Working with Amy Lawrence – Week 5

For this years Blaze Festival, a group of Artists will be working with professional curator Amy Lawrence to produce artwork in preparation for an exhibition in October in Accrington Library.

They will be working together over weekly sessions, and will be blogging about each session as it takes place!

Heres is this weeks blog post, written by Sophie Skellern

These week brought Lauren Velvick to Accrington for a workshop with the group on research; what is research and how research can be used as an art form within its own right.

We discussed the possibilities of research being a physical, tangible thing, a conversation, a series of photographs displayed on the wall or some collected objects.  And anything and everything in between.

First Lauren gave a talk about her practice and background, and then she set a number of tasks. The first of these  involved going around the library and collecting a piece of research using whatever means were available to us (camera phones, note books, sound recorders, sketchbooks etc etc). This was a very loose brief, and I decided to collect a number of sounds.

The sounds found around the library are definitely one of the most prominent things  that I notice whilst in the space, the noises of the machinery, the door automatically opening, the sounds of the lift. I recorded these on an app on my tablet that was able to show me the sound wave version of these noises.


Working with Amy Lawrence - Week 5 - Keyboard

Automatic Door

Working with Amy Lawrence - Week 5 - Automatic Door


Working with Amy Lawrence - Week 5 - Lift

With this research, I printed out the sound waves and I then took them back out into the library, laying them on the location where the sounds occurred. I photographed these situations. I wanted the photographs to be at the precise moment of the sound, for example as the automatic doors were mid-swing, or as the voice in the lift was mid sentence.

These photographs were then printed out and I was able to present these back to the group.

Working with Amy Lawrence - Week 5 (3) Working with Amy Lawrence - Week 5 (4) Working with Amy Lawrence - Week 5 (5)

I found the whole process really interesting, allowing the time for myself to become inspired by research I had made, and be able to act on that immediately, creating artwork out of this research. Research has never been a large part of my artwork process, so I found the in-depth discussions around what research can be and how we can utilise it, fascinating and definitely not something I often think about within my own artwork.

The second half of the day brought the whole group together, and all of our collective research and findings. This involved a number of things from transcribed conversation, to the void left by a missing man, to symbols, to dead flowers, to stationary, to physical books, to photocopies and an assortment of other interesting bits!

Lauren suspended a large piece of material between two of the sheds in the room (yes, sheds), and this was to be our “blank canvas”.

We were then each given 5 minutes to curate all of the research together onto the material.

All of us approached this task very differently.

I chose to layer all of the findings and objects within the square of the back projection, creating a mixture of shapes, images, textures and hand written words, within one contained shape.

Working with Amy Lawrence - Week 5 (1)

Overall the day was great fun, and a really interesting insight to a process unfamiliar to me.

Thanks Lauren!