Trying to catch up on ten plus years of arting has not been easy. Especially as most of the time I had not considered myself to be an artist, and did not write much down, oftentimes faulted in the photographic documentation too. See, I have always been more into doing the thing. Whatever the thing was. At the time. As well as working as a gallery educator and more recently recovering.
So what should I be writing about a woodoopuppet of Milan Knizak from 2008? It was called Is it necessary to kill Knizak? Raising the question about the looming presence of the then National Gallery in Prague director figure by paraphrasing a title of a Czech film from set in WW2. And asking the viewers to take action into their own hands by potentially inflicting a woodoo pain on Mr. Knizak. I have created the piece as an employee of the gallery (worked in the education department) and entered it into art competition organized by the gallery that year. It did not get through. However it was exhibited at Containers of Art a year later at a Piazetta of the National Theatre where it was stolen by a passersby, allegedly a mentally ill woman, who tool the puppet home before the disaffected exhibiting artists could inflict any damage. All is well that ends well.
What should I write about the Psychogeography of Pilsen happening from 2010? Standing on a bridge in the centre of the city during a street festival collecting statements Here I… from passersby and matching them with places on the map. Later creating posters and placing them in public space. There were such as Here I have started my new life…at the door of the old people’s home. A way of me connecting with a place and people.
Or the Seeds of Culture happening at Svetovareni festival. People planted seeds of unknown herbs, given instructions how to look after them, and decided what it is that they are growing. Given that Pilsen was trying for the European Capital of Culture title in 2015. See, the word culture comes from the Latin “colere”, which means “what is to be grown”. Thus the seeds, the pots and planting. What was it that the people of Pilsen wished or needed to grow?
What should I write about the Christmas Tree happening and installation with the then friend Petra, in 2011, when we collected the christmas trees from around the neighbourhood piles and hung them from a bridge over Radbuza, the trees becoming decorations themselves?
What should I write about Gift for Passersby happening in Klatovy, where in local cafe people were encouraged to leave something of of themselves as a gift for a random presentee. A kind of a secret Santa game for locals. As far as I know, horse rides and repotting plants have been presented, to name a few.
What should I write about the Tao of a Butterfly exhibition at Galerie Kaplicka in Rychleby mountains in 2013? I decorated a sideway shrine with paper butterflies, remembering the story of a buddhist monk, who dreamt of being a butterfly and upon waking up from the dream could not decide which was a dream and which a reality. Now I know they both were, a dream.
What should I write about the happening Thus Spoke the Cobbled Stone in which I have with the help of passersby made the Pilsener and Klatovy squares speak, every bench, lamppost, indeed a cobbled stone. A kind of emotional map of the public space.
What should I write about the Butterflies among Walls site specific installation for Amnesty International in 2014? Set at a site of a former prison, I created four hundred paper butterflies carrying the names of people on the AI campaign list, in invisible ink, all the prisoners of conscience in their database, and let them perch on the walls and bars. Once you have shone the UV light torch on a butterfly in the dark, it has revealed its shape and name. You could also create your own butterflies of hope and sign current petitions in a separate cell.
Moving to London, I have struggled to find my own place, recovering from health issues. I have been spending most of my time at home, exhibiting the outcomes of my private arting at the Open Art Exhibition at the Telegraph Hill Festival each year since I have been here. The #seemetoseeyourself portraits, the Butterflies of Courage and Hope and Everyday Courages back from 2011, a photographic series of things that keep me going. As well as creating an online Arting course for developing your creativity.
My dream is ultimately to open an arting space, with materials and tools and create with people in the community. However I have managed to almost talk myself into leaving so many times, it has been difficult thinking ahead, Brexit and stuff. Life has been getting in the way. So far. However…now it really looks like I am staying. For good. Life.
Latest have been these Lost Teddies, as I got more into painting. Watch this space. Let’s see how I go…forward…onward.
Thank you for reading all the way here…let me know which of the above pieces speaks to you most. And why…Looking forward to hearing back.