Week 12-18th Jan

This week was characterised by a couple of things:

Deciding what to do for my performance on the 28th

William Hogarth was attempting a social intervention through his work - this became even more apparent when I went to see his work at the recent exhibition in the Cartoon Museum. He was trying to show ordinary people the truth about the negative consequences of bad life choices in the hope that they would choose differently and their lives would be improved. This is also reflected in his philanthropic work at the Foundling hospital discussed above.


(The Cartoon Museum, with 'The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders' in the back ground. This also shows a progression where Moll, a country girl comes to London and is enticed into prostitution.)

I was to re-interpret this idea of a social intervention for the present day and using the context of the Pawn Shop where in Gin Lane people's possessions were lost for good. Even if they were then later able to recover these items through buying them back, they will have suffered in the mean time because of their loss. Because my group is doing a transition from Gin Lane to Beer Street I need to make the Pawn Shop empty as in Beer St it is not doing well because no one needs to give up their possessions. 

My idea is an ongoing installation where I have collected stories of things that have been lost in the present day and I will make and 'restore' them. In order to go 'back again' I will also invite the public to write down on labels their stories and add them to the shop.

One of the critiques could be that these aren't things that have been lost due to addiction, and I did think about interviewing homeless people I have worked with in the area. However I felt that there were ethical considerations here as it may be traumatising to talk about. It also restricts involvement of the general public who may not have alcoholism.

Here is a concept drawing/ illustration:


Talking to Michael Spencer about the possibility of doing an MA in PDP

This was very helpful and helped me think through whether this course is for me. The course isn't particularly ficussed on a skill like costume making so you need to bring or learn the skills needed for your personal interests. I was also interested to hear that there are students from many different backgrounds on the course, for example former actors and psychologists. I think having studied Anthropology the reasons for studying PDP would be similar to the latter.

Michael asked me what exactly it was about performance that I am interested in. This was a little hard because of the various influences I have had through studying and working previously. I love stage design and creating an atmosphere but I am not sure it's right at this stage in life to pursue something that doesn't link in to my other interests... what came out from our discussion in that I want to create work that engages the public, either for example in museum education, or leaning on the more fine art side of things and creating installations that makes people think about themselves and they way they relate with society - that is my anthropology coming out!

I think the course sounds very flexible and a great space to develop creative ideas, but I am still not sure if it is the right path. The three month trip to Spain is also a difficult factor since I am married and have a flexible part time job that I would loose. It might be better if I just work with schools and community organisations and propose projects and apply to funding etc. In order to forge my own way using the experience I have and the confidence I have gained through doing the Foundation Course. The question is, do I need another degree certificate to legitimise my place as an art practitioner in these contexts?

© Elizabeth Kendal, all rights reserved