Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Bimonthlies 6

Photo: Tom Cretney

I am Sally Plowman and this Bimonthly was, in my opinion, one of the most varied and most interesting ones ever... Well, out of the four I have been to...
It started off as usual, with the flow of drinks, and the winter, I mean, summer breeze blowing in through the door as people spilled in from the cobbled streets of Wellingore. Within the next hour, we were being handed Poundland umbrellas and ushered out of the door, dog in tow, to attend the first arty instalment of the night.

A walk by Alison Lloyd
Contemporary Art of Walking
The walk begins Photo: John Plowman
So, as I was saying, we plodded along through the lazy village until the group reached the village hall, and through the menacing drizzle, we were handed an information pack, with maps and, err.. information... 

Alison Lloyd gives out information packs Photo: John Plowman

...before continuing through the little playground and along the top of an overgrown field into a woodland. Stopping again, I took a moment to look around and realise just how magical places like these are. It was completely silent, and the only thing that broke it was the solemn dripping of the now subsided rain from the leaves, until Alison Lloyd gathered us together and read a poem about trespassing by John Clare, before we walked down onto private land. (Don't worry, we had permission!)

The Woodland Photo: Sally Plowman

After lifting the dog over a fence, we wandered down through another field, around a motionless lake and stopped again, to discuss some pictures in the pack. Squinting into the sun as we wandered back along the ridge in the middle of a field, it was hard to forget I wasn't in a postcard watching the sunset, and thanking my lucky stars the rain had completely gone.

Walking through the field Photo: Sally Plowman

We eventually found ourselves back at the Chapel, helping ourselves to a delicious rice salad and settling down for the next presentation.

Bruce Asbestos
VARIATIONS : Public Talk 2011
Bruce Asbestos' presentation Photo: John Plowman

When I say presentation, it really was more of an unrehearsed performance- from unsuspecting members of the audience! Created by Bruce Asbestos, a Nottingham based artist and curator, who had prepared this  presentation about his artistic practice without being part of it. It was all conducted through audience participation. Audience members were invited, via a projected text instruction, to take directions from a script. 
Audience Member 1 Photo: Nicola Streeten
There were about ten or eleven people who volunteered to read from the script, which the whole audience also received, in order to join in at the appropriate moments. It was a really clever way of keeping everyone's interest, whilst conveying information and, with a few slip ups on the readers' part, keeping everyone entertained. It was also a very successful way of explaining his artistic practice.
Bruce Asbestos, audience participation Photo: John Plowman

Sally Lemsford and Sally Newham
Cycling in search of
Sally Newham and Sally Lemsford Photo: John Plowman

Two Derbyshire based artists and curators talked to us about a collaborative project they have been working on. In search of what? Of "truth"but looking for truth through fantasies and fabrications. 
Their introductory presentation told us about their ambition to make the world a better place by telling, and getting the public involved in telling, little stories, and making up fantasies about ordinary objects. A little sweetener to the whole night was a package each of us received, containing two sweets... or "Bishop's Canning"... yum! The only trouble was that one of them broke part of my braces off... You have to pay the price for good things...they also brought some homemade "Stitchcomb Pie" for later.
The mobile museum Photo: John Plowman

They enjoyed the things and stories they collected whilst they travelled around talking to the public, so they had the idea of creating their mobile museum which they are planning to take to isolated areas. They unpacked the flat pack museum from a trailer which they are planning to take around Derbyshire, pulled by a bicycle, spreading happiness to anywhere they step foot... or wheel...They showed us round the portable museum of curiosities, which was empty at this stage. Then they told us to find something in our pockets or bags, and, working with our neighbours, to write a fantasy story about it on a small brown label they gave each of us. At the end, when all of them were given in, we were served with some homemade "Stitchcomb Pie" and everyone's stories were read out, revealing some funny and abstract narratives!
Audience response to the mobile museum Photo: John Plowman

A response was invited from the audience and there were a number of questions asked, prompting animated discussion.
Aah... another day done, bring on Beacon Bimonthly Seven!
Photo: Sally Plowman