Packing for my first day in the gallery I am conscious I am not taking any raw materials with me, basically just pens, computer, and money for the daily papers. I am struck by how the way I want to work at the moment is with improvisation at the moment of encounter with the world. Improvisation is my method, relationships (with people and things) is my medium. The artwork is the experience, an experience which is oftentimes co-created. As I explore, develop and refine my approach I am conscious of my power to create.
- The creative process unfolding in the gallery is very much the same as creating an art object but we are very much at the exploration phase gathering ideas, experimenting with techniques and looking at our work from all angles.
- The difference is that we have made this process public. We left the door open so others can interact with and influence us.
- There is a pressure imposed by the ‘norm’ of past experience: the pressure to produce, to define and deliver something that feels finished. But this is the beginning!
- I think for all of us this process of exploring in collaboration with a large group is completely new. Normally an artist plays with his or her ideas and materials alone and in private, developing artwork in a private space before offering it to the world. Here though, we are exploring ideas that aren’t fully formed within the social space of a gallery, and in the exchanges between our fellow artists. It’s so much fun but also daunting. The perception of risk is higher.
Maija Liepins is collaborating with Kirsty Smith and Isaac Whitcombe during the Laboratory of Dissent project, a new exhibition at The Winchester Gallery. You can join the dialogue at the Laboratory of Dissent Symposium on 23 – 24 September. Book today on Eventbrite.