During the first part of my residency at Branscombe House I am focusing on the experience of arrival in a new home and place. There is so much to see, explore, notice, and question. Part of this process is taking "artist walks," setting out with a notebook and eyes wide open to discover the details of this particular landscape. Artist walking feels very different than normal walking. With no destination in mind I am free to navigate by intuition and curiosity and slow down to look carefully.
As I walk I am searching for information to include in my project Walking Atlas, a collection of maps I am creating to document my findings and experiences of my new home. This process of making tangible paper maps mirrors the internal maps I begin to assemble as I become more and more oriented in this place. Walking Atlas will be presented at Branscombe House during Doors Open Richmond in June as an interactive installation. Visitors will be invited to take copies of my maps with them to use as navigational guides to re-imagine the everyday landscape.
Some of my intentions for Walking Atlas (as scribbled in my notebook on the bus):
to call attention to overlooked details of place // to experiment with layering constructed and poetic landscapes over the real landscape // to find magic & meaning & significance in the everyday // to call to mind the intensely arbitrary and limited nature of the information included in ALL maps (especially since maps often claim to depict objective truth) // to explore how our subjective perspectives shape our understanding of the world around us // to document my personal process of arrival
Some thing that catch my eye as I walk...
I am also so excited to offer a public community workshop on Artist Walking. I can't wait to see what participants will notice and document as they engage in this practice. There's more info on that on the Upcoming Events page.
Today I had the absolute honour of joining the Richmond Poverty Response Committee for an Advocacy and Support Committee meeting. This group meets twice a month for workshops in community leadership, advocacy, and activism currently focusing on issues of accessible housing, making their work extremely relevant to my residency here at Branscombe.
Today we began to work on a photography project exploring the concept of what home means to each participant. I was extremely inspired by the diverse ideas and experiences being shared and I can't wait to attend future meetings and possibly even create a collaborative project with the committee.
The first workshop of the year at Branscombe was wonderful! Lots of folks stopped by to create beautiful paper houses, chat, have tea and cookies, and listen to records. I was especially intrigued to see the attention to detail that many people put into their creations, cutting intricate shuttered windows with tiny faces peeping out, adding upper stories, drawing hundreds of minuscule shingles, using collage elements to symbolize life histories and fantastical narratives, and constructing elaborate porches, turrets, gardens, chimneys, and even tentacles. I also loved everyone's excitement as they sat down and began digging through the paper ephemera collage materials, getting inspired and choosing what caught their eye.
This handmade, collaborative artwork will be exhibited at Doors Open Richmond in June. Presenting this collection of remembered and imagined homes together as a three-dimensional map will represent expanding the definition of a neighbourhood beyond those who live close by to include those who gather from near and far to be creative together.