Residency Interview 2 – August 2013 by Emily Mahon
The Doldrums opens Friday 30th August 6-9pm and continues until 28th September.
It’s the 6th week of Andy’s residency at Occupy My Time Gallery on the Enclave block in Deptford; after a fair bit of walking, plenty of reading, lots of sanding, and a few visits to Little Nan’s bar.. a jetty has appeared in the gallery!
Its all very exciting, I’m able to walk the length of the gallery on the indoor jetty to my Interning den, I’m already excited about the fun I’ll have invigilating on a Saturday.
So I ask Andy:
When did this appear?
Andy: It’s taken 11 days to build which involved a lot of sanding and cutting but its been enjoyable to work on and I’m pleased with how its looking. I didn’t start making until the 5th week of the residency so its felt good to finally get stuck into some physical work. It’s been funny to watch people’s reactions from the window change now there’s a crazed man in the gallery singing and dancing with an electric sander.
I think my relaxed approach and joking about not having enough time at the beginning meant a lot of people may have doubted my intentions.
So did you have this idea from the beginning?
Andy: I knew I wanted to do something different from my usual studio practice and installation was definitely something I liked the idea of.
How were the first few weeks of the residency then for you?
When you come to a new place it always takes a while to settle in and to become adjusted to the space so its hard to start making work straight away. I spent a good month just reading and exploring Deptford as I wanted my research play a large part in informing the work I made. Leaving it until week 5 to start making did create a bit of pressure, but I think I worked well under it – and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.
So on creating the jetty inside the gallery space, how did that work extracting it as a form. Did you make sketches, or paintings to accompany it?
In terms of form its just an approximation to give a nod to such structures without being a pastiche. The dimensions are shrunk down to work within the gallery space as an intervention while acting as a platform from which to take in the rest of the exhibition. I’ve looked at Thames mooring structures (Dolphins) in my paintings so it’s a form I’m familiar with.
Andy with the wood used to construct ‘Jetty’
An old Jetty on the Deptford foreshore
So through creating it in the gallery, do you want the audience to just take the essence of the jetty or really interact with it, almost like a play piece that it seems to suggest?
The piece is intended to be used by the viewer, offering a path through the gallery while also elevating them above it. The Jetty could be seen to represent the journeys I’ve made in and around Deptford, taking this idea of movement and direction into the gallery space.
What other work are you planning to show with the jetty?
It’ll be accompanied by at least two other works, one will be photographic, and the other documentation of a walk and gesture I’m planning. I’m still not sure how the latter will be realised in the exhibition as I see the walk itself as the work but I will be charting my movements and capturing images of the act.
Documenting in the gallery
Have you found any particular stage of the residency more or less enjoyable? The making or the research for example?
No it’s all been equally enjoyable, I’ve realised that in the past I’ve not always spent enough time getting into my research, so its helped me revaluate certain things.
Do you think the experience has reinvented your practice?
I came into the residency knowing that I wanted to do something different. I was confident of being able to deliver technically however I was conscious that it wasn’t simple about the residency and exhibition, but rather a chance to shift my practice and possibilities. Its too soon to say what this time will do for me in the future but I’m pleased with how I chosen to use it.
Do you feel having a show that focuses on a specific place like Deptford and being situated next to a host of galleries at Enclave has given you a duty to make work of a certain type or style?
There’s definitely an intensity that comes from creating the work in the same place i’m exploring, I wouldn’t say being around the other galleries has influenced the work I’ve made but it has opened me up to differing uses of the space. The sense of community has added to the experience and I’ve enjoyed having dialogue with the others at Enclave.
What do you hope people will take out of the exhibition? Is there a play element?
I would like the viewer to engage with the exhibition and individual works and if there’s something in particular that captures them, then there is a lot more reading and investigating they can do. People tend to choose where to live based on transport links and affordability, while not necessarily being aware of whats on their doorstep. In the relatively short time I’ve been in Deptford I’ve picked up so much and have become very fond of the area.
The Jetty could be seen as playful, its an interactive piece which people are encourage to ‘use’.