Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Open Crit. Friday 28th November 2014.

In our recent open crits, we have been experimenting with how we document the discussion which takes place. One of the ways in which we have been doing this is by inviting the members who have presented work to write something about their particular experience of the crit, if and how they found it useful, and what they intended to do as a result..



"Well I, Jenny, had with me a slightly battered CD (remember those) of P.J Harvey's album "Rid of Me" with that stark and strange cover image of P.J with the bare shoulders and the wild and extraordinary hair, forming a life of its own, outgrowing the confines of the image space, and a scholarly article from an esteemed journal for musicologists of popular music which was about the distinctive efffect of P.J Harvey's voice - its timbre, its ability to effect very profound and sudden change,it's 'breaking of the rules' in many respects.

These were, in the crit, a couple of markers for something that I want to perform as an art piece which is wanting to share something about women and voice in the ways that I might so do it.

What is it that I want to share?- certain connections of sound and sensation which in examples we can trace, connects to but wants to challenge and take to the limit a whole raft of cultural associations and positionings of 'the voice of woman' or indeed 'the voice' ...

Part of this requires me to sing. We talked a lot about this given that I cannot do it... yet I have proscribed for myself on the basis of an interest in doing so and some friendly challenges, that I'l do it as part of the background to a 'performance lecture' on woman's voice'.

By the aberrant laws of serendipity Jackie had a classical soprano woman singer as part of her final show and we talked about the effects of such an unexpected and "interruptive element.

The comments and follow up were very helpful. Claire pointed me towards Thalia Zedek, the lead singer of Come- check them out guys...Morry pointed me to Planning To Rock. These were great references. There is something in those different yet somehow connected references that I do want to follow up. I do have an 'imagination' of the performace talk/lecture with background/interposed sounds of my voice and others. ... this will continue and when I get to make my time it would be good to work this performance out at the Mill"

Jenny Walden




Crit Groups are great for roughing up the surfaces of art practice so that new ways of thinking about it can get a purchase and stick on. I was relying on last Friday’s session to help re-orientate myself after exiting MMU with my shiny new Art Practice, resulting from my MA Textiles studies. Seeing what sticks after a few days’ reflection on the discussions and questions raised have left the following impressions:

There is a connection to explore between my former life as a fancy dress costume maker/pedlar and the new objects shown, notably in the context of urban streets. (1)

The subversive possibilities of wearing costumes in public can be extended through humour, to the experimentation and display of other objects in public. (2)

The recording of the objects can function as the outcome, alongside the objects themselves.

Interrupting shared social space with objects embedded with subversive intention is a political act. This thought opens up possibilities for all manner of politically motivated content: an effective tool!

Many thanks to Jenny, Claire, Àgata and Morry for insightful contributions. I may have recognised a shared quest amongst the 3 presentations, for a deliberate space to be made in which the subversive/raw/unfixed particularities of work might operate. (3)

Jackie Haynes



At the moment I’m focusing on producing small-scale print works in sets of 11 pieces per work (1 each in sizes A0 to A10). Unlike previous works which consisted of 100+ pieces, I’m working with reduced numbers in order to explore working with smaller groups of people to develop a range of structures for shared ownership. The working title is ‘Phantom Demographic Series’ – which is this idea of imagining the audience/public/community that you’re making something for (which brings with it lots of questions/challenges).

To make these works, I’m using analogue print techniques to compress layer upon layer of ‘content-less’ information in the form of ink layers onto the pieces of paper which have been arranged into overlapping, taped together compositions. Each ink layer is documented as a unique record using ‘Filemaker Pro’ business database software.

There were some suggestions at the crit around the possibility to invite people to participate in the print production process as well as the subsequent distribution. This is something that I am considering, but equally I’m aware of how participation can often appear tokenistic and often has pre-set parameters designed by the artist for how it should happen.

Maurice Carlin