just a quick postscript to say that my soundscape for walsall not losing yr marbles walsall is finally available to listen to / download. please go to
to do all this
all the best
so we come to my final day of the outside in residency and my final post. d/rift is a short film (1′15”) which animates selected visual poetry of mine previously made for and exhibited in the new art gallery, walsall in assocation with dash (disability arts shropshire). its first screening is as part of my open studio. yu can also download/watch it at http://vimeo.com/20373827
the text of it reads as follows:
d/rift. stranged house, a long-time friend and handfuls seed out pillboxings – wildflowers compost-downing, spore to rugs, pips under floorboardings, husks inside hand-fueled piano, and watered all in, the labels slapped on, slapped on – us uneasy swans on wolf-blue, ices no purchase, this brash, the sound/sounds of cracking up. world-as-ballgag no inspired by ‘famous anarchist’ (are there any other kinds?) official plaque blue opposite different blue ov sex shop three minutes from gallery square, fun loopy but still loopy? theres a beauty in nailing the amp for this kind of dissonance
i am also presenting cracking up – a durational performance. i will repeatedly crack open walnuts using only my left hand and offer the nut flesh up to audiences. this is intended as a small but cumulative and defiant tribute to those not making it thru the mental health system i have filmed a short clip of this which can be downloaded / watched at http://vimeo.com/20374244
so theres a lot of talk of weight in the nhs. we shouldnt be overweight. some are proposing not treating you unless you lose weight. what if the weight-gain has been because of meds – anti-depressants or antipsychotics? what then? are we supposed to sue those drug companies because of our weight gain?
a former mayor of walsall – according to local history – had a tradition of casting nuts out at passers-by in an act of benefaction. i thought what a great tradition to continue. i’d like to cast out nuts at passers-by. no doubt i’d be failed by health and safety tho. yu might just need a hard-hat when walking past me in walsall
instead however come and see cracking up. a durational performance by sean burn. this is where i will repeatedly crack open walnuts using only my left hand and offer the nut flesh up to audiences. this is intended as a small but cumulative and defiant tribute to those not making it thru the mental health system.
more not losing yr marbles. walsall is being kept in balance by my helpful balancing of these marbles not allowing them to get lost. the film is available to watch at http://vimeo.com/19972926
not losing yr marbles walsall – a soundmap can be found for listening/download at http://audioboo.fm/boos/264418
not losing yr marbles walsall is a soundmap for the people of walsall in which i keep their marbles from getting lost. what do i mean by this? you all know the comment about losing yr marbles, well … theres a base layer to this soundmap which is marbles rolling around a plate and not dropping off – the marbles arent lost. this layer is me keeping walsall in balance, avoiding the disorder of losing yr marbles. over this are layered multiple sounds of every-day walsall. the marbles roll uninterrupted for almost a minute before the other sounds start up, slowly at first and then more furiously before dropping away at the end and leaving just the marbles once more. at about 45 seconds someone enters walking and asking is that a peaceful moment?, then at the minute mark there is a club singer faint but just audible coming thru the floorboards of the hotel i was staying in. next is contact-miked ice from the marina just outside the galllery. it crackles and hisses and spits like electricity. toddlers running down the long corridor gallery where my work is installed comes after. occasionally man-made sounds like distant thunder are heard. all this takes us to the 4 minute mark. then comes a large burst of competing, multilayered sounds. a wok from a chinese takeaway, a fruitseller repeating his cries of apples, pears, bananas, grapes or strawberries, several times, ducks from the arboretum (subliminally in there), louder is post office numbers for those queuing which also repeat as does the grinding of a motorised advertising board. the marble sounds become more subdued but carry on as architecture underpinning the work. a man selling meat offers sirloin steak and chicken fillets, the cry of a swan from on the ice is just audible, meds being rattled likewise, a kid squeals, the sounds of a pigeons wings are heard around 5 minutes and 8 seconds and again 8 seconds later. there is a brief riff made from walking footsteps. street sounds increase as do the competing cries of the meat seller and the numbers called out electronically for those queueing at the post office. ice stirred with hydrophones can be heard around the 5 minute 20 second mark followed by more selling of sirloin, lets go over here and explore from an adolescent voice. the icy water being stirred with hydrophones is less crackly and more about the sounds of cracking or breaking of ice (cracking up) and then the ambient sound from hydrophones on top of the ice is heard. there is also some whistling in a chipper. the marble sounds re-emerge and at 6 minutes and 10 seconds a pound a pair street cry rings out, followed by the fruit seller still crying apples, pears, bananas, grapes or strawberries, general chatter from the streets plays out, marbles regain their dominance in the mix, a beat of sound spills out from a doorway followed by brief sounds of a market stall being dismantled, someone says hi and then laughs, and the marbles finally still
also included in the new works hung is a sequence of six vispo’s (visual poetry) called blakean. its from a book of william blake found in a charity shop complete with writing in the margins by a previous owner. phrases of his have been cut and pasted into new works, alongside the marginal comments, and also layered into this are copies of a doctors prescription. blake famously experienced visions / alternative states of mind – was he what we would now label as schizophrenic? it certainly gave him a way of seeing beyond and thru.
also in the corridor is a new wall writing on one of the panels. (see image below). why harmacy? i was walking with a group from the arboretum when i saw a closed pharmacy – the bars partly covered up the p and so i read harmacy. its a comment on the side effects of medication.
just rehung the corridor gallery with some new work. with this post are seven from fourteen daze. up close photographs of antipsychotic medication blisterpacks, with the pills already popped. craters, jags and abstractions all feature. they’ll be up until the end of february
dawn jones was a talented young artist and writer who also lived with long-term mental distress. i have today put up a small exhibition of her work in the your corner section of walsall museum on lichfield street. below is the information that accompanied the show. do please go and view her work. sean burn
All these posters and accompanying writing come from Through the Shadows Into The Light : An Insight into Living with Depression by Dawn Jones. This work was produced by Dawn Jones when she was with Walsall Youth Arts. As her mother Maureen wrote in the introduction to the book ‘I think it really helped to take her problems outside herself and put them on paper for everyone to be able to see what was going on in her head.’
‘If her death can help other people it would make something positive out of the negative of it all. I hope the book will make people more aware of how these conditions (mental ill-health) can take over a person so suddenly. And that you should not try to cope on your own, but get help.’
I would also like people to see Dawn as more than a young woman who killed herself. She had talents, and with this book shows how good an artist she was and perhaps what she could have gone on to do, had she had the support from the health service to overcome her illness that she needed.
In memory of Dawn an annual art competition has been set up. It is a prize for people who live in Walsall and who have mental health problems. You can contact them as follows:
Dawn Jones Art Competition
c/o Walsall Sue (Service Users Empowerment)
Unit 1 Talisman House, 47 Bath Street, Walsall, WS1 3BX
01922 644983 / email : email@example.com