(poster design by myself & Magdalena Lackowska)
‘-exposure’, the sequel to our exhibition last year, was funded by VCS Cymru’s youth Grant, which through a long application and selection process, me & Sarah Padbury were able to receive £810 to go towards this exhibition and another exhibition (which ultimately was cancelled). It also received support from Cass Art, a London based Art supplies company which allowed us to receive free materials in order to help out with our residency and exhibition. Once again, we have been able to gain funding from a company in order to further our artistic development. However, in this case, we have been able to receive support from two important, well established organisations.
On Tuesday 8th, we began our residency within the Abacus. We started off strong, and began to make work in reference to the space. The interesting thing about the work that people were making is that everyone tried out something new within the exhibition; some things were related to their own studio work, whereas people thought that they would try something really exciting and fresh, taking a risk. At the time, the relationship between the public and the artists was still a bit reduced; in the sense that people interacted with us, but only through the windows. This was then aided later on in the day by the fact that we added a few signs in the window beckoning people to come in.
I began with something new; I wanted to create a witches’ ladder, which is a form of incantation and spellcasting utilised within witchcraft and mysticism. Resembling a rosary, yet made with cord and feathers, it is bound and braided until the whole form is saturated with tension. This leads on from what I am interested in within my own studio practice, with the tension of the material, and the way gravity effects it, being the important aspects of the work. I had never plaited before today either, and I plaited for around 6 hours; resulting in a singular braid that reached about 65 ft! Spending so much time on a singular piece of work actually allows me to create work that is fascinating to interact with. I was excited to see how the whole residency turned out.
There’s a high level of potential within the space at the moment; and it’s exciting to imagine how the exhibition will turn out.
The second and third day of the residency went at the regular pace; lots of people working in a small environment allows for themes to simultaneously flow through each others works, as well as inspiring different people to comment and give valuable advice on each other’s work. I found it most interesting that as people work so close together, they allow one another to provide important criticism, as well as receiving this same critical information back; allowing everybody to bounce ideas and advice off of one another at an exceptional rate. there were also times when members of the public did in fact visit the exhibition and residency and provide advice and judgement from the public; people who are not involved with the arts scene, or haven’t seen what we do before; thus providing a fresh perspective on the work that people were making; and this provided a lot of help, and was a great experience for all involved.
The opening night came along quickly, and provided a respite and celebration of what we had achieved throughout the residency and the exhibition; resulting in a successful last show for the Abacus, which is unfortunately closing next month. We had a successful opening night that featured ‘A Pair of sirens’ & ‘Pipedream’, which played and brought in more crowds to the show. Once more, like ‘substance’ before it, the Abacus has nurtured local, emerging talent in the form of us student artists, and ‘A Pair of Sirens’ (who had their first gig on this night). There was a real sense of community within this show, the drinks flowed, the public that we had interacted with learnt more abou art, and what artists ‘do’, and came to the opening night. It was a valuable, life experience in the role of art, and how it can bring people together. Much like everything that the Abacus is; The Abacus has been a second home or me the past two years, and has allowed me to meet, interact with, and experience events and small miracles that I never would have been able to experience in any other way. It is gone, but it will live on.
The Abacus is Dead, Long live the Abacus.