My struggle with just how to blog about the making of the new Con.Text (Creatives in Con.Text) is not in any way reflected in the making of or blogging about, the soft sculptures.
Here I am in control of the risks and I choose to be open to the opportunities as individual words, phrases or whole conversations demand attention and result in fresh insights into how to express and possibly communicate via these evolving structures.
Small changes in posture, shaping, positioning of parts, clamour for attention; eureka moments shout loud in my ear. Early impressions demand to make their mark, not to be overlooked as this particular Con.Text journey unfolds; to be included before the possibility of blinding clarity about any eventual destination; and certainly before any move towards drawing any conclusions.
All this needs to be evaluated against the original concept to retain the integrity of the figures' journey which is parallel to, but not identical with the current Con.Text. And then there are the figures themselves; like characters in a novel they assume an identity and begin to dictate their own story.
Kosta has this confident curve to his spine that owes little to the Con.Text conversations and much to his inheritance from Kouros, the original standing figure. However, the conversations are turning his head, and while he is still compliant, I sense the possibility of resistance.
Kouros became in a doorway;
as did Koure. Suspended on
brass chains, these life-size soft sculptures
waited and watched at my bedroom
entrance, unaware as was I,
of history and Imponderabilia.
I need the support of the frame
to have two hands free to create;
chance has created parallels
but I seize upon the contrast
of naked bodies who wash away
traces of people squeezing past,
and Kouros and Koure who exhibit
a record of every body who
ever comes in contact with them.
'When you are married your husband will tell you what you will think' Downton Abbey passed me by, but these words from a trailer did make a deep impression.
And reminded me of my introduction to Disability Arts.
As an artist waking up to a strange world, I had been silent for a number of years, and being invited to be part of the formation of LinkUpArts was a lifeline. I began reworking a series of architectural drawings through which wandered a skeleton wearing black stockings and stilettos and pushing an empty wheelchair. This was my past linking into my future; the series, begun in the 1980s when my disability was largely invisible, was called the Lovely Bones.
From very woolly beginnings I started to make tentative sense of my own 'disabled gaze' but it was not until I was invited to be part of a Disability Arts project that required all participants to undergo a rigorous programme of Disability Equality Training that I became convinced of it's validity.
We (a group of artists with various disabilities) were being lectured to about using the Social Model as opposed to the Medical Model and one of us declared that there were some aspects of the Social Model that she did not personally find helpful and some in the Medical Model that she did.
Our trainer (disabled, but no artist) paused, and into the shocked silence declared, that when she had finished training us we would all know what to think, and how to think it.
Bare Boards and Blue Stilettos was as much a reaction against the Disability Arts Movement I was being introduced to as it was about the shocking attitudes of so many of the nondisabled people in my life.
awakens the past
and I visit
with a new gaze;
with the confidence
of hindsight; from
a position of
someone at ease
with an evolving
body of work.