The arrival at the Civic was actually a wonderful experience. I had been so nervous about meeting all the people I had been studying with for 3 years and but it was lovely to finally meet them after the long journey we have all been on. I had brought a suitcase full of the dirt I had collected along with all the other documentation and also had the work which had been delivered by courier. Somehow all the dirt got there. This was a miracle. I also had an open mind about what the display would consist of and what would be process and documentation. I initially needed to dry out the work from UK and and also figure out how to use the space with Emma and Rob. I always wanted the line to be a drawn and then walked, used like a way of negotiating the gallery. A walk that in some way suggested the viewer think about cleaning. I had made two templates of the line from Madrid to Barnsley using an OHP. With Rob and Emma there I tried moving both of these around until I fitted them in the space in a way that allowed the audience to negotiate the space and see all our work. Although I had initially only thought of putting work on the floor, the nature of the group show and gallery space suggested using the wall also so I experimented with the line on the wall also. The shape of the template worked really well with the one on the floor and also with the installation overall. I then tried adding the photograms on the dots on the wall.
the floor was always going to be a problem the dark shiney floor made the dirt quite difficult to see. I was already aware of this and considering adding the yellow gloves or cloths or something to it – I partly did not mind it being almost invisible but it was a problem in the context of this show.
In the gallery we tried a range of options, sticker dots, thin lines of dirt and also yellow tape – before adding more dirt to the bases to make the piles look more authentic (they have the papier maché base). None of these really worked in the end we found some ‘hazard tape and this brought some energy as well as another sense of someone is in the process of working – the dirt on the floor also brought the piles to life more.
Although I liked the brown paper pattern I wanted to try the photograms, bags of dirt and envelopes out too. I therefore took of the brown paper pattern and followed the dots. The result was neater and the line became more suggestive of measuring, collecting or archiving. Angela suggested possibly more male and I believe she had a good point. most importantly might be that energy and activity was lost to a certain extent there was less movement. I had been trying different ideas of what to do with the cloths, I always assumed that most would not be on display as a wall of cloths in a grid would not have the energy of the lines. However these are a big part of the drawing aspect of the process so I tried hanging them in various different ways.
I also started to play with the cleaner’s signs at the civic. The problem was to keep the work about the actions and not compromise too much with the gallery space. It is a while since I had worked in such an art place so I found I was quite unsure how I wanted to do it. There were so many options but the aim remained to lead people in and try to get them to think about the action and how we all do it. The idea of making it visible and the questioning of the work being somehow present in a gallery setting. I did spend most of the time playing and whilst it was a challenge it was also fun. I feel lucky to have been given that time.