20th – 27th January 2012
10am – 6pm weekdays, 12 – 5pm Sat & Sun
Late night Friday 27th January (until 8pm)
Amy Lord is a live artist and designer making original multi-textured and layered encounters and experiences; mixing installation, performance and craft. Her work is mostly concerned with, and inspired by human behaviour and experiences. Chantelle Purcell talks to Amy to find out about her upcoming project ‘The Takeaway Shop’ at Number 82 Gallery.
CP: Can you tell us more about the upcoming project ‘The Takeaway Shop’ at Number 82 gallery?
AL: I will be in the space from 20 – 27 Jan with a collection of research about the local history of the area. I will be teaching different bookbinding and book-making skills that will allow people to make their own handmade archives to take away with them.
CP: Who is the event intended for?
AL: For anyone that lives in, or is visiting Deptford and New Cross. It is primarily for people that live or work in the area but also for those with an interest in London’s history.
CP: How can making archives more accessible promote discursivity and a sense of community?
AL: The one thing a community shares is place. And the history of that place. That cannot be changed and should be used to bring people together.
CP: How far back have you researched into Deptford’s history? And how have you collected the various fragments of historical information?
AL: Deptford has a 2000 year history, there will be some facts from around 1066 and 500AD I think, but most will start from around 1300 onwards. I’ve copied and reproduced some interesting images and texts from books and other interesting documents from the local library archive.
CP: What else have you been doing in preparation for the project?
AL: Gathering all the tools for the book binding, a lot of paper making, and trying to reach as many local residents as possible with news of the project! And a lot of reading, I’ve found some incredibly detailed reference books dedicated to the history of Deptford.
CP: Have you always been based in Deptford?
AL: No, I have lived in London for 4 years now and have only been here for 1.
CP: Do you think the need to understand the area in which you are now based stems from a sense of ‘displacement’ and a need to be more connected to the area?
AL: Perhaps. I think we all get the urge to put down roots in somewhere that we know we will be living for a while, but the idea for this project came more from stumbling across relics from the past (I think the bizarre statue on creekside of Peter the Tsar was one) and being absolutely entranced by the idea of the this area having such a colourful history. I thought other people might be too.
CP: How do you think someone who has lived in Deptford all their life will approach this project?
AL: I hope they will bring their own memories and stories of Deptford to The Takeaway Shop and contribute to building an ever growing archive of human stories and experiences. I’m trying to explore many different areas of the history (i.e humanitarian, architectural, political and environmental) so I hope they may find out something that they didn’t know before.
CP: This project seems to share similar ideas to a previous work “24 Carrot Cake” which explored consumerism and attempted to create a renewed value of discarded objects. Would you say that there has been a resurgence in craft and making opposed to the mass produced?
AL: I have been learning and enjoying lots of different crafts for many years now but it does seem like there has been a resurgence in craft and making of late. I hope this isn’t just a trend that’s going to die down again! I don’t think it will though, I think people are starting to see through consumerism, especially in the current economic climate. And I don’t think it’s necessarily the end product that matters the most when you’re doing craft – it’s the process and the satisfaction you get during the making stages.
CP: Can you discuss the ‘reach’ an artwork like this can have? How will it be documented? And how will the event exist archivally?
AL: I think it will be experienced on many different levels. There will be those who actually take part in the workshop, those that hear about the workshop and are passed the skills or knowledge by word of mouth, and those that discover books that are left in local places.
The event itself will be documented on camera and I will be writing about each day on my website blog (which goes live in january amy-lord.com) and posting more by-the-moment documentation through Twitter.
CP: What have you learnt from undertaking a project like this?
AL: I’ve been really pleased with the response, I suppose it has confirmed that people will always want to know about the humans that lived, walked and breathed the same air as them many years ago – maybe because we hope future generations will be curious about us, and looking at the trail we’ve left when we’re gone.
CP: What’s next?
AL: I’d like to do The Takeaway Shop again, in an empty shop. I’m obsessed with empty commercial spaces but have yet to get through to any local letting agents to convince them of the benefits of using empty shops for artistic or community purposes.
In the month after TTS I’m running an alternative Valentine’s day Hunt event for Rich Mix in Shoreditch, but in a few days time will be doing a short performance piece at BAC Scratch on Thursday 22nd Dec.
Thanks very much Amy Lord!
INTERVIEW WITH CHANTELLE PURCELL
To find out more about the artist Amy Lord please visit: http://www.missamylord.com/