In order to move this project forward, I have decided to revisit one of my past projects. The idea was a DIY protest poster kit, which all of the elements in the kit in order to make a protest poster. The kit contained letters and symbols. I’m still really fond of this idea that people can get involved, this is just a way of making it easier. I now feel that my role is to give people the means to have their voice heard, making it as easy as possible for that to be done.
After contemplating and trying out a few different materials, I decided that acrylic was my best option and it offered all the qualities I needed-it’s bright and intricate shapes are able to be cut on the laser cutter.
I have made the decision that all the pieces are going to have positive words and symbols on which will then be able to be arranged into different compositions by the participant.
One of the contributing factors to me choosing to base my project loosely on the EU referendum was that my town, coined the Brexit Capital after voting 72% out was that before the referendum that was a huge lack of conversation around it. The campaigns were filled with false promises and lies, but there wasn’t really anybody challenging the Leave campaign, especially in deprived areas Stoke-on-Trent. They selfishly targeted the most desperate and offered them something that they couldn’t deliver. It was a campaign filled with false hope. On top of this, I also felt that there was a huge lack of conversation and therefore understanding from each side.
This statistic felt particularly poignant at this time, and linked to this project, as although there was such an overwhelming out vote, the area is receiving a huge amount of funding, especially in celebration of 250 years since Philip Astley, from Newcastle-under-Lyme invented the circus ring.
I was able to go and see the circus show in Newcastle which has been set up on what used to be Sainsbury’s old carpark. It was wonderful to see so many people excited about the show, and for people to see the show on what truly is ‘common ground’. The location definitely felt like the reclamation of a circus show ‘for everyone’ in a time when circus is becoming more and more exclusive with circuses like Giffords only performing in the south of England at niche festivals or charging a high ticket price as well as other companies like Cirque du Soleil who are now performing in the most prestigious theatres, like the Royal Albert Hall.
Although posters are something I enjoy making, and mostly I think are a suitable medium for the type of work I make, I often struggle with being so explicit in what I want to say. There are times when it just doesn’t feel suitable or right for me to make a statement about my own beliefs and thoughts, and present them in such a way forward and confronting way. When my aim and hope is for people to feel they have the ability to have conversations and form their own beliefs, it feels wrong to present something that says, ‘this is what I think, you should think it too’ it’s my hope to give people the opportunity to use their own voice.
In order to solve this, I have decided the best way for me to move forward is to use the posters for something more than just making a statement about a certain topic. It feels that the solution to this is to slightly change the angle. I hope that the work I make is more of an invitation, rather than what I believe to be the final solution. By doing this kind of facilitation I hope to give people the chance to use their voice and communicate what it is they want, rather than being told by a statement on a poster.
“‘Belonging’ will be Myerscough’s first ever mobile installation: a bright, bold, touring bandstand programmed in conjunction with communities across Sussex, inviting them to reflect on the concept of ‘belonging’ by making banners to adorn its crown and programming a diverse range of local performers to use it as a stage.”
I am hugely inspired by Morag Myerscough’s work, as it brings together beautiful, bright visual elements with a deeper meaning that often involves the community. I am drawn to this piece in particular, as what in intrigues me is the fact that the installation is portable, which was one of the elements I wanted to include in my final piece. The fact that it is portable means that it is accessible and people who may not usually encounter the work are able to. I am very keen to make sure that my work is accessible to as many people as possible.
It’s only until recently I was so unaware at home much of an echo chamber I, myself was in. It’s so easy to get trapped in your own little bubble, only surrounded by people are likeminded and who have the same beliefs as you, it’s comforting and I suppose, reassuring.
I believe that before the referendum, people genuinely didn’t believe that it would happen, and a huge part of that was that there was no time take to listen to the opposition. I think that one of the reasons that these conversations didn’t take place was due to people not feeling that they were able to ask the questions they wanted to. There were never opportunities made for this to happen. Instead what happened was the most vulnerable and desperate were targetted and these were the people who were made to believe that they were being listened to and offered empty promises. My aim is to open up the conversation and hopefully remove the echo-chamber allowing other voices to be heard.
I developed this type during my first project as I felt it was important that every part of the composition on the page was my own work as well as creating something that suits my visual language. I tried the echo some of the shapes in my own work so that it feel cohesive. I am really pleased that I did this as I feel confident in that it’s all my own work.