Thursday, 4 December 2014

The lights are on [but nobody's home]

The temps were lucky enough to be invited as an artist to take part in the Frames of Mind exhibition at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, curated by The Craftimation Factory as part of their year-long project in association with Recovery Partners. The project worked with adults with mental health issues creating animations using hand-made sets and adorable knitted puppets as a means to exploring their experiences of mental illness.

All photographs © Janey Moffat LaloĆ«

Sunday, 14 September 2014

the continued tatterings of the temps' writes of passage

Author Richard Makin explores the temps: writes of passage guerilla exhibition

“A group of artists, writers and mental health professionals creating a live project reflecting issues surrounding mental health/disorders [sic] and how art and creativity can be harnessed as a transformative medium for healing. Creating impermanent artworks, installations and happenings around town on streets/pathways, using drawing, photography, performance art, installations etc.” – from the Coastal Currents Arts Festival guide.

‘I can control time, if I write here time will pass.’– Anon.

Someone once wrote: ‘You make interventions; I am the intervention.’ This declaration surely applies to the temps, whose unsponsored wheat-pasting and stencilled poetic fragments have already triggered reaction from Hastings Local Authority; this body promptly discharged a jobsworth to remove any artworks daring to raise a head along its vaunted seafront. Notwithstanding, the majority of the temps’ valuable contributions to the Coastal Currents Arts Festival have survived municipal vandalism. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

writes of passage: reflections on making, installing & removing

on making the work:

"As someone with personal experience of mental health issues, involvement in this project has been hugely cathartic. I have been gradually exorcising my demons through art and writing since my breakdown last year and thanks to this and the incredible support of my counsellor and local mental health services, whose work I found to be incredibly attentive, in depth covering all aspects of one's humanity, including relationships, personal history, work and spirituality, I feel I am now finally on the road to recovery. I found that the act of posting my work on the walls in our locality to be so powerful as it symbolises the bond between mother and child, specifically between myself and my five-year-old daughter. I collaborated with her to create the works, as a way of celebrating the positivity engendered when this relationship is a healthy one. As someone who experienced overt control and endless restrictions from her own mother, this has been incredibly cathartic for me. I intend to continue this work and would like to see the project grow and grow in order to raise awareness of mental wellness/illness and support those who are suffering from deep-seated mental health issues."

"I made a stencil of 'this too shall pass' which is a phrase from 12 step recovery which i thought was a good comment on the changing nature of mental states and the impermanence of the art we were doing (I used chalk spray paint). After 13 years of hearing this in meetings it felt great to put it to good use.

Also I had a colleague with me who is being seen by the crisis team at the minute and who has been feeling highly suicidal - so on the frontline of mental health issues. She also made a stencil 'one step at a time' to reflect on how she will walk out of this current space. She would prefer for her name not to be given. She feels that working creatively is currently saving her life and without doubt without work like this she would be in Woodlands currently."

on making and displaying the work:

"The work that I have contributed was borne from an intuitive gut instinct, a driving force that I could not name, could not express, and barely understood at the time. The freedom to express emotions through making work can be cathartic but it can also allow for deep-seated feelings to emerge and resurface.  It is a raw response, a physical manifestation of feelings that were, and still are, at times, too difficult to bear. Decades later it seems as relevant as when it was first created. For me, there is no need to justify my work or explain it, my piece is doing the talking, not me.

The streets are a public space, a place where people who may never enter a gallery space can come across works, often unexpectedly. The works are diverse – there are collaborative works using pen, paper and colours; there are chalk spray-painted adages and designs cascading down stairways; there are one-off pieces and multiple poster works, and a document that parodies mental health assessment. They are unapologetic, challenging and authentic. And all of them have been made with heart and soul. There are no titles or captions to explain any of the works, and no artist names to attach to them either. The fact that they are all anonymous only serves to foreground the work, rather than the creator of the work. In the canon of visual art, the preservation of anonymity can strip works of monetary value as attaching authorship to art is key to creating value. But what is it, or who is it, that bestows value on work? And why are some pieces sanctioned and others not?

In St Leonards there is a double standard. The council seems to be saying:
Let Banksy be by the sea, but white wash the rest of them. However, if I am encased in Perspex along the seafront, will I remain intact and become a tourist attraction? Watch this space."

on reactions to installation of the work:

"When I was posting my drawing and the accompanying song lyrics a gang of young men asked if they could look at what I was doing. I said ‘of course, that is the point’. I explained to them that putting the original drawing up was a way of honouring my Dad who is dying and reminding people to make the most of each other. They seemed genuinely moved and said they’d let their friends know about the piece. It’s good to be reaching audiences that wouldn't frequent art galleries."

on the Council's swift removal of some pieces:

"I feel thoroughly flattened today somehow that the council are so efficient in stamping out any expression thats without their permission. In the light of the news about council run mental institutions sexually abusing so many people coming to light in the last days, I find myself rageful today that so much attention is given to projecting and protecting the councils public image, making it look as though everythings alright with the social reality of Hastings and St Leonards by having a pristine white wall seafront. Soo superficial and unnecessary when its an arts festival going on! I feel exasperated with these petty bureaucrats today..aaargh so mad!"

"I was stunned there was such a swift and targeted response by the Council to what was supposed to be part of Coastal Currents and therefore coming from the creative community in the town - not some unknown external threat to the system! But paranoia reigns, it's The Front, our threshold that greets the sea. It's the Sea Front, the perfect white apron, the white gloves, it's the professional edge, the waiting room, the white cube, the clean line to walk on - to think on, it's the border, the hemline and the front line. It is patrolled and under siege with cameras. Only bad things happen under cover of darkness and people don't exist in shadows. In the morning light at all cost, there can be no coastal current, the line must be stable. Erasure is the only solution - just in case there might be a con-Front-tation or even a conversation. As part of an arts festival, the seafront it appears is the edge of fear and as part of a mental health project, white is a dirty colour."

Friday, 29 August 2014

writes of passage: evidence

art from the heart / art without borders / art for all
curated & executed by the temps