Wednesday, 16 May 2012

To Lois, Love Dad

You can be sure that a workshop session is going well when nobody dashes for the door when its tea break time- yesterday in Blackpool I had to force people out of the door for theirs. 

We had a mix of new faces and familiar ones, and as with last week each coming with a range of different expectations, desires and skill sets. The starting point and inspiration for the workshop was the fantastic library local history collection, this was used sometimes very directly; interpreting a photo or postcard directly, or alternatively as inspiration for a colour scheme. 

I introduced the technique of batik and silk painting to the group and encouraged play, there was a wide variety of styles and focus reflecting the diverse group.

There has been subtle changes occurring in my own work since working in collaboration with arthur+martha I still find a joy in celebrating colour, packaging, typesets, kitsch... But now want more to, I've become much more interested in the stories behind the object, and ways to scratch under the surface, hidden voices, hidden people...

At the tea break I took advantage of the time to look again through the library collection, researching for my own commission. One thing that caught my eye is the postcard backs, their often show beautiful handwriting, vary from a few words to long ramblings. There are repeated scripts that occur, 'wish you were here', something about the weather, a description of the days event... Little snapshots of people's lives in a format that is dying out with texts and emails... One reads 'married life very nice so far'... Another ends with 'forgot to ask, can you get me a joint of meat?' one person seems to have lost any enthusiasm to write and simply describes what is on the front of the card, it reads; 'this is the Grotto Railway on the central pier' signed with their initials.. reminds me of the postcards my dad used to send to me, To Lois, Love Dad.

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