Social Media Round Up: Early Stages

Hi! My name is Cerian and I am currently undergoing a placement with Craftspace working on the We are Commoners exhibition. This exhibition focuses on ideas presented by the Commons movement, a social and political movement which advocates for resources to be shared equally, creating a more eco-friendly society and a force to keep excesses of the market and government sectors in check. For the exhibition Craftspace have commissioned a number of works from different artists exploring various themes within the Commons movement. A number of these artists have documented their projects on social media, therefore I will be writing a series of blog posts to collate their projects mainly focusing on Jacky Oliver, Deirdre Nelson, Shane Waltener and Lise Bjorne Linnert and Gelawesh Waledkhani.

As the Commons movement is so broad and full of a hundred different strands of commoning (ranging from traditional ideas of common land, to new ideas of knowledge and digital commons), the first thing for each artist to do was to narrow down their projects and choose one idea to focus on.

Deirdre Nelson

For Deirdre Nelson her project started with a visit to Nottingham where the first full-network meeting took place in November 2019 (you can read more about this meeting here:

She then started to further her ideas by visiting Music Broth (@musicbroth on Instagram) which is a musical instrument and equipment library in Scotland. They offer members the ability to borrow musical instruments for a fee as little as £6 a month, improving access to music making for all. From this she was inspired to look at commoning projects within her local area. We can further see this development throughout her work, with her final project being a map of her local area. Deirdre’s Instagram Post 10/03/2020

Shane Waltener

Shane Waltener’s project takes a different start. In early March 2020 he was able to meet up with a few of the other artists in the exhibition, Ben Coode-Adams and Freddie Robins. to discuss the project. Shane has taken his inspiration from nature and decided to look at enclosures, private and public spaces, land management and gardening as commons. When the government lockdown was announced his plans had to adapt slightly and find an alternative workspace in North East Essex. Shane’s Instagram Post 19/03/2020

Thankfully, he was able to find a temporary outdoor studio, from Italian POW camps during the war. He was able to find this studio space through a neighbour when he was searching for willows to pollard to use as poles for his project. Shane’s Instagram Post 05/04/2020

Jacky Oliver

Jacky Oliver started her project by looking at historical documents and focused on working with community gardens and social farming. Her key research questions for the project were to find out where people are getting involved in these projects, why they are involved and what are they growing? Jacky’s Instagram Post 17/03/2020

In May 2020 we can see Jacky experimenting with a number of ideas, by sketching, building metal structures and playing around with Gesso and wood. Jacky’s Instagram Post 04/05/2020

Lise Bjorne Linnert and Gelawesh Waledkhani

Lise Bjorne Linnert and Gelawesh Waledkhani decided to work with migrants living in Norway without papers and have been hosting a number of workshops online. Lise’s work evolves around social and political issues and uses these workshops as a way of involving people directly, creating an arena for dialogue and discussion. She then uses the work that comes from these workshops as building blocks for her work which are often shown in larger installations to continue the dialogue. Gelawesh’s artistic practice focuses on promoting political feminist and human rights issues, through mediums such as embroidery, drawing, installations, film work and workshops. Their aim for the workshops for this exhibition is to research the commons and its meaning to vulnerable groups in society and how forming a mobile common space would impact people living in hiding. Lise’s Instagram 16/04/2020


Lisa Falaschi
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