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> > > Gini: Con.Text: the major and minor scroll

15 July 2013

Four white tubes in decreasing lengths, displayed in a box lined with silver stars. Each tube has a title: 'Creatives in Con,Text, the major scroll; Con.Text within FLINT, the minor scroll; Endelig, the secret scroll and the shortest tube Con.Text by Gini

Reading will be a bonus. The Con.Text scrolls by Gini

Gini was awarded a Diverse Perspectives commission to make creative responses to conversations with artists and audiences at Salisbury Arts Centre over a 3 month residency during summer / autumn 2012. The series of extended poems Gini produced as scrolls give a creative insight into peoples' reactions to work exhibited and their reasons for coming to the arts centre.

'Creatives in Con.Text: the major scroll' and 'Con.Text within FLINT: the minor scroll' - have been published on this page. An animated version of 'Endelig: the secret scroll', is to follow. Experimental stages of this commission were recorded on Gini's 'Creatives in Con.Text' blog.

Creatives in Con.Text major scroll

This isn't really accessible. No.
It is as it is. His smile disarms.
Like a small toy in an out of scale
dolls house I reach into the wheelless
reality. The disarming smile
rides on empathy that is not geared
to the challenge; or motivated
to fight for the change that would include
me, sitting, wheelborne.

You're a photographer, would you mind
taking a few close-ups of what's on
this shelf way over my head?
I understand the display is fragile.
It needs to be safe from small children;
I do the understanding, I wish
someone would presume the presence 
of wheelborne. I wish someone, sometimes
would not expect my understanding.
Would anticipate the need for access.

We are accessible here,
and there, and you can book this,
and if you need this we can
help, but, it's impossible
to cater for everyone
given the scope and the range
of diversities hoping
for equal opportunities;
we are only human.

Things have improved so much,
all this effort, all this money.
How petty of you to complain
just because it hasn't worked
for you.

do you have a chair?
Over here, over there.
could I sit and look?
Not here, not there.
We have cushions, pretty cushions,
on the floor, over there.
The artist does not want
the space compromised.
If you need a chair, perhaps
this isn't
for you.

I booked a seat:
Here.
And we put you:
There.
It doesn't work,
please believe me.
Disparate, they sigh.
So now we're going
to have to move
everybody.

Don't expect any faddy words here,
in this theatre we're all handicapped
and proud of it. I notice she was
using the medical we; she doesn't
consider herself handicapped, or
even a tiny bit disabled.
They carry that burden, not she.

I like French wine
and Italian food,
love reggae and
foreign language films;
Ibsen's plays and
no, I don't relate to
Disability Art,
I'm not disabled.

I want to enjoy
these moments of art.
Creativity
that would speak to me
if I were not so
obsessed with detail.
If I didn't crave
some kind of perfection.
If I didn't need 
Disability
Arts to be more,
and to be better.

Pacing, and careful spacing
covers up the fact that pain
prevents me keeping the kind
of diary you'd expect;
disguises the heaviness
of the disability,
the physical burden you
repeatedly reflect back
on me as emotional
baggage, increasing my need for
pacing and careful spacing.

Access, yeah, no, I mean, of course
it's good if a place is accessible.
Not something I worry about, I mean
I don't need to. I don't make my work'
for disabled people; I'm not saying
I don't want them to see it, but
I wonder how much they get out of it.
The brief look of tangled confusion
faded to a confident smile as he
reassured himself that I was
just asking the questions. It was
just a conversation, yeah? No.

I'd like a ticket for Saturday,
there are seats, but no spaces. And I
do not transfer from my chair. So I
wait, for the cancellation that will able me,

Access? Yes, yes indeed
my work is accessible.
I believe sculpture 
has that advantage
if people are free to touch,
to interact; I
place no restrictions myself.
I just make the work.
How people experience
the arts is up to
the individual. It
forms no part of my
concept; the idea of
addressing that as
an issue really is quite
alien to me.

Access, yes, yes indeed
my passion, our passion.
We meet, we talk; join us
welcome, we explore how
the arts affect people,
spaces; present, future.
How artists get into
the mind, opening eyes
alerting, preparing,
nudging, expanding hopes
and expectations; and
formulating questions.

Access, yes I think so.
I deconstruct, that is
some kind of access.
Deconstruction is
revelation, I hope.
There is a point where I 
stop, the work speaks to me.
Instinct tells me when
the voice can be heard.
I do rely on
visual attraction
and curiosity.
Reconstruction and
the creation of new
is an interactive aspect
drawing in the curious
and the creative.

And how accessible do you
make yourself to the work on show?
How open are your eyes, your mind?
How much will you carry home or
scatter to the winds? Will you
let it change you? 
How well do you understand your
need; your search; your curiosity?
Is there room in your life for surprise?
Are you brave; are you generous;
are you burdened?

