Awarded the 'Art in the Archive' Bursary by the Women's Art Library and the Feminist Review, I spent July 2023 at the WAL leafing through the boxes and getting lost in unnamed slide files.
Alongside being an artist I have worked in the arts for 10 years as a facilitator, educator, organiser, support worker and curator. Through this bursary I have been questioning where choice ends and surviving capitalism begins...
I want to rethink my relationship to time. I want to rethink my relationship to productivity. I want to allow the lessons of slowness from the lockdowns to resurface in my body. I want to give things room. I want to let myself fully absorb them. I think we need to.
Looking at the practices of others who traversed disciplines and roles, and held back the tides for their communities too, I am writing a reflective text, with drawings in response by Sophie Mallett and poetic image descriptions by Bella Milroy.
In my queer, feminist choir f*choir (led by Jenny Moore) we often start rehearsals by singing the rushing song. I often sing it to groups I'm facilitating too, to remind us to slow down. Each day on the residency I would go into the store and sing myself this slug meditation. To go (as my old collaborator Kerri Jefferis once said) "slow, low, slimy and curious" like a slug.
Image credits: 1. Li Cassidy sketchbook, 2. Elena Gaputyte unnamed slide, 3. Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue's book 'I'm Not Myself At All', 4. Nyapanyapa Yunupingu selection of works, 5. unidentified slides, 6. page from a pamphlet on striking women in Harinegy 1982, 7. page from Rita Keegan's book 'Mirror Reflecting Darkly: The Rita Keegan Archive', 8. Jo Spence, 9. S. Lumden 'Sea Detail', 10. 'Black Birds Born from Invisible Stars' by Emily Hesse.