I thought it would be a good time to update you about the exhibition. As an artist it can be a difficult time as you spend so long with the works, they seem to fill your mind constantly. Hopefully their creation and meaning will make perfect sense. However, there is always a risk involved, as there is no guarantee that all of that meaning will translate to your audience. I have learnt that this is actually a very special time. The works are no longer part of me, they hang in isolation from me and, as such invite comment and discussion, take on new meanings and, sometimes, become the story of someone else. It is a very necessary part of the process - how can I be an artist if I am the only person who understands my meanings?
I will admit that I like to provoke a little discussion with my work. However, I try to be subtle. In this case the creation of artworks that showcase traditional crafts such as paper cut and print, displayed is a wood panelled room, surrounded by historical artefacts, displaying an unavoidable reference to technology, in the shape of QR codes placed right in the middle of the work. Too subtle? ... You all did me proud.
There have been some very healthy debates that seem to encompass the whole room. People who are walking around will add their opinions to discussions surrounding the loss of crafts in education, the education system as a whole, the downfall of the young at the hands of technology and how sad it is that children cannot just have space to learn traditional skills instead of being force fed endless academic subjects!
I have a personal rule that I will not argue a particular side, taking an opposing view to whatever direction the conversation is going in allows me to hear new point of view and learn more about the discussion. However, once the QR codes are demonstrated the technology allows a whole new level of interaction with the exhibition allowing people to digest far more of the facts than a written label could convey on its own. There is much to learn, with references to all of the on line tutorials and even a couple of the community engagement films to be streamed. Although, my personal favourite is the moment when, people relatively new to technology, scan the artworks and witness the magic of them telling their own story. Good or bad you can't deny its very useful.
I want to let you all know a little bit about the exhibition and a couple of things you can do to experience the displays in full. You may notice, in the above image, that there are QR codes in the artworks. Once scanned they allow you to hear a recording of the story that inspired the work. There are also QR codes throughout the exhibition which link to tutorials and films, that I hope will make the exhibition more enjoyable for you. If you want to use these codes just bring your smart phone with a QR scanner downloaded from the App Store or Google Play (they are free to download).
If you don't do technology that it fine, all of the displays are set us to allow you to still see the exhibition in full. However, if you have children there is a free game which involves your children finding the Museum's hidden artefacts in the artworks. You can either download the game below or ask at reception for your copy.
Finally here is a film that I made to share the project with you and let you know some of the background. I hope to see you over the next couple of weeks.
I am very happy to tell you that I have been appointed as Axbridge & District Museum's resident artist for the Summer. The project runs in the Museum until October 2017 and will form part of Somerset Art Weeks.
This blog will form part of my project and I will be posting about my progress and hopefully adding a few tutorials which I hope you will find interesting.
20/8/17 workshop in the Museum
23 Sept - 8th October Somerset Arts Weeks - The Museum will host an exhibition of this project
Andrea Oke is a Somerset based artist who is fascinated by human behaviour and its links to memory. For more information please to to my website