Jamboree#1: Laurie Lax – Sleeping on a gallery floor

Originally published: 7 January 2016 – https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/jamboree/post/52436315/

Only a certain kind of person would sign up to sleep on a gallery floor for three nights with a bunch of strangers. The chances are these people would probably get along just fine…

Often artists are expected to give ‘presentations’ or an ‘artist talk’, but I have found very little guidance on what is actually wanted. Useful from the offset, LOW PROFILE set the task of condensing our practices into 6-minute presentations to share with the group, shaped around three specific questions – the most useful for me being ‘please describe your current and biggest concerns?’

I knew this could be interpreted as something formal that needed to be resolved in the work, or balancing making and paid work, or ‘professional goals?’ However, I posed the question that I am most shy to ask for fear of being pigeon-holed, ridiculed or challenged; the thing that’s been bugging me since I was a student; the thing that’s terribly un-fashionable, the thing that I can’t stop making work about – ‘how to deal with the environment and climate change through my work?’

This was met with a simple but poignant ‘don’t worry about it’. If it’s a genuine concern revealing itself through the process of making, then it is a genuine concern and there is nothing I can do about it. The social, political and scientific effects of climate change are rich territory to explore, but I would still not identify with the term environmental artist!

As well as new confidence in that particular aspect of my work, I will take away from Jamboree the discovery of a little gem in the coast – Plymouth, and a nationwide network of couches to sleep on. Some of us have already met up in Glasgow!

Laurie Lax – 2016