SWAP combines collaborative and individualistic approaches. Each artist has exchanged material and method with another to fuel their own outcomes for this exhibition. Every piece is a product of fused practises and materials; giving the whole space a collaborative atmosphere and each work it exhibits individual character.
Taking inspiration from Charlotte Grocutt's use of found notes I created a series of my own found notes. Grocutt collects notes she comes across when traveling through day to day life. These notes, with their lack of context , serve as a foundation for Grocutt to fabricate a narrative and fictional characters based on the fragmented information each found note exposes.
I decided to respond to this particular method of practise by creating a narrative from my own iphone notes. These notes are not found, they are personal to me, but when presented as a series, string together a narrative, the story of my emotional and artistic development over the past 4 years. Each note varies in content: from shopping lists, to song lyrics, to short stories, to lecture notes. Titled by one of the notes contents, 'Seriously Who the Fuck Listens to Olly Murs' is an exposé of me and my thoughts at a pinnacle time in my adolescence, narrating a period of transition. In keeping with my own practise I chose to solidify the notes in glass wax. This allows them to retain their shape, providing them with a stronger claim to 'object' status. Rather than just being scrunched up notes, they are now objects in their own right, a fossilised version of the thought that prompted the iphone note to be written in the first place. In this way the overall piece retains a sculptural identity, in keeping with my interest in the specific use of material and object. Not only does the glass wax serve as a casting agent, it's brittle properties add fragility to each note, which can be seen to mirror the vulnerability in exposing such personal documents to my peers and the public. I, the artist, am vulnerable to the judgement of others, whilst the physical objects themselves are vulnerable to snapping or cracking (and this did in fact happen) - one note was accidentally trodden on and another was picked up and snapped. Although both breakages were accidental, each notes susceptibility to this destruction works to mirror our fragility as humans when our private ideas and thoughts are subject to judgement.
Many people admitted to wanting to step on them and hear them crunch. Perhaps it was their brittle texture and glossy aesthetic that tempted such destruction behaviour. This audience reaction was unexpected, but is non the less an interesting comment on vulnerability and how as predatory mammals we posses an innate competitiveness that compels us to break things that are easily breakable.
Grocutt's 'She Enjoy's the Occasional Morley's' is a further exposé of myself. Less personal, but largely based on my practise, this 3D installation-meets-collage-and-portrait combines Grocutt's aesthetic with my personality. She took lead from her own project 'Vera', a fictional character formulated on the basis of a found note from Grocutt's collection. In keeping with the style in which Vera has been presented, Grocutt has presented Freya. The wall pieces expose little ticks and my character motifs, they paraphrase elements of my being. Printed in reverse and clouding the text, are materials I frequently use to generate work: 'Glass Resin', 'Expanding Foam' and 'Dry Lint'. The shelf houses objects with practical and emotional significance to my life; Parma Violets and Morley's cheesy chips - the things I like, and an empty can of expanding foam and some laundry lint - the materials is use.
This piece has helped develop a particular layout and style of portraiture consistent in Grocutt's work. It was first seen in Vera's installation, but is beginning to take form in this second character exposé. I look forward to seeing a series of these identity capsules, these 3D portraits, and how Grocutt continues to play with the fictional and the factual.