A key concern that came up at bootcamp, and has been cropping up in conversations lately, is this idea of telling a story.
For the last while I’ve been mulling it over, thinking about the many narratives involved in working.
There are stories for ourselves, such as:
- the idea we have of own practice (motivations, concerns, values as a maker)
- the framework we set out for projects (specific areas of exploration or interest)
- the understanding we have of individual elements (works/things that are part of your project/practice).
And there are stories for others, such as:
- the way we describe our practice (how or what we convey about motivation, values and concerns – the context we operate our practices within)
- the way we frame and present our work (the placement in space/gallery, information provided, and cohesiveness of works within that framework)
- the resolution of individual elements (the choices that are apparent within works/things, readable aspects that might be specific or refer to broader contexts. how this fits within your project/practice).
These are just a few examples (relating to the level of professionalism that is expected from a working artist) but what this has got me thinking is how important they all are – these layers of narratives that build upon one another. We need the internal (personal) stories as much as the external (public) descriptions.
For most of us I’m sure these are not really neat, discreet, categories – and I don’t think they have to be (the plan might be to forget the plan!) But for me it’s useful to consider this as a notion – the narratives we tell ourselves (as artists) and others (as audiences) are equally important, because both provide guidance (to make and understand the work).
On that note, my next post will talk about the plan I have with collaborator Nichola Shanley for the first HS3 show lined up at Objectspace. We have been quietly working away and things are beginning to unfold…