City Lit Fine Art Yr 1 Mixed Media Day 1
Well, it wasn't what I thought it was at all!
Our teacher Lucinda Oestreicher took us for a walk! All around Lincoln's Inn Fields. It was only 1 hr and a half long but we were to absorb like a sponge, sketch, write notes and observe, then go back to the classroom. We have to produce a piece of work in any media, in a group of 4. Whilst I do love working collaboratively I prefer to work with dynamic people who have ideas to complement my own, and it was rather heart sinking to find I was with the people who let's just say to be kind were "not interested"
However, this is the challenge that has been thrown at me so let's see how it goes.
Below is our route - starting with the red arrows and changing to yellow.
I have so many ideas or snippets of ideas running around my head and I can tell my group haven't got the energy or curiosity to go with them...but I hope to be able to be proved wrong. I have splurged out my ideas below.
observing what you see / hear / smell
making notes sketchings photos recordings etc
working in a group collaboratively
to research the history
to use the walk as a starting point, walking as an arts practice
play with materials and ways of recording observations
Produce, in the group, a piece which can be anything - installation, video, traditional artwork etc
Will be site-specific
Can include found materials.
to develop ideas of narrative and sequence
to be aware of the group dynamic, negotiation, skill-sharing
editing to a concise idea.
This is a project where the process, and perhaps the documenting of, could be more important than the outcome.
The materials are dictated by the idea than the other way round.
Note: technology, phones on cameras, what's app groups, all make it a lot easier now.
what's the idea?
how will the idea related to the site you display it in ? (not the Lincoln's Inn site)
how are you going to get your audience involved?
how did that go?
Thoughts on the walk were:
I'm not inspired.
I love buildings.
I like all the windows.
Interesting, this architecture of power.
So much we don't see - behind closed doors. Public vs private. special permission only.
How can I find an idea which involves the audience?
So many ads and messages bombarding us
How does this place feel at different times of day? (Later it's a soup kitchen)
in the crypt - saw a map of who's buried there - wanted to play hopscotch on it
the layers of history , constant movement and activity, things knocked down
forgotten, things erected humans scuttling banging walking talking eating
never see time passing but suddenly it's long behind you
a new present, a future past
the traffic light changes, and the masses advance
energy taking form and depleting again
How to pare it down? Make it succinct.
If time-based, document it.
PEOPLE (mostly smoking!)
and these hastily-done 360 degree shots stitched together and then strangely flattened:
I haven't time to write much here and don't want to get overloaded with facts. I've pasted some facts I want to remember.
The original plan for "laying out and planting" these fields, drawn by the hand of Inigo Jones, is still to be seen in Lord Pembroke's collection at Wilton House. The chief feature in it is Lindsey (afterwards Ancaster) House, in the centre of the west side, now divided into two houses and cut up into chambers for lawyers. It is unchanged in all its external features, except that the balustrade along the front of the roof has lost the handsome vases with which it was formerly surmounted.
In the 1980s, Lincoln's Inn Fields attracted many homeless people, who slept there overnight. In 1992, they were cleared out and fences were raised, and since the re-opening of Lincoln's Inn Fields with its new railings in 1993, gates have been locked every night at dusk. However, although homeless people no longer live there, soup vans still continue to visit Lincoln's Inn Fields nightly, along the east side, adjacent to Lincoln's Inn, to provide free food to queues of homeless people who assemble at dark to collect the food and hot drink and then disappear. The vans are operated by a variety of religious organisations, and on Sundays by Imperial College London's Soup Run society.
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Muslims attend the Fields at sunset to feed the local homeless.
It is to be feared that although Lincoln's Inn Fields is said to be the largest and handsomest square, not only in London, but in Europe, it has not borne a very good character in olden times. At all events Gay speaks of the Fields in his "Trivia" as the head-quarters of beggars by day and of robbers at night:— "Where Lincoln's Inn's wide space is railed around, Cross not with venturous step; there oft is found The lurking thief, who, while the daylight shone, Made the walls echo with his begging tone. That crutch, which late compassion mov'd, shall wound Thy bleeding head, and fell thee to the ground. Though thou art tempted by the linkman's call, Yet trust him not along the lonely wall; In the midway he'll quench the flaming brand, And share the booty with the pilfering band."
