Research & Development: Exploring objects and collecting

During spring and summer last year, I found myself frozen. I couldn't do any creative work or think about the future (totally understandable, what with the pandemic and all!). I managed to complete the 12 o collective 30 days project then just stopped. I ended up getting back into sewing clothes. It felt simple, there's a process to follow and as long as you follow it, you get where you want to, then you can wear it! Perfect to distract my mind and give me some much needed certainty in the most uncertain time.


Since January last year I've also been working as a historical photographer, photographing archive material at the (recently renamed) John Rylands Research Institute and Library. Over the past 5 years I've been working a lot with objects and archives and this job just really took that to a new level, and gave me access to the behind the scenes processes too.


In autumn, needing some direction and knowing that I wanted to focus more on my own practice, I signed up for STUDIOBOOK {Online} with Mark Devereux projects, which was just what I needed to take a look at my work objectively and decide on my next steps. It made me realise that I might have a chance of applying for funding and being successful!


After a winter of project planning (which think kept me going through a difficult winter) and writing my application with support from Mark - fast forward to April when I was successful and awarded the funding!


About the project


The focus of this next year is about having dedicated time to work on my practice and explore the link between my interest in objects, archives and collecting and my drawing/ sculptural practice which uses found objects and fragments. As well as developing contacts and opportunities for beyond the project.


Another strand, which will run alongside, is research into ways of working and pursuing a sustainable practice when also dealing with chronic illness. I have a fluctuating, energy limiting chronic illness and when I was diagnosed there was little to no information out there for artists in the same position. So I will be exploring different ways that disabled and chronically ill artists work to develop some new tactics for making work when dealing with low energy. So please get in touch if you have had experience of this too!


I'll be sharing regular reflections and work in progress, as well as infrequent emails with news of events or callouts for involvement. So watch this space and sign up for emails here. I'll also be sharing as I go along on Instagram @lisarisbec so follow me there too.




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