You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.
Below are photos from the bread making workshop.
I set up a workspace in the front of the studio so passers by could see the activity and wrote text on the wall for participants to read as they kneaded.
500g strong white flour
1 tsp sugar
300ml tepid water
mix the flour salt and sugar and rub in butter
add yeast and then add water a bit at a time mixing to form a sft dough
Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for up to 10 minutes until springy and smooth.
Grease bread tin and place bread in the middle, grase cling film and place over to stop from drying out.
Place in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size.
Place in hot oven 230C for 30 mins, turn temp down to 210 for last 10 mins if bread is getting too dark.
Remove from tin immediately and alow to cool on a wire rack.
Wrap with care.
the week started with a bit of a panic. Over the weekend i had been muddling around in my head. I had spent friday of last week researching valentines and think about exchanges, exchanges of gifts exchanges of words and exchanges of intentions.
So as i pottered around the gigantic space and i was thinking about this and looking at my photos on the wall i started thinking about making bread, Yeast bread more specifically. Yeast is a living creature and you have to treat it right if you want it to help you out. You have to feed it and keep it warm and keep the salt content down.
I decided to hold bread making workshops for members f the public, to come into the studio (where my research and work is displayed) and learn how to make yeast bread for their valentines. The idea was to get people to spend a lot of time and energy producing something very basic that we often take for granted. They then had to hand stamp a ribbon to go around the bread to present it as a gift. I have been considering the rlationship between effort and value and do people really rate worth in terms of energy required for production.
Niamh Finn sent out a press release on Monday and advertised the Valentines Bread Making. There was a good uptake on Monday with 4 people booking in almost immediately, this continued throughout the week. I felt really encouraged my the support from people interested in the session.
I continued looking into Valentines and found some really interesting articles, one explained that a girl could predict her furure husband based 0n which bird she saw on Valentines morning. A Robin meant she would marry a sailor, a swallow meant she would marry a pauper but be very happy and a goldfinch promised marriage to a millionaire.
I arrived on Monday with a couple of boxes and a butterflies in my stomach. Niamh Finn met me and showed me around, gave me a quick run down of where to get what and who to talk to and then let me move in. I had seen the space when Gypsy Ray had been in Residence and it seemed big, but without Gypsy and her drawings the space felt huge! I started moving my bits in and immediatly regreted not bringing more!
I have recently started working with a ‘real’ camera and am trying to work out how to get the pictures i want, its easier to see them using a film camera, as opposed to digital, and they turn out a lot better when they work, but i have been having a few hiccups.
I headed out to use the last few shots on my colour film and as it was snowing i headed up to the castle to photograph some of the trees. It was freezing cold and my camera got a little wet but it was amazing standing out in the snow, it looked like a speckled fog moving through the park. I took some digital shots as back up, which was just as well as i ripped the film when i was winding it up (some hiccups are really embarassing). Still I managed to get a few nice shots.
Tuesday was a bit of a choppy day, I didn’t feel like i got much done and was a little daunted by the big white space again.
Wednesday was brilliant. I attacked the space, spread out all my materials, put my paper on the walls, stuck up my photos and started to draw.
Having managed to slavage a few photos from the roll I was dying to get out and take more, I had bought a roll of black and white film and it was burning a hole in my pocket. I headed out to Woodstock in Inistioge.
I can honestly say it was one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. It was feezing cold (literally, snow hail and drizzle) and really overcast. The sky was the most beautiful soft grey and white, I had a pain in my neck from looking up. As it says in my press release, I am currently reading the poem Atlas, its rolling around in my brain since I read it in school when I was about 15 and i thought it was the most depressing poem I had ever read.
It talks about the practical side of love, how sometimes remembering to sort out insurance or collect messages is more valuable than flowers or romantic words. Having lived with someone for the last couple of years, I am finding out that sometimes after coming home from work, finding the bin has been emptied, or there is a load in the washing machine is actually the best thing in the world. This is really the focus of my work, the mundane crucial maintenance of relatonships.
So on Wednesday, standing in the middle of Woodstock with snow falling and my fingers stiff from the cold I noticed myself breathing, and i wondered how long had it been since the last time i noticed i was breathing.
Offaly based artist Niamh White will commence her six week residency at Kilkenny County Councils Arts Office, no. 72 John Street on Monday 2nd February 2009. Niamh graduated from The National College of Art and Design with a Degree in Fine Art, Sculpture and is currently Outreach and Education Officer at the Dunamaise Art Centre in Portlaoise. She has led and participated in a number of community and Outreach projects since graduating; including a Mother and Toddler Photography Project in Portlaoise, Artist in Residence Kilenard National School in Laois, Resident artist in Cois Mara, Rosslare and a Sculpture in Woodlands programme in Wicklow
Niamh’s work is concerned with relationships, the workings of and structure of social expectations within relationships, domestic patterns, rules that apply to people and how the rules change from person to person. Ideas of nurturing, dependence and maintenance of relationships are recurring themes, as well as a strong connection to physical environment and living history. Accessibility is a key consideration of her work and she often involves others in her work. She has been a practising Community Artist since training with CREATE in Dublin in 2002.
During her time here in Kilkenny she intends to to focus on the mechanics of relationships, the workings that are unseen but those that form the basis for survival. Whether indeed the relationship is between two people or a chemical relationship such as respiration and photosynthesis. She presents the following poem as something that will inform her work, as will her previous research into biological processes.
Atlas U A Fanthorpe
There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it
Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;
Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists
And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds
The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.
And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.