Thursday, April 26, 2007

Innocent Chikezie / Julian Hughes / Michael Pinchbeck / Jonathan Watts

'We wandered along the shore, stepping over the flotsam that had washed up in the night.'

Curated by Julian Hughes, Flotsam and Jetsam is situated in a Nottingham town house on the edge of the flood plane. The exhibition brings together a group of artists who chart the flow of people through the landscape - an archive of identities deposited on the land.

Jonathan Watts
Peripheral Ambulation
In high summer August 2006 Jonathan undertook a walk South along the Suffolk coast, taking as a stimulus that made by WG Sebald fourteen years earlier in August 1992 and represented in his 1995 novel Rings of Saturn.

Watt's first encountered Rings of Saturn a his home county, a landscape he is fond of and in parts intimately familiar with, and at the time his fascination with the work centured on the gaps in his experience of the landscape that were furnished by Sebald's narrative.

Watts' learnt many things about his home county from Sebald, in fact he realised he didn't know it well at all and wondered about his position in relation to the writer whose intense acquisition of knowledge of the landscape - its multifarious social and cultural histories, invisible events that inbue it with meaning - seemed a strategy for acquiring a sense of homeliness.

In February 2007 Watt's repeated the walk he'd made six months earlier;time gained facilitated a very different experience of the landscape both physically and psychically.

At points pathways had disappeared, or geographical features had entirely transformed following the scathing winter monthes, making it necessary to deviate and find new paths. Watt's also had six months to reflect on Sebald, pursue oblique references and consider his last walk.
This video work is not definitive, but represents one phrase in an on going personal dialogue with Sebald's project.

Michael Pinchbeck Artist/Writer
Pinchbeck followed in the footsteps of George Orwell in writing Down and Out in Paris and Sneinton, transposing Orwell's homeless experiences in France onto the streets of Nottingham, in an online journal with archive images by Julian Hughes

Julian Hughes
The Island Site
A  series of portraits made during one day spent waiting on The Island Site , a vast uncultivated space situated southeast of Nottingham central that, because of its geographical position, is a convenient thoroughfare for the community who live beyond it.

Owing to its frequent use, The Island Site is crisscrossed by pathways; In absence of human presence this seeming irrational network of trails that sprawl across The Island indicate the negotiations of individuals and groups which have made when passing through that terrain.

It is because of its geographical location too that, in a projected multimillion-pound redevelopment of Nottingham's Eastside, The Island Site occupies a central strategic position.Conceived by urbanists as "high quality integrated and mixed-use space" the area, valued too by dog walkers, botanists and drunks, faces hyper-rationalization. Conceptualizing the "whole landscape as a work of art itself" the former island's autonomous pathways and wildflower outcrops will give way to a "series of meandering pathways" connecting "twelve ellipsoids" inside which will be "Nottingham's largest green space".

At present the Island remains untouched except by those that continue to use the space daily whom, by passing through or lingering, deposit their trace on the landscape. These portrait photographs make visible the indices of the traces - the people themselves, situated with in a landscape which they give meaning to.

When the Eastside developement is complete i have faith that, as Buddleia takes root in the most adverse places, the people that passed through the former Island Site will appropriate their own ways of moving through the new site.

Julian Hughes Monitoring and Recording
Monitoring and Recording is an archive of found cassette tape and photographs collected from the streets across the Uk.
Each piece of found cassette tape goes through a process of being catalogued of its date and location, and then cut, to produce a single loop. This loop is carfully placed within a donor cassette tape and played to produce a 3second loop. These random edited tapes can produce loops reminiscent to that of spiritual chants, ancient rhyme and mobile phone ring tones.

The Island Site botanist walk

As part of the Flotsam and Jetsam exhibition, Julian Hughes lead a walk from the his house to The Island Site on the edge of Sneinton,Nottingham. The group were met by local botanist Dave Wood B.B.S, who introduced everyone to the forn and flora which inhabits the area.

Innocent Chikezie
Instruments made from material collected from and around the Island Site

These instruments remind me of the good old days, when we were kids back home in the village Ibo land, East Nigeria.

During summer, when the rains had stopped, in the evenings by moonlight, children from particular clan gather at a place to play by the bright moonlight.
Basically, between the hours of 9:00 and 11:00pm, after dinner, we normally sit in the sand in a circular manner and recite poeoms in turns.The elderly ones amongst us tells us stories popularly known as "ifo" as well as riddles and jokes.
Then the musical instrument will be played by the boys sitting down in the centre while the girls dance around them in circles holding hands with each other.
Such gathering is called "Oro". No kid will like to miss this event, because it doesn't happen all the time, omly when the moon is up.

For further information contact Julian Hughes

Flotsam and Jetsam has been curated by Julian Hughes.