Who thinks about access? / 21 October 2012
Running through the background of this particular Con.Text experience is the free offer of visual arts displayed in Salisbury Arts Centre's walk through Gallery Space.
Here the artists face the challenge of catching the eye of, amongst others, ladies who lunch, suits with meetings, time wasters; bird watchers, mums groups, people who come regardless of the arts and people who are drawn to the creative environment without really knowing why.
The current exhibition, Doctoring Practice, previewed before I began the blogs and finishes today, but I have had very productive conversations with several of the artists and I have continued to observe and converse with the people surrounded by it's offer.
Tuesday 30th October previews this year's Open exhibition: Sustainable Design, and I am looking forward to meeting the selected artists as well as chatting to the visitors.
In the Gallery Space it is only the seriously interested who are happy to converse, but having Con.Text conversations with visitors to the cafe has been quite popular and I am frequently being told that I should be offering these arts conversations on a regular basis.
People tell me that their enjoyment and appreciation is greatly enhanced by the opportunity to focus on the artwork. They remember previous conversations and seem pleased to offer their opinion on the current offer or share something from their own journey.
It is here in this related yet unfocused space that I find opportunities to explore what people want or expect from the arts, to converse about where they might discover arts enriching their spaces and what experiences they take home with them.
Conversations with artists, taking place within their performance, exhibition or workshop domain, do have a completely different energy and in spite of the artists' widely varying aims, viewpoints and points to view, I am beginning to recognise this energy signature threading through the conversations.
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.
Keywords: access,artist,con.text,exhibition,gallery,poetry,visual arts