Susan Merrick

Artist and Interpreter. Power Language Access

Thoughts from January 2017

This month has been exciting as I prepare for my year as Artist in residence for FiLia and also had my first exhibition in this role with Desperate Artwives.

This project is completely separate to my MA course, but obviously the work I do will feed into the course and vice versa, in the way that my interpreting work does.

What Ive been considering this month is how I use external and public spaces for  my work.

I had the perfect opportunity to test this when I was asked to exhibit at the desperate Artwives exhibition on Lower Marsh in London. The venue has two large windows, and I jumped at the chance to use these external spaces to place my work.

I decided to create a range of screen prints of the semaphore images, using the letters HYSTERIA these were printed on newsprint replicating street posters that can be seen on lampposts, boarded up windows etc. This alphabet for me needs to be outward facing from any gallery space, if attached to galleries at all. I decided to use window film to cover the window, for two reasons. It would protect the window from the spray glue that I wanted to use, but it also separated the work from the internal parts of the gallery when looking from the outside.

From the inside the work could also be seen, but in a very different way, the reverse of the images, through the misted window film and with more of a silhouette to them.

Part of the desire to use the newsprint on the external Windows was to see how they would change. As the street posters weather, fade, crumple and fall off, I wanted my work to do the same. I wanted the same erosion and temporary state. My work is displaying a message but this message is only perhaps relevant to me, at that time. The relevance of it may perhaps wither and crack.

However this happened a little quicker than I expected! We had rain and snow on the first 2 days and before the private view all of the posters had come loose and crumpled down in between the glass and the metal shutters, taking on the concertina effect of the shutters.

I reapplied them smoothing out the crumples and using extra glue and tape to stick the now dried out paper.

Three days later with more rain the posters were by now peeling, rippling and falling slowly away from the window.

Again I taped these up and kept the rips and tears on show. The warped and crinkled paper more and more reflecting the posters that I had wanted to emulate.

 

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