On February 12, 2020 I began a performance art residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York. This was my 13th residency and I have never been so excited about going far away and meeting new people at a place that turns out is 23 minutes away from where I grew up. Yaddo is unusual in my experience for several reasons, but the most noticible one is that artists come and go at different times so you are always meeting new people and saying goodbye to people you've come to be so fond of. Also it was my first residency with writers. There is no pressure to present your work and one's privacy is heavily protected. But most artists gave a performance or a reading or some kind of presentation of their work and it was mind-expanding to be with people of such diverse practices from all over the world.
My proposal was to further develop my inter-disciplinary exhibition Forgiveness and be reunited with the American-based glass instruments that I made for Flames and Frequencies: Performance for Glass Percussion and Fire. I hadn't seen these instruments since we gave that performance, and it was wonderful to share them with my fellow artists in a have-a-go session after my presentation in my studio.
I'm still working on what I began at Yaddo but wisely, we were all asked to leave by March 17th, 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I arrived back to the UK that day.
We were all very sad to say goodbye to what had been such an ideal experience, but it was the right call on the part of Yaddo, and in hindsight, I'm glad they made the decision when they did.
The work morphed whilst at Yaddo and continues to develop in the Highlands of Scotland.
Commissioned, initiated, and supported by National Glass Centre
National Glass Centre, Sunderland, England September 29, 2018 - March 24th, 2019
Thurso Gallery, Caithness, Scotland May 25th, 2019 - July 6th, 2019
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Inverness, Scotland July 13th -24th August 2019
Scotland venues produced by HighLife Highland
Forgive and forget. Easy? Not for many of us. Carrying resentment, anger and shame can be so normal we don’t notice how the lack of forgiving darkens our outlook.
Sound, moving image, and installation guide visitors on an exploration of the process and theme of forgiveness. In my research, I've engaged with diverse groups and collected their stories that sometimes end with forgiveness and sometimes don’t. These collected personal stories form parts of interactive artworks. Visitors are invited to share their stories to become part of the exhibition.
The exhibition is timed to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. Artist Carrie Fertig was commissioned to explore what peace means to us today.
Without forgiveness, there is no peace. When emotions are pushed aside they become stronger and can darken every aspect of our lives. The aim of this exhibition is to help people find a path to forgiveness, to free themselves from a weight they carry around. Whether forgiveness is needed for a person, a situation, or even yourself, we hope this exhibition will be helpful, and you can make a meaningful contribution to the work displayed. Your honesty in telling your story will help others to tell theirs. Telling one's story is the first step in the process of forgiveness. We are looking for personal stories of a particular situation or event in your life that needs, or has already achieved forgiveness. It doesn't matter if you haven’t reached the point of forgiveness yet. What are the details of what happened? What are the facts of the situation? All stories are anonymous, so we ask that you don't include any names, but defining relationships is helpful. Once you have written your story, we will cover it up so the next person will not see it during this one-day event, however, all stories will be displayed in the exhibition which is open to the general public. We suggest that you take some time to think deeply about this, write it down in advance, and bring it with you.
Why in the world would anyone share something so personal, and perhaps painful? Because this can be the first step in setting yourself free from the burden of living with pain associated with that which has not been forgiven. To tell the story is to get it outside of yourself, to be heard, to be seen, and allowing others to connect with that pain is a step towards release and helping others to achieve the same for themselves.”