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Wednesday 23rd July 2014
Having just about recovered from my 24 hour stints photographing sky, it’s rather good to be getting straight on with ArtyFishAl.
I wrote that some weeks ago and got stuck into making and encouraging LUA fish as well as my own artist contribution – a new soft sculpture.
The fishy response has been brilliant and we’ve all been impressed, so much so that there is now gallery space here on the site so people can enjoy ArtyFishAl even if they can’t get to Salisbury Arts Centre. If you find yourself doodling fish, or otherwise expressing yourself in fishy fashion, it’s not too late, send it and we’ll add it to the gallery…
I made my fish – the one that says something about me, ages ago it seems. It’s a small green knitted fish with wheels instead of fins, a wheel fish. Then I had a few other ideas to explore and began wondering what would be happening while the exhibition was actually showing.
Now there is one thing that seems to throw the nation into a frenzy as summer fades and it says artificial to me in big way. All sorts of links started firing away in my head and I was instantly smitten with the idea of Strictly Fish. I’ve hunted out some shiny fabric, sequins, beads, lace and froth and am setting about the task with enthusiasm. And while I stitch and glue, I wonder what the attraction is. Is it pure escapism? Mindless distraction or does Strictly have deeper insights to deliver about the evolution of a wannabe civilised society?
Tam, who’s doing a great admin job for LUA, proposed that we created a short drama presentation for the preview of Homegrown (the exhibition that ArtyFishAl is part of) and set about motivating a small team.
I wrote a poem, Amy wove her wordless song through the action while Hayley held everything together and Tam who really is an actor, created humorous and dramatic focus. Somehow we pulled it off on the night.
Hej-do I’m fish. Strictly fish
and we all know what that means.
Not some scaley creature from
the market stall. Oh no not me.
Satin and silk, sequins and godets
spray tan and hairdos, I’m a strictly fish.
And you might well ask what’s that
got to do with disability. Well you might
ask what it’s got to do with art?
And as they say in fairy tales,
that is another story. Can you imagine
swimming in acres of satin,
sequins and godets? No-huh
Well that’s disability ; trying to thrive
in an unsuitable environment.
Seeing in low lighting, seeking
with no signage, wheeling
up steps and squash-me narrow
pathways. That sums it up.
Bet you’ve all seen fancy
hairdos stretched out on long necks
while the owner attempts a length or two
of the pool. But prancing around in
sequins and godets, you need a dance floor
ballroom, orchestra, Darcy Bustle,
Oh-oh I’d forgotten the legs. I’m a fish
Strictly fish, I should be in the water.
But then I’ve got all these – accoutrements
And well between you and me?
Help, I don’t swim!
Homegrown, the exhibition, is showing at Salisbury Arts Centre until Sunday 17th August 2014
And here at LUA we are already planning the next project and can hardly wait to tell you all about it!