WAYOUT_blp, WAYOUT ArtSpace, Kandos, at 13 June 2023 with 139 objects. Silversalt Photography
WAYOUT_blp, WAYOUT ArtSpace, Kandos, at 19 June 2023 with 140 objects. Photo: the artist
WAYOUT_blp opened at WAYOUT on 13 May 2023 with 132 objects arranged on the floor of the WAYOUT building to make the shape of a blp. Another eight objects were lent over the 7 weeks of the exhibition before the blp dissolved on 25 June as the objects began returning home. Thankyou to the following people who enabled the work to be made by lending an object they normally live with: Christine Ackers, Glenn Albrecht, Wendy Alexander, Jock Alexander, Susan Andrews, Gus Armstrong, Vilma Bader, Karen Banks, Mandy Barker, Suzanne Bartos, Anthony Bautovich, Jenny Beach, Elia Bosshard, Linden Braye, Jenny Brown, Anthony Cahill, Sue Callanan, Tracey Callinan, Oscar Capezio, Faith Cauchi, John Cauchi, Steven Cavanagh, David Chemke, Liz Coats, Charles Cooper, Maryanne Coutts, Jodi Crammond, Jude Crawford, Leo Cremonese, Marghanita da Cruz, Vivienne Dadour, Robert Daley, Max Daley, Ruby Davies, Julia Davis, Kate Deacock, Karen-Lea Delaney, Damian Dillon, Daryl & Kara Dinger King, Linda Doyle, Ella Dreyfus, Jacquelene Drinkall, Heather Dunn, Lynne Eastaway, Rachel Ellis, Michelle Faber, Harrie Fasher, Ann Finegan, Jen Friedland, Joe Frost, Sandy & Tom Fullerton, Beata Geyer, Lesley Giovanelli, June Golland, Don Graham, Clare Graham, Anne Graham, Chantal Grech, Luna Gui, Yasmin Hannouf, Christine Hassall, David Hitcheson, WeiZen Ho, Sophie Horne, Stephanie Houghten, Lucas Ihlein, Annelies Jahn, Tim Johnman, Leahlani Johnson, Jan Johnson, Tamara Lawry, Chelsea Lehmann, Jen Lennon, Ian Leonard, Glenn Locklee, Kris Long, Diane Losche, Mabu, Kate Mackay, Nic Mason, Tiff Mason, Cate McCarthy, Fleur McDonald, Fiona McDonald, Ian Milliss, Finola Moorhead, Jude Morrell, Anne Mosey, Mikaela Murphy, Christine Myerscough, Juanita Hyde (with Apeksha Halasagi & Kate Stitt), Maddie O’Brien, Tony Oates, Aude Parichot, Jane Patterson, George Pollard, Madeleine Preston, Megan Rawlings, Margaret Roberts, Steve Sven Rogers, Emma Rooney, Margaret Seymour, Peter Simmons, Lea Simpson, Steve Sinn, Lucy Smith, Mandy Smith, Tracey Sorensen, Yvonne Sorensen, Rolande Souliere, Alan Spackman, Phil Spark, Anke Stäcker, John Stanfield, Mish Stockwell, Deb Stone, Emma Syme, Kate Swadling, Paola Talbert, Denise Thompson, Moira Thompson, Vianne Tourle, Jaime Tsai, Trudy Vermeuler, Freya Ververis, Vsevelod Vlaskine, Ruth Waller, Toni Warburton, Gary Warner, Robyn Webster, David White, Leanne Wicks, Emma Wise, Alex Wisser, Elke Wohlfahrt, Peter Wohlfahrt, Renate Yates and Yiorgos Zafiriou.
WAYOUT_blp was planned as a site-specific artwork that set out to make the site an active player in the work through the participation of people who live on it. It invited anyone to select and lend an object they live with, to be arranged with others into one shape on the WAYOUT floor. I saw its potential to validate communal regard for wherever we live, and for the wider place in which we all live together, through a simple ritual that anyone can participate in.
