What’s it worth? – Day 5

A trolley of old 78 rpm records which the stall holder can’t sell and has to get rid of – what are they worth?

records Newport

If we gold plate them and display them on our stall wall, does this change their value?


If a market customer stops and helps us copy our £10 note and paint it on the wall – what’s that worth? ..to us? ..to them? …to the value of the painting on the wall?


An then another passing customer  stops to help…”I was on my way to the graveyard to draw the angels there.. but now I’m drawing a horse and carriage on a £10 note instead!”

Was the time taken from the angels worth it?


We’ve nearly finished the £10 note? Is it worth more than when we started last week? Should we whitewash over it when we leave? “You can’t possibly paint over it!” we hear people cry. There’s shared ownership now. But, once we’ve gone, is a clean whitewashed wall more value to the Council than giant £10 note?


What’s anything worth? A passing customer provides the most worthwhile insight of the day “if you have masses of money then nothing is worth anything to you. How can it be when you make no choices?”












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So when does a pile of old shellac 78rpm records become rubbish/ lose value?

The records are heavy, not just to lift, carry or store but with histories, that is what a record is.

So are the marks left behind on the market walls, offered not just by us but by the people who come and question ‘what are you doing?’ or offer up their own energy and insights

exploring value

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How big is money? – Day 4

Is it this big?


.. size and perspective distorts the familiar…


How big is Jane?


I say ‘money’, what do you say?”



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Jane Austen

So today the three of us prepared a grid to enlarge an image of a £10 note.

For some reason after painting small red circles I became involved in Jane herself, my highlight was the exchange of looking with the delightful Sandy who works on the stall opposite our site and who plies us with cake and tea. But today it  was the gift of looking that absolutely took my breadth away. Rarely have I had the privilege of working so intensely with a comparative stranger.

It was inspirational.

Sandy adn Pip 16 April

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Thinking about Newport Market Day 3

IMG_0272What is the work? Who is it for?

Traders, workers in the market, visitors, regulars, customers, express curiosity about what three women are doing in the market space, focussed but without apparent sense every Monday. What do they see? Who are we in this? performers, facilitators, researches, traders?  What is the conversation between us (Larks and Ravens) and them? What meaning is made together?

They may see – 3 women occupying a market stall, cleaning, making good, making the time of day, approaching, receiving, exchanging? What is happening here? It is a question, it is a start of questions that begin a conversation

IMG_0276The 3 of us working together as Larks and Ravens have questions that are similar but different, perhaps they are driven from different places. What happens when you give attention, what do you value? What is money? An alternative currency? What is paying attention? My questions? How do you experience a stranger, how do you start a conversation, what motivates any action in the first place?

What has been exchanged so far? time, friendliness, curiosity, care, attention, offers of help, sharing of morsels of lives offered up, feelings, playing along, taking a risk, the willingness to not take oneself too seriously and the willingness to offer up something more serious.

IMG_0285It is difficult at this point to explain my presence here, to explain exactly what it is we are doing. It is quite raw to act out in a place where I can’t give those answers. I do know that the only way we might begin to understand the work and to really know what the question is, is to keep on doing and turning up. And slowly and by reliably returning it may become a conversation that belongs to this place. I hope that we give as much as I feel we take, the gestures of warmth come frequently and the offers of tea are really appreciated.

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Newport Market 9th April Units B14 & 15

So what were we doing today in Newport Market?



