We were lucky enough to take over an unused space in 157 High street Bangor from the 22nd to the 27th of February. Adam Carr (curator) at MOSTYN inquired 42 international artists to pose a question in which could begin a dialogue between various groups of people. The brief was open and ranged from various aspects of everyday life to the bizarre. We wanted to get involved as a group of local artists to create art as well as engage with the public. We were very fortunate to have this space thanks to The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Dafydd Hardy & MOSTYN staff. The interactive aspects of the project was a positive one and felt that I had learnt new skills in the process as well as gaining confidence with the public.
I believe this experience has eliminated many of my preconceptions and fears by knowing that the uncertainty of an outcome within a brief time period can be invigorating. Initially I was weary about the sense of awareness and the public but this fear soon subsided after I began the creating process. This new location eliminated many habits and created a new perspective of myself as well as the work I was creating. Also, I was aware that the group worked well individually through the week and worked professionally towards the end of the week. Time management was something I felt comfortable with and had enough time to process my thoughts and I felt like I didn’t need to over analyse anything in order to feel ‘good’ about the work. Having people interact with the paintings was a first for me, and the element of no control over the work was exciting and I have learnt from the feedback and interaction of a wider audience.
Here’s a quick taste of what I was working on:
The overall experience of having this exhibition was such a positive one – by working in a new environment I was forced to work differently with new approaches towards my own practice and in the concepts I intended to peruse. The creative and initiative approaches to answer and challenge these questions reflected the sense of youth and current culture which was a highlight. The uncertainty of the project was exciting and having a temporary space on the night for free was exhilarating surely for everyone involved. Creating new connections with people outside of our local groups was also great but I think marketing in advance would benefit all participants in order to grab attention but also to sustain these new connections in order to progress the next Question space. Personally I would also change the time of event to later on in the evening as well as possibly having some live music to coincide with the exhibition.
In my opinion I believe that various marketing strategies are needed for future GLITCH events. Many times before I have physically handed out leaflets of gigs to local colleges and shops around the local area but this has not necessarily worked as well as the power of social media. But on the other hand, for instance if you invite someone to an event on Facebook many young people are busy enough to conveniently ignore it. But hey, they have the right to, right?
Word of mouth was the reason I joined in the first instance and I think this can be a tactile approach when considered with other strategies. Having the time to work on this issue can be difficult, as no one answer can benefit all. Therefore, I believe in balancing strategies through personal discussions, one to one outreach of local colleges/schools/community centres as well as online events. I can positively believe in this approach because it worked with the Question Spaces Exhibition – it all began with a visit to our college but with some visual stimuli which excites and creates an overall understanding of the whole National Circuit Program. Having a visual representation of what we have done as well as the other partnerships opens up the possibility of keeping new members.
The artists involvement was beneficial for GLITCH in my opinion and felt that the budget and criteria was met really well and gave us such a great opportunity as working artists. Involving the making processes as an event as great and look forward to the next shop. Over 148 people visited on Saturday in Bangor, and it as great to outreach the local people and varied from the usual MOSTYN meetings.
In my opinion it’s all about time management and early marketing online before future events, for example a one week notice would not benefit the group. If we took the time to gather information, sort out things to do and prepared earlier in advance it would be beneficial. But by saying this, we have had this dilemma for a while and this strategy does not seem to work purely because of the lack of members in the group. On the other hand, we have had a significant increase in the amount of new young people visiting the gallery as well as actively engaging with the weekly sessions. On the 01/03/16 we definitely had a significant increase of people participating and this was a great opportunity to communicate with new people as well as share specific roles.
The continuation idea is a great one in my opinion as it gives every team member a something to do as well as session agendas from MOSTYN and helps if we are unsure of anything. The continuation of monthly gigs is something positive which opens up the possibilities of art and connects with various creative areas and ways of thinking and I’ve been making some abstracted videos this week to correspond with the band sessions. I’ve been thinking about various activities that we could do because of my workshop skills through GLITCH.
Plan (if agreed):
- To write up notes in every session
- Once a week post a video online of what we are currently doing
- Post GLITCH update videos on various social media once a week
- Use the weekly videos for presentations/talks to market young people
- Carry on with leaflets/word of mouth/Instagram
- Set up a GLITCH social for meet ups elsewhere
Written By Alaw Ogwen Jones