Archives for posts with tag: Missing Statues

Our final group blog post is from Ceramicist Jen Smith who worked with The Women’s Creative Company.  If you missed the chance to view their work at South Block then read on for a teaser of where to see it next! 

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As a ceramicist, I usually start a piece of work with a clear image in my mind of what it will be, right down the curve of a handle or the flashes of colour across the surface; this project was entirely different and liberatingly so.

Coming into an established group as welcoming, enthusiastic,  and outspoken as the Women’s Creative Company has been a total joy. It was clear very early on from our discussions and clay maquettes that there were several ideas that we wanted to communicate through our statue so talk turned to the best methods of using all of these sources without confusing our message.

I proposed a collaged surface which allows separate images to find new context through placement and association. We workshopped ideas by making test collages and reflected on how the meanings developed in ways we could use on our statue.

Through this organic method of working we found a shared voice and it became clear to have a woman in a wheelchair who represents every woman. Her feet are her roots with historical imagery of slavery and the suffrage movement, the plants and leaves growing there are wilting and stifled.

Her torso is collaged with photos of the many women who deserve statues in Glasgow surrounded with blooming flowers, their names embroidered alongside them – a nod to the textile industry in the Merchant City and to ‘women’s work’.

Her face lists the many professions and achievements of the women she represents alongside common derogatory words women often have to endure on their way to those respected positions. Her face is purposefully looking to somewhere in the distance, an acknowledgment that there is still somewhere more to go.

It is a celebration of what women have achieved and have yet to achieve; as colourful, glorious and diverse as the wonderful women who helped to make her.

Our statue will also be used as part of the Merchant City Festival performance by A Moment’s Peace Theatre working with Terra Inconita Arts so you can get a closer look there!

Jen

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Date & Times for Hidden Footprints at Merchant City Festival

  • SAT 29 JUL 201712.00PM – 1.00PM
  • SAT 29 JUL 20172.30PM – 3.30PM
  • SAT 29 JUL 20174.30PM – 5.30PM
  • SUN 30 JUL 201712.00PM – 1.00PM
  • SUN 30 JUL 20172.30PM – 3.30PM
  • SUN 30 JUL 20174.30PM – 5.30PM

It’s time to hear from Charlotte Duffy Scott – a cardboard artist who has been working with a group of visually impaired adults who meet regularly as part of the wider As I See It project.  Lets see what they have been up to!

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Working with the As I See It group challenged the way I thought about not just the act of making but the role and responsibility public art has to be truly accessible to everyone in the public. Sight still is the most depended upon sense when it comes to experiencing and consuming a lot of art; statues, paintings, sculptures, video installation – so much of it relies on a foundation of seeing what’s there in front of you but also the presumption that every one who looks at it will be able to see it in the same way as the artist did. We class so much as ‘visual art’ with little thought as to what means to those who are visually impaired.

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The piece we have created is collaborative in a way that I didn’t know was possible, the entire process has been an act of sharing and borrowing skills, views, experiences and opinions from one another in order to create something that, hopefully, can be appreciated through sound, or through touch, or through far away sight or close up sight. In each different way that it can be experienced a different story is told but with a shared foundation in expressing a different point of view.

IMG_20170503_151740Emmanuel has made the most intricate model of a plane. It is small but incredibly detailed and the viewer can see through the windows to the rows of tiny chairs inside, the propellers even spin when you blow on them.  My hands made this piece however it is entirely Emmanuel’s – each week he has described to me every single element he envisions from how many wheels it should have to the specific wingspan it needed. He drew imaginary lines with his fingers for where every cut and every join had to be. He told me off when it felt as though I hadn’t done exactly hat he had asked. We’ve made something together but he is the artist and I was a tool to achieve the image he had in his head.

On first meeting this group all told me of how they’d never made anything out of cardboard before and I replied that we were in the same boat because I’d never made anything without relying on my sight so we could learn together and make our own ways of doing things and representing things. And we truly have.

Charlotte

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As I See It: Missing Statues culminates with a special event at South Block on Saturday 17th June where the statues will be unveiled. They will then be exhibited at South Block from 19th – 23rd June. For more info visit the Facebook event page.