Meeting with Martha Fleming , September 2015,  a-n Review blog- post three

Beginning to Surface our Methodology

We spent a Sunday afternoon in September with Martha Fleming. This was the second of our four meetings we have planned with arts professionals as part of our a-n Review bursary. We discussed practice, research, methodology and working with museums and collections.

It was such a wonderful and beneficial afternoon for us – Martha’s knowledge, generosity and experience as an artist and as the director of the collections based research programme at Reading University provided us with invaluable discussions, ideas, information and lots to think about and look at. We discussed with Martha how we may develop our new project which has a focus at this present time on the painter Mary Potter (1900-1981). It also includes a possible collaboration with museums and a residency. Our ideas are still at an early stage of development.

Studio Practice / Parallel / Research

Martha spoke about “artist-driven epistemology” and how this relates to our research and practice, for example, how it shapes the questions we might ask: How is it that we paint now?  As women? She also talked about the “layered temporalities of practice” (the state of existing within or having some relationship with time) that we surfaced in our previous project Obscure Secure. We are of the twentieth century, we carry a connection to the era of the artists we are working with. We carry the thread into 21st century practice. To make present.

(Epistemology – noun Philosophy – the theory of knowledge, esp. with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.)  

Martha shared with us some practicalities and procedures that we need to be aware of when working with museums and collections. She also highlighted the knowledge and experience we gained during our project (Obscure Secure) working with Christchurch Mansion and the value it has for us in taking our new ideas forward. We went on to discuss the benefits of affiliations with institutions when carrying out research.

Presenting research

The possibilities of presenting research that can be site specific depending on the  circumstances / venue, we discussed ways of infiltrating / adding to existing information; and how the collation of information adds value to collections, connecting them to contemporary artists practice.

The above blog post only just touches the surface of our afternoon spent with Martha. We would like to stress again the value of recording the meetings / discussions –  referring back to the the discussions has proved invaluable for us to process and continue to evaluate and review our developing new project. We are all feeling very excited by the possibilities that lay ahead.

Our next meeting is in November with Rebecca Fortnum artist, writer and academic.

This blog post is written collaboratively by Claudia Boese, Hayley Field and Jacqueline Utley and posted by Claudia Boese on a-n blogs.

Links to previous posts

Post 1

Post 2