“Am I talking to an exhibition?”

ARTIST’S NOTEBOOK
Week 4, Thursday

I’m thinking about how being present with the work adds to the art experience when people visit. I’m thinking about what reliance on ‘wall text’ removes from the dynamic in an art gallery. So far, we have no wall text describing the work. This exhibition is one in which people sit on the floor and chat, quite naturally and without being asked. It’s not one where they circle the gallery and read the walls. Every day is different.

Using the space, the art, in process, connecting with collaborators not physically here.

One of the first things I find myself saying when people walk into the laboratory is “feel free to ask us questions!”

And if they look a bit uncertain about what they are looking at, I explain how dialogue is part of this process and we are interested in their impressions and responses too.

Yes, their impressions are more important to me than whether they ‘understand my work’. What I think I’m trying to say can change day by day, such is an artists life – this artist’s life? – I want to know what they see and think and there starts the conversation, there emerges the excitement of a meeting of minds (worlds).

Two students, came together, Sun and Hailee. I told them about Rapunzle when they asked, and the time she shaved her hair off.

“This exhibition makes me feel like I’m in a fairytale.” – Hailee

Sun noticed that I’d left a needle hanging from the bottom of the basket and how it seemed to create a connection with the lilypad underneath.

Kimvi interprets my work through re-arranging it (Tuesday)

He told me about the Chinese legend of the Monkey King, whose mother put him in the middle of a Lotus and floated him down a river and he was adopted by The Goddess of Mercy.

(I think Sun is looking the name up on his phone in the above photograph as he later showed me the Chinese – English translations.)

Right after this picture was taken, our second visitor arrived. Hello, hello!
“Am I talking to an exhibition?” he said

Today’s thoughts
on why dialogic process is important to me.

A peek at my WhatsApp chat.

Digesting‘, Thursday, Whats App Words with Sarah Misselbrook

When the artwork is invisible, happening in the dialogue in ‘the space between’ how do you share it?

By writing about it and talking about it I suppose.
But most importantly by demonstrating it.
No, by being it.

The lived experience of art in action…

Maybe it remains a private thing, until the seeds of a dialogue spout and take root in our lives. There is the creativity I am most interested in.

Conversational Poetry; a spontaneous collaboration experiment

A couple of weeks ago I asked Sarah Misselbrook if she has a photo of herself with her shaved head that I could use.
From this, came the following idea:

For almost a week we have been exchanging messages at approximately 8.00 every morning – just a couple – echoing, diffracting, multiplying, inspiring.

Click here to read the full text!


Zeitgeist Non-Grata

New work on show at Winchester Gallery
Featuring conversational poetry
between Maija Liepins and Sarah Misselbrook

Best times to see: Tues 3rd and Weds 4th of December 2019 between 10am – 4.30pm

[17:01, 11/20/2019] maija:

Rapunzle: I shaved my head to communicate that I didn’t need saving

Sarah: I shaved my head as an act of rebellion. To shed or rid myself of a traditionally ‘feminine’ attribute in order to avoid the prescription of beautification and adornment.

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Inside-Outside Conflict

Yesterday was demanding and today will demand more of me.
(show up, show up anyway?)

I wrote this morning a stream of consciousness, and I find that although it was inspired by an everyday encounter and not this project specifically, I notice the themes I am exploring have weft and wove throughout my perception and provided metaphors with which to express the experience.

Enjoy!


There is a conflict between Inside and Outside,
Rapunzle’s tower feels so tempting today:
Hunker down
Retreat
Withdraw.
Anger burns up the walls
from the furnace of my heart
Come close and the flames will lick you
yes, Dancing in the fire
That’s my idea of a good day today.
Alchemy transforming the elements at my borders
New crystalline mementos…
not gargoyle heads
not medusa heads
not lion heads
not papyrus or paint pots
flowers! yes, flowers
Blooming like the night lily
on the border between sky and pond.

There is a conflict between inside – outside.
Do I keep up my walls
and perform, stoic as a buttress?
Do I dress myself in crocodile’s
in a moat bordering my childish upswell
with a warning snap to give me time?
Time to feel
Time to think
Time to respond.

Aha, see, there is the conflict
Truly I don’t fare well alone with my thoughts
Alone with my words
Alone with my ideas,
Running round and round like stale bread in tin.

There is the conflict:
How easy it would be to withdraw from the not me,
the not wanted, the not cool,
Paying the price in rigid conclusions
and stony constructions encrusting my mind with
a labyrinthine resolve to protect my ideas of self and other
Suspended like a moth in a specimen glass
Against my instinct
My training
My advice.

I need the outside, the other, the
input battering my keep
with the energy and colour of a summer rain
creating rainbows in the autumnal chill
To grow
To learn
To revitalise:
The phenomena of intra-action
The entanglement of multiple beings
Be-ing in this life
This ecosystem.

The place between this Inside mood
and Outside pull tugging at my skirts
like twenty cubs, or a vigorous wind.
How many mothers, parents, sisters, brothers
feel harassed by the pull of other world desires?
Two worlds meet in the space between.

I don’t really desire solitude,
just a place to stand where I can be;
Be one of many on the lily pads
Drinking from the top and bottom
of an ecosystem that supports me
(too).

Sarah, I can hear you

Sarah Misselbrook
20 October 14.59 GMT

From inside the cage of cremated branches, can you hear me?

A reply from Maija Liepins
20 October 19.16 GMT

Whispers of wisdom
Of matter, of memory

Whispers of meaning
A chapter, a wending

Sounds in the silence,
And silence in the listening

A foot in the ash
And a head in the sky

A lungs breath away
A whole world away

A conversation unending
With elements, other, and me

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