RAYGUN’s artist in resident Samuel Peck’s solo exhibition opened last night! There were lots of new faces, discussion about the work, and positive feedback. Samuel spoke at 6.30 giving a brief explanation of the projects, and JD’s Blind Horse and Mace were looking after the vinyl.. Check out the IMAGES from the first hour or so of the show (until the chic with the camera gave in to the champagne (we’ve forgiven her because she’s hot)).
Below is a short essay, describing the work.
Parameters for Projects.
A short essay on the work of Samuel Peck (USA)
By Tarn McLean and Alexandra Lawson
In thinking through his projects Peck places importance on the setting of boundaries or parameters to create work within. This series of work is based upon play and his experiences during his residency with RAYGUN in Australia.
During the duration of his residency Peck undertook a project in homage to Steve Lambert called ‘I Will Draw With Anyone About Anything’. The parameters Peck placed upon this project are as follows – the project must be public, between the hours of 12pm and 3pm each week day. Peck tried to ease participants inhibitions with simple questions (that followed the original structure of the project as defined by Lambert) such as,
-What is your favorite color?
-How was your day?
-How about this weather we are having?
-What would you like to draw about?
The intention of the project is about exploring a new space and place, to gain an understanding of a new culture, as well as allowing conversations or interactions between the artist and participant. His project is about drawing as thinking. It’s giving yourself room to have dialogue, time to draw, or speak with someone. A part of everyday life that we as human beings need time to do, but is not valued as a commodity. Here he provides a place, within the visual journal, for a drawing collaboration to happen between himself and anybody who is willing to draw with him.
The Dish Wash Sculpture series are a group of photographs taken daily in accordance with the ‘washing up’. Each time the dish rack was filled, or even partially, Peck photographed it with a cell phone camera from the same place (height, distance from rack) each time helping to create an understanding of the originality in each set-up. The existence of both the highly structured and intuitive placement of the dishes allows a tension between the images when grouped together.
The Prints are based upon the exploration of a new space, they document the physical space of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia and the comparisons between the culture and especially the landscape and botanical differences between the US and Australia. The prints document indexical relationships the artist made between new things discovered and old things known. Peck named the images based upon puns, playfully identifying his surroundings.
The Visual Journal has parameters unlike the other two projects in that within its rules it allows for growth. Each page of the journal documents the every day, like a sketchbook or scrap-book can, using ephemera such as drawings, notes, candy wrappers and objects found throughout ones daily travels. These elements were added with others and coupled with writing, drawing and painting using portable tools such as a water-colour set, pencils, permanent markers, colored pencils, a glue stick, ruler and eraser. With the application of these tools the book was built. Visual journals are not limited to just being a sketch book, scrap-book or note-book, it instead exists within each of these genres and more, but more importantly is a documentation of Peck’s experience and everyday life both in the US and Australia. The journal also incorporates a participatory element in that it facilitated the ‘I Will Draw With Anyone About Anything’ project. A series of digital prints are exhibited with the book allowing elements of the imagery to exist independently of the journal.
All of these structures are based upon the writing of John Cage, which allows the artist activity to exist within a set of rules that are exercised through a project, enabling the artist to better understand his own practice and the environment the project sits within.