How long have you been at Fabrica?
What have you been doing at Fabrica?
I’ve helped with the galley workshop `draw to films` where by participants identified the points of personal resonance in their visual response to the film Silent Souls. Particularly interesting was the participant`s shared emphasis on the linear horizontal picture plane which echoed the films transitionally fluid style of cinematography, a crucial visual tool for this road movie`s narrative development. As such the participants unconsciously deconstructed the film making process producing essential storyboard motifs and exploring the camera angles.
Assisting with artist in residence Thomas Allen’s Cave Painting project was quite thrilling as the work emerged over a five-day period. Members of the public were invited inside the “cave” to view Thomas`s painting in the process of spontaneous creation. It was my job to encourage them to do an automatic drawing of their own informed by their experience of engagement in the cave.
Collating the viewer`s drawings and discussing their feedback with Thomas was exciting because the public`s work informed Thomas`s unconsciously, day by day, as there was a fresh emergence of shared pictorial language, completing a fluid circle of creative connection between Thomas as artist and viewer as artists.
Removing the final piece was really interesting too from a conservation point as myself and Thomas explored different types of paper and tapes to cover the charcoal and pastel artwork to prevent smudging and protect the colours as we carefully rolled it into a large scroll for safe transport and storage.
What are your reasons for volunteering with us ?
Before Fabrica I was very much engaged with art from an academic perspective and as a practitioner. I wanted to take part with artist`s role within the community and to see it defined as being at the heart of the community. Fabrica’s outreach ethic, its central location and free admission nurture the notion of Gallery as belonging to everyone, an inclusive public meeting place for shared experience and/or private reflection. I love the space itself and the curatorial policy of complimentary site-specific commission’s to heighten the viewer`s experience, creating a unity between space, art and public, which perpetuates art and setting as an agent for intimate and collective exchange.
What do you hope to get out of it?
An insight into this curatorial and commissioning practice, to get braver at eliciting public feedback and first-hand experience of facilitating Gallery workshops.
What is your most memorable experience while volunteering with Fabrica?
That would have to be the audience`s response to the cave painting project. We had a young child immediately kneeling down delighted to draw simultaneously to the artist in a `cave.` An older lady came by throughout the week to see the progress, bringing freshly made biscuits to sustain myself and Thomas ( it was a cold January!). She explained how the painting had become a meditative, contemplative focus amidst the hustle and bustle of the town. Another inspired visitor returned with a handmade gift of willow charcoal for Thomas`s use having spoken to me earlier of the importance of recognising drawing as an innate impulse, an ancient skill within us all unconnected to the notion of ability.
Who is your favourite artist? (at Fabrica or personal?)
Howard Hodgkin, I love the way the multisensory remembered past is alchemically transformed into a palpable present.
Favourite Exhibition? (at Fabrica or personal?)
The Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff where an oval of forty speakers played a reworked version of Thomas Tallis`s 500 year old choral composition. Each speaker played a single choristers voice and Fabrica seemed a space comprised of sound, a space simultaneously celebrating the singular and the collective voice. Hearing random pieces of the choristers conversation during warm up added wit and humour, securing an intimacy with the singers as the everyday collided with the escoteric.
What artwork would you put in the gallery if you had free rein?
What a tricky question, Ai Weiwei, Grayson Perry and Thomas Heatherwick all spring to mind. However I really like the performance aspect to Thomas Heatherwick`s Olympic cauldron. It would be fascinating to see what he would bring to Fabrica`s space.
Why should anyone thinking of volunteering with Fabrica get involved?Apart from working alongside a really great group of people you get first-hand experience of the running of a gallery. Volunteers are offered a choice from a wide spectrum of skills to hone from research to installation rather than assisting in a single department. Of course it’s also really good fun!
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with us?
I write introductions for artists catalogues and handouts for their solo shows, currently I am helping design the contents of an artist’s website. I’m also working towards completing my degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art. I love photography-based creative collaborations as well and hope to get one underway soon. Apart from Fabrica I`m a voluntary dog walker for The Dogs Trust charity and lend a hand in Sold a new charity shop which gives retail experience to adults with learning difficulties.