Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Group Crits

In the last couple of weeks I attended 2 group art crits (because I wasn’t busy enough with two exhibitions about to open !)

One was Engine Chat Chat set up by my studio mate Elizabeth Murton and a group of artist friends / colleagues from Goldsmiths. The other was with Matt Roberts Arts.

Both crits I found interesting. I found parts of it very challenging in that most of the artists speaking did not set out who they were and what they did and I need context and visuals

( which were not always available) as otherwise it was very abstract. With some people I could not understand what the heck they were doing and their explanations were muddled so I could not contribute so much.

It was obvious that some found it difficult to talk about their work- which is completely understandable . I have mentioned before that RCA makes you consistently talk about your work. I am talking unendingly about it – at exhibitions, artists talks, to students etc so it is luckily second nature. I know its not that way for a lot of artists Writing this blog as well has allowed more time to self reflect on processes and concepts too.

So back to these crits, some people didn’t seem to be able to stop rambling, with little energy or enthusiasm ……..and talked for 30 mins instead of 5-10 mins which became rather much…..

Small groups are much better ( there were 11ish at Matt Roberts, 7 at Engine chat chat, both lasted 3 hours! ) – maybe 5 people max to really get into the subjects.

The good idea about Engine Chat Chat in particular was that the idea was to come with a question to ask the group so that this becomes the debate rather than just introducing and talking about your practise. I think this is a good way to structure the crits…..

I did see some very interesting and thoughtful work however and across both groups similar themes came up. Confusion and doubt of what direction and how to move the work along came up consistently, fear, lack of confidence and time all were universal subjects.

I am grateful to Elizabeth and Matt for making these exchanges possible. Its needed I think , to keep engaged with people and create peer networks.

The most brilliant thing though was that on a couple of occasions where we discussed problems artists were facing you saw them light up as we made suggestions. You could see wild fire of thoughts crossing their faces. This is why I love to do these things. For moments when you see people light up…and you become part of something.

No comments:

Post a Comment