As an artist coming from Guernsey, a small Island off the British Coast, my practice involves experiencing and experimenting other cultures and the sterotypes they produce.
Recently I dressed up as a cowboy, rented a horse, borrowed a gun and headed off into the Montana wilderness in an attempt to relive the romantic vision of the cowboy (as you can see in the video above.)
For this current project I want to expand on my ideas and the idea of perception. I will be traveling to Beijing on May 12th, where I will stay in and around a rural village just outside of the city for a 60 day period. Not as a 'tourist', experiencing the many sights China has to offer, but residing amongst the locals experiencing their culture first hand - rather than driving by on a tour bus with video camera in hand!
I want to make this experience into a book with daily pictures of my interactions with local villagers, rather than standing by the Great Wall of China, or grinning manically in front of the Forbidden City. The book will be joined with anecdotes and stories from both me and my temporary countrymen to critique the affluent nature we live in in the West and to question the representations we have of the East.
The money is to help fund for the flights, living expenses (although minimal) and the production of a book following my stay. The idea to create a book stems from the desire to distribute my work in a different manner. As well as having the project on my website and blog, it will be able to be viewed in the physical object of a book.
And rather than having masses of documentation in the form of pictures, drawings, notes, writings, snippets of conversation etc gather dust in my studio, the book will bring all this together and be accessible to the public.
The contrasting lives of those in the east and the west is extremely diverse, and having the experience to live with and amongst locals on the outskirts of Beijing will offer material for the audience to connect with and question.
- (30 days)