I spent Tuesday morning rambling around Liverpool city centre, touring the Liverpool biennial – an International Festival of Contemporary Art.
I have a fairly catholic taste where art is concerned and am not one of those people who dislikes all forms of contemporary art. My reaction to modern art varies according to the individual piece. My i9nitial response to each piece varies ; it may be ‘OK’ or ‘that’s attractive’ or ‘I like that’ or ‘clever stuff!’ with the occasional ‘Yer what?!?’ (see GB’s post from Tatton Park). A few pieces leave me cold (especially video which is not a medium I enjoy) whilst others have that real ‘Wow’ factor. I have yet to see all the pieces in the Festival but of the ones I saw this week four really struck me as good and one – the Mending Project - had that absolute ‘Wow’ factor. I shall feature the others - together with some of the ‘OK’ and ‘Clever’ ones in future posts
The Mending Project is by the artist Lee Mingwei who was born in Taiwan and graduated from Oakland with a degree in Textile Arts in 1993 and went on to do a Masters in Fine Arts at Yale concentrating on sculpture and New Genre Public Art. Lee Mingwei currently lives and works in New York City and Berkeley, California, but has been over in Liverpool for the first couple of weeks of the Festival and I was fortunate enough to meet him at the Mending Project.
The project, first created in 2009 at Lombard Freid Projects, New York, is an interactive installation involving a 10 foot wooden table, 2 wooden chairs and 400 cones of thread, each of a different colour. Its dimensions vary depending upon where and how he sets it up.
Lee describes his artistic orientation as ‘social conceptualism’. His works are participatory and he invites strangers to join together in such everyday activities as eating, sleeping, writing letters, or, in this case, mending clothes. Visitors are invited to bring along items of clothing that need mending and they sit with the artist while he darns at their side. The concept is brilliant and the setting so simple and yet so attractive.
As the Liverpool Biennial catalogue comments “The Mending Project creates a welcome respite from the humdrum noise of the street and the loneliness experienced by many people living in modern cities”. “At the heart of this is the desire to re-instigate moments of closeness and shared understanding between strangers.”
Thanks for stopping by! Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? And please, sit for a spell. If you enjoy my posts, please feel free to follow me or subscribe to my blog. This is a word verification free, family friendly blog, so everything I share here is for all ages. I am a happily married man in my late sixties who lives on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool, in the UK.
I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"....
I enjoy most forms of communication and postcards are a special favourite. I used to blog as Scriptor Senex which is Latin for Old Writer but now Google only lets me post as John Edwards.
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)