved or a member of such organisations as Amnesty International, and I absolutely sympathise with this stance. Acts of Memory gave us the opportunity to play a small part in this universal objective, which thanks to Ross, can make clear headway in an effort to remind us all of the rights many of us take for granted, whilst others suffer at the expense of our liberty and freedoms. The Articles were recited in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Doric, English, French, Flemish, Hindi and Italian. This project is vital in its employment of oral transmission of universal knowledge, leading to a greater understanding of human rights, revealing that we are collectively letting our fellows down in so many respects. Organisations such as Amnesty deserve our attention in their effort to “protect people wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied.” http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10010
And so, following this I moved all my materials, equippment, work etc from my temporary studio in Hackness into my beautiful space at The Crescent Arts, where I contiune to draw, paint, write, collage and photograph. I am currently working towards a project spearheaded by The Crescent called Artist Writes alongside book-making workshops that I hope to host in the coming months, both of which I will provide further information in due course. Following are images that are of The Crescent facilities or samples of work that I have produced, in their rawest stages, since being installed here, explanations of which will be jotted in subsequent blog posts. I keep logs of my research and workings on Flickr and Pinterest for those of you reading this itching for more regular updates.