Our Place, Our Priorities – Week 62 | 07062014 | Our Social

Thanks again to everyone who joined us today to celebrate the first public display of Our Place, Our Priorities. It was great to see Kane and Graham, as well as lots of SSC scholars and Andy’s friends and family.

The Social

 

GREAT NEWS! Andy has a new place to live from the first week of July. A new chapter begins…

Our Place, Our Priorities – Week 62 | 02062014 | Our Statements

It started with a simple plan. We would meet for two hours, once a week, and go for a walk. Whilst walking we would photograph anything that we found interesting, anything that made us stop and pay attention. The things that we photographed would then become the topic of our conversation (our priorities)… why do we want to photograph this?

 

After our walk, time permitting, we would process our photographs and pop to the minilab to print a selection. The plan was that we’d work towards creating a collection of 12 photographs that could be displayed around The Pathways Centre (our place), and possibly used for a calendar (and a portable display) to help raise awareness about Framework, and funds for future creative projects.

 

As you read the project’s blog posts, you’ll notice that the ‘we’ that constitute the project participants has not only included residents and staff from Framework and scholars from the Social Science Centre, Lincoln, but many of the people we have encountered whilst out walking, talking and photographing Lincoln. A good illustration of how the project has created new relationships between us and our City is how we met Paul the stone carver. Last year Andrew took a photograph of Moneybags, a grotesque that had recently appeared between the transepts on the south side of Lincoln Cathedral. David bumped into Paul on Steep Hill a few months later, and told him about Andrew’s photograph (David recognized Paul from a life-size photograph that had appeared on the boards surrounding the foot of the scaffolding tower at the West Front of the Cathedral). As a token, Our Place, Our Priorities gifted Paul a copy of the photograph, in turn, Paul is in the process of trying to organize a visit to the stonemason’s workshop for a taster workshop in stone carving…

 

It has been a privilege to be part of this project. I have learnt so much from the other participants.

 

David McAleavey | SSC Scholar

Shortly after moving into Framework accommodation in Gainsborough, I was introduced to a weekly activity at The Pathways Centre in Lincoln, meeting up every Thursday to take part in a two hour photography session run by the delightful and very informative David McAleavey.

The group would take the camera out and about the centre of Lincoln taking photos of any subject matter that perhaps may have held some personal interest or maybe just made a pleasing shot at that moment in time. We would then process any pictures we were happy to keep. This in time turned into a project, Our Place, Our Priorities, where we would intentionally take shots of certain Buildings, Events, Persons etc. that meant something to us, taking into account the places where we live, and the people and their actions in those places.

This project has definitely got me interested in photography as a hobby and has also opened my eyes even further with regards to my surroundings, which would often be ignored without the conscious act of ‘looking’ which is so central to ‘doing’ photography. This project is now at an end, myself and Dave have started our own new projects, and we meet up fortnightly to discuss our shots and findings along with a mug of tea and a general natter – as I now consider Dave as a great friend. I would like to thank Framework for providing me this activity as it has been a great experience for me.

Andrew Wingell | Our Place, Our Priorities | Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past year the Our Place, Our Priorities project has contributed towards the support of The Pathways Centre residents. The project has enabled residents to build their confidence and feel reconnected to their surroundings and the community they have become detached from. The project has raised the profile of the beautiful surroundings in which we live, whilst highlighting the unusual, the quirky, and the landmark sights of our city. The residents have been able to look at the community in a different light, and with a keen eye and a camera, capture that moment to share with us.

 

I am so proud of all the residents who have been involved with this project, as not only have they produced some beautiful and interesting artwork for The Pathways Centre, they have also applied their time to a meaningful project. The residents have achieved a great deal from working on this project and we have seen an improvement in communication, confidence, engagement, and a speedier move on process with those who have taken part in the sessions.

 

We have now been able to install the work that has been produced up on our walls, and have produced this exhibition to share with you the work that we’ve created. I am very thankful to David for what he has brought to our service, and hope this partnership can continue to grow and some future projects can arise for our service users.

 

Louise Kent | Service Manager | The Pathways Centre

Framework Housing Association

 

Our Place, Our Priorities – Week 62 | 02062014

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This morning Carol, Vernon, James, David and Andy met up at Lincoln Central Library to install OPOP. We collected the work from Dom at Snappy Snaps – thanks again for all of your support throughout the project guys – put up some deep blue backing paper, and then thoughtfully positioned our display prints (here’s Carol, Vernon and Andy making some curatorial decisions). I think the display is a credit to everyone who has been involved in the project.

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The display runs daily (9am – 5pm) until Saturday, 14 June.

Inflection Point – Session 4 |Our Place, Our Priorities – Week 61 | 15042014 & 02052014

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We’ve got the dates for our public exhibition – Monday, 2 June until Saturday, 14 June – and today we continued with our preparation… in Andy’s mum’s house! Andy, Vernon and David were joined by James Jarvill (one of David’s former students), who is recently back from India and keen to get involved. We’re planning a social event for the middle Saturday of the exhibition, but we’re waiting to hear back from the Eleanor at the library before we send out invitations. On Tuesday, 15 April Andy and David spent the day in Gainsborough, walking and talking. Andy is having a few problems with his benefits – whenever he finds a few days work, miscommunications between A4E and the DWP result in his benefits being suspended (Andy gets ‘sanctioned’)  –  A4E don’t seem quite so committed to improving people’s lives as their slogan proclaims.  