While the immediate site was the WAYOUT building, its bigger site was formed by the places objects were lent from—which ended up stretching from Dubbo to Mona Vale and Byron Bay to Canberra (in NSW/ACT - one donation was also made from Hobart). In collecting objects, I saw the care people put into selecting them, and in telling the stories of their attachment to their lent object and to the place where they live with it. While many lenders were not present with their object at WAYOUT, their names, locations and stories were available on an online object register accessible via QR code and also as print-outs on the wall. Together those details record each object’s embeddedness in the life and place it was from, and (with the exception of 12 donations) would later return to.
These varied objects are the artwork’s ‘chance’ materials delivered by the site via people who live there. They make a drawing-installation by being arranged on the floor in a simple shape known in art-history as a ‘blp’, and used as a ‘discursive mark’ for ‘here’, wherever it is located. In WAYOUT, that art-usage temporarily frames the collection and object-lenders’ decisions to lend them. That art history was made by artist Richard Artschwager, as explained in the essay, What is a blp?, free copies of which were available at the exhibition.
Multiple forms of documentation were planned to record the multiple aspects of the work, and to indicate something of the wholistic nature of any artwork of which physical place is a key part. Two of its photographs are included here, showing what the shape looked like from either end. Observational hand drawings were made to record individual objects’ likenesses in subjective ways. Hand-drawings were initially planned to indirectly record (by reminding us of) the care and attention I saw lenders giving to place when they selected and lent an object they live with, because hand drawings are made with similar care and attention given to their own subjects. Their inclusion also shows how hand-drawing and drawing-installation easily co-exist in one project, each playing different roles. Stories lenders told about their objects were recorded in text and sound files. These stories 'wrap' the objects in invisible links to lives and places, distinguishing them from 'found objects' that they otherwise resemble. A mini-collection of twelve donated objects also remain together, able to stand in for the actual nature of the whole collection that is now dispersed. The many experiences and conversations are also recorded in individual and communal memory. The plan which delivered WAYOUT_blp also remains and can be enacted again with different people and objects in another place and time. These all remain when the shape itself dissolved on the final weekend of WAYOUT_blp as objects began their return home, with (as lender Robert Daley said) their ‘provenance’ altered by their participation in the communal ‘blp'.
The collection of hand-drawings and poetry that partly replaces the collection of objects were made by Jenny Beach, Richard Beach, Lucy Buttenshaw, Chris Baker, Steve Baker, Leo Cremonese, Vivienne Dadour, Jacquelene Drinkall, Heather Dunn, Stephanie Eather, Eliot Jameson, Ann Finegan, Jen Friedland, Joel Hartman, WeiZen Ho, Yasmin Houssef, Nic Mason, Fleur McDonald, Edwina McEgan, Christine McMillan, Dorothea Melbourne, William McKay, Jenny More, Brett Nutting, Jane Patterson, Georgina Pollard, Margaret Roberts, Katika Shultz, Yaslene Schacher-Ho, Lucy Smith, Finn Standfield, Jo Truman, Leanne Wicks, Emma Wise, and 2 visitors (on 17 June) whose names were not recorded.
In the last week, the drawings were also translated into sound by Jo Truman and Freddie Hill using voice and trumpet.
WAYOUT_blp and its documentation was assisted by a residency at Hanami Place, enabling the artist to accommodate drawers and musicians from out of Kandos while they drew the objects and performed the drawings four streets away in WAYOUT ArtSpace.
Artforum 30 August 2023: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TCd_T6ZVU4
Draw an object: Drawing Gallery, Building 25, National Art School 28 September - 13 October: Hours Wed-Fri 11am-4pm, other times by arrangement via email@example.com / or texting 0425277462
The National Art School supports the practice of academic staff and is proud to support Margaret Roberts' exhibition, WAYOUT_blp, as part of the Academic Staff Development Grant Program.