Threads Workshop

We left the Threads workshop at the Unconference with lots and lots of thoughts whirling through our heads.  Thank-you to all the participants as we now have ALOT of food for thought.  The three of us (Shelagh, Suzy, and Christina) are planning to get together next week and look closely at all the ideas, and keywords that we managed to capture during our conversation, and will we think about what our next steps are.  We all have lots of other things going on so one thing we will have to think about is finding time to develop the network.  We have already had a quick  look at the website Practice.ie.  It is fabulous, and captures alot of the ideas that we would like to explore.

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Practice-led network

Today, I went to Bankfield to pick up the objects form the display cabinet as the Touring Degrees of Vision show is now over.  However, although the exhibition is coming to an there is also a new beginning, as next week at the Early Arts Unconference in Halifax Susy, Shelagh and I are hoping to Launch a new local artist group called Threads, we have started a temporary virtual meeting space as a way to see if there are artists further afield who we could share information and reflective practice with.

Bankfield Show





These are taken from the current Degrees Of Vision Show at Bankfield Museum, Halifax. This time, “The Secret Life Of Objects”, showcases the residency with a display cabinets where a variety of collected objects that children engaged with during the residency are arranged with photographs taken by of their children’s arrangements during the project. The film also plays alongside the display case.

Viewing the film at school

Earlier this week I took the film into school so that any children who wanted to look at the film were able to. We made a little dark room using blackout material to be our cinema. It was very intimate, only four at a time could squeeze in, but I really liked this as it meant there could be a bit of chat as the film was showing, but without it getting too distracting. The small dark space combined with light being projected through the small projector was exciting, and there was a lot of experimenting with the beam of light in terms of creating shadows.

I was surprised that no children wanted to leave before the end, some watched it a few times. I thought that it would not hold their interest as there is little narrative and the action is quiet, with most of the film close-up of the objects themselves. The responses I get were all very direct, often in the form of questions: Is that your hands?; Did you draw that white stuff on the ground?; Why are you hotting up all the things?;Did you put the record player on so you could pretend it was the birds that were tweeting? These questions were at the heart of the decisions that I made when making the film. I was surprised as I think I expected the children to be more confounded by a film that was so different to ones they were used to.

They also made connections with different things, for instance talking about bats, because of the dark room, and also about watching scarey films. When the candles started to burn low a few groups started to blow at the screen, Ellis commented on this “they can’t really blow them out they are on the computer.
Some children enjoyed pointing out familiar objects, or listing the objects they liked most. I wondered if part of the enjoyment was because they were familiar objects
When I explained that I lit the candles to to make the objects bright, Ashton asked “to make them alive?” and I felt very pleased that he seemed completely in tune with my intentions.

Dean Clough Gallery

As part of the Degrees of Vision Link Show at Dean Clough I have a curious cabinet that showcases the Secret Life of Objects residency. It runs until 18th July.

My Film

The Secret Life Of Objects

The Secret Life Of Objects: a film of the installation


The Secret Life Of Objects

This installation is a response to my practice-led residency in the Early Years Unit at Castle Hill School, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Manchester Metropolitan University. I observed and documented children as collectors in their own right, as well as presenting them with objects from my own collection. Reflecting on the different ways that my objects were brought to life in the hands of children, I have also tried to inject new life into the objects once again.