Aug 19, 2009

Susan Forsyth

Susan Forsyth is another Trail first timer and her project fits really well with the participatory and community focus of the E17 Art Trail in general. Fresh from doing the project in this year's Leytonstone Art Trail this one is for all you players out there.....

1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2009 E17 Art Trail?
'ping-pong-party' is a participatory sculpture, a re-working of Bill Beckley's 1971 work, 'Silent Ping-Pong'. My piece by contrast uses boom-bats on tables made from boards and trestles, found on-site. There are no nets and no rules.

2. Could you have done this work anywhere, or is it specific to E17?
The work will be made from objects found on site. Each 'ping-pong-party' is unique.

3. Have you participated in the E17 Art Trail before?
This will be the first time I've participated in the E17 Art Trail.

4. How does your work this year relate to your previous artistic practice?
'ping-pong-party', an activated sculpture, was first performed by the players as part of my MA course at Kingston University - and timed to coincide with the opening of a major Bill Beckley exhibition at Chelsea Space gallery. Bill Beckley generously agreed to the idea of a simultaneous 'homage' taking place 15 miles away. Subsequent ping-pong 'parties' took place in Poland - as part of the Homo Ludens Festival at Warsaw Academy of Fine Art - and in London. The largest and most successful 'party' was held recently in East London; at 'Pick N Mix' - the Woolworths Occupation in the Leytonstone Art Trail.

5. What challenges (if any) do you face in realising this work?
'ping-pong-party' is always exciting to install because I'm never completely sure what I will find to make the table. The other challenge is to find enough balls.

6. Who is this work for?
The work is for players and viewers too. It is a lot more fun to play and does not require any skill. You can even play by yourself - roll the ball along the table and run to the other end.

7. As well as being an artist what else do you do?
I am also studio sculptor making large scale steel and cardboard structures work and, most recently, casting objects in both iron and plaster. I have recently been made an ARBS - an associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

8. What is your favourite place in E17?
My favourite place in E17 is Ye Old Rose and Crown Theatre pub, not for the more obvious reasons, but because it's the most artist-friendly pub in London by a very long way. Their 'all-welcome-can-do' attitude is so refreshing - and the beers not bad either!

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