Artist in Residence Jan - June 2011
ICIA Gallery, University of Bath,
Exhibition 6th April to 17th June 2011
I was invited to create an exhibition based on exploring the University of Bath Sports Training Village. A centre of national excellence for sports training. I toured the complex and was imediately struck by the empty changing rooms I found there. The space that everyone must go through when changing clothes and their identities. A place where anticipation, preperation, comiseration, celebration and relief etc etc are felt.
I installed into the corridor gallery a continuously changing room. Literally building a changing room, using found mirrors and a new bench and locker etc. Then by using 4 interactive Play Buttons on the coat rail, the sound is activated in a never ending set of variations for the three months of the show. Not all the time, but from time to time.
‘Change’ is integral to sport, which I believe serves as a useful metaphor for our lives. On my tour of the Sports Training Village I was also inspired by the ‘motivational quotes’ I came across above a staff noticeboard. I felt these were positive words that I enjoy thinking about myself. If you don't like them, then come up with a better way to describe our human spirit. The ones I discovered are listed at the end of this project page.
For the installation I cherry-picked my favourite of these quotations, and invited a selection of students and staff from the Sports Training Village to read these texts. I asked them all to do the readings while vigorously peddling an exercise bike in a changing room. See photo at the end of the page. This added the tangible sound of their bodies really 'trying hard' while reading the quotes. This creates a natural and passionate sound effect into the reading, by using the body and the voice together. There are 300 individual readings of the top 20 quotes I chose, plus a few simple questions on the theme of 'Change'.
To hear the work you need to engage with it -
by pressing PLAY, again and again....
Site Context Photos
The gallery space was located in a busy corridor to the caffeteria, unisex toilets, and a staff office.
The transitional audience and staff working in the office were key to finding an appropriate format and content of the show.
All white before my show
The inspiring echoes of the empty changing rooms I found at the Sports Training Village
Exhibition Visitors Film Below
Thank you to Andrei for playing the role of the first visitor.....Quicktime.mov file
"Inspired" [The Guardian]
'The Claverton Rooms' classic campus venue, Univeristy of Bath, A transient audience
In the lobby space there is a continuous sound of a cheering crowd at a sports tournament
I built a changing room into the space and painted the other walls black.
4 speakers were installed in the ceiling, each individually turned on or off
via it's own pneumatic timer switch fitted on the coat rail.
Each play for up to 2 minutes and then switch off.
So the sound is only present when the audience interacts with it.
It never sounds the same twice
and plays back 300 readings of the 20 quotes I chose
Overlaid by the huffing and puffing sounds from the
volunteers in the vioce reading cycling sessions
Each of the 4 speakers plays the same set of recordings, but in 'random play' mode on 4 x iPod's
The public use it both to play the buttons, wait for friends, or to do their hair !
I rescued the mirrors from the university sports clubhouse
My empty changing room late in the evening
the view of the entrance below, with info poster housed in the old noticeboard
that I found being thrown out at the Soulis clubhouse
Recording in ProgresS Below
My selection of Top 20 motivational quotes on the theme
of Sport and Life, plus a few simple questions.
Read whislt peddling uphill...
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
"Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it."
"Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks."
"How would you like things to change?"
"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent,
but the one most responsive to change."
"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."
"Losers quit when they're tired. Winners quit when they've won."
"Losers visualize the penalties of failure, but winners visualize the rewards of success."
"Victory always starts in the head. It's a state of mind. It then spreads
with such radiance and such affirmations that destiny can do nothing but obey."
"If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat."
"If you want to change your life, change your mind."
"what should You change?"
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
"Concentration is the ability to think about absolutely nothing when it is absolutely necessary."
“You only grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone.”
"If you chase two rabbits, both will escape."
"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best."
What did you change?
Listen to a few of them in the video towards the top of the page
Michael Hoch, Simone Lewis, Greg Sharp, Ron Stewart, Harriet Hings, Clare Pell, Ali Scott, Luke Carter,
Dafydd Lloyd, Stu Baily, Matt Garner, Zak Vinnicombe, Joe Hearer, Chris Lewis,
Caroline Braithwaite, Judy Higgs, Sarah Stone.