I have just looked back over the two She’d exhibitions and I am amazed at how much work we have actually produced in such a short time. There is no doubt that the first exhibition focuses on our situation and it would be strange if it didn’t. It is at the foremost of everyone’s mind. It is almost as if it was a set theme but the concept of Hatchery is that we work as individuals and produce our own work. Whilst this is a risky thing for a curator as the work may not hold together as an exhibition, it actually came together well and was especially suited for the online format which, of course, was part of the brief. It could only be an online exhibition. If we exhibited the work physically, I think it would still hold together with its coincidental theme.
The second part, She’d 2, is a slightly different matter. We, as a group, became less focussed on the situation as a whole, but concentrated on our own environments. It is as if we had become embedded in our locations thinking about our surroundings but also what mattered to us. Presenting this physically, the work would present a slightly disparate view of lockdown but would nonetheless be relevant. I think, this one particularly, would benefit from a physical incarnation.
As for my own work, I can see how it has progressed, what I have been thinking. It reflects the limitation of the materials I had with me and also the limitations of the space available. There are two pieces that I am particularly pleased with. The first is Early Birds where I composed with keyboard with a recording of the birds that morning. This is a big step for me. The second piece is Slow Flow. Whilst this is not as innovative, I consider it a good piece of work. I was not tempted to rush it, to alter the feather in its almost silent procession through the reeds and neither was I tempted to make it too long. This quiet work in the environment is a change from my previous urban work.
It has been a good experience and now, with lockdown almost over, it is time to think of Hatchery’s future. What began as a self-directed lockdown residency has become something different that needs careful thought. I need to consider my own artwork and research as well and ensure a balance.