A4E

 

Inflection Point | Sessions 2 & 3 | 07032014 & 21032014

Yesterday, Vernon, Carol, Andy, David and Gary met up at the Angel Coffee House to discuss all of our ongoing projects. Vernon shared the work he’s been doing with the Word in Edgeways poetry group at Developmentplus; Carol shared her ongoing photographic exploration of the work of the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh; Andy shared his recent formal/abstract photographic experiments (see below); David shared his new photographic work on masonry; and Gary asked questions (well he is doing a PhD!)… a wonderful way to spend a beautiful spring morning!

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Image: Andy Wingell

On Friday, 7 March, Andy, David and Karolina met up at KSA HQ. After a quick chat about  the OPOP exhibition, Andy and David went out for a walk… we’ll be processing those images during our next IP session in April.

Our Place, Our Priorities – Week 60 | Inflection Point – Session One | 13021012

Community Room_Lincoln Central Library

Today we decided that the Community Room (Lincoln Central Library) will be the venue for the first public display of the Our Place, Our Priorities work. Watch this space…

David and Andrew spent the day planning the exhibition, discussing their new project – Inflection Point (working title), and collecting the final display print from Dom and Dan (thanks again for all your support over the course of the project gents). Next session, Friday, 7 March, at our new location – Karaolides Szynalska Architects‘ Bailgate office.

Interesting times.

 

Ritual Significance | The Collection, Lincoln | 21012014

This interview with Harvey Whitehouse was posted on This View of Life earlier. Very useful.

Today we (Ashley and I – Josh and I met last Tuesday) started to firm up the list of works that we hope to display. We also discussed commisioning new work(s) from Am Nuden Da and Justin Parker, as well as developing a new app with Joff & Ollie, so that our audience can access the research (ALL published in open access journals) that is informing our approach to curating the show.

This is the (draft) statement that we’ll be submitting to the Tate in support of our loan request:

RITUAL SIGNIFICANCE

CONTEMPORARY ART THROUGH THE EVOLUTIONARY LENS

Exhibition Statement

Although an organ may not have been originally formed for some special purpose, if it now serves for this end we are justified in saying that it is specially contrived for it. On the same principle, if a man were to make a machine for some special purpose, but were to use old wheels, springs, and pulleys, only slightly altered, the whole machine, with all its parts, might be said to be specially contrived for that purpose. Thus throughout nature almost every part of each living being has probably served, in a slightly modified condition, for diverse purposes, and has acted in the living machinery of many ancient and distinct specific forms.

(Darwin 1862:348)

The idea that art emerged through sexual selection was fairly common a century ago, and seems to have fallen out of favour through neglect rather than disproof.

(Miller 2000:271)

The first two decades of the twenty-first century have seen a resurgence of evolutionarily informed scientific interest in the arts (Boyd 2009, Boyd & Richerson 2005, Dissanayake 2000, 2009… to include all the papers in the reference list not directly cited in the text)

To the best of our knowledge no public arts institution in the UK has yet responded to this dynamic new field through its exhibition programme. Whilst we recognize that it is certainly beyond the scope of any single exhibition to give a comprehensive introduction to such a divergent field of enquiry (there are active research programmes making valuable contributions from disciplines as seemingly unrelated as cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary anthropology), it is hoped that by reviewing some of the recently published work of leading researchers, and limiting ourselves primarily to the implications for contemporary practice in public institutions, we might curate an exhibition that goes some way towards expanding both our profession’s, and the public’s, understanding of contemporary practice from an evolutionary perspective.

Curatorial Statement

In our view the arts, including contemporary practice, can be understood as a complex combination of different exapted adaptations; genetic, epigenetic, behavioural and symbolic in origin.

Ritual Significance will explore how many of the questions, contestations, and challenges of contemporary practice fall where these combinations occur.

Furthermore, we also propose to use the same evolutionary toolkit to examine the practices of curating and gallery education in public institutions; as we take seriously the proposition, which is emerging from the research of scholars like Ellen Dissanayake and David Sloan Wilson, that exhibition making, in public, is itself a cultural practice exapted from various group level adaptations, rich with evolutionary and Ritual Significance.

Curatorial Methodology

Our curatorial approach, and practice, will be informed by the ethologist Niko Tinbergen’s four questions.

Ontogeny: How does this behaviour develop over the course of an individual’s life?

When did you start to make art?

Phylogeny: When in the history of that species did the capacity to produce this behaviour evolve? 

When did we start to make art?

Proximate: What are the events preceding the behaviour that contribute to its occurrence?

How do we make art?

Ultimate: What are the effects of performing the behaviour on reproductive success and thus, why has natural selection retained the ability to perform that behaviour?

Why do we make art?

(Nettle 2009: 259)

In addition, we will also be posing questions like:

What can art be?

What may it become?

What is the value of attempting to understand the arts, and life, through an evolutionary lens?

Our plan is to devote each wall of the gallery to one of Tinbergen’s questions, and to have an ‘active’ artist facilitator in residence at the centre of the space; creating, thinking, reading and talking with visitors.

So, from where in our evolutionary history do the ‘old wheels, spring and pulleys’ that we claim are reused in the arts come from? And how, exactly, do those exapted adaptations work?

Our Place, Our Priorities: Photography at The Pathways Centre | Weeks 54, 55 & 56 | 05122013, 12122013 & 19122012

Last week we visited Lincoln Cathedral again. We continue to be interested by the marks that people have left in the stone…Lincoln_CathedralAs we have nearly completed our work at Pathways, we’ve begun to think about what our next project(s) might be. These are a few of Andy’s ideas:

On_the_back_of_an_envelope The_Pathways_Centre

We also had a look around the centre to see where our display prints have been installed…

Ritual Significance | The Collection, Lincoln | 17112013

I bumped into Kate Genever (Poly-Technic) on the High Street in Lincoln on Friday, she asked if I would share with her some of the research that Ashley, Josh and I are using to inform our work.

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I can never say no to Kate!