REMARKABLE AND CURIOUS CONVERSATIONS

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Forum at Joanna's

Joanna Hill was joined at her house in Brentford by eight other members of Remarkable and Curious Conversations for snacks, drinks and discussion in the evening of Wednesday 22nd September 2010. The other artists were Ingrid Jensen, Philip Lee, Steve Perfect, Cally Trench, Mary Yacoob, Heidi Locher, Sophie Loss and Judy Goldhill. Many thanks to Joanna.

Design of the Panopticon: Surveillance by Mary Yacoob

Mary Yacoob
Design of the Panopticon: Surveillance (2010)
Ink and graphite on paper, 50 x 70

Teatime by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Teatime (2010),
Pop-up book

Imperfect Memories by Heidi Locher

Heidi Locher, Imperfect Memories (2010)

Lauderdale mansions/Ha'atzmaut by Judy Goldhill

Judy Goldhill
Lauderdale mansions/Ha'atzmaut (2010)

Lauderdale mansions/Ha'atzmaut by Judy Goldhill

Judy Goldhill
Lauderdale mansions/Ha'atzmaut
(2010)

Joanna Hill writes: Thank you to everyone who came to Remarkable and Curious Conversations on 22 September. It is such a great place to share: - forthcoming projects - Ingrid's plans for an all night opening in Reading; - work produced hot of the press for the London Art Book Fair; - work in the making. We looked at Steve's photographs and it was interesting to see how people responded to the work, grouping the photographs in different ways and different themes and visual patterns emerging. - upcoming shows - Mary's exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum; - collaborations in progress. Claire Deniau's 'orange' painting was propped up by the fire place and became the focus of attention. Although I did not realise that I had expectations of an orange painting, I was surprised when it arrived that it was orange, yellow, blue, red and more. It was no surprise to painter Heidi that colours exist but are also characterised by the colours around them, their secondary and complimentary colours. Some saw blue, some saw green! It is my plan to respond in orange.

Mary Yacoob writes: I really enjoyed the discussion at Joanna's house. I talked about the drawings I've been working on lately and which are being exhibited at the Charles Dickens Museum. The works are inspired by the 19th Century philosopher Jeremy Bentham and his design for panopticon institutions whereby one centrally placed guard can observe prisoners/pupils/patients/workers who are arraigned around the circumference of the building. I'm interested in the geometry of surveillance and control. I found Heidi's comments (Heidi is an architect) particularly helpful, and she recommended I look up Piranesi, Corbusier, Esher, and the grant city plans of Paris or fascist city planning. She also commented on how prison design usually employ very simple geometries. In my drawings I repeat simple geometric patterns into complex webs (or 'mazes').

Heidi Locher writes: We have to leap off the edge and crash against our preconceptions if we are going to do really exciting work; maybe The Dice Man is the novel we should all have under our pillow.


Sophie Loss writes: The evening at Joanna's functioned as a platform to show my new book. How wonderful to have Philip read. He made it fun, poetic and mischievous. Mary and Judy made very good points and left me to examine the form again. To sum it up - evening of important exchange.

Steve Perfect writes: I appreciated the opportunity to get a crit from members of the group on a series of photos I have been making recently. People came up with ideas about taking the pictures, about ways of interacting with the audience and ways of showing the work. I find this kind of help and support with my own practice a very important form of collaboration.

Ingrid Jensen writes: I really enjoyed the discussion at Joanna's. Uplifting company, delicious food and also much food for thought. It's intriguing to see how different artists' groups look at things from different angles. I also enjoyed seeing Remarkable's books later at Whitechapel, especially having heard more about their development beforehand.

The photo of the Keep (in more military days) shows where Parcel Fever takes during the Nuit Blanche in Reading on 15th October. The studios that I share occupy the upper floors and we use the ground floor for exhibitions and projects. Parcel Fever is part of our big experiment this year - a pilot study for Nuit Blanche Reading, something we hope will grow much bigger for 2011. You can see a bit more at Nuit Blanche Reading. The way I envisaged Parcel Fever was that the whole process might be the art, not just what is submitted, and whether those things are art, or whether the process is the art would be open for discussion. Maybe the whole thing is a kind of relational aesthetics. I hope it can also be a positive one in which what is unwrapped becomes art - or a different kind of art - because of what we collectively do with it. Because of that I feel quite open-minded about what is submitted, so that if the parcel turns out to contain a cake for example, then reverent sharing and eating might be the work! The whole process of installation and how it affects something's "artness" is interesting me at present, and often the decisions seem to be made by one or a few controllers. A group effort might take some skilful managing but could be illuminating and stimulate discussion throughout the night.

Judy Goldhill writes: It was good to hear the thought processes and workings of some of the books, which made being on the AM Bruno stand at the Whitechapel much easier. It was a very rewarding evening.

Philip Lee writes: All the work presented was received with enthusiasm and keen interest as usual. I believe that everyone who presented work received much constructive comment and helpful suggestions. I certainly enjoyed the evening and gained much inspiration from hearing about the work of others and the response to The Camouflage Flipbook.

Swinging Susan by Sophie Loss

Sophie Loss, Swinging Susan (2010)

Photographs by Steve Perfect

Steve Perfect, Photographs

The Keep, Reading

The Keep, Reading
Unknown photographer,
chosen by Ingrid Jensen

The Camouflage Flipbook by Philip Lee, Judy Goldhilland Cally Trench

Philip Lee, Judy Goldhill and Cally Trench,
The Camouflage Flipbook (2010)

Forum at Joanna's

Forum at Joanna's

Forum at Joanna's

Forum at Joanna's

Forum at Joanna's

Forum at Joanna's

Forum at Joanna's

Forum at Joanna's

Photographs: Philip Lee

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