My #Letter365 installation has gone better than I could have imagined for a small town in rural Dorset. I am delighted to relate that more than 50% of the letters have been sold and will be open and on show in the Allsop Gallery at Bridport Arts Centre until the show ends tomorrow 11 April 2015 at 4pm.
At 2pm tomorrow I will begin publicly destroying all the unopened works – unless, that is, kind people make me offers I cannot refuse. Individual pieces are still available and can be bought from the Arts Centre in person or online and I am happy to consider low but sensible offers to save remaining pieces in lots of whole months. Contact me if you have a proposal.
Sadly bureaucracy prevents me from publicly burning them and I haven’t had time to source a big shredder so I will resort to tearing and slashing it all.
It’s been a busy couple of days and I was totally exhausted. I have finally managed to put this image of the very last one. As you can see from the envelope it contains a wad of fifties and genuine artwork by the Chapman brothers. Of course nobody will believe that but it really is true!
I couldn’t manage to organise a celebrity to deliver the last one (nor all the other ideas I had for the launch night) so i gave the last one to Bob Dron, who was helping me install the work, to carry in to the gallery.
I will sift through the images that others have given me of the opening and perhaps put a little gallery up of the PV and the installation in the coming days as well as documenting the unfolding evolution of the work and any pieces I create in the Gallery during the exhibition.
The installation of #Letter365 has begun and you can see from the photo how this project and installation relates to my field drawings. This is just a detail of the first two months to be put up. When complete there will be almost 30 metres of envelopes in the grid and then the regular grid will be disrupted as the sold items are opened and the contents spill out, some requiring the moving of other envelopes. I am finally beginning to get excited and confident that it will be OK.
What do I say? I have been working at all the things I have to do to make the installation a success and to present other relevant work to put it all in context (and grab the opportunity to present pieces to a wider audience with the hope that people might buy it!) I have selected some pieces to mount for display in browsers and started to put them together. I am aiming to have about 20 pieces, but I won’t stress if I can’t get it all together for the opening night, I can always add some as the show progresses – after all it is continually unfolding! I have also picked up the pieces I am submitting to Drawn the drawing open at RWA.
So I have created a piece of work and, annoyingly, I didn’t have the time to play around with some ideas that arose from it. Now I feel I have to write something but I don’t have the time or energy. I will perhaps use ideas from today as a start for tomorrow but enough words for now.
I have been looking at the catalogue to the recent Miró show and I confess that certain things influenced my starting place for #Letter365 and in one way wish I hadn’t. I have been working on other aspects of getting this #Letter365 show on the road (and taking time out for a massage – much needed!) so I had left the creation of the artwork till quite late and it ended up taking much longer than I wished. It is a return to a theme I worked on a while ago and I am thinking I may do a lot more on once I have got this project out of the way,
I had a doubt if I would be able to stick it out at the studio for long enough to do today’s piece and, as I noted on the envelope, I was prepared to bring my materials home and do it here. As it turned out I was inspired to create a piece to send to an artist creating a collaborative installation at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery which I was alerted to today by Paula Youens. The deadline is Tuesday so I needed to get it in the post. So I donned my thermal merino wool base layer and thermal sweater and went to the studio where I drew the infrared heater closer and kept on my coat and merino wool hat and was delighted that I didn’t need my fingerless gloves on! i was also delighted with the two pieces I created, especially the one for #Letter365. It went exactly to plan and worked out exceedingly well though it bears no resemblance to Mr Kipling cakes.
In a conversation I had last Friday with two artists it was suggested that having a studio that is not too warm and comfortable can help to keep you from getting to comfortable about your work. It was suggested that it can be a spur to creativity and keeping the flow of new ideas. I’m not dismissing the notion but as I am never short of ideas I’ll happily sacrifice some for an equable ambient temperature in the studio!
The piece inside may or may not have any connection to what is written on the envelope, though one thing is for sure none of the envelopes contain a live cat or any other sentient being. Neither has an albatross that has been in contact with this piece or its envelope nor has it been made intentionally wet by seawater from such a bird. It could be argued that there is no completed artwork inside until the envelope is opened! Did Schrödinger use a cat in his problem to shock or cause us to think in a different way? Have I put live artworks in these envelopes along with a small radioactive source and a vial of art poison (carefully shielded so the artwork cannot tamper with them)? After an hour will any of the artworks be dead? By the time the installation opens in March 2015 will all the pieces be dead? If so will they have died of natural causes, starved by my cruel confinement of them or poisoned by the experiment. Were they dead to begin with? How can we tell if the art is dead or just sleeping?
Poor Bramble had to be put down today. She had cancer of the tongue and it had spread to her kidneys. She seemed ok in many ways but was unable to eat comfortably. Yesterday evening it was clear that she was uncomfortable and a little distressed and although she ate something this morning it was clear she was not going to make it. She had a nice last day in the garden and we were both with her at the end.
Because of this I do not feel able to make today’s piece available for sale. It is too personal and too painful, but it will be opened at the installation.
I am still not organised properly at my new studio. I have only part moved in so that I can do some much-needed work and photography that needed a bit more space, but my computer and printer are still at home. Earlier I had created the envelope but forgot to stick a stamp on while at home. Fortunately I noticed this fact and didn’t pop it in the box sans stamp, thus avoiding the embarrassment of a postage due. I worked hard on this piece to ensure that it was less than 5mm thick and as it turned out I didn’t need to worry as I walked past Bridport Arts Centre on my way home and popped it straight through their letter box. Must take some stamps to the studio.
I forgot to mention that yesterday we passed another milestone, I have completed 40% of the project – well that is to say that I have got through two fifths of the days, I suspect there will be more work involved in the second half what with marketing, selling and arranging the installation.
An unfolding artwork created a piece each day for a year