We have recently come to the end of the exhibition which has been a fascinating experience. the best way to describe it would be to quote from my blog on the Love Arts Leeds festival website.
When I applied to take part in the Place and Memory project I could not have imagined the support I would receive nor the sudden change in direction my personal work was going to take... The group has given us a place to share commissions, ideas and research with the benefit of professionals with experience that covers a huge breadth of the industry. Yet more vital than their advice is their unwavering support that goes beyond a mentoring capacity, they have been our cheerleaders and champions from the start. with their encouragement I have expanded my skills to include creative writing and paper cutting, and given me confidence to explore my capacity as a fine artist.
The exhibition has been an intriguing challenge, to break away from the standard framed artwork and fill a space so large and full of historical resonance has pushed each of us in intriguing new directions. Each of us has brought our own particular experiences and memories of Leeds and forged them together in new and experimental ways.... I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to the mentors Emma, Judit and Tom and congratulations to the rest of the place and memory collective.
With the emphasis on home and nostalgia, my mind was inevitably turned to the many experiences I'd had finding my way in Hyde Park. This was the first place I came to after leaving home, where I went to university and where I came to find my own identity and friends. As such it will always have great personal meaning for me, as I know those streets so well. Primarily I work using photography, however this time it did not seem quite fitting. Instinctively I turned to creative writing, something that I hadn't done for some time and immediately the words and memories began to flow. I turned these into paper cuts, which is a skill I'd never tried previously. I can say that without the encouragement of the group I would not have had the bravery to make work in such a completely different medium. The Place and Memory Collective continues and will be producing a publication early next year.