We were asked ‘what are you doing?/ selling?who are you? employed by the Council? what is this?’
I had a great day.
Removed blu tak ( pet hate)
watched as Kirsty removed picture hooks expertly with a claw hammer
Watched as Kirsty balletically vacuumed the space
Made two clocks out of a drawing on fablon then put them in place, one had the numbers rather back to front despite my best efforts
Drew sweet jars with electrical tape
Drew rolls of fabric with electrical tape
Drew with pencil around a market visitor in a wheel chair, which Kirsty then outlined in yellow electrical tape
Invited a stall holder to model suggesting that I knew that Kirsty had already suggested it to him
Got him to pose against the wall and then, because it is easier, asked him to lie down on fablon while I drew around his outline
Cut out the shape and with him ( Ali) and Kirsty positioned it on the wall
Drew the butchers’ trophy ( received in 2014 for beef burghers) then invited Geraint to come an model with the trophy
Ali got him positioned on the fablon while I drew around him, then Kirsty and I cut him out and positioned the figure plus my extra trophy drawing on the wall
Meanwhile Kirsty drew garments in electrical tape and conversed with passers by attempting to explainwhat we were doing
It is is not easy, but I think we are exploring ideas by giving attention to the particular space that we are in and inviting others to join us
Then the market manager Lyn and his colleague  came by and had a conversation
Then a man came and talked about wanting a space to show his work, not to sell but to have an audience and add energy to the market
My highlights were Kirsty vacuuming and then drawing with the vacuum cleaner flex VALUE
Ali pulling Geraint into position on the floor
Finally Lyn displaying interest and curiousity
I think we exchanged something today
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Day 2 – An Exchange Gallery

What can you find and buy on Newport market for £2? Here’s a £2 a coin – go buy something, bring it back to our stall, step up on our podium and tell us why you chose it…


Let’s create a gallery – things I value for £2 and why….



..and what’s the value? – the £2 objects? the individual choices?, the words? the ‘podium moments’ with an eager audience looking and listening? the playing and laughter? the empty wall transformed into an eye catching gallery?

…and what’s the real value of Newport Market?



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Day 1 – Early exchanges..

Day 1 of exploring exchange and values on our stall at Newport Market.

Can you draw what you value about the market?”



Collecting and sharing


But sad conversations … “it used to be fantastic“, “‘They’ are to blame“, “where will we go if this place closes?”, “it’s all about making money now“,

Can art help us imagine a different future? Feel like ‘doers’ not ‘done to’?

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Exchange in Newport Market

On Monday (19th March), the Larks and Ravens start a  6 week long residency (1 day a week) on a vacant market stall in Newport’s Market.

We want to explore ‘exchange’ … exchange of values … but what values? … and how does money aid, reflect or even distort those values?

What can we, as artists, learn at the market? What can we give in return?

What conversations – exchanging stories, thoughts, ideas, feelings, perspectives – may happen?

We start on Monday with an empty stall and see what happens…


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The ‘others’ (who voted differently from us)

mirror people

Stupid people!

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Growth & Death, Death & Growth

Death ..denied…

Death 5 graveyard

Growth … applauded…

tower airportcheckin_davidlevene460

In the natural world, they are part of the same…



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Working together holding our nerves

Who am I and who are you? what happens when we put a wall between us?

draw on it

draw together

and discover

also take a look at this:


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Those are pearls…

shellsThe strip of beach between high and low tide interests me.

It’s an area of constant change – yesterday’s marks are gone and yesterday’s flotsam is re-arranged into new patterns. Nothing stays the same for long.

And it’s one of the few stretches of land in our country that belongs to no-one – only the crown and is therefore equally open and free for everyone to enjoy.

And edges are where the interesting stuff happens….

The Larks and Ravens spent a couple of hours on the beach at Swansea on Saturday – exploring the wide wide open space at low tide – a vast and empty canvas – what can we draw? But the canvas isn’t empty. Yards from their busy, noisy city, people dig for lugworms or run or walk or throw sticks for the dog or kick a ball or even practice their horn playing. It’s everyone’s space – do what you like.


The beach also marks a limit – the border of ‘our’ country. In a year where Brexiteers have cried for “getting back control of our borders” – we puzzle what is ‘ours’ and why isn’t it ‘yours’ too?


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Spectres – Class of 2016

Certainly there was a changing of the guard – God, Pope and Death are sticking around .. or are they?

…. and how will this cast haunt our lives and our world?


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What do I see?


How is my view of the world distorted?

What’s it distorted by?

How is my view different from yours?

Which view is “right”?

How would I know?

Is there an ‘undistorted’ view? … what would that look like?

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