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16 June 2006

allotment winter 2000

This image is of the allotment in winter 2000 when the willow was stll young and skeletal.
I liked the idea of putting an out of season image in - the temperature here is about 29 degrees.
I will put images of the tree I am cutting down today in later

allotment winter 2002

Allotment and textile thoughts

Still learning about how to put in the information as I want it to appear - sorry to those who are used to blogging etc.
Please remember that all materials, writing and images put on to this Blog remain the copyright of Jane Frost. Remeber to ask appropriate permissions for reproducing, copying etc. I am a member of DACS - Design and Artists Copyright Society, any queries about copyright should go to them.
I have recently been having the experience of dreaming very specific and detailed dreams about work tasks and development ideas. I know one other person who has had this experience, it seems that in dreaming information that I was not aware knowing comes to the foreground and becomes a conscious activity. Perhaps this is the only way of finding this information - stress and preocupation must affect how I think.
Yesterday at Norwich Art School after having an idea (which had started after a dream) I drafted a piece of work with another student - images to come after the event! The conversation was as if I had dreamed the whole thing - it seemed to be in place already. There is potential - as always - for disaster, but on the other hand it could be really forceful.
I am taking a tree down today that I have been growing for about 8 years. It is a was part of my first attempts at using willows tpo work with when recovering from ME. I have been growing it like giant spun yarn, twisting it round each season but allwing it to take it's own form most of the time. I had not connected the fact that the allotment started around the same time as the thoughts about
'Living at the Edge' L@tE.
In the last few days news about L@tE and has started to snowball, we seem to be at the place we were aiming for - it has been hard work for the alst few years. Somehow taking the tree and making that a part of my work now has significance and feels the right time. I know, logically, it could happen next year, or even much further on; but emotion and instinct seems to be a strong element in the making process and I think is either intuitive or reflective practice - it certainly feels that way.
Working with the tree this morning in preparation to cut it down there have a lot of feelings and discoveries that I would not have become conscious of without manipulating the tree and other parts of the allotment. It is a place I associate with feeling stronger and fitter - my physical body is very involved with the action of working there & it is a very real studio space for me. I have recognised a relationship with my body and the developing wildlife; I am conscious of working alongside and sharing the space. there is an real element of negotiation in using the land. I have to get rid of some plants - weeds when they are in the wrong place & threaten to strangle or overwhelm the plants I want to work with. On the other hand I leave areas for wildlife to nest and shelter in where I don't really control the growth at all, in the winter I cut back and clear pathways. It is a way of defining the space, drawing a line round it, more than making it mine.
Reading Tim Ingold's work 'The perception of the environment' essays in livelihood, dwelling and skill has been like a confirmation of my work activity. I have not verbally analysed working on the allotment as a textile activity until recently, but have always known that is what it is - so taking the willow down and making it into a piece of spun yarn with text is a real conclusion. I have repeated myself I'm sure - sorry if you have read all this & wondered why. Sometimes repetition is like weaving - more of the same is not always unecessary! The opposite also applies, more words do not always mean better meaning or understanding....

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

responses : Wheatfen Broad

I am catching up with the Blog - putting in stuff that has been waiting to go in while working out how to make it. It has been a bit like preparing a warp, or spinning yarn in preperation for making the work.
This is why the dates are out of sinc at the moment

responses:Wheatfen Broad May 2006
Working at Wheatfen Broad, Norfolk, I collected the comments from MA Textile & Culture students and staff, their experiences and impressions of first visitng the place.
These were written by them on labels using my own made pastels from
dried and baked clay collected from Wicken Fen UK and Barisol Bangladesh.
Hung across a dyke on nettle fibre yarn, still water with reflections;
next to growing nettles. The labels became somehow more significant in their reflections. An unexpected 'reading' including the water.
I would like to have left these in place but it is a reserve where this would have needed more planning and consultaion, maybe another time.
I enjoyed working in the rain and cold, it was quiet in the morning, birds, insects and animals protect themsleves form wet. In the afdternoon I heard deer, cuckoo and saw cock pheasants fighting, blue tits, wren and blackbirds nesting and protecting their territory.
How does it affect the work having these subjective and physical experiences in making it? I'm not sure it does for the veiwer, but I do know I would feel very isolated and alien without these feelings.

Wensum yarn, drawing fibres and streams together
May 2006
I had the same experience working next to the Wensum, at Lyng. Working with Janette Porter on collaborative practice, we had very different responses to the place because of our complementary work practices. The place gave us each a sense of travel, journey and pace. The river there is fresh and young with a lot of wildlife, it was as if we tresapassed on a territory we had no right to, birds and frogs were our audience.
Considering where the work is in time or place and who the audience is has been a preoccupation recently. I want to make work for a gallery - but is that the same work that is made in context? Is the record the work or the action? I am beginning to resolve some of these questions, and become more certain of how to answer challenges.

14 June 2006

Sutton Bridge Lincolnshire

I walked near Sutton Bridge, Lincolnsire I was looking at the man made river and swing bridge which was opened while I was there. It is an extraordinary place, with a history of engineering, fariming, wildife and travel.
I spun some simple wool yarn and made a construction to express the joining of places.
The best image seemed to be when I held the drop spindle in line with the waterway and warp sticks.
It is like a sketch book image, perhaps becosue of the potential. I like unfinished work - it allows for imagination and implies ongoing, sustainable practice.