Blount tells us, in his "Law Dictionary," that he used to see idle fellows here playing at "the Wheel of Fortune;" and it is clear, from more than one contemporary allusion in popular comedies, that it was the regular haunt of cripples, with crutches, who lived by mendicancy, which they carried on in the most barefaced, if not intimidating, manner. Here, too, according to Peter Cunningham, "the astrologer Lilly, when a servant at Mr. Wright's, at the corner house, over against Strand Bridge, spent his idle hours in 'bowling,' along with Wat the cobbler, Dick the blacksmith, and such-like."
¶We occasionally find in the literature of the seventeenth century allusions to the "Mumpers" and "Rufflers" of Lincoln's Inn Fields. These were, according to Mr. John Timbs, names given to troops of idle vagrants by whom the "Fields" were infested; and readers of the Spectator will hardly need to be reminded of "Scarecrow," the beggar of that place, who, having disabled himself in his right leg, asks alms all day, in order to get a warm supper at night. The "Rufflers," if we may accept the statement of the same authority, were "wretches who assumed the characters of maimed soldiers," who had suffered in the battles of the Great Rebellion, and found a ready prey in the people of fashion and quality as they drove by.
Hall of the Royal College of Surgeons - purchased the museum collection of John Hunter - Hunterian Museum
Among the objects of curiosity preserved here are the skeletons of several human beings and animals, which during the time of their existence had obtained some celebrity. Among them may be mentioned Jonathan Wild, the notorious thiefcatcher; Mlle. Crachani, a Sicilian dwarf, who at the age of ten years was just twenty inches high; Charles Byrne, or O'Brien, the Irish giant, who at his death measured eight feet four inches; and also the gigantic elephant "Chunee," which was formerly exhibited on the stage at Covent Garden Theatre, and afterwards in the menagerie at Exeter Change, where, in 1824, "in consequence of the return of an annual paroxysm producing such ungovernable violence as to endanger the breaking down of the den," its destruction caused so much sympathy at the time. Its death was effected by shooting, but not until the animal had received upwards of 100 musket and rifle shots. The skeleton of this animal is twelve feet four inches high.
¶Nearly in the centre of the north side of the square stands the museum founded in 1837, by a bequest of Sir John Soane, and called after his name. The son of a common bricklayer in a Berkshire village, he rose into celebrity as an architect, and designed, among other buildings, the Bank of England, and most of the terraces in the Regent's Park. He was also clerk of the works of St. James's Palace, and architect generally to the Houses of Parliament, and other public buildings. He was subsequently elected Professor of Architecture to the Royal Academy. All his life long he had been a collector of books, statues, pictures, coins, medals, and other curiosities mostly antique, with which he stored the house where he lived and died. The museum, filled from top to bottom with a beautifully arranged collection of models of art in every phase and form, small as it is, may be said to be almost as useful to the art student as is the Louvre at Paris. And yet, standing in the centre of London, it is but little known, though open to the public gratuitously. It is open always to students in painting, sculpture, and architecture; and (on application) to the general public on every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in April, May, June, and on Wednesdays in February, March, July, and August. Professional and amateur students can obtain from the curator, or from any of the trustees, permission to copy any of the pictures and other works of art.
Our group's mind map:
Some ideas - which are flowing from me but I've no idea if they are any good or enough by themselves :
Get our audience to go for the walk again, this time with Runtracker or similar app installed on their phones. This would then track their exact movements via GPS to the map. Their walk would perhaps not be arbitrary, maybe they would have to be sent on a mission. Or maybe to make a pretty pattern that when you add all the walked routes together, gives us a batch of interconnecting and crossing lines which has meaning somehow - spells something maybe. (Has someone done something like this? Vague recollection). Those lines could be taken away from the map itself to become their own piece valued for the aesthetic.
2) Use the photographs taken of people, create large silhouettes of them on paper and fill those with the patterns found near them, then go and reposition them on the original site
3) Patterns - creating new patterns from our observations and examining the old. Projecting them onto the pavement? Superimpose old patterns onto the new?
