I have been thinking a lot about Walter Benjamin’s notion of ‘constellations’ and its application to art as having multiple points of connection. In the same way that we look at stars and find patterns even when there is seemingly no ‘real’ or tangible relationship between them, we look at fragments and objects, events, acts…and create relationships between them.
Last week Steve Pool came in to talk about his projects Never-land and No place for the future and the ways in which he has worked with people and communities; making connections with audiences. This week I started working with a group at the Women’s Centre in Derby. It was difficult to find the right label for this workshop. The Women’s Centre called it ‘celebrating your successes’. It isn’t quite that. The idea is to gather together and in the process of making, share things we have done – small but valuable things that we do for our families.
It is less about the clay than talking. Clay is so therapeutic –it’s like a stress ball as much as a creative malleable material. It’s relaxing to mold things. I’d love to meet women who might donate stories to the project and perhaps even show their small clay figures but it will be on their terms. I’d love it if they had a sense of value through sharing their work at Artcore but it will be whatever they decide.
We recently moved to a small village in Cornwall where news and gossip travels fast. One of our neighbours passes our house regularly, stopping we are sure to collect any gossip about us that she can share in the local shop. Since she has a zimmer frame and she moves extremely quickly onto the shop after talking to us, so our nick-name for her is ‘hot wheels’.
We also have meaningful conversations with ‘hot wheels’, as although she plugs us for information we manage to change the subject. One day when she was talking about our new home and how we were settling in, she said “home is where you are understood.”
This evening finding time to relax in front of what I call ‘sad telly’ - there was a scene where the main character returns home and sees the old teapot her mother has on the table. She asks why she still has it. Her mother replies “Nothing says home like that old teapot”.
Visiting Derby Museum and Pickford’s Museum this week, I enjoyed some of the objects and the idea that much of this particular display was selected by people from Derby.
Tim Shore’s exhibition throws up stories in contemplating ‘Derby Meantime’. Little Red Riding Hood in the paper theatre display is a story that is never threadbare no matter how it is multiplied, mutilated and retold. We tell