Saturday, 21 January 2017

Preparing for Thread and Word a walk from Espacio Gallery to Leadenhall Market on March 5th at 1pm.

This walk is by invitation only, please email me if you would like to take part.

The walk is part of a programme of events organised at Espacio 
Gallery as part of the Threads exhibition curated by the Artists’ Pool. 
This exhibition brings together artists from varied creative practices, backgrounds, cultures and countries to explore the threads that connect us through our experiences, humanity, gender, friendship and relationship. 

"Cadenetas " a drawing 
With this in mind I have invited artists, writers, friends, performers and walkers, to celebrate the threads that bring us together which will be reflected in the readings, interventions and performances as we walk. The route I have chosen is from the Espacio gallery to the site of Sculpture in the City where we can reflect on the achievements of the two women sculptors from different backgrounds, Amy Lucas (English) and Lizzie Sanchez (Peruvian) whose work is represented amongst the public artworks. Lizi  Sanchez’s work “Cadenetas” (paper chains) is particularly evocative of the sentiment guiding this walk.
'Cadenetas'  at the Hiscox building
Lizi Sanchez's work which is discreetly positioned  along several sites as a part of Sculpture in the city.

Thread and Word - an introduction:

This walk is both a departure from and a continuation of  the work I have been undertaking for the last eighteen months as a part of the A Journey with The Waste Land Research group at the Turner Contemporary in Margate. I have established and led a walking group to research T S Eliot's writing of the Waste Land and it's connections with Margate. For more about this:

I have chosen to use readings from 'ThreadWord' by the Chilean artist CeciliaVicuña for this walk because Cecilia Vicuña is a woman from my part of the world. In her poetry she follows T S Eliot's focus in writing a style of poetry that is concerned with it's function rather than form .
"Metaphors in tensions, the word and the thread carry us
A weave, Metaphors in Tension
threading and speaking, to what unites us, the immortal

(Thread Word, Cecilia Vicuña)

The walk  brings together several strands of my art practice. Cecilia Vicuña is a Chilean female artist whose art is a recurring influence for me .I share her belief that it is through doing and making that new work emerges and creativity is developed.The act of making takes you into a different place which allows for expression that sometimes cannot be put into words. By using walking as research and connecting it to place and people through everyday interactions and sited interventions I hope to create opportunities for participating walkers to gain a sense of interconnectedness in a world that is rapidly becoming polarised and inward looking.

Weaving and rope making, with their rhythms and repetitions can take you on a journey, using your imagination and bringing  you into a different realm of story telling: 

                       "Word is thread and the thread is language

                        Non-linear body.

                        A line associated to other lines.

                        A word once written risks becoming linear,
                        but word and thread exist on another dimensional

(Thread Word, Cecilia Vicuña)

The words of Thread and Word are very connected with the ideas and ambitions of the exhibition at Espacio, celebrating the common threads that bring us together, and connecting with my own work bringing people together with shared interests through walking.This has also found expression in my making ropes for the walkers I have invited to participate.
'Is the word the conducting thread, or does thread
conduct the word-
Both lead to the centre of memory, a way of uniting and
 (Word Thread, Cecilia Vicuña)

It is my intention to continue to explore these connections through walking by using sited readings and performances chosen by members of the Walking with The Waste Land research group and invited artists. 

I will also be asking participants to use ropes to document the walking experience as recorded in my work Quipu, which has been selected for the Threads exhibition at Espacio. The knots are a recording of emotions, reactions and engagements during the walk

A Khipu (Quipu or Chinu in Aymara) is an Andean storage device made from chord .
(Frank Solomon)

This concept is not uniquely Andean it is also found in the Pueblos of New Mexico, it is referred to in the Bible, Numbers 15:37 -38, Herodotus mentions one during the Persian wars and they can also be found in the Ryukun Islands and Hawaii.

I am interested in exploring these connections through walking, sited readings, performances and interventions. 

Ropes made  for participants and knotted on a field trip organised on  January 19th
More about this and my walking practice can be found on my blog: http://elspethpenfold.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/fragments-and-thoughts-explanation-and_14.html

 I look forward to collaborating with the invited artists, friends and walkers and in sharing their work and responses to celebrate the threads that bring us together. I hope that the walk will help us explore a common bond and provide us with new opportunities and experiences to develop our art practices.

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