Thursday, 28 December 2017

Snapshots ending 2017 and a sneaky peek at projects in 2018

                               Walking San Pedro de Atacama, Chile 2017      

I have been working on several projects which will continue into 2018 including:

1. A commission with A.N.D. #my creative school 
I have been working with 10 artists selected by
A New Direction  (A.N.D.)

It has been a wonderful experience so far working with a talented group of people, bringing creativity into the delivery of the program. I am looking forward to 2018 when we will be delivering our catalyst projects in collaboration with our chosen schools.

My project is to develop a Creative Manifesto, through a Feast of Ideas.

A collaboration in "By Our own hand"a project with Richard Grayson at Matts Gallery. I have met some wonderfully creative artists and makers. 

'a mano' by hand.

it will be interesting to see how these all get put together.

In January 2018, The Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable is opening with a new approach to curating it's gallery spaces. 

Their first exhibition of the year curated by Mirka Kotulicova is titled 'LivingRoom' ands explores the idea that art is not and should not  always be comfortable. 

I will be exhibiting two pieces 'Cocoon' , a collaborative piece made with the Spanish artist Ignacio Cañete Sanchez and the second piece asks for participation on wall paper, 'Drawing Room' . 

The exhibition opens on the 13th of January.

In February 2018 Journey with The Waste Land opens at The Turner Contemporary and I'm looking forward to Walking with The Waste Land as a part of it. I hope that some of you can join us as we explore connections between Margate, TS Eliot's poem and the exhibition through walks that we devised over the last three years.

 We will be walking with our shamanic Varas (Poles) and taking you on our journey.

The Margate Bookie  also returns in May with a celebration of poetry.

I will be organising a walk with poetry titled Rhythm and Sway.

 In June  I am planning  a walk for the opening event of the Sculpture in the City Program 2018.

Hoping for some sunshine!

I am also organising a collaborative project as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival Fringe, in May 2018 with Thread and Word.

A work with a focus on migration

 asylum / exile

I am enjoying the process, exploring  the connections between all these strands working and collaborating with different groups.Thanking them for all their support and friendship and looking forward to developing the ideas and connections further in 2018.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

#Thread and Word : A walking poem written during the Art Festival XOXO @OXO #Tribe17   

we walked and experienced our surroundings  with a pack of instructional cards, ropes and ribbons. 

These are the words that resulted from the walk .

Taking with us some great experiences of Tribe17 with thanks to Javier Melian and the team at CHROM-ART.org         

Listen to the river .......

with Sonia Overall. Andrea Coltman. Travis Moore Carlie Xuan Muriel Hang DamianTomczyk Luca_London Travis Moore

Narrow grass



And found

Eight                             space


            Scattered Yoga Textures                         
River peripherals
Weave direction
Respite          Blue narrative. Cynic,
Switch. Ephemeral



Counter collection
Sturdy ,Hypocrite

First true love is forever                  

To be strong

weernošê NAZAWSZE

New life
Wiz ystre ma slói konies

                                                         Hurry anyone          CHASE
                                                                                                      HARD, White, door. 

                                                                                           Bandit Leaf TANGO.

With love to you all, its great to collaborate, 
 Elspeth (Billie) Penfold.

Monday, 18 September 2017

A  photo diary with some words about our walk for Brexitopia at Espacio Gallery. 

Walking in The Footsteps of the Huguenots                                                           

This walk was sort of planned with wandering in mind, we allowed ourselves to get lost. I had fixed points which we aimed to walk towards. 

Brexitopia and The Refugee Tales

When the opportunity arose to do something for The Republic of Brexitopia exhibition at Espacio I was elated. 

Those of you who know me well and are aware of my back ground know that I come from a family of migrants. For someone from my part of the world, where you are from is complex to say the least, but so is it for many people here in the UK.

Our reference to the Huguenots was to put our walk and geographical location (using psychogeography, if you like) to contextualise, refugees, asylum seekers and the need for safety as a human right

We Started outside Espacio , reading the
prologue from Refugee Tales II:

We hold this truth
To be Self-evident
That a person
Who has a story
Requires space -
To start
We set this out
A simple requirement
In language
That in justice
As it is told
A person's story                         In our stride.
Be accorded
Its place..........."

and so to The weavers fields, where we wandered and took it in turns to read from Cecilia Vicuña's poem "Impossible Weaving".


We used the poem and the connection with Weavers fields to reflect in particular on the role the Huguenots, who sought refuge in this country, played in the development of textiles in the  surrounding area.

The walk was conducted in a spirit of collaboration. Both Simon and Sandy, who had never met before this walk, told us that they were related to the Huguenots. 

 I had read  somewhere that 1 in 6 people in the UK are related to the Huguenots. 

Then... it rained!
and on to The Nomadic garden

With stunning explanations and  contributions by Travis and Simon about the street art that we encountered on our route.

It was indeed a privilege to have you with us!


The Nomadic Garden
At the Nomadic Garden we had a great welcome, sharing poetry readings from Cecilia Vicuna, excerpts from Refugee Tales II and personal anecdotes about our experiences of being outsiders.

a bit more rain as we left......loving the palm tree below!

and ... on to Shoredtich
High Street with Simon pointing out iconic drawings which I had never noticed.

Ending with Carlos Varela's song: Walls and Doors 

And....yes we did knot ropes.....but more about this in my next blog about the #Tribe17 exhibition at The Oxo Bargehouse in October.

