Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Gillian Lavery - Making work live in the gallery.

Why would you choose to make work in the gallery?

The question about performance and performative drawing is something that Kath, Ren and myself have been discussing a lot in thinking about this exhibition. The notion of making work live in the gallery puts you in a fairly vulnerable position - but the possibilities that come from it are also rich.

I am often surprised by the reaction of viewers when they see the artist at work in the gallery.
Some people really like it and engage in conversation, the opportunity to talk about what you are doing – is this different when you are just minding the gallery?

There are some people who think that they are interrupting you – but this is never the case. It is not a performance in that way as there is no invisible line between myself and the viewer. It is about a space of conversation. There is no direction or plan, nor beginning or end, common elements of a performance.

I am trying to break down the barrier of visibility between process and end result. Part of the work is actually engaging in that conversation and opening up the opportunity to discuss process and what it means and feels like to make your work. I am not sure whether this would have the same effect if the work was complete and you were minding the gallery.

The conversation becomes part of the work because, like the making, the repetition of it allows the ideas to be thought through and played with, experimented with. You test out how you are thinking about the work when you engage in a conversation with someone. Sometimes they lead somewhere sometimes they don’t, and sometimes the result is surprising. 

Gillian Lavery