In ‘Taking a magnet for a walk’ I picked up on a piece I had created in Unit 1 and further developed it for the Festival of Alternative Arts Education and accompanying exhibition, The Secret Is Out, at Conway Hall; where I proposed to lead small groups, each armed with a rare earth neodymium magnet on a string, in a walk around Red Lion Square. Along the way participants were to be encouraged to dangle their magnet and collect debris that is attracted to it. At the end the various objects would be photographed as a collection and displayed in the compartmentalised drawers of a desk in the Humanist Library. This micro action aimed to mimic larger acts of collaborative engagement within artists groups.
Unfortunately, both events were cancelled….
Despite lockdown however, I decided to continue with this piece by taking magnets for a walk with my family, during our 1 hour daily exercise.
Feeling the environment through the pull of a magnet on metal or the weight of an object on string; attraction, resistance, force and weight; the magnet becomes a lens of touch; focussing and magnifying. At the same time, this sense and the search, sharpen our awareness of the surroundings visually.
Honing in, we can also reflect on the items collected as archaeological finds and muse upon what it says of our culture anthropologically.
I displayed our collection on a wall outside the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and another on a wall by the communal bins of our estate.