Here/There/Everywhere – Hutton’s Buildings Exhibition – Artist Discussion

I attended the artist discussion session at the Here/There/Everywhere exhibition at the Huttons Buildings on West Street in Sheffield yesterday. It was the last day of the exhibition after a successful week of exhibition-ing (ok, so that’s not a real word but it’s too late now, it’s in there). The driving force behind the exhibition was the artist Jo Marsh who seemed to be permanently locked in the Huttons Buildings for the duration of the exhibition. I did see her leave, well technically she and her sister Beth pressed the button to open the gates while we drove through, so she could have sneaked back in and is now frantically filling the place with hidden pieces of artwork. Anyway, the artist discussion went well. Those in attendance were Richard Kitson, Joanne Kitson, Victoria Lucas, John Ledger, Bradley Sharp, Sean Williams, Jo Marsh, Beth Marsh, Helios Stokesley and myself.

I have spoken about my artwork at exhibitions in the past and so am reasonably comfortable with the format. The difference being on this occasion was that rather than artists just talking and the audience listening, there was an active discussion and open forum that occurred naturally. One of the points that arose, which I found interesting was how for some artists, at first hand seem to find it difficult to talk about their work. This is not because of a lack of confidence or articulation, but seems more to do with which bit of themselves and their practice they are attempting to express. I think the reason is that I/We/They sometimes try to express the core of our experiences as artists. When this happens, there is an overwhelming sense of inability to do so, because I think that part of the art making experience is ineffable. Before the discussion, I was reminded of this by the very nature of having to consider what I may want to say. I remembered that the expression of what we do as artists is actually another creation on our part. We’re reinterpreting and reprocessing what we do for the purposes of communication, which is then open to misinterpretation based on whomever we are talking to and their current predilections. To me, this, the communication aspect of what artists actually do should act as a bridge to the heart of the artist, which inevitably falls into silence. This silence is beautiful, vibrant, spontaneous and playful.

The Here/There/Everywhere exhibition is moving on to Wrexham soon! Please make sure Jo is fed and is allowed to leave the exhibition space at some point.

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