Following the student group meeting on the 16th January, I thought about the prospect of working with a kinetic artist for the Council House project. Although I have used kinetic mechanisms in some of my own artwork in the past, I do not feel confident and fully equipped or knowledgeable in producing a working, professional piece which would last the duration of the exhibition (which I expect to be for several months).
Thus, later that evening, I recalled earlier conversations I have had with Southwest artist Lee McDonald during Plymouth College of Art’s Ephemeron, “Artist as Curator”, Critique Event at Karst in April 2013 regarding his sound pieces – particularly his Sonic Reverber pieces. (Lee also has a studio at Karst, Plymouth.)
After visiting his website again to refresh my memory, I could see that Lee is predominantly interested in the mechanisms of objects and explores the reactional processes and properties of such objects i.e. pushing their capabilities and possibilities in terms of physics and sound (McDonald, 2014, online).
Lee is also interested in audience participation and although there may be a restriction on sound pieces, there is still the opportunity for movement.
He also uses many recyclable materials or “dead” mechanical objects i.e. objects which have had a live use but are now defunct.
I personally feel that his pieces would work particularly well in the Council House building because it would be completely unexpected.
Lee has showcased his work in gallery spaces, as well as festivals and it seemed that he has a positive attitude in bringing his art to new audiences. Much of the art on display at present in the Council House is fairly traditional and Lee’s kinetic work could literally “liven up” the somewhat serious nature and atmosphere of the space. I also feel this would be an excellent opportunity to promote discussions regarding art and its environment – especially as the student group are looking at the role of the artist as curator.
I mentioned asking Lee if he would be interested in the project to my fellow student group members and received a positive response from them. On this basis I emailed Lee a week later and received a reply back, advising that he would be interested and suggesting the group meet up to discuss.
McDonald, L. (2014) About [online] Plymouth: 2014 Lee McDonald. Available at: http://www.leemcdonald.co.uk/about/