Making and performing the vernacular, or… interview with a hot stripey slug.



Making and performing the vernacular, or… interview with a hot stripey slug.


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A not too rambling ramble on making and the politics of work.

Last month, inspired by an optimistic morning at Milton Keynes Gallery, I drove to Wysing Arts Centre for an exhibition and artist’s talk by one of their current artists in residence, Jonathan Baldock.

I needed to experience this work in the flesh because I had been captivated by the image on the invitation card. Figure in Hand-crocheted Rock costume is a photograph of a one-armed, slug or walrus-like crocheted figure. The person inside the costume is casually seated as if relaxing and, though ungainly, the stuffed and bulbous figure is tastefully striped in blue, black, brown and shades of beige.

I have become very enthusiastic about hand crafts – the so-called gentle arts – and how they are used by people in their everyday lives, for pleasure, for self-realisation and sometimes as a means of non-confrontational activism. I am interested in how artists make connections in their work to these everyday or vernacular objects and how they connect with the people that make them.

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