Let’s dance! If not, dance, then let’s fold cotton sheets together.
Lifting a folded sheet from the top of one of two piles of sheets and asking another person to unfold the sheet with you.
Offering them 2 corners and fully unfolding the sheet.
Then, folding the sheet up again.
Doing this together, and on finishing, putting it on top of the opposite pile of sheets.
Doing this as many times, and with as many people, as you have time and energy for.
“ One day they were folding sheets, air dried from the line. Suddenly, as if to herself, but loud enough to hear, her mother said, ‘This is the only thing you need two people for.’ They carried on in silence. Stretch wide (arms not long enough yet, Martha), up, grip at the top, drop the left hand, catch without looking, stretch sideways, pull, over and again and catch, then pull, pull (harder Martha), then across to meet, up to Mummy’s hands, down and pick up, one last pull, fold, hand it over and wait for the next….When they pulled, there was something which ran through the sheet which wasn’t just pulling the creases out…, it was more, something between them…Was that always there?”
Who will take a moment to remind themselves what it is like to fold a sheet with someone else? Who will we share this experience with? Will we do it again together or with someone else? Will we follow the guidelines or invent our own? What will we learn?
Woodend was a working farm on the Leys Estate owned by the Burnett’s of Crathes, located 17 miles west of Aberdeen between Crathes and Banchory, and where, in 1992, an inspirational group of people came together to make a community play. This shared experience is significant because it was the catalyst for establishing Woodend Barn, and it’s evolution through the energy and participation of a community drawn to its ethos of nurturing and celebrating creativity.
A group of volunteers initiate the visual art at Woodend Barn, and manage the programme and gallery with support from volunteer stewards and Barn staff. With the appointment of the Barn’s first Director in late 2011, the gallery programme is entering a period of development. The Gallery committee sit alongside similarly motivated groups with interest in music, film, gardening, and good food.
As artist in residence I have moved through the formal and informal networks of the organisation. This approach has allowed me to be active and reactive to the gallery programme and organisational development including; devising and chairing a development event for directors, staff, friends of The Barn and volunteers; supporting Evelyn Farquharson an artist based in Banchory, who graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 1954, in lending her work from the art school collection and working with her, the committee and the stewards though the process of the exhibition. I have lived in Banchory for this year and have regularly walked every route I can identify across the town and out to Woodend. Most significantly, I have spent time with a group of people. It is with this knowledge, gained through this particular experience that FOLD is made.
FOLD aims to encompass life at The Barn as I have experienced it. It is made through a process of collaborating with artists, stewards, colleagues and friends; activating, the physical environment of the gallery and its relationship to the theatre, concert hall, office, restaurant, wild garden and allotments.
FOLD is a conversation, in which, we merge with one another yet emerge clearer, more distinct or strengthened through the experience.