Libya, British Council and Liverpool Biennial

Libya with British Council & Liverpool Biennial

Libya Exchange

Invited by British Council and Liverpool Biennial, 2007

I was invited on a residency to Libya with five other UK based artists to spend time working with six Libyan artists based in Sabratha, a small town an hour east of capital, Tripoli.

Time spent in Libya was a rare occasion for me to experience the people, culture and social context of a country I may never have otherwise have visited. Consequently, for me this residency was very much about direct cultural exchange with the Libyan artists and inhabitants.

A residency is not a long time to exchange the history of the world, unless there is some attempt at an understanding from where the other has come from. With such a large gap to bridge from sand painting to post-modernism, I chose to set up a series of workshops alongside the physical creation of an architectural forum that would house the workshops and dialogue. The ‘hut’ would serve as a shelter from the sun and a crucial meeting point for the Libyans and us the UK artists. In these discussion forums  ideas were exchanged about relationships, physical security, prayer, cooking employment prospects….  The residency was the chance for me to put a platform forward and organise the bringing together of people who would not otherwise have heard each other’s stories.

I also devised and led various workshops such as drawing, to collage construction and the media. Valued interchange included being invited to the translator’s houses and spending time in their home environment, imparting all sorts of experiences.

I have been invited to develop a collaborative project with Iraqui artist Dr Said, I will use the footage I accumulated to create a future piece that will reflect the language and process of cultural displacement through moving image and sound.

Update- linked to this project was a new work commissioned by Miguel Amado, I Have A Story, shown at Abrons Art Centre.

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See A Frame & Flag 

Settlement Structure 

Workshop Collage and Vache