- dale Hardy
Two Days To Go!
My most current piece of work, There Go the Millers! is due to be installed into Carnival House, Sunderland on Tuesday 18th May. And it would be fair to say that I have been completely consumed by it and have given it a fair portion of my heart and soul for the last six months, which is no mean feat.
This project has been about exploring how my family exists and questions the idea that family life has to be perfect - no mess, no fighting and definitely no unhappiness and God forbid that any of these dirty little secrets ever make it to the outside world for others to see and sit in judgement with. The idea that the veneer might crack and that my family might be seen warts-and-all has been something I have wrestled with personally for a long time and I have found it quite liberating as I take this opportunity to address it.
One of the objectives for the work, besides fulfilling my university study requirements, is to have lots of visitors come and have a look at what I have created. To come and see the journey my family has been on for the last six months and more and to hopefully relate to some of the content and say, that's like my family! - to look at some of the work and possibly see a little of themselves. And if that were to happen for even one person, just one, believe me when I say it would be mission accomplished.
There Go the Millers! is really the first public exhibition or installation which is all my own work and the first time I have put myself out in the physical public realm, and if I'm completely honest, is terrifying. And not terrifying because I don't think the work is "good enough" or that I'm afraid of what people might say about it because everyone will see it differently and take different things away from it. The scary thing is placing myself at the centre of it as the artist and not knowing how to take process it despite knowing that I should just let it be seen and chat to people about it.
The other main objective for this work it to be part of something which is not all about me. The very nature of this project means that there have been a great many people involved from the concept stage right through to the time when the last person walks away from the venue and it is removed. And as I sit writing this post I realise that this is an extensive list - my family, friends, university staff and peers, The Creative Seed and Loxley Colour Labs to name but a few. My research for this project has meant that I have been in touch with a great many people from Online dictionaries to current practicing artists whose work influenced my own. And while I know this work is a small and relatively insignificant project in the grander scheme of things, it highlights how important collaboration is and that working with other people and organisations to achieve something is where the real reward lays. Each of the collaborators might not know or fully understand what it is I have been trying to achieve, but nevertheless they play an important role.
There Go the Millers! 18-20th May 2021 at Carnival House & Kitchen, SR5 2JD.