1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2009 E17 Art Trail?
I will be showing ‘Baggage Claim’ which is an installation of multiple suitcases placed around the Vestry House Museum Garden.
I have recently returned to the UK after an absence of two years and am now reconnecting with my own past and culture. At the same time I remain linked to a globalised culture which is also reflected in E17. Items unpacked from storage, along with more recent acquisitions and observations on being back ‘At Home’, provide each suitcase in this installation with very different content.
I also received one of three Arts Council Commissions awarded to this year's Art Trail. My commission is for this blog!
2. Could you have done this work anywhere, or is it specific to E17? Did you respond to this year’s Art Trail theme ‘At Home’?
It is specific to E17 and ‘At Home’ because it relates to my return here. It is also specific to the Vestry House Museum Garden! The last E17 exhibition I had (in the 2006 Art Trail) was also an installation in the garden so there is a sense of both transition and continuity.
3. Have you participated in the E17 Art Trail before?
Yes since the very beginning.
4. How does your work this year relate to your previous artistic practice?
After a start in early PC graphics, text and image collage, I developed an experimental approach to painting and print reproduction which then became components of installation. My Art Trail Project this year hopes to reflect on aspects of this.
5. What challenges (if any) do you face in realising this work?
Because I have been away I haven’t been sourcing materials over a long period as I would do normally. This meant that I had to abandon some ideas. I also underestimated the time it would take doing both the blog and my own project and I didn’t factor in a 2 year backlog of family visits! However this meant that I commissioned a ‘guest' suitcase. This will be part of the installation but will be separately titled ‘Lost Luggage’.
6. Who is this work for?
Both the blog and the installation are a means, or a process for me to become reintegrated with my UK life. However, I really hope the record provided by the blog will be useful and interesting for everyone involved in the creative life of E17. I hope that audiences will find things to think about in relation the installation too.
7. As well as being an artist what else do you do?
Whatever’s necessary to generate an income!
8. What is your favourite place in E17?
Walthamstow Marshes and the Vestry House Museum garden.
Valerie Grove: http://www.naturestrikesback.com/