15 June 2006

Galerija Balen April 2006

This may appear to be working backward or rather randomly, but I have been collating notes from the last 4 or 5 months as a lot of it relates to doing a piece of work about 'site body text'. This in turn has made me analyse how to express my reasons for starting work on L@tE
One of my recurring themes is to use my art as an expression of environment or 'place'. Reading John Inges book 'A Christian Theology of Place' has confirmed many of my own ideas about why we/society has become so disconnected from reality and able to ignore the effects of our existance on the other living beings that surround us.
The images here are from Slavonski Brod, Croatia in March/April where I worked as artist in residence and had an exhbition at Galerija Balen
The title of my exhbition was 'weaving a walk' and my aim was to explore the feeling of being at the edge of a country border which was a war zone only 10 years ago. I had not been aware of the effects on wildlife that war would have. Combining action of walking with
The workshops addressed this partly through and partly through encouraging participants to become conscious of their shared environment - both natural and man-made.
I had the experience of hearing my second nightingale of the year, this time in a bombed out and abandoned house. I managed to record about 2 minutes and when I discover whether it is possible I will include it here!

I was very encouraged by the response to this work. I felt a strong affinity with those who participated and who came to the exhibition. I deliberately did not have written explanation of the work; there was too much potential for mis-translations and misunderstandings in this context. This desicion was confirmed when several viewers of the exhbition expressed an emotional and empathetic response to 'such new and expressive work' For more information about the residency
see translocal

The gallery image shows finished work, some I brought from UK and some was constructed on site using local materials.
Most significant for me wqas the mud from the River Sava; I found it great material to draw with.
I filled small sandbags & constructed a narrow, fragile warp round the walls which was used by workshop participants to weave their finds into.

I was told that the fragility of the warp and materials ued spoke clearly of 'Fragile Earth'
I used the gallery space as studio, had time to sit, look and be still which became part of the work. It was a contemplative space and I used that.
It was the first time I have been very conscious of including time as an element in my work