Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I'm looking forward to Treacle by Robert James Anderson tomorrow evening at St James, which kicks off Jersey Arts Centre's excellent autumn season.  Influenced by the work of performance artists Marina Abramović, Bruce Nauman and Laurie Anderson, this promises to explore the performer’s relationship to space, objects, music, text and his own body and celebrate his continuing investigation into the fusion of poetry, music, art and performance.

I find the idea of multi-disciplinary work exciting, that you don't quite know what to expect and anything can happen as the (supposed) boundaries between art forms are breached.  Also I'm already a fan of Robert's writing having admired his poem Papa shortlisted in the 2009 Jersey Arts Trust Channel Islands Writers Competition, which I thought was beautifully judged and moving.

There is a wealth of creative talent in Jersey and it is commendable that the Arts Centre provides a platform for experimental work.

found no 4 - pink card

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sara Job - Arts in Health Care residency

Sara Job's exhibition currently showing at Jersey Arts Centre, which was officially opened this evening by Deputy Anne Pryke, arises from six months as artist in residence at the Hollies Day Care Centre, commissioned by the Arts in Health Care Trust.  The exhibition explores themes of identity, anxiety and memory, and the artist clearly approached her residency and exhibition with great care, flair and sensitivity.

The identity theme arose from life studies which enabled artist and 'clients' to forge an initial relationship.

Sara used the making of Guatemalan Worry Dolls to explore anxiety (dating back to Mayan amulets, the tradition is of telling your worries to a doll and then placing it under your pillow while you sleep, so that the doll will take your worries from you.)  Some of the dolls that they made she painted on canvas and these are exhibited in the gallery under brightly coloured pillows, alongside pencil drawings of the dolls - stripped of their colours, these dolls seem to communicate the worries confided to them.


The exploration of memory is conjured through stacks of small cardboard boxes, some of which contain objects to recall memories (such as Jersey wonders, a wedding ring, a boxing glove, bicycle clips); some boxes are empty, some tied shut, some contain shredded paper - a simple but poignant evocation of the toll that age takes on memory and yet how intrinsic memories are in the telling of a life.

This was the first such artist's residency supported by the Jersey Arts in Health Care Trust, but the value is threefold - in the benefit derived by the clients interacting with the artist (some of whom were at the opening), the development of the artist's own work in perhaps new and unexpected directions, but also how the memories and the experiences synthesise in the work to give us, the exhibition audience, an insight into the lives of others and our own shared humanity.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zazous! Zazous!

It's good that there are new theatre companies springing up in Jersey, the latest being Off The Rock Theatre which will present Zazous! Zazous! 14 - 18 September.

According to the blurb, Zazous were 'disaffected youths who just want to party, dance to swing music and dress in their own distinctive style' in wartime occupied Paris.

It will be interesting to see how war and fashion mix in this production, especially for me since this was my parents' era - although they were in occupied Brittany not Paris and neither, as far as I know, were Zazous!  My father was deported to work as a forced labourer in Germany and my mother worked as a seamstress/dressmaker, carrying her sewing machine around on her bicycle.  She still talks about the secret dances that were held and she loved fashion.


Someone told me recently that, after seeing Inception, they realised in a dream that they didn't know how they got wherever they were (one of the ways you know you're dreaming in the film.)

I had a dream like that last night - I was in a minibus travelling to a hotel on a Greek island to meet a friend (good dream) and suddenly thought 'How did I get here?' aware that I didn't have my passport with me and couldn't remember packing (which normally involves neurosis, lists and repacking).  Arrived at the hotel I was uneasy because it had no name, I wouldn't be able to find it again and hadn't booked.  But my name was in the register and I was given the key to room 118 - unfortunately this didn't seem to exist in the tortuous layout of the building which was cluttered with dozens of old electric cookers. I could hear my friend speaking to someone on my mobile, although I hadn't called him, and he promised to join me in a couple of hours.

Anyone else had an Inception-inspired dream recently?