On August 23, from 1-3 PM, Skye Shadowlight will be presenting an Artist’s Talk here at Artlink. This free event will feature an in-depth discussion about many of the elements and processes that went into producing ‘Stinkadena’ after receiving the Square Peg Bursary. (You can RSVP here. A BSL interpreter will be present.) Leading up to that, we asked Skye to share a little about what it was like making the work. Here’s what she had to say:
“As the recipient of the Square Peg Bursary, I found myself in the position of being able to commission craftsmen and also to buy the exact items I needed to build my pieces without too much worry. This way of working was new for me– I usually slowly acquire the found objects that I use to weave the story together over time. Due to my limited income, I would never have been able to realise the work if I had not received the bursary. Being able to have a piece custom built just never would have crossed my mind because it was not a possibility in my world.
I can see now what being paid as an artist can really afford you. I would have been able to produce a piece of work on my subject without the bursary, but I may not have had the time or finances to be able to think up and realise it in the way that I did for this exhibition. Fewer compromises had to be made in the production and transportation of the work. I feel a bit spoiled now. I don’t know how I will go back to making work on disability benefits after this.
Typically, I do not know where the work I make will be shown, so it was very different designing the work to fit directly into the Artlink gallery space. There were lots of twists and turns in the process of making the work, and what I ended up with was very different than the first seeds of the idea that I applied for the bursary with. The basic ideas of most pieces remained intact, but I found out a lot more about the themes of the work and myself along the way. Some of the larger work, however, like The Challenges of Walking on the Moon (2018) had not even formed as ideas when I first came to my interview at Artlink Hull back in March.
I made some mistakes along the way…Well, not so much mistakes as developments. Some things that I worked toward never actually came to fruition. I think this is normal in all art practice, but it was nice not having to go with things because I could not afford to rectify or change them.
There were lots of things that I uncovered while making for this show. There were some things that I never expected to find when I went back into my childhood hometown. I was able to think about some things in an entirely different way, and I hope that the viewers of the work found some unexpected things in there too.
I will go more in depth about the specifics of what I learned while making this work for Artlink Hull at my Artist’s Talk in August. There are some very interesting hidden things lurking in there. Please come along and let’s share our stories. I would love to hear about what you may have found in ‘Stinkadena’, where the air is greener but the truth is meaner.”