The way in which Catherine Yass explores the metaphorical and physical qualities of space inspired my interest in offering a way in which a space can become a personal choreography of specific elements. Bringing these varying elements together can allow us to draw out underlying thoughts and emotions from the more commonplace aspects of our individual lives.
This was the aim of the afternoon’s activity, to create personal “dreamscapes” by selecting existing images on transparencies to then customise, which could be fixed to the window to use natural light and become simple light-boxes.
Unknown Cities by Phil
The afternoon began slowly due to competition from Bexhill Carnival taking place, and it was also a perfect day to enjoy the pleasure of being outside in the Summer sun. Nonetheless, the sight of colourful images attached on the window underneath the stairs, attracted interest and the resulting conversations and artwork. The first participants were Lyndsey, Phil and their french visitor Eustache. We talked about our continuing fascination with the excitement of visiting cities whilst no longer needing to live in these fast moving places. Consequently Phil’s image was inspired by the theme of a poem by T S Elliot on the subject of cities and how the anonymity of the cities of the world, gave the impression that they can appear to collapse together and become one.
Eustache used the distortion of different perspectives of sea scenes to evoke the abnormality and disorientating effect of the dream state.
Whilst Lyndsey integrated together two opposing things that she loves, the urban life and trees.
These were wonderful examples of how the activity could stimulate a personal and poetic journey, as echoes from the exhibition. Throughout the afternoon, all who had seen the exhibition were very struck by the way in which their perception became heightened by the elongating sense of time. As such the smallest details become more noticeable, taking on a more extraordinary quality through following the gaze of Catherine Yass and the curious nature of her viewing points.
Art by Daniel and Sarah
A family of three young people accompanied by their mother, worked industriously to intensify and alter the existing images they chose, and positioned on the window, their art then took on the layer of existing scenery outside. Louise aged 13, who is also a keen musician, created an intricate dreamscape which incorporated lots of fragments such as her personal likes, with shadows and a sense of a story about to unfold.
Art by Louise
Wendy and lively daughter Amy, were inspired to each create work which portrayed a love of nature. Wendy’s work expresses her frustration at not being able to move to live in Bexhill echoed the sense of a struggle between feeling trapped into an urban life whilst wanting to be closer to the countryside.
Finally, a family visiting from Berlin, Martin, Antonia and Nastassia, created the last surreal scenes of walking through the woods and taking steps to a house with a huge flower, and the beach in Bexhill. Martin decided that his work needed a second attempt, to be completed in his own time.
Art by Antonia and Nastassia
I much appreciated looking at all the thoughtful artwork subsequently displayed underneath the stairway like tendrils of creativity growing outwards from the core exhibition. I rather liked the fact that there was a further unintended backdrop of the details of machinery and the sky as a patchwork of nature and the manmade which infiltrated the created images. Finally I would like to say a huge thank you to volunteer Jess who was a great support throughout the afternoon.