With thanks to :

                          Lisa Kreuziger
                          Simon Cole
                          Paul Wade
                          Sandy Wade
                          Travis Moore 
                          Carlos Lins (Director Espacio gallery) 
                          Ahmed Farooqui (Degrees of Freedom, curator of Brexitopia)
                          Esperanza Gomez - Carrera (Degrees of Freedom)
                          Lizzie Brown  (artist and gallery invigilator on the day)
                          David and Marianne (from Pavement Pounders Folkestone, who were 
                                                               thwarted by transport problems in their
                                                             attempt to join us! but were with us in spirit)

                          Anastasia Miller,  PHOTOGRAPHER,  for walking, interacting getting
                                                        soaked and... taking great photos!



Sunday, 10 September 2017

Walking in the Footsteps of The Huguenots

An artist led walk by Billie Penfold on Wednesday September 13th from 1-2 pm

From Espacio Gallery to the London Wall

Welcome back after the Summer break

This walk is part of the exhibition
The Republic of Brexitopia at Espacio Gallery
Curated by Degrees of Freedom

For the exhibition  I will be organising a reflective meandering walk from Espacio gallery on the Bethnall Green Rd.  in the direction of the City of London Wall.

During the walk we will explore the surrounding area  and we will stop for selected  readings to open a participative dialogue. The readings will connect with the history  of the Huguenots who sought asylum in Britain and outside the city walls where they were able to develop the weaving trade which to this day is an important part of the areas history.

The walk will hope to complement the work done by Refugee Tales

In July 2017, Refugee Tales walked from Runnymede to Westminster stopping at Walton, Kingston, Brentford and Hammersmith, calling for the practice of indefinite immigration detention to end. At every stop of the way leading writers helped tell the tales of asylum seekers, refugees and detainees, as well as the stories of those who work with them. As the project walks it creates a space in which the language of welcome is the prevailing discourse, a political carnival in which the act of listening is a common resource.

Fore more about: http://refugeetales.org

I also want to weave the lyrics of the song by Carlos Varela ,’ Muros y Puertas’ (Walls and Doors) into the fabric of this walk and include some of the text from the poem ‘Impossible Weaving’ by Cecilia Vicuña which stresses the importance of making and creativity as a way of living a fulfilling life.

During the walk we will use mnemonics to document our thoughts through knots on ropes. I have been busy in my studio  making the ropes for each walker.

We will stop at intervals along the route for a drink and a chat during which we will undo the knots and share our thoughts with fellow walkers. The walk will be conducted in a spirit of collaboration and all walkers are invited  to participate with me in this process.

The walk is free but ticketed as there is a limit on numbers.
Looking forward too walking, talking and sharing with you.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

A photo diary with information about developments for Walking with the Waste Land at the Margate Bookie 2017.

Walking with the Waste Land is a community group which is part of a wider project at the Turner Contemporary exploring visual connections with TS Eliot's poem for an exhibition opening in February 2018, Journeys with The Waste Land. http://wasteland.onsocialengine.com/new

The Walking Group has spent much of the last three years exploring TS Eliot's poem The Waste Land and developing connections to the poem with sites in Margate where much of this seminal poem was written.

As the Research Group finalises the selection process and design for the exhibition the idea behind this particular walk has been to introduce six selected artworks to fellow walkers without them being able to see the work. We will use chosen sites in Margate, readings from the poem and our own personal connections  to introduce the work. Through this process we hope to share some of our experiences working on the project and how we approached the selection of the art work.

The event on August 19th which has been included in the Margate Bookie program http://margatebookie.com/about-us/ , will be followed by a viewing of slides of the six chosen artworks described during the walk, and a discussion led by Dr Richard Turney at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

On Wednesday July 26th, we explored and developed our thinking further the best way we know how, through walking.

What follows is a photo diary with some reflections from last Wednesday..

  Margaret Hall sets us on our way, reading a selected extract from The Waste Land
As I reflect on last Wednesday, which I suggested as a way to test out ideas that have been formulated over the last few months, it struck me that it was difficult to describe this  as a trial run or experiment. The walk itself was so rich in contributions and discussion that  it reminded me that each walk is unique and you cannot replicate a walk.

 Each project that we have undertaken with Walking with the Waste Land takes on it's own momentum and develops from the contributions brought by those participating on it. This one was no exception.

For more about Walking with The Waste Land  http://wasteland.onsocialengine.com/categories/23679/walking-group

I have sometimes described these walks as walking encounters

On Wednesday the group was joined by:

Andreas Loizou the founder and organiser of the Margate Bookie,

Mirka Kotulicova a Gallery Assistant  at the Horsebridge Art and Community Centre in Whitstable.

 and Simon from Half Day Holidays https://halfdayholidays.com

The initial idea was that they would be 'guests' who would contribute feedback to our core contributors who bring their creativity and performances, with associated readings to the walks.

 I now feel hesitant to describe them as guests as I feel that they together with the Walking with the Waste Land group really created a wonderful walk which I will always remember.  

I am often worried that the walks should not be over rehearsed as they are not about a performance, they are very much walking as research. Wednesday was no exception we did not follow the prescribed route, which was rather wonderful as the walking talking and reading led us in new directions.

A development from the discussions that followed has been that  Jackie Elson will join us on our August 19th walk which is included in the Margate Bookie listed Program. Jackie is part of the wider research group and also a gallery assistant at the Turner Contemporary. She will bring her own expertise as a Turner Contemporary navigator, to describe one of the more challenging abstract artworks chosen.

We will also have use of the wireless sound enhancement system on the day, provided courtesy of the Turner Contemporary, with thanks to research curator Trish Scott.

Our walk last Wednesday has set us on a wonderful path of discovery , with thanks to, Judy Dermott (writer and academic researcher) , Margaret Hall (artist, reader and geographer), Jennifer Deakin (Photographer)  and Trish Scott ( research curator for Journeys with the Waste Land).

I am looking forward to being a part of Margate Bookie on August 19th.

This event is free but ticketed on Eventbrite:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/margate-bookie-walking-with-the-waste-land-2017-tickets-35592846161?aff=ehomesaved