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Today I was very busy creating new work and with people who were invited to make a teabowl.
I spent some time yesterday talking with Mary Butler, the Arts officer in no.72 John Street. Together we wrote and sent out an invitation to all the staff in the Council to come into the gallery and make a tea bowl. I spoke to Mary about creating an installation piece on the floor of the gallery. Next week we will be taking a trip out of the Arts Office to pick daffodils which will form part of a sereis of pieces based on the theme of sacred spaces.
Mary sent out the invitation yesterday and today five ladies came to make a tea bowl. Most had never used clay before. Overall the reaction was positive and there was lots of discussion about tea.
I started to use the floor space today. The gallery felt empty. I went across to the garden centre and sand, stones and peat were trolley delivered right to the door of the Arts Office.
I started straight away and worked on the installation of peat, sand and stone. I really enjoyed the process especially emptying peat all over the floor, breaking it up with my fingers and shaping it. This type of instalation work would never have been realised in my own studio at home as there is just no room. The great thing about the space is that you can step back and really see the work. I also worked on a painting based on the same theme.
I started my residency yesterday in no. 72 John Street Kilkenny. I was welcomed by Mary, Niamh and Cathy all of whom manage the Arts office in no.72. After Niamh showed me around the space and I unloaded a bootload of clay, paper, tools, brushes and notebooks I started right away to work on the window space. The window space is an opportunity for me to work quickly through ideas and present them to the public.
The space is big, bigger than I am used to. I decided to set up three tables and spread them around the room and different projects are happening already. It’s great to be able to stand back from the work, hop from table to table and idea to idea.
As part of the residency I am inviting people to come into the gallery and to make a tea bowl in this space. Initially my idea was to invite people to bring in something personal and place it in the gallery thereby creating a sacred or reflective space- an altar of sorts. This idea maybe revisited in the future. The traditions of tea and drinking tea are being explored in my residency.