Welcome to the end of summer — well, for some! First Fridays are attending by people from many different countries and seasons and timezones.
First Fridays are a gathering place open to all practicing artists are anyone interested in joining a conversation about the place of art in the world. You do not have to be a member of art.earth to join in (but of course you can always choose to become one and support our work).
Read the chat (this goes on in the background during the session)
Watch the video
Who’s with us this time?
We will gather on Zoom at 1300hrs BST to share conversation. If you’re unsure about how to do this there is a special page on the website to tell you how to connect.
Our contributing artists (confirmed as of now) are:
The image is a detail from The Ephemera Scrolls, an installation of 10 scrolls in St. Augustine’s Tower in London, that I made for the 2019 show, Reading Stones: Anne Krinsky I Carol Wyss I Susan Eyre.
As part of my project about vulnerable wetlands and climate change, I worked with photographs I took last year of the River Naab, during a residency in Bavaria. I documented the river, as its water levels dropped during the hottest June on record. Working with projection, photography and digital print, I installed ten digitally-printed scrolls on the first floor of the Tower. The imagery also responded to the history and architecture of the 13th century Tower and explored relationships between time and materiality.
Project: Listening: (LINK)
How: I have been collecting these images and sounds for the last three years on my walks. I choose to do so when I find myself in places of extreme quiet or beauty and when I am alone in nature. These are low fidelity recordings, made on a phone, which is what I have with me when I walk.
Why: This work is a departure from my normal medium of photographing and making prints. The approach is informed by the idea to work lightly, to observe more than to make, to stand still and watch, to see and hear. By doing so I locate myself in place.
In making these combinations of image and sound, I experience a slight shift to a heightened awareness. I attribute this to the appreciation I feel and also to a reciprocal feeling that nature is alive and is responsive to my attention.
I am very interested in the experience of nature being conscious. I think it is a subtle and nuanced idea and I have started to look for others who articulate this concept. So far I have found the clearest articulation from Eckhart Tolle, author of ‘ The Power of Now’ who has spoken about this phenomena:
You add something enormous to a flower by giving it your attention. When you unite your consciousness with the flower, through you, the flower recognizes itself. Nature thus becomes conscious of itself. Nature is waiting for you to recognize it. Find this out for yourself by being more attentive in nature.
I have also recently come across the sound artist Bernie Krause1, who makes field recordings of nature. These are amazing recordings. When Krause discusses the work he talks about how it made him feel. I think nature makes us feel good when we give our attention. It is a relationship.
My presentation today is about my desire, to celebrate the natural world, but with an underlying narrative of ‘danger’, what are we doing : we are destroying all we (lovers of our earth) hold dear.
The work I want to introduce started 20 years ago – I became obsessed with antipodes (opposite sides of the world as if you stick a knitting needle through the centre of our earth). I started to use transparent material, for me it alluded to antipodes, we can see through the transparent material, to another world opposite us.
I halted this work as I was using acrylic (plastic) as the ground. It didn’t fit with my ecological values and narrative.
Last year, 2019, I started to research the material that I found made up the boxes I placed my olives in at my local delicatessen. The box was clear, transparent, bio-degradable. This is the material I now work on. I want to push the audience to question the ground I am using, is it plastic? What is it if it’s not plastic. and what’s the message?
When & Where
As usual, we start at 13.00 BST. The whole meeting will be no longer than two hours (but you can come and go as you wish). Two hours seems to be about the limit for holding attention online.
First Fridays are always open to all but necessarily limited by geographic concerns. We regularly welcome friends from deepest Cornwall and other neighbouring counties and sometimes from further afield. But now, you can join us from anywhere.