1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2009 E17 Art Trail?
‘to MOTHERHOOD from MATERNITY’ is a multi disciplinary work exploring historical and contemporary ideas about some of the civic values we live by. It will consist of a textiles installation, a site specific talk/event and some arts/crafts workshops.
2. Could you have done this work anywhere, or is it specific to E17? Related to this, did you respond to this year’s Art Trail theme ‘At Home’?
The work is very specific to E17 in a broad variety of ways.
1. I am researching more permanent local public art works using local and other educational/cultural facilities.
2. I am sourcing materials for the installation from a local recycling project.
3. The installation is to be located in the window of a local café/environment centre and relates to some of the activities within.
4. The installation will include honey harvested from bees I share as part of a small group of beekeepers. We keep the bees on a local allotment.
5. The project will involve the making of kites to be flown on/from a site close to the Town Hall.
6. I hope to present an on location or ‘site specific’ talk about the sculptures on the back of the Town Hall.
I have responded to this year’s theme – home is central to this ‘work’ in a variety of ways, including craft work about the objects which make up personal, private and domestic spaces - to sites which have a more public and civic bearing on home as a locality.
3. Have you participated in the E17 Art Trail before?
I participated as an artist for the first time last year. I contributed an installation, 2 performances and a workshop – the work as a whole was entitled, Truths from Nowhere – at The Hornbeam Centre, Hoe Street. This was part of a group show hosted by the centre.
4. How does your work this year relate to your previous artistic practice?
My previous artistic practice includes carnival arts and performance as well as community arts encompassing many artistic disciplines. Much of this work involves constructed textiles – last year's installation 'Truths from Nowhere' consisted of a shredded local newspaper reconstructed and knitted to form a single piece hung in a window as a sort of screen. This year I am working on another knitted piece connected to more locally focussed art historical research.
5. What challenges (if any) do you face in realising this work?
Personally – trying to maintain clarity in what I am doing – not getting muddled and so maintaining the energy needed, while I also work to earn a living. There is also an element of collaboration and negotiation with various venues, organisations and institutions involved in the work from proposals submitted to the Hornbeam, working with other artists, and gaining permission to use particular sites.
6. Who is this work for?
Me, myself and I followed by a lot of other people I hope. There are many aspects to the project which could engage a diversity of people. I wouldn’t kid myself the project can engage all people. I think this can potentially lead to one of the great values of the art trail in that through networking, peer support and critique – those sorts of issues – inclusion and exclusion can be effectively addressed.
7. As well as being an artist what else do you do?
I teach, working part-time for Community Learning and Skills Service (Waltham Forest) and supply teach in secondary schools for a teaching agency. I work (as an artist) facilitating arts and crafts workshops for public events e.g. local festivals. I have another part time job driving and distributing leaflets for a London based arts promotion company. I keep bees on an allotment and contribute some time to the working of that.
8. What is your favourite place in E17?
I like the area as a whole rather than having a particular favourite place. It’s the parks and open spaces, including the Town Hall, which appeal to me most.
Joseph Beuy's Honey Pump
Julian Beere: http://hiveof.blogspot.com/