Walking on Sunshine
For Playthings in Nelson I made Walking on Sunshine, five pairs of tin can stilts
When I was at high school I thought that to be an artist you had to look the part – tall, obviously, and enigmatic
I got over that, as you can see, BUT when I recently met an idol of mine their first words were: I thought you’d be taller…It turns out I’m easily cast back to wishing I was more.. willowy
The intention of Walking on Sunshine was that exhibition visitors would get to stride around on stilts and experience the benefits of walking tall – how our body language can increase our confidence, and how moving more confidently – long steps, making a noise – sends a message that can change our outcomes (we’re less likely to be threatened in the street, for instance)
the Play aspect was important; wanted to offer a fun experience. I remember my first ever time on tin can stilts – at Brownies, so I was perhaps 7. For an unco child – The Joy – of being able to do it!
Interestingly though, the curator’s essay on the show refers to the piece as “altering our body’s movement and hence bringing into play that other aspect of jewellery: its relationship to the body “ by “awkwardly moving around,.”
Awkwardness is absolutely not the intention of the piece – though it was fine for the Playthings context.