Nothing changes,
same audience
same expectations:
liked the crochet.
And yes, it was crochet:
hyperbolic,
the coral reef.
Nothing heavy
to carry home.
Loud, but not intrusive.
I could walk away.

I don't need art to burden me.
The state of the planet is not
the artists' responsibility.
I don't mind if it's about issues
I just don't want to be landed
with more than I can leave behind.

It's about personalities,
I want to get away from 
the old stereotypes, to
make it easy for audiences 
to follow their passions, to
open pathways, avenues
to complimentary
routes to their journeys.

I relax with music. music
stays with me. Carries 
my emotional
baggage.
I don't want my art 
to do that; haunt me;
influence my life,
creep into my mind,
I need,
to be in control.
I decide if and where
I am accessible.
Art is an offer
that I 
might need to ignore.

I artist, creator: make.
Exhibition is
when my creation
takes breath
acquires life of it's own.
Viewer is parent
to emotion, to the space;
the off-spring
descendant of the child
grown and let loose
under the watchful eye 
of the curator,
mediator and guide;
Lord of a Gallery Universe.

Art is somewhere to escape panic.
A place to hide from disappointment;
sanctuary from under-achievement;
vicarious engagement with the
exotic and dangerous, art is
where boredom and boring are lifted
to the realms of meaning and purpose.
Art finds me in hindsight, in now,
art lures me into the future.
Art says what words cannot express;
art weeps for me. Shoulders burdens,
eases the silent loneliness
of difference. Art enables
a cultural response to the
incomprehensible; order
in the chaos of diversity.
Art offers a home
when I am
emotionally
homeless.

What I think is,
it was incredibly selfish
of my parents
to birth me, knowing. Condemning 
me to the hell of disability.
I will never
have children, I will live lonely.
I hate my life.
I hate my body, the burden of it.
I wish only to be
thrown back in the gene-pool 
to emerge as 
somebody else.
Is this art?
What I think is
you won't write it
you'll say it's
irresponsible;
that I will change my mind.
You won't write it...
And I
will not
have
a voice.

Peace in my soul;
I have this hunger,
as I look out on life.
I find architecture
satisfying,
created spaces;
emotional distance;
ease and reassure me.

Its an offer. Take it or leave it.
I'm only trying to hold up a mirror.
What you see is inside of yourself;
You are your own story, and for that
you, and only you, are responsible.
Take as much as you need; all you can bare,
you are your story, your story
is the art.

This might sound smug, but I 
don't need art, or artists.
Life
is
art.
I have life and it is
enough, and more, to live
in my own skin; to make
my own footprint; to find
my own way. In
my
own
way.

Nobody pays for time.
Unseen time: rehearsal
time, living time, the time
that prepares, perfects, my
skill. No-one is ready
to know more than the cost  
of commodity space.
I'm not superhuman,
even the arts grants don't
pay a living wage for
putting in the hours.

As an artist I find the workshops
energising; we push at boundaries,
and in seeking to nudge my students
towards extended horizons, I 
find myself refreshed and eager to
take up my craft, ready to empty me
into the finely tuned, traditional
process of giving birth to fiction.

Energising? Good god no.
I am drained, exhausted,
mentally and physically
used up. I do it,
I want to do it,
I am good at it;
but teaching
utterly washes me out.
Uses up every part
of my creativity.

No, not really teaching, more
involving others in my artwork.
Handing over aspects, letting go;
passing on a skill and hoping.
I seek people to join me
in a journey of creation,
people who will find
fulfilment in the making.
The artwork is creating
is evolving, a community.
So no not really teaching,
more a way of living.

I make, I have a skill.
I make for friends, but
it's not art. People like
what I do, I get
commissions, but no
I wouldn't do 
exhibitions
it's not art. 

I craft because it's who I am
and dare I say that women skills
are part of my identity. Rites of
passage returning to favour,
good, though strangely
out of context.

It's a social thing, company
but justifiable, not just chat
and coffee, but somewhere
to knit together, friends.

I wouldn't call myself an artist;
the workshop defines a space,
my space; an interlude when I
recreate myself with words.
I enjoy words, I enjoy being
in this academic arena.
I read a lot, and appreciate
new ideas.

Making is making a Mark
on time; on history.
Proof of existence;
evidence that may, or may
not survive or outlive
the flesh and bone I leave
to return to the stars.

I don't want to be the excuse
that let's you escape bathing
babies; or the background to coffee.
I want to teach hungry people;
open eager eyes; expand the 
expectations of creation.

I need to make work that is attractive and
accessible to people, deaf people and
people with limited social, language skills;
work with space for imaginations
other than mine; open to ranges of age
experience, aspiration and culture.
I need to make work that is accessible.

