So when down at Dartington Hall spending time ‘Hothousing’ what non-capitalism might look like, I was interested in working on the Tiltyard, a pristine area of grass visible from most of the surrounding paths.
A place of exposure, any activity would be seen
A place where leaves would easily be caught by the wind and blown around
A place where I might make a leaf drawing to an enlarged scale of the Lane Room conference table
I asked the gardeners’ permission and began to gather leaves where I first entered the space at one edge, slightly stealthily because I felt self conscious. Then as I continued to gather the leaves they became the focus of my attention. Why did I chose one rather than another? Why did I not pick up the dowdy leaves buried more deeply in the grass? Was it size, or colour or ease for me? If I was making a conference table surely the democratic thing was to include all the leaves? Then I was asked by child what was I doing, my reply was that I was using the leaves to make a drawing to try to understand the muddled thoughts in my head. The muddle came from a day of subverting the formality of the Lane Room in an attempt to make a piece of work in the space I found myself in which represented non-capitalism.
Today I have been gathering leaves to compose them in my own garden and I suddenly became aware of the different e way I viewed and handled the leaves. Today’s leaves are actual capital, for me, saved energy that will, in time, turn into rich compost to feed the plants in my garden, some of which will, in turn will feed me. Yet I gathered today’s leaves greedily, in armfuls with the excited thought of compost to come not considering what else they might offer. It was a different way of relating to the time I was on the Tiltyard. Then the leaves directed and informed my thinking, guiding new work.
The value of dead leaves.
Spring and Fall
to a young child
So we worked together to explore a representation of ourselves, one to offer by way of introduction.
Our materials were paper, card and tape,
So why did I want to create a trumpet as mask?
To get the mouthpiece to cover my face would have meant a very long trumpet, I did try but got all my arithmetic wrong. Nevertheless a trumpet emerged and Alison photographed me trying to blow it.
Why? was I trying to say something about my need or inability to blow my own trumpet? was it an attempt to present a way of being heard? or did it subconsciously connect to metaphors of war, triumphalism and power?
Today I read about the wall of Jericho, a neolithic structure much later used in the story of Joshua in the bible to terrify the Cannanites. A story which resembles elements of the smoke and mirrors of our current politics. I went on to explore the work of Miles Davies, seminal musician whose music had profound influences through its rejection of the limitations of chords in favour of exploring the creative potential of atonality.
Seems that there are many possible metaphors that might inform ‘doing’ non-capitalism…………
Doing is nearly always rewarding but uncomfortable when someone asks you “what you are doing?” and you simply have no rational answer.
“Dreaming is simply thinking in a different biochemical state”
bit like art in my experience…
Searching for understanding about value we made a mistake. Just like any other animal we were seduced by the shiny stuff, coins.
How many times do we use this phrase?
The value is there in paying attention
Yesterday, the Larks and Ravens visited The Royal Mint where UK money is made.
It left us with more questions than answers in our attempt to unravel value..
The “friendly entrance” to the Visitor Centre suggests someone’s keen to protect something valuable in here…
Then there’s a shop selling money. What is this £5 coin worth? … oh … £1980 if I buy it… but still only £5 if I spend it…
“However, please note that whilst the coins are legal tender, banks are not obliged to accept the coins” So, this is “legal tender” that banks (“I promise to pay the bearer” etc aren’t obliged to accept? Can I buy a pint at the pub with it? Would it taste different from a pint bought with a normal £5?
Magpies being attracted to shiny objects is a myth but what about humans? “The background surface or field areas of proof coins are highly-polished, shiny and mirror-like. In fact, when you stand back and look at a proof, you’ll see your reflection on its surface.”
Digital money might be more straightforward in value exchange terms- you can’t buy a debit card and £5 spent via a card is always £5….. well at least I think so…
But, at The Royal Mint, where making money is indeed making money, asking when coins might finally be phased out is greeted as a sacrilegious question…
When the marks on the wall have all gone, what marks remain?
We come away from the 6 weeks marked – marked by what we’ve drawn, by what others have drawn and the conversations and contributions exchanged.
Thank you Newport Market.
experimenting, inviting and receiving conversations, responses, working with and alongside strangers, creating a focus
“You will of course paint it over ”
“that one is cool, leave it”
energy came, went and came again as the white undercoat swept across three
weeks of attention and some exceptional moments of human connection, but leaving one small area framed is enough to show
from six weeks of exchanging energy and attention