Hasn’t it been oh so quiet here since May! Well, you see I have had a lot of changes in my personal life and have moved from Exeter and back to my home town, Penzance. Well actually, a little village just outside which is beautiful by the way. It has taken a while to sort this all out and settle into my new home. I am very happy to now replant my roots to the place they were once grown from. I did enjoy my time in Exeter and made friends and connections there and hope, in the future, to return to be involved in some art projects once again.
I have been involved in a couple of projects during my quietude here. So here follows a quick catch up.
In the summer I was involved with Susan Merrick’s project Statements in Semaphore. The Arts Council funded project formed her residency for FiLiA conference, for which she presented work developed from the interactions between artists and academics within local communities. My involvement saw me lead art workshops at an all female prison on the outskirts of London for Women in Prison, a national charity seeking to support women out of the criminal justice system and campaign to expose the damage to these women and their families. It was quite an experience, nothing like I expected. You can read more about the project in this post.
Whilst I was still in Exeter and resident to EVA Studios I had a curator visit Ines Valle from London. She was very interested in my work on the female body and the focus on skin. The curator was currently in the process of setting up a new exhibition space, NR Studio in Hackney. The concept is great, on one side is a tattoo parlour, the other, the gallery. Their aim is to create a series of exhibitions focusing on skin, body confidence and of course tattoos. After much patience from Ines due to my upturned life moving back to Penzance, we finally agreed on artworks and they were sent to London a few weeks ago. This weekend I travelled to London to attend the opening and give a talk on my work. It was wonderful to be in London again but I did not have time to do anything else and my head was in a bit of a spin after the 5 1/2 hour journey up and then back home again within 24 hours.
It was an interesting experience relinquishing control of my artworks, having someone else install and curate them. I was very pleased with the outcome and the show, Unforgettable (you!). It was beautifully put together, with such ranging media and subjects. The show features Christophe Beauregard with his photographs of people who are having tattoos removed; Joana Choumall with a slideshow of Abidjan citizens with facial scarification; Kaja Gwincinska as the model in Chaim Machlev (aka DotsToLines) of a body projection of tattoo designs; Steve Hines with a video Love and Then Hate carved onto the skin of the hands of the anonymous; Chibuike Uzoma presents paintings exploring the current practice of scarification within West Africa. The most moving of all on display is the archive from Survivors INK, a USA based charity which helps those rescued from sex trafficking. These women are often scared or tattooed as a form of branding from as young as five. The charity running on small donations and support from tattooists and tattoo removal specialists, help these women feel empowered by the covering or removal of their branding. The ladies working on the project, Jessica and Mary, attended the show and during their talk shared some harrowing stories. It was very inspiring to think of ways I could help raise awareness of these crimes with future work based on the branding.
The show runs until 19th January next year and is a short walk away from Bethnal Green tube station.
Now we’ve caught up I look forward to sharing more ‘stuff’ in the near future.