As artist, maker
I create works of art
As teacher, mentor
I inspire worlds of art;
a legacy beyond my self.

Revealing beauty, in
the careful partnership
of creator and living
wood, unravels knowledge:
acts of despicable design
that will not remain silent
and require articulation;
demand the corruption
of beauty to sign screams
that haunt the finest
polished grain
of that we call our
civilisation.

Waiting does my head in
squeezes the soul out
out of my work, turns
spontaneous into
premeditated. Funding
changes my questing
into manipulation.

This one is different. There is no ice.
Tables and chairs are swirled around me like
a game where I possess the magic key;
access is apparently effortless.
I flow around a room where attitude
changes the dimensions and the welcome;
where anticipation draws me into
unfussy equality as easy
as breathing and Con.Text conversations
blossom with the textures and the colours
into a wondrous kind of utopia.

Con.Text within FLINT: the minor scroll

We agonise, if that's not too strong a word,
over the journey; not in the pain, but more
in the tormented excitement of making
discoveries. The process of picking out
pathways, to expose the irresistible
offer; to entice with the fruits that linger
hidden, forbidden, in the darker spaces
that connect and disconnect the travellers.

Some nudity, ha!
Some joke; well really
some brief flashes of
small garments is more
like the truth. And some
occasional shoes.
Plus warnings about
the danger of rose
petals.

Partnership working is fraught
with logistical hazard.
Rehearsal time gets shoe-horned
into gaps between work and
that thing called having a life.

I'm impressed. It's been
sitting on my kitchen table
for weeks. It's not how
it looks; it's incredibly light.
Mum can lift it. I
just cooked around it while he worked.
Its paint effects and
of course all the technology.
And the kids love it;
really impressive.

Whose conversation is this?
Yours, or mine?
Who are you?
What is Con.Text?
Ok
can do...
What
do you
Want me
to talk
about?

You have to wonder if being normal
is disadvantageous enough to drive
apparent normals to exhibit their
most bizarre natures in order to
satisfy the accepted need for
artists to be damaged people.
So I can't help speculating about
why disabled people don't rate higher...

I have an appointment,
a one to one. I feel
anxiety, yes, a
certain tension and
curiosity.
Wish me luck.

Have you done the maze?
We were the only ones to get out.
He keeps it all in his head.

Come, it's time. Naked
ballet. He holds his own
conversation, first
removing his clothes
and then standing,
slightly hesitant,
to confess his feet
are no good, but he
will offer his best;
or a full refund
should we not be quite
satisfied with his
efforts.

My daughter loved it.
I thought it would be
over her head.

I'm here for my friend, she's
amazing.

Aren't you Somebody's mother?
I am. I am indeed,
somebody's mother,
but now, in this space,
I would like to think I looked
more than audience; more
than mother and more
like the artist here
in my own right;
more like one of the few who
work in the arts surviving
the degree, children,
love, life, the taxman
and so much other pressure.

In my life and here in this
space I am other than
Somebody's mother,
but Somebody's friends
still get brownies points
for the woman, whose son
I disowned with pride,
is identified by her
creative attire
by someone who
doesn't see
wheels.

Getting inside someone else' creativity
is like religion: access to the soul.
The empty blackness at the core of humanity,
plagues some more than others, but it's something
we all share. Religion is the scary solution.
Arts allow an equally powerful
insight to heaven, without
disquieting threats of immortality;
without preset presumptions
of guilt, or affordable denials.
Art is gateway to infinity, eternity,
the horror movie and
reconciliation with the dark.

it's cold outside
we came in
to keep
warm.

I survive. It's not about the money
somehow that scrapes along from one
commission to the next, somehow. Somehow
I survive doing this, my hearts desire.

I cannot decide if this exhibition of temporary
character insanity, is somehow disrespectful
to people of disability, or disabled people,
or whatever is politically correct these days.

Working solo there is
no one to bounce ideas off.
And I worry I get
locked into my own pathways.
I do work solo, but
I'd rather be two.

do you hear that?
listen:
tits, no. No problem.
Yesterday we had
the works, 360
male nudity, fine.
Absolutely fine.
tits are ok.

Was that real?
The vodka/water
in the eyes
open eyes.
Did you really
hope someone
would stop it?
Why do we watch it?

It's different, this
Metropolitan
Experience
in the sticks.

She's very special
gets inside your head
at some point she is you
but then she is also him
and her, and I get to feel
something like indigestion
something I don't understand
maybe it's my heart. I don't think I could
do it again.

It's one of those pieces, makes you look
at how we put life together, how we
construct society, how we see
ourselves, how we use each other. It could
be about  anyone, anything. It
could be about disability.
It is protest.

I have no quarrel with Contemporary Art
the problem as I see it is that too many
people are confusing contemporary with
conceptual. I'm contemporary. You are. 

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