February: assembling and creating

Eleanor and I had a great meet up today at St Josephs. We sat down and had an update , as last week I’d been working on the memory wall in the studio and Eleanor was leading the Spring Awakening Concert with guest musicians.

We are meeting this Friday in the Studio in Glór, which is where we are showing the work in May. We are going to play some of the recordings we have collected so far, which I am going to attempt to assemble into a rough sequence of a soundscape, using the audio software that Eddie the lighting and sound technician from Glór kindly gave me some lessons in how to use. Hopefully I will remember these 🙂  This will allow us to hear the quality of the sound in the exhibition venue. I will bring along some of the pieces Ive made so far for the memory wall and we will take stock of the size and layout of the room and how we are going to place the work. Also Eleanor has written three little vignettes based on residents’ stories that we will record.  Also Eleanor had an idea for a silent movie type visual..a woman setting a table..and a Buster Keaton like response to each of her movements and objects she handles. Provisionally called The Table Tableau.

Being in Glór will be a valuable opportunity for us- to get some perspective on how the work we have made so far fits in the space that we will be showing it in.

Meanwhile in St Josephs today we talked about context. I mentioned something I’d read about how, as contemporary art is no longer necessarily ‘just’ decorative or aesthetically pleasing, people look for meaning as a way to understand it. I thought we should apply this to the work we are making. Yes it is evocative and yes some of it could be said to be aesthetically pleasing, but what is it for? What is the meaning of the work? We thought about this and Eleanor responded by saying she initially wanted the project to be about bearing witness. Bearing witness to the highs and lows of everyday life that goes on inside St Josephs, just like it does every other space humans occupy. She put it so well that I could only agree.

We agreed again that when we get to the exhibiting stage, we want people to come to see the work and be transformed in some way. This sounds quite ambitious but by making an experience immersive and multi sensory it can become a transformative one.

We also got two great chats with 2 wonderful residents who happened to be up, in good form and receptive to chatting. They were also kind enough to let us record them reminiscing about their respective careers, in and have enough fascinating stories and recollections between them that we could easily make a series of works based on them alone.

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Tea Trolley

As we were exiting we discussed how you have to let go of a rigid schedule to a degree when working in St Josephs, as you cannot expect things to always go to plan. Some days the residents you have come to see might not be up, or might be under the weather, or otherwise engaged. So we were felt very fortunate to have gathered so much rich material today.

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Light Filled Ward Corridor St Josephs Hospital

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