LW - I was in Preston this weekend and took the opportunity to visit two of my artist friends there.
Bernie (and David) gave me these wonderful jars of jam and marmalade they had made and delicious homemade pikelets, a Lancashire delicacy, for breakfast. It's interesting how homemade or homegrown food so often provides a context for meetings about art. Bernie is a community artist, she worked for many years for Prescap an organisation forced to close, like so many others, as a result of the government's austerity measures. Bernie continues to work in the community independently. She showed me some wonderful garlands of origami flowers that she is currently producing with a community group for an event somewhere. Bernie has vast experience of working with all kinds of groups of people and also the background, unseen work that enables these things to happen. We talked together about how it is sometimes people observing the kind of work we do and how we do it, who identify what is actually happening in terms of value and community development. It seems the processes of putting together a day or more of art workshops can be quite intuitive and as a result the decisions taken, which may in fact be quite complex, seem to be very simple and obvious to us as artists.
Barbara (and Andrew) is primarily a musician but is nowadays concentrating much of her time on drawing and painting. She is concerned with learning accuracy in life drawing in order to then be able to work more instinctively. The process, I think, is rather like practicing scales in order to be able able to perform a piece of music with skill and sensitivity. While she was showing me her work I spotted one or two of my raku pots that I had made more than 25 years ago when I lived in Preston and used to fire them in the yard behind Barbara and Andrew's house (usually to the accompaniment of violin lessons, french horn practice and once, quartets). We talked a little about who or what the work is for and how important this question is in making work. Barbara also showed me what she described as a deliciously simple soup she was making from butter beans, garlic and fresh herbs cooked slowly together in her Aga.
I am considering these meetings and what I can take from them for Roaming.
This is a page for notes about how Roaming is related to contemporary art as a whole. We hope the contributors list will expand.