When applying to take part in Prospectus my main aim was to connect with different artists from across Somerset. I had grown up in Frome and had moved away for University, studying in Leeds and London. My interest lay in creating a professional life for myself back where I had come from.
I have always been interested in the land, and rocks. The matter which dwells underneath our feet. For my final show in 2016 I had moved rocks dug from my garden in Frome, these calcified mineral rocks which had been hewn from the very land over which I had stood for many years. Similar to a glacier which bundles rocks from one side of the country setting them down in an alien landscape far away where it has lost its former strength, melting away to leave an erratic, I had dropped these rocks in a new context. Rock movement has always been of interest to me, and is a main inspiration for my performances. My attempts to remain as solid and strong as possible dancing within a fabric costume, my shuddering quaking movements becoming the central interest in the dance, are mimicking in my mind the movements I see when looking at solid objects like rocks. Movement can be noticed even in the most stationary of objects, down to a molecular level there is a vibration present in all things around us.
I was drawn to the outline of this project, the opening line speaking to my interest in the border lines of things being one thing or another. The opening line spoke about the car as a place of travelling to and from, and how as a dispersed art school perhaps the learning would happen in these spaces of travel. Thinking about my work and how I am always chasing something I call the flicker, the balancing between two states, real – unreal, solid – liquid, hard – soft, still – moving, I was drawn to the idea of a between state of the car. A heterotopic space as Foucault sets out in Of Other Spaces; Utopias and Heterotopias. These are often waiting rooms, trains, cars and mirrors, spaces which are neither here or there, they are between spaces.
Perhaps because of my recent graduation, my move to a new place I know well, my lack of network, my lack of routine makes me feel I am in a heterotopic year. It’s a stem from one place to another, not the root nor the flower, but the stem. And because of this the project lit up a pre-existing notion in my head. In many ways the project has been successful in connecting the disparate, but in others perhaps not so successful. Could the disparate be encouraged, we are now this constellation of people connected by interest, and experience, and something like the internet can allow us to remain ‘connected’ without physically being so.
I was watching my father working on his shares online the other day, and began thinking how interesting it was that people he would never meet, never know were looking and responding to the very same numbers he was on his screen. They might be looking at the same numbers as him. The same wonderment many humans may have had when turning their gaze to the stars, as they look up and know that many others they will never meet are looking at the same thing. That connectivity is experienced whether you know those people or not.
In an age where education seems more and more like a commercial exchange I hope that this dispersed art school can continue out like a rhizome, and in that way I feel the five days we experienced would be at it’s most successful.