Empathy and both sides – thinking about how we can bridge thinking, drawings to inspire

Three days left to see my exhibition in The George Cafe in Newnham. Open 9.30-3.30 today, tomorrow and Saturday. I’d really love feedback from you – comment on here or on my Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone local who came, and those who have crossed the river to see the drawings. What interesting conversations we’ve had. I’ve had discussions with a Chinese woman about white space in Chinese art; with people who suddenly realise that they may know the river close to their homes, but have never ventured onto the other bank, and others that found the drawings calming and relaxing in a deep way.

Since the show opened, I’ve walked under the Severn bridge on both sides. How odd that whilst I have driven over it, and walked across it, it had never occurred to me to go underneath it. Bob Dylan went there in 1966.

I now find myself immersed in this return to practice, not in isolation from my work as a visual arts producer, but an extension of it.  All I have learnt from producing projects in unusual locations transfers directly back into my practice. And vice-versa. Ironically, one reason I ceased to create site-specific video installations is that they were non-transferable to other locations. How peculiar, then, that I end up making drawings which are so site-sensitive it feels they must always be seen one one bank, or the other, of the Severn.

The deeper thinking behind them is a universal issue – do we ever spend enough time considering the other side of anywhere/anything?

Can we dedicate some moments when we deliberately take ourselves physically, or intellectually, to the other side of any given situation? Empathy is impossible without understanding both sides.

Once we get our heads around understanding the other side, we can also explore impact. What happens on this side effects the other side.

Ripples travel, bores rush, tides turn.

I’ll be showing the drawings in Purton over the Bank Holiday weekend of 26th and 27th of August. Spending time over there again (I used to live nearby) will feed my thinking about these things.  I’ll also be heading up a walk down to the beached boats, to talk with others about these things.  Check back on www.hybrideyes.com for details nearer the time.

 

Building bridges

In these divisive times

Matters

The Severn divides the county

But we must not forget

That it also connects us

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