SPINE Artist in Residence Andy D’Cruz: The Journey Begins…

SPINE Festival Artist in Residence for Sutton, Andy D’Cruz, tells us about the exciting ‘Home is…’ project he’s been kick-starting at Circle Library.

The Journey Begins…

image[3]It’s the first day of my SPINE Festival project and I am meeting the team at Circle Library in Sutton, preparing materials and discussing ideas. Whilst I’m waiting, I take some photos of the surrounding houses as a starting point for the project. I begin to look for differences and diversity in the buildings and soon realise that the houses are all pretty similar — a reflection of what I’d already been told by the library manager, Margaret, who has done a lot of research into the area and its history. Looking more closely, I notice the houses are actually all slightly different — a plant in the window, a hanging basket, pebble dash, a small extension, some cladding — all ways that people have made them their own, added their voice.

image[13]We have settled on the theme of ‘Home is…’ for the project, which not only ties into Margaret’s research, but also gives people the opportunity to consider, question and reflect on what values home may represent. It also provides the opportunity to uncover shared values and basic needs across the community, such as food, shelter, economic stability, love and connection. These values and needs all unify us as people no matter what race, situation, or context we may be from, or currently find ourselves.

It felt important for me to try to include as many voices in the project as I could. Audio recording is a perfect media for this; the words, how they are spoken and the character of those speaking conveys each personality.

Listen here:

image[10]To make this recording process safe and engaging I devised a number of activities that participants could do whilst considering what they might record. As well as a way of reaching a wider range of ages and abilities, the product of these activities will be a visual and sculptural expression of what home means to the participants. As with any art activity, there develops a safe silence in which people may discuss their thoughts whilst engaging in the artistic task at hand. It is this quality I want to engender in the sessions, a non-threatening space in which to contemplate what ‘Home is…’

I hope the visual and audio material produced comes together to represent the different voices of the community, their honest thoughts, feelings and values around the idea of ‘Home’, celebrated and recognised as ones we all hold dear, and as something that unites us as a larger community.

Keep up with Andy throughout SPINE Festival by following @Andy_1DC #SpineFestival. For more information about Andy’s work visit www.facebook.com/outputarts | www.outputarts.com

SPINE Festival is produced by Apples and Snakes in partnership with library authorities across London as part of Apples and Snakes’ work as an Associate Bridge organisation. For more information visit the SPINE project page or follow #SpineFestival.