Friday, September 16, 2011
With the Wigtown Book Festival beginning next Friday, preparations have been occupying most of my waking thoughts this past week.
As Artist in Residence (see earlier post), I’ve been given a studio space to be open to the public at least a couple of hours each day and to create the artwork in. The space I’ve been provided is in “The Hut”, which is behind ReadingLasses café and bookshop.
Despite my initial thoughts that it might be something akin to a garden shed, “The Hut” is actually a large wooden building divided into several sections and is mostly used for storing large numbers of books that haven’t yet made it out onto the shelves of ReadingLasses.
In the centre of “The Hut” is a room… of sorts.
It has wooden joists rising up to create a frame about 3 feet in from the walls, which has been covered with a muslin kind of material. It’s all rather odd and unlike anything I’ve seen before. It's not unlike being in a tent inside a building.
Novelty is one thing, but the muslin walls are a major problem.
My concept is to take lots of photos over the 10 days of the Festival, of residents, authors and visitors staring into the lens of my camera. And each day I plan on printing out the photos and pinning them to the walls. The idea is that the people in Wigtown during the event become artwork. And as the walls will fill up with all these faces and it will become something of an immersive environment.
But trying to pin photos to muslin walls would be a bit too tricky.
However Anne Barclay, the Festival Manager, is a fast thinking problem solver, and they are going to fix white boards to the joists, giving me a more stable wall to pin the photos to. They will also clear the space around the windows so I should have a bit of natural light.
This should be happening over the weekend so I’ll be popping back out there early in the week to see what it looks like.