What is an artist? One who pursues with their whole mind body and soul some truth and shares this? One who delves deep into the reflective processes of the mind and the world we inhabit to activate and connect meaning with form? Gagging from these idealistic definitions? Something has happened to society that the aesthetic of the crude dollar and instrumental modes of entertainment each credit affords and we can easily lose sight of the simple pleasures our own senses and hands afford us.
In the month leading up to thiscollection’s foray into the free fringe, Rocio Jungenfeld was our artist friend. With simple wool and words from poets Vivien Jones, Anna Dickie, Lauren Pope, Priscilla Chueng-Nainby, Christine De Luca, Jessica Winch and Morgan Downie we brought moments of pause and reflection to very different scenes of Edinburgh with collaborations between site specific street weaves and poetry of the city.
Rocio’s amicable and charming manner has already won her many intriguing collaborators, her solo work is reflective and poignant and her spirit of becoming an artist is infectious and optimistic. She selected poems based in locations around Edinburgh that intrigued her, from her neighbourhood in Southside to the more exotic Aberlady. We then arranged a day where she could meet the poets and weave with them their words into life.
I learnt so much from participating in such intimate adaptations. Assumptions about art activating through regaining the lost convivial nature of collaborative creativity were reinforced, my institutional baggage as a producer in the filmmaking machine was also challenged as Rocio’s street weaves were anarchic and not strictly speaking permitted and seeking permission was antithetical to the process. As documenting the work was also a new challenge where talented filmmakers Charmaine Gilbert, Lucas Kao and Oliver Benton used to narrative form found themselves working on the fly responding to the art instead of directing it. Everyone’s comfort zone was challenged and it was such fertile learning ground for how we respond and how we make from nothing, something truly special which is the spirit of thiscollection.org.
Web clips of the weaves will trickle along covering discussions as far ranging from alternative education, pros and cons of publishing a work, is a work ever truly finished, debate over the value of art, controversy over heritage sites as sacred and holy or enlivened by art and our encounters with “cultural” policing.
We’d like to deeply thank the talented folk who chipped in and helped in the rain, rush and mad August days. Poets Vivien Jones, Anna Dickie, Lauren Pope, Priscilla Chueng-Nainby, Christine De Luca, Jessica Winch and Morgan Downie for reading from a range of your inspiring works and working on the weaves. Filmmakers: Charmaine Gilbert, Lucas Kao and Oliver Benton for their enthusiasm, artistry and openness to being open to the processes the situations blossomed into. For clips of the weaves in action, please visit our vimeo channel.
Rocio has a busy year ahead, so catch up with her on her blog and see her if you can at Hawick working with Alastair Cook in some magic in the borders 10-12th September 2010.