Swapping Stories for Artworks in The Mall

Oct 07, 2019

Guest blog by local artist Yva Jung who received a Revoluton Arts Kickstarter Mini Commission grant in February 2019.

I am a visual artist based in Hertfordshire and London. I work with various media such as video, sculpture, photography and performance. My art practice explores the notions of journey, encounters and place.

A few months ago, I had a fantastic opportunity to work with Revoluton Arts on a Kickstarter Mini Commission [grants of up to £400 to help local people kickstart a creative project].

I used the funding to produce a performance in Luton.

On 28 April 2019, I set up as a popup vendor at the Mall Luton and invited people (shoppers, passers-by and traders) to exchange stories about their mornings for my artworks.

The performance at the Mall was a very exciting experience.

One of the participants was an ex-prisoner who was in prison for over 30 years. He told me that when he was in open prison, he used to sit on a bench and watch the sunrise every single morning. He drew me a picture of where the bench, the fields, fence and even the honeysuckle were.

The stories I collected from the performance became the basis of a series of drawings which were part of my solo exhibition ‘Monday Morning’ at Departure Lounge, Luton from May to July 2019. I collected the drawings together into handmade, illustrated booklets which were given away for free at the closing event of the exhibition.

A number of people who took part in the performance visited my exhibition and were pleased to see that their stories became part of an art exhibition.

Working with Revoluton Arts and Matthew [Jones from the Producers’ Hub] was incredibly helpful for producing a new work of art in the public realm and interacting with new audiences.

The Kickstarter funding helped me to cover the costs of materials for setting up and documenting the performance as well as producing PR materials such postcards and banners.

I hope my performance brought an insight of contemporary art to life of people who may not otherwise encounter it and that the participants will be encouraged to take part in various art activities in Luton and beyond.

Based on my experience gained from this commission, I will continue to explore dialogues, encounters and exchanges with the public in my art practice.

Find out more about Yva’s exhibition – made with the help of Revoluton Arts Kickstart Mini Commission – on the Departure Lounge website

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