4) Interview people in the area to find out where they came from today - create a map of lines all leading to Lincoln's Inn Fields - take away the map for an abstract meaningful set of lines (my colleagues don't want to talk to anyone)
5) construction and endless renewal = layers of history . Ghosts of buildings no longer standing. Eg the Deveil's Gap
6) playing with perspectives - all our drawings and photos are looking up at buildings with skewed perspective. We always see the area from street level. Get a crane worked to take photos with our cameras from a new viewpoint? Get into higher floors of buildings?
When I got home, I made a little video using Google maps - this isn't the one I thought I'd uploaded, in fact this was my jerky first attempt:
7) Use QR codes for a treasure trail and get people to follow clues and instructions from QR codes pasted to buildings. Th QR codes can lead to facts and information about a specific thing and an instruction to go somewhere else, or do something specific, or a video direct to. your phone.
8) Animation by dots on the map of people coming into the area over the course of the day. Graphs representing some sort of actions
9) get the audience to make the artworks somehow from some given materials
10) control the audience very strictly as comment on all the forbidden things posted around
11) - record the sounds and then play them back amplified in the same setting?
12) do 4 different videos of the same walk / place, from different angles - eg top, floor, left and right, then play them back together somehow (a bit david hockney)
13) project something in the site-specific place with a projector
14) Something to do with the objects in the Hunterian Museum, if we can get access - no bummer, it's closed till 2020 https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/museums-and-archives/hunterian-museum/
15) Keeping consistent with the THE LINES OF THEMES I'M DRAWN TO - capturing memories and encoding them so as not to forget. How to pick elements of this walk and encode them so as to remember, albeit in code. Are we interested in the personal experience of the walk, or of the site itself - capturing impersonal but enticing facts about the site (Lincoln's Inn) somehow. Create a sculpture / found object assemblage / video installation as a monument. Monuments help people to remember .
Pretend there's been an apocolypse. What has happened to the area.
16) Send each member of the group on a mission to produce something, in a medium of their choice, based on their own interpretations of a specific aspect of the area - ie give ourselves a theme - like the constant renewal and change happening at the same time as being steeped in historical importance and continuity - Continuity vs change. Eg Petica goes and makes a video, Claire sketches, Ronit records sounds, Janet does something else. Maybe theme needs to be less vague. How will audience get involved.
Then we gather to exhibit them at City Lit, or in a virtual space of QR codes, or in a site specific place in Lincoln's inn.
17) focus on the bones of the giant in the Hunterian Museum. Recreate them and place them. or make up a story around them .
Other artists doing exciting things :
Paints chewing gum stains on the street. Often asks locals what he should paint
graph documenting changes in air pressure when sailing
Greenwich Emotion Map
draws and paints lines on white paper , screws them up
Inivia - "Whose Map is it? "
audio walks - sound installations.
Canadian, lives in Berlin, Born 1957
"The Dark Pool" was the first multimedia installation collaboration Cardiff and Miller created and showed in 1995 in Vancouver. The work consists of a dimly lit room, furnished with cardboard, carpets, and collected ephemera and artifacts, through which visitors move, triggering sounds such as musical segments, portions of conversations, and bits of stories. Cardiff and Miller consider the work very personal and, despite offers, have not sold it.
Her Long Black Hair takes each listener on a winding, mysterious journey through Central Park’s 19th-century pathways, retracing the footsteps of an enigmatic dark-haired woman. Relayed in Janet Cardiff’s quasi-narrative style, Her Long Black Hair is a complex sensory investigation of location, time, sound, and physicality, interweaving stream-of-consciousness observations with fact and fiction, local history, opera and gospel music, and other atmospheric and cultural elements. The walk echoes the visual world as well, using photographs to reflect upon the relationship between images and notions of possession, loss, history, and beauty. As Cardiff’s voice on the audio soundtrack guides listeners through the park, they are occasionally prompted to pull out and view one of the photographs. These images link the speaker and the listener within their shared physical surroundings of Central Park, shifting between the present, the recent past, and the more distant past.
ARTISTS MAKE STUFF WITH WHAT WE HAVE
Look up artists who:
alllow the environment to direct them
do work based on walking
putting the audience in the powerful position