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20 October 2017
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21 June 2017
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16 June 2017
From 22 October 2016 to the 27 February 2017 Oriel Davies' Gallery 2 was transformed into The Drawin...
02 February 2017
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Artist in Residence


Residency Project: Organisational Diagrams for Everyday Life

During her residency in The Drawing Room, Helen will celebrate the things she brings from her everyday life; the daily actions and activities. Making tea - time: 2 minutes, milk: soya, shade: warm/mid tan. Making a to do list – A4 folded sheet of paper, biro pen, today’s name at top, followed by items arranged chronologically. Making room - arranging the items in The Drawing Room in piles in order of size, shape colour, pertinence.

Helen invites you to join her in workshops that honour and perform the everyday. Participants will be invited to bring with them their routines, to think about how they occupy public or private spaces and make a performative drawing / diagram of these processes. Perhaps an architectural diagram of ‘Doing Donuts’ in a car park with associated instructions (Mechanical Operations Doing Donuts) perhaps a flow chart of how to organise a shopping trip (Things To Do With Shopping Centres_Scapbook Archive) or even a plan that re-imagines how an apparently random pile of rubble encountered in the street might have been deliberately and painstakingly placed there to full catastrophic effect (Assembled Debris (Rubble)). These examples are all taken from Helen's practice. The first one is taken from the book Mechanical Operations in Cambourne, which will be on show at Oriel Davies as part of the Imaginary Worlds exhibition in Gallery 1, which runs alongside The Drawing Room.

People will be encouraged to bring or rather think about their own everyday routines. To focus on the commonplace and bring them together with the measured ways that try to organise our daily existence. We will look at and play with existing diagrammatic methods including pie charts, flow charts, colour charts and walking distances alongside the more technological methods such as the ‘Way Of Life’ app – ‘the ultimate habit maker and breaker.’ The aim is to use dead-pan and comic techniques to playfully critique these organising devices that promise to “change you to who you really want to be.”

The diagrams created over the residency and those made in the workshops will be displayed in The Drawing Room and collected together to make a handy ‘Productivity Portfolio’® for others to leaf through and take advice from.

“All my work grows out of places and people who become participants and audience. Working with others using humour through drawing I explore the effects of the built environment; its influences on how people rest, move and live. I explore how places are produced and performed through everyday activities and routines to seek out how these occupations or actions challenge the visions set up by city planners/authorities and architects. The Drawing Room residency is an opportunity to build on and extend these themes in my practice in an open and experimental setting.”


Artist Biography

Helen Stratford has a background in architecture. Her drawings, speculative writing and discursive platforms explore the politics of everyday life to search for modalities that expand architectural conventions. Helen’s work has been presented at g39: Cardiff, Wysing Arts Centre: Cambridge, Primary: Nottingham, METAL Peterborough & Southend, Bloc Projects, Yorkshire Artspace: Sheffield, RIBA, Tate Modern, ICA: London, Akademie Solitude: Stuttgart, Center for Contemporary Arts: Celje, Škuc Gallery and P74: Ljubljana.

Find out more about Helen and her work

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