February 22nd - 26th 2017.
As my current art practice centre's around text, the call for artists for 'Art + Text' at Bath's central gallery 44AD was interesting for me to apply to. It really made me define text in my work- more importantly, I had to complete a small statement, which has now become my guiding statement for this years work.
I produced a small leaflet style book, A5 landscape, with a combination of photo, drawing and text work. You can actually view this book in my artwork section, under 'current' and 'books'. It was really a start in me working in the book format. Interestingly, the exhibition included multiple artist books.
Here is the resume for the exhibition:
"The relationship between art and text has always been rich and varied – from René Magritte to Jasper Johns, Jenny Holzer to Martin Creed - the decision to use text in art is a powerful and often provocative choice.
Within each of us the perception of text varies, may it be conceptual, aesthetic or purely content orientated. ART+TEXT can manifest as anything!"
In my opinion, text becomes something much more politically activated- and this exhibition expressed this. My favourite work was by Christopher Holden who created replicas of cluster bombs used in the Iraq war : "Cluster Bomblets, Iraq (1)", 2003. The text on these are quotes by politicians who praise war and bombing, creating an uncomfortable closeness to the media for the viewer. He calls himself an activist artist, which is something that inspires me. I would like my art to resonate with something pertinent to contemporary society.
It was incredibly rewarding to be part of this exhibition, placed next to many other international artists. For me, the way that the books were display is the most engaging and interesting method I would like to expand on. It included a table, chairs and a shelf with the books on. There was also a note inviting the viewer to look at the books- this made me realise how important the act of intimacy with reading is. It was interesting to watch the audience fall into their own world when flicking through each page - it is such an exclusive experience. This is something I would really like to expand on in my current art practice.
Furthermore, I learnt a lot about display and being part of a group show, for example, how the curation of the work played such a great importance in the final display. As a conclusion, this was possibly the biggest exhibition that I have been part of, and has made me realise the importance of connections, links, and talking to other artists from around the world in changing my own perception on both my practice and the contemporary art world.
Here are some links to the exhibition: 44AD's Art + Text page: http://www.44ad.net/art-text-17.html
The Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/artandtext.exhibition/