When someone asks me what kind of artist am I, I reply that I have a socially engaged practice. ‘What does that mean?’ Many ask with a confused look on their face. Most of my work can’t happen without some kind of engagement with one or more participants. Through my practice, I hope to facilitate dialogues between artist and participant, participant and participant, and artist, participant and the work. When one works in this socially engaged way, one never quite knows if an event is going to be successful. I try to say to myself, ‘that it is art and therefore cannot fail’. Yes, it is possible that an event might not turn out as I had hoped but it cannot ‘fail’. The worst that can happen is that no one turns up or that they don’t engage as I had hoped and so I learn and make adjustments for next time.
I love putting a hook and some yarn in the hands of a complete beginner. You can see this perfect balance of excitement and fear in their eyes as they wonder if they’ll ever be able to make something that resembles what they see in books or on the Internet. Picking up my own hook and yarn again for the second Croshare event since the project was conceived in 2013 made me feel as though I were learning how to be an artist again for the first time; I was excited and nervous in equal measure as each participant came through the door, and wondered what I would learn as I taught them how to crochet.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – WEDNESDAY 06 APRIL 2016
CROSHARE – PARTICIPATORY ART AND CRAFT AT SITE FESTIVAL 2016
Part crochet workshop, part participatory art project, part good old-fashioned get together, Croshare comes to 13a Bedford Street, Stroud on Saturday 23 April as part of Site Festival 2016.