Ignite Somerset along with ARTlife had invited Somerset artist's working on projects associated with the Romantic poets to talk in front of a green screen at the Engine Room Bridgwater. The premise was simple, Richard Thomlinson (of Ignite Somerset pictured above with Lynn Mowat) had prepped the Engine Rooms studio with a floor to ceiling green screen, camera, microphone, lights etc and artist's were asked to book a slot and then talk about their projects straight to camera.
Amongst other artists attending were Alice Crane, pictured above amidst filming, she was talking and sewing at the same time, a task which was harder than expected - even after years of practice. Ralph Hoyte (geolocated sound-scapes, Satsymph - pictured below) and Frances Harrison (storyteller and visual artist also below) have major projects in respect to the Coleridge Way. In many ways Frances, Ralph and myself are the three corners of the current Coleridge Way projects and the meeting was for me an essential piece of networking. Touching base and choreographing (in the loosest sense) how our works fit together in a wider scheme.
|Christopher Jelley, Frances Harrison, Ralph Hoyte|
At lunch time Richard screened three short films to the Artists present, one about each of The Colridgeons (I know, there is no such word) which we had made with Richard in the last few months. I always feel very self conscious about this kind of thing even in good company, but there was nothing to worry about, and it was brilliant to catch up with others, many of which are working in parallel towards the ever present yearly event of Somerset Art Week.
The Engine Room is a stunning facility and in this age of media where we are surrounded by screens at every turn, it makes the essential bridge between the artist and the technology, something which always seems to be shifting, never solid and simple like a canvas or a book. I have always tried to embrace the new but there is a point where you try to take stock and ask simple fundamental questions like, does this effort actually add to my creative practice, is it worth the hassle, toil and energy? What is the life span, who am I connecting to, will it be gone in a moment like twitter, or around for decades? and am I happy with that, is there another way?
These are impossible questions to answer, and only in hindsight will we know truly the longevity of energies spent and where possible economies were to be had. In the mean time we have to embrace every opportunity on offer, give a little of our time and enjoy the simple things like chatting over coffee, and connecting to others who have climbed a different tree of craft to your own. Build connections, collaborations, try and be at the centre, and catch those opportunities right now whilst the camera's are running.
These works will be posted through the Ignite Somerset site.